Friday, March 28, 2008

I Feel Like A Fool....

...for titling the post before last "Spring Crafts" because although the calendar says it is spring, this is what it looked like outside my house today.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


I thought I'd give the kidlet tutorial a go. It looked pretty easy, very similar to the simple tote in Bend the Rules. I had plenty of fabric on hand and a quiet evening after the kids went to bed, so I went for it. The only thing I didn't have was interfacing. No problem, I tell myself! Who needs interfacing? Well, apparently kidlet does.It's a cute little tote, (I added a second handle so it could be an out and about tote) but I was so disappointed with the limpness of it. Note to self- interfacing is necessary! And why can I not seem to get the inner and outer "bags" to be the same size, ever?! No matter how carefully I measure, and painstakingly I cut, I still end up trying to sew together the two pieces of the bag that are vastly different in size! (Now, when I say vastly I mean less than 1/4 inch... but it sure seems like a lot when I have worked so hard to make them the same size. Sigh.) So I inevitably end up with puckering and weird-o looking tucks. Maybe it is because the materials are of such different weights?? One is pretty heavy home decor type fabric (vintage from our local thrift store) and the other? oh, I don't even know. I am new to all this. Oh well. I am going to take Amy Karol's word for it... she said, "Mistakes are always much less noticeable in a week or so, and in a month, the project will look amazing." So I am waiting for amazing.

Ok, so let's try this kidlet thing again. I am having all sorts of visions of giving away a kidlet filled with books and toys and whatnot to all my little people friends for their upcoming birthdays. Still,I have no interfacing in the house... but I do have fusible web. Hmmm? Would that work? So I iron it to one side of my fabric...but now it is sticky-ish on the other side. No problem- I'll just fuse it to the same kind of fabric to make it extra durable, and not so see through (another problem I encountered). I am such a genius!

Or not!! The material is no so stiff that I nearly break my machine trying to sew it! I did manage (through gritted teeth and much swearing, and soooooo much broken thread it wasn't funny) to get the pocket sewn on, sides sewn up and the box bottom created...but that was as far as my machine would go. It was making weird, scary noises, and the bobbin thread kept breaking. Can you see the holes on the top wear I thought I was attaching the lining bag???? Oh, I was so mad. I really liked the pocket too. Pooh.

And I still had the inner bag carefully measured, cut and even sewn!! So, lets give it more more try!! (Am I channeling my inner cheerleader? or a masochist?) Ok, so still no interfacing, and not going to use fusible web sandwiched between layers again.. and I am running low on the nice tan material that I like for the body of the bag... what to do? What to do? So, here is what I did. I used a thin cotton in plain white as a backing to the tan. I had to piece together two pieces of tan to make the back of the bag. Created a similar, although not quite as sweet pocket from scraps. Use the inner bag from the previous (failed) project. Decide to go with a small handle/big handle combo like the simple tote in BTR, using a bias tape for the handle because by now I am too freakin' tired to care but determined to get something useful out of this night.....

And here it is. The big handle/small handle thing is bit weird. Not sure if I would do that again. (The small one is there, just flipped back so it is hard to see.) Overall I think it is ok. Not so bad. Maybe usable. And you know what??
Amy was right. Wait a night, throw in a Frederick book and a little stuffed mouse, and it's not so bad after all!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Spring Crafting

Happy Easter yesterday! I didn't get a chance before Easter to post this project I did with my niece, so bear with me as I talk about it now. We got the idea from Family Fun magazine. I had bought white fluffy yarn to do this craft, but Gabby wanted her bunny to look like her real bunny Cocoa, who is (can you guess by the name?) brown.To make this bunny you wrap yarn around a styrofoam ball that has been drizzled with glue. Gabby had a hard time wrapping the yarn, so I did that for her. Then she drew the ears, tail and face on brown felt (with white chalk) and I cut it out for her. She glued everything together, attached the google eyes, drew and cut out the carrot from paper and attached that to the bunny. The bunny was then nestled onto a piece of cardboard to which we glued a handful of paper grass. (We came up with a trick to help little fingers attach google eyes: have the little one lick her finger, then touch the eye-ball side of the google eye. It will stick to her finger. Have her flip her hand over. The google eye will be bottom-side up. She can then easily put glue on the backside to attach it to her project.) Look how proud she is!!

More spring time crafts:
"Summer pants" and a t-shirt for Cate. The t-shirt I boaught at Walmart for about $4, and I added the butterfly using fusible web. I am not very good yet at sewing around curves on my machine, so I hand-stitched around the butterfly.

She was very happy with them.

And another tote from Bend the Rules. I got the fabric from the remnant piles at Joann Fabric. (I love shopping from the remnants! No waiting in line to get things cut! Cute patterns that I might not ever see otherwise! And CHEAP! I got almost a yard of each material for a total of about $6!) This little bag has an inside pocket, and a fabric flower to dress it up. This bag was dropped of to a friend who just opened a new flower shop. (I made a second tote out of the same fabrics for my dear friend who gave me the BTR Sewing book for Christmas, and I still have some material left!!)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Easter is so early this year... I know you know this, but it really seems to be sneaking up on me. I mean really, the leprechauns just paid their visit on Monday!! Do leprechauns visit your house? They visit here, leave a little mess (glitter all over, green toilet water), play a few tricks (toothbrushes in the fridge, green milk) and leave a treat (gold coins, and various other green wrapped candies, and wasabi nuts for my husband, because there is nothing like "little green leprechaun nuts" right?). Ethan wants so desperately to catch one. He asked me to set out a mouse trap, until I told him that a mouse trap may kill a leprechaun. So he's busy making "trap" plans for next year.
SO back to Easter. I am the "class mom" for Ethan's kindergarten class and am in charge of the party planning. I thought it would be fun to make a little goodie for Ethan to pass out to his classmates, and came up with this bunny candy holder. Our elementary school has a new rule about not allowing any homemade treats to be passed out in class (no more homemade cupcakes for birthdays even!!) so it can be difficult to come up with something creative and cost effective to pass out. I called the nursery school where I used to be the administrator and asked if I could borrow 15 toilet paper rolls. (They collect things like that throughout the year.) Then I wrapped each on in white paper, cut out 30 ears and 15 heart shapes for the "feet" (base). I glued each tube to the base. Ethan and I split up the ears to color. (He said that boys like red ears on bunnies and girls like we went with that.)

Then I taped a pair of ears on each tube and put 2 dots of glue on for each google eye. Ethan attched the eyes and drew the cute little noses, mouths and "toe nails".

He was starting to lose interest so I glued on the tails and then let him stuff each bunny with two little packets of candy (we used m&ms and Skittles). I'll haul them into school on Thursday for his "Spring Celebration."

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Alien Pants Re-do

Man, these little pants have been such a pain!! After I posted the pictures of them a few days ago I decided that the waist was just too small. So, taking what I had learned from House on Hill Road's Twirly Skirt Tutorial I added a contrasting waistband, threaded the elastic (bigger elastic this time) and a true drawstring through. Aahhhh...much better. Will be sending these off (and the onsie and bib too) later this week.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

He Likes Gnomes

Liking gnomes is like a joke within my family...
but I made this gnome for my little guy today. My bigger guy was making a leprechaun and this guy asked me to make him a gnome instead. Because, you know, he likes gnomes.

Monday, March 10, 2008

I got out the Easter stuff today...

...and I came across these candles. My husband insists they came from one of my sisters, and I think they were a gift from his. Either way, I have never been able to put them out. They just crack me up too much!! I don't even have taper holders to hold them. But I decided that this year I will put them out. They are on the shelf above them buffet table that is currently the home to our Easter baskets, giant paper mache eggs and various bunny related crafts the kids have made through the years.
I stuck them in a bowl and when my husband saw them, he said, "Oh. You put out the d_ldo candles."

Sunday, March 9, 2008


I have finally finished the little gift set for my soon-to-be nephew. Actually, the pants are so big that I bought a 9-12 month size onsie to go with them instead of the little 3-6 month I was planning on getting... so I think that this will actually be for soon-to-be nephew's big brother instead. He can pass them down. I made the bib a while ago, back when I was on a Bend the Rules bib kick. I had the pants cut out and all sewed except for the waist for a while too. For some reason they just looked so weird to big. So bell-bottomish. I was hesitant to finish them. But I forged ahead anyway and I think they are ok... still weird. Still big. Still bell-bottomish. But I can live with it. They look sort of like yoga pants. Or lounge pants... and babies lounge, right? So, good. (Sorry for the extremely crappy photos. Not sure what is going on there...)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

New Tote

I whipped up this new tote for myself this morning, loosely following the Bend the Rules "Simple Tote" pattern. I find myself filling and emptying my current tote bag several times a week, so it will be nice to have another to put into rotation. This one will be my "Sunday School" tote bag. Currently I am teaching the 4th and 5th graders, and I have a big binder that holds my curriculum. I also drag pencils, paper, and whatever project we are working on back and forth to church each week. It will be nice to not have to take everything out and to pack it up again. I plan on making another to keep filled with things for Ethan to do in the waiting area while his siblings are at dance class.
The best thing about this tote is that it was basically free fro me to make!!! The striped fabric was given to me by my MIL. The blue polka dot I bought at the local thrift store for $.40!