Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Hand-knit Nightmare Before Christmas Themed Sally Scarf

If you've been following this blog then you know I do a lot of sock knitting. A lot. This means that I have a lot of leftover sock yarn. It's not enough that I could make another pair of socks, but it's enough that I feel bad trowing it out.

When I ran across this pattern for a sock yarn scrap scarf, I knew I was going to knit it. And I was inspired by Sally, from The Nightmare Before Christmas to just go ahead and mash up those patterns. I decided not to care if it was coordinated. I just knit until in needed to switch out colors.

I love it when a plan like that comes together! It was simple, mindless knitting that took no time at all to whip up. And it's so warm! I love it. And if last winter is an sort of predictor, I'll have lots of chances to wear it!

As usual, all the details for the scarf, including the pattern are on my Ravelry page. Feel free to browse around. And until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

DIY Hair Rescue Spray for Disney's Small World Dolls

Let me start by saying, If you are a collector of these It's A Small World Dolls, I am sorry. You should look away now. We intended for our doll to be played with and that most certainly happens on a regular basis. Meena is one of our favorite toys (even if she doesn't know when to stop singing).

Having said that, you should also know that I am new at this whole mothering a daughter thing. I have lots of practice raising boys; I'm used to the odd lego mishap or the small cars in strange places routine. But I had no idea this doll ordeal could include this sort of bird's nest hair! I mean really, what causes that?? I don't actually want to know. It's just simply terrifying.

This little DIY may be old hat to those of you who've been dealing with "girl stuff" for a while now. I, however, thought this was the most brilliant save for a matted mess of Disney Doll hair! Pinterest to the rescue again!

This was easy. Combine 2 -3 Tbsp. of fabric softener to a small spray bottle of water. Swish to combine and apply liberally to the hair of your doll. After that it's divide and conquer. Take a comb and gently work the solution through the doll hair. It worked like a dream. I'm glad to know this now. I can only imagine the number of Disney dolls we are going to have around here! Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Disney's Frozen DIY Sundress

This Olaf-themed Pinwheel Sundress is just the thing our Minnie needs for our fall trip to Walt Disney World!Honestly, there are just so many things about this sundress that make me happy!

First, the fabric is so much fun. It's all Olaf and summer postcards and bringing back summer! It is currently being sold at JoAnn's, both in the store and online (at least at the time of this writing). It's a cotton poly blend, but it works because it's so kitschy! It was a bit slippery to sew, but using some spray starch to keep the folds in place made a huge difference!

If you missed the post of Little Chef's Hawaiian shirt made from the same fabric, be sure to catch it. The style of this dress is the perfect thing for a hot Disney theme park day. And it will definitely be worn (along with Little Chef's shirt) the day we meet Anna and Elsa! I can't wait!

The second thing about this dress that makes me happy, is that it's an Oliver + S pattern and I have been dying to try one for the longest time! I think they are so adorable, classic yet modern, but they seem really intimidating. I think that's because they are so classic (which usually means tailoring). But let me assure you this Pinwheel Dress was NOT HARD to make. The pattern only called for one technique I had never tried and the entire thing was explained step by step in the directions. It was super easy to follow and so fun to make!

Lastly, I love the fact that Minnie can be rough and tumble in this dress. It doesn't hinder her play at all but still looks adorable. It can play with Pooh and still be royal enough to meet a queen. It's perfect. I'd love to know what toddler patterns you are sewing right now.

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

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

From Belle's Library | The Pixar Touch

Growing up Disney has had it's advantages for sure. I had the opportunity to watch the Disney company (& family of companies) grow. To that end however, it feels like I have an idea of how things went down, but no real information. For instance, I remember the coup that put Micheal Eisner on the board at Disney and then the campaign to remove him, but the details are fuzzy at best.

If you have any interest in the story of Pixar, how it cam to be, how Steve Jobs came to own it, and how it eventually came to a happy partnership with Disney, I would highly recommend reading The Pixar Touch, by David A. Price. It's a thorough history of the startup from the very beginnings in a garage through the production and release of Ratatouille.

It was a great way to learn about John Lassiter and his rocky start with Disney, his passion for story telling and his commitment to the best of what computer animation had to offer. It was also interesting to read the perspective on Steve Jobs and how his investment in the company was the only thing that got them through some very lean years. And of course I loved hearing about the creative process that brought about Toy Story, Bugs Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars and Ratatouille. Lastly, I really loved reading about the political intrigue with Michael Eisner (for whom I still have a bad taste in my mouth), Roy Disney and the board of the Disney company.

This is definitely a book for the Disney-phile. I enjoyed reading about this wing of Disney history. Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

I'm Gone To Disney!

I'm touring the World and gathering ideas for my next blog post! Enjoy the weekend. I'll be back on Tuesday with another Disney book review for you! Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

New Fantasyland Brigade Products now Available on Redbubble

I am so excited to announce the release of this new Fantasyland Brigade RedBubble design! This design comes in adult and kid size t-shirts as well as throw pillows, tote bags, iPod & iPad cases and phone cases!! The tote bag would be perfect for all the necessary "ish" I wind up carrying to the parks.

Not only do I absolutely adore the design of this shirt, but it's a Tinkerbell Treasure for a surprise girls trip that is happening TODAY! Flora and I are taking some of our favorite girls to Walt Disney World this weekend to celebrate our birthdays! So if you happen to see us in these amazing t-shirts, make sure you stop us and say hello! We will be tearing it up in Fantasyland, among other things! Oh, and you can stalk my IG feed to live vicariously through us if you can't get away just now. And be sure you hop on over to RedBubble and check out all my other Disney related designs.

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

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Scrapbooking Disney | Project Mouse Frontier Bundle

So these layouts are NOT of Walt Disney World, I realize, but I did use an amazing new kit from Project Mouse and I wanted to share with you all how versatile it is!

We live in the Indianapolis area, and one of our favorite local treasure is the Eiteljorg Museum. If you ever have the opportunity to visit, I highly recommend it. They are very family friendly, as you can see, but they also have amazing displays of all things Native American and specifically items and artwork from the Southwest. We are lucky to have such a unique place in the midwest!

That said, it was hard for me to find scrapbooking elements that were not cartoony for the scrapbook. I was so excited when Britt-ish Designs and Sahlin Studios released this kit! I knew we would use it for our Walt Disney World pages - Doc is quite the sharpshooter at the Shootin' Arcade! But I also knew it would be well used for our Eiteljorg layouts as well.

You can get all the information on the new Project Mouse Frontier Bundle here. As my regular readers will know, I am a huge fan of Project Mouse!

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

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Kungaloosh! DIY Vintage Disney Cocktail Recipe

I remember when Pleasure Island and Downtown Disney opened in the late 80s. I was so excited to finally be old enough to drink and experience this other side of Disney.

For the most part, being the introverted and shy person I am, I was disappointed. It just was never going to be my scene. Except for one place: The Adventurer's Club. That, my friends, was Disney for adults. A bar with a crazy fun theme, awesome walk-around actors, and a drinking song!

Here's a bit from Wikipedia for those of you who never had the opportunity to be there:

It was styled after a private club for world travelers and explorers and was set in 1937. The walls of the club were covered with artifacts and photographs from various explorations. The Adventurers Club featured animatronics, puppets, and a cast of adventurers who performed in shows and improvisational comedy while mingling with the club's patrons. Shows and conversation were often laced with innuendo, and the patrons might have been welcomed as guests, given fictitious names and "recognized" as fellow adventurers, or simply referred to as "drunks".

There was also a house drink, the Kungaloosh, that was all part of membership ceremony schtick. Every night, new members were inducted into the Adventurers Club by way of singing the song, saying the pledge and toasting with this drink shouting, "Kungaloosh!" If you ask for it today at Walt Disney World, you will get a completely different drink. But thanks to Deb at AllEars.net, I have the vintage recipe here for you!

Old Kungaloosh Recipe -- Circa 1997

1 1/4 ounce vodka
1 1/4 ounce Malibu Rum
3/4 ounce Midori (melon liqueur)
2 tablespoons pineapple juice
1 splash cranberry juice

Mix well.

Enjoy this one and remember to toast with "kungaloosh!" Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

It's A Small World Kid's Room | Easy DIY Throw Pillow

Our Small World Room is absolutely one of my favorite places in the cottage. I fully intend to make it mine one day! But for now, it belongs to the littlest people in the cottage and they love playing in there too. But apparently the chair needed a pillow, because the littles kept bringing throw pillows from all over the house and putting them in their chair! Seemed to me like the perfect time for a little It's A Small World project!

This throw pillow project was very simple and easy. I know I say that a lot, but it went together exactly as I had imagined it would. That's perfect! Those of you in the straight line sewing club could easily accomplish this during nap time! We had a very beat-up old throw pillow in need of repurposing, so I took the old cover off and threw it away. I washed the insert to start fresh and then measured it to get the correct dimensions for the front of the pillow cover. I added 1/2" to all sides for seam allowances.

Note: If you want a tighter fitting cover, don't add length for seam allowances. My cover is much looser than I expected it to be, but the pillow insert comes out easily, and for me, that was a must.

For the back of the pillow cover I wanted two overlapping flaps, so I could get the cover off to wash it as necessary. We do DAILY loads of laundry here in the cottage! So I cut two pieces for the back of the pillow making sure they overlapped at least 3 inches, including seam allowances.

I finished the edges of the overlapping sides by folding the edge over 1/4", pressing it, folding over another 1/4", pressing again, and sewing the edge down with a straight stitch. After the overlapping edges were finished, I pinned all three pieces together, right sides facing and sewed them all around the outsides. I trimmed the corners, turned the cover right side out and put in the insert! It was really that simple.

If you are curious about the fabric, I found it through Etsy. It's called Smiles Of The World by Alexander Henry (2006). I'm fairly certain it's out of print, but you could still find it through Etsy as of the writing of this post. It is a perfect fit for our It's A Small World decor even though it's not officially Disney fabric! I used approximately 1/2 a yard for this project.

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

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sitting With Grandmother Willow | April of A Whole Lotta Hoopla

As part of our on-going series, Sitting with Grandmother Willow, I am happy to introduce April of A Whole Lotta Hoopla, a lovely Etsy shop. This series of blog posts highlights artists and bloggers of all stripes with one thing in common: a passion for Disney! 

April has a series of unique Disney inspired wooden signs and graphic designs. And most of them are customizable! I hope you will enjoy getting to know April as much as I have. A big thanks to her for taking the time to interview with us! And be sure to visit her shop for a great selection of Disney themed signage!

Disney By The Numbers (with apologies to Harper's)

Date of first trip: Oh my...hmm, I would have to say...when I was 10? I think so. My parents adopted me when I was 10 and since we lived in San Diego, we hit all the amusement parks/zoos/activities we could think of that first 6 months or so!!

Date of next trip: Not soon enough!! LOL Seriously, I get asked that question multiple times a week by one of our 3 boys. We do have passes, so it will be soon!

# of Resorts stayed in: Hmmm...well, I've stayed at the Disneyland Hotel before for one night eons ago. My family and I have been blessed with the opportunity of staying for a week at the Grand Californian at California Adventure...which we promptly fell in love with and think of as our home away from home!!

Usual # in your travel party: 5....although my hubby and I did get to go all.by.ourselves for our anniversary last year!

Pairs of mouse ears in your cottage: Hmm, 4 I think?

WDW or Disneyland (or other)? Disneyland, definitely, though we normally hit both DL and California Adventure when we go. I have been to WDW once, eons and eons ago...like waaaaay back in ''93?, lol, but it was just for the day, and not even all day, and I don't remember most of it. However, I've been going to Disneyland since I was 10, and even though we've been sooo many times, there's still new things to see and do every time!

How do you usually travel to Disney? Walk. (no, not really, though my boys ask if we can move closer so we could do that!! That'd be fun, don'tcha think?) We drive there as it's about an hour away from where we live. Although, since we live in Southern California...I should say it's an hour DOT (depending on traffic)

Do you have any tips for trips? Definitely bring water bottles as Disney filters their water so it's good stuff (I'm picky about my water) and you can refill all day for free which is handy when you're walking all over getting thirsty!! Also, grab an app for your phone like MouseWait so you can see how long the lines are ahead of time or how crowded the parks are before you get there so you can plan out what rides you want to hit. Plus, having an app like that is helpful to know what rides/attractions are closed for repair, whether it's closed for the season or even if it just broke down. Many times we've gone and planned to go on a certain ride and checked MW only to see it just broke down. We keep checking it and head over when it shows it's back up and running again. Also, for busy days...if you have passes, check out parts of the park that aren't ride heavy and just slow down and enJOY your time there!! We did that one day last year when the park was pretty packed. We spent most of the day in just one 'land', taking it easy and enjoying the things we miss when we're in a hurry to 'get to the next thing'. However, if you're only there for the day, again, try to plan your rides/attractions ahead of time, based on what you REALLY wanna do that day, take advantage of FastPass when you can and then just relax and have fun!! If you don't get to see every thing (and you won't) or get to go on every ride (again, prioritize which ones you don't wanna miss!) you're still going to have a better day than being home or at work and just enJOY Disney!! So just go with the flow...which, on really busy days is all you can do! Be sure to stop by City Hall and get a pin whether it's your first time, or if you're celebrating something special, or just because! Take lots of pics, and don't forget to BE in some of them, not just behind the camera!!

Do you have a favorite place to eat while in Disney? Rancho Del Zocalo in Frontierland in Disneyland! First...it's Mexican food (my fav!) 2, the portions are LARGE and oooooh so good! And if you get sodas, there's FREE REFILLS!! Did I mention it's really good????

What is your absolute DON'T MISS attraction? Pirates of the Caribbean! Star Tours! California Screamin'! Innoventions (seriously, it's such a great place to go to 'relax', get out of the heat/rain/cold and there's cool things to look at! Right now it's Iron Man but they're bringing in more Marvel guys, plus the 'house of tomorrow' is so much fun. There's even story time in the 'kids' bedroom that's themed like Peter Pan, complete with a bed shaped like a ship!

Stage shows, yes or no? Yes, though it's been awhile since I've seen one! Normally, our trips are based on what our boy's wanna do, which is rides, rides, rides! And food. Gotta have food.

Parades, yes or no? Definitely! They're so much fun, very lively and you'll get the songs stuck in your head! =P

Best Fast Pass to get: Radiator Springs Racers right now, because it's still new enough that the lines are crazy long, like 1.5-2 hrs!

Favorite park: Disneyland. It's the original!! California Adventure is awesome and we love it so much, and all the parks at WDW are awesome and we can't wait to go over and play there for a week or two, but Disneyland is still my favorite. To walk where Walt walked, to see the park through his eyes (and yes, obviously it's changed a lot!) it's just so magical!!

One piece of advice you'd give a novice about WDW/DL: Take the time to notice the details! Everywhere you look, attention has been given to all kinds of little things here and there. Accept that you won't be able to fit it all in one day (or even one week) and just choose to soak it in as much as you can and just enJOY!

How do you create extra magic for your family: We collect pins, so we get a new one for everybody once in awhile. We also bought gift cards for our older boys (11 and 14) which are reloadable at the parks, so they earn money at home and then have some to spend at the Parks, which they really like.

How can we connect with you? We have a website, and a blog we're just getting going. We're also on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and have our shop on Etsy.

www.AWholeLottaHoopla.com - Website
www.AWholeLottaHoopla.com/ChoosingJoy - Blog
www.facebook.com/AWholeLottaHoopla - Facebook page
www.etsy.com/shop/AWholeLottaHoopla - Etsy shop

Saturday, September 6, 2014

DIY Easy Disney Sundress

This dress was so simple I feel guilty saying I made it! But I did, and even if you are in the straight line sewing program, you could do this too.

The secret is that it's almost already done for you. JoAnn's has several of these fabrics with licensed characters on them, perfect for your Disney obsessed little girl! Since we refer to our daughter her on the blog as Minnie, I immediately fell in love with this print for her. I also love the everything-old-is-new-again styling of the new Mickey Mouse shorts airing on Disney. This Minnie print is from those same cartoons. Perfect!

I also love that this will be a cool (as in temperatures) dress for our Minnie to wear in the Florida heat of Walt Disney World. Even October can get oppressive there. So this was a win in that department as well!

As for the how to, all you need is to measure around the chest of the little (or big) person who will be wearing it. This fabric is sold by the inch, so you really want to have a good idea of how much you need. I tend to over buy fabrics sold by the yard, but this isn't the sort of fabric you can use up in another project very easily. Since it is stretchy, you want to by the same inches of fabric as was measured around the chest. Once you sew a straight line seam (I used a 5/8" seam) it's a perfect fit around the body!

To make things even simpler, I used bias tape for the straps. I simply used another dress that Minnie is currently wearing to measure the length of the straps. This was there was no wiggly little girl to try and measure! I sewed down each strap on one side to close it (as bias tape is folded on itself), tacked them in and the whole thing was done in a flash! Seriously, this was so satisfying! Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

DIY Disney's Frozen Inspired Hand Knit Socks

These are the Official Ice Master And Deliverer socks! No refunds, not exchanges! Perfect when you want to stay in an cuddle.

I have been wanting to make a pair of men's socks for a while now, and had been playing with the idea of themeing them to Kristoff from Frozen. And when I walked into a local yarn shop in Maryland and saw this lovely sparkly grey yarn, I knew I had found exactly what I needed. Now, not too many men will wear the sparkly yarn (which doesn't show up so well in the photos, but is really pretty in person), but this pattern would be fantastic in a muted grey as well. You know, for that less flashy Ice Master.

I made this pattern up, but if you have experience knitting socks and wanted to make your own pair, I have all the details on my Ravelry page. Just use a basic sock pattern as a reference. And if you do knit up a pair be prepared to be amazed at just how quickly they will come together. I did the pair of these in a week flat. That's lightening speed for me! I could easily see making these as gifts for that reason alone.

I don't know about you, but I'm certainly getting the itch to get back into fall sweaters and warm socks. Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

From Mrs. Potts' Cupboard | Jane's Cuppa

We have been on a crazy Tarzan kick around here these days. The two littles are constantly requesting it and the soundtrack seems to always be playing. So with being immersed in all things Tarzan, I decided Jane needed her own tea. Even though she's not technically recognized as one of the Disney Princesses, I think she qualifies as being the queen of the jungle, so to speak.

I know that at first glance this tea seems a little unconventional. In truth, it is; just like Jane! Trust me when I say you need to try it before you decide about the flavor. I was not at all sure this was going to work, but it seemed like the perfect combinations of ingredients for Jane. The Golden Monkey Tea was an obvious choice, and the coconut flavor inspired by the jungle. But there there are the typically British flavor of lavender, as well as the spices that would have been streaming in from all sorts of British colonies at the time. It doesn't seem like it should come together well, but I was very pleasantly surprised by this one! I have to say I like it.

I'd love to know if you give this one a try. And until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!