I spent four hours decorating my daughter's class' storybook tree, including the ornaments I made, and it's so decorated that you can barely see any of the tree! I only have cell phone pics to share now, but as soon as it's set up and I get some good ones I will be sure to share and let you experience the gingerbread explosion!


Where did the tree go?    

Some of the ornaments I made.


For the 'Once Upon a Thread' event over at no big dill I decided to take inspiration away from the old Grimm's Brother tale 'The Bremen Town Musicians'. I chose this story because my grandfather used to live in a little town near Bremen and would always read the story to me and my brothers at Christmas time. I wanted to use Christmas colors because whenever I think of it I think of Christmas time, cocoa and gingerbread men. Happy days!

I made a peasant dress using a pattern from Little Lizard King out of this BEAUTIFUL red and white damask that I just HAD TO HAVE and a contrasting teal to make it modern. I used matching red stitching to add some detail. I  made the lace leggings to add a hint of the old to go with the modernness of the color combination. I didn't realize as I was sewing it how much I would ADORE the leggings! They are flipping fantastic! I wish I was six so i could wear them. LOVE!







love, love, love, love, love, love, LOVE!


Since we absolutly ADORE Bella-rella's kindergarten teachers I wanted to let them know we are thankful for them this Thanksgiving. (Cool parent points are always good!) I used this FANTASTIC tutorial and printable from Skip to My Lou. It is amazing and turned out exactly like the sample. LOVED it! Here are mine signed by Bella-rella.


I wanted to add something else (really I was just looking for a reason to use my new metal stamping set!) and decided on a cute bookmark. You know, for the coffee and books thing. Makes sense right? Right? Nod, agree and humor me.

I found this pack of stamping metal at Michaels, and since I had a coupon I could swing it. I had bought this metal stamping kit off Amazon because...umm...yeah...I wanted it. I wish I had bought a bigger size though.


I took one of the sheets that are 6" x 3" and cut it in half. I first scored it and then just cut it with sturdy scissors and sanded any sharp points.


I chose to stamp the phrase "To teach is to change lives forever" onto it. I didn't do a great job, but it was still cute. Two words of advice: PRACTICE FIRST! The copper one worked better and also didn't get as "fingerprinty". I lightly drew some lines to try and keep the letters straight. The hole was made by putting the metal in between two pieces of wood and drilling a small hole. Add a ribbon and you are done!



Here comes the cuteness that kinda makes up for the poor stamping job. I took a piece of scrapbook paper a little bigger than the printable and cut two slits the same width as the bookmark, one a couple of inches from the top and one a couple of inches above the bottom. Then weave the bookmark through the holes.

front
back

Since my stamping was horrendous and unreadable not stellar I added a piece of piece of paper in the center with the saying printed on it. It also covers up the not so pretty cut marks.


My daughter added her own little "latte" on the back too...love her! All that is left is to punch some holes, add twine and ta-da! Cuteness!



 I mean, really, how cute is that?!? Thanks again Skip to My Lou!





Ok, let me begin my stating that I have never tried to make a tutorial before, so be prepared for insanely confusing directions and bad pictures, but if you can follow my ramblings you will end up with something wonderful!

Back story, I LOVE Christmas, seriously, I'm one of those people who has a different themed tree each year and have an embarrassing number of tupperware boxes of decorations. The day after Thanksgiving is one I look forward to all year, because it is the day I can FINALLY decorate! However, even with this obsession with Christmas I do not own a tree skirt. It's a crime I know. I have always just used sheer white fabric and convinced myself that it was beautiful because I didn't want to spend the money on a tree skirt that would fail to match the next year (cause each year's tree has to be different of course). However, thanks to Pintrest and many, many hours of browsing I had a huge "ah-ha, great idea!/why didn't I think of this before?" moment. Why haven't I MADE one? I mean really, duh!

Anywho, back to the tutorial! I made this one for my daughter's kindergarten class' "storybook" tree. The teacher has proclaimed me the 'sewing/crafty mom' so I have basically been charged with decorating the tree, which has morphed from a small 7' tree to a ginormous 10' tree that is going to be in the school foyer! Can we say pressure?!? EEK! I warned you of my ramblings, didn't I?

Soo...here we go! Sneak peek at the finished product :)



Since I don't have access to the tree yet I googled around and found some dimensions to base mine on. I decided to make it 50" across, because it is the going to be the featured tree (breathe!). To make the base of the skirt I used the basic principle of circle skirt construction. This tutorial over at MADE is awesome. There is math involved so be prepared!

Use the circle skirt tutorial and a calculator (math if not my strong suit) to figure out your dimensions. I folded my fabric (green felt) in 4ths and pinned the two cut lines. The outer one is 25" out and the inner one was 4". Then cut on the lines and you will end up with a huge fabric donut shape.


I wanted mine to be a little child-like so I scalloped the edges. I just used a sharpie and a toy plastic cup from my daughters kitchen (shh...) and traced semi circles all around the circle. Make sure to do this on the underneath so you don't have marks on the top. Then spend about 20 minutes cutting out all the scallops. Watching 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' helps. Once that is done you could stop and be done, but I can't!


The next thing I did was repeat the process with red felt to make an inner circle. I used a smaller scallop pattern since the circle was smaller. Then I centered the red circle on top of the larger green one and sewed around the inner opening. Of course I don't have a picture of this step. Yup, newbie! Be sure to cut a slit up from the bottom all the way to the center so you can slip it around the tree base. Again, perfect spot to stop! But I can't help myself.

Their tree is based on 'The Gingerbread Man', so I wanted to incorporate the verse from the story. This part took a looooong time. I watched 'Persuasion' this time. Gotta love Jane Austen. First I figured out the size the letters had to be by laying out sheets of paper (took 11) to go around the skirt and divided that by the number of letters in the verse (50ish) so I could figure out how big I could make the font. That's confusing! You could just eyeball it too! I chose MTF Jumpin Jack font because it was thick and not even so it wouldn't look wonky.

I then took some white felt and ironed on my handy dandy (too much Micky Mouse clubhouse) iron on Heat-n-Bond in the heavy duty strength and ironed it on to one side. Be sure to follow the directions because it can be finicky.



I then used my fabulous temporary spray adhesive to stick the pages of letters onto the felt with the iron on backing. I then proceeded to cut out all FIFTY letters!


Then eyeballing it again (again with the poor math) I arranged the letters (front side felt with the iron-on backing on the back) around the tree skirt and ironed them on. Ta-da! Perfect place to stop right? Ha!


 It couldn't be a tree skirt for a gingerbread themed tree without gingerbread men! Of course, I mean sheesh! I repeated the process and cut out some gingerbread men and added them to the top layer. Cute, but not quite right, they definitely needed eyes, right? And buttons? I was going to add ribbons too but didn't have enough.


 I added a white felt seam binding in the center to cover up the raw felt edges (because I am crazy!) and threaded some elastic through it just to tighten it up a bit. And it's done!


I hope I wasn't too confusing! Post or email any questions you have. I will post a picture once the tree is decorated. Crossing my fingers it won't be a disaster!