Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Earth Day!!!

Earth Day is one of those days that gets over looked a bit, but I always try to do something with the girls to help improve the planet, or to educate them about helping to make this planet healthier; last year we planted flower seeds. Amalie and I have been very diligent this year about watering our plant and flowers. My dad always did composting when I was younger and I really like the idea of doing a compost bin to keep the plants healthy. Did you know that up to 50% of the things we throw away are things that would be great for composting? I always feel like I'm being wasteful when I have to throw away expired fruit or veggies, so this year I found a great tutorial on making a compost bin; here is the link:

My very helpful husband drilled the holes in the side for me.

So far all I have added is some top soil to get it started and some leaves I found around my yard, I checked my fridge for any old fruits and veggies, but couldn't find anything bad, so that part will have to wait.

The best part is that I already had everything I needed to start this, and even if you don't you can find the supplies for fairly cheep. I hope everyone had a great Earth Day!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Cape Tutorial!

A little more then 2 years ago, Amalie told me that she wanted to be a Wonder Pet, and that she needed a cape, at the time I was still learning how to use the sewing machine that my mother-in-law gave me, but I gave it some thought and decided: "I could do that.". The cape turned out pretty good, I even made one for my friend's son; he is a huge fan of batman (but who isn't, really, that guy rocks). Unfortunately Amalie keeps growing and her cape is way too short, so I have to make a new one, so I'm taking this opportunity to show you guys how I did it.

These are the things you will need:
*2 one yard cuts of fabric (I let Amalie choose hers)
*A measuring tape
*A water pen, or you can use a pencil
*A straight edge of some kind
*And a sewing machine

First you need to measure your child from the base of their neck.... right above their ankle or about where you want the cape to go too (the longer you make it the longer they can wear it.)

Now find the natural divots in their shoulders and measure the distance between them. 

Now decide about how wide you want the cape to span on the bottom, I held my measuring tape at the length i liked and just wrote the number down. Now you want to add an inch to all your measurement to allow for seam allowance.

First you want to iron your two fabrics to make them easier to work with, then layer them with pretty sides facing each other, whichever of your fabrics are easier to see drawn lines on should be on top.

Now I took pictures of how to draw the cape shape on the fabric, but they didn't turn out well at all, after asking Chris's opinion, I decided to draw a smaller scale on a piece of paper just to show it better. 

First mark on your fabric how long you want your cape (make sure to add that extra inch). Just make two small dots (Mark 1 and Mark 2) like shown.

Now, by mark 1, make point A and B by measuring the distance of the shoulders, make sure that Mark 1 is in the center. Do the same by Mark 2 for the span of the cape making point C and D. Again make sure that Mark 2 is in the middle.

Now you need to connect points A and D, then connect points A and B, and lastly connect points B and C.

For the bottom, I like to freehand a curve from point D to C, but you can make this line straight if you want.

Now pin all around your cape shape inside the lines you have drawn.

Use your scissors to carefully cut your fabric on the lines you have drawn.

Once its cut out it will look kinda like this, and it will be ready to take straight to the sewing machine.

Delanie kept me company :)

Now sew around your cape at a half inch seam allowance, but make sure to leave an opening about 5 to 6 inches long to turn your cape in side out.

After you flip your cape you need to iron it, I always start by ironing the opening so the fabric folds in.

After the opening I just iron the rest flat.

Next, you need to top stitch around outside of the cape at a 1/8 inch seam. Again I would start with the opening, just to get it over with.

Now for the ribbon, for this cape I used 60 inches, I would cut the ribbon 45 inches to 60 inches (I know it seems really long, but I will explain why it is necessary.) I always sew the ends of ribbon, you can also heat seal it.

Now fold your ribbon in half and pinch it so you get a little fold at the center like this.

Try to get the fold in the middle of the top of the cape like this picture shows, then pin the ribbon to the cape.

Sew the ribbon at a 1/8 in seam all the way around. make sure to back stitch at the end.

It should look like this.

Here is the finished cape.

So now to explain why you need the long ribbon; my husband told me horror stories about how his dad was wearing an apron as a cape when his dad was a boy, and it got caught on a branch when he was jumping from a tree and almost hung himself, so we found a way to tie the cape so that wouldn't happen. First hold the cape at you child's neck like this.

pull the ribbon in front...

....and then under their arms like this.

Then throw the cape over their shoulder and have them hug it.

Then just tie a bow behind their back like this, the extra ribbon give them room to grow.

It's a bit narrower then I intended, but she loves it, so I don't mind either.

I hope your kids love this one as much as mine do.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A wee little update.

So I have been working on my sewing room today, working on clearing it out. Its almost empty, just the old computer desk, and our linen storage left.

This is what it looked like after I got all the small stuff out....

...and this is what it looks like now.

Tomorrow I'm going to call for the local thrift store to come pick up the desk, and then start painting the ceiling. This week end I will be picking up the paint for the walls, I debating between a very light yellow and a bright orange. Within the next 3 weeks or so I will rip up the carpet and start putting down the linoleum. Then I can start setting up the furniture to make getting ready for this year's Santa's Art Shop a bit easier. I'll be posting more pictures as I get more done.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Lady's survival kit

Friday's are my errand days, I do things like grocery shopping, bill paying, stops at the post office and all those other odds and ends. Most Friday's I spend a good part of the day running around town, and on several occasions I have found myself in a dilemma of sorts, like: not having a hair tie or a hair pin, getting a head ache, or, the worst, realizing my monthly visitor arrived earlier then I expected her. I decided that I was not going to be in these easily avoidable situations anymore and so I pulled together a "Lady's Survival Kit". 

In my kit I have:
a mini flashlight
wet ones singles
hair ties
hair pins
chap stick
glow stick
an emergency blanket
hand sanitizer
wisps (one use toothbrushes)
 and shout wipe and go wipes

It all fits pretty well in here, and this little bag slides right under the passenger side seat so it's never in the way. You can put anything else you might need in there too, that way it's always handy. So put together your survival kit, and don't be caught off guard.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

How Exciting!

Amalie's preschool is having a spring carnival and they asked all the parents for donations of merchandise for their raffle. I decided that I would stop being a chicken and donate two rag quilts that I had already made. And it really paid off, the ladies in the office were very impressed with them. Heather, the woman who is organizing the carnival, asked me if she could buy a quilt for a friend who is having a baby in October. I was so thrilled, I've never sold anything I've made before (well my mom has bought quilts for friends....but that doesn't count, she's my mom, she's obligated.), then I asked her what themes or colors she wanted. She asked me to make it uni-sex, but to include air planes, well I was stumped, air planes are pretty boyish. Eager to please my first customer, I searched the internet for the right fabric, and I found a great fabric with planes that were flying through rainbows. I found a great fabric to go with it, I was agonizing over the result, terrified I wasn't going to be able to deliver. But I think I did well.

What do you think??

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Enjoying Easter!!

I love holidays!! It's great chance to relive all the fun through your children, and see things for the first time again. We celebrated Easter this year with an Easter egg hunt first thing in the morning (we stay in our PJs, its just not the same when you take the time to get dressed.)

Amalie was a great big sister and helped Delanie find the eggs that the Easter bunny hid for her inside.

Delanie enjoyed trying to open her eggs...

...but she did hand them over for help eventually.

Then we went outside for Amalie's Easter eggs, she had a blast finding them, and was excited that the Easter bunny hid them better then he hid Delanie's.

I had to take a picture for almost every egg she found.

Then we went inside to look in the baskets that the bunny left for them in the house. In Delanie's basket, I left baby snacks like Gerber fruit puffs, and Gerber fruit bars, and one of her favorite fruit smoothie baby foods. I don't like to give babies candy before they are three, even Amalie, who is 4 didn't get much candy, so I just gave her favorite snacks for her eggs. I also got Delanie some stuffed animals, a set of bath toys that light up, and cool puzzle that a car drives on, teething rings, and a zebra toy that has beads that slide on a wire.

Amalie loved all the toys in her basket, I did a chocolate bunny, 2 Cadbury eggs, a bubble machine, the same kind of puzzle I got Delanie, a geometric shape drawer, a butterfly toy that sticks to the wall, and two grow-a-friends (you put them in water and they grow; when you take them out they shrink again to use for another day.)

After we played with new toys, and after Delanie's nap, we got dressed, Amalie helped pick out their outfits. we then went to my parent's house for Easter dinner and a second Easter egg hunt.

Delanie found a few eggs on her own.

Amalie had a blast searching too.

Delanie found a new princess car to ride around Omi and Opi's (German for grandma and grandpa) yard on.

Amalie was very excited to find a La La Loopsy house.

Finally for bed time we read one of my favorite books from my childhood; The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes. its a bit long, but its a beautiful story. 

I hope everyone else a a great Easter too. Happy Easter and good night.