Friday, January 29, 2010

The Mending and the Sewing Dress

As you can tell from my onslaught of posts, I've been busy since we got back from Blacksburg last week.

I made a huge list of projects I wanted to accomplish for every month until Baby boy is born in May. Some of them are huge (scrapbooks for the past 5 years!) and some of them are small...(looking at my list...) ok none of them are small. They're all things like decorate the nursery, make playroom art, and plan a bridal shower. Oh well, I'll do them in small chunks.

OK, moving on...

At the top of my list was "replace Sophia's Sparkly dressup that's falling apart." I decided to make a prototype out of scraps. If you knew me before I had babies, you might recognize this green polka dotted fabric and this white skirt. I had a feeling I would never fit in them again (or if I did, it would ignite a rendition of "Baby Got Back"). I was tempted to send it off to good will, but I still liked the fabrics. So off to the cutting board.

Click on the picture for a closer view.

  1. First I cut out a top following the instructions of the Peasant Blouse, as seen on Indie Tutes. But I made it short by 4 inches. The blouse is made to be a little away from the body, it's not form fitting at all.
  2. I cut out the bottom of my white skirt to use. It fits my before baby waist- a little bigger than Sophia's waist.
  3. I sewed them together with an extra wide 1 inch seam allowance. As I sewed the waist, I put in small pleats every 5 inches or so to make them fit together smoothly.
  4. I folded down the extra waist seam allowance inside to make a tube for the waist elastic.
  5. Measured sophia's waist, inserted elastic, sewed closed.
  6. And added gathered pockets.

For a similar project out of a men's shirt, check out Dana at Made's Summer Dress from Men's shirt. She has a tutorial for fancy Gathered pockets too.

For my gathered pockets I:

  1. Cut out pockets according to Dana's tutorial measurements.
  2. Folded over the top of the pocket about 3/4 inch, sewed along seam, left openings at each end.
  3. Inserted 1/4 inch elastic about 3 1/2 inches long, sewed at each side to secure.
  4. Folded side and bottom of pocket under 1/2 inch, sewed all the way around
  5. Pin and sew onto skirt.

Next week after my chores are done I'll try to make a similar dress, with size adjustments, out of sequined fabric and shiny skirt material. Either next week...or the last week in February. We shall see.

Ribbon Headband and FOR CUTE! CD holder

FOR CUTE! (pronounced fur - cuuuuuTE!)

Sometimes I miss that phrase. Mainly when I make something too cute for a normal reaction, then I wish I still lived in Utah and heard that on a daily basis.
Things like this:
Sophia's latest "sewing" creation- pretty inventive? Think I should start her Project Runway 2035 audition tape?
And I made some ribbon headbands. It took me about 5 minutes.
You need- Cute ribbon, wide stretch lace. You could even hand sew it if you needed to.
Measure your Head with the ribbon, then deduct about 3 inches. Cut out 4 inches of stretch lace,
fold over each side of the ribbon, overlap about a half inch on each side, sew.
Easily adaptable for moms and princesses alike.
Next up: FOR CUTE! Cd holder for the van.

I used scraps and this tutorial by Puking Pastilles. Very easy. MAKE SURE YOU MEASURE HOW BIG YOUR CAR VISOR IS. Sorry for the yelling. But I didn't. And it barely fit. So do that first. Thanks.
I just used fusible interfacing for the inside, but it is a little floppy. So I'd recommend some cereal box cardboard if you don't have the Peltex (thick bag making fusible interfacing) .
Now, say it with me...Fuuuuur Cuuuuute!

FHE: Strengthening Families Lesson and Assignments Board

For Family Home Evening this week, we talked about Strengthening Families. This lesson came from my Stake Young Women's Presidency, they passed out kits when they visited for Ward Conference this past week.

For this lesson, you will need- 2 popsicle sticks per member of the family, and a rubber band or pipe cleaner.

First, you pass out one stick to each family member, and ask them to break it.

After they do, you tell them that was a family member. Then you put the second set of sticks together, wrap a rubber band or pipecleaner around, and ask them to break the family members when they are all together.

Even if they are able to break it, you explain that we are stronger when we are together and united.

Talk about Satan trying to attack families-
  1. Why do you think that is? (Because if we are not united, he can tempt us or break us away from the gospel)
  2. Why do you think Heavenly Father sent us to earth in Families? (Families help us to choose the right, and we help keep each other on the right path.)
  3. How do families help us to be strong in the gospel? (We can give help to someone who is tempted to choose the wrong, and we can do good things together, provide a place of love for everyone)
  4. What are things we do, or need to do, to be strong and united against Satan? (Read scriptures, family prayer, family home evening, do fun things together, go to the temple, be nice to each other)
Activity: Make Popsicle stick puppets

First, trace large and small gingerbread men and women onto paper, cut out.

Have everyone color their person, or decorate with scraps of pretty paper.

Tape a popsicle stick on, and you're done! Here's our popsicle stick family.

The kids have been doing puppet shows with them since our lesson. Hooray for cheap toys!

This week I finally finished my FHE board. We've talked about how we need an assingments board every week for the past 6 months, as my kids fight and throw tantrums over who picks songs.

Here it is, in all it's glory....

I used a plain 12 inch magnetic wooden frame from Roberts ( that i bought like 5 years ago), painted it black, then busted out the cricut and modgepodge.

Our assignments include: Song, prayer, wiggles (a motion song or song to dance to), lesson, treat, song and prayer. Simple. Like us.

After I cut out the letters, I sealed with modge podge- over the letters and the paint. So it's all glossy.... glossy. glossy.

Then I made name magnets, so the assingments can be rearranged weekly.
As you can see below, I love cereal boxes. They're pretty much the same thickness as chipboard, and free! (kind of).

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Natalie's Birthday Party: Part 2: Rainbow Playdoh Cricut Style

Here's how we party with our new Cricut. If you don't know what a cricut is, check it out here. It's basically a scrapbooking tool that cuts images instead of printing- it's about the size of a printer, doesn't need a computer, just cartridges full of silhouettes to cut out.

For Natalie's party, the decorations started with polka dots.

Take one 12 by 12 cardstock, (I used DCWV non textured multi pack) cut out the largest circle you can.
I used "fit to page" and it came out 10 3/4 ". I also cut out some 2 inch and 5 inch circles.

For the circles, I used accents essentials cartridge, shadow on accent 1. But it's just a plain old circle, there's lots of shadows in that shape on various cartridges.

I also made a Happy Birthday banner. I used Cursive 101 cartridge for the lettering (3 inches tall) and the Celebrations cartridge for the pennant pieces (6 inches tall). The cut for the pennants includes the holes for the string. I tied ribbon in between to hang the banner. Here's the banner on my carpet after I assembled it.

On the back side of the rainbow lettering, I did plain white lettering. I liked this effect a lot better, but I'm all about simple decorations that don't hurt your eyes, the multi colored lettering on rainbow banner was a bit much.

For the favors, I made use of my Tags, Bags, Boxes and More cartridge (the one I was most excited to buy).

First I did popcorn boxes in various colors, and set it to fit to page. I can't remember what size it came out to, but they're about 5 inches tall. The boxes had ribbon handles in contrasting colors, and then were filled with playdoh and accessories.

Then I made inch bags that were 2 inches tall. These held the googly eyes, flags, and pipe cleaners for playing with the playdoh.

For more decoration, I cut out "I (heart) playdoh" from the Storybook font cartridge, in 3/4 inch letters, on self adhesive "sticker" paper from DCWV. The sticker paper comes in 6 by 6 inch stacks. I also cut out 1 inch cupcakes from the Celebrations cartridge to stick onto the inch bags.

For the flags, I did mirror cuts of some tags (2 inch size), and glued them around mini popsicle sticks (only 3 inches tall). I cut out various mini shapes- hearts, flowers, stars, triangles, tree, turtles, etc., and glued them ontop of the flags.

It all turned out well, and in the process I've become a pro at the cricut. Ok, not a pro...but not a beginner anymore.

Natalie's Birthday Party: Part 1: Rainbow Playdoh

Natalie's Birthday Party was this morning. She'll be 3 on monday. It was fun to celebrate this little sassy thing. She's very into princesses and everything pink, but I thought it would be fun to do a multicolored playdoh party- a rainbow playdoh one.

Here's the invitation I did....

And here's some of the decorations we put all over the house- the usual balloons and pom poms, but I added polka dots on the walls and a rainbow birthday banner (more on that in post 2, the cricut post)

The main event was of course- Playdoh! I made up a quadruple batch of playdoh and divided it up into 6 sections. Each got a packet of kool-aid- so they were bright AND they smelled good.

Then when we were all playdoh'ed out, we played balloon games

Rainbow Duck Duck Goose- instead of saying Duck, they had to say the name of the person's balloon, and instead of Goose- RAINBOW! It was a good exercise for them to remember their colors.

Balloon Freeze Dance- when the music stops, everyone gets a balloon, and I call out a color. If you have it, you're a winner! Then you do it 10 more times so everyone's a winner!

Oh, and I forgot to get a picture of the rolling pins. If you look in the corner of the playdoh picture of little Isaac, you can see a peanut butter container with a strip of paper inside.

I had the kids color on the paper as they arrived, then stick it inside the peanut butter jar to be their rolling pin. Great idea, worked a little bit, but everyone forgot theirs, or said they didn't want them.
A better idea would be to cut up pvc pipe or thick wooden dowel rods and paint them ahead of time. They would be more effective rolling pins.
Last but not least, we had cake and jello!
Birthday Girl blowing out her candles...
For the cake we did a white cake mix, divided up into three sections and dyed into three colors. Then I did the layers of icing in the other colors, so it ended up as a rainbow cake.
And I did it. I conquered rainbow jello. 6 flavors, all morning of stopping in the kitchen every half hour, mixing and layering. I quickly learned to make sure the layer in the fridge was all the way set before adding another layer, and making sure the layer to add was not hot at all. I used sour cream for the creamy layers, but another mom said ice cream mixed in cools it down and adds some more flavor. But oh MAN it was good.
The next post will be favors and a birthday banner, which awesomeness is courtesy of my new cricut...

R is for Rocketships, Rabbits and Rocks

I did the letter R a few weeks ago in preschool, and a mini Rock unit.
I wish it could have been ROCK 101 like Jack Black teaches in School of Rock...but alas, I don't think the other parents would have appreciated it.
We'll start with the Rocks first. I bought a few small ones at the Children's museum, and they looked them over, and we made a list of attributes on the board- clear, swirly, opaque, sandy, etc.
Then we read some rock books about how they are formed.
For snack we made some snack rocks.
Here's sedimentary- or cocoa pebbles and fruity pebbles rice krispies...layered like sedimentary rocks are layered.
For igneous rock, we heated up chocolate chips and sweetened condensced milk until it was "bubbly like lava" and then it cooled into rocks- or chocolate truffle rocks to be more precise.
For metamorphic rock they layered playdough colors, then applied heat and pressure from a rolling pin to make swirls.
This lesson was great....but the kids couldn't pronounce the different types of rocks very well. In the future, I think I'll have them do a show and tell with different types of rocks, or maybe do it in the spring where we can go on a hike and find rocks in the woods or see rocks au natural in the hillside. It was a little over their heads...but might be good for girl or boy scouts groups doing natural history type stuff.
On our R day, we spelled out each letter of the alphabet using a piece of rope. I felt like I could see their brains stretching as they tried to remember each letter than figured out how to make the rope like that rather than just a pencil.
And for our craft we made Rocket ships and rabbit cups. The original idea is here, on bookhoucraftprojects. Basically it's a cup with rubber bands tied across the opening, so they spring off a launcher cup. Check out the tutorial, they're fun and pretty easy. I would reccomend using an exacto knife for the rubber band openings, and some extra tape on hand if the cup splits.
They worked great, were cheap to do, and fun to have fly across the room.
The rabbits and rockets all colored and assembled...
Here the girls are getting ready to launch their rockets
And off they go! The pictures from this were hilarious, because you just see a random cup in the air, like below.
Last but not least there was ribbon dancing. Perfect for little girls.

Hooray for Letter R!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

THE Christmas Pajamas

Lots of people get new pajamas for Christmas.

In our family, I make them. Way more stress than you need, let me tell you. But it's been a great way for me to hone my sewing skills. This year I perfected sewing button holes and interfacing and learned an alternative way to sew on long sleeves. So I like the practice.

And I need deadlines for my projects, and Christmas is a great deadline.

As much as I love store bought pajamas, I have yet to see hello kitty ones in classic button up form (for less than 10 bucks a piece that is).
The really hard part? Getting the kids to sit still for like longer than 2 seconds. And to stop posing. Natalie's favorite pose comes form a KISS concert poster, and Sophia's queen of the "cheesy smile and stick something in front of my face pose"

A close(er) up shot of the shirts.
Hooray for Christmas pajamas!

It's a...

For those of you not on facebook or who haven't heard, it's a Boy.
I'm basically scared out of my mind....of the rambunctiousness, the lack of ruffles, all the haircuts, and the massive amount of Transformers merchandise.
For now I'm focusing on blue baby polos and green suede blankets.
The NEW question in my mind: will it look like a Daley? Or an Ingram?

Christmas Crafts: The rocket ships

I made this rocket pattern, Rocket Man by Long Thread, for my two nephews and the baby to be. This was back in early December, before we knew what it was. Good thing I covered my bases and did a boy craft AND bought girl clothes.

The Long Thread uses a wooden egg for the rocket man himself, but I used the Wee Wonderfuls pattern for Little Wee. I scaled it down to one third it's size, and added seam allowance. Worked out great.

I had to experiment a little bit to get the pocket right for the little man, eventually fitting the pocket around my man, and pinning/sewing. Then cutting a custom size hole and sewing it on. But it was worth it.

They also double as footballs, as my football obsessed nephew James would sure show you.

Here we go...To Infinity and Beyond!

Christmas Crafts: Calendar

I finally distributed the last of the christmas presents, so I can post about some of the other gifts I made.

Every year I do a calendar, for the past two I've done two seperate calendars for each side of the family. This year I only got to one.

Here's the details of my operation: I use Microsoft Publisher, because I know it and I have it. I print on cardstock on my printer, that's a pretty nice one. (I've printed with laser printers on glossy paper too, and I like the way the photos look better, but the trip to Kinkos or Printing shop was kind of a huge hassle).

I bind the pages with my Bind it all, an O-wire binding tool.

My layout for the Daley family calendar, is landscape, with pictures on the top page, and a full calendar for each month on the bottom page.

Each family (7 of them in all) gets a month, then the other 5 are specialty ones- their themes include/have included the following:
  • Reunion page of pictures of us all together
  • History page from z John's parent's (this year was about the 1960's/their teenage years, years past were about ancestors with dates/small history)
  • Quotes page where each family member is asked the same question (this year was "What do you want on your own private island?"
  • Halloween page of costumes
  • Pictures from Christmas time/playing in the snow
  • Portrait gallery
  • Small cousins in various dressup costumes
  • All the babies born that year
This was the cover this year. The theme was "Daleytown Island"- Each page's theme was a location on the island. A spa, a shooting range, a christmas forest, a school, a bakery, etc.

One of the highlights of this year was having John's mother, Linda, write an essay about the 1960's, which includes her romance and marriage to Richard, John's father. This time included his mission to Beunos Aires, so we included a copy of his mission identification from the First Presidency. I love hearing people's romance stories, and they have a classic one: high school sweethearts.

I'd include pictures of all the family members, but I'm lazy. Here's our page. You can see how I use digital scrapbooking kits to border the pictures and accent. I've gotten every piece of digital paper and embellishments free- by using They list the freebies people are giving away each day. You have to weed through the ok ones and the freebies that are just layouts, but it's worth the effort in my experience.

For my parent's calendar, I do each page with our family, and it's more themed around the activities of each month, with whatever pictures of them I've taken through the year.

If you're thinking about doing this for your family- it's great! The only thing- it will take some time, especially if gathering pictures from family members does not include blog picture snatching. I start in September, and do it occasionally on Sunday afternoons and after the kids are in bed. Then it's not stressful and most of the calendar's done before Thanksgiving.

Any questions?
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