Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wispy House Now has a Shop on!

Hi Readers! Good News....I launched my shop on just a couple of days ago, and items are already flying out the door! The shop is a product extension of my blog and truly showcases my style for vintage home decor and fun accessories. My obsession with ships, horses and any sort of metal is pretty evident when you see my inventory. Check out the "My Etsy Shop" tab at the top toolbar of my blog to see a few of my items posted or just jump directly to my shop with this link: Wispy House on Etsy

Below you'll find a few of the items for sale right now. I have lots more inventory to get up, so keep checking back with my shop!      Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Homemade Max Costume from Where The Wild Things Are

I wanted to do this costume for my son since he was born but wanted him to be walking so I could see that cute little wolf tail trotting behind him. At 19 months old, this was the perfect year to do it. I must admit that I was a bit ambitious with this one hence, not posting it 'til now as it has many components and well, I'm just an amateur sewer who procrastinates. I mocked the one-piece body suit after a pair of pajamas similar in structure to what I wanted. Everything is held closed by sew-on snaps. The wooden buttons are purely decorative. I picked them up at Jo-Ann's: La Mode style 3102 and cost $1.60 for two buttons. I just saw that these do say, "dry clean only" so I'll have to see how they hold up in the wash. Oh well, at least they're cheap to replace if they're totaled after.

The tail was made from a couple of inches taken from fur fabric (buying the fabric was actually cheaper than the trim by-the-way) I made the tail removable so that the one-piece could be washed easily. The tail has a strip of the ivory fabric sew to it so that it can be looped through the button hole I added to the back of the suit and tied on the inside of the one-piece.

The wolf headpiece was made by using a hood from my son's sweatshirt as a pattern for the shape. I then added a strip of fabric at the bottom of that which looped around the bottom of the hood's edge and velcroed under his chin. I didn't want to use yarn or pipe cleaners for whiskers. I wanted something that felt a bit more authentic. The "whiskers" I used are actually strands cut off from a household broom we already had. They are the exact texture I wanted, and the price was right! These were meticulously placed so that the ends would be in the seam allowance in order to not irritate my son's face. I poked the plastic pieces through the fabric, knotted them and then folded the seam allowance over the knotted ends, sewing the fabric shut over them. The ears here were just two triangles sewn together, stuffed with poly-fil and hand sewn to the top of the headpiece.

The crown is an independent piece that can be removed as I wanted my son to be able to play with it long after Halloween. I love the authentic feel of this piece from the fabric to the faux fur trim. My son now loves to play with it everyday. From being a king while he eats breakfast to a must-have-accessory every time we read "Where the Wild Things Are," this is now one of his favorite imaginary play toys.

UPDATE: This crown is now for sale in my Etsy shop! Here's the link to purchase: Kings & Queens of the Forest Crown

As I mentioned before, I am a beginning sewer. I blame this attribute for my one-piece being an inch or two too short (and too snug, for that matter) None-the-less it forced me to add "wolf feet." I made a shoe cover that would wrap around the shoe and up over the ankle of the one-piece. It just velcroed in the back so a fairly easy addition to add. Plus, it solved my faintly high-water problem.

I love this face! It's such a devilish "Max" look.

 This Trick-or-Treat basket was found at Michaels for $3.50. I love that it has a similar color scheme as the book's illustrations.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween Crafty Fun with Your Toddler

I now have my 19-month-old son home with me full time and realize how important it is to keep up with the craft and sensory activities he was doing at daycare. Given that Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, I embraced it with several themed crafts and books. Hope this sparks some ideas to do with your little one!

Put A 'Stache On Your Pumpkin

We plan to carve our big pumpkin as a family tonight; however, obviously a toddler isn't going to be too hands on with this classic way of pumpkin decorating... other than perhaps squishing the oh-so-messy pumpkin guts between those cute little fingers! So, I thought a fun way to decorate our four little pumpkins on our fireplace mantle would be to give them each a foam paper mustache! My son assigned which mustache went with each pumpkin. I, then, pinned them in place with straight pins. The pins were silver so I just colored the heads with a black sharpie so they blend in. This was super easy....and no paint or pumpkin gut mess to clean up after!




Toilet Paper Ghosts

 Before deciding to make these toilet paper ghost, I "attempted" to make a game of a toilet paper mummy of mommy. Given that he's 19 months old, he didn't quite get the concept nor was too keen on me flipping the roles and trying to wrap him up with toilet paper as a mummy. We settled for running around the house with toilet paper streamers instead....still fun. Given that I now had a bunch of unraveled toilet paper I wanted to do a craft with it. I started by cutting out the shape of a ghost on white construction paper. Next, we took a glue stick and covered the ghost in glue. (This was my son's favorite part as he had to man the glue stick at all times.) I then had him tear up small pieces of toilet paper and stick them on the ghost. After the ghost was filled, we took a black sharpie and I helped him draw eyes and a mouth. We just taped our ghost to a piece of black construction paper so you could see it on our white fridge! My son now points to it as he walks passed it and says, "BOO!" we learned this week that ghosts say, "Boo!"

Foam Paper Bats

I hand drew a template of a bat silhouette out of newspaper and then cut the shape out of black foam paper. Using washable school glue, I helped my son dab a dot of glue for where the eyes should go. He next placed the googly eyes (bought from Michaels) tediously on the glue dots. (by himself) I was so surprised on his fine motor skills here...and the fact that the eyes were actually facing up. These turned out super cute...I'm just debating whether to hang them using clear string perhaps from a chandelier  or maybe place them in the windows! Who knows?!

My Favorite Halloween Books for Toddlers

In order to get into the Halloween Spirit, we have been incorporating themed books into our reading time. Here's some great one's to share this Halloween:

Where Is Baby's Pumpkin? By Karen Katz
One of my son's favorite books is Karen Katz's "Where is Baby's Belly Button." This book is a great holiday edition. It has the same great, sturdy flaps and simple language. My son loves lifting the flaps, counting the bats in the closet and pretending to munch on the candy apples behind the bowls!

Where The Wild Things Are By Maurice Sendak
So, we all know this is a classic, and I'm sure you all either own or have heard of it. But, what a great adventure book with a kiddie-friendly spook. My son loves this book-- Halloween or not. In fact, it's the inspiration behind this year's Halloween costume. Bring this book off the shelf and share with your little one this Halloween!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

"Meet the Neighbors" Outdoor Movie Party: Mary Poppins

We have lived in our new house now for 3 months and have only had the opportunity to meet a couple of our neighbors. We had heard there were lots of kids and fun what better way to get everyone in one spot than a party?! We have just under 100 homes in our subdivision, and I wanted to be able to invite all of them. This was tricky, as my first idea was a classic American BBQ feeding everyone lunch on a Saturday afternoon. I wanted people to feel like they could come and go as they pleased and leave out the formal RSVPs. Well, this sort of casual party left for many expensive unknown variables such as how much food and booze to buy to accommodate a possibly very large number of guests. I didn't want to spend so much on food and only have a few show up...that would be lots of food and money down the drain. I hit pintrest for some inspiration and stumbled across the image of a vintage backyard movie screening. Blankets scattered across a backyard lawn graced by a DIY projector screen. This launched my "Friday Night Family Flick Under the Stars" party idea. I could cut food cost by supplying classic movie theater "snacks" rather than a meal....provide soda, juice and water like a theater (and ask adults to bring their own alcoholic beverages if they wanted to drink) Instant $ saved! I saw many tutorials with DIY projector screens, so I knew it was possible with a paint drop cloth and lumber. I could also borrow a projector from my work for free!  Next, was figuring out which movie would inspire the evening. I liked the whole nostalgia of a past era as my concept melted a drive-in movie theater with a vintage carnival. I went to a classic for inspiration...Mary Poppins! This was a family-friendly film that accomplished exactly what I wanted...and who doesn't love a classic?! This theme allowed for quirky touches and a backyard wonderland of globe lights, floral blankets, popping corn and stripped straws. My color inspiration was Dick Van Dyke's stripe outfit with aqua tie in the English Garden Chalk Drawing Scene. With the help of Mary Poppin's inspiration and my new discovery of an AMAZING vintage rental company I am now obsessed with here in Madison: A La Crate, I was so excited to see this party come to life!

Color Inspiration:

Here are a few shots taken before the party kicked off.....

Guest were greeted by this "Welcome" table upon entering the backyard. Here guests were asked to fill out name tags in order to help us learn their names. There was also a basket of sheets in case anyone needed an extra or forgot theirs. Vintage blocks and crate from A La Crate Vintage

This was our outdoor theater. We made the screen from rubber-backed painter's drop cloth (have the rubber side as the caught the light better and made for a more vivid picture) We built a frame from 2x4's. Because it stays light here pretty late, we attached a dowel and draped dark curtains to help the picture be more visible as the sun was still setting when we started. This helped quite a bit. I scattered 2 blankets to guide people on where to sit and we rolled huge logs from an oak we had to cut down to allow for extra seating and/or drink tables. It was super cute when all the little boys hopped up on them and were dancing on their own "chimneys" during the "Step In Time" number.

 The Concessions area was equipped with "antique" popcorn machine, candy buffet, nacho station, antique (and working) gumball machine all set beneath handmade kites (a DIY project I did with fabric, string ribbon and skinny dowels), a Mary Poppins umbrella (my parasol from engagement photos) and carnival style globe lights (found at Target). The runner found here was actually a Goodwill score. The blankets above too were a mix of Goodwill finds and estate sale linens.

  Found these candy jars at Marshall's paired them with clear candy scoops. They are stacked on vintage books rented from A La Crate (the spindle candy label holders also rented from there) The vintage style popcorn boxes were an Amazon find and were amazingly sturdy and a great price! Carousal was a Goodwill find! Wish I had popcorn popped for these photos but we wanted it to taste fresh for our guests!

  As mentioned, the gumball machine was rented from A La Crate. I used a vintage creamer I scored at Goodwill for $0.99 to house the "Tuppence" the machine required to obtain a gumball. The kiddos LOVED this piece!

This ice bin was picked up at a garage sale for $1. Keeping with the theme, I had to use red and white stripped straws! I housed them in a mason jar.

This amazing sign stand was another garage sale find at a whopping $1 (starting to get the hint, I'm cheap?!) I made this chalk board sign from a piece of cardboard and chalkboard paper...super easy...and I can reuse.

Even though I asked guests to bring blankets and folding chairs, I still wanted to provide some seating. This "tea-like" table was set beneath glowing paper lanterns and right beside the kiddie "playground" which consisted of a sand table, quilt blanket with wooden blocks and a slide.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

First Bee-day: Bumblebee Brunch

I had the best time planning my son's First Birthday (or Bee-day as I prefer to call it) party!!!! My chandelier over my dining table launched the whole theme as it looks like a bee-hive, of course coupled with the irony that kids can have honey after they're one...who could resist that theme?! Some of these items could be super cute for just a springtime or Easter party! I have SOOOO many DIY projects at play here I think I about drove my husband, Mom and Grandma crazy with them I did put them to work! I'll try to break down the projects:

Invitations: Just cardstock. I designed them in photoshop using images found online (such as the green honeycomb and black outline) I then added a Martha Stewart bee for a 3D touch!

Mimosa Charms: Same ol' cardstock and photoshop. Used different theme oriented images to distinguish each glass. Punched a hole at the top and tied a ribbon around....Voila, Mimosa charms!

Bees on Beehive Chandelier: These were a labor of love from my Mom, Grandma and me. (Thank you ladies) These cute little bees are made of black and yellow pom poms (3/4") hot glued together. Next, we wrapped floral wire around to be able to attach them to the chandelier. Last, we hot glued the wings which were just cut from wax paper. These turned out amazing! We had a couple flying away from the "hive" These were on spirals that were supposed to go on the cake to hold my fondant bees....but my fondant bees were too heavy...oh well!
Beehive Cake: This was some work! But, so worth it! The big beehive is a 5 layer cake. I set out to make it from scratch but later gave in to Betty Crocker. To make the big beehive and mini (smash cake) I used 3 yellow Betty Crocker Cake mixes and 1 Milk Chocolate Betty Crocker cake mix. The icing was also Betty Crocker Whipped Buttercream. Delicious! I baked 3, 9" yellow cake rounds and 2, 9" chocolate. I leveled the cakes stacked them yellow, chocolate, yellow, chocolate, yellow (to give a beehive stripe effect). I used just a little icing between layers. Next, using a bread knife, carved the towering cake in to the shape of a beehive and added a crumb coat of icing. I tinted the icing slightly with ivory icing color and whipped it to help double in size. I piped the rounds using the rope tip by Wilton...believe was #99. Did all this the same for the mini cake but used 2 rounds of 4" cake pans and only used yellow cake.

Fondant Bees: I wish I could lay claim to these cute little things, but alas, I cannot. I found a YouTube video on how to make these and they came out just like they look in the tutorial. I had no experience prior to working with fondant or any of the cake decorating tools. Here's the link:

King Bee High Chair Sign: Just cardstock cut in circles using a compass and the letters are leftover adhesive letters from my DIY Closet Divider project. I just weaved ribbon to join them all.

Pennant: I just used fabric scraps incorporated into the party, cut them into triangles, hemmed the edges and joined with a handmade bias tape.

Menu: Bee-nana Bread, Honey-Nut Cheerios, Honeycomb cereal, Chicken Biscuits, Sun-dried Tomato Baked Brie served with crackers & grapes, Sausage Cups, Flower Tea Sandwiches (PB&J, Egg Salad), Bee Wings (Baguette with goat cheese, pine nuts, green onion & drizzled in honey), Fruit Bees (Blackberry, Pineapple ball...using melon scooper, Blackberry on skewer) We also had a Nectar Station where ice water was served with sliced lemon and lime rounds and you could find Milk, OJ and Mimosas.

Honey Favors: I ordered these from They were fantastic to work with! Received them really fast! They came undecorated. I just put fabric over the top and tied them off with some twine adding a cardstock note that read "Thanks for buzzing by"

Wheat Grass Center Pieces:  I grew the wheat grass myself in cheap terracotta pots I got from Home Depot. The wheat grass was from Amazon: We started the growing process about 9 days before the party. This would really be a cute center piece for Easter with either eggs or bees in the grass. The bees in my center piece are the fondant bees stuck on a bamboo cooking skewer I got from my local grocery store.

Crochet Bumblebees: I originally wanted to make these in addition to a soft beehive the kids could put the bees in the beehive....but that was a sewing flop so we just had these in a basket for a 1-year-old friendly game of putting the bees in the basket. An older guest (4 yrs old) tossed them into the basket at different distances. I found this cute free pattern here:

Little Boy Bow Tie: I had my heart set on my son wearing a preppy yellow bow tie....I could not find one in ANY of the stores! The only place I found them in abundance was Etsy...but not the right fabric...and a bit overpriced. Lucky for me I found this great tutorial!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

"You Are My Sunshine My Only Sunshine" DIY Crib Mobile & Big Sister Gift

A friend of mine asked me to help her design a room for her expecting baby and 4-year-old daughter to share. During design, they did not know the sex of the baby-on-the-way...what a challenge! But so much fun! She told me the story of how her father used to sing her the Sunshine song when she was a little girl...she now sings it to her daughter....who now sings it to the new baby in Mama's belly. (So Cute!) What a perfect theme! So through the process of design, I had the vision of a crib mobile for new baby....I requested to make it for my gift! I used 2 sizes of embroidery hoops, a piece of chevron fabric and ribbon to emulate the sun. As you can see it has a gray cloud with rain drops...for "when skies are gray" lyric and a heart for "you'll never know dear how much I love you." The blue bird is more abstract as I always think of blue birds associated with sunshine! Who doesn't?!  The objects are dangling from jewelry string, and the items are sewn and stuffed with poly-fil.  Pretty easy project!

For the new Big Sister, I made a throw pillow for her bed in line with the theme. It's in the shape of a heart and spells out "Big Sis" in buttons. You could do this concept in lots of different ways with different shapes, fabrics, and colored buttons. I think it's always important to include the older child as they have a hard time understanding "why the new baby gets everything." What better way than to give matching gifts! She immediately took it and placed it on her new bed! And the designer in me was happy to add small details to the decor!