Friday, January 20, 2012


Having 2 kids with autism has changed my life in a lot of ways. Before we started all of our many therapies, I never knew that a lot of the people that would be helping us would come into our home. Truthfully, it's a little intimidating to have people that you don't know come into your home to talk about the problems your child has and what needs to be done. I am pretty outgoing and knew that my kids needed a lot of help, but I was a little nervous. I guess I always thought of therapy as something that happens at a clinic, but I have realized that really all aspects of life are hard for my littles and so we need therapy in every setting. I do not feel like I even have the words to describe how amazing our therapists are. I literally feel their love for my children. Keep in mind that these kids do not willingly do any of this!! And yet, here they are, tirelessly motivated and upbeat. Bramli's therapist, Mara, always greets us at home or school with a new idea to help Bramli and her victories are just as special to Mara as they are to me. I can't tell you how many times I have gotten a text on the weekend or in the evening from Mara following up to see how she is doing or to offer advice. She is priceless!!!
I found out that it is Mara's birthday tomorrow and so I really wanted to make her something that was meaningful. A puzzle piece is the symbol for autism and Mara started working at the program she is at in 2001. So with this as my inspiration, I decided to make a charm necklace.
I had a gift certificate from Christmas and I have been wanting a few charm making supplies so I went with my 40% off to Michaels and got metal cutting craft shears. Some metal sheets, the alphabet stamps, and the thing that drills holes, sorry can't remember what they called it. It is the silver thing up top. Then I found a 2001 penny for the year she started and a 2011 dime to mark her 10 year anniversary there. I also got a chain and some jump rings to attach the charms.
The puzzle piece was a bit tricky, the far right was my first attempt and it was pretty rough, I tried scratching it up so it looked distressed, but I knew that a second attempt would be better. I also got 30 gage metal and then found a site that recommends 22-24 for charms so that could have been part of it. I cut out the second one and then, of course, decided hers needed to be gold. I cut the last one out of gold and then stamped it with letter O's to make it more textured and not so plain.
It was a fun little project, didn't take very long and I think its something a lot of moms, teachers etc would like!

Here is our sweet Mara and Bramli today at school!! Notice she is wearing her necklace! Happy Birthday Mara!!!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Love Letters

So I came across these darling little mailboxes at Michaels the other day (I am sure you have all seen them) and thought they would be so cute on the candlesticks like the jars in heels. So I just used the exact same directions, a couple of posts below and added a paper doily with modge podge, a wooden circle and coke bottle cap. I also talked my husband into hanging a shelf above our TV, we are renting a small house at the moment and my lack of decorating space is making me cranky! I think he was amazed at what a difference in my mood a shelf made! I still need something for my teal vase, but I love that it is all up high and no kiddie hands can get anything. Now to get Cody to write me a love letter. . . . . . . . .

Lala Chez Nuit

So here is the DOLLHOUSE! It is called Lala Chez Nuit (Lala Night House in French) which may sound slightly risque, until you realize that it is full of Lalaloopsy dolls, I made it entirely and night and french just sounds more exciting. I think it's probably one of the only houses in the world to be completely constructed at night, and yes, I am including real houses. The fact that this house has no plumbing, electricity or is on a 1 inch scale does not make it any less a house to me. I ordered the kit below off of Amazon for 30 dollars. It came completely in sheets of plywood perferated where the pieces could pop out. Let me tell you that I think that happened about 25% of the time. The rest I used an exacto knife for. I had to sand and prime all the pieces and paint them before they could be assembled. It wasn't hard it was SUPER time consuming. I was also again, doing all of this at night to try to keep it a surprise. I did sand some while waiting for Bramli at therapy.
The roof pieces came in sheets and then I just kept them in strips, I went through and just randomly painted with one color at a time until I thought I had a good mix.
If you are a crafter or scrapbooker and you do this, you are in serious luck!! The only thing I bought was paint!! Below I used a tin that some scrapbooking supplies had come in and just felt and fabric to make a couch and chair. You will see in the pictures below that one of the fun things about the lalaloopsy dolls is that they are really funky and crazy so I didn't feel like everything needed to be perfectly to scale. I thought it made it more whimsical and fun.
For pillows I just made different fabric flowers that I have done for hair accesories for my girls. and then stretchy ruffle ribbon and buttons and bows for around the tin.
You will need to do several coats of paint, make sure you don't paint where the shingles are going to go! Haha! Also if there was one tip I could give, please please please, shingle the house before you build it!!!! You can always go back and fill in a bit but honestly this part took forever and would have been so much easier if I had shingled these pieces and then stuck them together! I also recommend using hot glue to put the whole thing together and to shingle with.
This is the finished upstairs, I just used scrapbooking paper and modge-podge to paper the walls, paint on the floor and I modge-podged a paper doily on the floor for a rug. I also used a spare piece of wood to cover the hole where the stairs would have gone and made that the vanity area. I used pink and white striped paper and stretchy ribbon to finish it. I decided not to do stairs because the house was small and they looked pretty fragile. I used fabric scraps for curtains and, well, the baby Jesus mangers that my kids got from church for the two wooden benches. I glued pearls to the bottom for feet. Is that bad? We got 4! Anyway, I decided to come clean because I just knew if I didn't someone would ask!!! The little coffee table box is just a paper mache one I had with scrapbook paper and ribbon. I topped it with a little bell. My favorite part is the curtains to close off the bed area, Londyn loves them, and what girl wouldn't love to have that in their room!?
The bottom is pretty much the same scrapbook paper and paint and doily floor. Oh! I also got hardwood floor strips from Hobby Lobby and painted and used them for the baseboard. The hutch was a dollar at Michaels, I painted it. And the L wall hanging was a eyelet tin lid with a flower and letter glued to it. The rest of the furniture upstairs and down came with the dolls in little sets.

You will notice the kit had some topper type decorations at the tips of the gables and roof, I opted not to do them because they looked so fragile and I knew they would end up broken so fast. Along the seam of the front porch and big center gable I glued pearls. There was a little gap there and it looked funny. I also cut a doily in half and used it as a front mat. The little pot was in the unfinished wood stuff at Michaels and the flower was a scrapbooking thing.

So even though I lost waaaayyyy too much sleep the week before Christmas, I am happy with how it turned out and my girls were thrilled! Even Bramli plays with it tons!! But, um, never again. Please remind me of that!!!!

Christmas Dresses!

FINALLY! Christmas dresses! So it has been forever since I posted anything and it was because I was really tired of my camera situation (mine had a serious accident awhile back) and I knew that Santa was probably going to bring me a new one! The top picture is of my girls on the Sunday before Christmas and it is just with my iphone and then the lower one is with my new camera which I am still figuring out but is so much better!!! I got the basic idea and pattern for these dresses from simplesimonandco and their tutorial for their awesome bustle skirt is here I am in the process of making a couple of the skirts now and they are too cute. I really wanted to make the girls dresses for Christmas and so I just made the basic skirt pattern longer, from about armpit to knee, doubled the amount of circles I needed and then gathered the top, added a strip of green and red and straps. I also cut out a bunch of circles out of cream netting and covered every two rows of red with the cream. I really should have used the red underneath the circles, but as the pattern evolved in my head I didn't really think that through. The top couple of rows were just netting and I literally eyeballed the green and red strips on top. The girls were happy and they reminded me of little Christmas trees with tree skirts or something. I will post the skirts as soon as I am done. I was thinking this would be a super cute ruffly summer top too!