Monday, July 28, 2014

Alice in Wonderland Tea Party {with free printables}


alice in wonderland tea party tea set menu and free printables

This morning, Pj stayed home sick from work and I tried to keep the kids busy and quiet so he could rest. We went out to pick up a few things for an Alice in Wonderland tea party, just the three of us.

We made "Queen of Hearts Tarts" which is home made strawberry jam thumbprint cookies. The kids love to bake and thumbprints are a great cookie to make year round. I used this recipe from Simply Recipes, without the nuts.

alice in wonderland tea party tea set queen of hearts tarts and free printables



My grandma gave me this tea set when I was pregnant with Olivia. It had been packed up with my wedding china since we moved in two years ago! This morning, it popped into my head and I thought "I hope I still have that set!!"

alice in wonderland tea party tea set cheshire cat alice in wonderland tea cup

alice in wonderland tea party kids menu bento ideas and free printables

The Menu
queen of heart's strawberry tarts
swiss cheese white rabbits
cheshire cat sandwiches (swiss and ham on wheat)
chessmen cookies
drink me drinks
greek yogurt with heart sprinkles

*I get all of my cute food cutters and things locally or from Modes4U and Bento USA*

next time, I think we'll do some bread and butterflies, cucumber caterpillars and some sort of mushroom on toast snack



alice in wonderland tea party kids menu bento ideas and free printables

My kids don't eat grilled cheese sandwhiches but when presented with such a fancy lunch and re-named "toasties", they each ate two.

alice in wonderland tea party kids menu bento ideas and free printables

Off with his head!!

alice in wonderland tea party kids menu bento ideas and free printables

Rhys loved the chessman cookies, except for the "lightbulb" ones-haha!

alice in wonderland tea party kids menu bento ideas and free printables
alice in wonderland tea party kids menu bento ideas and free printables



I made some printables that you can download and print for your own Wonderland party. Cut these out and use a glue stick to attach to skewers, cocktail picks or toothpicks. Download the printables from Dropbox


Disclosure: This post contains links to my affiliates. Please view my full disclosure policy




Sunday, July 27, 2014

Mastering Zipper Techniques Free Class

Free online sewing class mastering zipper techniques from Craftsy

When I was twelve, my Great Grandma Alma took me to the fabric store to buy fabric and pattern of my choice so she could teach me how to sew my own clothes. I spent a few weeks from my summer vacations as a teenager at her dining table, cutting fabric, sewing and having her expert help at every step along the way. At almost 30, I still have moments when I wish Grandma was here to show me how to do things, especially with tricky closures like buttons and zippers. Now I have the help of Craftsy with a FREE ONLINE CLASS, "Mastering Zipper Techniques"


Free online sewing class mastering zipper techniques from Craftsy

For vintage enthusiasts, it's essential to know how to install a zipper. So many of my favorite vintage dress zippers have been found with missing teeth, rusted or broken zippers or no zipper at all. Mastering Zipper Techniques is a great class for beginners, taught by Sunni Standing, blogger of A Fashionable Stitch.

Free online sewing class mastering zipper techniques from Craftsy

This interactive online class includes five video lessons for you to watch as many times as you like and learn at your own pace. Once you enroll in an online Craftsy class, you can log back in to Craftsy and watch it as many times as you like. It’s yours forever! I like to set my laptop up in the kitchen to watch while I make lunch for the kids, then watch and learn again as I sew along after lunch. Mastering Zipper Techniques also provides downloadable step by step instructions for every zipper technique in the class so you can print it out and keep on hand in your sewing box. If you have questions, you can post them in the forum on the sidebar of the class and get helpful tips and advice from fellow Craftsy members. Paid classes offer the support of the instructor as well as your classmates. 
 

One thing that I really love about online Craftsy classes is the 30 second repeat feature. I taught myself to knit and crochet using video lessons. On countless occasions,  I had to slide the video player back and re watch to figure out how to do it. Craftsy's 30 second repeat feature replays the last 30 seconds of a video with one click of a button so you can keep watching that section of the video till you nail it.


Free online sewing class mastering zipper techniques from Craftsy

Free online sewing class mastering zipper techniques from Craftsy


What Will I learn?
Slot Seam Zipper- A very basic zipper is the slot seam, in which two edges of a seam meet in the center, covering the zipper. Sunni makes it look so easy and with the right tools at your side, it really is!


Invisible Zipper- an invisible zipper is used in fine garments for a professional finish. The invisible zipper and stitching is completely hidden except for a small zipper pull. This is the perfect zipper for a dress or delicate blouse.

Zippers in Lined or Faced Garments- Don't let the lining of a dress or blouse intimidate you! Sunni shows you, step-by-step, how simple it is to insert a zipper in a lined garment and achieve a clean, flat finish

Lapped Zipper- If you're sewing a fab pair of 1940s trousers or sleek 50s pants this fall, you may need a lapped zipper in the side seam. A lapped zipper is a common feature in quality vintage dresses as well.


In addition to covering how to install these specific types of zippers, Sunni also talks about some basics of sewing including how different types of zipper feet work for your machine and brilliant short cuts like using fusible tape to hold your zippers in place before sewing.



Whether you're new to sewing or an experienced seamstress, enroll in Mastering Zipper Techniques for FREE and learn how easy it is to install a smooth, well-placed zipper in your garments.


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Craftsy. Please view my full disclosure policy

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Everything Grows Wild Around Here


The sun was setting in the country this past Saturday and I went for a walk through the meadow. It had been a few months since we visited my parents and it was amazing to see all of the Missouri wild flowers in bloom. When my parents moved to this property last fall, both sections of the meadow were barren from the previous owner's horses. Now the area is lush and bursting with blooms, small creatures and tracks from deer and coyote.

plus-size classic Indiana Jones style for women in rugged vintage and knee-high boots via Va-Voom Vintage

plus-size classic Indiana Jones style for women in rugged vintage and knee-high boots via Va-Voom Vintage plus-size classic Indiana Jones style for women in rugged vintage and knee-high boots via Va-Voom Vintage

Sometimes people ask me about my husband's style and if he loves to wear vintage too. The answer is absolutely not. I describe Pj's style as Indiana Jones meets Survivor Man. Classic and simple, rugged, practical and above all- comfortable.

 plus-size classic Indiana Jones style for women in rugged vintage and knee-high boots via Va-Voom Vintage

 I totally stole his style (and his favorite accessories) for this outfit. Pj's "uniform" generally consists of broken-in jeans, button-up shirt or comfy knits and some really awesome shoes that always grab attention. His are Vibram 5-fingers in Kangaroo leather, mine are over-the-knee buckle up boots from Modcloth. He is never without a fantastic hat and his satchel to carry his current leather working projects,basic outdoor survival tools and a couple of pull-ups for Rhys.


With the comfort, durability and fantastic style, I want to make this my uniform too.

plus-size classic Indiana Jones style for women in rugged vintage and knee-high boots via Va-Voom Vintage
plus-size classic Indiana Jones style for women in rugged vintage and knee-high boots via Va-Voom Vintage
plus-size classic Indiana Jones style for women in rugged vintage and knee-high boots via Va-Voom VintageOutfit:
vintage blouse and sweater vest-thrifted
capris- Family Dollar
boots- Modcloth
vintage hat- Ruth's Vintage (stolen from Pj)
bag- Target (also stolen from Pj)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Lebowski the Ferret

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This little guy was dumped off on a country road and found by a nice guy who took him in a few months ago. Unfortunately, he didn't get along well with the nice guy's dogs so he posted an ad on Craigslist for him.


That same morning, Pj, the kids and I were at the pet store and had decided that it was time to bring a critter into the family. I had a ferret when I was a teenager through my early 20s and I miss having the little nippers around.  I came home and got on craigslist to see about a nice sized cage at a decent price when I saw the ad.

We took a mini road trip to pick him up and when he got home, he promptly explored every nook and cranny of the house. We've been teaching the kids how to play with a ferret and to be extra gentle. They're very interested in making sure that he has plenty of water and Olivia even volunteered to help scoop his litter boxes.



We named him "Lebowski" or "The Dude".

Ferrets are very intelligent, playful and interesting creatures. They love to dig, hide things and run around exploring as much as possible. Lebowski sleeps in his cage at night but when I'm home during the day, he pretty much gets full run of the house. We love to take him on walks to the park and short trips to the pet store. The Dude is litter box trained, just like a cat and he gets baths to keep his coat fresh and soft. Some ferrets spend a lot of time in their cage but like a cat or dog, they are happiest when they get to socialize and play. He's great with the kids and they've been good to him so far. I'm still trying to teach Olivia that he doesn't want to ride in her baby stroller and teach Rhys that he wont bite his toes so he can get off the back of the couch.

If you love ferrets too, you can follow Lebowski's silliness on Instagram @lebowski_thedude_ferret and check out my pinterest board," Carpet Sharks" for great toys, homes and ferret care.

So, I hope you all don't mind some outfit pics with His Dudeness here!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Vintage Beach Style for the Home and Wardrobe

While on our honeymoon in St Augustine, Florida, I fell in love with the bright cozy cottages on the beach. If you live in a land-locked area like myself, you can still bring some of the charm of the waves and sand into your home and wardrobe

I've been spending a lot of time in my office lately, since it's my happy, creative place. Notebooks and matching thank you notes keeps ideas all in one place while you relax with a "deep tea diver" tea infuser

 one twothree four


Bring some beach charm into your wardrobe with handmade millinery designs in straw from Lady Eve Millinery. Try nautical inspired play clothes from vintage boutique Bloomers and Frocks or sew your own beachwear with retro patterns from Patterns from the Past

onetwothree  |  four  | five


In the kitchen, try this beautiful sea glass inspired flatware set and porcelain mermaid salt and pepper shaker. The eco-friendly bento lunch boxes are perfect for picnics, school lunches or a weekend at home. Save $10 off Ecolunch Beach Kit






one twothree  |  four  | five







Disclosure:  This post contains links to my affiliates and sponsors. Please view my full disclosure policy








Sunday, July 13, 2014

Pajama Day, Vintage Style with Maddy James Lounge Wear


This month, the first pieces from the long-awaited Maddy James vintage lounge wear line have been delivered. I was so excited to be among the first to receive the stunning 1940s Emily Kate tap pants set.

1940s vintage lounge wear Emily Kate tap pants set from Maddy James

 A common need among vintage girls is comfortable and beautiful pajamas and clothes that we can wear while we lounge around the house.

1940s vintage lounge wear Emily Kate tap pants set from Maddy James

At a modern size 18, I'm a little bit out of the current Maddy James size range so I needed an extra wiggle to get the tap pants over my hips but they're very roomy and have a bit of elastic at the back.

1940s vintage lounge wear Emily Kate tap pants set from Maddy James

These luxurious tap pants are made of machine washable silk polyester and are trimmed in black imported lace. Like original tap pants of the 40s, these feature a high-waited yoke front with a comfortable wide leg.

The white cotton top is a tee-shirt fabric with an original 1940s lace flounce silk screen pattern.


1940s vintage lounge wear Emily Kate tap pants set from Maddy James 1940s vintage lounge wear Emily Kate tap pants set from Maddy James

The Emily Kate tap pants set is wonderfully comfortable, with plenty of wiggle room for a restful night's sleep. Read more about Maddy James in my behind-the-scenes post and check out the Maddy James blog and facebook page for updates

1940s vintage lounge wear Emily Kate tap pants set from Maddy James

Maddy James is a sponsor of Va-Voom Vintage. Tap pants set provided courtesy of Maddy James.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

How to Make a Summer Parasol



how to make a vintage style parasol from an old umbrella via va-voom vintage



Summer is in full swing and we've been taking advantage of the beautiful sunny days by getting out and about. Although I do slather on the sunblock, it's nice to have some portable shade as well. Today we'll make a retro styled parasol using a thrift store kids umbrella. This is a pretty simple project that you can do in an afternoon.


how to make a vintage style parasol from an old umbrella via va-voom vintage

how to make a vintage style parasol from an old umbrella via va-voom vintage


I always see old umbrellas at the thrift stores for a buck or two and as long as they have a functioning frame and decently pretty handle, I pick them up! I used a kids sized umbrella found for 99 cents for this little summer parasol


If your umbrella has a removable cap, pop that puppy off. If, like mine, it doesn't come off, that's okay too!

snip the threads on the umbrella cover, removing it from the frame. Also pop the caps off of the ends of the spokes and set them in a safe spot. Since my cap wouldn't pop off, I snipped it closely to the cap and pulled it off that way.

how to make a vintage style pin up parasol summer umbrella

bust out the trusty seam ripper and rip the seams of one of the panels to make your pattern. Add seam allowance to your pattern. I added the usual 5/8 inch on all sides

how to make a vintage style pin up parasol summer umbrella


My umbrella cover had 6 sides so I cut out 6 new sections of fabric.  Using two sections, pin wrong sides together at side seam. Sew using a 3/8 inch seam allowance

how to make a vintage style pin up parasol summer umbrella


Press edges flat (do not open the seam) and trim close to seam

how to make a vintage style pin up parasol summer umbrella


fold the fabric along the new seam with wrong sides out, with the raw edge on the inside of the fold

press and sew. I aligned the edge of the fold with the edge of my presser foot.

how to make a vintage style pin up parasol summer umbrella


Repeat this for all sides,being careful to keep right and wrong sides of fabric in mind. I got over-confident in my sewing and ended up with my french seam on the outside! *oops*

how to make a vintage style pin up parasol summer umbrella






how to make a vintage style pin up parasol summer umbrella



hem one raw edge and pin the raw edge to the right side of the first section of your umbrella cover

how to make a vintage style pin up parasol summer umbrella


sew this seam the same as the others, keeping the umbrella closure strap on the outside of the umbrella cover. Phew! Almost done!!

how to make a vintage style pin up parasol summer umbrella


Next, set your machine to a long stitch and sew two parallel rows of stitching around the center hole. This will make gathers around the cap.

Fold the hem of the parasol cover under 1/4 inch and press. Fold over another 1/4 inch, press and sew. As you sew, clip the corners to form a nice, flat corner

how to make a vintage style pin up parasol summer umbrella

how to make a vintage style pin up parasol summer umbrella


If you have any ruffles, piping, pom poms or other trim to add along the edge of your umbrella, go crazy! I used some yellow eyelet lace from my stash. When that's finished, open the frame and slide the cover on. Pull those threads around the center to form gathers tightly around the center cap.

how to make a vintage style pin up parasol summer umbrella


You can stick the spokes into your hem to keep everything in place while you re-attach the caps.

how to make a vintage style pin up parasol summer umbrella



Sew the caps back on and make sure to do a good job getting several tight stitches to keep it all in place.

how to make a vintage style pin up parasol summer umbrella


Also do a few stitches near the middle of each spoke to keep it well secured to the frame.


If your center cap was able to be popped off, re-attach it and use a few strategic stitches to pull in any loose fabric. If your cap couldn't be popped off like mine, Cut a scrap of your trim and gather it up around the cap, pulling in edges of fabric with your stitches as you go.


Finish the parasol by attaching a closure of your choice to the strap. I used velcro and a decorative vintage button from my stash.

how to make a vintage style pin up parasol summer umbrella

 You can use snaps, buttons or Velcro. Since my strap was longer than intended, I also sewed a pretty pleat detail into the strap. 

how to make a vintage style pin up parasol summer umbrella

how to make a vintage style pin up parasol summer umbrella

how to make a vintage style pin up parasol summer umbrella



 This  would be really cute to make a matching parasol and sun dress, add ruffles, vintage lace, pom poms or use thrift store lace table clothes or curtain panels. Next time, I may use one of my old faded vintage table clothes with a border print!




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