Wednesday, September 2, 2015

DIY Disney T-shirt Quilt | Phase 4: Putting It All Together

So it feels like I started this project 100 years ago, collecting old t-shirts, ironing on stabilizer, cutting out squares of fabric.  It was taking so long I had resigned myself to never really having a quilt. And then, all of a sudden, I had all the squares I needed! Just like that. And in the course of one day (a very long, dedicated day) I had not only completed the top the quilt, but also completed the "sandwich" (the top, the batting and the backing,) and the quilting on top of it. It was an amazing day.

Quilting is a lot like painting a room. So much time is spent prepping the space that when the paint finally goes on the walls it feels incredibly satisfying. Same with sandwich day. It all starts coming together and you can see the real progress you've been making all along. Granted, painting a room usually only takes a day or two (not a year and a half!), but the principle's the same.

I began the assembly part of the quilt project by laying out all the squares on the floor to get an idea of the layout I preferred. I started with the squares I liked the most in the center of the quilt and went around them until I was finished, trying not to put two of the same color shirts right next to one another. I tried not to worry too much if three Mickey's were next to one another. That nonsense can drive me crazy! I made sure to take a photo incase my kids decided to mess with it. Of course they did! I was glad I had that photo!

After I was happy with the layout, I sewed the squares together in horizontal strips, noting each row as I went. This made sewing them all together easy. Once I had each horizontal row, I sewed them all together in order to create the completed top.

And here is just a sneak peek of the top before it was sandwiched and quilted together! Once I have the binding made and attached I will reveal the finished product. But this was a very productive and satisfying step toward a new family quilt!

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

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Louis The Alligator Hand-Knit, Disney Inspired Socks

Because a girl can NEVER have too many pairs of hand-knit socks, I have created yet another pair to cozy up with this winter. And because I am a Disney girl through and through, they are, yet again, inspired by a Disney animated character!

These socks are my homage to Louis The Alligator from The Princes and the Frog. He and Ray Ray are my favorite characters from that movie! These socks, once knitted up in green, made me think of Louis playing his trumpet at Mardi Gras! They have festive bobbles along the leg and jazzy stripes throughout.

While this pattern was not one of my favorites (because lord knows purling most of the pattern can slow a knitting sister down!), I love the way they turned out. I probably won't make this pattern again, but I will be sporting them on Mardi Gras! You can find out all the particulars (like yarn and size) by following the link above to my Ravelry page, if that's your sort of thing.

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

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

DIY Mary Blair Small World Inspired Building Blocks

I've been working on this project for some time now and finally had the time and energy to finish it! My regular followers will know that I am a huge Mary Blair fan. HUGE. Her concept art for It's A Small World decorates a wall in my house. If I could find a way to make the mural at the Contemporary Resort mine, I would do it.

So when these plain, ordinary, wooden blocks came into my life I had the inspiration to decorate them with the same geometric shapes used in the It's A Small World mural. I like the idea of being able to play with that art.

For color, I decided to use my Sharpie markers mostly because I didn't want to wait for paint to dry on each side of each block before going on to the next one. If I were doing these for a baby or child who would be likely to put them in her mouth, I would stick with the non-toxic paint. Fortunately for me, my kids seem to be past that stage (another milestone!) in their lives.

I noticed that in using the Sharpies, the colors were exceptionally dark, especially on the sides where the wood grain was darker. I would certainly consider painting them if I wanted the color to be brighter. But since these are simply for me to play around with, the Sharpies were a quick and easy choice. Plus I feel like I have more control with a marker than I would with a paintbrush.

I really love the way these turned out. And I love having them at my desk to play with when I need a quick mental break! Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Life Is The Bubbles Design on RedBubble

This is the perfect carefree design for the Little Mermaid fan in your life, OR the Disney Cruise Line aficionado, right? Inspired by Sabastian the crab's song, Under the Sea, this whimsical design pretty much sums up my feelings about Disney as a whole! And I think my toddlers would say the same!

You can find this little gem on my RedBubble page along with lots of other great products sporting this design, including kids wear, bags, tech skins and cases and even leggings! You just never know what is going to float your boat! Just scroll down the page at RedBubble to see everything this design comes on. And don't forget to look around at all the other great Disney inspired designs in my portfolio as well!

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

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Disney Lunch Box Notes | Back To School

School is already underway here at the Cottage, so I thought I would re-run one of my favorite items for back to school: lunch box notes. You can print and use these notes right away. I hope you will enjoy this post from 2013:

It's back to school time and those first few weeks can be rough getting back into the routine! If you have a student (or frankly, a teacher) in your life you know how hard it can be. These sweet lunch box notes are a perfect mid-day pick-me-up. There are lots of these out there but these are my favorites. Add a little magic to your loved one's lunch.

Disney Family has a cute selection, both boy and girl themed. These are the boy selection.
Disney Stationery has lots of great notes including these wonderful Wall-E notes. Check out the link for more from Mickey and the gang, your favorite princesses, a pirate and a few dwarfs.

And finally, if your kids are a bit older and enjoy trivia from the parks (*cough*, Doc, *cough*), then here are 6 from the cottage. We hope you enjoy them. Simply click here to download them for yourself. Special thanks to Disney Trivia for the questions and answers!

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

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Disney DIY Paper Airplanes

Our littles recently went to the local library and stumbled upon a paper airplane demonstration. You would have thought it was the second coming! They loved it and showed everyone the airplanes they made. And ever since there has been some paper airplane madness here in the Cottage!

I remembered having pinned some Mickey airplanes on Pinterest and decided to look them up. Sure enough, there they were! And now I am sharing them with you. You can find the cut-outs to download on the Disney Family website. They are simple to make and loads of fun!

In fact, even the high-schooler got in on the action, remembering he had this Star Wars book of paper airplanes hanging out in his room. That was even more amazing to the little ones. Even to this mama, this book rocks. If you have a Star Wars kid (or adult!) in your house, you should seriously consider this for them! I would definitely recommend it for those with a good attention span and a command of scissors. The designs are complicated and one even frustrated the teenager to the point of balling it up and tossing it out! 

These were a great boredom buster for our family, and as summer drones on for some of you out there, maybe this will be a good diversion. Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Epcot's Food & Wine Festival Recipe: Banoffee Pie

Those of you who follow the blog may remember that my niece and I took a trip to Ireland last spring. It was one of the best vacations I have ever had. We did a lot of new things there, but one of our favorite memories includes having Banoffee Pie, something neither of us had ever encountered before. We sat and analyzed the pie, what we tasted, what it must be made from, and decided right there that we needed to make it for our family at home. And when I got home I realized how very simple it actually was to make!

It is, as the name would suggest, mostly bananas and toffee. Our first attempt at making it here was, well, overzealous and quintessentially American. Since it was for a party we decided to make an extra large pie. This is not a recipe that needs to be extra-large in any way. It would be like making a giant treacle tart. Who could eat that? It was overly sweet and sticky, but in the end, still quite delicious. Everyone at the table agreed.

We used a recipe from The Disney Food Blog, which is my first choice when it comes to finding out anything about food at Walt Disney World. Apparently this was part of the 2013 Food and Wine Festival in Epcot. We didn't use a chocolate crust, because we didn't have one in Ireland. We just used a ready made graham cracker crust. But everything else was the same. It turned out well for us, but as I mentioned, we'll use a much smaller crust and filling in the future.

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

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Winds of The Caspian Sea Hand-Knit Cardigan

Let me start by saying how much I love this cardigan! I love it. And apparently, so did the judge at our county fair! It won a blue ribbon and was considered for champion!

This cardigan is the perfect weight for a summer sweater looks great with a tunic or a t-shirt, and best of all, the pattern was very easy to follow. I don't usually like to knit lace because it takes such a long time and I wind up pulling or snagging it; but this sweater is durable enough even for me, a person who regularly wreaks havoc on nice things.

I fell in love with this yarn, Gloss Fingering from Knit Picks when I made the Corona Flower Mittens. It's a blend of merino wool and silk and has just enough heft as well as a subtle, smooth shine. I love the way it looks and feels when it is knit up. This particular color way is Kenai and it reminded me of the sea. (Although some Disney geeks will recognize Kenai as the name of the main character in Brother Bear, I chose to go with the ocean theme instead. It was a tough call.)

I named this cardigan the Winds of The Caspian Sea cardigan because I love the motion it has when I wear it. I floats and flutters in the way the waves ripple and roll in The Little Mermaid. And the color of course, speaks for itself. I also like the way this cardi can be so versatile, living in two worlds so to speak, a little like Ariel.

You can get the full details on my Ravelry page if you are so inclined. Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Last Hurrah of Summer!

Merryweather's Cottage will be taking a break this week for our last hurrah of summer! We are on a balanced school schedule in these parts and school starts up July 30th! (I can hear some of you shrieking. Is that jealousy or disbelief??)

So we are off on a family vacation. We will see you all again next week with more great Disney related posts. Until then, may all your summer days be filled with fairy dust!