A Perfect Little Fairy Costume DIY

A Perfect Little Fairy Costume DIY

October 31, 2015

    A  little fairy was outside our home this morning!  She was ready to go to school for the annual Halloween party.  You can tell by the look on her face that she was happy with her costume!  This costume was her vision and her Grammy was more than willing to make it happen.  

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   We started with the wings.  They were the only ones we could find with a lovely lavender color, her favorite color.  A trip to the fabric store, with the wings, helped us find the perfect lavender satin and the aqua colored tulle.  She picked out the tulle in a heartbeat, and though I suggested we look through the other colors, she was right, this one was the best.  Sophia has an eye for color!


    The first thing I made, at her request, was the headpiece.  She told me she wanted flowers all around and ribbons hanging down the back, and that is what we created.  Using a floral wire,  a circle that fits Sophia’s head comfortably was made.  Then using floral tape,  I wrapped cut portions of the floral stem with flowers and leaves around the entire circle.  A pale lavender ribbon was woven in and out of the flowers.  A purple ribbon bow was made for the back and streams of ribbon were left long,  just like she wanted.


  Using this Simplicity dress pattern, I made the dress from the lavender satin but added two layers of the tulle to it.  I shortened the dress pattern, not wanting it as long as this for a fairy.  The dress pattern has an overskirt to it,  which the instructions said to gather with the skirt and sew to the bodice.  I did not like the way that looked, so I disassembled, gathered the tulle, and pinned it over the top of the gathered skirt.  I left the tulle longer.  It just looked more fairy-like.


   She wanted a vest and chose the warm tan colored suede fabric.   Usually working from patterns, this was a little more perplexing because I had to make my own pattern.  Sophia wasn’t with me that much through this process, so it was a little more difficult.


   To begin with, I decided to use some brown felt, which was leftover from a different project.  Using her dress bodice pattern and a vest pattern that was too loose, I came up with a facsimile of a vest.  Sophie came over and I pinned the vest to fit her body.  A few darts in the waist helped take up some of the slack.  Using chalk, I made adjustments on the felt.

   She explained to me that she wanted a peplum with points in the front, the back, and the sides.  This is what I came up with in the end.  With a basting stitch, I stitched it together and tried it on her again.  A few minor adjustments and then I pulled the basting stitches out and used the felt patterns to cut the suede cloth.

   This actually worked really well.  If I have to do it again, I will use this method.

    Silver ballet flats were found at the shoe store finally!  They were just a smidge too big, but a pair of shoe inserts did the trick.  Silver was not going to be a great transition with the purple satin ribbons we were tied on her legs, so we glittered them!  We used fine purple glitter, which I found at the fabric store.  To begin with, I sprayed aerosol glue on them and then sprinkled the glitter over them.  


   That process didn’t cover as well as I wanted so Mod Podge to the rescue again.  In retrospect, I think I would have just used the Mod Podge in the beginning.  The shoes were stuffed with tissue and tape was attached to the sole, to keep the glue and glitter off of those areas.  Let me tell you that glitter is a messy thing, but look how adorable those shoes are!

  Leftover flowers from the headpiece were sewn to the purple satin ribbons.  They were wrapped under her feet and crisscrossed up her legs.  


   This is a relatively easy DIY for making a little fairy costume and putting a smile on a little girl’s face.



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The Kentucky Autumn Landscape

October 29, 2015

    The autumn landscape here in Kentucky has taken on the vivid golds, oranges, reds, and browns of the season.   The remnants of all the beautiful flowering plants of spring and summer in my gardens spark lovely memories, and unfortunately, they are just memories.  After the morning shower, amidst the dying foliage of those plants, the blossom of the red rose above beckoned to this lone honeybee.


    Some of the nasturtiums escaped the hard frost a few nights ago, but most have succumbed to the frostbite.  A couple of weeks ago, I was gazing out at the nasturtiums and enjoying their bright little faces.  Contemplating next spring, I decided there need to be more of these little flowers in my gardens.  They are so pretty!


    The red maple is beginning to show it’s lovely red color.  The green of the woods behind the house will soon be a blanket of yellow and gold colored trees, so the red of this maple will be a welcome contrast if there are any left after the rain.  The leaves on the crabapple are completely gone and the birds are enjoying the little crabapples.


   We had a flock of birds that visited the backyard early the other day.  It wasn’t a flock of one particular kind of bird, though.  There were so many kinds, cardinals, some gray birds with tufts on their heads.   Maybe they were the tufted titmouse birds.  There were some dark-eyed juncos, and I even saw a blue jay.  Some enjoyed the bird bath.  Most were eating from the crabapple, but a few were dining on the sunflower seeds in the cup and saucer feeder, which I made earlier this summer.  A few juncos were eating the seeds that had fallen to the ground around the feeder.  The wind came up and they disappeared almost as quickly as they came, but I did manage to capture this little junco.


    The river birch in the front yard is dropping yellow leaves en masse!  Well, it is a really big tree!  The water fountain seems to catch a lot of the leaves and the yellow birch leaves are scattered around it like confetti. 

    After the rain, rain, and more rain, the sun broke through and this beautiful rainbow appeared in the sky.   What a glorious end to the rainy weather and a beautiful sky to crown the autumn landscape!

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Best Fish Batter Recipe

October 25, 2015


  The best fish batter recipe, ‘Duane’s Northwood Fish Fry Recipe’,  was given to me by my mother-in-law, who lives in Wisconsin.  Of course, living in Wisconsin, they would have great fish recipes!   Dave’s love of fishing is shared by his entire side of the family.  As a very young boy, he would fish for hours with his parents, his brothers and especially his grandmother.  He still fishes for hours by himself, with his buddies, and with our boys.  The boys have the bug, too, but not as seriously as their dad.


   I do not share this bug, although I have gone with him just to take pictures of the lake, the man, and the scenery.  Dave and I are opposites in so many ways, but our core beliefs and values are the same.  He has the freedom, (most of the time), to go on his many fishing and hunting trips and he allows me the same freedom to do my many creative projects. Obviously, it works!  We have been married for thirty-nine years!


   When we first got married, Dave would clean the fish, but not necessarily fillet them.  I explained to him that I did not want the bones!  So he graciously began filleting all the fish he caught.  I can’t imagine how many fish this man has filleted in his lifetime!  I can always tell when his buddies help fillet the fish, there are always little bones left.  By filleting them, cutting off any dark belly meat, and washing them in clear water for several minutes, there is not a fishy taste in the final product.  He actually puts them in a bowl, runs water over them, and squeezes them with his hand, agitating them, kind of like a washer.

    Dave has his own recipe for fish breading, which I shared in an earlier post when he had caught some Walleyes, but Duane’s Northwood Fish Fry Recipe is my personal favorite batter recipe.  It has a bit of a lemony pepper flavor that is quite pleasing.

 Duane’s Northwood Fish Fry Recipe is very simple and you probably have the ingredients in your pantry right now.

Duane’s Northwood Fish Fry

                                      1 cup flour                                            

                                         1 tsp. salt                                              

                     1 Tblsp. lemon pepper                        

1 tsp. pepper

 2 Tblsp. lemon juice

1 egg, slightly beaten


   Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl.  Add lemon juice and the egg.  Add just enough water and stir until you have the consistency of a pancake batter.


   Dip the fillets in the batter or put the fillets in the batter in the bowl,  (This is my preference.) and completely cover with batter.  Remove the fillets with tongs and fry in a hot skillet with oil.  * I use safflower oil and just a little olive oil.  Fry until golden brown and cooked through.  A regular sized panfish fillet won’t take very long!


*  We had run out of vegetable oil the other day and to save a trip to the store, we fried some fish and used canola oil.  That oil did not fry the fish very well at all.  Dave had complained about canola oil before, but I wasn’t convinced.  Okay, the oil did not brown the fish very well at all.  The flavor was not very good either.   No, we won’t be using it again.


   Try this recipe from the Northwoods and see if you don’t agree it’s the best fish batter recipe!

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Halloween Costumes for Girls – Inspirations

Halloween Costumes for Girls – Inspirations

October 22, 2015

 Audrey Hepburn Costume

   Of all the Halloween costumes for girls, which I have made over the years, this Audrey Hepburn outfit for Sophia is my favorite. Her outfit was complete with the tiara, which I bought at Hobby Lobby, in the wedding section, when it was half price! The pearls were from my jewelry box.  We bought the gloves, took them in to fit her little hands, and then cut off the excess.  I made the dress from a Simplicity pattern #2265, out of satin, and added two layers of gathered tulle over the skirt.  The gathered tulle was pinned to the top of the gathered skirt just before sewing them both to the bodice.  We also purchased a little black fur jacket, in case it was chilly.


   This Wonder Woman outfit was made using Butterick pattern B5545 and adding self-made appliques.  A couple of coats of red Valspar spray paint for plastic were applied to the black boots.  I looked for a Wonder Woman applique in all of the local stores and there was none.  So I pulled out some Pellon interfacing, some fusible transfer web, and the gold-lamé.  

   Using the computer, I found a picture of the logo here.►Wonder Woman Logo.

I copied the logo and put it on my ‘Print Artist’ program, resized it,  then printed the logo onto regular copy paper and traced it onto the transfer web backing.    The web backing is paper. ( The iron is applied to the paper side only! )   The transfer web was then ironed onto the back of the gold-lamé.  Using the sewing machine and black thread, I stitched around the edges of the design, transferring it onto the fabric.  


   Then the paper was removed from the transfer webbing and the transfer web side was placed face down on the interfacing and ironed, adhering it to the gold-lamé.  Flip the fabric side up and then it was just a matter of *zig-zag stitching over the stitches of the design.  Some areas needed a wider stitch and some a thinner stitch.  Just adjust when needed.  I went over the pattern a second time to get the effect I wanted. 

* I actually used the left side of my buttonhole stitch on my Singer sewing machine, because it gave me the effect I wanted.


   The original pattern didn’t have a waistband as wide as this one in the picture.  I just measured her waist and cut the fabric longer to allow for overlap and seams, lined it with interfacing and sewed it to the skirt.  Notice there is a little loop on the right side at the bottom of the waistband.  That was added between the band and the skirt before sewing.  It holds the rope.


   The stars were drawn on fusible interfacing, which was ironed onto white fabric (red for the headband) then cut out and hand sewn to the tulle skirt.

    This year, Sophia decided she wanted to be a fairy!  After school, she came by to try on her dress and see what adjustments were needed.  She seems to be happy with it thus far.  I like the way her leg looks on the left, where the arrow is pointing.  That is where the hem will be.  The shoes I bought were too big.  The size was marked wrong.  That means another trip to the store,  but I love the way the ribbon looks wrapped on her leg!  I have some little flowers left over from the headpiece, which are going to be sewn to the ribbon.  The ribbon kept falling down, so Alex suggested double sided tape at the top.  She said she had done this before and it worked perfectly!

 Patterns Used For These Halloween Costumes

    These are the patterns used to make the costumes.  You don’t necessarily have to use a ‘costume’ pattern to achieve the finished product.  


   That’s where we are now!  I love making Halloween costumes for little girls!  Hope this post inspires you, too!

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A Haunting Halloween Tablescape

October 19, 2015

    The Halloween tablescape this year features a bevy of these little skeletons.  It is so funny to remember that as I strolled through the dollar store and first noticed these, I wondered what anyone would do with those little skeletons strung on a line of jute.  Just four on a string wouldn’t make much of an impact.  I passed by them.


   Looking for some items in the craft aisle, my mind went back to those little skeletons, and an idea began to take shape.  Those skeletons were displayed on a card, four tied on a string for a dollar.  I envisioned a bunch of them scattered around my tablescape and it made me laugh!  Just a little bit strange, creepy and offbeat maybe, but it would be interesting, too, right?   Aidan would love it!   The result would not be ‘in your face’, but subtle, inviting closer inspection.   I like that.


   The table was covered with a white tablecloth and then a lacy black spider web tablecloth with a bat border was layered on top.  The foundation for the tablescape is a mixture of crystal and silver items.  I like the classy, sophisticated look of the crystal and silver in contrast to the silly little skeletons.


   Little pops of rusty orange are added with the candles, a pumpkin, and a gourd resting on a small leaf tray.  The little wooden tray has been passed down in my family on my father’s side for many years.  It was brought over from Germany.  The brown of the tray is also mimicked in the decorative metal lantern.

   Some Spanish moss stuffed in a clear vase is the nest for black spiders and the foundation for some spider webs.   I think more spiders are needed.  It is especially creepy when a mass of bugs or spiders is boiling out of something!

   When we removed the soil for the fish pond, some kind of creepy millipede had a nest there.  Those nasty things came boiling out of the ground!  It was probably one of the most disgusting things I have ever seen!  They went up the side of the house, onto the white deck rails, and everywhere.  I remember smashing hundreds of them with my trowel.  You can now understand my thought process with the spiders.

    The key to using the fake webbing is pulling it out to be very thin.  The webbing can be pulled and pulled until it is very thin and a small bag will cover a lot of area.  I have seen so many displays where people have left big blobs of the spider web and that does not look natural in any way.  Of course,  the skeletons look completely natural!  Right?

    Black candles were added to the crystal candle holders,  and the pumpkins I painted last year for the Thanksgiving tablescape were included in the vignette.  I like the contrast of the light colored pumpkin on the dark tablecloth.  If you’re interested in painting yours, click here ►  DIY instructions for painting your pumpkins.

A Haunting Halloween Tablescape on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   You never know what you are going to find in the dollar stores, but sometimes it is the inspiration for a completely different, and maybe just a little creepy, Halloween tablescape.

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