Hey there! I am beyond blessed to be the wife of Mark Andrew and the stay-at-home-mommy of Quinn and Morgan! I love to decorate, create things, and generally make life more beautiful! Come join me, and let's see what we can make today!

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Faux Fireplace

Bustle Dress


DIY Tutu

Boys Room Makeover

Glazed Cabinets

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(Less) Creepy Owls

Since my son was 18 months old, he has had an obsession with owls.  Really? Owls?  Yes, owls.  Fortunately for me, owls are in vogue and have not been too difficult to find. He has owl stuffed animals.  Owl books.  Owl clothes. Owl figurines.  Owl patches for his backpack.  Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.  I have even been known to jump on the owl bandwagon and wear some owl jewelry and the occasional owl T-shirt!


Anyhow, when I saw these creepy little owls at GoodWill on Saturday, I felt I could not pass them up.  They were only $1!  (Right now, if you're thinking, "I want creepy owls for only $1! Wish I could find some..." Well, then, you're in luck!  Jenn over at Peas and Crayons just found owls at the dollar spot at Target!  Check out her post here!)


I figured I could spray paint them and make them a little less creepy! While the spray paint DID make them less creepy, they still looked weird.  I have been reading A LOT about glazing, and I thought that would help my little owls out.  The problem was, I didn't have any glaze.  My understanding is that glaze is basically a very thin paint, so I just squirted a little bit of black acrylic paint into a custard dish, added a touch of water, stirred it up, and voila!  Instant glaze!  

Here is a pic with one owl "glazed" and one just spray painted.  

I think the "glazed" looks better.  My husband says they both still look creepy!  I ended up glazing the second owl, and now I am having fun deciding where to put them!

Living room near entry way

Another table in the living room

 Pie safe in the dining room

They're a little less creepy, right? What do you think?



Vintage Easter tag

While I enjoying crafting and creating very much, it can get expensive.  That's why, when I heard about this week's challenge over at The CSI Project, I was all over it!  

The challenge was to create a craft, spending $5 or less.  I decided to strictly adhere to the $5 budget 1) because that's rule! and 2) I hate it when someone says they did a craft for very little money, and then you find out they actually spent loads of money, maybe just not all at the same time.  For example, I was recently reading a blog where they described that their project only cost a couple of dollars, but come to find out, they had previously purchased their main piece (ie: wood end table), and they had loads of accessories from previous purchases (ie: fancy fabrics and vintage embellishments). The couple dollars that they spent was just to add some more touches, not actually create something.  While I am all about using what you have--and I have LOADS of stuff that I transform--I really wanted to show my readers what I created with less than $5.  What I did concede was acceptable to use and not place a dollar amount on if I already had it on hand, since most crafters do accumulate a lot of leftovers, was this: 

glue and glue gun


my tools (ie: scissors, sewing machine, etc.)

fabric scraps (and they must really be scraps!)


Okay.  Just re-read what I wrote, and I sound a little grouchy!  Is it just me?  Don't you get frustrated though, when you see a great craft promoted as very cheap to do, then you find out the person actually started with an awesome antique that they just "haven't known what to do with until now"?  Okay.  Grouchy pants will move on…

I started with a poster from the Dollar Store.  It was a $1.  Go figure!  I didn't actually want the awesome poster, just the cardboard.  (For something a little more sturdy, you could use a display board from Hobby Lobby.  They are typically $3-$4, but you can generally find them on sale for 50% off.)  Next I picked up a couple of sheets of scrap book paper at Hobby Lobby.  Both were half off $.29 and $.59, so $.55.  I already had some cream sheets of card stock that I wanted to use, so that was free!  I also had a scrap of ribbon (19" to be exact) that I thought would work, so that was also free.  I had some buttons in my "treasure" box, which were free to me, but if you don't already have some buttons, these would have been less than $1 to buy.  So as not to make a hypocrite of myself (what is my crabby problem today--I should have eaten breakfast maybe…), I will add a dollar to my current total, which is $1.55, so the grand total is $2.55.   

Here is what I started with:

I gave the poster to my 4 year old, and then I cut a tag-type shape out of the poster board.


I then used a sheet of my cream card stock to print this free vintage Easter image, which I found here. 

I also used a cream piece of the card stock to print "by Thy love I come", a line from one of my favorite hymns.  The hymn is "Come Thou Fount".  You can see the entire hymn here, and you can listen to it here.  I just tore the words out so that it would have a softer feel.

Then I burned the edges to 1) provide some contrast, 2) make it look old and fantastic, and 3) who doesn't love a little fire?!

Next I just glued everything to the "tag", adding some buttons for a little something extra.  Now, I really had to restrain myself when putting on the buttons.  I wanted to put on loads of them, but I am pretty sure I wouldn't have liked that.  I also wanted to add some other fabric pieces for more texture, but I didn't want to get to crazy.  I am really practicing a "less is more" approach to my crafts right now!

Here is the final product:

I thought about hanging it on my front porch:


And I thought about hanging it here:

For now it is hanging on the shutter in the dining room.  I think this piece was very easy and fun.  Am I in love with it? Eh.  But I don't have to be in love with it--it cost me less than $3!


Can YOU make something for under $5?  Give it a try and link up with The CSI Project! You certainly don't have much to lose! ;)  

 Visit thecsiproject.com


New day. New ideas. New topics.

I love to create things.  I mean, I REALLY love it!  I also love the internet, and, to me, the internet and crafting go hand in hand!  If you are at all familiar with this blog, you know that I initially learned how to make a tutu (which eventually prompted me to start a business) by Googling "How to Make a Tutu".  And that is why the internet and crafting go hand in hand to me: if you want to make something, but aren't sure how to go about it, or you need inspiration and or encouragement, you just google it, and Voila!  Instant ideas and directions.  Once you have done this a few times you will find that there are certain sites and blogs that you keep coming back to. 

For me, Living With Lindsay is one of my favorite sites.  I have quickly become a huge fan of Mandi at Vintage Revivals.  She does completely fantastic projects in a a very unexpected way.  Plus, if you take the time to read her story, her personal life is even better than her projects!  Another blog I frequent is the Nesting Place.  This blog, Heart Break Kids, for the past 10 months has been strictly for tutus and tutu designs.  Today, however, I have decided to expand my blog topics.  Hey!  It's my blog!  You don't have to read it!  But, let's by honest--there is only so much I can say about tutus.  And I am a talker.  I can say a lot about nothing.  I can even ramble when I am typing.  See?  Anyhow, I love to read crafting blogs, and DIY blogs, and home decorating blogs, and--you get the idea.  I am always working on something--usually several somethings at once--and I LOVE the validation I get from being able to share my projects with others.  (I am a stay at home mom.  What can I say? I have little interaction with other adults on a daily basis, and there are thousands of you reading this blog, so, I figure, why not talk with you?  One of you is BOUND to be interested in my projects!)  Plus, I already pay a bit of money for this blog, so it wouldn't make sense to start another!  Back to my point.  I am going to start sharing some of my projects on here.  I would first like to say that my friends are always telling me, "You are so creative!" and I always tell them ,"I got the idea from someone else!"  While I do LOVE to create, I am not the best at thinking up original ideas.  I love to see what other people are working on, and then modify it to fit my style.  That being said, this first project that I am going to post was a completely original idea!  I decided to share this project first because, 1) it is my most recent project, 2) it cost me absolutely nothing, and 3) my friend Lindsay at LivingWithLindsay just posted a similar update and I took that as a sign that I should share it with you.  (Okay, I wouldn't say it was so much of a sign.  More of an "OOOO! OOOO! OOOO! OOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I did something cool like Lindsay!" moment that I experienced while reading her most recent post!)

Here's what you need to do this project:

An ugly lamp that you want to change

Scrap fabric

About 20-40 minutes, depending on the size of your lamp

(And I will apologize in advance, but the pics are a little blurry because I couldn't find my husbands super-expensive-professional-camera, so I used the little digital one that I carry in my purse.  I also let the kids use this camera everyday, and there was apparently something goobery (probably not a real word) on the lens, but I didn't discover until after I went to upload the pics.  Oops!)


I bought this lamp about a year ago.  It was $12 at Target.  It gives great light, and I love that it has a reading lamp, 'cause I LOVE to read!  Lots of LOVE going on here today… Anyhow, the lamp was totally not my style, but totally in my budget, so that was that.  Last Sunday I was trying to figure out an inexpensive way to give the lamp a makeover.  I decided that some scrap fabric should do the trick.


I selected three different fabrics from my scrap bin.  I selected fabrics all in the same palette, but I think this would be really cool with lots of bold colors and crazy prints too!  I literally just tore my fabric into strips.

Once I had a pile of strips, I just started double knotting them onto the lamp, working from the bottom, up.  If there were any pieces that had long, straggly (yes, that appears to be a word) threads, I just trimmed them off.  (And I would just like to give a shout out to the photographer of this pic--my 4 year old son, Quinn!  Nice composition, buddy!)

It took me about 40 minutes to do this, but a smaller lamp would take considerably less time. So, that's my first project that I wanted to share with you! What do you think? I hope you'll send me a pic if you try it!

P.S.  Over at the Nesting Place, The Nester declared yesterday National Take A Risk Day, and had a Link party.  She has HUNDREDS of craft ideas that people sent her.  Want to get lost in crafting goodness for an inappropriate amount of time?  Check out her party here!


Long Time, No See

Recently people have been asking me, "Are you still making tutus?".  I am always surprised when someone asks this, because, YES!  I make LOADS of tutus!  Then I realize, they are probably asking because I haven't posted anything on this blog in ages.

Since the last time I posted anything, I have rejoiced over new life, mourned the death of loved ones, embarked on many journeys (some literal and some figurative), celebrated several holidays, and much, much more.  You too? But life continues to move forward, and I am thankful for all of my blessings.

I have been working with some boutiques again, but that is going to stop this week.  I have spent the last several months really trying to figure out what I want to do/where I want my business to go.  And here's what I want to do: make custom tutus.  Plain and simple, that's what I want.  While the idea of having "my" tutus in stores across the nation is flattering, the fact is, that could never happen.  It could never happen because "my" tutus are made by me.  Upon your request.  For your little princess.  Exactly the way you want it.  So, for now, I am going to continue making custom tutus, and I hope you continue to enjoy them!

Now, you know I haven't posted anything for quite some time.  The truth is, I haven't even checked on my blog since before Christmas.  So, imagine my surprise today when I logged in to my account and saw that I am averaging over 1,000 unique hits a day!  That is crazy!  In November that number was much, much lower. Like, double digit lower. Thank you all for checking out this blog!  Many of you have enjoyed the tutu tutorial, and I hope you keep coming back.  Also, I have some new tips that I will have to share with you!

I cannot remember if I told you about the tutus that I was making for a group of junior high girls for Halloween.  Anyhow, they all wanted to be a "color", so I made them some tutus.  They are all so adorable--I love it!  How about you?!


Also, I can't resist showing off my beautiful dinosaur and kitty:

And finally, here are some pictures of my doll tutus.  These tutus were very popular at Christmas and at the craft shows I participated in.  I will get these added to the order page soon, but for now, the doll tutus come in any SINGLE color.  They fit dolls 16"-18", and they are $12 each.

I took a picture of the doll tutu next to a standard 18" tutu.  The doll tutu is sooooooooo tiny!

If you haven't "liked" Heart Break Kids on Facebook, please do so!  I need to get my FB link on the website, but I'll need to enlist my husband's help for that!  Check out FB though, because there is going to be a St. Patrick's Day tutu giveaway next week, but it will only be on FB!

Well, that's all for now.  See you in a few months.  Just kidding!  Be well, my friends.  I'll see you soon! ;)


How to make a tutu

Today I am going to teach you how I make a tutu.   Here are the supplies that you will need: 

  • 1/2" elastic (I prefer the braided elastic)
  • 6" spools of tulle (found in any craft store, sometimes in the bridal section)
  • 1 yard of double faced satin ribbon (optional)
  • needle and thread
  • large book 

First, get your princess's waist measurement.  My daughter is two, and her waist is just shy of 20".  When I make her a tutu, I start with a 16 1/2" piece of elastic.  That may sound small, but once you start tying on the tulle, the elastic is going to stretch out--a lot!   Take the elastic, overlap the ends about 1/2"-1", and sew them together.  You can do this by hand or with a machine.  I used to do them by hand, but now it is just more efficient for me to sew them on a machine.  I also like to "double sew" (I don't even know that that is a real term!) the ends, so that the elastic stays nice and flat.  What I mean by "double sew" is I sew one edge down, and then I slide the elastic over and sew the other edge down.  Clear as mud? Hopefully you get the picture.  Literally, look at the picture:

Set your elastic aside, and get ready to cut your tulle. Depending on the size and length of the tutu, you will use anywhere from 25-75 yards of tulle.  (I recently saw a company that boasts their toddler tutus have over 100 yards of tulle.  I thought that was insane, because I use just over 100 yards of tulle on my adult tutus, and thought there was NO WAY a toddler tutu could have 100 yards of tulle!  Then I realized that they were talking about 100 yards of THREE inch spools of tulle.  That made more sense.  I typically use at least 50 yards of six inch tulle on my toddler tutus, which is the equivalent of 100 yards of three inch tulle.  Phew.  I was about to panic!)  

Ten inches is the standard length that I use when making a tutu.  However, depending on the age and size, I do make different lengths.  (You can see the different sizes under the "Order" tab if you are interested!)  For this tutu-orial (get it?  tutu tutorial all together--cute right? no?) I am going to say we're making a 10" length tutu.  So roll out 20" of tulle and cut.  Roll out 20 more inches, and cut again.  Repeat. And repeat. And repeat about a billion times.  Okay.  I exaggerate.  The number of pieces you will need to cut depends on how you want your finished product to look.  If you want a very simple play tutu, you could get away with about 30 pieces.  If you want your tutu to be a little bit more full, you probably want to start with 60 pieces.  If you want a tutu like you see in my photos, you will want to start with 75-100 pieces.  So, start cutting!  And don't worry about keeping the cut pieces all nice and flat.  Just smoosh them in a pile and they will be fine. (*****For a MUCH faster and WAAAAAAAY more efficient cutting technique, check out my update here!!!!)

I am just noticing that it is a bit hard to see the orange tulle that I am cutting in this picture.  Trust me, I am actually cutting something!

Once you are done cutting, you are ready to start tying.  Take your elastic and stretch it around your book.  (I use different books for each different width of tutu that I make.  If I used the same book for every different width, they would all end up being about the same width in the end.  So, find a book that has a circumference larger than your elastic, but still smaller than your princess's waist measurement--you don't want to stretch the elastic so far that it looses it's stretchiness!)  Take a piece of tulle, and find the middle.  Slide the top of the tulle under the elastic, and make a slip not around the elastic.  Repeat and repeat and repeat.  For play tutus, tie the knot loosely.  For more full tutus, tie a tighter knot. 

find the middle 

slide the tulle under the elastic

 start your slip knot

pull the ends through

pull the ends down (this is a loose knot) 

this is what the loose knots for a play tutu should look like 

this is a tight knot

these are what your knots should look like for a fluffier tutu

After you have completely covered all of elastic with tulle, give the tutu a nice stretch.  There will be about an inch or two of elastic that comes out of the tulle like this: 

 Fill in the gap from the elastic stretch, and you will have a single layer tutu that looks like this: 

Now, many people would stop there, and that is where I used to stop as well.  However, since I have now made hundreds--literally hundreds!--of tutus, I have improved a bit and I have learned how to make my tutus even poofier!  So, if you want to keep going, here's what you need to do: Continue tying more pieces of tulle onto the tutu with slip knots, but instead of pulling them so tight that they touch the elastic, make sure that they only cover the tulle from the first layer of your tutu.  Do this all the way around the tutu, forming a second layer.  You will be amazed at how much fluffier your tutu gets!


Finally, I like to add a ribbon to my tutus.  In order to keep the ribbon from fraying, I very quickly burn the edges of the ribbon with a lighter.  It only takes a second to form a seam, so be quick or you will melt your ribbon!  


And here is the final product: 

Go make a tutu!  Have fun!!!!!