Friday, November 30, 2012

Travel Chair Tutorial

We tend to travel with our family a few times a year. This time, before the holidays and next trip, I tried to get a head start on things that may make traveling easier. I came across this TUTORIAL for a travel high chair. In attempt to get my fabric stash down I brought out this vintage dog and cat print that I picked up at the thrift store awhile bag...there was a lot of it, so be prepared to see it again in a future post :) I also had a bit of leftover mustard fabric from a purse I made my sister over a year ago. It just happened to match perfectly. The only problem was the pattern called for quilted fabric. In an effort to use what I had, I decided to back the mustard fabric with batting and quilt it myself. Since I have no experience quilting I kept it simple. I simply drew a line down the center and then measured out 3 inch increments until I came close to the edge. I drew the lines in with chalk and sewed straight lines over them.

 In the next few shots you can see the error I made...I sewed the seat on the wrong side. Instead of sewing the connector piece to the short end, I accidentally attached it to the long end. This created a problem once you go to place a child in the seat. Luckily I saw the error before I traveled with the chair, removed the stitches and placed it on the correct side. It was a simple fix, but one that could have easily been avoided.
I think this project is simple and quick but to be honest...I am currently traveling and didn't pack it, so I can't tell you how great it works. Maybe if I remember to pack it next time around I can post an update. :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Nursery Curtains

While searching for what I wanted to do (um, I mean WE wanted to do) for the nursery, I came across the Skip Hop Treetop Friends decor and knew that was what I wanted. But, they didn't really have the things I wanted, and, really, I knew I would do it myself anyway. I found fabric on sale at JoAnn's and waited for blackout fabric to go on sale (I got it for $1.50 a yard!). Then, I had to find some pictures online to use as patterns. I'm not artistic what-so-ever, so I needed a little help there. I made pattern pieces for everything, cut them out of the fabric I wanted and then laid it out on the fabric. Then came the REALLY tedious part. I decided to hand stitch all the pieces onto the fabric. My grandma helped me complete this project, which I think is so fun! Here she is sewing away.
I used different colored embroidery thread for the different pieces. It took a long time, but I think it is totally worth it! After all the pieces were on, I put some ribbon strips at the top and added the blackout fabric. Then, the curtains were finished. I love how they turned out!
Happy Sewing! Betsy

Monday, November 26, 2012

Quick and Easy Playdough

There is no shortage of playdough recipes on the web. I have tried a couple and came across one that really was easy and did not dry out. I quickly whipped up four batches using common ingredients.

 And this recipe: Easy Homemade Playdoh
 I tossed the dough in some leftover plastic containers and after 3 weeks I am happy to report it is still just as soft and pliable as the day it was made.

This is really a great and quick recipe to whip up when you need something for the kids to do.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Knit Boyfriend Cardigan

A few weeks ago I was reading through my favorite blogs and found the Knit Boyfriend Cardigan Tutorial at icandyhandmade. I knew I wanted to give it a try and quickly printed out her pattern. I used a white somewhat sheer knit I had purchased at a thrift store. Here are the results:

 Overall I found the pattern very simple and easy to follow along. I later read in one of her posts to not overlap her patterns when they are printed and I think this is the mistake I made causing a tighter fit. When I make this again (I plan on it) I would like to try to make the top a little larger. However, when I attempted another tutorial, the purple tee I am wearing underneath, I had the opposite problem: Perfect Fitted Cap Sleeve Tee. The tee is way too wide at the neckline and slips off my shoulder. I also took in the sides quite a bit. I finished the bottom edge with a band similar to the neckline but I am not loving the outcome. I think with some tweaking I could make this top easily work for me. And for a free pattern I am not complaining...I am pretty sure it was user error :)

Hopefully I will have time to try out a few more versions soon...and fix that horrible bra strap issue :) This also gave me the idea to start looking in my own closet for favorite fitting garments to recreate...I see a tutorial in the near future:)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Rag Rug

So, keeping with the nursery theme, here is a post about the rug I made for Baby's room.  I can't say it saved me much money, and it definitely didn't save me any time, but I love the outcome and it fits in her room perfectly!  I found this tutorial online and followed it pretty closely.  I used the left-over fabric I had from the curtains to make this rug, but ended up needing to go get more.  It took A LOT of pieces.  This picture doesn't even do justice to how many were needed!  I made each strip 1 inch by 5 inches.  I also tore the fabric because I wanted a more "used" look to the rug.  You also will need one of those no slip mat thingys - I'm pretty sure that's not the technical name ;)  I got one at Target for around $5.  I used a 2 foot by 3 foot one.

Then, you figure out how you want to put the pieces on.  I wanted a random look, but ended up doing a pattern.  It looks random in the finished product though.  I looped them through skipping one in between.  Here is a shot of the back in the beginning and then what it looks like on the front.

Here is a picture of what the back looks like when it was almost done to give you a better idea of the spacing.  If you wanted a fuller rug, just add more pieces!

And, the finished product!

It looks great in her room, and was definitely worth the effort and time of putting it together.

Happy crafting!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

She's Ready to Pop Shower

A couple weeks ago I had the great privilege to throw a baby shower for my friend and blogging partner, Betsy. Our friend Katie and I hosted and used the theme "She's Ready to Pop". While I didn't get great pics of the decor, hopefully you can get a feel for the shower. Links to recipes/crafts/ideas below. We set up 3 main areas for the shower: onesie craft, food, and seating/wish card station.
 Instead of playing games during the shower we decided to have everyone make Betsy a onesie. We set up an area in the sun room with stencils (we precut shapes on card stock), onesies in various sizes, short and long sleeve and different colors (we dyed several onesies using Rit), scissors, pencils, fabric backed with Wonder Under, and an iron. Katie made a sign for the table that coordinated with the invitations and food labels. I think you can tell from the pictures that everyone had fun (even people who said they weren't crafty) and it was great to see everyone's ideas come to life.  After the shower I took the onesies home to sew around the edges of the appliqué (by the way- thanks to those of you who added stuff to the front and back :) It actually didn't take long and hopefully will help all the beautiful designs stay on through washings.
For the food we stuck with the Pop theme and served Jalapeño Poppers, Mushroom Poppers, Zucchini Poppers, Oreo and Nutterbutter Truffle Pops (a big favorite- gotta try them!), Fluffy Punch with a Pop of Pink, Popcorn, candy tiers with pop rocks, tootsie pops and bubble gum, popcorn chicken, fruit pops and spinach salad with orange poppyseed dressing.

We also had an area for people to fill out wish cards for the baby and to pick up their favor...a POP of color. We simply tied orange ribbon around nail polish with a little sign that said pop of color.

 We also enjoyed some gift opening. Betsy's mom and grandmother had a neat idea I had not seen before. They took outfits they had saved from Betsy's childhood along with the photo taken of her in the outfit and presented them to her for her little girl. Her grandmother also made a lovely quilt that guests enjoyed looking at during the party.

The hostesses and the guest of honor. We had a great time and hope you know how much we enjoyed doing this for you Betsy.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

From Trash to Treasure

Sorry for the delay in posting anything recently.  I've been working hard at getting the school year started with a new teaching role, then maternity leave lesson plans, and working on the nursery.  So, many of my posts are going to be about getting the nursery ready to go.  Hope that doesn't bore you to death, but, as many of you know, when you like to craft, you have to do it all yourself! 

Today, I am posting about this beauty of a chair that Shannon found for us on the side of the road.  Yes, outside just waiting for a home to give it some new life and love. 

My mom and grandma came out for a visit a couple weekends ago for my shower.  I put them to work while they were here, and we got so much done!  Mike helped us sand down the rocker and the footrest.  My mom put the first coat of paint on the rocker.  We used a primer and paint in one and it worked really well.  I'm not going to lie - it was a massive pain to paint the bottom of the rocker and the footrest, but I think the outcome looks pretty nice.

In the meantime, foam was on sale at JoAnn's and so was fabric.  So, my grandma and I headed over there to buy what we needed for the cushions on the chair.  I used the old cushions for a pattern and cut the foam with my Gingher's.  I wish I had an electric knife though.  It would have been so much easier! Then, I used those pieces as patterns for my fabric.  I cut it about a half inch bigger than the foam, sewed all my pieces together, and attached ties to the chair pieces.  I stapled the footrest to the base.  Mike tightened all of the screws, and it is as good as new!  I love the outcome!

The pillow on the chair is for a different post.  Oh, and so are the curtains.  Pretend like you haven't seen them yet ;)  You'll just have to wait for those!


Saturday, November 3, 2012

May the Poncho Be With You

Why the strange post title? Well, you can thank my husband for that one. When he saw me after I made this poncho he asked, "what is that star wars looking thing you made?" I guess it is safe to assume he is not a fan. Truth is, I am not sure I am either. I picked up the McCalls 6658 at a recent $1 pattern sale. There was something about this knit sweater looking thing that I thought looked comfy and cozy. We had just had some cooler weather move in and I was in the mood to wear warm and comfortable things. So, I came home and got out my cream sweatshirt material that I picked up last year at Goodwill. After all, for the 7 plus yards I got for $5, I figured if it looked horrible, I wouldn't be out much! So...what do you think...wear in public or only lounge in this at home?

Here you can see the parts I really don't like much. The strange arm holes...which also make movement constrained and the high low waistline. While I know this cut is in right now, I am not sure I like the trend...
I am thinking that maybe in a finer knit, a light sweater knit maybe, this would be a better top? Aside from the arm issues it is warm and comfortable, but for now I think it will be mainly be a lounge around the house kinda top. Unless I can somehow be reassured that I don't look like a Jedi Knight.