Sunday, August 28, 2011


I've been caught up in making stuffed animals and dolls lately.  I have yet to create my own pattern, so I can't take all the credit, but I really like them when they are done.  These have just been too much fun! 
 I liked this one so much I almost couldn't give it away.
 This one was just to see if I could do it.  Anyone need a platypus?  I think the next one I'll do will be bigger. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Apples Continued

I don't know what it is about this fabric, but I really like it.  Go figure.  I'm trying very hard to complete projects and use fabrics from my stash, as it's slowly taking over my room. 

I found the idea for a wrap skirt here.  I thought it sounded like a good idea.  As always, I found a way to make it more complicated.  There wasn't enough apple fabric, so I added the dots.  And I made a wide bias tape to act as the tie.  Then I figured out why a wrap skirt is difficult for a four year old to wear.  So, I added a couple more "button holes" for the tie to act more like a belt.  It does a much better job.  Now I just have to teach my daughter how to sit in a skirt.  I guess I better do that before preschool starts anyway. 

It was a fun sew and very easy, even though I complicated it.  I think it would work better for an older girl or woman.  That's what I like about this tutorial - it lets you adjust it for your measurements.  The shirt was something I made up.  It was an experiment.  Thanks to Target, it was only a $5 experiment.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Tight Leash

My daughter had a great time playing with her stuffed animals.  With the dog stuffies she needed leashes, of course.  She had been using one of my belts.  I only had one and there are more than one dog, so I promised her I'd make her some. 
 I found some 'D' rings in my stash, added some ribbon (just measured to my daughter's waist), minimal sewing and Ta-Da!  Super easy!  And in no time at all (the attention span of most kids), an accessory for the puppy stuffies.
The very same idea can be used to make a belt for kids.  Age 4 or 5 might even be able to undo them for potty breaks.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Sweet and Sour - Candy Apples

 Or, so I am told.  The whole not eating fruit thing makes me about the last person who should post about a fruit based treat, so I am going on the recommendations of my husband and daughter.  I wanted to make these for preschool graduation, but the original attempt completly flopped. 

The idea was to do a carmel apple, so I googled it, watched an episode on Food Network, and looked at dozens of recipes.  And I learned something:  cooking is not like sewing.  You can't just combine a bunch of ideas and have it turn out.  At least I can't.  I am now a by the recipe kind of girl. 
That wasn't the end of my stuggles. I didn't have a 'melon baller', so I picked one up at the grocery store. (Again, my lack of expertese with fruit would have been helpful here.) Well, about 10 apple balls into the project, it broke. You don't really need the handle, but it certainly helps. Then the caramel only kind of stuck to the apple, because it usually sticks to the skin of an apple, I ran out of sprinkles, and in the end the caramel stuck better to the paper wrappers than the apples.

It leaves such a funny looking apple at the end :)

Bound an determined to make this recipe work, I just cut up an apple and tried it with the melted peanut butter chips suggested by the recipe.  Remember:  I'm a recipe follower now and again without a 'mellon baller'.  They aren't as cute at the round ones, but my daughter ate them happily. 
The melted chips are much more kid friendly, too.  They don't have to be as hot as the caramel.

I am hoping to do more fun ideas like this during the summer. 

Preschool Graduation

The rotation of our preschool group fell to me.  I enjoyed searching the Internet for ideas that would be easy enough and fun for the kids, but enjoyed by the parents.  I like how it turned out, but I am biased.  I think the kids enjoyed it.

First up: caps
     styrofoam bowl ( I couldn't find any paper ones, just dessert plates)
     large eye needle
Second: the program
I had the kids each say a line from this little poem.  And we learned a little song.  Short and sweet and even that was hard to handle at an outdoor venue. 

Graduation Poem

Original Author Unknown
Do you remember way last fall
When I was only just this tall?
Now look at me! I'm up to here!
And my, I've learned alot this year!
In fact, you think I'm really great!
That's why I get to graduate!

Fun In Preschool

Sung to: “I'll Be Working on the Railroad”
I've been having fun in preschool,
Learning all year long..

I can tell you all about it,
Just listen to this song.

We've been learning shapes and colors,
Letters and numbers too!

I've learned how to share with others,
Now our year is through!

Both ideas were not my own and you can find more like them here.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Girls' Room

Audrey got some fun paper dolls to decorate for her birthday.  She worked really hard on them and has been very proud of them.  They were taking up a little too much space on the top of the dresser, so I told her we'd display them.  When we got around to putting up these shelves for the girls, (that we've had since November)  it was a perfect place to put the dolls.  And I can change the decor if we get tired of it or she can play with them. 
Karin's side was finally finished today, too.  I just got around to painting the K bright pink.  I've had that K since before Audrey was born.  I bought the K and A at the same time because we had two names picked out for girls.  I knew we would use both of them.  Now we've used them up.  The pictures are things that are important to me or things I want my girls to grow up seeing - a picture of Christ, You Are My Sunshine print from here, a print of my favorite Georgia O'Keeffe painting and a frame to be filled later.  I like the shelf for the non-committal format.  We can change anything at any time.  It's a good thing to have in a child's room.  Their interests change so often.  The shelf is from ikea.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Granny Smith Set

I've been feeling a little bad about the fact that Karin just doesn't have as many gifts made by me.  I know she doesn't know any better now, but when she gets older and looks back, I don't want her to feel bad. 

When I saw this little outfit on sale I scooped it up, but decided it was a little plain.  So, I added the apples and whipped up a matching burp cloth.  I love Karin in yellow!  It works well with her skin tone and she can always use another burp cloth. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Birthday Party Creations

This year Audrey decided on a Pirate Girl theme for her birthday party.  It makes sense if you know the song - They Might Be Giants Here Come the One, Two Threes "Pirate Girls Nine".  We sing it in the car all the time and it's one of our favorites.  As soon as she said it I knew just how to do a cake for her.  I had had done one several years ago for Matt's birthday.  (Yes, we like Pirates that much at our house.)

Then I got really creative.  These are just a few things I did for the party.  I loved how things turned out and the kids told me they had fun.  That's high praise.  Lucky for me it was fairly low key - cake, ice cream, and one game at the park.  The kids took care of the rest of the fun.  I think I'm going to make this a tradition.

 What Pirate Girl would be complete without an eye patch?
 The clues for the scavenger hunt, written in Pirate, of course.  It was a photo scavenger hunt since most the kids couldn't read.  I read them the clues they found, but the picture gave them a better idea of what they were looking for.
 The treasure chest for the end of the scavenger hunt.  I found this idea online and it was one of the simplist and best ideas.  It took me 3 minutes and if the kids tear it up, big deal.  The treasure inside were jeweled ring pops to continue with our theme.  Oh, and the kids shreaded it to get to the candy.

 The base for the cake.  I think some who saw it still aren't sure just how I did it, so now you know.
 The cake was a simple 9x13 chocolate cake with chocolate frosting covered with gold and jewels.
 An upclose look at those delicious jewels.  Yes, those are jewel shaped Gushers in there, too.   I thought it was a little weird addition, but the kids loved them.  And if you ever need kids to do something, chocolate coins are a HUGE hit!
 The final product.
I had to stick my hand in there to show you it's a functioning lid to the chest.  Just don't let it flop back, you'll smudge the frosting.
 This is the only project I didn't get to finish in time for the party.  It would have looked so cute strung up between the posts on the pavillion at the park.  (Too bad we didn't get to use the pavillion either.  We were the 3rd birthday party at the park that night.)
A close up of the fabric.  It matches the pillowcase I made for the birthdays at our house (probably excluding the one boy, since it's pink).  I loved how it turned out, I just have to wait another 8 months before we can use it. 

The best part of this birthday is that I managed to pull it off for under $100.  Hooray for homemade!

Monday, April 4, 2011


Grown-ups are sometimes hard to shop for and can be even harder to make something for.  So, when I found this pattern online, I snatched it up.  But the site I bought it from never sent me the pattern, so I made my own.  This is 100% my design.  And if the recipient likes them, they are totally reusable.  I love how they turned out and how economical they are.  (I won't give that away since they were gifts.)  I love it when things turn out.  Now I need one.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

New Tradition

I'm starting a new tradition in my house.  I made a pillowcase for the girls to use on their birthday.  It's a silly little thing to make them feel special on their special day.  Some families have a special plate, we have a pillowcase.  I wonder if something like this would sell on etsy? 
I'm planning on making a matching reusable birthday banner, too, but we'll see what comes of this week.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Baby Boy

I have a hard time deciding what to make for little boys sometimes and what fabrics to choose.  I recently received these items for my own baby and have really enjoyed them and gotten comments on how cute they are.  (Thanks, Brooke!)  So I decided to make them for a friend who was having a little boy.  My friend has a ton of sewing and crafting talent although she is very modest.  But I love what she comes up with, including her own pattern for things.  I am inspired by her, so I used what I've learned from her and created the above car seat cover and car seat blanket.  I'm really only brave enough to create flat patterns, but I loved how they turned out.  And I got to make and use bias strips for binding, which is my recent obsession - ask anyone who has received a baby present from me lately.  Anyway, I'm glad they turned out well, and they really weren't difficult.  And I liked the fabric and have heard she does, too.  Bonus!  This is definitely something I can repeat.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

One Last Project

I always think of something I want done before I leave town.  Usually it's not this easy and it gets left behind.  There hasn't been much time for projects with a new baby, so this had been waiting for a spare moment.  The binki holder was super easy, but much needed.  I ordered the clasps from the Sassy Paci Botique a little ribbon and voila!  It's nice to have something cute to attach to these enormous binkis that both my kids have used.

The barrettes were done this summer but I don't think I have posted a picture so far.  They look really cute in Audrey's hair.