"Faites que le reve devore votre vie afin que la vie ne devore pas votre reve"
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

advent calendar inspiration


Since I have decided to make Miss C. AG Doll advent calendar,
I have been looking at quite a few designs to inspire me.
Here are some of my favorites: 
1)1001 cartes   2) most lovely things   3) pottery barn
4) sugar and charm   5) pottery barn   6) shanty 2 chic

And here are some great looking ones,
just not practical for my application.

1) the painted hive   2) one lucky day   3) thistlewood farms

And how could I forget to mention the one I made a few years ago,
full of mittens!


After looking and searching, I think I finally know what I am going to make!
Hope it turns out as good as I see it n my head,
that is always the tricky part!
Happy day!

Monday, November 17, 2014

secret doll project....

Have you been wondering lately why I have not been posting any doll stuff?
well I have been very busy making, crafting, sewing doll clothes, accessories, furniture
 for a very special project: an AG Doll advent calendar!


My kids have always enjoyed advent calendars, especially the Lego and Playmobil ones,
so much better than the ones I had as a kid ( with a small chocolate or a picture,
 which I thought were very cool at the time, my friends had none!)
Well this year, Miss C. was not interested in any,
Brick Master, who is almost 14 and as tall as me, saw the Star Wars Lego advent calendar
and declared himself once again not too old/big for it, my kind of guy!
So it was only fair that I found a solution to the emerging
unfairness of the situation....

I came up with 24 small and large little presents for dolls:
clothes, accessories, furniture, pet, most of them homemade and a few purchased. 
Like in any advent calendar, some days are better than others,
but they all work together to define the big picture.
In order to keep it a real surprise for Miss C., I am going to only show 
a sneak peak of the goodies, but we will take pictures
 during the month of December and share the joy!

Happy crafting!

Monday, November 10, 2014

fold up tote bag

This year, I decide to kick off my Christmas sewing early,
it is important to start with good intention.
So far I have made a few presents for some of my girlfriends.
I always love to make pouches with zippers,

This time I went a different route: a fold up tote bag.
As more counties in the DC area are going without plastic bags,
I find myself with need of little bags to carry purchases
( and I do not mean groceries)
but I do not always have one with me.


and I sewed little and light tote bags that fit neatly in one's purse.


I used a bright daisy print and a complementary solid cotton
(eggplant or gray)
They turned out really cute and fun.
I am so happy to have already finished some Christmas projects.


Happy sewing!

Friday, November 7, 2014

cinnamon roll bread

Ever since I took a French pastry class last fall,
my boss keeps expecting treats, especially for our Monday morning.
While I rebel sometimes, I often bring something homemade.
In the past I have made lemon butter cake (in a loaf form), chocolate fondant,
I realized the easiest one to eat were individual portions that did not require a plate,
or loaf shape goodies that can be cut into slices.

And this is how my traditional Sunday cinnamon rolls were transformed into a bread.
It was perfect to eat and serve, and looked just delicious!


Instead of putting the cinnamon rolls in a circular pan, I used a loaf pan, and put a few extra in it.
After icing the top, I cut it like a bread, making it easier to eat without plate or silverware.


I always go with the classic recipe from Better Home and Gardens, 
you know, the one with the red cover.
It is easy and works every time:
1 cup warm milk, 2 tsp yeast, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup melted butter,
5 cup flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 3 eggs.
Dissolve the yeast in the milk and sugar, then knead everything together.
Let rest 1 1/2 h, roll the dough, brush with butter, cover with cinnamon sugar,
roll, cut and store in the pans overnight.
Let warm to room temperature for 30 min, bake at 375 for about 20-25 min.
Cover with icing (milk, sugar and vanilla)


Of course, it also works well the traditional way, one or may be 2 in a plate, with a fork
and a nice cup of hot chai.


Happy day!


Friday, October 31, 2014

mad hatter's daughter

Halloween is always a very busy crafty time of the year at our house,
and this year, I was not the one doing most of it!
I did some helping but Miss C. came up with all the ideas for her costume
and she did a lot of work.
This year she is the mad hatter's daughter:


Of course the first thing she needed to do was to make a hat.
She saw some tutorial on YouTube and started cutting recycled cardboard boxes.


We recovered the cardboard with some peacock velvet, added some feather
and glued it to a headband.

Once the hat was completed, she needed a top,
she found some fleece that she liked and that went well with the velvet of the hat.
I used the easy top pattern from Sewing Clothes Kids Love,
I purchased the book a while ago and finally used it.
I sewed the Imke Shirt without the hood, but with 2 layers sleeves,
it was fast, easy and it fits her very nicely.
 
And here are Miss C. and some of her girlfriends,
she had fun editing the pics and putting masks on her friends!



Happy Halloween!


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

backyard Halloween decor

With the stone patio done and the pile of wood gone,
we are finally ready to do some backyard entertaining.
And Halloween is the perfect time to have friends over for drinks and snacks.


We built a table out of the old deck,
 there is still some wood left, even after building sheds...
it is about 3' high, perfect height to put down a drink and mingle,
(also great to do some wood work outdoor!)


I decorated it with some cool metal crows, gourds from the front yard 
(the deer ate all the tomatoes, but left these alone!)
terracotta pumpkins, and a neat chalkboard easel
that I built following this tutorial from Shanty 2 Chic,
with the size similar to this easel from Cottage in the Oaks.

For drink, we chose some wonderful mead from The Orchid Cellar, crafted locally in Maryland.
At first I was not so sure about mead, but after tasting a few of theirs,
I am a believer! We came home with 4 different ones, my favorite one is "Castellan",
Mon Cheri's is "hunter", a spicy mead.


Northern Virginia and Maryland have a large number of small wineries, 
at a perfect driving distance from the DC area.

Under the table, I put some crates to dress the large empty space,
I have never blogged about the finish top crate,
I built to store all my baking pans,


Now the only thing left to do is lit the fire,
sit down and enjoy the evening...

Happy day!




link to the StoneGable

Sunday, October 26, 2014

stone patio

Now that fall is here and most of the mosquitoes have moved on,
we are really enjoying our new patio.


For the last couple of years, we had been dreaming of tearing down the old
and large wood deck and replacing it with a nice stone patio.
While we like doing a lot of DIY, we felt it was best to contract out this job.
Considering the amount of gravel, sand, concrete and stone that went into this project,
it was totally justified.

To cut down on the cost, we removed the deck ourselves and recycled most
Because the summer was wetter than usual, the contractor was a little behind schedule,
so we lived with a very slanted ugly patio for a while, 
but that did not stop us from enjoying the outdoors.


I was able to take a few pictures from the inside (recovering from illness)
while the contractors were working.
Apparently they were very pleased with the amount of shade of the backyard,
obviously they are not the ones pick up the leaves right now!

First they filled in and leveled the area with a very large amount of gravel,
then they covered it with a metal grid and attached rebar to the house.


Finally the cement was mixed and the stones were laid.
After a few days of back breaking labor on their part, we had a beautiful patio.


I had to wait a couple of months before painting the wood pieces they installed against the shed,


but now it is done....


And we just love it!
The surroundings are still unfinished but not all projects need to be completed at once. 
I already have ideas for next summer,
and I have all winter to plan it all.

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