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A Simple Train Party


So my baby turned 2.  Which makes him not a baby anymore.  I thought that last birthday, but this time it is really true.Carter's Simple Train Party

Picking a theme for this year’s party was simple.  This boy loves his trains.  Big trains.  Little trains.  Real trains.  Toy trains.  TV trains.  Train Whistles.  Train Tracks.

You get the idea.

But we also wanted to keep the party low key.  All he cares about is having fun with his family.  He won’t remember how much time and money was spent making him an elaborate birthday cake.  Or how many people were there. So no going to Pinterest for ideas.  And repeating the mantra…keep it simple…keep it simple…keep it simple.

The invitation was a quick and easy find off Etsy.


Carter loved his and carried his own personal copy with him for several days.  While the making the proper “choo choo” sound effects.  I took that as his approval.

We reused the the fabric buntings from last year’s party.  Simple party tip-keep the color scheme the same and reuse all of your crap.  This kid is going to have a blue party until he is 15.

Carter's Simple Train Party

I appliqued a “2” on a blue t-shirt for the birthday boy.  In case any one was going to forget how old he was. I had not done applique before and it was quick and easy.

Carter's Simple Train Party

Well after I remembered to make a mirror image of the “2” I printed out.  Otherwise it will be backwards.  Not that that happened.

Instead of a cake, we ordered cupcakes from a friend.  And I constructed a train out of cardboard boxes, wrapping paper, and foam.  Much easier materials to work with than cake and fondant.

Carter's Simple Train Party

Carter's Simple Train Party

The table runner is made out of felt.  I bought a half yard of the blue from a craft store and cut it into a long strip.  Then I used three pieces of gray felt that you can buy in the squares to cut railroad ties.  A couple of strips of black later we had a railroad track.

Carter's Simple Train Party

My original intention was to make it no sew and just use heat n bond to attach it.  With the idea that I would just sew it later if he really wanted to play with it.

I had gotten to the third track with heat n bond when I decided that was a stupid idea.  Was there any doubt that Mr. Train would leave it alone?  Out came the sewing machine.  And it was a good decision considering this was the scene in our family room the day after the party.  He may have that at his parties until he is 15 as well.

Carter's Simple Train Party

In the background we played Carter’s favorite movie of all time.  Volume 2.  Like last year it was a compilation of pictures and video clips from his past year.  It took quite a long time to organize all the pics and put it together so this may not be a tradition every year.  But he was enthralled.  Even when there were presents to be opened.

Carter's Simple Train Party

And since most of the guests were grandparents or other family members that would be interested in watching a hour long Carter movie, we also had some as favors.  They at least pretended to want to watch it again.

For food, we had a pizza bar.  We made crusts ahead of time and everyone did their own toppings before we popped them on the grill. 

Carter's Simple Train Party

The strawberry basil margaritas were also a hit.

Overall I think he had a grand time with all his favorite people and a little bit of choo-choos thrown in.

Carter's Simple Train Party


Carter's Simple Train Party

Carter's Simple Train Party

Happy 2nd birthday Carterman!

The Briar Rose Quilt


Sometimes it is nice to sew with some pink. And strawberries.  And frogs.

Briar Rose Quilt

And sometimes it is nice to make a simple quilt and let the fabric do the heavy lifting.  Especially when it is so pretty.

Briar Rose Quilt

I spent a lot of time trying what to sew up with my charm pack of Briar Rose by Heather Ross.  I had many ideas and a couple of them even made to the design wall. 

But I just did not want to cut it up too much.  Those frogs. 

Briar Rose Quilt

Briar Rose Quilt

And the other whimsical goodies hiding the patterns.

Briar Rose QuiltBriar Rose Quilt

So I ended up a pattern I have done before-this quilt by Elizabeth Hartman.  It is a great pattern for a beginner and the fabrics can shine.

Briar Rose Quilt

I quilted it with my favorite wave and backed it with some girly purple polka dot. 

Briar Rose Quilt

Since I do not have any little girls in my house and the little one who lives here already has plenty of quilts, this one is going to be a baby gift. 

Briar Rose Quilt

I copied my friend Jaime’s great idea and put the quilt label on the binding.  It is unobtrusive and easy. Perfect.

When the fabric line comes up later this month, I may have to get some more of those frogs.  And maybe the strawberries. In a couple of colors.

A Navy Gallery Wall


So we bought a gallon of paint and did a little mini-redo on the upstairs gallery wall.  I was a little bit worried that navy would make the space look a little too dark.  And that if we hated it we could not paint it back to the original color because we did not have it.

But I loved it from when the first coat went on.

Navy Gallery Wall- Anything Pretty

And now looking at the before pictures I love it even more.

The boring Before (reminding just how much I want to paint the entire entryway.  And get a new light fixture.)-


And the After (a navy wall distraction from those thoughts)-Navy Gallery Wall- Anything Pretty

Navy Gallery Wall- Anything Pretty

Navy Gallery Wall- Anything Pretty

Painting a hallway wall was an easy and quick project that achieved in a couple naptimes.  We added some more pictures and frames as well-using the old paper on the wall method.

At night as you can see by the crappy phone pic.

by @anythingpretty1

And I love all the new pictures that now got updated and added to the walls.  You can never have too many black frames with white mats.  And a cute kid and dogs help too.  Although one could make an argument a maximum number of those per house could exist.Navy Gallery Wall- Anything PrettyNavy Gallery Wall- Anything PrettyNavy Gallery Wall- Anything PrettyNavy Gallery Wall- Anything Pretty

(Paint color is Rainstorm by Sherwin-Williams).

Anyone else wanting to paint something navy?

Four Things


1. We are in full fledged summer mode. 



IMG_8949Baseball gaming, strawberry picking, family vacation mode.  Which is heavenly.

2. The garden is growing and I have decided to ignore the weeds and pretend I planted them.



Gardening with an almost two year old is much different than an almost one year old.  He now loves to help.  Salad ripping and spinning is one of his favorite activities.   If he would only eat the fruits of his labor.

by @anythingpretty1

3. DIY is in full swing around here.  So many posts to write, so little time.  One of which is my new and improved craft room.  Should be ready for unveiling next week.  Or as soon as I have time to take some decent pictures.  It is my new happy place.


4. As I am sure you are aware, Google reader’s final day is today.  Sniff.  I have moved over to Bloglovin’ and would love it if you followed me over there as well.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Hope everyone has a happy 4th!  We will be enjoying more summer fun.  And writing some posts. 

A Little Glimma


These Glimma triangles have been sitting on my design wall for a long time.  Possibly since January.

And they finally made it into a quilt.

A Little Glimma Quilt by Anything Pretty

For us.  That will stay in our house and we snuggle under watching TV.  Possibly my favorite kind.  Right after the kind that little boys snuggle under.

A Little Glimma Quilt by Anything Pretty

It was a super simple quilt…just a charm pack with some solids from my stash mixed in and cut into triangles.  I used the cardboard that came with the charm pack as a triangle template and hacked away.

A Little Glimma Quilt by Anything Pretty

The solid is quilter's linen and I love how it looks as well as how soft it is.

A Little Glimma Quilt by Anything Pretty

This is the first quilt I quilted with my new machine.  Quilting used to be one of my least favorite parts of making a quilt.  Not anymore.  I wanted to keep it simple and just did straight lines. Free motion quilting will be up next.

A Little Glimma Quilt by Anything Pretty

The back is some IKEA fabric we picked over Spring Break. 

A Little Glimma Quilt by Anything Pretty

A Little Glimma Quilt by Anything Pretty

And I may have discovered a new quilt picture-taking spot.  Unfortunately those flowers only bloom once a year and the entire street can see me battling to take a picture of a quilt. Over a fence. In the wind.

Maybe I should keep searching...

How To Antique Fake Brass


When the hardware for the Murphy Bed arrived in all of it cheap-fake-yellow-shiny brass glory, I knew we needed to age it somehow.  To give it a little bit of patina. The card catalog was supposed to look old and all the yellow shininess did not say “antique” to me at least.  It said something more like “welcome to 1992.”

I did some google researching and most of what I came up with was about aging real brass.  At 1.15 a pop, I knew my handles were not the real thing.  The tint and high sheen also would indicate that. I did find some suggestions about sanding them down before painting them to take off the shine.


DIY card catalog murphy bed

Way too many handles for that.

We had some extra pulls, so I got some plastic cups and let one soak in acetone and one in white vinegar overnight.

I looked at them the next morning.

Still shiny.  And they continued to shine the after another night of soaking.

So I took them out in frustration and to do some more research.  Because I

The next morning, something miraculous happened.

How-To Age Fake Brass

The white vinegar handle aged after it was exposed to air. (the acetone one still looked the same)

Yes! I was doubly excited because vinegar is also cheaper than acetone and not a toxic chemical.

In effort to save containers, we dumped the handles into a gallon of vinegar with the top cut off.

How-To Age Fake Brass

It soaked overnight.  And then laid it out a trash bag to let the air do its magic.

How-To Age Fake Brass

Starting to see something.

How-To Age Fake Brass

After a day we washed them off in warm soapy water and had old looking brass.  With each looking a bit different.

DIY Card Catalog Murphy Bed

The “new” finish held fine during install and all the handling involved in that.

If you were using this technique on a handle was going to get touched on a daily basis, I would check to see how it holds up first.  I assume it would be okay, but I did not try that variable since these are purely decorative.  Also I am not sure how many different types of fake brass there are.  This method may not work on all types.  Moral of the story?  Test your stuff out first to see what happens.

I am just happy to find a method that was quick, easy, and cheap.  And involved no sanding.