Friday, April 29, 2011

Ahhh, Thank you to my fabulous readers!!!

I would just like to take a minute and say THANK YOU, so much to all of my fabulous readers! I have hit 500 followers and am jumping up and down with elation excited. This has been such a new fun experience for me, and appreciate all the support I get from my readers...

I love getting comments, and inspiration from readers, this is what it is all about for me. I thought I would share some readers projects with you today. I love it when people take the projects I make here on Ladybird Ln, and make it their own!

April over at Natural Nester, made a kite wreath similar to mine. However, I love LOVE her addition of the welcome sign, so darling!! Go visit her new fun blog!

My new friend Patty, at Say it with Thread took my Consider the Lilies printable, and made it into a pillow. I am doubly honored, because this pillow was her first post....EVER! Go visit her new blog as well!

I was so excited and a little relieved when I learned someone understood and used my scallop/Easter dress tutorial. Laura over at the Corner House, made her daughter a beautiful Easter dress with scallops. I love how long and full the skirt is, and the fabric is simply adorable! Go visit her fun blog, she just made a Repunzel cake that makes me drool, it is incredible!

Remember my simple hooded towel tutorial, well Cassey from Domesticass made a beautiful hooded towel for a gift... I showed this a couple weeks ago, but I did not realize she had a blog, so here it is again.... I just can't get enough; I love all of the fine ribbon details! Go check out all of the beautiful things she has created!

It is so fun to see projects I shared being created and 'remixed' by new bloggy Friends. Thank you for giving me credit on your blog, and thanks for sharing with me, it really makes my day.

Also, thanks to all of you who read my blog, give me words of encouragement in your sweet comments, I appreciate you all!

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Handbag fit for Royalty!

My invitation to the Royal Wedding must have been lost in the mail, but that is OK because I have had this bag to keep me occupied!  With all the charming details, I think this bag is fit for Royalty! Scroll down the page and listen to some Royal Wedding Music, as you enjoy this post!  I have made a couple bags recently, and I think I have found a new addiction! I live in an area that is saturated with amazing women who can sew! A couple of my friends, a mother daughter duo created a pattern business called Pie Plate Patterns, they are pretty amazing, go check them out! A couple weekends ago, I had the opportunity, to take a couple classes at the Pie Plates Pattern sewing Retreat! Since I am a local, I did not stay for the entire retreat, but the classes I went to were a blast, I did not know sewing could be so much fun!
For one of the classes I took the 'My Favorite Bag', bag class. This was a great class, unfortunately the teacher has not published the pattern for this bag yet, if she does I will definitely link it up! I thought I would show you how to make the flower embellishment which really makes the bag!!
First, you will need to make a simple flower pattern, really you can not go wrong with the shape, just keep it fairly circular, my flower is a simple five flower leaf design. You will need to cut out 4 large flowers, 4 medium flowers, and 4 small flowers. You should have twelve flowers.
Fold all of the flowers in quarters. Simply fold the flower in half, and then in half again. Press.
Sew like size flowers together. You can hand stitch them, or use a zig zag stitch on your sewing machine. I chose to use my sewing machine. Just sew from the center out, ending at half an inch, from the edge of the petals. Complete for all four flowers. I accidently did not make my red flower small enough, so I had to trim it down.
Place the small flower on the medium flower, and the medium flower on the large flour. Tack your flowers together, so you have a three layer flower. Put an embellishment in the middle. I found an old earring, that is missing its pair, so I used that to embellish the center. I safety pinned the flower to the bag, so I could take it off to wash, etc.
I just love all of the detail in the bag! The detailed ruche fabric in the band, and in the strap, is my favorite part!
Want to take a peek inside, well I will show you! I made a special pocket for my iPod touch, I also love LOVE the key fob!
One last look at the finished bag, And on a happy note, it stopped snowing, so you get outside pictures yeah..
So do you think this bag is good enough for say Royalty (like my subtle introduction)? Well at my house we have been super excited for the Royal Wedding. My dad is a little obsessed into the whole royal wedding scene. He lived in London when Prince Charles and Princess Diane were wed. I have mentioned before that I come from a family of rockstars, my Dad wrote this song to commemorate the big event. I really like it, and hope you do to!

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I Heart Naptime

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I love Mom-- Printables!

Update:  EEk, in my printable from Marjorie Hinckley I left out the word 'I' in the last sentence... I promise I check and recheck, but alas still made a mistake... It is fixed now, sorry for any inconvenience.  If you get the photos in photobucket... choose the Marjorie Pay Hinckley quote, with 'revised' in the title. 
I knew I wanted to make a Mothers Day printable, and I went back and forth on what to do.... I have definitely gained a better appreciation for motherhood after being a mom for a while, it is hard work! I choose these quotes because they exemplify what being a 'mom' is to me. I designed these printables wanting it to encompass some of the simple-- often thankless things mothers do everyday, in quiet service to their family. I have many letters from my mother and grandmother that I cherish, these letters provide quiet encouragement and unmistakable love. That is why I chose a handwritten letter as the background.

This first quote is by Marjorie Pay Hinckley it paints a great picture of the mom I would love to be someday. It shows the simple acts of selfless service mothers do each day... I decided to put a clothes line on this printable, to symbolize the often thankless jobs mom do, simply because they love their family. To get a copy of these you can simply click on the image for a full size resolution (10 x8). Or I have put them in this photoshop album here.

This quote is from a Man a greatly admire. It is said that behind every great man is a great woman, and I imagine that Abraham Lincoln had an exceptional mother. I can imagine his mom earnestly praying for her son, just as I pray for my children. I love the sweet tender message of this quote.
To display this printable, I used a inexpensive frame, I painted white, and lightly distressed. I decided to display this printable with a picture of some amazing women in my life... My mom, and my Grandma Lucy. I love this old black and white photo, of my grandmother young and a little goofy. Even though she has been gone for a while, I still love and admire her.. she truly is my guardian angel. I love the picture of my mom and I at Disneyland when I was little. I can think of no greater way of honoring mothers then displaying a picture of these two women.
When I make printables I like to make at least two different designs.... Which is great until I have to choose which one to display in my home. Which printable do you like better?
I hope you enjoy these printables as much as I do. They are absolutely free, however I would love for you to show your support and follow my blog. Also, I love LOVE hearing from my readers if you use my printables, I would love to see a picture. You can email me at ladybirdln10(at)gmail(dot)com.
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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter to all!  I hope your day is full of family, fun, food, and reflection!  

Carlee and Alyssa

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ravioli Casserole {3 ingredients}

Here is another simple family meal. My kids absolutely love this dinner, it is a snap to prepare, and it freezes great!

Ravioli Casserole
1 large package frozen ravioli
5 cups Freezer Spaghetti Sauce (Any spaghetti sauce will work, but I like how chunky and rich
this sauce is.)
1 pound Mozarella Cheese

This will either make two smaller casseroles (9"x9") Or one large casserole (10"x13"). I usually make one casserole to eat, and one to freeze for later. Preheat over to 350 degrees.

Coat the bottom of the pan with a small amount of spaghetti sauce (this will help frozen raviolis stay moist).

Layer with frozen raviolis.

Layer with a generous amount of spaghetti sauce.

Layer with Cheese. Repeat layers once more. Bake covered with tin foil at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, take foil off and bake 15-20 minutes longer.

Freezer Adaption: After making Casserole do not bake. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, then again with tin foil. When ready to eat, thaw, and bake as directed.

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Ladybird Lend a Hand: One Million Cranes

This month I am focusing on the Japan Disaster, and trying to find small ways to help all of those good people over there. I have come across an amazing project to help Japan called The One Million Cranes projects. Here is the goal of the project:

THE GOAL: Children from 1,000 US schools or groups will make 1,000 origami cranes, and contribute $1.00 for each crane they make. Together,our children will make ONE MILLION CRANES, and send one million dollars to the people of Japan.
I think this is such a great simple project, we can all participate in. This would be a fun thing to do in a church group, school, or even as a family...
Here is the steps to take if you would like to participate!
1) Register your school, group, or business here.
2) Provide origami paper. Any SQUARE paper can be used! Newspapers, classroom papers headed for the recycling bin, or wrapping paper will work.
3) Teach students to fold an origami crane, then ask that those students teach other children.
4) Ask that participants donate$1.00 for the crane they make. Each crane made will mean $1 for Japan.
5) String the finished cranes together (vertical strings of 10 cranes workwell) and hang them in your school, library, fire station, or other public building.
6) Donate all money raised (with the goal of $1,000) to the Red Cross , designated for the relief effort in Japan and given in the name of "One Million Cranes for Japan from [your school or group]."

I thought this was such a fabulous simple project... I am excited to try my hand at origami, I remember it not going so well in Elementary School!

I know I won't get anywhere close to 1,000 dollars, but I have decided I am going to give it a try with my church youth group. Pictures to follow, of our crane making experience!
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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Fun, Spring, Kite Wreath!

As you can tell from my spring printables, I have a thing for kites! I thought I would attempt a kite wreath! This wreath turned out completely different than I had planned, but I like it, and hope you do as well!
Items Needed
Foam board
Scrapbook Paper
Hole Punch
Modge Podge
Craft knife
Ribbon (For kite Bows)
Old Frame
Kite Step 1: Draw out your kite on Foam Board
First, plan how big you want your kite. My finished Kite is 10" x 15" so pretty big. You may want to do yours smaller. To make a kite shape, I drew a 5"x5" square, on the foam board, and a 5" x 10" rectangle on the foam board. Make one diagonal line going from corner to opposite corner on both the square and rectangle. Cut shapes out with your craft knife, hold a ruler along the edge of the line, to help guide your craft knife.
Kite Step 2: Cut out Scrapbook paper
Cut out scrap book paper in the same dimensions you cut your kite. Make a whole in each angle of each triangle with a hole punch (try to get it at least a quarter of an inch from any edge). Modge Podge your scrapbook papers onto the coordinating foam pieces. I distressed the kite a little with Distress Ink.
Kite Step 3: Tie the Kite together
Poke a hole in the foam board where your scrapbook paper is hole punched. I used a fat needle for this. Thread your twine through the pieces to connect. To make this easier, I put a small piece of masking tape on the end of the twine and twisted it. You should have a kite now. I sprayed my kite with clear spray paint to give it extra shine and extra protection. I tied a long piece of twine at the bottom of the kite, and then tied ribbon on them for the kite bows!
Okay, here came the hard part for me, I wanted to put the kite on a traditional round wreath, but it did not look right. My kite was a little big, and it did not mesh well with the circle. So I took a trip to the local thrift store for inspiration.
I found an old large frame, and it seemed to work better! I painted the frame white with spray paint and distressed the edges a little.
For the tie, I used a strip of denim from a worn out pair of jeans! I hot glued the kite to the frame, and tied a yellow bow on it, and we are finished!
The door to my house is about 100 years old, and has a perfectly square wavy glass window in it. This wreath did not look good on the door, because it was too square, so I hung it on the wall of my house next to my door. It is a great addition to my front porch!
Cost Break Down:
This is a great project to your scraps and odds and ends, which is mainly what I did, but I did buy:
Frame at Thriftstore: $1
Foam Board: $2.44 (Plus, I only used a small portion, so I have it for future projects)
So I spent a total of $3.44 on this project!
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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Freezer Spaghetti Sauce

When I first started doing freezer meals last year, I did a lot of research. I first tried doing the '30 meals in one day' type method of freezing meals, and it did NOT work for me. My kids were fussy, I forgot a few key ingredients, my kitchen look a tornado hit it, long story short, this was not the method for me. I gave up on Freezer meals for a while.... until one happy day when I stumbled upon Jenny Stranger's website (Freezer Dinner), and it was love at first sight! I really like her method of freezing meals, I tried and loved many recipes on her website before I bought her book Fabulous Freezer Meals. Today each week, my goal is to freeze two different food items, like casseroles, muffins, sauces, cookies dough, meats, etc. My freezer is stocked up! I use many recipes from her book (which are fabulous), and have adapted many of my family favorites to the freezer.

I am going to share with you today a new staple in my freezer, Spaghetti Sauce.  This recipe is from Jenny Strangers book Fabulous Freezer Meals. Before this book, I usually bought bottled sauce from the store, this is so much better; flavorful, delicious, and easy.
Freezer Spaghetti Sauce
Yield: 13 cups Sauce

2 onions, diced
2 tsp garlic, minced
1 cup crumbled bacon (I don't always put this in)
2 pounds Italian sausage
2 pounds browned hamburger
1 extra-large can (106 oz) tomato sauce, or 4 large (28 oz) cans spaghetti sauce
1 extra-large can (106 oz) deiced tomatoes, or 4 large (48 oz)
4 cans sliced black olives
3 TBS italian seasoning
2 TBS dried basil
salt and pepper to taste

Over medium-high heat, cook onions, garlic, sausage, and hamburger until onions are soft and meat is no longer pink. Remove pan from heat and drain grease.

Place meat back in pot and add tomato sauces, dices tomatoes, olives, and seasonings. Stir just until combined, then cool and place 4 cups in each gallon sized zip-top bag. Then label and freeze flat. I stack mine like bricks.
This makes a ton! I usually get 6-8 meals for my family. I love to make spaghetti, lasagna, and ravioli casserole with this sauce. Above is a picture of ravioli casserole made with this yummy spaghetti sauce, I will share that recipe next week!

NOTE: As I read through the blog post, I am thinking my readers might assume this is a sponsored post. It is not, I just love the book, and wanted to brag it up! 

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Monday, April 11, 2011

Sweet Easter Dresses!

I shared this tutorial last week At Second Street, and am excited to share it here now!
I was determined this year to make my daughters Easter dresses. I wanted something simple, with a touch of whimsy, after all it is Easter! Today, I am going to show you how to transform any dress or skirt pattern by adding scallops. I used Simplicity Pattern 2231 ($2.44 at Walmart), but it can be easily adapted to any pattern. Let's get started!
Step 1: Make a scallop pattern
1- When making a pattern use the rule of 3's. Meaning make sure your ratio is pretty close to 3:1. For example if you wanted your scallop to be 3 inches wide, the height of the scallop should be about 1 inch. The scallop for my pattern is six inches wide, and just over two inches tall.
2-Once you determine how big you would like your scallop make a grid on your patterned paper in the dimensions you want your scallop. I made my grid six inches wide by 2 1/2 wide.
3- Raid your kitchen for a bowl that is close to this criteria, and use the bowl to make a pattern!
Step 2: Adjust Dress Pattern
1-Now that you have your scallop pattern, you will probably need to tweak your pattern a little. For instance, since I made my scallop 6 inches wide, I need the width of my skirt to be a multiple of six, so it does not stop mid-scallop. Additionally, you will need to add 1/2" for 1/4" side seam allowances. For the 3T dress I adjusted the skirt front and back to 15" tall by 24 1/2" wide. The size 6 dress skirt front and back I adjusted to 21" tall x 30 1/2" wide. I came up with these measurements by measuring the pattern, and measuring other dresses that they have. It was really an educated guess, and it worked well!
2-You will also need a lining fabric in the same dimensions as your skirt fabric front and back. I used muslin.
3-Using a pencil mark your scallops no closer then a quarter inch to the edge of your fabric. Connect your dress fabric and lining fabrics with pins.
Step 3: Sewing the Scallops
1- With your dress and lining fabrics right side together, follow the scallop pattern you made with a strait stitch.
2- Trim excess fabric and lining.
3-Make snips on your scallop especially in the peak, so your fabric does not bunch up in the peak when you turn it right side out.
4-Turn right side out, and press.
5- With right sides together, sew your front and back skirt pieces together.
6- Top stitch scallops.
Now that you are done with your scallops, continue with your pattern as follows! In the pattern I used the skirt fabric is gathered, I have a great tip for gathering fabric, you can find it here!
To finish up the dress, I made a gathered sash, and of course I had to made some homemade hair bows. I kept the accessories really simple because the main fabric is so busy. By the way, the main fabric is from Moda's Hunky Dory line.
I really love how the dresses turned out, and more importantly my girls love them too!
I was so happy it stopped snowing so we could take some pictures outside!
I just love how they turned out!  I can't wait for them to wear them on Easter!

Enjoy, Carlee

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