Monday, May 25, 2015

Guest Blogging at Keys To The Kingdom!

Readers, I have a new blogger for you to check out! Head on over to Keys To The Kingdom and check out all Emily's great posts about EPCOT last week. And of course, check out my review of the International Flower and Garden Show, which happens each spring in my favorite Disney park! Emily has lots of great tips for traveling with toddlers and infants to Walt Disney World. I'm sure she will be a great resource for you too!

Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Great Emelius Browne Design Now On RedBubble

As my regular readers know, I am a long time Disney fan. I grew up watching all the movies on VHS and we wore some of them so thin that the movies actually wobbled when we watched them! Bedknobs and Broomsticks was one that we loved to watch. As an homage to that great Disney classic I have created this Emelius Browne design for the RedBubble shop!

If you are familiar with the movie, you will remember that Emelius Browne loves to hawk his wears with a portable stand. This is a reproduction of the sign that hangs on his table! I love the fascination that Disney seemed to have with hucksters and snake oil salesmen. Don't forget DocTerminus in Pete's Dragon and The Apple Dumpling Gang! I suppose it was a fascination of a certain time, and the appeal of a semi-hero from unlikely beginnings. Or at least the reforming of a man. Disney was certainly the eternal optimist!

Here's a picture of David Tomlinson as Emelius Browne:

Redbubble is constatntly adding new products to its site! Now you can find these great studio pouches (excellent for travel anywhere Disney goes!) and skirts! Take a look at all the great new things available. Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

DIY Liberty Square Inspired Knit Shawl

This was a stash busting project if ever there was one. I mean, those of us who knit, hoard yarn. It's almost a foregone conclusion: you knit, most likely we will find skeins of yarn stored in all manner of hiding places. Like the sleeves of your old winter coat. And the back of the china closet. You know who you are. Every now and again, we knitters need to unload a bit of that stash and the best way to do it is to be stuck on an airplane (at least I think so). So on my recent travels to Puerto Rico, I managed to knit this lovely cotton shawl that reminded me ever so slightly of Liberty Square and the costumes one finds there.

Now, I happened to have the beautiful blue yarn already in my coat sleeves, er, stash. But if I were going to buy yarn for this project, I might just have to choose a Haunted Mansion color like purple or dark green or black to wear with my hitchhiking ghosts t-shirt. (yes, shameless self promotion here.) The beauty of this pattern is that it was easily memorized and fairly simple. It was the perfect sort of mindless knitting one needs for a day of endless meetings, jury duty, or church. I was a little surprised at how heavy it became, but it's the perfect weight for taking the edge off the chill. And I'm down several skeins in the stash department too! Bonus! If you want all the knitty details, you can check out my Ravelry page.

Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Flora's Pink Aurora Hand Knit Toddler Mittens

So the funny thing about toddlers is they are constantly changing their minds! (Ok, ONE of the funny things about toddlers . . . .) After the success of the Anna Mittens, my darling toddler informed me that she needed PINK mittens. Her request was so emphatic that it reminded me of Flora and Merryweather's battle over the color of Aurora's dress at the end of Sleeping Beauty. Make it PINK! Make it BLUE! And so I took that inspiration and ran with it. The result is this lovely pair of pink mittens with a fair isle pattern that reminded me a bit of the architecture of Sleeping Beauty castle in Disneyland.

All the details of the mittens are on my Ravelry page for this project. Again, I didn't really have a pattern, I just made them up as I went along. (It's easy to forget to insert the thumb when you do it that way! You might even forget it twice!) These mittens were definitely a fun quick knit, and I fully intend to create some Merryweather mittens (naturally!) to accompany them! Because I like blue! The toddler, for the moment, is delighted by the pink.

Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Mary Poppins DIY Movie Viewing Party

Sometimes, on a Tuesday, you just need a little something special to happen! I surprised our littles mid-week with a Mary Poppins Movie Party! They couldn't have been more excited!

There is an absolute WEALTH of information available on Pinterest if you happen to be planning for just such an occasion! I also used my Silhouette SD to great advantage. There are many pre-made shapes that work perfectly with the Mary Poppins theme. In addition, I have made my Poppins Party Pinboard available on Pinterest so you can see the ideas that inspired me, and perhaps try a few of these ideas with your friends and family.

Ok, let's get into the details!

Setting the Stage:

I used this Carousel Horse Hexi-box shape as my centerpiece for the table. I cut it from card stock using my Silhouette Portrait, and then used a dry adhesive and glue pen to assemble it; it went together quite easily. There is also a tutorial on how to assemble it if these things tend to frustrate you. The kids absolutely wanted to play with it from the moment they saw it!

I wanted a backdrop of sorts for the table, but didn't want to do anything overwhelming (read time-consuming). So I hunted up some Mary Poppins printables. I simply printed them and adhered them to scrapbook paper to frame them up a bit. All of these were free, and I am including my own printable of Jane and Michael's advertisement for a nanny. If you would like to print your own you can find the Nanny Want Ad here to download, the Lucky printable, the Keep Calm printable, and the Spoonful of Sugar printable, here.

The Food:

I wanted all the food to be themed in one way or another to the movie. And I also wanted a solid variety of sweet, savory and salty. So we started with Kite Sandwiches. These were simple. Little Chef, ironically, loves to cook, but is not an adventurous eater. So these are simple ham and cheese with a little veggie cream cheese for good measure. I cut the crusts off a sandwich and trimmed each half into diamonds. I then used sliced cheese to cut out the crosses on the top of the sandwiches. (I just laid it on top.) Finally, I used some frilly 4-inch toothpicks to create the tails for the kites.

You can also see here the chocolate coins which were our Tuppence, and our Rum Punch (which we made without the rum for the kiddos!). For the punch I just mixed orange juice, pineapple juice and some La Croix Coconut sparkling water in a pitcher. The flamingo straw toppers were again from the Silhouette design shop. We don't have much juice here in the cottage, so this punch was a real treat for the littles! Also, the version with the coconut rum was a real treat for the adults!! Rum punch, delicious!

We added to the sweets with Raspberry Ice (store bought sorbet). If you really want to make some granita from scratch, I found a recipe for you. It looks pretty simple to make, but time intensive. And a little bit of time saving sounded great to me on a weeknight! I passed on the homemade raspberry ice.

And then it was time to move on to the salty snacks!

My kids adore goldfish crackers, but I was having a hard time making them fit into this Mary Poppins theme. And then I saw these umbrella party favors and I knew I had my solution! Here is a link to how to make them. Instead of a regular handle I wanted the classic Mary Poppins parrot head. So I found a .png image on line and imported it into the silhouette, traced it and cut it out. Voila! A Poppins umbrella full of goldfish! My littles loved them! (And so did I!)

We also had these adorable cream cheese and black olive penguins! Of all the food we made for this party, I loved these the most. They were a little bit of prep work, but nothing overwhelming. And the effect was well worth the effort!  I guarantee I will be making them again this Christmas! You only need cream cheese (we used the veggie kind), black olives, carrots and 4-inch toothpicks to create them. You can find the full tutorial here. I used the same frilly toothpicks as I did for the kite sandwiches. The effect was exactly as I hoped! And these are incredibly delicious little snacks! The toddlers were not as thrilled with them, but the adults were definitely pleased.

And because no movie party is complete without popcorn, I made these themed popcorn boxes! I used the Let's Go Fly A Kite Tile and the popcorn box shape with my Silhouette Portrait. These, surprisingly, took the longest time to assemble. The Fly A Kite tile has a LOT of intricate pieces cut from several different colors of card stock. I love the overall effect, but I'm not sure how many of these I could do. I'm glad I was only working on three.

A word about popcorn here (because I can); I am a huge fan of popcorn made on the stove. None of that chemical infused microwave popcorn for this family! It's so simple and much less expensive too. Plus, our family prefers the taste and smell to the microwave variety.

And there it is: the recipe for your very own DIY Mary Poppins movie viewing party. Of course, you could do the same thing for a Saving Mr. Banks viewing party as well.

Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

DIY Dapper Day Lace Bag

This little knitted bag was my airplane project for my Ireland trip. I like to have something to knit on the airplane as I listen to my audiobooks, or watch a movie. But airplane knitting is tricky. It needs to fit in my carry-on without taking up too much room. Especially on an international flight which is long enough for me to insist upon some leg room! This bag was the perfect choice. I found it in the Jane Austen Knits magazine, Fall 2012, from Interweave. And bonus for the flight, it's a PDF publication that I could download to my Kindle! No extra papers flapping about; I like that!

The original idea for this bag was that I needed a small handbag in a neutral color that I worked for a semi-formal dress I was wearing to an event. It needed to be big enough for just my essentials: my phone, a lip gloss, my ID and a tampon. This bag is perfect. I actually had to size down a needle size to get the look I was after (a closer, tighter knit), which also meant that I had to add another pattern row to get the length I was after. But in the end the little bag is exactly what I was looking for! 

And as I was knitting it occurred to me that it would be the perfect thing for a Disney date night or a Dapper Day outfit! With the littles, I need a full backpack; but many moons ago, when it was just Mr. Photos From The Parks and I, we didn't carry much of anything into the parks! And with the magic bands today, all you really need is a place for your phone. With the state of women's clothes, and I am talking here about the lack of pockets, there are few places that a girl can keep her phone. This seems like a lady-like solution!

I also lined the bag with cotton fabric. I hate hand sewing (which I realize is a bit ironic because I love knitting and crochet so much), so I used this waxed paper solution to use my sewing machine to sew in the lining. I'm quite happy with it.


If you are interested in the details of the pattern and the yarn, you can check out my Revelry page. Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

It's A Small World Subway Art Now Available from RedBubble!

I use the Timehop app and enjoy seeing the various pictures of my family through the year. I've been reminded as such, that it was two years ago that I put together our It's A Small World kids room! Wow! I made a really great poster of Subway Art Greetings but didn't know how to make it available to my readers. Until now!

I realized that RedBubble is the perfect platform to sell that work, and you can even put it on other products as well! Of course you can get the poster for as little as $13.00! But I will be looking at the iPhone cases and the studio pouches for my personal use! 

Be sure to check out all the great products available now, including some amazing scarves! Enjoy, and until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Headed to Puerto Rico this week!

It's been a busy spring for me in the cottage with travel, travel, travel! This week I am headed to Puerto Rico to spend some much needed time with Mr. Photos From The Parks celebrating 20 years of marriage. I can hardly believe it's been that long! I'm certainly a lucky lady. And I am looking forward to seeing a new place and having some down time with just the two of us.

I'll catch up with you again on the 12th! There will be a few new projects to share with you for sure. Until then, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

DIY Hand Knit Disney Princess Anna Mittens

These darling mittens are my very own creation! Millie asked me to knit her some and I just couldn't say no! Who could resist such a request? Of course it's finally getting warm enough here that she won't need them now; but won't they be adorable next winter?

I couldn't find a pattern on Revelry that suited me; after all, the rosemaling in Frozen is so beautiful and rather specific to the region. So instead of endless searching I decided to make a pattern myself. I've knit enough mittens and socks to understand the structure and they don't have to fit just so, the way a sweater should. They can be forgiving. Especially for a child!

I designed the charts from those found in Mastering Color Knitting. And I used a basic toddler sized mitten pattern and adjusted the size ever so slightly to accommodate the patterns I chose. If you are into making your own charts you should check out the Tricksy Knitter. There you can create your chart and edit the colors quickly and easily until you have the combination you like.

In the end, I love the way they look! They definitely remind me of Anna, who inspired them. I used Palette yarn, a wool blend, from Knit Picks, a very affordable online yarn supplier. You can find all the details, and a rough idea of the pattern, on my Ravelry pages.

Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!