felt breakfast foods.

i like giving handmade christmas gifts. more often than not, i have lofty goals that are never quite brought to fruition. this year though, i couldn't even manage to come up with any lofty goals. my brain was a dull hum of pinterest overload and denial that the holidays were just around the corner.

come christmas day, this random assortment of felt breakfast food ended up being my biggest accomplishment. why would anybody ever eat anything besides breakfast food?

i made it for my nephew, who's almost two, and probably the most ridiculously cute kid ever! i dare you to argue. just look at those eyes! that hair! that cheesy grin! and anyone that can rock buffalo plaid like that gets a ticket straight to my heart.

since felt food has been a big hit with the margot lately, i figured it would go over pretty well with her cousin. i had already made margot some pancakes and pretty well perfected my felt pancake construction method (future blog post mayhaps?? comment if you'd be interested in a tutorial), so i started with those, complete with felt syrup and wooden pats of butter. and since you can't just have sugar and carbs for breakfast, felt bacon and sausage was a must.

these felt cinnamon rolls were fun super fun to make. i pretty much followed these instructions, but instead of hand sewing the coils together, i cheated and used hot glue. i feel no guilt over this decision, as i made the whole half dozen this way in under an hour (a huge crafting win, i must say). i sadly opted out of using puffy paint to add icing to the rolls. it adds a lot to the adorableness factor of them, but i figured, if it were margot, she'd pick it right back off in about two seconds (and then probably eat it), so her cousin would likely do the same.

and no breakfast spread is complete without the incredible, edible egg. sunny side up of course. for those of you that follow me on instagram, that egg carton may look familiar, as i couldn't resist a pre-christmas sneak peak (i don't think my nephew is on instagram yet, so i didn't have to worry about spoilers). i found the plain cardboard cartons at hobby lobby and then drew the design on with a marker (don't be too impressed, it's not free-handed...i first mocked it up on the computer and then transferred it over in pencil with carbon paper...i'm not that good...)

i debated for a while what to put in the carton. felt eggs? plastic easter eggs? but then i finally settled on another household favorite, kitty mcnuggets. they just fit so perfectly in an egg carton, i couldn't resist. and margot really loves hers.

and there you have it. enough christmas food for a two year old to play short order cook. which will you be having? i'm thinking those bacon and eggs look pretty good right about now.

so what about you, did you accomplish any of your handmade goals this christmas? or are you still spinning in pinterest overload, looking to the new year for a refresh?


printable christmas gift tags.

i'm a habitual christmas procrastinator. not when it comes to things like decking the halls, or making cookies, or drinking hot cocoa by the fire, or watching elf fifteen times, but definitely when it comes to buying and wrapping presents.

so here i am, several days (i'm not even going to count) before christmas, just starting my wrapping and with several gifts still yet to buy. i would hereby resolve to do better next year, but really, that's just a ridiculous notion. so rather, i will share with you, my fellow procrastinators, some fun and free gift tag printables.

because this seems to be the year of printing things off.

if you checked out my advent calendar, these patterns may seem familiar. and this probably isn't the last you'll see of them...the black and white patterns are just so fun. i also added some hand lettering to the mix. because there are far too few opportunities in life to practice your cursive.

you can get the file here. just print it off (landscape style), cut them out, punch some holes and use them to bring a little cheer to your holiday packages.

i think they're pretty swell. especially paired with bakers twine, black and white ribbon or some chunky yarn. and if you're not a holiday procrastinator (lucky), you can use them for whatever your next gift giving occasion is, since they're pretty neutral. if you do use them, post a link in the comments. i'd love to see them!


merry and happy banner.

ever since i shipped off the advent calendar, my mantel has been looking rather lonely. and since i cannot seem to settle on stockings to hang up by the chimney with care, i needed something quick, cheap and cheerful to fill the void.

so i made a banner, with bright colors and a fun sentiment. who doesn't need the occasional holiday reminder to be merry and happy?

the design was done in inkscape and i printed the letters two to a page on some heavier card stock. after a couple of sitcoms spent carefully cutting and hole punching, volia, no more naked mantel!

i've been really digging a colorful christmas this year. if you are too, you can grab the free printables and make your very own merry and happy banner (be sure to print the file landscape style). hang it above your fireplace or over a doorway or along the wall. anywhere that you need a little more holiday cheer.


cardboard christmas tree house.

last year i made margot a felt christmas tree, and it was a big hit. this year, since she currently loves playing with tiny toys, i made her a cardboard christmas tree house. complete with tiny kitties, peg people, and it's very own christmas tree.

it's a super cool project with templates from mr. printables (check out the whole site. there are lots of neat things there). and the best part is, it's essentially free, because who doesn't have a spare cardboard box (or fifty) sitting around the house right about now.

it's also fairly quick, depending on how much customization you want to do. i chose to paint the various panels with some acrylic craft paint that i had on hand. this was accomplished during a margot and mom painting session, which actually was super fun and minimally messy (she's quite the painter).

i also used some gold foil tape to stripe the floors, and maybe ran out on the bottom floor...if only i could remember where i bought it... i'm also considering using a sharpie (white mayhaps) to add some fun designs to the walls. hmmmm

*i really love this picture, because it makes margot look like a giant...

margot seems to think it's pretty cool. she mostly likes putting the kitties through the doors.

so, you should make one too! i'm pretty sure ours will stick around long after christmastime. as long as the masking tape holds and margot doesn't decide that it's climbable...as it most definitely is not.


diy advent calendar.

happy day after thanksgiving! the official start (in my house at least) of the christmas season. and what's a better way to recover from that breakfast pumpkin pie than an afternoon of crafting on the couch. and so, to encourage just that, here's a snazzy advent calendar diy, complete with printables, for all of your couch crafting fun.

i love christmastime. i love having a living tree in the house (and fending off cats and toddlers). i love sipping hot chocolate with peppermint. i love roaring fires and cheesy music and endless cookies and cakes shaped like logs. as much as i love christmastime though, i'm not such a huge fan of christmas. i think it overwhelms me. with all the stress of giving presents and getting presents, all of the goodnesses of the season gets briefly lost in the frenzied day. last year, though, i think i struck on a happy balance. a way to embrace all of the awesomeness that is christmastime and minimize the stress of presenting while still having fun things to open.

advent. a full month of intentional christmastiming. last year i sent my sister lilly a random assortment of advent gifts (only a few of which got blogged) and had a total blast collecting them all, wrapping them up, and shipping them out. so this year, my sisters and sisters-in-laws decided (i.e. agreed to go along with my crazy plan) to do an advent calendar swap--each person would make their own advent calendar, and then we'd exchanged them randomly. this is my contribution to the mix.

i was totally inspired by this one that i saw on pour mes jolis mômes. i loved its modern look with the black and white, its use of washi tape (seriously, can there be too much?) and most importantly, its ability to hold candy (and maybe also the way they look like those ice pops from the elementary school cafeteria...). i've been making some simple hand drawn patterns for a while now, and i figured this was the perfect opportunity to finally make vector graphics from them. so i took the same premise and made twenty four of my own black and white designs. and i'm completely in love.

and a little sad that it's already left my house. but stoked that it's being hung up in an awesome house in south carolina. and since i made printables, i can make them over and over again. and so can you! just click here.

in addition to the twenty four pouches, i also made small cards with scriptures on them and cards with suggested festive activities, one each for each of the twenty four days. rather than reinvent the wheel, you can find awesome assembly instructions over at pour mes jolis mômes.

i chose to make mine into a garland, so i wasn't able to hang them by the string in the corner (they don't all face outwards that way...which i found out the hard way...). tiny clothespins worked perfectly, though, even with the weight of a couple of pieces of candy.

so you should make some! and keep them for yourself or give them to a friend or to a neighbor or to someone completely random. and then hang them up over the fireplace, with a yak. or throw them in a basket. or hide them all over the house, easter egg style.

and since the pouches aren't too christmas specific, they can be used for other occasions--like twenty four days of birthdaying or twenty four days of summer or twenty four days of just because! 

on a somewhat related note, if you do choose to fill them with chocolate, hanging them above an often used fireplace is probably not ideal. just saying.

happy christmastime!


pajama pants.

so last week was kid's clothing week, and, as always, i totally forgot. i did remember sometime on thursday evening, and managed to make this sweet pair of pajama pants. then, of course, i did not get around to taking pictures of them until now. alas, maybe one day i'll be more on the ball. in the meantime, here are some cool pants!

i apologize in advance for all of the blurry pictures you're about to see. the only way to convince a toddler to model pajama pants is to let them jump on your bed.

i made these by just adding length to dana's kids shorts pattern , which continues to proove to be a great investment. pajama pants are forgiving enough that i could easily have self drafted a pattern, but i already had the pattern pieces on hand. a win for laziness.

i used the pattern option for the full elastic waistband and added a draw string, more for looks than functionality. pajama pants were made for drawstrings.

these were super quick make. under an hour from cutting to complete, and that included having to redo the button holes for the draw string when i realized i put them in the back originally...

i'm really loving this woodland flannel. it's from jo ann's (which is open again here...yay!!). ever since finishing these i've been pretty jealous of margot. soon, i'll probably break down and make me a pair, so we can have matching mommy-daughter pajama parties.

accompanied by much bed jumping.


pizza and pasta and donuts, oh my!

you had to know that all of my felt food making wouldn't be limited to the vegetable variety. there are far too many other tasty treats to be had (or made).

like donuts! sprinkle donuts are margot's favorite (and every other two year old). she likes to eat them from the top down, meaning she only eats the frosting and the sprinkles. sometimes she accidentally eats some of the donut. these felt donuts are a bit hard to eat, but super cute to look at. and perfect for tea parties. 
margot is also a big fan of pizza. when she says it, though, it sounds like 'pasta', which is really confusing. confusing because i never know if she's asking for pizza or spaghetti and also confusing because she used to say 'pizza'. not sure what happened there...

the best thing about this felt pizza is that it is disassemble-able...so that margot can make and re-make her pizza over and over again. this is a particularly entertaining activity on friday evenings when we're waiting for the pizza man. then she goes and puts it in her oven, where it seems to only take fifteen seconds to cook. the magic of felt food.

these farfalle may be my favorite! so cute and so similar to the real thing. and the three color blend really makes them look awesome (and speaks to my new habit of hoarding all of the various shades of felt from all of the craft stores).

making these is super simple, as long as you have pinking shears. i suppose you could make them with straight ends, but it wouldn't be nearly as cute. the first set i made (the off-white ones) i sewed on my machine, which was fast, but made it a bit hard to keep them lookin neat. for the other two sets, i simply hand stitched them while watching tv one evening. five or six quick stitches is all it takes for these adorable little bow ties.

and  margot has a blast playing with them. they go from being stirred in the pot on the stove (with large chunks of wooden butter, of course), drained in the colander in the sink and then back to the stove. luckily, you cannot over cook felt pastas.

and that about brings this blog up to speed with my felt food endeavors. still on my list are more things that can serve as salad or pizza toppings, like mushrooms, peppers, onions, and the like.


apple picking (or reason seven hundred twelve that fall is the best).

last weekend jon, margot and i were lucky enough to head up to charlottesville to go apple picking at carter mountain orchard with my brother and sister-in-law. it was a fun throw back to our college days, while, at the same time, it also made it glaringly obvious that we're now old people. with a kid. and we're zero percent hipster. but i think i'm ok with that.

margot had a grand time.


jon told margot to touch the apples. she took him quite literally.

jon and margot are currently sporting the same hair-do...business in the front, party in the back.

and i shall leave you with this picture of apple cider donuts. taken by my brother, lucas. because he's still hipster.


felt food.

as promised, the felt food making has been in full swing since margot's birthday. i'm not sure what's so rewarding about making inedible replicates of edibles, but it's super addictive.

*disclaimer. upon close examination, these photos contain much kitty hair. luckily, this is not real food. consider yourself warned.

in keeping with the produce theme, margot now has an assortment of felt vegetables. for all of her fiber needs. first up salad!

or more accurately, some lettuce and a few tomato slices. this salad could use some cucumber, peppers, onions and maybe some hard boiled eggs. alas, long grows the list of completely unnecessary things that i feel inexplicable compelled to do...

the lettuce may be my favorite of the vegetables (as well as my nemesis, because i'm constantly finding it all over the house). to make it, i googled various lettuce/leaf shapes and made a template in inkscape (available here, if you want to make your own). i then spent one tv watching evening cutting the shapes out from two different shades of green felt. i could easily have stopped there and had perfectly play-with-able lettuce, but that's not how i roll. i also added veins and ribbing using my sewing machine. it really adds a great dimensionality to it. i think i have more fun making it then margot has playing with it...

then came a series of root vegetables. the construction of these was very similar to the strawberries, except that the leaves were sewn into the opening at the top rather than over it. for the radishes, i loosely followed these instructions. to make them different sizes though, i cut the finished circle into somewhat randomly sized sectors, anywhere from one half to one third of the circle. for the carrots, i just free hand cut large triangles, trying to vary the length and width. in spite of this though, the finished carrots all ended up roughly the same size...but at least they're different colors!

so there you have it. it all makes me happy. and probably keeps margot vaguely amused.

if you're worried that all of my felt food endeavors will be this wholesome, don't be. still in my to be blogged about queue are donuts, a pizza and pasta (hooray starches!).

so what should be next? sandwiches? pancakes? pot roast!?!