holiday garlands!

i  {LOVE}  garlands.
i love how you can make them out of everything and anything. you can decorate a plain wall, a festive table, a banister or a window. i love the combinations of textures, colours and patterns garlands can hold, and i love the simplicity of the garlands included in this collection.

felt ball garland from oh happy day
snowflake garland from nifty thrifty things
red and green DIY paper garland from so i don’t forget
recycled paper origami garland from home
holiday holly garland from library of thoughts
i love all of these garlands so much! 
they are simple, but eye catching and fun to make!
which one is your favourite?
xo, mama lola

quick halloween ghost project!

 i found some old white sheets in the basement and decided to get crafty just in time for halloween. this is a super simple, super quick project, but super spooky too!


  • old sheets or fabric of your choosing
  • thread, needle
  • scissors
  • to give the fabric a rougher, spookier look i tore the sheet into squares
  • i gathered whatever was left over and made little bundles, that i tied into head shaped balls
  • i sewed on the faces free hand with a needle and red thread, super quickly. the less precise they look, the better i think
  • i held the fabric tightly to make the fabric taught and flat, making it easier to sew
my kids love these ghosts! i’ve made four and they are hanging around spinning around on their own. it’s kinda spooky, actually! everyone who has seen them has adored them! 

quick and easy and perfect for halloween!

i made a small round-up of spooky halloween decorations that can be found HERE. some of those projects were the inspiration to this ghost!

xo, mama lola

teach kids how to sew!

sewing is an important skill to have. we don’t all have to be experts, but some basic knowledge of how make things is valuable and helpful. i realize in today’s culture where everything is so cheap and easily replaced, rather than fixed, it might feel strange teaching kids how to darn socks! but c’mon, from there you can make awesome sock monkeys! haha!

here is a small collection of simple, small and lovely sewing ideas for small fingers. some are use a machine, others use hands for threading, some use felt, others denim. i’m sure you won’t regret teaching your kids how to sew, and it can prove to be a very useful skill for them. if you were to be a Cultural Care Au Pair looking after small kids, sewing might be an activity that you would like to take part in with them. as a mama to two boys, i am going to make sure they are exposed to sewing and i will encourage them to learn. bear, 5YO has expressed some interest and curiosity!

sew lavender pockets from red ted art

sewing with kids from flax & twine

felt heart garland from putti’s world

stuffed felt carrot from sewing school

celebration garland from made by rae

whale stuffies from him & her

quilted x-mas tree ornament from all free kids crafts

denim lunch money wallet from my little hen

which one is your favourite?
do you think you will get your kids sewing sooner rather than later?

xo, mama lola

lazy days.

it’s funny how far our big trip already feels. we’ve only been home a few days!

we’ve been laying low at home, playing with our toys and trying to find a familiar routine again. the weather is wet, dark and gloomy outside, which is helping justify all our inside time. although, we have made time to see friends, everything has felt very low key, which is what this mama needs right about now. we all need to charge our batteries for the wedding this weekend; friday is the rehearsal at the church and then a dinner and saturday is the wedding. that’s a lot for my two guys. and me.

got my hair done today for the wedding. i dyed it the “OMBRE” way, which i just love, love, love. my version is a bit more subtle compared to some edgier peeps, but i do love it! i can’t remember the last time i dyed my hair professionally, shocking, eh? i took the plunge as i love my hairdresser and she gets my low-maintenance needs, and never pushes any products on me. she’s amazing!

kids up in bed for stories.
time to pull out the sewing machine and work on the wedding stuff. i will post pics when the bow ties and ring bearer pillows are done.

happy tuesday everyone!

xo, mama lola

simple and fun road trip activities for kids!

here are some of the funny and crafty activities i made or purchased for the boys for our upcoming road trip out east to the maritimes. the ideas are universal and not at all unique, but as usual i was inspired by pinterest. here’s a pretty extravagant activity board by one mama, which is beautiful, but way too elaborate for me. so i toned things down A LOT and made these two different activity boards.

felt peeps n’ animals on a felt board
i took a piece of cardboard and just started hot glue-gunning the felt on. i cut the green into a hilly landscape and the blues into skies. i tried to be meticulous when gluing so that the kids wouldn’t find a corner or loose felt to start picking at. i found some felt people from a thrift store, so i made them some summer clothes. 

then i headed to micheal’s and found a ready-made felt board for only $4 (regularly $14-$20), so i bought one themed “under the sea”. cute, eh?

magnets & magnet board
i went to the dollar store and bought two small cookie sheets. then i bought a sheet magnet, fancy stickers and then headed home. 

dear hubby and i spent a couple episodes of “mad about you” sticking the stickers onto the magnet sheet and then carefully cutting them out. 

we also glued some wee dino’s onto the magnet sheets to make some 3D magnets as well. i think they turned out really well!!! RRrrroarrRR!

dollar $tore junk
i am not a huge supporter of dollar store junk, but i have to admit for this road trip that place was kind of a toy haven. i don’t want to pack precious sentimental toys, in case they get lost or destroyed on the trip, so i stocked up on funny, cheap crap instead. the kids are going to be so thrilled; anything new is always fun for a bit. i also bought some glow wands, which will be exciting at bedtime when it’s dark.

i did also purchase some more wholesome activity books to round out the junk. i chose two kumon books for bear and some simple colour/ stickering books for lion. they both love their activity books, and bear especially will be kept busy by them for long periods of time.

now, it’s time to go pack some more!

have you made any fun travel activities for your kids?

xo, mama lola

lion’s birthday par-teh!

we had a small and simple birthday party for lion’s second birthday. we invited everyone to join us at a local park, next to the river and a playground. 
it was perfect. 
we found a picnic table next some big ol’ shady trees and set up our party.
there were carrot cake and chocolate lion cupcakes.

rainbow fruit kabobs.

beautiful handmade pinwheels made by dear hubby. inspiration from HERE.

balloons for all the kids to take home!

colourful bunting flags quickly sewn up by your truly. see instructions HERE.

we had flowers from our backyard.

drinks sitting in a bucket of ice.

signing happy birthday and paljon onnea!

we ate all the goodies with goodie friends!

and lion was spoiled with lots of wonderful new toys and gifts!

and, lion was the recipient of lots of special birthday hugs and kisses!

lion’s birthday was a success! it wasn’t nearly as emotional as i had suspected, although i did have a few good sobs in the days leading up his birthday. and, as usual, i got a lump in my throat when singing paljon onnea; i am such a sop sometimes!

xo, mama lola

a how to :: birthday bunting flags.

for my sweet lion’s second birthday party, i decided to whip up some bunting flags last minute. i have some old sheets i have purchasednand collected over the years for just such a quick project. 

i cut the flags with my pinking sheers, not worrying too much about size or symmetry, as the flags will be outdoor decorations. 
then i just pinned the flags to the bias tape, sewed then together with my machine with a zig-zag stich and voila, they were done!

happy, colourful decorations, perfect for a two year olds park birthday! if you used more care and different fabric you could make them for weddings, or any fancy occasion, not just birthday parties. see, like HERE.

don’t they look lovely?
i love that i can reuse them and only spent $1.54 on the biased tape; way cheaper and eco friendlier than streamers!

xo, mama lola

bow tie tutorial: how to make your own!

the first bow tie i made for bear was a few years ago for my sister-law’s wedding.
since then i’ve made a few more for various special occasions. 


basic instructions:
choose your fabric. synthetics and silks tend to fray and be much more slippery when sewing, so more patience may be necessary as well!

1. fold fabric in half and cut out two rectangles simultaneously. then, ensure the “right side” of the fabric is facing each other and pin the two pieces of fabric together.

2. sew the pieces together, following along with the rectangle shape, remembering to leave an opening so that the fabric can be turned right side out. it’s also a good idea to enforce the stitching on either sides of the opening. i typically leave 3 cm’s. i just wing it with my machine only eyeballing the straight lines. 

3. turn the fabric side side out and then sew up the opening by hand.

4. now repeat the first three steps with rectangles of fabric that are a touch smaller than the first rectangle. when the bow tie is cinched and put together it gives it more depth.

5. cut another two rectangles out, this time wanting it to be long and skinny. this piece is going to cinch the bow tie in the middle and essentially hold it all together.

6. now there’s two ways to sew the middle section.
a) the proper way: place the two rectangle pieces (or take one larger piece and fold it in half) facing each other with the wrong side showing. sew three sides leaving one of the ends open. then turn it right side out. you may want to you use something like a pen or a kitchen utensil of sorts to help move the fabric as the piece is going to small and finicky.
b) the lazy way: place the rectangle pieces together with the right side showing and sew the one side creating a tube.

7. take the two larger bow rectangles, placing the smaller of the two on top of the other an dthen take the long, middle piece and wrap it around the centre. depending on if you went the proper or lazy way of sewing, make sure you tuck and raw edges and hide any imperfections. 

8. sew up the ends of the middle sections by hand, ensuring the bow tie stays in shape. some people like to attach the middle piece to the bow section. 

9. now add your elastic. loop it under the middle, cinching fabric and the sew the ends by hand. kids typically like them slightly loose and if you’re making one for a special occasion then you can tuck it nicely under the collar of a shirt.

let me know if these instructions make sense!

good luck!

xo, mama lola

ho! ho! ho! i’m already thinking about the holidays!

click on the red tab on the right and join me on pinterest! —————–>
i am looking forward to the holidays this year. the magic of christmas, especially with the kids is so great. bear and i have had some serious conversations about santa or joulupukki, as he’s called at our house. you know, where he lives, the logistics of his job and the always curious idea of what he does in the summer. i am a bit of a sucker for this particular holiday. i have lovely memories of christmases past from growing up in finland and am trying to create some wonderful memories for my kids to cherish.

this year, i really want to make the boys an advent calendar. there are some super cute ideas out there, but i am going to keep it simple, i think. 

in my fabric stash i found tons of the burlap that’s left over from our wedding. i can’t decide what to do with it… possibilities below include:
A) is to make 24 burlap pockets and sew them to a background fabric, like in the picture below.


B) or sew 24 little bags from the burlap and then hang them from a branch or something. i have no picture of this, as it’s my own idea.

either way, i want the calendar to fit a surprise for each kid on each day. i also want it to grow with the boys as they get older, instead of being too childish or babyish. i have some felt that i will use to decorate the pockets or bags, as i think the calendar above is a tad too plain for my liking.

i would love some input and suggestions! time is a ticking and i gotta get sewing!

happy monday!

xo, mama lola

tea towel tutorial

this project is as easy or as difficult as you want to make it. embellishing tea towels is something people have been doing for a long time, but it’s what and how you do it that makes it fun. the window for creativity is huge on this project.

i started off by buying a pack of tea towels. then i sat on the floor with the towels and chose my fabrics, all the while trying to decide on a design. i searched the internet for ideas and instructions on how to do this. this is what i was going to do first, but when i saw these towels here i decided to go with the more elaborate design.

since the towels were going to the kids’ grandma and mummo for mother’s day, i wanted to personalize them and do something cute. dear hubby was in charge of tracing the kids’ hands, which from the sounds of it was one of the trickiest parts of the project!

– tea towels
– iron-on fabric adhesive
– scissors
– fabric
– thread
– pins & needles
– iron and flat surface to iron on

basic instructions:
1. choose design and fabrics for embellishment. cut out design.
2. iron your tea towels and fabrics well before starting. leave your iron out and plugged in!

3. once you have decided on a design, start cutting your iron-on fabric adhesive. 
4. i sewed the thicker band that sits at the bottom of the towel at one end first and then ironed on the adhesive. then i sewed all around the other edges of the band.

5. if in your design you have something under your band/ ribbon iron on your adhesive before sewing the edges! i had my flower stems.
6. keep ironing your design and then sewing. i did the little hearts inside the hands by hand in a very loose and random stitch.

that’s really all there is to it. the more intricate your design, the longer it takes to sew. the little hands were a pain to sew with all the turns – stitch, foot up, turn fabric, foot down, stitch 4 stitches, foot up, turn fabric etc… you get the idea. 

please share your ideas and projects with me!

xo, mama lola
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