Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A Cowboy Christmas

This year for our church Christmas party, we decided (actually, I strongly lobbied) to do a Cowboy Christmas party.  It had me scouring the thrift shops for cowboy boots, 
hats, blankets, wooden crates, pots and pans, and anything else that seemed to fit the theme.

I hope y'all have fun viewing the pictures from the event!

To start, I downloaded various clipart from the web and put together an invitation using photoshop.

The lettering for the welcome sign was cut using my Cricut.  It was displayed on a rustic easel I used previously at my daughter's country wedding.  A few extra props rounded out the scene.

The stage was decorated using a variety of props.  I painted a simple backdrop on some thin black fabric, then pinned it to the curtains.  Some weathered fencing was used to make the fence posts and rails.  A string of Christmas lights made it more festive.   A variety of barrels and crates were used to make a podium for the performers.  Jasper, the donkey, made an appearance again as he had at several other parties.  In fact, he has been to Jerusalem, Nauvoo, and South of the Border!

I made a tripod from some rustic poles and hung a kettle over the faux firepit. 

The performers did an excellent job singing favorite cowboy songs and quoting cowboy poetry.

The table centerpieces were silk poinsettias and greenery in cowboy boots sitting on top of neckerchiefs.  

A variety of lanterns, greenery, and pinecone flowers were also used.

Even the children's table had a child size boot centerpiece.

Each place setting had a little paper denim pocket stuffed with a napkin and utensils.  I cut the pocket shapes using my Cricut, then stitched two of them together to form the pocket.  I glued on a star and "rivets."  I had to make about 150 of these, which I did in the evenings while watching movies with my husband!

The perimeter of the room was decorated with cowboy silhouettes, and mason jar lanterns.

The Waterin' Hole was a big hit.  We served lemonade, water, rootbeer, and creme soda.  

I built some stands from weathered fence boards to elevate the beverage dispensers.

 The photo corner was decorated with old barn doors, rustic metal stars, a trunk to sit on, and various crates and props.

I think my favorite part of the decorations was the chuckwagon.  I used a 6' folding table for the base.  I built a box from weathered barn wood and fit it over the table so that the edges of the table were hidden.  I only had one wagon wheel from an earlier activity, so I had to build a second one to match.  The wheels are fastened to the legs of the table by a wooden dowel "axle."  The ribs of the covering are 1/2" pvc pipes.  The covering was made from a king-sized sheet.  It was fun having it all come together!

I filled it full of crates, baskets, pots, pans, lanterns, and handmade flour and sugar sacks.

While the buffet tables on either side of the chuckwagon served pulled pork, baked beans, baked baby reds, and coleslaw, the chuckwagon served the biscuits and individual apple crisps.

My adorable parents, who have always been so supportive of me and my adventures, dressed up in their finest western wear and came to the party.

My dad even carved a wooden gun to carry in his handmade leather holster.  He was our sheriff for the night.  Although, my mom had some doubts that anyone actually felt safer with an 81 year-old sheriff and his wooden gun!

I even got to dance with my dad!

It was a fun evening and well attended.  As always, a big thank you to the many people who helped with setup and take-down.  Also, the willing performers and Megan with her wonderful food committee!

One extra bonus with this activity...we had a young couple get married a week later and guess what theme they wanted for their reception?  A western theme!  We were able to utilize many of the decorations for their reception, tweaking them a little to make them more wedding-like.  It was great!

I like to link to these great parties!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

"Cut & Paste" Jeans

The other day I felt like experimenting with some jeans.  I got the urge to "cut & paste," so to speak, one pair onto another.

I began by picking out the hem on both pairs of jeans.  My jeans weren't the same length, so I ended up cutting off the bottom of the longer jeans to match the other pair. Once I was finished sewing my inserts, I reattached the part of the hem I had cut off to make the over all jeans the right length.  You can see it better in the close-up that follows later in the post.

I also picked apart some of the waistband on both pairs.

Next, I cut away a portion of the jeans that would be receiving the insert.
I cut this strip 3" wide, or 1 1/2" on the fold.

I then cut away the side of the other pair of jeans to add as my insert.  I cut this insert 2" wider than the first, so it was 5" wide, or 2 1/2" on the fold.  This allowed for 1/2" seams on both sides of the insert.

I pinned and stitched my inserts in place, then reattached the waistband.

After removing the pockets from the one pair of jeans, I pinned and stitched them offset over the other pockets.

And that was it...a "cut and paste" pair of jeans!

I like to link to these great parties!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Refashion Runway: The Riverside Blue Challenge

Well, here we are on the last week of Refashion Runway!  It's been a lot of fun this season.  The ladies who have participated are all so talented and friendly!  Beth, The Renegade Seamstress, has been the perfect hostess, as always!

This last challenge consisted of refashioning something in Pantone's color of the fall season, Riverside Blue.  I always find the color challenges a bit harder since you are limited as to what you can find in the thrift shops.  But, sometimes those limits help to push the creativity.

My challenge began with a black leather coat that I had in my stash.  I picked it up for $2.00, stored it away and forgot about it.  When I came across it again, I thought it might work well for this challenge.  All I needed was some denim in the right color.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Refashion Runway: The Tunic Challenge

Once again, thank you to everyone following along, sewing along, and voting in this fun competition.  It's been a challenge, but a lot of fun this season!

This week, on Refashion Runway the theme is tunic.  I actually made two tunics this week.  The first one started with a XL men's dress shirt.  After passing it by because of the price, I was fortunate to go back a week later and pick it up for half price.  I love a good deal! 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Refashion Runway: The Button Challenge

First off, thanks to everyone following along, sewing along, and voting!  And, a big thanks to Beth for hosting this friendly sewing competition!

This week on Refashion Runway, the theme is buttons.  Of all the buttons to choose from, I went with basic white buttons.  But its what was needed to achieve the look I was going for.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Refashion Runway: The Metallic Challenge

Last week's velvet challenge was a lot of fun and a big thanks to everyone who voted!

This week's challenge for Refashion Runway is Metallic.  I really didn't want to make something that was too formal, which seemed to be the natural thing to do with metallic fabric.  I opted, instead, for a more casual look with metallic accents.  I started with a fleece-lined jacket, shower curtain hooks, a sequined t-shirt, and a studded blouse.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Refashion Runway: The Velvet Challenge

The first week of Refashion Runway gave all of us the chance to work with velvet, or velvet-like fabrics.  It was great to see what each contestant came up with!  Make sure you head over to The Renegade Seamstress to enjoy all of the creativity and to vote for your favorite!

I started with a strapless velvet dress, a sequined top, and a collar left over from a previous refashion.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Refashion Runway: Season Four...The All-Star Edition!

I am thrilled to be participating in season four of Refashion Runway, hosted by the "ever-so-sweet" Beth, a.k.a The Renegade Seamstress!

She has asked a few contestants from each of the previous three seasons to do our best to wow you with creative refashions.  The competition will continue for five weeks, with each week being a different themed challenge.  The weeks are as follows:

Week one:  Velvet

Week two:  Metallic

Week three:  Buttons

Week four:  Tunic

Week Five: Pantone Color of the Season: Riverside

Each contestant will be scored by a panel of judges and public voting.  It's a blast and the fun begins Saturday, August 6th!

Tune in to The Renegade Seamstress to see all the fun.  And, if you would like to sew along, Beth is more than happy to post your creative refashions!  Happy sewing and good luck to all the lovely ladies!

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