Tuesday, October 29, 2013

DIY Meeko the Raccoon Sleep Mask

Meeko Sleeping Mask
I enjoy following Imagine Gnats on Instagram. Her blog is pretty amazing too. So when I saw this wonderful idea, posted by Jane of Buzzmills, I knew that it would be a project I would Disney-fy. I have to start by saying I love Disney's Pocahontas story. I know it's not historically accurate, but as far as a story and a princess go, I think it's fantastic. Strong willed and adventurous, Pocahontas is my kind of girl! And her side-kicks are fabulous. Especially Meeko the raccoon. I love his antics. And this eye mask is just calling his name! FYI, these were also part of the Wilderness Welcome Baskets I did for our fall break trip this year.

Altering the pattern was easy. I just googled images of Meeko and changed the eye and nose shapes to mimic his. After that I simply followed the instructions on Imagine Gnats blog page. Viola! We now have a Disney themed eye mask for dress up, or for nap time. And certainly a wonderful idea for Tinkerbell Treasures - light weight and easy to pack! I couldn't be happier with the result!

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

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Mary Blair Birthday Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to Greg G on winning the magnet set! I'll be sending it out on Monday! Thanks to everyone who participated; it was a lot of fun. We'll have to do it again sometime.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

DIY Disney's Up Themed Tinkerbell Treasures

I have a tendency to go big. You know, go big or go home? Well I tend to go big. Especially at Disney. This idea began when I saw these amazingly cute and super affordable aviator hats at Oriental Trading Co. I mean really? They screamed  Carl and Ellie from Up. I knew I had to have them for the kids. Then they arrived and were even better in person than I thought they would be. Next thing you know, I've ordered them for the adults too, and have plans to have them arrive with balloons. Now that would have been enough, right? Of course it would have, but then I got inspired to make these T-shirts that were from Paradise Falls, and then I saw these perfect grape soda pins from My Hoard over at Etsy, and, well, an entire package was born. This does not fall under the budget-friendly category, as I was purchasing for a group of 16. But if you were in the market for one or two people, you would find this entire package cheaper than a sweatshirt at the Emporium! Not too shabby for a super cool and completely unique Disney themed gift!

The good news is that you too can create this entire Up package for someone you love. Because these Paradise Falls shirts are now on sale through RedBubble. They come in adult and youth sizes! And because we don't want to leave out the littles, there's some baby gear available too!

If you're not familiar with RedBubble, get ready to lose an hour or two of your life. So many terrific artists have unique Disney themed goodies available for purchase. It's one of the first places I look for gifts for my favorite Disney nerd, Mr. Photos From The Parks. I have a few other designs available there too, so feel free to look around! I also love that these T-shirts and pins support individual artisans. That's always a plus in my book.

But the best part of this gift package was the looks on the faces of everyone when they received their gifts. It's why I do all of this in the first place! Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

From Belle's Library | My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business: A Memoir, by Dick Van Dyke

Who would have guessed that I found a kindred spirit in Dick Van Dyke? We both have a heart for social justice, love Mary Tyler Moore (platonically), found Mary Poppins to be magical, and want to parent our kids to be grounded and loving. Needless to say, I found this autobiography, My Lucky Live In and Out of Show Business, nothing short of wonderful.

I love how positive Mr. Van Dyke is as he looks back on his life. He admits his struggles and failures, relates some truly horrible experiences, and some amazing times. And all the while I sensed that he was looking back at the entire picture with mild surprise at his good fortune and genuine joy.

As usual, I listened to this book. It was wonderful to hear Dick Van Dyke read it; I can't imagine listening to someone else voice what happened to this man, knowing his voice so well. It was especially fun to hear him reminisce about working with Walt Disney and the Sherman Brothers, and the making of not only Mary Poppins, but also Lt. Robin Crusoe, U.S.N. Even THIS Disney girl hasn't seen that movie. Don't worry, I'll be remedying that situation soon!

This book was a truly wonderful read. I would recommend it as a Father's Day or Christmas gift for anyone who has a fondness for the Dick Van Dyke Show, or Mary Poppins. We all know shopping for men can be tricky. Of course, I would also recommend this for the females in your life! If you have read this book, I'd be interested to hear what you thought of it as well.

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

Monday, October 21, 2013

Happy Birthday Mary Blair!

In honor of Mary Blair's birthday, we are going to have a little give away! As most of you know, Mary Blair is my favorite Disney artist and the woman behind It's A Small World. I can't get enough of her. And today is her birthday!

So while we were recently in Walt Disney World, I picked up this fun little magnet set including the poster for It's A Small World and a fun Poppins Penguins Catering Co. magnet, and I am passing it along to one of my loyal readers! Entering is easy. Simply use the Rafflecopter form below for six chances to win!

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, October 19, 2013

DIY Disney's Cinderella Castle Night lights

This is one of the easiest DIY's I have found. All you need is a flameless candle, a printed picture of Cinderella Castle, a piece of clear tape, and a pair of scissors. SIMPLE! And it looks surprisingly pretty. I could see this in a princess room (or let's face it, MY room) as a lovely little night light. What sweet dreams your princess would dream watching the castle glowing as she drifted off to sleep! In fact, that's my favorite part about having a Magic Kingdom view at the Contemporary!

If you don't have a photo of Cinderella Castle that you like, simple search Google and you will find just what you need. Trust me. Once you have your image, you may need to resize it a bit. Measure the circumference of your candle base and be sure that your image is no more than a 1/4 inch larger than that measurement. You don't want a lot of overlap in the back. Alternatively, you can trim it down a bit once your print it out. Just be sure the main part of the image will be seen easily.

I like the contrast of the black and white image. Theoretically, this would work with a high contrast color image, but I haven't tried that. I recommend printing your image in black and white. And don't use an image that has print on the back (from a book, pamphlet, etc.) The print on the back side will show through when you turn the light on.

Once you have your castle printed, take your scissors and cut out the castle. It might be a little tricky, but be patient. It's worth it. Then simply wrap it around the candle, and tape the back side closed. That's it! Turn on your night light and dream sweet Disney dreams! Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

DIY Disney Wilderness Creatures Bookmarks & Window Clings

Last post I talked about some Wilderness themed baskets I created for our Disney trip to the Wilderness Lodge. These were the next things I added to our Wilderness baskets.

These adorable personalized bookmarks were a free editable download that I spied on Pinterest. Most of our crew are avid readers, so I figured these would get some action on the plane, by the pool or at least in school. You can find them on Lia Griffith's blog. They are easy to edit and simple to print out. And free!

The window clings were something I hadn't planned on, but seemed perfect for our trip. I like the idea of personalizing our room from the outside, but I didn't want to advertise who we were. These seemed to fit the bill quite nicely. I found them on sale at JoAnn's for under $2 a set. You can't beat that for budget-friendly finds.

Stay tuned for more fantastic Wilderness themed items. Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

DIY Disney's Pocahontas/Wilderness Themed Treat Bags

So we are finally in our happy place: Walt Disney World! This year we decided to bunk at the Wilderness Lodge. We've stayed here before and loved it. This time around we are trying out the Villas. Will give a full report once we are back!

As most of you know, I try and do a little welcome to Disney package for the kids (and sometimes the adults!) upon our arrival at the resort. We call them Tinkerbell Treasures. Most of the kids are older now, but once upon a time, Tinkerbell actually visited our rooms every night and left a surprise for each kid! You can read more about that experience in this blog post. I think on our next trip, Tink will start visiting again. Happy will be the perfect age for that and Doc will LOVE promoting that vision!

That being said, the goodies this year were all themed (if rather loosely) to our Wilderness stay. These little treat bags were the first things to strike my fancy. I found this adorable Hedgehog Treat Holder (design id #40511) in the Silhouette store. It was simple to cut out and assemble. Instead of cutting out the eyes and nose - sometimes those little cuts drive me crazy!- I used Candy Dots from Stampin' Up. I found the Wilton treat bags at JoAnn's. They are just the right size to hold a few small candies. If you are thinking about a stay at Fort Wilderness, these would also be themed perfectly!

I have a few more ideas for our Wilderness baskets, but I don't want to give away everything before all has been revealed to the kids! So you'll have to wait too. Until next time, (and from the most magical place on earth!) may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Chapeau | DIY Sleeping Beauty's Fairy Merryweather's Hat

I am in love with the hat shop on Main Street USA: The Chapeau. It's the place to find any hat your heart desires; as long as Disney makes it! I realize there are those who would never be caught dead in a Disney hat, and those of us who think they are AWESOME. If you fit into that latter category, then this post is for you!

I have an affinity with Merryweather, naturally, but she's not the easiest character to find in the parks. And neither is a Merryweather themed hat. So I put my DIY skills to use and created my very own Merryweather fascinator. This is my very first foray into the world of millinery, so I did a little research on hat making via YouTube. Just search for "how to make a fascinator" and you'll get plenty of videos to choose from! If you too are new to the hat making world, you'll want to become familiar with a product called sinamay. It's what the structure of the hat is made from. It helps it hold it's shape and gives it the body you need for it to stand up on it's own. The link will take you to several resources for purchasing sinamay.

I first created a pattern using scrapbooking paper (as it was large enough to experiment with, and I have TONS of it), a compass, and scotch tape. Once I had my basic shape together (which took several tries), I took it all apart and cut the pieces from the sinamay. I used a double layer of sinamay because I wasn't sure a single layer would hold the shape as well as I wanted it to. After all, that hat had to make it all the way to Florida without getting crushed!

After I had the sinamay cut out, I cut out felt about a 1/4" larger than the sinamay and machine stitched it to the sinamay. I then shaped the hat into it's 3-dimentional form and pinned it together. I hand sewed the hat together trying to hide my stitches where I could. Once it was together I realized it needed the organza on it to really make it work. What a difference that made! It went from ok, to cool. The devil is always in the details!

My hair is quite fine, so a comb was not going to work for me to wear this all day in the park. I decided to attach it to a thin, ribbon-covered headband I found at JoAnn's. It worked like a dream! The headband is small enough that it doesn't fight with my glasses for room behind my ears, is fairly well hidden in my hair, and comfortable enough to wear all day. For a first project, I couldn't be happier! I'd love to see any hats you may have altered or made for your trips to the Happiest Place On Earth.

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

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Sitting with Grandmother Willow: Elizabeth A. Breakey

As part of our on-going series, Sitting with Grandmother Willow, I am happy to introduce Elizabeth A. Breakey, of Breakeble Designs, an Etsy shop. This series of blog posts highlights artists and bloggers of all stripes with one thing in common: a passion for Disney! I hope you will enjoy getting to know Elizabeth as much as I have. And be sure to visit her Etsy store for some unique Disney themed items!

Disney by the numbers (with apologies to Harpers):

# of trips you have made:
Oh Lord. Ha, okay – I have no idea. I have been at the very least once a year since I was 3 and I am 30 now.

Date of first trip:
My parents had a tradition of taking their kids (I’m the youngest of 4) on their first trip to Disney World when they turned 3. So 1986.

Date of next trip:
A few friends and I will be headed down to the MNSSHP and Food and Wine festival at the end of October. I can’t wait! It will be hard though, it will be the first trip down since my father passed away… He loved the parks so much…

# of Resorts stayed in:
We grew up a middle-class family – so going to the parks alone was a really big deal and we always stayed off property. Now that we are older, we stay on property, and it’s still the biggest treat! I have stayed at 3 resorts, all value. I love the value resorts, and although a stay at the Polynesian would be nice, the reality is I would much rather spend that money in the parks, than on a bed…

Usual # in your travel party:
It really varies, but I do love to go with the whole family… The last big family trip had 14 of us.

Pairs of mouse ears in your cottage: 
I have two. My very first that proudly has “Beth Anne” stitched on the back, which I have framed and on my wall, and a pair of sparkly Minnie ears that I tend to wear in the park nowadays!

WDW or Disneyland (or other)?
Although I love Disneyland, and can’t wait to go back – Walt Disney World is home. Some of my best childhood memories center around it, especially the Magic Kingdom.

How do you usually travel to Disney?
So there is a back story here. My father worked in aviation and as his family, we had the awesome privilege of flying for free. It was a great thing and we got to travel to so many fantastic places… But we had one rule as a family. We would only ever drive to Disney World. It’s 10 hours from our house and it was always half the fun of the trip. I remember one Christmas trip my mother made us all our own special car pillows for the trip… We always played games, tormented each other and drove our parents crazy, but it was a blast!

Do you have any tips for trips?
SO many. But here are a few… If you have kids, stop by the Character Warehouse and Character Premiere before you start your trip (in Orlando and St Augustine)… These are outlet stores for the Disney Parks and have the BEST deals on souvenirs. So if you are trying to budget, stop by, pick up some awesome stuff at at least half the cost of in park, and give them to your kids during your trip. As an adult with no kids though, I stop by on our final day and stock up on all my Disney Parks souvenirs...

Another favorite… If you, or someone in your party is active duty military or a veteran – this one is for you! Every day in the Magic Kingdom, one veteran is chosen to lower the flag on Main Street at the end of the day. To do this, all you have to do is be the FIRST person in Town Hall to request it. When I say first, I mean when the rope drops, do not pass go, do not collect $200 – go straight there and say out loud “I have a vet who wants to the lower the flag.” As long as you’re the first to ask, then it goes to you! The ceremony is beautiful, the Dapper Dans sing, there is a little parade your family gets to participate in, and you get a free photo of your family and certificate.

Do you have a favorite place to eat while in Disney?
I have a few favorite spots. I love Tony’s Town Square. I know it’s not the best Italian food you have ever had, but it is good. The real reason I love it, is when you are sitting on the porch, slowly enjoying your meal and people watching on Main Street. When you just stop and enjoy the moment, it’s the best place to be! With that being said – grabbing a Pineapple/Orange Swirl Dolewhip Float and people watching in Adventureland is also pretty darn good. But probably the best food (in my opinion) is Via Napoli. The pizza. Oh my God, the pizza.

What is your absolute DON'T MISS attraction?
I would of course say Haunted Mansion, because it’s my favorite – but really, it’s Carousel of Progress. When my mother was just a girl in 1964, her family went to the New York World’s Fair. As we now know, Disney was using this as a “test run” for an east coast Disneyland… He had four attractions, but the one my mother remembers the most is non-other than Carousel of Progress. So our family loves it… We think it is “ours”. Actually, I have “Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” as my ringtone on my phone right now!

Stage shows, yes or no?
Yes, obviously. Although I miss when Disney Parks used to have a different “musical” every time a new animated feature came out. My favorites to this day are Pocahontas and Hunchback. To me, Beauty and the Beast is getting tired… Let’s bring new shows back on that stage!

Parades, yes or no?
YES! The nighttime parades are my favorite. Although I love Spectro, the Electrical Parade is still my favorite.

Best Fast Pass to get:
Toy Story Mania. Get it fast. You do NOT want to wait in that line. Runner up – Soarin.

Favorite park:
I will always be a Magic Kingdom girl.

One piece of advice you'd give a novice about WDW/DL:
Just remember to enjoy it, especially if you have kids… This is magic. WDW is spectacular, special, full of wonder and perfect. I know you are hot. I know there are lots of lines. I know things are expensive. But stop before you complain. Stop yourself before you mumble under your breath because someone hit you with their stroller. Stop and look at your child’s face – because seriously… This place is sacred, and your time spent there with them is the most magical moments of their lives and yours.

How do you create extra magic for your family?
We have so many things – we always make fun things to bring with us for the kiddos, but probably our biggest family tradition is the “surprise trip”. As kids, I can’t even count the times our parents surprised us with a Disney trip. One Christmas they had a whole scavenger hunt in the house that morning that led to a video tape that said we were leaving for Disney World in the morning. Another time we had a big snow and school was cancelled. So what did my parents do? Piled us in the car for an impromptu Disney trip. My siblings all have children – they have all done the same magical things to their kids – and I can’t wait until I can too!

I started Breakeble Designs in March of 2012. I love to create things, especially for other people… My sister was going through a difficult time and I wanted to do something sweet for her on Valentine’s Day. So I took some old Disney Maps I had lying around and I made her some coasters. A few days later I posted the pics on facebook of her present and had SO many responses of people wanting to me to make them a set! So I created a few more, put them up on Etsy and they sold within hours. From then on it has been a steady stream of orders. I opened to more than just Disney – but still try to focus on my first love. Later I added jewelry to the mix and very soon I will be adding some really awesome magnets! As for the name, I put a plea out on facebook before creating my store for some ideas… My cousin came up with the play on my last name, Breakey. I love it, although I do get the occasional Etsy message letting me know I spelled “Breakable” wrong. LOL

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Disney's Pete's Dragon Brazzle Dazzle Day T-shirt Released!

Another design is available starting today in my RedBubble shop! You are not going to want to miss this!

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I love the Disney classics. My sister and I grew up watching the live action movies as well as the animated ones. And Pete's Dragon was one of our favorites. Case in point, our VCR cassette tape was so warped we had to get a new one. (This happened to us a lot!)

And being the Disney kids we were, we also grew up with the Main Street Electrical Parade. It was magical! Back then, Elliot's head moved and Pete rode on his neck. Some times you still see Pete. This effect was not so magical for my sister, however. When Elliot leaned his head in and blew smoke in my her face, she took off like Lightening McQueen! Thank heaven my dad shot his arm out to catch her in just the nick of time! Can you imagine chasing a kid through the dark during the night time parade? Me either. Oh the stories we have to tell!

So in honor of all our fabulous memories with Elliot the Dragon, may I present the Be Brazzle Dazzle T-shirt design! I absolutely adore it. It's currently available in all adult sizes and of course, all baby and kid sizes. And don't forget that it comes in an array of colors too - the cream is another favorite of mine. As always, stickers and cards are available with this image too.

I hope you enjoy this one as much as I do. Until next time, may all your days be Brazzle Dazzle Days!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

DIY Disney Haunted Mansion and Pirate Candles | Halloween Decor

Today we have another take on some Disney halloween candles. This time, I chose to work with flameless candles. They are a lot safe for the littles and they accept the adhesive vinyl! True confessions: I tried the adhesive vinyl on the real wax candles; it doesn't stick. Big surprise, I know!  To tell the truth, the vinyl had to be encouraged to stay on the flameless candles too, but it did work and stay put once it was on there. I'll have to see if they make it through the year in the Holiday Decor box in the garage for next year's display! I'm not sure they will.

I decided to stick with the Haunted Mansion theme with the larger candle, so I cut out the crystal ball shape with my Silhouette SD. I could have done two, one for the other side, but I decided not to since it wouldn't be seen the way we have our display. And because the smaller candles were so small, none of my other Haunted Mansion ideas were working. I decided instead to go with the pirate hook as a nod to the Pirates of the Caribbean. I really like the one-eyed pirates on the candle to the left! And they look really pretty the way they flicker and glow. I may have to try this for other holidays as well.

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

Thursday, October 3, 2013

DIY Disney's Haunted Mansion Halloween Decor | Madame Leota Candle

As I mentioned last time, we like to use the Haunted Mansion as our inspiration for Halloween decor. And since we leave for Disney in just a couple weeks, it certainly puts us in the mood! I created a candle for my favorite spider candle holder (which it appears, PartyLite no longer makes.) This candle has Madame Leota's incantation printed on it. For those of you who may not be as steeped in Disney tradition as we are in the cottage, Madame Leota is the talking head in the crystal ball in the seance room of the Haunted Mansion, just before the ballroom in the attraction. What you may not also realize, is that Madame Leota was modeled after a long-time Disney Imagineer, Leota Toombs Thomas. You can read a little more about her over at Magical School House, in a wonderful interview with her sister-in-law.

Making this candle was easier that I expected. In fact, this decorative candle tutorial from Heidi Swapp was incredibly easy to follow! I love the endless possibilities it offers! So first, here's the tutorial:

Secondly, here's the print for my candle. You can download my Madame Leota's Candle jpg for free if you'd like to use it. It's made for a 4.5" tall candle with a 9" diameter. This is what it looks like flat:

I could go a little crazy with this! So many great things could be done. I love the idea of three different sized candles, each with a hitchhiking ghost! I'll let you know if I try any more. And please let us know if you try this too! We'd love to see what you come up with. Remember to tag us on Instagram, or leave us a comment below. Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

DIY Disney's Haunted Mansion Halloween Decor | Hitchhiking Ghost Windows

 When it comes to Halloween, I like the tamer side of things. I think that's why I gravitate to Disney's Haunted Mansion. It's spooky and fun without traveling into horror in any way. That's my idea of Halloween. And so we tend to be the Haunted Mansion house in our neighborhood, in that we play a CD of the area music, have a fog machine, carve our pumpkins to resemble the hitchhiking ghosts, and now, we will have the same hitchhikers in our windows!

I created these Haunted Mansion Hitchhiking Ghosts PNG files using photoshop. If you would like to purchase them for your own uses (scrapbooking or otherwise) you can find them in my Etsy shop. For this project, I simply imported the shapes to my Silhouette Studio software. I traced them using the trace tool and cut them out of adhesive vinyl. Remember when you are cutting out anything with words, think about reversing the image before you cut it. It depends on whether you want them to be legible to those in the house, or those on the street.

Once they are cut use the transfer paper to adhere them to the windows. I did not and wound up tearing off the middle hitchhiker's arm at the elbow. I just pieced it together again, but it was disconcerting! Now you're done! You have recreated the ghosts in the graveyard scene from the Haunted Mansion attraction! For a sharp silhouette, pull the blinds or the sheer curtains and turn on all the lights in the room so the light shines through, but the rest of the room is obscured from view. I can't wait to see how many trick-or-treaters (or their parents) recognize our grim grinning ghosts!

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