Saturday, September 24, 2011

Why I've dropped off the face of Blogland...

Our family recently moved halfway across the country. A difficult enough task as it is, but then you add three toddlers into the mix and...well, craft blogging had to take a back seat.

I have still been crafting here and there despite the upheaval - and I would LOVE to say that I'll be back to blogging about it soon - but, well, I don't know if/when we'll get internet at home. (What?! Life without internet, is that even possible?!?!?!) ;)

Also, there was a question posted on the Recycled Wool Sweater slippers tutorial and I tried to comment with an answer but Blogger and I just aren't getting along I guess, so I'll answer in this post and Cathy I hope you read this!!!!

I did put grippers on the bottom of my daughter's slippers as an afterthought. She was 'skating' all over the kitchen and kept hurting herself, so I used fabric puff paint (they come in the little squeeze bottles) and put dots all over the bottom of the slippers. Once they were good and dry the skating stopped! (And the tears started of course - she was SO mad at me!)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Kids Clothes Week Challenge - Days 2 & 3

I couldnt bear to post pics of unfinished projects, so I'm combining Day 2 and Day 3 and just showing the end result.

Two pairs of Kids Pants with a Flat Front , thanks to Dana from Made!
I printed off the pattern and tried using it as-is (meaning size 2T-3T) but shorter for a pair of Sunday shorts for my 2 year old.  Apparently that kids gone through a growth spurt lately, because I wrestled with him for 5 minutes to try them on and I could barely squeeze his cute little rear in!

Lucky for me, the "shorts" make a great pair of Sunday pants for my 9-month old instead!

Both pairs are upcycled from polyester old-manish pants.  The one on the right is an attempt to make it bigger, but I did something wrong with tweaking the pattern because I'm going to have to add an actual waistband so that its not too short through the rise of the pants.

Boys Tunic from Upcycled Mens Shirt

This is such a lightweight cotton, it makes this the perfect summer shirt!
I drafted the pattern myself, and it needs a little work so I think a couple more tunics are on the way. 
(And that yellow button on the top...I thought I'd like it.  I don't.) 
My only worry about this shirt is that it might be a little girly.  This was reinforced when my husband tried putting it on our daughter the morning after I finished it.

I also sewed a twirly floral dress from the cutest vintage fabric (thrift store find!  woo hoo!) for my 3 year old daughter.  She has yet to let me take pictures of her in it...isn't the terrible twos supposed to magically end when they turn 3?!?!

And I whipped out a light summer cap for the baby...and he has yet to leave it on his head long enough to let me snap a picture of it!

All in all, I am LOVING the Kids Clothes Week Challenge - it was just the motivation I need!!!!!

I didnt finish any projects last night so Day 4 and Day 5 will probably be combined in a post tomorrow.  You know, in case you're just dying to see what else I might create. ;)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Kids Clothes Week Challenge - Day 1

This time last year I stumbled upon Kids Clothes Week Challenge on Elsie Marley, and I had every intention of joining in...but didnt.

This year, I almost dont have a kids have out-grown all the hand-me-downs from their cousins (and actually are bigger than most of their cousins now!) and I can't really let them run around naked, even if the weather is finally warming up!

For the challenge, you're supposed to sew an hour a day on kids clothes.  My personal goal is to sew an hour a day per child.  I have a tendency to want to make fun girly outfits for my 3 year old, but my two boys need clothes MUCH more than she does!

Here's last night's hard work:

I got a few yards of stretchy knit from the thrift store awhile back, so I thought I'd try to make some easy t-shirts.  It would have helped if I'd thought to take my kids' measurements before I sent them to bed last night!  I ended up re-doing a lot after trying them on the kids this morning.

I also cut out a pair of shorts for my 2 year old (it took an hour because I had to print the pattern too - more on that for Day 2s post!) and I sewed them up this morning, only to realize they were JUST BARELY to small!

The good news is, they'll make great pants for the baby!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Giveaway Winner!

My apologies to anyone who might be waiting for the template and tutorial to the Stacking Puppets...I got slammed with a nasty cold earlier this week and I'm just now starting to function again.  I'm hoping for plan on Tuesday. :)

The winner of the Princess and the Frog Stacking Puppets set is....

Comment #10:

Destiny said...
Geez these are DARLING! Follow your blog already- in fact- linked you on my blog and featured your Doll book and my attempt to make it! :)

(Winner chosen by I'm really too tired to figure out how to get the actual image onto my blog, so you'll have to take my word on this one, k?)

Destiny, I'll be emailing you soon!

Was anyone the least bit curious about the oddball time that this giveaway ended?

Well, it just happens that 7:35pm is the exact time that this Little Miss was born 3 years ago!
Yes, she's my April Fools baby...the funniest part is, April 1st was my due date!  Most people didnt believe us when we called to tell them we were really in labor and at the hospital. (But I am SO GLAD she came when she did...she was 9 1/2 pounds!  I was sore for a loooong time, let me tell ya!)

When I was little my mom always made us a Birthday Outfit, so I tried to do that this year.  But, being sick, I kept making mistake after mistake after mistake!  I think it turned out okay, as long as no one looks too closely.

Her favorite part is the pockets...perfect for her pennies that she earns for doing chores, or the flowers that she picks off Nana's tree.

This is her smile-while-squinting-in-the-sunlight face. 
Her mischevious face looks a lot like this too, strangely enough.

Tomorrow is her birthday party (combined with her little brother and cousin) and I have a load of stuff to decorate the cake, for one.  Kind of important.  I'll make sure to post pictures

tomorrow.  Or probably next week, at the rate I'm going.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Bookshelf Puppet Theater, Stacking Puppets, and a GIVEAWAY!

Hello and Welcome to all you T Shirt Diaries readers!

Are you loving this Spring Stashbust as much as I am?!  It feels so good to be whittling away at my stash of stuff, instead of constantly replenishing!

Today I'm going to be sharing my Bookshelf Puppet Theater, as well as the Stacking Puppets I made to go with it.  Oh, and my very first GIVEAWAY.  Woo Hoo!


You know how you think you've come up with the most genius idea in the history of the world, only to discover that somebody already beat you to it?

Yeah, this is one of those times for me...kinda.  After I came up with the idea of a Bookshelf Puppet Theater, and even sketched it all out, I happened to do a Google search, and found this tutorial on Infarrantly Creative.  Of course, her bookshelf was a little different, so I still had to put my thinking cap on to make this work.

This is what I started out with:

Does it look like its missing something?
Like...shelves maybe?

This is a $20 assembly-required bookshelf we bought at Big Lots a few years ago.  Its made from pressboard, and has those little metal peg things that you stick in holes on the side and then set the shelf on top of the pegs.

I made the mistake of putting it in my toddlers' bedroom.  Less than half an hour later it was stripped...and the worst part is that they hid the metal pegs and I have yet to find them!
So, the first thing I had to do was make a SECURE shelf.  I used some blocks of wood I found in our shed to nail to the inside of the bookshelf, like this:
(We don't own a saw, or really any tools other than a hammer and screwdriver, so these blocks of wood are a wee bit longer than the bookshelf.  I just made sure it sticks out in front, so it won't be jabbing my kids while their putting on their shows.)

Next I set the shelf on top and nailed it to the blocks of wood.  I admit - despite my best efforts it did not end up completely level.  But my kids aren't complaining, so neither will I :)

I also hammered a nail on each side, right near the top, letting it hang out a bit.  This is where the curtain "rod" will be later.
After a couple coats of grey paint (leftover from painting bedrooms!), I added a flannel board front.  And of course forgot to take pictures of the process, but its pretty straight forward.  Using the backing from the original bookshelf (it was flimsy, a little bit better than cardboard though) I cut it to fit in the front.  I covered it with yellow flannel, folding the edges over to the back and hot gluing them down.  Then I nailed it in place. 

Now one of my kids can use their Felt Faces and other felt cutouts on the front while the other is putting on a show up above!

The curtains were made from some black and white checked cotton fabric I've had for a couple of years.  I made strips from the yellow flannel to glue on the side.  It forms a loop and velcros on itself to keep the curtains back.

The curtain "rod" is a wrapping paper tube painted white.  I was scrambling all over the house, trying to find something I could use to hang these curtains from so I wouldn't have to break my Stashbusting oath, and finally I had this stroke of brilliance.  I had to cut it a little shorter, and put a slit in one end so I could slide it over the nail, but it is surprisingly sturdy, considering its just cardboard.

And there you have it...the Bookshelf Puppet Theater!

But, if you have a puppet theater, you really better have some puppets too, right?!

I ran across these fantastic nesting puppets on Sacred Dirt.  Seriously, hop on over there and take a look...I'll still be here when you get back. ;)

Anyways, my Munchkin will be turning 3 soon and since she is FINALLY into Princesses I thought I'd make her a set of Princess and the Frog puppets as a birthday present.

I admit, this first attempt is not the prettiest thing ever.

But the puppets were a BIG hit!

My Munchkin loved how she could stand them up...lay them down....

...or slip them on her hands so they could hug.

I'll be posting the template and tutorial for these stacking puppets in the next few days, so won't you pop on back and check it out?

But wait! 

I have one set of Princess and the Frog Stacking Puppets to GIVE AWAY to one lucky person out there!

(see? They fit inside each other, perfect for compact storage!)

How to Enter:
-Leave me a Comment.  Any comment, although preferrably something happy.

Additional Entries:
-Follow my blog.
-Go on back to The T Shirt Diaries and tell Robin how awesome she is for hosting this Spring Stashbust.

***Please leave a separate comment for each entry, for a total of up to 3 entries, and if you don't have your email address linked to your profile, please leave it in the comment.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mary Poppins Growth Chart

We've had this piece of wood laying around for who KNOWS how long, and in honor of the Spring Stashbust, I figured it was time to do something with it!

I painted it yellow and then spent over an hour carefully marking every half inch - anyone that knows me, knows how difficult that was for me!!!!

I painted some black lines and numbers, and before I knew I had...
...a Mary Poppins Growth Chart!

Mary Poppins is one of my kids' favorite movies, probably because of all the awesome dancing.  But what makes this a Mary Poppins Growth Chart and not just a big yellow ruler?

Why, this....

My husband and I are only about an inch apart in height (he's 5'10" and I'm 5'9") and I figured my kids are so short that wont be able to tell if we're faking it a bit.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Toddler Tuesday - Felt Faces

Sundays are always a challenging day around here.  Church starts at 9am, which is just about the time my kids are ready to be running around and playing.

So, I've tried to find some creative ways to keep them entertained and (mostly) quiet. 

 Using my huge stash of felt, I cut out a variety of shapes like circles, triangles, squares, etc.  Originally these shapes were meant for a quiet book, but during one tantrum that involved felt pieces flying everywhere, we discovered that they will stick to the back of the pew in front of us!  My kids love lining up the shapes, and my daughter is old enough to start sorting them by color or shape, so its an educational activity too.

This last week I made them Felt Faces.

One for each of them, of course, since they still aren't big on sharing.  (They grow out of that stage, right?!)

This was a quick and easy project, I cut it out while watching a TV show with my Man (Monk, if you were wondering).  I glued the eyes together with Tacky Glue, but everything else is just cut.

Both my toddlers were excited to try it on Sunday.  My 3 year old did pretty good getting the body parts in the right place; my 2 year old did more of the Picasso thing.  But hey, it was entertaining for a good 10 minutes, which is quite an accomplishment for him!

I know technically I did this project before the Spring Stashbust started, but it is busting my Stash, so I think it counts!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Once Upon a Thread - The Ugly Duckling

Katy at No Big Dill has been doing a really neat series this month called Once Upon a Thread.  Its all about kids clothing and activities inspired by children's books!  If you haven't already, go check out her blog and all the fabulous guest bloggers she's had this month.

I've had so many ideas of book-inspired outfits, but as usual many a mishap has happened along the way, so all I have to show (so far) is my interpretation of The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen.

The Ugly Duckling feels sad and out of place among her yellow feathered companions.

Then, one day, she realizes that she isn't a duck at all...

Her feathers are sleek and white...

And she's happy to discover that she is, in fact, a Beautiful Swan!
(this is her Happy Face)

 The grey Ugly Duckling Cape was made from upcycled t-shirts.

The Beautiful Swan dress was made from an upcycled lace tablecloth (lining made from a white sheet).  A black broadcloth sash helps the dress look less baptism-y.
The headband is a white store-bought headband with feathers, ribbon, and a big white button glued to the side.  Nice and easy!
The best part about this outfit...its perfect for twirling!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spring Stashbust!

Robin over at The T Shirt Diaries is hosting a Spring Stashbust - and I am so in!!!!  My craft room is overflowing (see a pic here) and I've got a busy month or so ahead of me...two birthdays, one wedding, Easter, and Earth Day of course! 

So many projects, so little time!

And, to make this Spring Stashbust even more exciting (for me, at least)....I'll be guest posting on one of the days!

Go on over to the TShirt Diaries and sign up for the Spring Stashbust, and stay tuned for a lot of fun around here week.  (Lame, I know.  But our family is just now getting over almost a month of being sick, so I intend to get outside and do some yardwork this weekend!)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ruffles make me happy

I think I've found a new crafting idol.  Kelly from Sewing in No Man's Land is absolutely fantastic!!!  Chances are, if you're bothering to read my lil' blog you've already heard of her...if you haven't then get on over there!  Seriously, it is THAT fantastic.

Especially because she does everything on very limited resources - not doesnt-have-money-to-buy-designer-fabric, but she lives in a very remote place (East Timor - yeah, I had to look it up on a map too) and simply cannot run to the store and buy what she wants!  She took 15 yards of fabric with her when they moved there - amazing!

Anyways, when I saw this finale for Project Run & Play, I fell head-over-heels in L.O.V.E. 
Oooh, just looking at it gives me tingles all over.  That jacket especially has me dreaming in turquoise!

Sadly, I don't have any turquoise in my stash.  Hardly any vibrant colors like this at all...but when I went thrifting the other day there was some pea/avocado/lime-ish green fabric that practically had a halo glow and hallelujah chorus surrounding it on the rack.  AND, it pretty much matches this beautiful floral cotton I bought last year at Joann's and have done nothing with.

So, for less than $5, I give you my 'knockoff' of the Petite Chouette jacket:

 I know, a bit of a let-down after gazing at Kelly's amazing goodness.  But I was too impatient to wait for a tutorial or pattern or anything, so I was just winging it.
I also didn't have enough of the green fabric to make a 5t size for my daughter.  But, I am such a slacker that I STILL havent finished some Christmas presents.  So when my sister-in-law sent me the link for this outfit (after I'd already been drooling over it) I knew I should make it for her almost one-year old daughter.  (Thats why I left off the belt loops and tie - I figured they'd be a little pointless for someone that little.  And maybe it was getting a little late and I wanted to go to bed.)

I'm hoping this is about a 2T - I used some of my daughter's old clothes to make the patterns from. Crossing my fingers that this will fit her this fall!

I've decided, if I do no other sewing each day, then I need to at least ruffle something.  Seriously, just making these ruffles made me giggle like a school girl...I'm so tempted to make a jacket for myself, to wear when I'm having a bad day!

Bridal Shower cake

I haven't done very much crafting lately, mostly because we rearranged just about every room in our house, leaving my new sewing room combined with our office and looking a little something like this:

Oh my.

I shudder just looking at that hot took an entire day to organize!  (Plus bring a few more boxes and bags and shelves of stuff...)

But, I did some cake decorating this last weekend for my sister's bridal shower.  Nothing fabulous or even very special, but because my computer is getting overrun with craft photos, I might as well post it here.  They say when you put something on the internet its there forever, right?  Can't say the same thing about my should I ever feel inclined to make another man-popping-out-of-a-scrumptious-cake, I'll be able to look on here.
First off, I have to say, everything that could go wrong this last week did.  Making this cake was no exception.  It was a dark chocolate, 2 layer cake with rasberry filling and a shiny ganache.  As you can see in the pick, not only did the ganache end up with little bubbles, and not as smooth as I'd hoped, little fingers also found their way onto it.  (Personally, I don't blame them.  It was good.)
For the centerpiece, I made modeling chocolate - except we had a track-dog-poop-all-through-our-carpeted-living-room incident happen right as I was making it, so I messed it up somehow.  (By the way, we dont have any pets - just an annoying neighborhood dog that better not be showing his face any time soon!)  So, not only was the consistency off but I couldnt get the color I wanted (he looked more orange in real life) and then of course little (chocolatey) hands got a hold of him too!
The bow tie is supposed to be cow print...lil bit of an inside joke, but if you've seen the SNL skit with Patrick Swayze and Chris Farley then you get the gist.
My sister, with the finished product.

I have to say, other than this delicious cake, the highlight of the bridal shower was my almost 3-year old daughter helping my sister open a present that happened to be lingere, and then picking up the thong and asking "What is dis?" (with the little kid lisp)  And then when we said it was underwear, she looked sideways at my sister and said, "You has to be weally wittle!"


Monday, January 10, 2011

Upcycled Belt Headband

 I recently cut my hair short - pixie short - and while I absolutely LOVE it (so easy to take care of!), sometimes it looks pretty manly.  Usually a good headband will pretty things up.

The only problem is, little hands like to play with my headbands and usually end up breaking them.  I finally gave in this last week and made one myself:

If it looks a little familiar, I took the concept from the marvelous Disney of Ruffles & Stuff's Lauren Headband Tutorial.  The biggest difference is....I made mine from an old belt!

Seriously, SO EASY.  And fast, too!
As you can see here, I just cut a portion of the belt and rounded the corners, then cut a slit in each end (like Disney did with her headbands), and instead of elastic I used a piece from one of those stretchy headbands.  You know, the kind that never seem to stay least they don't for me.  But they work perfectly for this headband...I've pretty much been wearing it non-stop since I made it Friday.

What I really love about this headband, besides not having to cut straight lines like in Disney's tutorial (pretty sure I failed that part of Kindergarten), is that I didnt have to do ANY gluing.  The cute little bow is just another piece of the belt, folded in, and that loop is the loop right next to the belt buckle that you tuck your belt into before you put it through the belt loop on your pants.

Of course, there was some length of the belt left over - not enough for another headband, but enough for

a bracelet!

I'm still not sure about the bracelet - sometimes I look at it and absolutely love it, other times I just want to take it off and hide it.

Maybe if I used skinnier ribbon?  Hmm...

(Oh, and I did trim the edges of the ribbon and add Fray Check so they arent quite so hideous.)

I'm entering this headband into the Crafting with the Stars contest!  Click the button above and go check out all the awesome projects so far!

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