Monday, November 15, 2010

Mini Double Ribbon Hair Clip Tutorial

Mini double bow to attached to alligator, french or snap clips.

You will need clip of your choice, heavy thread, thick needle, salon clip, 5/8 wide ribbon, 3/8 wide ribbon
Now take the 5/8 wide piece (8inches long and ends sealed). With the back of the ribbon facing you, loop one end down to the middle (does not need to be remotely exactly middle) This kind of has the shape of an awarnesss ribbon. Then with the other end, have it loop up the other side. Now you should have a figure 8 shape with the ends facing down in the middle.

No this is where I do something different then other tutorials I've seen. I take the two ends (slightly overlapped) and do a couple of up down stitches to keep them in place. I do NOT stitch them to the main part of the ribbon, just the ends together.

But be sure to sew them after you have done those previous loops, so you have the right shape for next steps. I used to leave them loose and have them get tied down (later steps), but found that adjusting was eaiser and they also don't come loose from your bow.

If may be helpful to put the ribbon on a flat surface now. Push the two end loops toward the center. Here it is helpful to make each side even and clamp with a salon clip (or alligator clip can work too)
Then using heavy thread, wrap twice around middle of ribbon (between clip sides)
On the back side of the ribbon (side where there is an X) make a knot (I loop 2 times) and pull. Knot again, making a square knot to hold. The heavy thread holds well without the bulk of embroidery floss. Trim thread ends. Now you can see if everything looks even, and if it doesn't you can take your finger nail and move the center thread around a little or adjust loops without pulling out the ends!

Now you can glue on the center ribbon or embellishment of your choice and attached to your clips.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Zoo in Colorado

I spent the summer in Colorado with my husband and daughter. She was 1 and a half around the time we were out there. One of the first places we went to was Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. It was a big hit with her. She already knew some animals from one of her board books such as crocodile, elephant, snake, lion and monkey. The zoo had them all and she loved making her sounds for all of them.
One of the first things to do when you walk in is see the giraffes. AND FEED THEM! The guest viewing area is raised and you walk around one side of their enclosure and get up close and personal. Spend the $2 for a giraffe granola bar. They have the freakiest tounges. My little one sat on her dada's shoulders but wasn't too sure about giving up the treat, but enjoyed watching the other kids do it.

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo boasts to be the only mountain zoo in the world. I would think that having a zoo on the side of a mountain would not be an easy thing to design. It can certainly wear out the guests. There is a tram (we never took it) that makes stops. Our group had 4 adults, 2 toddlers and one baby. You really had to hang onto those strollers when going downhill. Some of the areas get pretty steep, but it was all do-able.
All in all I would give the zoo 4 our of 5 stars. It is well designed despite being on a mountain.

The kids absolutely loved it and we had access to all the animals that we wanted to see. And it is in such a beautiful location, what's not to love?
Hope you enjoyed some of our random pictures.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

How to Make a Ladybug Cake

This is my first EVER attempt at building a cake.  The theme for my daughter's first birthday was pink ladybugs. I had the crazy idea that I would make her her own cake, and that it would be a ladybug.Keep in mind that I am by no means a professional or even amateur. I was actually able to do this and am confident that ANYONE can as well.First step was making the cake. I opted for pre-
made mix, and got moist yellow.  I used two sizes of pyrex bowls. The large size was based on the diameter of her plate. The cake baked better then I expected in a large bowl like that. I cut the uneven tops off of both pieces after the cakes had completely cooled. Then it was time for decorating.

She has a special plate that I painted at Color Me Mine a few weeks prior. I intend for it to be her birthday plate every year. I had a large piece of wax paper with a large circular hole in the center on the plate. This was to keep the edges of the plate clean while I made a mess. a glop of frosting then went on the plate to keep the cake from moving around.

Before I go any farther, let's talk frosting. I made 4 batches of buttercream frosting. Just follow directions on the powder sugar box. I bought gel food coloring at a local cake supply store. I've also seen them at craft stored like JoAnn's.  The pink was colored to my liking, very bright. Here's a crucial tip for coloring black frosting. You MUST start out with brown. Either make a chocolate buttercream (which is what I did) or use brown coloring. If you go straight to black, you'll end up with a swamp water color. Not pretty at all. 

Start with you main piece and cover it it with a layer of frosting. Then I glopped  frosting 
where the head went, and put the head on and covered it. Now at this point, as you can see, not very promising. My husband was looking a little worried when he saw it at this step. Have no fear, things are about to get better.

I bought disposable piping bags and invested in a
 few tips. The price with weekly coupons from your 
local craft store was surprisingly low. 
First I did two lines down the center that spread a little in
 the back. This was so I could get an idea of my layout. The black dots were put on first using a star tip. Just squeeze a little, stop and lift. Easy peazy. Then it gets filled in with pink and things are starting to look good.

Voila! A beautiful ladybug cake for the little one to enjoy.