I apologize for my absence from the blogging world the last several days! I’ve been busy with a new business venture! After many years of talking and dreaming about it, I finally took the plunge and decided to begin making and selling some things through my small business, Ella Reu Designs. My mom, sisters, and I have always enjoyed going to craft shows and making crafts of our own. I don’t know how many times we’ve said over the last 10+ years…”We could SO do this!” I finally decided that there’s no better time than the present to take the leap.
I posed the challenge to my Facebook friends to come up with the business name for me. My friend, Caney, came up with Ella Reu Designs (Ella for Gabriella and Reu for Reuben) and I absolutely LOVE it. It’s cute, has a ring to it, and represents the reason I’m doing all of this…for my two little blessings.
My friend from church, Devin, did the amazing logo design. He was a pleasure to work with and put up with lots of emails and nitpicking from me. I definitely recommend him for any of your design needs!
I’m still in the VERY beginning stages…mostly just selling to my Facebook friends…and trying to get a feel for what people are excited about and what I enjoy making. So far, I’m having SO much fun and feel like I have opened up a whole new pathway to JOY and FUN for myself. I’ve been spending nap times and late evenings busy sewing, planning, shipping, organizing, etc and am thoroughly enjoying myself!! So…we’ll see where it goes from here! I’m eventually planning to open an online shop, but for now, I’m solely on Facebook. Stop on by, take a look around, and let me know what you think!!
So, when I started my cardigan onesie making process, I committed to make one for four different families that are expecting boys in the next few months. The first one was tough, but I chalked that up to a learning curve. The second one was still tedious, but much easier. And the third and fourth ones were a nightmare. I posted about my frustration on Facebook and a friend pointed me in the direction of THIS tutorial that took the original idea and simplified it. OH. EM. GEE. I went from spending almost 3 hours on one cardigan to whipping them out in 30 minutes or less.
Instead of using jersey knit (the BANE of my existence!!) for the lining, I used bias tape. SO MUCH EASIER. Also, I used buttons instead of snaps. I just sewed the two sides together while sewing the button on so they’re not technically functional, but what baby needs functioning buttons on his cardigan?? I haven’t decided if I like the look of the buttons or snaps better…
So…what do you think?? Do you like one version better than the other? Do you prefer buttons or snaps?
A few of my friends are having baby boys in the upcoming months so I’ve been on the hunt for a cute, handmade gift. I found THIS tutorial for some adorable baby cardigans and just had to try them. I used the template on THIS tutorial to make a tie onesie to go underneath the cardigan (I use embroidery thread and hand stitch around the edge of the applique rather than using the sewing machine).
A few notes on the cardigan…it was a lot harder than I prepared myself for, but after I completed one whole cardigan, the second one was much easier. NEITHER of them are anywhere close to perfect. Also, the first time around, I did the cuffs on the sleeves and decided it was a lot of work for minimal impact so I decided to scrap that part on the second one.
I gave one to my friend at her baby shower on Sunday and am sticking this one in the mail for another friend. They both have baby boys due in December. I think these would pair nicely with some khakis or jeans to make a super cute Christmas outfit 🙂
(Pssst…baby boy Mac, don’t let your Grandma Brown inspect this too closely. She is a MUCH more talented seamstress than I and she might be completely appalled by my technique.)
I planned and prepared for Gabriella’s 1st birthday party for a couple of months. I always want to make sure that my kids feel celebrated on their special day, but I was extra invested in making Gabriella’s day special as I viewed it as not only a celebration of her first year, but also a day to thank God for the miracle of her life.
The theme of Gabriella’s party transformed as I worked on it. Originally, I planned to do a polka dot party, but as I searched for the perfect fabric, I stumbled across the “Ruby” line by Bonnie and Camille and fell in love. I used that fabric as the inspiration for color and then used ideas off Pinterest as the inspiration for the specific details. The theme ended up as vintage, girly, burlap and lace…if you can call that a theme 😉
My sister hosted my niece’s 1st birthday at my mom’s house and the space worked out really well. After Brynlee’s party, I asked my mom if I could have Gabriella’s party there, too. I’m so glad we did! I love my parents’ house and my mom had lots of decor that we could pull in that was just perfect for the theme.
And now for some details on the decor…
I received my inspiration for Gabriella’s invitation HERE and used my Cameo to make it happen.
The drink dispensers and metal bucket are both gifts I received from the annual Christmas Gathering at The Church at Battle Creek.
I used THIS tutorial to help me make Gabriella’s party hat.
My mom found the shutters from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Tulsa, and while I was laying in bed one night, I had the idea to use them as a display for some favorite pictures from her first year. I love the way it turned out!
The paper plates and white serving trays are from Hobby Lobby, the buckets are from the dollar spot at Target, and I just used a couple yards of muslin to make the table runner.
A closer view of the shutters. I got some of the mini clothespins from the dollar spot at Target and some at Hobby Lobby. I printed the Instagram pictures using the PostalPix app on my phone.
I made the birthday banner using my Cameo and hung it with baker’s twine.
I found this picture frame at a craft show and added chicken wire to the back using a staple gun and used it to display a picture from Gabriella’s 1st year photo shoot. A little tip regarding chicken wire…it is pretty cheap, but comes in a large roll (for about $9). I would recommend going in with some friends to buy some. I have TONS left after this little project.
I used the Ruby fabric to make a pennant banner for the staircase railing. I didn’t really follow a tutorial, but there are TONS on Pinterest.
I got the inspiration for this wreath that hung on the front door HERE; however, I didn’t use a wreath form, I used foam tubing to make my own. I saw my friend Joleen do this one time at a craft night and it worked great so I decided to give it a try. The tutorial is HERE. Joleen had the idea to stuff it with newspaper to make it more sturdy. I think I overstuffed mine so the shape was a little wonky, but it did the job.
I ordered iced sugar cookies from Barbee Cookies to give away as the party favor. In our family, no celebration is really complete without some Barbee cookies. They are DELICOUS. I got the chalkboard from THIS shop on Etsy.
For drinks, I served juice boxes for the kids, strawberry lemon water, and punch. Our punch is always a crowd pleaser. I’m not sure where we got the recipe, but it is:
- 1 frozen can of apple juice, lemonade, orange juice, and white grape juice
- 1 large can of pineapple juice
- Combine all juices and add a generous portion of ice (we prefer Sonic ice).
- Pour ginger ale over the top (I usually use about 1 liter)
For dessert, I ordered cupcakes from Sams (30 cupcakes for $13 and they are AWESOME) and served ice cream using THIS idea. I made cupcake toppers using my Cameo.
And now for some pictures from the actual party:
Getting the birthday girl all dressed and ready. I think she’s excited!!
I have the most amazing family. We really make a great team when it comes to hosting events. We spent a couple hours Friday night decorating the house and when I arrived at my mom’s house at 8:00 Saturday morning, everyone was awake, half of them were already showered and ready, and my dad was out front planting flowers. My family went non-stop until late Saturday afternoon to help me set up, prepare, host, and clean up Gabriella’s party. I am TRULY blessed.
The sweetest big brother around.
Gabriella sat in her “throne” eating lunch and chatting with all her guests while they were getting food.
The present opening basically consisted of me opening everything and Gabriella being totally overwhelmed. She was blessed with some wonderful gifts and she’s enjoying them very much.
Our family of four 🙂
Reuben found him a great spot hanging out with PaPa and Grandpa.
Some of our amazing guests.
A little cupcake eating action. Gabriella really enjoyed her *almost* first taste of sugar.
Dad and his girls. I’m so sad my mom isn’t in this picture! I’m sure she was busy serving!!
And, finally, I edited this picture on PicMonkey and used it as her thank you cards.
*A special thanks to Uncle Chad and Kara for taking so many of these pictures!!*
I’ve been seeing all over blogs and Pinterest for MONTHS about how easy it is to whip up one of these dresses. I decided on Saturday that I was tired of seeing how easy they are and not trying it out for myself. So, I marched myself to the store, bought the supplies, and made the dress. Because it was my first time, it took a little bit longer, but everyone is right…this dress is super QUICK and EASY to make!
I followed THIS tutorial and just modified it a little bit since I used a shirt instead of a onesie.
I cut the pumpkin out using my Cameo and hand stitched the outline with embroidery thread.
The fabric on the bottom is a light weight corduroy…perfect for fall! I can’t wait to dress Gabriella in this with some white tights, chocolate brown Uggs, and a coordinating bow!
I stumbled across this baby doll diaper tutorial when I was looking for Christmas gifts to make for the little girls in our Love and Respect group. The diapers are super easy to make and I’ve heard from both M’s mom & B’s mom that they are still a huge hit.
A friend of mine generously gave us some of her precious time yesterday afternoon to do me a huge favor. I wanted to have a little thank you gift ready for her when she arrived as a small way to show my appreciation for her time and expertise. She is a mother of two precious girls who are very close in age to my two kids. So, I decided her little girls might like to have their own supply of baby doll diapers.
Presentation is everything…right? 😉
And I’m always looking for an excuse to use some Washi tape and twine!
Thank you so much, Ashley, for taking time out of your busy schedule to help us out!!
The next big project in my master bedroom redo is a gallery wall. I found this idea on Pinterest and thought it would be a great addition! It’s also a perfect project for craft night because it’s mostly mindless.
Well, it should have been mindless. For a normal person.
This project took me 3 hours…because I’m not normal. I cannot do random. In theory, a random project should take less time because it eliminates the need to plan, organize, measure, etc. What random means for me is OVER planning, organizing, and measuring to make sure my random project doesn’t appear to be too methodical. Ugh. It’s exhausting for my Type A brain.
Thanks to the encouragement from my friends…Amy, just start gluing. Random, Amy. Random!…I was able to persevere and finish.
My friend, Vivi, had the great idea to add the yellow heart button. I love the little pop of color!
I also enlisted Vivi’s help for writing the “me & you.” Vivi’s handwriting is amazing…it should be a font…so I knew I wanted her to write if for me.
Let’s face it. If writing the words was left up to me, I’d probably still be working on getting the letters lined up just right.