DIY Bump Costume: Painted Jack-O-Lantern Shirt

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At eight months pregnant there’s honestly not a lot of dressing up I want to do, but you’re only this pregnant on Halloween so many times, so I just had to take advantage. Since Mose is a pumpkin, I decided to dress the bump up as a pumpkin as well. This super easy DIY only took about an hour from start to finish, and cost me less than $10!

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I was honestly quite glad I made it to Halloween! After I made my pumpkin shirt I kept thinking I was going to go into labor and not have the chance to wear it. But luckily, such a thing did not happen. Three weeks to go until due date and I’m soooo excited!!!!

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Anyway, on to the DIY. Here is what you’ll need:

  • A baby bump
  • An orange shirt (I got mine from Wal-Mart)
  • Paint brush
  • Fabric pen (a regular marker would probably work just fine as well, since you’ll paint over it anyway)
  • Black acrylic paint
  • Textile medium (can be found at Hobby Lobby)
  • Mod podge
  • Black glitter
  • A piece of cardboard or paperboard (such as a used cereal box)

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Mose always wants to help with my DIYs.

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Step 1: Try on your shirt and make marks where the eyes, ears, and mouth should go. This is important if you’re pregnant because your belly is probably not what it used to be and it’s really easy to misjudge (LOL).

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Step 2: Slip your cardboard or cereal box into the shirt and lay it flat. This is so the paint does not bleed through to the other side of the shirt.

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Step 3: Outline your jack-o-lantern face with the fabric pen. I just free-handed it, but if you’re more comfortable using a pattern there are lots of them on the internet.

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Step 4: Mix a few drops of textile medium into your paint. Paint the jack-o-lantern face. Let dry.

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Step 5: As soon as the black paint is dry, brush on some mod podge and then sprinkle with black glitter. Let dry then shake off any excess glitter.

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Step 6: Just so glitter doesn’t get everywhere when wearing it, I decided to go over the glitter layer with one more thin layer of mod podge.

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And voila! That’s it!

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And here is evidence of my excellent selfie skills with the bump. HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE!

Visit My Etsy Shop, Peels and Posies! Now OPEN.

I had a striking realization the other day, the kind that sort of makes your stomach twist in knots and feel ashamed of the day you said you’d ever do anything worthwhile/graduated college/heard your parents say they were proud of you. Here it is – I make excuses. The kind veiled by logic so they sound relevant. You know – well, I haven’t done such and such because I work all the time. Or I haven’t actually opened my Etsy shop because I’ve been making stuff for it. Well, I could keep making stuff alllll the time, but the bottom line is that I have to open someday. And that day is today!

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Peels and Posies is a shop devoted to hand-made, whimsical home decor, the kind that I would want (and consequently have) in my own home. Everything I make has been inspired by either books, woodland creatures, flowers, or food. So essentially, it’s all just a conglomeration of the things I love most. And I feel like there are others like me out there.

One of the nice things about my shop is that most of my products are made from recycled materials like cardboard, egg cartons, fabric scraps, etc etc. Ties in nicely with my Consider the Peel theme, eh? Wink wink.

I will make custom orders, and if you are interested in contacting me separate from my shop for independent contractual work (for paintings, family crests, individualized home decor, etc.) just email me and we can sort something out. Hope you enjoy perusing my work!

😉 Here are a few samples of what I do:

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The deliciously dapper deer graphics are designed by the ever talented Mickenzie Robbins. View her profile here.

Orange Spiced Gingersnaps

I’ll always associate gingersnaps with Christmas, so much so that I have a feeling I’d find it wrong to make a batch of these Orange Spiced Gingersnaps any other time of the year. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I grew up decorating gingerbread houses every Christmas break, and therefore that hot, ginger-molasses-y aroma is weld solidly to glittering lights and nativity scenes and a massive Christmas tree taking up a fourth of our piano room.

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The two months preceding Christmas are my favorite time of the year, despite the frigid air up here in tundra land. I think I’ve built it up in my brain so much that it’s more the memories intoxicating me than the holiday itself. It’s been years since my family decorated our house with Christmas lights, and as I’m living in an apartment this year we won’t be able to participate in that small gesture of holiday spirit. But every single year I get so excited to drive at night, simply because there are houses adorned with little lights. I remember how we used to put a timer on ours so they’d come on at the same time every evening, right as the sun hit the horizon, and I always had this longing to be there the moment they turned on. I don’t know if I ever got there in time.

I was always there for the tree decorating, though – if not to help, to watch. Mom was always painfully organized when it came to ornaments – Andrew, Mickey, and I each had our own ornament box (which grew to multiples over the years), because every year we received at least one ornament that would become ours as soon as we moved away and married (which I have, but my box remains in Texas. Of course, I don’t have room for it in this teeny apartment). By the time my brother, sister, and I were in college, the tree was so full of the craziest assortment of ornaments that its limbs hung lower than normal. At least now it will be a third lighter.

The main reason I love Christmas is not because of the lights or the cookies or the decorations, though – it is the general air (to risk sounding cliche) of cheer. The joy that comes from celebrating something that isn’t merely commercial is contagious – there’s a meaning behind this holiday, one that is greater than anything we know. A savior was born, and we can live with the peace of having eternal celebrations in paradise. Even people who deny Him cannot deny the jubilation that permeates every corner of our country during this holiday season. There is a reason we are rejoicing.

Now on to this Christmassy recipe. God bless you all and to all a good night! (Or morning, whatever, you get my drift.)

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Orange Spiced Gingersnaps

INGREDIENTS:

2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup molasses
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tbsp Greek yogurt
2 tbsp orange zest
2 tbsp orange juice
1 egg
Sugar with orange zest for rolling

METHOD:

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Combine flours, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt together in a bowl. Stir and set aside.

2. In a separate bowl, combine sugar, molasses, orange juice, and olive oil. Mix on medium for 5 minutes. Add egg and mix on low for 2 minutes more. Add wet mixture to dry mixture and stir until well combined. Fold in orange zest.

3. Add a couple pinches of orange zest to the sugar for rolling. Form dough into 1 inch balls and roll in zested sugar until completely covered. Flatten dough balls a little and place them on cookie sheet. Bake for 13 minutes or until tops crack.

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Oh Sweet Love – I’m Married! (This Post Is All About My Perfect DIY Wedding)

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Ten days ago I became a wife and, needless to say, I am currently residing in a quagmire of marital bliss. Life is fantastic as a married woman so far. Apartment decorating, making roasts in the crockpot for my husband, etc etc. All I can say is ❤ ❤ ❤

I would like to take this post to brag about my perfect wedding. Essentially the whole shindig was Do-It-Yourself, so this post will contain a plethora of sneak peaks for DIY posts to come. It’s more about the day, though, than the crafts. It was a beautiful wedding, and I kinda just want to talk about it.

Notice my headband and his boutonniere. *Handmade items; post to follow*

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First off, every one always said I was a courageous soul for planning an outdoor wedding at the end of July in Iowa. Normal weather conditions: HOT, humid, windy. It was a risk, but I wanted what I wanted, and the chance was well worth the worry. The day was a perfect one for a wedding – mid 70s, slight breeze, and not a drop of rain in sight. The hollyhocks and sunflowers were blooming in the garden and storms from the week before had revived the grass to a vibrant green.

So a utopian day was the backdrop to a painstakingly planned event – a whimsical, woodsy affair, complete with homemade jam, papier-mache woodland creatures, and yard games.

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We got married amid the flora and fauna of Whiterock Conservancy in Coon Rapids, Iowa. Our ceremony overlooked the rolling hills carved out from glaciers thousands of years ago. The long grass danced in the wind behind us as sweet words were spoken about the roots of love and glorious blessings of the One above.

I walked down the aisle to “Liz on Top of the World” from the Pride and Prejudice soundtrack, which has been my favorite musical soundtrack since eighth grade. It’s only fitting I would walk down the aisle to it. If I had to name a favorite part of the ceremony, though, it would be the Tree Watering Ceremony. Instead of the Unity Candle, we decided to go with a Unity Tree – to symbolize the growth of love, the endurance of it, and the fruits it can produce (ours is an apple tree). I had a great time painting the pot. It is simply a large plastic planter from Lowe’s that I adorned with florals and deer and our wedding date.

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The ceremony was literally straight from my dreams. Every part of it was magical, even when I was hidden on the second level, screened-in porch right next to the ceremony site, spying on guests as they sat and watching the grandparents, parents, and wedding party walk down to “Secret Life of Daydreams” for the processional. Then, being pronounced Man and Wife was probably the happiest moment of my life. Thinking about it still brings tears to my eyes.

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Much fun was to be had at the reception as well. We had bean bag toss, yard scrabble, badminton, croquet, a plant-your-own-flowers stand, and a little bit of dancing. For guest favors, my mom, sister, and I slaved for hours on some homemade jam! Of course, being who we are, we could not settle for mere ordinary flavors. Our flavors were:

  1. Honey Peach Vanilla
  2. Beet Apple
  3. Vanilla Grapefruit Marmalade
  4. Maple Strawberry Vanilla
  5. Blueberry Peach (sugar free)
  6. Apple Tomato Lemon
  7. Perfect Peach
  8. Strawberry Marmalade
  9. Blueberry Lavender

Experimenting with flavors was 90% of the fun. Making jam itself is such a great time, too, though!

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Finally, for our masterful cake. You may recognize the cake topper. It worked absolutely perfectly on this traditional Norwegian cake called Kransekake. It is not your normal cake – fluffy, sinfully sweet, etc – but rather more similar to a cookie. It is made out of almond paste, sugar, and eggs. That’s it, and it is delicious. While I myself did not bake this cake (a friend of my grandma’s did), my sister and I put it together on the morning of the wedding. Funny story, actually. The wedding was at 2. We were supposed to start getting ready with the photographer present at 10:00. All morning we were so busy decorating and making bouquets that we completely forgot about constructing the Kransekake! At 10:15 we rushed into the kitchen, and yet it still turned out absolutely lovely. I couldn’t have paid a million dollars for a prettier cake.

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With all that said, all that’s left is: BAM! happily ever after. Hopefully the rest of our life together will be as breathtaking, whimsy-full, and perfect as our wedding day was.

DIY Deer Head, Because There Is Nothing Better Than Deer + Glitter + a Pretty Floral Bow

Walter (my LOVELY deer head) wanted a photo shoot, so let’s just bask in that for a moment.

IMG_3259IMG_3261IMG_3265 IMG_3263Ahhh. There’s just nothing better than a beautiful deer covered in glitter, mounted a board decorated with fabric you love…Okay, maybe I’m a little too obsessed with my creation. But for real, best idea ever.

I love deers. More than I should. A couple weeks ago I was with my fiancé at his family’s farm. One night, I ran to the window to watch the snow fall, and there was a deer feet from the window, nibbling away at the grass. The huge snowflakes were landing on her back, dusting her with whiteness, and I thought it was the most beautiful sight imaginable. A deer, so close.

My yell of delight, however, was met mostly with indifference.

Okay, I get that farm people consider deer to be rodents essentially, and that what they’re best at is being dinner. Even knowing this, l just cannot see a deer without being tickled. I would love a pet deer. Call me crazy. (A fox would suffice as well).

I saw this tutorial on the Better Homes and Gardens website and just had to do it. I changed it up a bit, but it’s essentially the same.

IMG_3257I used this wood board from Hobby Lobby and a foam egg, along with a liter bottle, cut down the middle and stuffed with newspaper. I taped it into a suitable deer head shape, and commenced to papier-mâché. For my glue mixture, I mixed 1 part flour to 1 part water.

A good tip on papier-mâchéing: Add some cinnamon to your paste mixture so it does not smell so gross. I absolutely adore the smell of cinnamon, and if you do too YOU’VE GOT TO DO THIS.

IMG_3248Now Walter lives by my Harry Potter collection, but soon enough he’ll be mounted on a wall somewhere. And most likely he’ll be attending my woodsy wedding.

Love and Butterfly Bunting

IMG_2998I love bunting – it’s so whimsical and sweet!

As you might guess, my purpose in making these buntings was for my wedding in July, but having them hanging in my room sure puts a smile on my face. Especially when what’s beyond my window is a frozen tundra. The butterflies take me to my happy place (which involves warm sunlight and flowers blooming on the trees).

Many more buntings (different shapes, colors, materials, etc) are to come. These were pretty simple.

For the Love-Is-Sweet bunting, I used gold sparkle cardstock from Hobby Lobby and simply cut out the letters. No stencil required, and it only took three large sheets (12 by 12). For the butterfly bunting, I cut out butterfly shapes from an assortment of decorative paper and punched out holes down the middle and in the wings with a hole punch. Then, I cut small paper doilies into sixths and glued them on top of the butterfly shape with rubber cement. I strung them up with simple soft twine.

The magic of buntings is that they can be made into any shape you so desire, and wedding decor is not their only use. They truly do brighten a room, adding color, character, and that all but necessary pop of eccentricity. Needless to say, I won’t be throwing these wedding decorations away.

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DIY Birdhouses

IMG_2996I have lots of reasons to be excited about getting married in July, but one of the most delightful things about being engaged is that I have an excuse to make crafts (aka “wedding decorations”) whenever I want, even if it means procrastinating on schoolwork or shirking my other various duties. I figure this is the only time I’ll be able to craft with abandon, for a rightful cause.

I just finished refinishing these five wooden birdhouses with patterns and colors that fit into my wedding theme. I don’t know exactly what I will use them for yet; possibly centerpieces…or something. Whatever works.

IMG_2953All these plain, miniature birdhouses (that I bought from Jo-Ann’s Fabric for $1 a piece) needed was some pretty fabric and paper, modpodge, and extra glitter for kicks.

IMG_3024IMG_3023You’d be amazed by how easy it was. Literally, as long as you can cut straight lines and understand something about color theory, you could have some adorable little birdhouses, too.

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