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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Drew's 2nd Birthday Gifts

My sweet nephew Drew is turning 2 next weekend.  He is here this weekend with my sister and parents.  It is wonderful to see him play with his cousins and see his sweet smile and hear his laughter. He loves cars of any kind.  I wanted to make something special for his birthday that went with his love of cars.

As you know, I think handmade is the best way to go when giving a gift.  You don't have to make it yourself, buying a handmade item is just as nice.  That is why Etsy was created!  When I can,  I like to personally make a gift.  It is that extra special touch.

In addition to being part of this blog, I follow a ton of blogs.  I love all the ideas that come my way and that are shared among all the craft blogs.  Both of these gifts were from tutorials given by two wonderful blogs.

The first gift I made was an Art Notebook.  This is similar to the ones I made for two sweet girls birthdays.  You can see those here. If you would like the full tutorial, you can find it on the Sutton Grace blog, found here. (Thank you to Sutton Grace for having such a thorough and pictured tutorial!)

Again, I made some changes to this notebook from the original tutorial. This time I placed crayons on the side and didn't do the overlapped pocketing.  I found that the crayons fell out easier when they were horizontal (when notebook is opened).  Therefore, I made two vertical pockets.  I liked this better, unfortunately, I didn't measure well enough.  The crayons in the top pocket stick out a bit, but it isn't a huge problem, just another lesson learned.  Maybe by the time I make this on the fourth or fifth time, I will have it just like I want it.  Overall, I think this is another successful art notebook.  I am sure Drew will like it and will like that it has cars all over the fabric.
The crayons are loaded, now I just need to slip in a coloring book and some stickers for the sticker pocket.  I can't wait for Drew to point out the "Fire car" as he calls it!

The next item I made was a Cozy Car Caddy.  Homemade by Jill (not me, but I love her name!) has a fantastic tutorial for this easy to make caddy, found here.  This is a wonderful idea for little boys (or a girl who loves cars as well, I was one of those girls).  I like that it can be folded up, stored in a purse or diaper bag and taken anywhere. What child wouldn't like to drive a few cars on their mini-highway, while they play in the car or waiting for dinner at a restaurant!

Once again, I picked a cute car fabric and added a ribbon and velcro strap for easy closure.  I think this was another successful handmade gift.  The first picture is of the caddy all folded up.  The second picture is the caddy unfolded.  I need to load it with a few cars and Drew will be set to play!

I am giving Drew these gifts this evening.  We are having a mini birthday party for him here.  I love cake and will take any opportunity to enjoy a cake from Sam's Club!  Hopefully, I will get a great picture of him with his new travel gifts.  I will add that later!  These were very easy tutorials, please try them out.  I finished both gifts in about 3 hours. 

I hope that Drew likes them and that he has a fabulous 2nd birthday!  Aunt Jill loves you sweet Drew!

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Baby Isaac's Crocheted Gifts

I finished another baby gift set.  This one is for Baby Isaac.  I let his parents choose the colors and then I tried out another new pattern.

I am so glad that I made myself learn to read patterns about 6 months ago.  If you are new to crocheting, don't be scared of reading patterns.  Break it down step by step.  I have even rewritten them so that I could understand them in "my" language.

Here is the gift set that I made for Baby Isaac.  I made cute little booties, a hat with a big pom pom on top and a toddler size baby blanket.  I always make my baby blankets a bit larger.  I don't know a baby who gives up their favorite blanket at age 1. That usually doesn't happen till much later.  At least a larger blanket will allow the child to enjoy it a bit longer.
Here is a full shot of the baby blanket.  I really like the light blue with the brown.  I used I Love This Yarn from Hobby Lobby.  I truly love this yarn!  It is soft, full and nice to work with.  The regularly 40% off coupon is nice too. 

If I made this blanket again, I think I would make a slightly thicker edge around the entire blanket.
Here is a close up view of the hat and booties.
Now for the best news, I want to share the patterns with you!  They are not my own, but all easily available.  The blanket is called Simple Ripple Baby Afghan from Lion Brand.  You can find the pattern here.  The shoes are called Warm Winter Booties and the pattern can be purchased here.  The hat is called Mini Muffin Hat and you can find the pattern here.  I love the textures and mixing of yarns for this precious little hat.    There you go, three new patterns, two free, one to purchase. 

I hope Little Isaac will like his baby set.  I have at least 2 more baby blanket sets to make.  I just need to decide what pattern I would like to try out next.  If you would like to see some other crocheted blankets I have made, check out this post.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cloche winner for 100 Blog Followers Giveaway!

Thank you to all those who entered and became new followers!  We really appreciate it!

On to the winner....
16. Stacy said...
I follow this blog!
Congratulations Stacy!  Please email us at oursevendwarfs@gmail.com so that Jill can get busy making you a cloche!

More giveaways are coming!  200 is our next goal for email subscribers, blog followers and Facebook fans.  Of course, we would love 100 twitter followers, but we aren't quite there.  Thanks again for all those who entered!

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

We won an Award! A Stylish Blogger Award!

We won our first award!  We feel very honored to receive the Stylish Blogger Award!
There are 4 rules we are to follow:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated us:
Thank you so much to Leasa from Funkymom Cards for blessing us with this honor!  We are truly appreciative!

2. List 7 things about us:
1.  I am completely disorganized.  I try to live an organized life but just can't seem to do so, especially since getting married and having kids.
2. I always knew I'd have a son... now I'm waiting on my daughters to pick my sons in law.
3. Music makes me happy, whether it be Montgomery Gentry, Taylor Swift, Stevie Nicks, Fleetwood Mac, Kenny Chesney, Lady Gaga, Katie Perry, or even Justin Roberts (a kids' artist).  I love to sing and dance (in private) to great music.

1.  I love to nap!  All those who know me really well know how much I love to nap.  (I don't answer the phone between 2-4pm).  Having three kids gives me a good excuse to get a nap.  Thankfully, I have them all going down at the same time.
2. I believe everything is better with a little butter and sugar!  Paula Deen would be so proud of me.
3. My favorite thing to do in the kitchen is dance with my kids. (You thought I would say cook!)  I love to turn up the music (oldies and 80s always do the trick) and swing them around and dip them.  Nothing better than a child's laughter.

Shannon and Jill
We love being mommies and we're both happily married to Kentucky raised boys.

3. We are to pass this award on to bloggers whose sites we adore
and let them know that we have nominated them:

Congratulations to:
Little Eme
Bunch of Craft
Little Miss Momma
Shabby Nest
I heart naptime
Little Birdie Secrets
Under the table and Dreaming
Aesthetic Nest
How Does She
Under My Umbrella
The Idea Room

4.  Contact the blogs we nominated:
You all have wonderfully Stylish Blogs!
Thank you for providing us with fantastic inspiration!

Don't forget to enter our 100 blog followers giveaway (here). We made it even easier to enter by taking away any mandatory entries.You have till Tuesday at Noon to enter!

Please vote for us!
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Friday, February 18, 2011

100 Blog Followers = GIVEAWAY! Updated!

Well, another milestone has been met!  We now have 100 Blog Followers!  (This is different from our email subscribers).

Thank you to everyone following our blog in all the multiple ways.  We truly appreciate you following us and we love all the comments you give on our posts!

For this giveaway, Jill will make a custom cloche in a choice of colors.  The cloche can be made for a newborn to an adult, you pick!  The yarn that is used is lightweight so it can be worn year round.  Here is one of the latest cloches that Jill has made:

Let's get the giveaway started!  

The giveaway is open till Tuesday at Noon (EST). I've made it easy and linked to where you need to go to fulfill each requirement and gave you an example comment.

*Make sure to leave a comment for EACH eligible entry*

1.  Follow our blog.  {Click on the image in the right hand sidebar (like the one you see below) to become a blog follower. (Sorry the button on here won't work.  Once one person uses it, the link is voided.  Sorry for the confusion!)}
Then leave a comment (ex.  I'm a blog follower).   1 entry
2.  Subscribe by email.  Then leave a comment (ex.  I'm an email subscriber). 1 entry
3.  Like us on Facebook. Then leave a comment (ex.  I like you on Facebook). 1 entry
4.  Join us on Twitter.  Then leave a comment (ex. I follow you on Twitter). 1 entry
5.  Email 3 friends and encourage them to enter the giveaway and follow the blog! (ex. I emailed 3 friends). 1 entry
6. 1 entry for each of the following that you do to spread the word about this giveaway:  tweet, blog or Facebook status update and please include this link: http://tinyurl.com/6fvz6cx
         or  {copy and paste of these if you like}

  • Check out the crocheted cloche giveaway! http://tinyurl.com/6fvz6cx @Oursevendwarfs
  • Wouldn't I look nice in one of these hats? Enter yourself in the giveaway! http://tinyurl.com/6fvz6cx @Oursevendwarfs
Thank you again for being a part of our blog!  We have the best followers!  The winner will be announced by 8pm on Tuesday, February 22!

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Photo Coasters

Well, I finally got around to making coasters for our living room with all my sweet babies pictures on them.  I think they turned out really nice.
There was a sun glare when I took these so the lines from the paint brush showed up a bit.  Normally, you can't see the lines whatsoever.

If you missed the tutorial on how to make your own coasters using tile, you can find it here.  Instead of using scrapbook paper, use a picture of your choice.  Cut the picture down to the size of the tile.  Since the pictures were glossy, I used Gloss Mod Podge.  This was super easy!  I could kick myself for purchasing the clear glass tiles (that you insert a picture into) from the department stores a couple years ago.  Those cost $9 plus the cost of my pictures.  These wonderful floor tiles transformed into photo coasters cost me $1 for four tiles!  I have 200 more tiles to use up.  Many coaster gifts in my future!

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We are just one person away from another giveaway!

We are just one person away from having another giveaway!  If you aren't a blog follower, please become one soon.  We will post our next giveaway (a cute cloche of any size made by Jill). 

To become a blog follower, click on the Follow button the right hand side of our blog.  It is right below where you subscribe by email (another easy way to follow what we are making). To make your life even easier, we provided the picture of what you are looking for an the link below.  Just click on it and follow the steps to Follow us!
Jill can't wait to make a custom cloche for one our followers, help us get to 100 (or more)! 


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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hot Ham & Swiss Sandwiches

A friend of mine just had a baby recently and she had a request for my potato salad (really Shannon's, but I have made it so many times now, I claim it too) and some awesome chocolate chip cookies.  {Don't worry, I'll share both those recipes as well}.

Well, it's February.  Not really picnic food time, oh well, I went with it.  After much thought, I remembered these Hot Ham & Swiss Sandwiches.  They were affectionately known as "Momma Shaft Samiches" when we lived in Northern Ohio.  These are great sandwiches for a get together, party or your family.  It is fun to pull back the foil and see the delicious goodness inside!

Hot Ham & Swiss Sandwiches Recipe

1/2 cup of butter softened
1 tablespoon poppyseeds
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 pound thinly sliced deli ham
8 thin sliced baby swiss cheese
8 small hamburger buns
8 pieces of foil (large enough to cover a sandwich)

Stir together butter, poppyseeds, and Dijon mustard in a small bowl.  Spread mixture evenly on top and bottom of each bun.  Slice baby swiss in half.  Place a piece of baby swiss on top and bottom of bun.  Place a few slices of ham on bottom of bun and put top bun on.  Place sandwich in the middle of foil.  Fold foil over sandwich and wrap underneath.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated.  Serve warm.


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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Handmade Cards-Helpful Hints

Back in my single and prechildren days, I used to love to make cards.  I really got into stamping when one of my friends became a Stampin' Up representative.  She was really creative and would have a group of us over, every other week, to create.  Fun stuff!  Things sure have changed since those days.  I've gotten married, moved to another state, and have two little and one bigger reasons to stay home at night.  For one of our Christmas giveaways, I made cards.  It brought a lot of fun memories back. Except this time, I had a Silhouette too!

I am in no way a card making expert; however, if you are a beginning card maker, or would like to give it a try, I thought showing some of my examples would give you ideas.

Card 1:  A Valentine's Day Card

This card was made with a number of paper cutouts.  I used stamps to create background papers.  I used two colors of stamp pads to tie everything in.  The fuschia ink matches the paper and the gold ink matches the cording accent wrapped around the middle of the card.  I also decorated the flap of the envelope.

The front of the envelope was also decorated using a stamp on stamp effect.

Card 2: Another Valentine's Day Example.
I used a heart stamp and a light pink stamp pad create a patterned background on the white, linen cardstock. I also stamped the envelope with the heart stamp to tie it together.  I then wove two pieces of cardstock/patterned paper, together to make the heart on the front. I used the red patterned paper, from the heart, to line the envelope flap. (not pictured).  This gives it a really nice, finished look.

Card 3: Baby's Arrival 
I made these in a variety of colors: yellow, pink, and blue.  I chose the yellow, as an example, since it could be used to welcome a boy or a girl.  First, I cut the onesie pattern with my Silhouette.  This shape is available to purchase from the online store.  It actually makes a card.  I cut it from patterned paper and the plain cardstock.  I glued them together.  This gives the card a finished look and makes it easy to write a message inside.  I then used my embossing powder and embossing gun to emboss the duck on the onesie card and envelope.

Once again, I lined the envelope to tie it together.

 Card 4: Shamrock
I used the wavy blade for my Friskars cutter to cut the patterned paper and the edging on the cardstock for the lined envelope.  I cut the Shamrock on my Silhouette.  Cute and simple.

 Card 5: Birthday card
I stacked coordinating cardstock and patterned paper under a cake cut out I cut on the Silhouette.  I added a strip of cupcake ribbon for a little bling.

 Card 6: Tile Card
I stamped the image on a piece of white cardstock.  I colored in some of the blank areas of the stamp. I then cut the cardstock into tiles and spread them apart, gluing them to a coordinating cardstock (green).  This makes for a great everyday card.  I stamped the envelope to match.  When using a stamp that you'd like multicolored, I suggest you use a water color marker to color each part of the stamp a different color.  To moisten the ink, you can "huff" on it.

Another coordinating stamp on the flap.

Card 7: The Bird Card
I found the bird image and branch image on the Silhouette's online store.  I cut them.  I then used a distressing pad and blender pad to outline the bird. The patterned background paper ties in perfectly with the blue bird.  I used the deckle blade on my Fiskars paper cutter to get the ragged effect on the background paper.

Card 8: The Apple Card
The apple is a graphic from the Silhouette.  Once again, I used distressing ink. I also added a brown ribbon for dimension. I love how this turned out.

Card 9: A Holiday Greeting Card
This stamp was embossed and cut out. I colored the penguins with markers.  (The black is embossed) The middle penguin has a dimensional dot behind him to "stand out".

Card 10: Christmas Greeting Card-take 2
Here's the same stamp. This time, I didn't cut the penguins out; however, they are still embossed.  I used a corner cutter to attach the white cardstock to the silver background.

 Card 11: An Invitation
Here's the outside....

....and the inside...

This is how it opens.

 Card 12: An Elf Holiday Card
Here's a stamp on the envelope.

Here's one on the flap of the envelope.  I used a multicolor metallic stamp pad.

Here's the card.  There's an awful lot of layering.  I also used a corner rounder on the cardstock.  One of my favorite effects is the wire, attached to the tag.  It's always fun to have embellishments.

Card 13:  Everyday Greeting Card
I love tearing the paper and dabbing it with distressing ink.  It gives an old time effect.  Cutting out stamps and gluing them on gives great dimension.

Adding a bookmark to match gives the recipient a small gift that's easily mailed.
 Card 14: A Bird's Nest

Real feathers give a great effect.  The eggs are all cut out for a semi 3D effect.  I used a brown stamp pad but added some color to the eggs and nest with a blue gray marker. The envelope was trimmed with the deckle blade and the edge rubbed against the brown stamp pad.
The inside of the card has a deckle edged piece of light cardstock.  Since the card is such a dark color, the lighter cardstock makes it easier to write a message inside.

 Card 15: Simple and Sweet
I used a black stamp pad to stamp this image on the envelope. I then colored in the stamp with markers.

The matching card is just plain cream cardstock.  I rounded the edges.

The inside of this easy card.

 Card 16: The Lion
I cut a circle (using my circle template) from a black card. I stamped a lion on a piece of tan cardstock.  I stamped green fern on cream cardstock and cut out around the fern.  I hot glued some rafia to the fern. You can see the lion peeking through.

Here's the inside.  I used a clear envelope since it looks really neat to mail.  You just need to use labels to write the address and the return address.

 Card 17: Snowman card
This was my friend's Christmas card. She stamped the flap of the envelope.

She stamped the snowman and colored him in.

Here's the card.  I love how she cut with the wavy pattern.

Here's the card's inside.  She even signed in silver ink!

Card making is fun. It can be as simple as complex as you want it.  I hope you find some ideas and inspiration from what I've shown you.  I'm longing for a card making buddy!

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