Tuesday, February 21, 2012

{Savannah's Little Baby Bump} Maternity Photo Session

It is hard to believe that my little bro is having his first baby due in April. 
Little Harlynn Kate
This last weekend my sister-in-law, Savannah, let me have the opportunity to shoot her maternity photos.
I couldn't ask for a more perfect model to do maternity photos.
She has the most adorable baby bump.
Here is the first session. 
Session #2 will be in a few weeks when we can get her hubby and my brother to slow down long enough to do couple maternity photos.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A daughter may outgrow your lap, but she will never outgrow your heart

If you have been a fan of Abby's TuTu Factory since day one,
you have seen Little Miss Abby almost grow up before our eyes.
When I started Abby's TuTu Factory, Abby was only 3 years old.
Today, she is almost 8 years old!
I just cannot believe how grown up my little princess looks.
I get a little teary eyed each time
I see her grow into such a pretty girl.
She is my social little butterfly

Monday, February 6, 2012

Our road to Financial Peace: update to buying a new home

This winding and bumpy road to our financial peace has got to be one of the most eye opening experiences of my entire life.
Read all about the beginning of my journey in my first post

Now to update you on our progress.

We have completed steps 1-4.
Now step 5 and 6 say pay home off early and start a college fund.
At the moment we own two small rent homes but we do not own our own home. We have been on the look out for just the right home with the right amount of space. In our area, the price of homes are going up and up because there are more people than real estate. Since my husband and I already own two homes with mortgages we are needing to come up with 20% down payment for our next home.
Well we are looking at $30,000 or more for our down payment. GEEZ!
With 1 income and a family of 5, it is going to take a few more years or so to save up that kind of money and with the cost of homes going up the way they are, we may never get there.

What Dave Ramsey says about buying a home,

Get your finances in order

The first thing you should do is make sure you are financially ready to buy a house. In other words, you need to be debt free with a fully funded emergency fund. Be certain you can afford a new home by asking these questions:
  • Can I make at least a 10% (preferably 20%) down payment?
  • Can I afford a 15-year fixed rate loan?
  • Can I keep the house payments at or below 25% of my monthly take-home pay?
If you answered "yes" to all three questions, then you can afford a house. Otherwise, Dave strongly suggests you wait to buy a home.
You want your new home to be a blessing, not a curse, right? Follow these simple guidelines and you'll keep Murphy and his 3 cousins Broke, Desperate and Stupid from moving in.
see more at www.daveramsey.com

So my husband and I sat down and discussed exactly how we are going to come up with the money a little faster. 
During one of our classes, I remember Dave saying something along this line "Sell everything until the kids think they are next to go".
So that is exactly what we did.
No, we didn't sell the kids :)
We sold all our furniture and cleaned out closets.
Also we are very blessed to have such wonderful parents and in-laws who have opened their home to us to cut the cost of rent and utility bills.
We have made a huge sacrifice and a huge life change to get to our goals without going into debt.
Now since we have cut our bills about 75% and made money off of everything we sold, we will be at our goal by the end of the year.
Along with our new home account, we are going to need to set back money for new furniture. Since we do not need any furniture until we buy a home, we can save about $10 a week to start and then once we have our down payment saved, we can put more towards the furniture fund.
I think I can live without furniture in our new home for awhile knowing that I am not stressing over debt.
Plus, with how picky I am, it might take longer to find the right pieces than it would to save for them.
Lastly, I am going to be putting up one of our rent homes for sale and if that sells, I pray that we can get to our goal that much faster.

Friday, February 3, 2012

How to make Abby's TuTu Factory signature criss cross tutu

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Here it is a step by step instruction on 
How To Make my signature criss cross tutus

This tutorial is for personal use only
You may not use this tutorial for retail
or to sell individually or to sell in stores or online
Thank You

Supplies Needed:
Straight pins
dress form
hot glue *optional

Step 1:
Take waist measurements where the tutu will sit on the waist
Next gather your ribbon
Cut your ribbon
waist measurement + 20 inches + 20 inches = total length of ribbon

Step 2:
Cutting the tulle
The best length of tutu for the criss cross tutus is 14 inches or longer.
Today I am making a 14 inch tutu
For the tutu cut your tulle strips
28 inches long
Start by cutting
100 strips
for your tutu

Next cut the tulle for the criss cross overlay
These tulle strips need to be at least
16 inches longer than the tutu
Criss Cross Overlay 
44 inches in length
You will need
20 strips total

Step 3:
Making the tutu
Gather one tulle strip and make a loop with your fingers 
shown in photo below

Place your loop under the ribbon at the 20 inch mark

Pull the ends thru the loop

Pull tight

Repeat for the next 5 strips of tulle

Now after the 5 blue tulle strips
add 1 pink strip

 Repeat pattern
5 blue tulle strips and then 1 pink strip

As you make your tutu, keep pushing the tulle close together 
Once you are finished your tutu should look like photo below
See how far apart the pink tulle are from each other

Step 4:
Making the criss cross overlay

Tip #1
To make the perfect criss cross overlay you will to put your tutu on a dress form
on a fabulous model who will stand still for you ;)
The purpose of the dress form/mannequin
is because the tulle lays perfectly over the figure and keeps it fluffed out while you make the criss cross overlay.

Now take your straight pins and make your first criss cross
Pin in Place
Pin the first row of criss cross as close to the top as you can

Keep repeating the process all the way around the tutu.
Keep each criss cross identical from each other.

When you get to the back of the tutu make your criss cross wide enough to be able to slide the tutu on and off the mannequin

 Now start row #2
making sure you are directly in the middle of the top row

 Tip #2
Having perfect symmetry is very important for each criss cross

Starting row #3 keep checking the shape of your criss cross overlay
making sure it is starting to bell out

Row #4 you can start to see how the criss cross start to become a little wider

After Row #4 you are finished pinning your criss cross.
If you have enough length on your tulle you can make a row #5
pictured below

I kept only 4 rows and then trimmed the excess tulle even with the tutu

Now check your work and make sure you have a good shape all the way around the tutu.
If you do not have the shape you want you will need to take apart the criss cross and start over :(

Step 5:
The fun part!
Here you can choose what accessory you will attach to your criss cross overlay.
Since hot glue works wonderful with the tulle
the options are limitless!
You can use

I am making my fun criss cross confetti tutu
so I am using
square cuts of tulle
Start by cutting 3" x 6" pieces of tulle

Next tie your first square to the criss cross overlay.
Now pull the pin and set aside

Then take your second color and tie right above the first color

Next take your third color and tie right below the first color

Repeat this process at each criss cross

After I got started tying the tulle squares I noticed I need another color to "pop"
So I added green to the mix.

Please tag or send in your photos of you beautiful creations using this tutorial to Abby's TuTu Factory Facebook Fan page