Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bouncy Seat Re-covered!

Over a year ago Daniel came home with this cute bouncy seat for Carolina one afternoon.
It was great.  It has a music function (which reminds me: I need to change out the batteries), a vibrating function (which all of my kids have hated vibrating seats), and it's pink.  Kai had to use Delsin's old hand-me-down blue one that couldn't easily be re-covered.

And poor Enoch (I say poor because I'm looking into the future at teenage Enoch possibly whining about me making him use pink), has sat in that pink bouncy seat every day.

 I've got tons of pictures to prove it. 
The fabric I used is the same fabric Daniel picked out for me to make him a Kai Tai several years ago.  It's an upholstery grade velvet.  Don't you just love the shadows of flowers and leaves in the print?  I made red piping for the edges and think it looks really nice. 

The back.

Favorite ideas for how to store serger thread? Please share!

I don't use a serger, but I love to use serger thread.  I can get so much more for so much less than buying regular sewing machine thread.  I know the quality of thread can be lower with serger thread, but I've never ever had a problem and I've been using this type of thread for nearly 10 years now.  So I have quite a bit.  For a long time I've been storing it in this decorative box.  I think a Christmas present came in it one year.  Like a bath set or something.  It worked out well for a while, but for a long time it's been overflowing.  I have several more spools shoved into a drawer of notions.  I want to reorganize my sewing room soon and this is where I want to start. 

So do you have any tips or favorite ideas for storing these types of thread spools?
Monday, February 27, 2012

Pinewood Boxcar Derby

Last week was spent doing lots of Girl Scout cookie sales and Cub Scout events.  One of those events was the Pinewood Boxcar Derby.  Delsin, with the help of Daniel (his daddy), won "Best of Show" with his Cheetah boxcar.

Delsin wanted a cheetah car, so Daniel carved it and Delsin painted it.  They did a great job didn't they?

Sorry for not getting the dress pattern posted yet.  It will be this week.  We still have some cookies to deliver, but I will get it posted this week for sure.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ballet Shoes For Kai

The week before Thanksgiving Kai's ballet shoes got left at the dance studio.
I just thought we'd be able to pick them up the next week.  Well, it was more than one week when we made it back out there and the shoes were not in the lost and found basket.
Several weeks went by with Kai waiting on a new pair of shoes.  I kept forgetting to remind Daniel to pick some up.  Finally, on Sunday he remembered and proceeded to tell me that he could only fine a pair too small or too big.  I told him to forget it and I decided I would make them. 
I made Kai some shoes when she was little so I figured, "How hard could it be?"

I need to make more of these.
She wants a pair in every color.
Her ballet instructor posted a picture on facebook during ballet class tonight.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Project Run and Play ~ Signature Look

I just, seriously just, finished this outfit and took some pictures.
I wish so badly that it was sunny outside.  
Instead, it's been raining for 3 days.
So my pictures are not as good as I'd like them to be.  We have buttercups with buds on them and I believe they would be open if it had been sunny today. Oh well.

Let me tell you about my signature look.
First of all, I almost always use home decor fabrics when making clothes for my kids.  
Even more so when it comes to making holiday attire.  Like this Easter Egg Hunting ensemble.

There a couple of reasons for this:  
1.  Most decor fabrics are treated with a stain resistant.  This makes it easy to keep from getting stains, and in many cases they can simply be wiped off if something gets spilled.
2.  Home decor fabrics are generally thicker, so they can take more wear and tear before actually being torn and worn out.

All of this matters a lot to me, because of two reasons:
1.  I like for my kids to be able to wear almost anything I make, any day of the year.  We raise chickens and they spend a lot of time playing with the chickens and carrying them around.  They also like to get "dressed up" every day.  With these fabrics I know that not only will their clothing be alright, they'll be able to wear them to church on Sunday after they've gone through a simple wash load.
2.  We have 4 children and hand-me-downs are inevitable.   My youngest kids are wearing several hand-me-down pieces, and these clothes look the same as they did when the older kids were wearing them.

Another characteristic of my signature look is the use of ribbon.  Even before pillowcase dresses were popular I was making jumpers, overalls, and jackets with ribbon closures.  For my little girls it's just the perfect feminine touch.

Matching hair bows are an absolute must and also indicative that an outfit came from me.  It's one of those things that my husband ribs me about.  Not too long ago I heard him say, "I'll bet you are the only mama with her glue gun out in the mornings before school!"  Well, that may be true, but since my oldest like to explore in the woods, sometimes a new one has to be made on the fly.

I love embroidery.  Embroidering by hand was the very first sewing technique I ever learned.  So a lot of times I like to monogram outfits.  If not monogramming then I usually will do an applique.  Something to make an outfit a little more eye catching.

Finally, the trim.  Whether it's adding trim or using a special top stitch I like to set my garments apart with a feature that can sometimes be subtle.

This outfit is no different.
This is an Easter outfit that I made for Carolina Jane.
This is going to be her first year to actually hunt eggs and she needed something that would hold up nicely for more than one Easter egg hunt, be able to wear it to church, the Easter dinner held in the fellowship hall after church, and then the visit to Papa and Nana's house afterward to play with her cousins.
She's still wobbly on her legs and so I know she is going to fall down.
Not having to worry if her clothes are going to be ruined is nice.

I made all my own patterns and so that is part of the reason it took me so long to get this one right.  The little turkey has grown since that June Bug Remix we did several weeks ago.  Whew!  Between that, my oldest son has been running a high fever every day since Sunday (and still is), Girl Scout cookie coming in and going out, the police waking us up at 3:30 am to watch the house 75 yards away from ours burning to the ground on Valentine's Day, and that whole fiasco with the homemade Valentine cards and starting the fire while trying to melt crayons that I blogged about, I wasn't sure if I was going to make the cut off on this one.  Oh my goodness it has been a busy week.  I really can't help but to shake my head, take a deep sigh, and laugh.

The top is a combination of a white fabric with a print of a rainbow of pastel colors as pinwheels, combined with a sage green drapery satin.  I flipped the drapery satin over to use the reverse side so that it would show the dull side and not the shiny side.  I personalized it by embroidering her initials on the bodice and adding complimenting ribbons to the shoulders for easy closure and a nice feminine/girly flare.   Finished off with coordinating pastel pink pom pom trim around the bottom of the dress skirt.
This dress is fully lined with the same pinwheel fabric.

The pants are made from the same sage green and trimmed with the same pastel pink pom pom trim.
The elastic waistband in the pants makes it a comfortable fit whether she's wearing one of her cloth diapers or disposable diapers.
I wanted a little flare at the bottom of the legs, so I made sure the pants were cut with a slight flare at the bottom.

The hair bow is made of the same pastel pink ribbon used on the shoulders of the dress, with a sage green ribbon in the center to show that it was made to complete her ensemble.

Thank you for checking out my latest project.
If you want to see the rest of the participant's projects then click here to go to the flickr group.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My New Spice Rack!

Not really a "Mama" project, unless you count organizing my spices on my new spice rack.  
 My husband and daddy made this spice rack for me.
I was so excited when I was talking to my daddy one day and he told me he was making a spice rack for one of my sisters.  Then he asked me if I would like one.  Of course I said yes.  He had made one of these for my step-mom a few years ago and I love it.  Plus I have been wishing I had a spice rack since we moved to this new house.  In our old house I kept all my spices in two drawers.  One on either side of the stove.  This new house doesn't have nearly as many cabinets or drawers as my old house did, so space has been tight.

We went over to my daddy's house and Daniel and my daddy cut, glued, & sanded all the pieces of cedar.  My daddy added a clear coat on each one after the glue dried.  He ended up making 5.  One for each of my sisters that live here in the United States.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day Is Here!

A few days ago I wrote a post about needing some ideas for "nutritious" Valentine's Day treat ideas.
A couple of things that I mentioned were sending clementines to school with the kids or not sending anything edible and just sending heart shaped crayons that we melted and molded with our heart shaped candy mold.

Those were just a couple of the ideas I mentioned.  Those are the ideas I went with.
And it was quite the adventure, let me tell ya.

To start off with.  I came across this post on another blog page.
Now, I don't have a silicone baking sheet with heart shapes and even if I did I know that I wouldn't have enough old crayons to make those big hearts.  Using my candy mold is seeming like the best alternative, but I needed to research ways to melt the crayons.  I considered doing it in the microwave, in lieu of using the conventional oven with an oven safe silicone baking pan.  However, the reviews I found on that method weren't promising.  I kept reading comments about people using a double boiler to melt their wax.  I decided to go that route.

So the first thing I did was get Kai to help me gather all the broken or restaurant crayons in the house.  (Delsin started running a fever right around the time we were getting started, so I gave him some fever reducer and put him to bed.)

Then we removed the paper.  The best way to get that off is by scoring it and then it easily peels off.

Next we broke them into small pieces (like snapping green beans) and sorted them by color.

And then, because I don't have a double boiler, we placed those little glass bowls of crayons into pots of water, on the stove, and turned on the heat.
So far, so good, right?  Yeah, things are going well.

Oh yeah..... I had the heat turned up too high and for too long.  The water boiled over the edges of nearly every little bowl of crayon wax, thus I had really watery wax.  
It took me many hours of carefully pouring that watery mess into the molds and letting it cool in small doses, then getting the wax out and pouring the water out to get a good quality of wax again.  In many cases the wax and water were too intermingled and I was left with watery wax.  I had several hearts that didn't come out smooth, instead came out mushy on top.  Because we alternated layers of colored wax.  So the red layers were mushy and the green layers were solid. 

Up to this point here was the best crayon we had.  And it was pretty descent.

Then, as if things couldn't get worse.....(dun - dun - da!)  The dreaded explosive diaper monster came wondering through the kitchen screaming for some relief.  I don't need to get into the specifics, you've probably almost all been there once or twice.  It had to be dealt with quickly, only it wasn't going to be rectified quickly.  My attention was diverted and one of the pots boiled dry.  
That's right.  One of the pots that had wax overflow mixed into the water.

I came back from diaper drama to find that my favorite dutch oven was scorching with no water.  I quickly grabbed the pot off of the stove and kind of held it in the air for a minute before deciding that I should probably just set it down in the sink.  Forgetting that one of my plastic candy molds was in the sink too.  I sat it down right on top of that candy mold.  Melting the poor thing.  But that wasn't the worst part.  As soon as I sat it down it burst into flame.  The wax had actually caught on fire.  Using my quick thinking I thought how awesome that I had sat it in the sink and how quickly this fire would be put out as I turned on the water.  Boy was I wrong.  The fire got darted back and then flared up bigger than before.  I turned that water off as quickly as I could and cringed back as if to try to get away from angering the monster any more.  My mind was frozen for a second and I was too afraid to turn my back to grab open the drawer and get the top to cap it off.  I was afraid it'd get bigger and I wouldn't be able to stop it, so for some reason I just got every flammable thing away from the sink as quickly as I could.  The fire was actually dieing out pretty fast too.  Within seconds that seemed like an eternity, it was all over.

Still with me?  Either you are intrigued or have already gotten bored with this story.

Disappointed but not defeated, my momma didn't raise no quitter.  
I decided to press on.  I still have two good pots and several scraps of wax that can be remelted and reused.
I started scraping every last drop of crayon together, melting, and molding.

Finally, I have 61 heart shaped crayons.  Some of them look weird because the tops of the hearts are mushy, but as they dry it gives them "character".
(Ha, "character", yeah right!  That's what my husband says every time a project goes terribly wrong and I have to change my design.  Let me tell ya, I've had enough "character" in my projects this week.  Just wait till I finally finish and blog about my final Project Run and Play entry.)

Overall I think they turned out pretty good.  Some of them look black, but they are just a really dark purplish color and looked pretty good when we glued them to the cards last night.

End of day 1 of the Valentine's card making saga:
I made it out alive with my sense of humor in tact and only a little bit of crayon on my face.  
That's a good day.

So our next step involved making the cards.
In the original blog that inspired me to go ahead with my heart shaped crayon idea she had cut out hearts from card stock and glued her crayons on with glue dots.
I knew that we don't have a fancy heart cutter, but going through my old scrap booking drawer I found a lot of square and rectangular pieces of card stock.  Perfect!
So we got out the heart shaped cookie cutters and started tracing hearts onto the card stock.  I also found an edger that made lacy heart edging onto the edges of the paper.  This came in real handy.
Kai did most of the helping.  (Delsin is still sick in the bed.  In fact, Daniel had to take him to the Dr. office where they took him to the hospital for his 106 degree fever for tests.  We should find out more today when he takes him back to the Dr. at 4pm.)  When Delsin got back home he felt good enough to help out with a few Valentine's cards.  I know that made him feel good because it was his idea to make our own anyway.  He's so crafty.

I didn't take pictures of the process, but I did take pictures at the end.  

I realized during the photo process and more this morning that some of Delsin's cards got mixed up with Kai's (Carolina!) and we made too many for Delsin thinking we needed more when actually we needed more for Kai.  So we got a little creative with markers and stickers to rectify the situation.

Here is a link to the snapfish album with close ups of each card.

I was up till 12:30 putting heart stickers on Cuties.  
Kai took this one to school with her.

Now we have a basket full here at home, because Delsin was still in no shape to go to school this morning.

But it's nice.  I may actually clean this mess up now and put up some Valentine's Day decorations.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Kai's Dress Was Featured On Project Run And Play's Blog Page!

So, as you know I've been working hard to enter a project in the Project Run and Play competition each week.  Last week was the thing I've been most proud of so far.  A whole lot of work went into that outfit.
I didn't win, but it was real nice of them to post a picture of it on their blog page anyway.
It can be seen here.

Project Run and Play can be visited by clicking here, or on the button on the side of my blog page.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The First Diaper I made for Kai?

     I have to admit.  I almost never took pictures of my projects, in the past.  Blogging has made me want to do it more, but used to I was just so glad to get it all done that I forgot about pictures.  I recently went to take pictures of some of the first things I made for my sisters and parents.  None of them kept them.  Most of them didn't even remember those items.  That's a little discouraging, but hey if it meant that much to me I should have taken a picture too.  That is why I don't really know if this is the first diaper I made for Kai. 

I used my own pattern.  I did that because I was considering selling cloth diapers online and didn't want to ask permission to sell somebody else's.  I don't think I ever made a diaper that fit quite as well as this one.  Well, this really isn't a diaper, it's a diaper cover with a pre-fold laid down inside of it.  I did make the pre-folds too.  I'm not sure if I still have the pattern or not.  I didn't see it in my bin of patterns, but if I come across it I will post it so that anybody else who wants to make one for free can do so.

We still use this diaper.  Carolina Jane is currently wearing the whole ensemble.
Wednesday, February 8, 2012

First Time To Make Christmas Outfits

  Today I want to talk about a project that I did several years ago.  I haven't blogged about it before and would like to.  I think this was the first time I made Christmas outfits for the kids.

Monogrammed Jumpers!

     I made these back in December of 2007.  I didn't use a pattern.  I just measured them at their thickest point for width and added two inches (1/2 inch seam allowance).  Then I measured for length and added 4 or 5 inches to Delsin's so that I could fold up the pants legs to show the reverse side of the fabric.  I made the crotch of the pants in a curve, so there are only two pieces of fabric to make the complete bodice. One for the front and one for the back.  I simply cut the top like a pair of overalls.

     The dress was like a square topped letter "A" with ribbons for straps.

     These outfits are reversible with monogramming on one side and the other side just the toile fabric.  Carolina wore that dress, this year.  I just had her wear the green side.

Our cat Myrtle is the one in Delsin's lap.  The way we got Myrtle is a funny story.  Daniel took Prince to work with him one day.   Prince had a vet appointment and so Daniel had to keep him at the office for the day.  Well, on one of their breaks out the backdoor Prince went into the woods and wouldn't come back when Daniel called him.  So Daniel went to investigate and found Prince loving on this sweet kitten.  He wouldn't leave his side and it was obvious he didn't have a home so Daniel picked him up.  Here is a photo of them cuddling.

     That dog loved that cat and that cat loved that dog.  They are both together in Heaven now, and I miss them terribly.  So glad God let me know them both.