CHEATER'S TIP! How to do a print-and-cut WITHOUT a registration markson your Silhouette Cameo

I am making some cards for my daughters class. Cards to give their friend who just had surgery to remove a brain tumor. He's 10. It's Christmas time, his birthday is Dec. 31st, and he's about to start 5 or 6 rounds of very aggressive chemo and radiation. It's heart-wrenchingly sad.

Click to support Team Ben via Go Fund Me  ~ thank you!

So I'm using my Cameo for something that might bring a smile to his face!  My friend Denise wanted to make cards for the class to give Ben and I offered to help. 

Last Minute Pork Stew

I pulled this meal together from basic ingredients, and I only planned ahead enough to put it in the slow cooker at 10AM. Plus, it's minimal prep (I didn't brown the pork beforehand - whaaaat??).  The day before I'd sworn off slaving away in the kitchen at mealtimes, so I was really excited that this panned out. I made it on my kids first day back to school - it was overcast and drizzling and we were all in some stage of a summer cold, and soup sounded perfect.  Here's how it played out in my head: Oh shoot, I still have that pork in the fridge that I got at Costco the other day but was too lazy to divide up for the freezer. What can I make with that that's not BBQ...    And this is what I came up with!

New Obsession: Jamberry Nail Wraps!

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Recently I was invited to a Jamberry party on Facebook.  I'd never heard of Jamberry, and didn't pay much attention at first.  Those cutesy patterns aren't for me, and don't you have to buy that heater thingy?? (the answer is no).  But oh. my. gosh.  A quick google image search and I was hooked.   I'm a total WANNABE graphic designer and I had fun coordinating different wraps (and as it turns out my actual graphic designer friends love them too!). 

Gray Crisscross with Jamberry Lacquer in Blush

Another Captain America USO Girl Costume

I got a request for another USO Girl costume, but this one is very different from the first. I used satin instead of cotton and since it was to be worn in a race on the 4th of July, I lined the bodice so the satin wouldn't stick to skin when things got sweaty- ew!  

I used a New Look pattern (halter only). I added the lapels and modified it so that it was open in the back and had to add a clip to keep the neck strap from coming undone during the run. 

I pieced together the trapezoid-shaped skirt pieces and attached to the bodice.  I made the bottom of each stripe 4x wider than the top. 

 I left the back open for ventilation and since she was wearing it over shorts and a sports bra it didn't matter of some skin shows. 

Not The Cheapest DIY Curtains Ever Made...

I'm very pleased with how these curtains turned out, and it's a good thing because the costs sure started to add up. I used painters' canvas drop cloths from Home Depot ($25), a cheap curtain rod from WalMart ($15), and some fabric ($10) and fusible spray adhesive ($15) to appliqué stars on the panels. Here's how I did it...

Zebra Letters For A Tween Bedroom Makeover

In this post I will show how I revamped my daughter's name letters from baby nursery pink to sassy black and purple zebra stripes.

2-day Tween Room Makeover

For my daughter's 10th birthday I surprised her with a mini-makeover on her bedroom. I was able to make the curtains, paint the letters, buy the rug and mirror, and hang everything in a 2-day period.  We had already painted the walls peach a year ago, and I had gotten the horse decal from a Groupon.

It all started with the bedspread. My mom got her this awesome "17 Magazine" purple zebra comforter from JC Penny online -- really nice quality I might add.  That cinched the rest of the color palette for me, and this is what I came up with...

Messy Girl's Guide To Organization

I feel like a fraud writing anything on organization because I am a messy girl at heart.  Only recently have I really embraced organization.  For the last month or two I have been reconfiguring drawers, cupboards and closets, purging toys and other unused "junk", and learning how to keep it tidy.  I'm a strike-while-the-iron-is-hot kinda girl, so when I got the urge to organize the house I just went for it and tried to do a little, and sometimes a lot, each day.  Wouldn't you know, it got a little easier, and a little fun even!  Here is what I learned, and some tips on tidying up your space if you're a messy girl too...

Fostering Kitties Through The SPCA

These adorable faces are one of the reasons my blog has been quiet lately.  That, and the fact that my oldest's birthday, mother-in-law's birthday, and Mother's Day all falls on the same weekend so I've been baking and wrapping up a storm.  So here's the scoop on the foster kittens...

DIY Fever: Upgrading Your Home On A Budget

I'm completely and uncharacteristically obsessed with fixing up my house right now.  Actually, I am completely obsessed with moving a little further out of town and getting a few acres where my daughter and I could have a hobby farm ... BUT that's not happening anytime soon.  It must be spring fever.  I detest gardening, but each spring when there's a little green on the hills and some blossoms on the tree, I find myself pruning or edging the lawn or shaping the tree while the kids play outside.  But this year I've got the itch to remodel.  I've got it bad.  We can't afford to buy a charming little ranchette nestled in the foothills, so I decided to turn the house we have into something fantastic.  Besides, even if we could afford to move right now, I realized how much we would have to do just to sell this house and thought, we might as well enjoy the upgrades, too!

Kid-Friendly Piña-Colada Smoothie

I just wanted to share something I've been making at my house lately... I admit I bought some of that nasty (delicious) sticky, sugar-and-preservative-laden mixer Coco Real to make piña-coladas for me and the hubby.  For fun I tried making a somewhat healthy, kid-friendly version without the mixer and it turned out fab.  

Etching With Silhouette Cameo + A Troubleshooting Tip

I finally got to have some fun with my Silhouette tonight!  I tried something new and made vinyl stencils to etch glass.  My mom gave me these ramekins that came with a frozen creme brulée from Costco (yes, it was delish).  I wanted to put a cute message on the bottoms, sort of a little surprise when you finish your treat. 

Easy Hi-Low Half-Circle Skirt

Circle skirts are so swirly and swingy.  And circle-y.  It's pretty much essential for any girl or woman's wardrobe.  You can achieve more or less fullness by making it half circle or a full circle skirt.   This went from a simple tutorial to an in-depth explanation and how to make both with regular and asymmetrical hems... and back to simple again.  Mostly I want to show off this cute hi-low skirt I made for my daughter, and the hi-low pertains to the short-in-the-front-long-in-the-back-hemline of course.   I'm so pleased with how it came out.  Make one today!  My model won't cooperate which is why I hung the skirt in a tree, one of the more rustic and country looking parts of my yard (except for the neighbor's house in the background, of course).

An Unfinished Soldering Project

I couldn't wait to start soldering this weekend... I had a whole bunch of picture frame glass leftover from my earring board project, so I'd been racking my brain for ideas to use the glass. I took a stained glass class in college, and decided to pick up a super cheap soldering iron on sale for $5 at JoAnn. I picked up some copper tape and a spool of solder at Hobby Lobby, and ordered some flux on Etsy and I was set.  It sounds like a lot but once you get the bug to make something, there's no going back. 

I needed to make a late Christmas gift for my dad and his girlfriend -- they are active, beach bum types.  I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut this cute vinyl sticker of a couple on a tandem bike (#27595 in the Silhouette store online), and added the lettering. 

On A Personal Note...

I don't normally write "Dear Diary, just checking in" type posts about my personal life, but I haven't been posting much lately and wanted to let you know what's coming soon from Coconut Love.

One of the reasons I've been too busy to write is because I've been contemplating selling wholesale AND getting into the craft fair circuit, which sent me on a wild goose chase to get my business affairs in order and come up with a cute, vintage style girl's outfit that would fit into the whole hat/suspender/bow tie thing I have going on.  Ruffle rompers and flower/lace headbands are so trendy, and I hate to be a copycat but they really do have the retro feel that I'm looking for.  I'm also considering switching to elastic suspenders and clip-on bow ties which will be more cost effective  (and just as cute) all-around.  I am still figuring out exactly how I want to make the rompers but I had so much fun making the headbands (I will be posting a tutorial).

I had some fun playing with chalkboard paint but didn't take pictures, therefore nothing to share, but I still have a whole can to play with so I'll come up with more fun things to try.  What I did was take dollar-store wine glasses dip the base in chalkboard paint so you can write on them.  It made a fun gift paired with a bottle of wine.

I also got started with soldering and didn't get too far.  The stuff is still all set up on a cookie sheet that keeps getting shuffled around because I have no place for it.  That's pretty much how everything is in my office/sewing room right now.  I foresee a big organization post in the future...

I developed a new addiction to a Facebook group for Silhouette users which has been very helpful and inspirational, I can't wait to share more projects ideas and tutorials with you.

You will probably be seeing more cooking posts from me, specifically low-carb and gluten-free cooking.  Yes, it's time to tackle all this weight that has been accumulating since I had my youngest.  I'm considering starting a separate blog for those who are interested, so that I don't bore/annoy the rest of you!  Or I might keep it anonymous so that I can share all my deep dark embarrassing secrets without fear of judgement.  The jury is still out on that one.  

I think that accounts for everything that has been keeping me busy -- oh yeah and also taking care of 3 kids and trying to keep up with the housework, homework, and grocery shopping that come with them.  Another post in the works, the joy and lack of appreciation of being a stay-at-home or work-from-home mom.  Sigh.

I hope I gave you some reasons to stay tuned!  Feel free to leave a comment to let me know what you're most interested in and I will prioritize accordingly :)


"It's a major award!" No really, I was nominated for an award.

Did you get my Christmas Story reference?

One Sunday morning a couple of weeks ago, I dragged myself out of bed and joined my toddler to watch Yo Gabba Gabba on the couch armed with coffee and my iPhone.  To my surprise while checking email, amongst the special offers for ink cartridges and senior dating sites (I'm under 40 and married, ironically) I received this little nugget:

Free Doll Clothes Patterns (I'm Slightly Obsessed)

If you're a Facebook fan you may have caught my post about these adorable doll clothes patterns that have driven me closer to becoming a "crazy doll lady".  I think it has to do with the fact that my 9-year-old daughter doesn't let me dress her up and do her hair. Anyway I fell in love with the Liberty Jane Patterns for 18" American Girl (R) sized dolls (available at Pixie Faire). I wanted to show how I used their free pattern for a "trendy tee" to make a tank dress. 

Sure, I can get doll clothes patterns from McCalls or Simplicity on sale at JoAnn for $1... but these are SOOO much easier than using old school tissue paper patterns for doll clothes -- I honestly prefer downloading/printing/cutting.  I have also found that the Liberty Jane clothes fit better. 

I made a couple shirts and tanks with the pattern as-is, and I just lengthened it by a few inches to make a dress. I made the bottom about 1/2 - 1" wider too. 

Sorry about my foot photo-bomb there.  

The best part is that I upcycled a shirt so I didn't have to do the hem! 

I forgot to cut the back in two pieces but it was better that way for a dress, so I just cut a slit in the top. 

To make it a tank top, just leave off the sleeves and double fold the arm opening.  Click here to see how I do tiny rolled hems.

Liberty Jane has a free dress pattern, and a couple more freebies if you sign up for their newsletter. The other pattern I highly recommend is the UK Holiday Top & Leggings (my version shown in the blurry photo below) and the Harajuku Skirt (not pictured):

By the way, some patterns are free all the time and some were free for a day. 

Are you a total nut about making doll clothes?  Go check out these patterns and you will be!