Monday, September 18, 2017

Graduation Money Cake




When trying to think about what to give our nephew for his high school graduation, I remembered a friend of mine telling me about all the creative ways she gave money gifts to her grandchildren. I asked her where she came up with such great ideas. Her response was, “Pinterest, of course!” so off I went to search on Pinterest.  After clicking on several pictures and reading tutorials, I came up with several ideas of my own. I will share links at the bottom of this post for some of the tutorials I read.
After a trip to the bank for $1.00 bills and my local Walmart for Styrofoam circles, I was ready to begin. At first, I was disappointed I hadn’t asked the bank teller for new $1.00 bills but discovered after rolling the bills, it really didn’t matter what condition the money was in. Rolling the money was VERY time consuming. My first attempt produced uneven size rolls. Back to Pinterest I went and found a tutorial suggesting using a pencil to roll the bills. Using the pencil produced evenly rolls bills and I was on a roll at this point. Let me back up a minute. Before I could start rolling the bills, I needed to do some prep work.  I used a dinner size round plate and a salad size round plate and traced the plate circles onto the Styrofoam using a black marker pen. Then I used my electric knife to cut out the circles. If an electric knife is not available, a large serrated knife will work to cute the circles. After measuring my finished circles, I used my SCAL (Sure Cuts A lot) software to make draw circles the same size as my Styrofoam circles and then cut out colored card stock with my Cricut die cut machine. I used golden yellow card stock matching the theme colors of the high school – yellow gold and navy. Next, I hot glued the card stock circles to the Styrofoam circles and let them dry.
Roll the money using the pencil method. I used $1.00 bills and made 100 rolls but you can use any denomination of money. After you complete a roll, stick a small straight pink through the roll about ¼” from the top of the roll. This is hard to do but with patience and persistence, the pin will go through the roll. I attached each roll to the Styrofoam circle as I finished them. Watching a T.V. show or listening to music make this part go faster! 



The rolled money filled the bottom layer so I covered the top layer with ribbon taping the ends together. The ribbon could be glued on the edge of the Styrofoam disc but mine was just snuggly taped together.



The finishing touches were the most fun! The hat topper was made from a rectangle of dark blue cardstock and a square of cardstock. The dimensions for these two shapes will depend on the size of your cake. The rectangle was taped together and the square was glued on top of the rectangle. Gold cotton embroidery floss was used to make the tassel. You can purchase a tassel if you don’t want to create your own. The shapes and letters for the year logo were designed in my die cut software and cut with my Cricut machine. They were glued onto the “cake”.

The top cake layer was filled in with folded and pinned left over money.
The Money Cake was fun to create but very time consuming. It took all afternoon to finish. The end result………………our nephew was thrilled with his cake! Sorry, I didn't get a picture of the look on my nephew's face when he opened his gift.

Supplies Needed:
Some type of base for the finished product. I used a 12” cardboard cake round but you can use anything you want.
Styrofoam Discs: 1 10” and 1 12”
Straight Pin: 100 to 150. Some of the pins will bend while pushing through the money so buy extra pins.
Money: I used 100 $1.00 bills but you can use any denomination you prefer and the number of bills will be determined by the size cake you make.
Pencil
Hot Glue gun and glue sticks
Cardstock in the color(s) of your choice
Ribbon: I used 2 different sized ribbon and layered them. Floral ribbon worked great for me. I used wide widths and cut it down to the sizes I needed.
Die Cut machine such as one of the Cricut or Silhouette brands. I have a Cricut Expression and that is what I used.
Die cutting software or cartridges to cut the cardstock circles and lettering for the cake topper.
Plates for tracing
Pencil, pen, or marker for tracing
Cotton Floss for tassel or purchased tassel
Button – 1 for top of hat
Clear tape

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and find it useful.  Here are the links to the tutorial I used:

Other ideas on Pinterest:

https://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=graduation%20gift%20money%20cake&rs=typed&term_meta[]=graduation%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=gift%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=money%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=cake%7Ctyped


Pin It!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Baby Burp Cloths

Let's talk about baby burp cloths made from cotton cloth diapers. I attended two baby showers recently where the mom-to-be had this blank look on her face when she opened her gifts and was given decorated burp cloths made from cloth diapers. The look on my face might have mirrored theirs. I couldn't believe they had no clue how to use these fun, practical, soft rectangular pieces of fabric. In case any of you also don't know, let's dig in and find out!


Cotton diapers have been around for ages. They measure approximately 17" x 14" and are made using a 100% cotton fabric called "diaper cloth" and have a padded layer in the middle. Back before disposable diapers, babies bottoms were covered in these cloth diapers and the diapers were secured with extra large safety pins called "diaper pins".After the child was potty trained, new uses were found for the cloth diaper. They make wonderful dust cloths! You can use them for years.

Today since most moms use either disposable diapers or the cute new cloth diapers with the attached covers. Cloth diapers are decorated and used for burp cloths, changing pads, and clothing protectors. Babies spit up. There is no doubt about that statement. Place the burp cloth over your shoulder and you can protect your clothing from spit up, provide a soft place for your baby's head to rest (shoulders are a bony part of our body), and to absorb the drool that comes out of baby's mouth. When you burp your baby, hold the burp cloth under your baby's chin and the burp cloth provides a soft place to rest baby's chin and will catch any spit up that comes with that precious burp.



Here is a picture of an applique burp cloth unfolded.


Even though you could just purchase a package of plain white cotton diapers, why not use the cute decorated ones! You need lots of burp cloths! Moms-to-be don't realize just how many they are going to need. A friend recently told me her daughter had received thirteen burp cloths total at her shower and they used all thirteen in one day. Her grandson spit up all day long and they used all the burp cloths. So, if you are going to use them, they might as well be cute. Decorated burp cloths can be found on Etsy and of course at The Polka Dot Store. Applique and personalized burp cloths are so popular.

Here are some more examples of decorated burp cloths.


The burp cloth above has two rows of pink Rick Rack and a monogram. 


This is a cute burp cloth for your little princess.


This burp cloth is a great gift for a Baptism or Christening.

The Polka Dot Store carries applique burp cloth by 3 Marthas. 3 Martha designs are fun and fresh looking.Their attention to detail is superb.They can be found on this page. All of our burp cloths can be personalized with a name and some with a monogram.

Cloth burp cloths will be one of the most treasured gifts at a baby shower even if the mom-to-be doesn't know what they are when she opens the package!




Pin It!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Heirloom Easter Dress




It's that time of year again when southern mamas start planning Easter outfits for their children. It is an age old tradition in the south for little boys to wear Eton suits, sailor collar shirts with button-on pants, and Jon Jon's. Heirloom dresses out of cotton Swiss batiste fabric in an array of colors adored with rows and rows of french lace are the proper attire for little girls.

Last Easter a good friend asked me to design and sew a blue batiste dress for her granddaughter. The mother of the little girl is a busy working mom so she needed an easy to care for dress. For that reason, I selected to use baby blue Imperial batiste fabric from Spechler Vogel Textiles.. Imperial batiste is a poly cotton blend fabric with a beautiful finish and is a great alternative to 100% cotton Swiss batiste. Here is a picture of the hem of the dress as I was working on it at the sewing machine. You can see the beautiful French Val lace and the tiny holes in the fabric are called hemstitching. The lace is attached to the hemstitching usung a zigzag stitch with the machine needle going into each hole of the fabric then catching the heading of the lace.


Pintucks or little folds of fabric were sewn on the yoke, sleeves, and skirt fancy band of the dress.


Here you can see the sleeve details. Lace beading was used on the sleeves bands. Any color double faced stain ribbon can be woven through the holes and tied in a bow at the top.


Wider pintucks were stitched on the fancy band and a hand embroidered design was stitched down the center of the band. Ecru feather stitching and pink bullion roses were used in the embroidery design.



The bottom of the skirt was scalloped with pintucks. Then hemstitching and lace were added for the finishing touch.


The mother and grandmother were thrilled with the dress. I loved working on this dress and knowing the little girl who would wear it made the dress even more special to me.

Here's a link to my other blog post about heirloom sewing Heirloom Sewing - My First Love

Some of my heirloom creations are available on my website The Polka Dot store and here are the links to a few of them:

Cluny Lace Christening Dress

Cross Embroidery Christening Gown

A sweet little white Swiss batiste dress with ecru lace will be listed soon. Sign up for email and be the first to know when it is up on the website. Scroll to the bottom of the page here to sign up for email.

I hope this blog post gives you inspiration for planning your next heirloom outfit.

Chadwick Heirlooms
Peanut Butter n Jelly Kids
Delicate Stitches
Pin It!

Friday, September 30, 2016

IT'S A MONOGRAM THING

It is fun, elegant, and interesting to personalize your home with monograms.  In my embroidery business, I have been monogramming items for other people's homes for over 10 years. One day I looked around my own home and realized we had very few monogrammed items. Well, I decided to change that!



In the picture above is a lovely set of pillowcases stitched for a customer. It was the inspiration for stitching a set of sheets and pillowcases for my own bed. Here is the result:


You can just see the top sheet monogram peeking out between the pillows. The pillowcases are also monogrammed.



The monogram font is an original design (in case any of you on Pinterest  are searching for this font) by me. I used wingdings and added curves and swirls to a purchased font to get the look I wanted. The thread color is a medium gray called called "smoke" in the thread color chart. The monogram is done is a modern style with the wife's first initial smaller and to the left, the last name initials larger and in the center, then the husband's first initial to the right and smaller. My crazy husband wanted to know why his initial wasn't first! I just laughed and told him, "That is not how it is done these days". In reality, I could have stitched it in any order I chose. Monogram Etiquette rules have changed!

Next came the downstairs living area. I made robin's egg blue pillows and used a pine cone design from Applique Corner (note: I changed out the letter R to one I thought went better with my home).



From here I moved on to the kitchen. The kitchen is painted an apple green color and this set of linen hand towels very nice.




Here is a link to my Etsy listing where you can purchase the towels I stitched for the kitchen. Monogram Linen Towel Set Etsy

This is just a start on placing monograms in my home. Look for more monograms in a later post. I hope this inspires you to start personalizing your home with monograms!









Pin It!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Modern Monograms

Monograms have been around since the Greek, Roman, and Victorian ages.   Today monograms are very popular, especially in the southern United States. Monogram rules have changed since the Victorian age. In the Victorian era, all household linens used the initials for the lady of the house. The tradition order of the initials were first name initial, last name initial, maiden last name initial. The last name initial was larger and placed in the center between the first name initial and maiden name initial. Men’s initials placed on shirt cuffs, handkerchiefs, ascots, etc. were smaller, all the same size, and placed in the following order: first name, middle name, last name (surname). Here is an example of a ladies monogram.

A man’s shirt cuff monogram would look like this. Notice all the initials are the same height.


In today’s modern age, the rules have changed and are blurred with different opinions. You see two letter monograms and 4-letter monograms as well as the traditional 3-letter monograms. Two letter monograms are fairly easy to compose but four-letter monograms are a little trickier. My grandson has a hyphenated middle name. When doing his Easter basket this year, I wanted to put his monogram on a patch and attach it to the basket liner. I wanted to use all four of his name initials. Using one of my embroidery software programs I entered the initials in a stacked monogram style.


I could have also stacked it like this:



Many women today hyphenate their last names when they get married. In that case, this would be an example of a monogram for a hyphenated surname (last) name.


Here is an example of double surname that is not hyphenated.


As you can see, there are many options available today. The person doing your embroidery will work with you to get the right look for you.

Children’s monograms can be varied as well including the modern rules for hyphenated name. For safety reasons, some parents prefer a monogram on backpacks and clothing instead of a name so it is a good idea to check with the parent before giving a gift with a name on it. Infant boy monograms are usually in the first name initial, surname initial and larger in the center, middle initial order. As boys get older, the first name initial, middle name initial, surname initial all the same height order is used.

These are just guidelines. As an embroiderer, I can give advice if my customer asks but the customer makes the final decision.


Pin It!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Smocking For Boys

Smocking for boys can be a challenge, especially as they grow out of the baby stage. My daughter likes for me to smock for her little boy but he doesn't live in an area where little boys wear jon-jons, smocked shirts, etc. So, what could I smock for him? When my kids were little, smocked inserts placed in sweatshirts were popular so I thought, "What about smocked inserts sewn into knit shirts?". Since I didn't take pictures along the way, this is not a tutorial for making them. (Insert a smiley face here). Here are the results.




The shirts are from ARB Blanks and are a nice quality. The shirts have held up well after being washed and hung to dry. The colors have not faded or bleed.

O.K., so a few instructions can be included in this post. The inserts were smocked before sewing them into the shirts. The pleated inserts were measured and blocked to fit the size I thought looked the best for the shirt. After the smocking was finished, I made a template to mark the shirt before cutting out the opening for the insert. Next, the template and a water erasable pen were used to mark a rectangle on the shirt. To give the shirt stability, stitch along this line. Next, I measured in 1/2 inch and marked a smaller rectangle, cut out the smaller rectangle of fabric, and then clipped to each corner. Below is a diagram explaining the process.



Piping was now sewn to the rectangle marked with the erasable pen. All that was left to do was sew in the insert. Easy peasy! Because the shirt would be scratchy on the inside if left like this, I cut a piece of white fabric and serged it to the back of the smocked piece.

If you have any questions about this process, please leave your questions in the comments section and I will be happy to answer them.


Pin It!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Lunch and Shopping in Tville

When I saw the Facebook post for the Cyclone Shrimp Wrap, it was all I needed to schedule a lunch date with my favorite 3 year old and his mother. Our local Jonah's Restaurant here is Thomasville, Georgia has a fabulous menu! An afternoon of eating and shopping sounded perfect for a hot Friday afternoon. Take a look at my delicious lunch.




Now, doesn't that just make your mouth water! It was as good as it looks. Also, their hush puppies are the absolute best I have ever tasted.

Since there was a line outside the restaurant, I couldn't get a picture of the front of the place without someone being in the picture. Here is the best I could do.


If you visit Thomasville, you must try Jonah's Fish and Grits. It is located at 109 East Jackson Street, Thomasville, Georgia. This is a link to their website .
And, here is a link to their Facebook page .

After lunch we were ready for some shopping. I had heard about a new shop called The Pale Moon. Off we went to go check it out. Oh my goodness, they had some cute things. Tons of tops, pants, purses, and jewelry. It is an adorable shop. Here are so pictures of the inside:



Before we went home, we stopped at a place called Hawaii Snow and had a nice refreshing snow cone. I think we deserved it after all that hard shopping!

Any hoo, after that delightful experience, it was time to go home to do some work.


For great baby gifts, remember to visit The Polka Dot Store .


Pin It!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Summer Monograms

School is out in south Georgia and it is beach time. We are headed to Jamaica this week for a short vacation. Along with getting orders processed and shipped, I've been doing some monogramming for myself. This is highly usual for me!




Since my first name initial is a "d", it is hard for me to find fonts where I am satisfied with the capital d. For the monograms in the picture, I selected the Victor font.

The straw hat is from last year but I included it in the picture anyway. I love the colors this season. The tropical blues and greens are such happy colors. They remind me of beach breezes and cool sand. The font used on the hat is one of the Arabesque fonts in my collection.

If you look closely on the white terry zip bag, you will see I stitched buttonholes and added ribbon. Pretty cute, right?

Now back to customer orders. I had lots of fun monogramming beach towels for a customer to give for graduation presents. Here is a pic.




Selby is stitched in black thread using the Sweet Script font. I just love it! The rest of the names are stitched using the Diary font. Pretty cute, don't you think?

Enjoy summer!

Shop for all your baby gifts at The Polka Dot Store


Pin It!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Grassroots Coffee Thomasville, Georgia


 One morning when I was in downtown Thomasville, I was hungry and    wanted a cup of coffee. GRASSROOTS COFFEE was the first place that  came to mind! This coffee shop is not only a cool place but it has great  coffee. They feature local art on the wall and the decor is comfortable yet  very chic. You can sit at a table or lounge on comfortable furniture. It is  the best place in town to have a cup of coffee or beverage of choice and  use the wi-fi to catch up on my latest blog post or see what your friends  are doing on Facebook. Some college students even work on their  assignments!



The employees always seem happy so it must be a great place to work.

Grassroots Coffee is a busy place in the middle of downtown Thomasville on Broad Street. It offers the expected coffees and teas plus delicious food. After looking over the menu, I ordered a regular coffee and an egg biscuit. Since it was a lovely morning, I took my biscuit and coffee to a table outside.





Doesn't that look scumptious!

Here is the link to their website  http://www.grassrootscoffee.com/ . 


If you visit Thomasville, make sure to grab a cup of coffee and something to eat at Grassroots Coffee. It is well worth the trip!


Pin It!