Felt Button Pin to Jazz up my Coat

Oh how I love springtime! My first flowers started to bloom outside my house, and the smell is amazing!

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Spring also means lighter colors and clothes. I can finally put away my thick winter jacket and pull out my pink pea coat. I love the bright color of my jacket, but I decided I needed something to jazz it up.

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 Just last month, a JoAnne’s Fabric opened up right down the street from my house. Now there’s a Lowe’s, Target, Petco, and JoAnne’s in the same plaza which is directly across from a plaza with a Micheal’s and a DSW. Now I’ll always be broke.

I found these felt flower buttons at JoAnne’s. At first, I thought about sewing them onto the collar, but then I decided to make a pin instead so I could keep changing the style. I got the felt flowers in bright and earthy colors to make a spring pin and a fall pin.

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This was super easy. I just layered the buttons how I liked and used hot glue to glue them all together. One I glued them and made them one unit, I glued the whole thing to a pin.

Now I have a spring pin

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and I can use this coat again in the fall.

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I can’t wait to think of some other uses for these cute felt buttons. Maybe some pillow, candle holder, or picture frame embellishments.  

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Easter Wreath & Vacation

Ahhhhhh spring! It has sprung! I love it! We just came back from some time in California (vacation for me, half work half vacation for Matt). It was a nice transition to spring, because I think (hope) while we were out there we missed the last of winter’s fury.

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We spent the first half in Disneyland and LA. I loved it. Sleeping Beauty is my favorite classic princess, so I was very excited to see her castle.

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I went waaaay geeky and wore a pink polka-dot dress one day, and Matt got me matching ears. It’s like we’re twins!

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And I met my boyfriend Donald in his traditional blue Donald outfit for the first time ever.

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We ate at the Blue Bayou. The food was delicious, and the Pirates of the Caribbean ride actually goes through the restaurant. So cool!

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I don’t care what anyone says; you’re never too old for Disney!

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We also went to Universal studios, and it was really cool to take the studio tour and see the actual sets. We planned on seeing more of LA, but we ran out of time because Matt had to be down in San Diego for the Drosophila conference. For the most part, he was at talks and presentations while I did some lounging, reading, and knitting (I just started learning).

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We were able to slip away for a few hours each day and see San Diego’s Old Town, Sea Port Village, the USS Midway Naval Aircraft Museum, and the Gas Lamp District. Last time we were here for the conference, we went to the San Diego Zoo. It was amazing! We didn’t have time for that this year, but hopefully next time we’re out, we’ll have some time for their Safari Park or the San Juan Capistrano Mission Gardens.

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I was sad to get back to reality, but I was glad to start Easter decorating! I pulled down all my Easter decorations and started to decorate. I love Easter.  It’s my favorite Holiday. I actually have several Easter wreaths, but keeping with my wreath resolution I decided to make one. I saw a few on Pinterest that inspired this one.

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This was really easy. I used the green garland around the twig wreath.

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Then I added the small white flowers to the top and bottom of the wreath.

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I wanted the wreath to have lilies because those are the flowers I associate with Easter. I used one bunch of the lilies for the wreath. I just trimmed them and glued them down.

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I painted the cross white and used a small purple quilting square for the pall. Everything was glued down with hot glue.

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I love it!

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April Fool’s Day/Chicken Day for Mom!

In case you didn’t know, one of my many jobs is an English Professor, so I love the fact that April Fool’s Day could be traced back to one of Chaucer’s most popular Canterbury Tales, The Nun’s Priest’s Tale, about a fox who plays a trick on a rooster.  You can check out the real version here or the Spark Notes here. The best part about the fact that the original April Fool’s prank was on a rooster is it perfectly aligns with my April Fool’s joke on my mom. This year, I completely bombed her house with chickens.

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Giving my mom a chicken has been an ongoing joke between me and my sisters for the past 15 years or so, and not just on April Fool’s Day. Whenever my sister’s an I would go out shopping (a considerably often occasion) we would always ask my mom if she wanted to come. If she didn’t come along with us, she’d yell from her room “No, but bring me back a surprise.” My sisters are very sweet to my mom. They’d always bring her back a cute kitchen decoration, a picture frame, or some candy. I’m a little different from my sisters. I love my mom to bits, and I like to show it by busting her chops.

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So during one of our shopping trips, I noticed at this particular store, we had already “surprised” my mom with most of the nicer trinkets.  Then I saw it. It was the ugliest supposed-to-be-a-chicken-decoration I have ever seen in my life. This was no French country style chicken statue or Easter chick. It looked like a 4 year old made it at day care: basically a Styrofoam ball with black and red feathers glued all over it with googley eyes. It was perfect.

“She’s not going to want that! It’s ugly,” they told me.

“That’s the point,” I said, “she knows we have better taste. It’s a real surprise.”

It took a little convincing (and some snacks to make up for the trick), but they agreed to let me get the ugly chicken and present it to my mom.

At first she didn’t say anything because she thought we were serious, but once she saw that we couldn’t hold back our giggles she let us know how ugly she thought it was. Ever since then, she’d tell us to “bring back a surprise. And not a chicken!” But we always did bring back a chicken. Eventually, my mom had enough chickens to redecorate her whole kitchen and half her house. She didn’t like them, but she rarely threw them away. She would always joke that when she’d finally “buy a cabin in the woods, the house will already be decorated with all the chickens.”

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Last year on April Fool’s Day, I was in Home Goods and saw a glass chicken statue and thought “I should get that for mom today!” Then the whole idea struck. Instead of giving her the chicken that day, I decided to stock up on chickens and roosters and bomb her house with them  this April Fool’s. So for the past year, I have been buying, crafting, and stocking up on all the chickens I could find. The chickens took over our spare bedroom.

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I printed lots of chicken pictures and taped them over all the pictures in the house, and I took video of our family doing the chicken dance and played it on loop in the living room.

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I put some chickens outside.

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I made this planter at ceramics.

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And these statues

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I even made some chicken quilts and pillows for both living rooms.

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And as much as I’m teasing, it’s all in fun. To us, food is love, so along with my chicken house bomb, I made everyone lots of chicken themed dishes. Egg salad, chicken salad, deviled eggs, rotisserie chicken, chicken bites, chicken shaped cookies, and chicken cakes.

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When I was getting some things ready for the Chicken Bombing, some people asked me if my mom would get mad. I’m glad I have a mom who can take the joke, because it seems like it’s a rarity. The amount of people who were sure my mom would be furious about the prank made me appreciate her sense of humor. I knew she would pretend for a half a second that she was mad, but I knew wouldn’t actually be upset.  I was right. She thought it was hilarious. She didn’t even want me to take everything down just yet.

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 One of the most important things my mom has taught me is not to take myself too seriously. She was always playing jokes on as when we were kids, and it taught me to laugh at myself (and to question everything). My mom loves mysteries anyway. She’ll spend money on “mystery bag” items, even if she knows it’s junk, just so she can have the suspense before she checks the bag. So in my mind, that equates to her loving surprises, and thus not minding about my prank. So thanks for being a good sport, Mom! I think from now on, you can expect a chicken every April Fool’s! xoxo

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Texas Craft House

blood, sweat, and glitter y'all