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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

On the Move

Transition is hard.  Our family has experienced a lot of that in the past couple of years, and we are getting ready to be on the move again.  When I started this blog, I had a new baby, was living in the 'burbs of St. Louis, and it was my very necessary outlet with the outside world.  Since then, we have moved to Michigan during Paul's deployment, back to St. Louis, to London, to Bath, to Minneapolis, and we are headed to Washington DC in July.  We plan to be there for 1.5 yrs, before FINALLY settling in Michigan.  Hopefully very close, if not in, Ann Arbor.

I am really, really, really ready to settle and grow some very deep roots.  I want community, I want consistency, I want a very boring life :)  I plan on establishing my dream business (more on that soon!) and plant a garden, and more specifically, some raspberries.  Why raspberries?  Because they take a few years before they yield fruit, and we haven't had that opportunity in awhile.

We have been watching a lot of HGTV around here, and even Tate has made his "Forever House Wish List".  (This kid LOVES HGTV, more than a little kid should! The Property Brothers are his favorite.) I am also addicted to "pinning" cool stuff on pinterest.  I love planning things, so this time is quite enjoyable, even if I have to wait to start creating my dream home.

The one thing that makes these changes easier, is my craft things.  Even when we had a little apt. in Michigan, I left most of the furniture behind, but brought most of my crafty bits along!  When Tate would go to sleep, I would watch really bad tv and craft, craft, craft.  It is my therapy.

What makes things better for you in a transition?  I'd love to hear:)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Project 18: Easy Child's Apron

I thought the last apron was pretty do-able.  I was quite surprised at how that all worked, to be honest!  
Soleil wanted an apron as well, and this one was even easier!

Ok, here is the quick overview.  

1.  Trace apron shape from another apron-FABRIC 1.  (Or just draw your own on newspaper)
2.  Trace same shape as the top half of the apron on FABRIC 2
3.  Make small rectangle of fabric for pocket on FABRIC 2
4.  Cut ties from ribbon.  Judge your own length--enough to tie around neck and a set for around body. 

Now how do you sew it together?  It isn't perfect, but this is what I did.

5.  Sew pocket on.  (Fold & iron edges in all the way around and top stitch on.  Easy Peasy.)
6.  Hem the bottom and the 2 lower sides of FABRIC 1 (Pink stripe).  Leave top and top sides (shaped like a trapezoid) unhemmed.
7. Hem botton of FABRIC 2 (Pink damask) top section.  
6. Trim FABRIC 2(Pink Damask) top section to match size of top section of FABRIC 1 (Pink stripe).  
7.  Pin RIGHT SIDES together, with straps sandwiched in, on top section (for neck straps) and sides (for side straps) and sew around sides and top. **Look at finished product to see what I mean**
8. Flip right side out.  
9.  DONE!

And while Soleil was waiting, I gave her some dried out markers, a little bowl of water, and a coffee filter.  When it was dry, I used a pipe cleaner and made it into a flower!  You could also make it into a butterfly.  

And later that day...  we had science experiments.  To start, we had a science kit from my friend, Claudia.
After the "real" science,  I gave the kids each a muffin tin, and they could mix whatever they wanted from food color (that I added), corn starch, salt, baking soda, vinegar, and water.  I used little condiment bottles and spray bottles for the liquid.  This was a hit!!! 

I also saw something on pinterest where you fill cake pan with baking soda, and give them many containers of food color dyed vinegar to add as they please.  I might do this next time :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Project 17: Upcycled Sock Hearts

My mom knits me socks.  They are awesome.  But the socks from her first batches may have been a tad too small... and I may have worn holes in them.  I know that it takes A LOT of work to make them, so when they became unwearable, I couldn't throw them away.  I added them to the pile of clothes made from good fabric/patterns that I don't wear anymore that are stashed in my craft room because I know I can use them some day....

That "some day" was this week, when my little one looked me in the face and said "Craft, mama?"  I almost died of happiness.

The (clean) socks are almost felted, because of being washed so many times, so when I cut them open to make useable fabric, it didn't unwind.

This is what I did:
1.  Made heart shape from magazine paper as pattern.
2.  Pinned to flattened out sock.  Cut 2 hearts out of sock material, using pattern as guide.
3.  Put Right Sides together and pinned.
4.  Sewed around 3/4 of heart.
5. Turned right side out.
6.  Stuffed.
7.  Hand sewed shut.
8.  Gave to baby to play with. :) :) :)

This took less than an hour.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Project 16: Modern Penmanship

In the past, I have dabbled in a little self taught calligraphy. So when a friend of mine, Crystal, set out to teach a course in Modern Penmanship, I didn't hesitate to sign up! I loved it. She is a font designer for Tart Workshop (see her button to the side) who creates beautiful letters, and I was inspired.

I love the practicing. It is so relaxing and therapuetic. I ran out of ideas of what to write, so I grabbed this month's Martha Stewart Living and started to write the titles, advertisements, and random words that spoke to me. I ended up with this little sampler. Oprah is another great magazine to get some beautiful and inspirational words to copy.

 Our final preject was super fun. We chose a (chocolate covered) fortune cookie that was themed for love or for friendship, and wrote the sentiment on paper doilies! I loved mine. I cannot wait to write and write and write! If you write me a real snail mail letter, you will definitely get one back from me :)

If you want to try, just grab a basic calligraphy pen set and some ink and have a go.  It was wayyyy easier than it seems.  We used a Speedball calligraphy pen and the Speedball Basic Black India Ink.  Just dip your pen and PLAY!