Sunday, December 12, 2010

Preschool ideas

I recently happened upon this great preschool resource and thought I should share the link. She has lots of links to good preschool activities of all types of subjects.

Pre-Kinders: Resources for Pre-K teachers.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Playhouse link

I know I've already linked to a little fabric house, but I loved the "extras" on this!! So, so cute. So far in my Christmas crafting I've made 1/2 dozen fabric eggs, and a handful of strawberries. lol. I better get sewing! I just wish we had a joann's closer so I could just go pick up a lot of felt easily. The felt I'm using for the food is wool felt from a quilt shop. Quality and beautiful, but way too expensive to do a play house!

Felt Playhouse found at homemade by jill
A spin off of hers is also found at fireflies and jelly beans

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Celia's handcrafted Christmas link list

I just realize I TOTALLY dropped the ball on the challenges. Oops. My life kind of flipped upside down in Aug./Sept. and I'm just now kind of getting back into "recreational crafting".  With Christmas around the corner, I have a few things I'd like to make, but we'll see what actually materializes.

I saw a really inexpensive wooden kitchenette at kid-to-kid when I was looking for Dean's birthday present. I haven't bought it, but I'm hoping it's still there. If it is, I want to make a load of felt food. If Jess or Mar have favorite tutorials (since I know you've made some) let me know. That link is to a picture board with links to tutorials. I would love to make: eggs (whole and fried), sandwich items, Chinese take out box and food, all veggies and fruits, stuff to make tacos and/or stirfry (I'm trying to figure out how I can do rice...I was thinking of just cutting the white felt into small rice size pieces. Messy though...), and maybe a few cookies or doughnuts. Not sure how long the process is, so I need to get started! If I can't find a cheap kitchen, I guess I could make one! Those are sooo beautiful, but I doubt I'd have time/energy.

Edit: Here's another link to some great felt food that I just found on Sew Mama Sew. It has a few things I didn't see on the other sites. 

The felt fort-table cover at Make it and Love it that Lisa linked awhile back. I kind of want to make it fit my kitchen table so they have a larger play area, but that's a lot of felt! I think they'd love it.

Mini car mats by Serving Pink Lemonade. I think the car mat could be cute in a quiet book. I'd love to do other quiet book things as well. She also has a very cute mini take-along toy barn, though I doubt that will make the cut this Christmas for me.

I have stuff for Walt's car quilt to match Dean's. The back fabric has a brown base, and the outer edges are a bright blue. I would love to do that, but it may be too big of a project between now and then if I want to do anything else.

Halloween totes

I had every intention of making LeAnne's tote that Maren made, but the night before Halloween I found that I hadn't started or gathered materials, and I was babysitting for a friend all night. About 10 min. before I headed out the door, I grabbed a few fatquarters I thought might work, some batting, and my sewing machine. I thought I'd have internet access while there, but their computer was turned off. So, instead of making LeAnne's, I decided to make/modify a little basket I made a couple years ago that I kind of remembered. I had a piece of the brown pleather stuff I used last time for the bottom already cut the right size, so I made the two other pieces the same size as the bottom and cut the batting and lining to fit it once the three outer pieces were sewn together.

I'll tell you what I modified on her pattern: all 3 outer pieces were 6 in. X 9.5 in. and the batting and lining were modified to fit that once they were sewn together. The sewing process is essentially the same basket as pink penguin's scrap basket but with slightly taller and solid sides (so you don't have to worry about the patchwork steps), so please, check her basket and tutorial out!

Each basket took me less than an hour I think...

 Here it is in action. Absolutely the perfect size for a 3 year old trick-or- treater. I think the size would also work very nicely as a scripture tote for a mini quad.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Orange Flower Girl Dress

My brother got married last month and he and his now wife wanted to have their three nieces in orange. My three year old and my new sister in law's three year old niece had matching dresses and my challenge was to make something that coordinated -without seeing in person the other two dresses. This is a picture of the dress online.  My best bet around here was to find something at JoAnn's which can be pretty limiting. I found the only fabric that I thought would fit the bill. It was close enough. In fact, one of my sister in laws had offered to make ties and bowties for all of the nephews and she used this exact same fabric. It is a costume satin. I am glad that it worked out for the wedding, but it does not hold up very well. I had to wash it after the wedding and the dress now has a lot of nice little snags in it. I used my favorite little girl dress pattern for this. Simplicity 2767. I bought matching tulle to put on the outside of the skirt to match the others but decided that I didn't like the way it looked with this dress and because I knew that there was a good chance that the tulle would get ripped to shreds. I was right on that account. After the wedding Bella's dress had a hole in her tulle and I will now have to trim it or cut it off completely if she wants to wear it again.

Because I don't really care for the flowers in the pattern I wanted to try something different on this dress. I have been wanting to make some burned edge flowers for a long long time and this seemed like the perfect chance. One of my cousins recently directed me to this wonderful tutorial so I used that for guidance. It was so fun I ended up making a bazillion of these. I made a few for hair accessories for the girls and one for myself and several others I had intended on sharing with any of the girls in the wedding party that were interested, but it turns out my new SIL has a very talented sister who made cute flowery hairbands for all the girls. So I now have a lot of these laying around my house. Some on brooch pins like this one. And some on hair clips, headbands and bobby pins.  I'm not sure what I am going to do with them so maybe they will end up as gifts. I found some pink and yellow satins in the remnant bin the other day so i am excited to make some in those colors as well.


Trick or Treat Totes

 LeAnne's Trick or Treat Totes have been on my list for the last two years so I am happy to say that I finally made them this year.

While I was at JoAnn's before Halloween I noticed that all of their Halloween fabric was on sale (40% or 50%) so some of it was super cheap. I bought some Halloween fabric for the first time in my life with the intention of making these... and hopefully a few other fun Halloween things in the next year or two. The kids loved picking out their favorites of what I brought home. Buddy wanted the green bat fabric and Bella picked out the purple trick or treaters and my two favorite fabrics were the black/silver/sparkly spider web and candy fabric. So I put those together for the baby. I had fun cutting the shapes out of felt and doing a little embroider work. And I won't lie - sewing the spider onto the bag was a beast. It was worth it though because I love it and Bella decided it was her favorite. I think they are so cute though and the kids loved them. Even little Lou grabbed onto hers when we got in the car and didn't want to let go.

These cute Halloween totes made our Halloween even sweeter! Thanks LeAnne for the great tutorial!


Fabric Hair Rollers

Here are the hair rollers I made using this tutorial. I made them a little differently because I thought my way of doing it was a bit easier. I will tell you what I did differently after I show you the pictures. I loved that I could use my fabric scraps for this project.

This is after she slept on them all night and are a little loose.

This is right after I took them out and sprayed them

From the front

I wish they made her hair curlier. I am not sure if her hair is just too long or what. There are some tips found here on how to use the rollers. I might try to find some of the same mousse that she uses to see if it makes a difference and wait for her hair to dry a little bit more. Also I think Wonder Woman Creations made her curlers a little bit smaller. If I ever do this again, I would like to make them smaller. I still think her hair turned out cute. I have actually used them on my hair and liked the way it turned out as well. It was soft and wavy.

For anyone interested, here is what I did differently from the tutorial mentioned above.

Once I had my piece cut out and folded in half longwise, I sewed all the way down the long end and across one short end instead of just sewing part way. I then flipped it right side out took my disappearing ink pen and marked 4" and stuffed it to that line and then sewed it on the line to seal in the stuffing. I kind of bunched it all up too as I was sewing across the line to get the gathered effect. Let's just call that lazy gathering.

I then ran all of my curlers through my serger to serge the raw ends. Yay for sergers! Alternatively, I would have folded in the the end and sewed it shut. Then I sewed on the button. To make the button end rounder I stuck my needle and thread into one corner and  then the other corner and pulled it tight bringing the corners in and making the end rounder. I then continued to sew the button to the center of that end.

To make the button hole (I actually like mine better horizontal) I folded my unstuffed end up towards the button and using my trusty disappearing ink pen I marked exactly where the button hole should go and because I used a lot of different sized buttons I made my mark the same length as the button so when I did my buttonhole on my sewing machine I knew exaclty where to start and stop. I hope that is understandable without pictures. Basically I just marked exactly where I needed my button hole to go and exactly how long it needed to be. Then I got my ol' seam ripper out and cut open my button hole. Tada! Pretty simple.


Shirred Dress

This dress was made from the Zinna pattern from Kustom Kids Boutique which has now closed their doors. I like the dress but once again I am not a big fan of the fabrics I put together. I love the main fabric but I don't love how it looks with the blue here. Oh well. And I have to find some better elastic thread and redo some of the sewing on this dress because some of the elastic has already broken because I used some cheap-on-a-plastic-spool-kind of elastic thread. Don't make that mistake. If you are going to shirr, make sure you get the right kind of thread. See LeAnne's tutorial on shirring. She even has a great picture of the RIGHT kind of elastic thread. I also did another dress from the Kiera pattern also from Kustom Kids Boutique. It is basically the same thing except instead of a ruffle it has a contrasting band across the bottom and no tie. It turned out a lot cuter than this one, but I haven't taken a picture of it yet. I also have to redo some of the stitching on that one.  Shirring seiriously is ridiculously easy. You can pretty much make a dress like this in one afternoon. Check out LeAnne's Sweet Summer Dress Tutorial for a simple shirred dress, easy to change up however you like.


Wooden Peg Dolls and House

I'm going to try to play some quick catch up. I made this in August for my daughters birthday and I posted it on my family blog, but I thought I would include it here as well. The house is a CD tower that was purchased at JoAnns as well as all of the wooden pieces that I used to make the furniture. I really would have liked to have done more with this, but I ran out of time. If I were to do another one of these I think I would use spray paint on some of the items to save on time and I would use paint pens for the smaller details. Overall a really fun project. Inspiration and some guidlines here and here.


Friday, November 5, 2010

Q is for Queen and Quilt

Another month, another week of preschool. This month I had Q and R. I was super worried for Q and excited for R, but Q was more successful in the end!

Let's see. It was raining the whole time so we stayed indoors:

We first watched QU by They Might be Giants. I couldn't find my DVD, so we watched it on youtube. Thank heavens for Youtube. The kids thought it was hillarious! They all wanted to watch it twice, except Dean since he's already seen it a billion times.

Then we played "Find the Q". I had words taped to my wall and I had them each grab a handful. I drew a line down my white board and labled one side Q and the other side was a Q with a line through it. They thought that was funny. Kids. I had them tell me which words were Q words and then had them tape it to the right side. They did pretty well with the Q at the beginning, but really struggled with q in the middle of the word even though I highlighted the qu's.

The kids proclaimed they were starving, so we had a picnic snack on a quilt in my living room. We ate "Quaker" oat and jam bars that I made that morning. Yum.  We pretended that we were at the park and I asked what they saw. They said they saw bikes and balloons. Then the balloons were popping. Then one of the boys was popping. Then we had to put him back together. Obviously we have a crew of mostly boys.

S was much more interested in the tools than snack. =)

After snack we made a Queen out of the letter Q. I got puffy paints to let them use, but I had no idea what would result. They made HUGE mounds of paint that took hours and hours to dry, but it was still cute. I made crowns out of foam and let them decorate them with sequence.

Since they were already in their "smocks" from art, we played cut the quarter. This was a game we played for FHE growing up. You pack flour into a container with a wider top than bottom and flip it over onto a pan of sorts. Each kid gets a turn cutting away the flour and the object is to keep the quarter up as long as possible. We got 10 cuts the first time, but fewer and fewer after that since Dean was cutting straight into the quarter every turn he got. Stinker. One girl had found my Guatemalan "treasure" in my toys and had brought it over.  So I let them play with the flour and bury treasure for a little bit. I thought it was so cute when one boy said, "This feels nice." as he was running his hand through it.

We cleaned them up and I let them purchase items (mostly discounted Halloween stuff) from my store with quarters. This was a little chaotic. I had the items out where they could just grab them. They were marked with a "price tag" of how many quarters they needed.  If I were to do it over, I think I'd do it more "concession stand" style and have the merchandise behind me. They would have to tell me what they want and I'd have them give me the correct number of quarters. Next time I guess.

That was the whole day! They were all so good and everything went smoothly enough. It was fun.  We didn't even get to the paper quilts I'd prepped. I had squares for them to glue to a paper and holes punched around the edges so they could "quilt" with a plastic needle and yarn. I'll keep it in my "preschool arsenal" I guess.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

King of the Wild Things!

Yes, you read correctly. This is MDawg posting! I came up with an idea for a Halloween costume for my toddler that I thought would be perfect for him. I saw some costumes online to buy for way too much money. So I decided I could probably make one myself. So, that's what I did. Although each stitch was technically done by me, I had a lot of technical support from my expert mom. I still can't figure out how you girls have time to do all that you do! The only time I could sew was at night when the kids were asleep. And by the time they are asleep, I don't want to sew. I just want to go to bed! Maren, I think it's great that you are happy to make costumes for your kids every year. I told Scott next year if I get a crazy idea to make a Halloween costume to remind me that it stresses me out. I prefer to go the day after Halloween and buy cheaply made costumes for cheap. With that being said, this wild thing definitely did look quite cute (if I do say so myself)!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tutorial: Strawberry Shortcake Hat

Although I have not found a lot of time lately to blog, I have still found some time to sew. Once I catch my breath I will catch you up on some of the stuff I have been sewing lately - including the hair rollers and some burned edge satin flowers.

I love Halloween. I do not, however, love the costumes found in the costume isles or in the Halloween stores for one reason or another (quality, $$$, etc). I especially don't love the costumes for little girls. But I won't go there today. I will just say that I think I will be making Halloween costumes for the rest of my life. And I will be happy to do it.

Bella finally decided, with a little persuasion from me, to be Strawberry Shortcake for Halloween. Her costume was pretty simple to throw together. I appliqued felt diamonds and a strawberry on a plain white t-shirt, bought some tights at one of those Halloween stores, and made a tutu. I admit that I think her costume would be a lot cuter with a simple elastic waistband skirt that matches the hat, but she loves tutus and I know her tutu years are limited. She loves it and feels magical in it so that is good enough for me. When she wears her costume for real I will probably curl her hair and paint a little strawberry on her cheek and maybe give her some freckles. I know there are pink strawberry shortcake wigs out there that you can buy for little girls, but I didn't want to spend the money on one or the time tracking one down. So basically the only thing I was perplexed on was her hat and I wasn't able to find any good tutorials out there for the right kind of hat. So here you go. It isn't the fanciest tutorial, but I hope you will get the picture.

This costume is based on the latest version of Strawberry Shortcake.

First: Make the brim

I got out my daughter's baseball hat and traced the shape of the brim onto a Costco milk box. I then cut it out and wrapped it in duct tape as suggested in this Threadbanger brimmed beanie tutorial.

I then traced around the brim on some wool felt. This is the same felt that I used to applique diamonds on her t-shirt. Make sure to leave enough room around the brim for a seam allowance - at least 1/2".

I actually only cut around the bottom and left the top flat.

Sew around outside edges and flip it right side out so that it looks like this.

Stuff your taped cardboard  brim inside and trace around the inside edge of the brim.

Sew along that line sealing the brim inside. Trim about 1/2" - 3/4" leaving enough material to sew to hat.

For the rest of the hat I took a one yard cut of pink fabric and cut it 10" deep. So I had a strip of fabric 36" x 10". I then cut three 6" slits dividing the strip into fourths. My fabric was folded into fourths already so I cut along the fold marks. Here is a good tutorial that I used for the method. I just had to find a way to make it bigger and floppier.

After you have your sections notched, create a football shape for each section. I folded each section in half and sketched something like this. Cut.

This is what it should look like when you are finished. I must have gotten a little lazy on the last one because it looks more like a triangle than a football.

Next sew adjacent sides together and do a basting stitch along the bottom edge. It should start looking kind of showercapish.

Next take a piece of wide elastic and measure it around your child's head. I happened to have some underwear elastic so that is what I used. Sew it into a circle.

Pin the hat to the elastic, gathering it evenly along the basting stitch as you do so. Sew the hat to the elastic. The other option would be to make a casing for the elastic. I just thought this was a lot easier.

Now, I had pictures for the rest of this process but my own dear Strawberry Shortcake got a hold of my camera and deleted them. Basically I took the elastic and flipped it towards the inside of the hat and sewed it in place. I then centered the brim and sewed it onto the hat above the elastic part so that the elastic part is not visible from the top. 

You are now finished (unless you want to embelish with a strawberry or green felt leaves on top)

Hopefully this picture will give you an idea of what it should look like.

Here is the whole costume. I have debated doing a strawberry purse, but I don't know if I will get to that - maybe when I convince my baby to be Strawberry Shortcake two years from now :)

(Please don't use pictures without permission)


Friday, October 15, 2010

Tool belt

Dean wanted to be a builder for Halloween, and I felt like my alien "tool belt" just wasn't going to be suitable for a builder. A gardener maybe, but not a builder. So I set out to make him a new one. I found one tutorial for a belt similar to what I was going for, but it was a bit confusing, so I ended up winging most of it and added some things here and there. It turned out pretty well for not knowing what I was doing. I was happy with it.

He was eating a Halloween cookie and trying to smile big simultaneously.

This is probably the best view. A nail pouch on the left, pencil holder, tape measure holder, and then a place for the tools.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

What I've been crafting update

So I have been crafting this whole time, I just have started and not finished a lot of things.  It was my now 3yr old's bday last week, so these are some things that I made for her:

Potato People, I added accessories (party hats, crowns, ponytail hair, etc.) and hope to add more later too. It was fun how fast they came together.

This cute bag that she picked out all the material for and the flower too.  I made it and this was the flower from two different bags I saw on LeAnne's website- Everyday Celebrations.
I made the flower up from this one I saw, I know the real one is way cuter, but I tried right? (and my 3 yr old picked the colors)
  Thanks for the awesome ideas LeAnne.  I plan on making the tag ladybug next month for my 1 year old's bday.

Other non-bday project was this pillowcase dress.  I used one of the many online tutorials and thought about shirring it too, but decided to leave shirring for another time.  These are before and after picts.  I really didn't take a good after pict. because I still have plans to make a cute fabric flower for it, so when/if I do a fabric flower I'll take a picture of the final final project.  This is one of the many ideas I want to show at the repurposing class.