Sunday, November 21, 2010

Kid's Craft - Handprint Turkeys

I have been watching our chiropractor's little boy on Fridays since February in exchange for our monthly family adjustments and a sweet discount on supplements :) I didn't really need to but being the frugal person I am it is REALLY hard for me to turn down such a great deal! Besides, Kyan, the little boy I watch is just 3 days older than Evie so its good for both of them to have that play date for practicing socialization - especially since they are so opposite in some respects. Anyhow, I have been meaning to do more "crafts" and learning activities with them but truthfully I am either too wiped out to bother by the time Friday hits and just take advantage of the playmate or I am running late (always! one of my worst character traits - I'm working on it) and don't have time to grab the stuff I need before we rush out the door. But FINALLY, this Friday, I had an idea that came to me as I laid in bed the night before that didn't take much for supplies so even though I was running a few minutes late (again) I ran and grabbed the stuff. And I was sooooo glad I did too! Poor Ky was really not wanting dad to leave him (they have been really busy working on a new office space they will be opening and he of course wants to see him instead of us)... To try to calm him down, I brought out some big paper and E's safety scissors and markers and after refusing them for a few minutes, Evie got him interested and he tried out the scissors and after a bit he was just telling his dad bye with no anxiety yay!
ha, just a cute drawing by Evie on our way over to Ky's - its been really neat to see her starting to have the control to draw actual shapes. of course she can't very often draw what she wants, but she is drawing stuff that resembles something :)

Okay, so on to the craft...
You will need:
paper - I used brown paper that had come in a package but white would
markers or crayons
glue stick or tape would work
child's hand

-Start by tracing your kiddo's handprints (one or both) on a sheet of paper. With my not quite 3 year old subjects, I found that lightly holding their fingers in place as I traced to keep them from moving them and creating a fugly turkey shape.
-So, then once you have the "turkey" handprint traced, you can either just cut it out or you could let beforementioned kiddo color it. I just cut them out since they were on brown paper.
-Then give the remaining paper (or a new sheet of paper if you don't have much left) to them with a bunch of crayons or markers or whatever coloring medium you prefer and let them just go to town! I tried to get them to do some orange spots for the beak and red for the "gobbler" (the part that hangs from their chin) but mostly just let them go. It was funny to see how they each chose different colors. Evie used a lot of purple and Ky was more into the orange with zero purple :)

 Then I just drew a "feather" template and retraced it on the colored paper. I made it a very basic leaf type shape and used 8 for each hand print. I didn't want to cover up the handprint shape so I glued the tail feathers behind the fingers and then I used the other four and overlapped them to make a wing.
This is one of Ky's, I put his up for decoration on a big mirror hanging in their family room. Also, I apologize for the photo quality for the above pictures, I brought my sls but left the memory card in the computer at home. Oops. So I used my phone camera.

See all of the purple in Evie's? :)
So, there you have it. I thought afterwards that it would be cute to make them into "puppets" with a popsicle stick too.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

What I'm Listening To...

Okay, so I am going to have to admit in this post that I really like the Twilight series... mostly the books (I like the movies as a visual version but always come away frustrated with all that they change or have to leave out because they can't make a 6 hour movie). Anyhow, to try to defend myself :) I have to say that I like that they are PG-13 type books and Stephenie Meyer does a great job of writing to make you feel the emotion of the characters and they are great love stories. I don't care that its vampires - meaning that I am not going to go read/watch anything related to vampires because I enjoy this series, thats not why I gravitate to them. After reading them, I have gone through a classical literature phase (still in it actually). I read Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Persuasion, Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park all by Jane Austen; Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Evelina by Fanny Burney, and now I am just starting Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte. I really liked most of the Austen novels because they had a happy love story ending, I was really torn while reading Wuthering Heights because it is so dark and tragic, I liked Jane Eyre and Evelina. After reading a lot of these older novels, I see a lot of similarity themes in the Twilight books.
So back to the title and reason I started this post. I have been listening to the music scores from the movies and it has reminded me of how music can be such an emotional thing even when there are no words. I have often wondered if we "learn" the emotion of certain types of music or if we are born with that ability. Like, say I grew up on a desert island with no exposure to music, would I have the same reaction to a piece that I do now? Just wondering...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cute baby gift set from tie dyed t-shirt

I actually started this project back in.... hmmm, I don't remember when. I'm pretty sure it was last winter... or fall... sometime. Anywho, I had come across this cute tutorial for refasioning a t-shirt into a newborn baby gown at This Mama Makes Stuff (go check out her blog - she is really talented and a really neat gal!). Okay, so I mostly had the gown completed (just sans elastic) and then hung it with all my onsies and toddler t-shirts waiting for some embellishment.... and it just hung there. Fast forward to this fall... my friend Katrina (her blog is Pics, Pages, & Purls) was due at the end of October with a little girl, so in my quest to make her a unique baby gift I brought out that gown in waiting.

since I used the existing hem on the t-shirt I couldn't just thread elastic through the bottom so I decided to give shirring a whack and this is what I came up with (btw I would never have figured it out if I hadn't found a shirring how-to specifically for drop in bobbins on newer machines here)

shirred the sleeves too

the newborn cap was made from one of the t-shirt sleeves so I could use the existing hem again :) I just traced a hat I had on hand and serged it up - then I made a fabric flower and hand sewed it on
*to make the flower I just used a scrap of t-shirt that I twisted and handstitched together as I wound it in a circle

these mittens were actually my second attempt, the first ones I tried using 1/8 in elastic and somehow they just didn't work and were way too big, the shirring worked much better
then I made a bigger twisted fabric flower and sewed a safety pin to the back for a removeable fabric flower

baby Aspen modeling the cap

Evie "holding" baby Aspen - I can't believe that Evie was that small (well a couple inches longer and a few ounces more)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fall Leaf Crown by EviesGrandma

So, we had been having a rough week with Evie before Halloween weekend. I don't know what the deal was, but she had hit some crazy, cranky, ornery stage and I was short on patience. Sooooo, my sweet mother took me up on coming to get her Saturday to stay overnight with them and we would come over Sunday after church and leave after she did her annual candy handing out (and when we went to get her I forgot my camera so I don't have any pictures till I can steal them from my mom's camera). D had to work on Saturday and Grandpa and Grandma didn't get on the road with her till 6:30pm (ish) so we didn't have tons of time but we did get to go see a movie Life As We Know It (cute but don't forget there has to be a sad part for the guardians to need to take care of the child - just sayin'). Anyhow, while Evie was at Grandma's she made her this leaf "crown". She had made one for my niece Violet too and it started out as a necklace but then she ended up being happier making it into a headband type crown.
can you tell Evie was super excited to model it for me

supplied needed:
*faux leaves
*elastic cording (the kind used for jewelry type crafts - much thicker than elastic thread)
*big hand-sewing needle

Meeasure around your child's head, multiply by 2 (the added bulk of the leaves keeps it snug), then all you do is thread your elastic cording on your needle and sew on as many leaves as you like, then sew back through them all a second time and tie off the cord! Thats it!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

It was a good day! (and a recipe for sidewalk paint)

Saturday started by D getting up with Evie and letting me sleep in! Then Evie was sent up to tell me to come down for breakfast and they had coffee for me (which meant a venti white chocolate mocha from Starbucks). When I came downstairs D got me breakfast (biscuits and gravy to go) and my coffee treat. Needless to say it wasn't super healthy, but it sure was yummy! Then we headed down to Costco to purchase our Christmas lights for the outside of the house - first year we will have them up since we have been married!
So proud of D! He got it all done, we even have it hooked up to a fancy schmancy timer!

Evie wanted to paint and I wanted to be outside so we made some sidewalk paint!
(super easy 1/4 c cornstarch, 1/4 c water and 6-8 drops food coloring)
bathtime, then some Nemo Go Fish with daddy (she requested to wear a shirt like daddy's which she said was her favorite shirt in the whole world)

sooooo pretty! now the hard part will be waiting to turn them on for a week or two... we'll see how that goes :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Fun Homemade Window Stickies!

Over the last year I have accumulated quite a bit of dimensional fabric paint (which I will refer to hereafter as "puffy paint" - come on people, lets call a spade a spade). Almost all of it was hand me downs! Yay for free stuff! Some was from people who had gotten it for a specific craft and didn't want to keep it "just in case" and a big chunk was from my sis in law who had gotten it from her grandma who has been trying to purge her stash of sewing/craft stuff. I started out thinking I would use it for freezer stencil shirts, but I have hardly used any of it and the other day an idea just popped in my brain! It was actually something I did for the first time a long, long... long time ago when I was in high school. We had to carry around these little organizer notebooks for school that had our schedule, assignments and other stuff written in them. Well, they were laminated and so I used some of my momma's puffy paint (hey this was the early 90s) and drew some stuff on the cover. Fast forward to when it had dried and I found that it peeled off and would restick just the same. I had some more that I put on my mirror in my bedroom too.
So, I have not thought any more about them for 15 ish years and it was such a fun idea! I am also currently testing one of the ones I made on the painted wall in a bathroom that I want to repaint anyways. Just in case. They stick to walls great too, like those vinyl wall appliques, but I don't know if they would yuck them up in any way. I did seek D's paint expertise to see what he thought and he said his main concern would be if the paint was loose or peeling on the wall they could peel that off, but if that's not a concern then he didn't think it would stain or leave any sort of residue. Nevertheless I am doing a test case :) UPDATE: after only a couple of hours on the paint wall, the owl had REALLY adhered and was very difficult to remove. It also had tiny specs of the wall paint on it. So, I guess that is not a good option :( oh, well. I will let you know if I come up with any more ideas on that front.

Okay, on to the how-to part of this. Really its pretty simple so let me know if you have any questions that I didn't cover.

Supplies List:
~ puffy paint in desired color(s)
~ non porous surface to paint on (I used an 8x10 picture frame from the dollar store - this worked great for printing text to trace), you could do this directly on a mirror or window just make sure its clean first
~ tissue or rag to wipe the tip of your paint bottle
~ scrap paper to do a test "squiggle" on so you don't start writing/drawing with the clear liquid that separates out or a big clot

Once you have all of your supplies lined up, get started! As you will see in the pics of the owls, I used a layering technique with the different colors and to give it some depth but you could also do a color by number approach that would be like you were coloring a picture in a coloring book. This is something I am going to try for my next window stickers because then they would look good from both sides. Also, make sure that you make it thick enough so that when dry it doesn't tear easily.

layer one - a bit bumpy but its the first one - I've wondered if there would be some way you could "iron" these to press them smoother

after about 2 hours of dry time - you just want the surface to be set so it doesn't mix with the new color, so you could probably do more like 30 minutes but I wanted to be safe

finished and waiting to completely dry - I just followed the bottle directions of waiting 24 hours after I finished it before peeling off the glass
*to peel off the paint surface, I used my fingernail, but you can use a razorblade or other thin object to slide between the paint and the surface, then just gently pull up at an angle across the sticker (ex: I started with the owl's ear and pulled towards myself, not straight up)
I printed out Evie's name in a cute font and put it in the picture frame then just painted over the letters

another cute little guy, Evie requested a purple one

stickies in action - she spent most of the first day moving them all over and they held up really well, no tears yet!

 Let me know if you try this! I would love to see what you come up with!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Night Eyes at the Zoo

We went with D's mom and dad and younger brother to the zoo for Night Eyes.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What's going on here?

Right now, D is at an interview for a manager position at a different/bigger store than he is currently at. He REALLY wants this job... we have just been praying that God will guide the outcome whether it means a yes or no.

And, our laptop died for a couple weeks and then mysteriously revived... but is not expected to live much longer and Evie dropped our smaller fuji camera and now the lcd screen doesn't work :(

I have been working on a baby gift that I can't show you in case the recipient looks here, but will post pics as soon as it has been gifted! I have a sewing goal to go through and complete the projects I have that are cut out and in some cases even partially sewed. I think there are a couple appliqued onsies, some fleece baby pants and matching hat, some fleece mittens and ear warmer(?), a purse/bag, a skirt for me, a pillowcase dress, even a cloth fitted diaper from tshirts. Some have been on the back burner so long that I don't know what I will do with them when I finish them. Maybe a giveaway :) I also need to "pay up" on my pay it forward that is now almost a year late! I think the main challenge keeping me from getting that done is my fear of not making something good enough for the recipient. Especially when she is so crafty herself! Then there are a few belated birthday gifts to do as well...

Its also getting to that time of year when I try to go through all of our clothes and books and "stuff" and sort into throw away, put away (organize), and give away. Then get everything listed out and taken to a donation site. I have done some research to try to find something that maybe has more impact on the truly needy than Goodwill and found Hope Ministries. They have a thrift store that the proceeds fund their ministry and they use donated clothing in a free clothes closet. So I think that is where I will take them this year.

Going along with donations is volunteering. We have been talking about doing a Christmas time adopt a child or family to give gifts to that wouldn't normally get anything. There are opportunities all over the place for that. I have found some at the United Way volunteer opportunities web listing for my area.

Anyhow, I started this before lunch and it is now almost 4. Just one of those everything takes longer than expected, not getting out of jammies, barely getting anything done type days.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Ha Ha! I did it!

You are probably wondering why I am so excited... well, its because I just finished my first project for Evie in a while, and it was my first e-pattern that I purchased here after seeing it here. I made it take waaaaaaay longer than it should have, just because I hemmed and hawwed about it since I was unsure of the results, but it turned out REALLY CUTE! Now I just have to do a fitting on my model (who had gone to bed before I completed it)!
Its great because the pattern calls for 2 fat quarters worth of fabric, one for the outside and one for the lining.

I had just enough of this cute dark brown corduroy left for my first try! I will take some better pics in the daylight tomorrow and with Evie modeling it too. The whole time I was working on it today she kept peeking over the back of the couch at me excitedly asking "what are you making me mommy?!" Hopefully she will be as enthusiastic about it when I try to get her to model it for me :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Evie quotes!

While sitting eating lunch together.
Evie: I'm so happy you are my mommy!
Me: I'm so happy you are my Evie!
Evie: (after a bit of contemplation) I'm so happy that you are my mommy and I'm your Evie!

Rocking at bedtime. We hear what sounds like D running into something downstairs...
Evie: Siwwee(silly) daddy!
Me: Why is daddy silly?
Evie: Because he runned into someting.
then after a bit of giggling she adds: That always cracks me up! *then she really started laughing

Evie: (loudly) Its a green light. You can go-oh! (yep it was a two syllable attitudy go)
Me: What?
Evie: I was talking to that car (pointing at a car that had waiting to turn longer than necessary), they were in our way!

Then of course there are the staples like:
When I have wings, then I can fly!
When I am big, then I can *fill in the blank

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Such a big girl! *said with happy mommy tears*

This weekend D and I finally got to go out for our anniversary! The tradition since Evie was born has been for Grandpa and Grandma to come spend the day with her on a Saturday while we go eat at Ohana's (a japanese hibachi restaurant with AMAZING scallops... its all in the sauce) and do a movie or shopping or whatever. This year we thought we would try having Evie do her first sleepover away from us at their house instead. We told her on Tuesday last week and she wanted to go NOW! Every day she asked if grandpa and grandma were going to come get her and I tried to explain how many more days it would be etc. and also tried to make sure she understood that mommy and daddy were not going to be there, just Evie and grandma and grandpa... she seemed to get it. The whole time we were all wondering how she would do since this was the first time. She even got a special little "Evie size" princess backpack to take with her! Grandma was totally prepared with all kinds of healthy food and snacks for her since we are pretty particular what we feed her still. When the day finally came and they were there to pick her up, she followed daddy out to put in the car seat and climbed into it while everyone else was still in the house. She didn't get back out of it. She gave us both hugs and smootches and waved and yelled BYE! as they pulled out... it kind of made me sad that she was so willing to leave us behind :( but I asked myself "wasn't that what we wanted? to raise a happy, secure child who is not worried about separation because we have shown her that we will always come for her etc?", yes. She did amazing and we got to concentrate on being a couple for a day and a half. When we went to pick her up Sunday afternoon, she was happy to see us but still enjoying her time with grandpa and grandma. We got her ready to go and stayed for a while knowing that since she hadn't napped she would probably fall asleep on the ride home and didn't want it to be too early so she woke up and couldn't get back to sleep till really late. We left around 6pm and poor girl zonked out about 6:30 while chewing a pecan! It has now gotten pretty late and I should be heading to bed so I am not a zombie when she wakes up super duper early! We left g&g's house with the understanding on all sides that this was a complete success and it would be done again soon... and will be good practice for if D wins a trip to the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas for work that would be next spring :)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Ta-Da! A finished project!

I made this for sweet baby Roewyn. Her momma did was not at a place in her life where she was expecting or ready to become a mother and her family desperately wanted her to give her baby up for adoption but she couldn't do it so she had nothing. She was taken in just before she gave birth by a friend of mine (her sister is married to the new mommy's brother) and she sent out a message asking us to rally around this girl and help her in any way we could. She has gotten so much support it is amazing! Amongst the hand me downs I wanted her to have something special that was made with love just for her, so I whipped up these cloth rings and appliqued onsie. The rings are pretty easy to figure out and you can just use scraps but if you need a tutorial, Make It and Love It already has a great one made up so no need to try to put my crazy newbie sewing skills down :), she has good instructions and pictures too!

Next on the dockett? A super cute little cap for my Evie that The Train to Crazy did a sew along for. Seriously? Cute! I am pretty excited about the fabric I chose for it!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Working on some sewing!

I have actually been working on some sewing the last two days! That probably doesn't sound like much, but for me that is really something right now... I have a backlog of gifts that I need to work on and also some fun clothing for Evie. She was watching me work and asked "what are you making me?" and I had to tell her I was making something for a little baby. She didn't get upset at all but it reminded me that I need to get some of her stuff done too!

I don't want to put pics out here till I am done with at least one gift set... its for a new single mommy who doesn't have much support from her immediate family (they wanted her to give her baby up for adoption) and so her brother's sister-in-law and her family has taken her and her new baby in for the first couple of months and then she will move to live with her brother and his wife. She has been getting all kinds of hand me downs from people but I thought she should have something special that was made just for her! I am so excited to get it finished to show you!
Oh and I have been trying to get a post about our trip to the MN Zoo but the photo uploader keeps erroring so I will have to keep trying... and I have an appointment to get my hair cut this Friday. I am not sure if I will do anything different yet since this is my first time going to this gal but I'll let you know if I do!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Evie's first actual drawing!

Evie is always doing something and she loves to draw and color and paint and TRY. She is so determined but will sometimes get frustrsted because she can't get her hand to do what her mind wants it to. I just keep reminding her that if she keeps trying she WILL get better!
Earlier today, we were driving and she was using her "drawing board" (magna doodle) and all of a sudden she says "its a piggy!" and turns around this amazing drawing! Now I know that it has probably a lot, or even everything to do with being her mom but both D and I were so excited to see that she had pieced this creation together.

I asked her where his nose was if he was a piggy and she pointed to a spot down below the two circles that look like eyes and I said, there's nothing there! So she turned it back around and added a nose and then said "its a bird!" and sure enough, it did look like a bird! I thought it looked like a baby version of one of the 321 Penguins :)
And after supper we got out markers and paper and did some more drawing. I tried to teach her some tic-tac-toe and she got some practice making O's :)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Evie on vacation!

I promise to post more pictures from our nice camera but thought I would stick a few on here that were cute candids of Evie and some taken by her as well... she is becoming quite the photographer and never misses an opportunity for a photo shoot. She did that both nights at our hotel and looking through the pictures I found she took some pretty good ones :)

This was at Ikea on the escalators. She loved them! And since she was not big enough to go in the play area while we shopped we let her do a few rounds on these when we left.This was after our long day at the Minnesota Zoo. We were there for 6 hours! And she didn't take a nap, even in the car on the 15 minute drive back to our apartment, but when we were driving to eat before heading to Ikea, she zonked out about 2 minutes from the restaurant and didn't wake up until we were halfway through the meal! She NEVER does that anymore!
Oh and we had quite the ordeal with that... D carried her in from the car still asleep and as we were shown to our table our hostess commented did we know Evie only had 1 shoe on? Um, no. So we figured it had come off in the car and we just didn't notice. It wasn't there, or in the restaurant that we could see or in the parking lot. Well, the only other place we had been was the hotel and so D drove the 2 minutes back there to check the parking lot and grab her other shoes while I sat next to her sleeping in the booth. We left our number with them and thought they might find it when they cleaned that night. No one called and so I called the next morning before they were open and checked with someone and they said nothing had been turned in and checked where we had sat and found nothing. They said they would call if they found anything and I let them know we would be leaving later to go back to Iowa. Its silly but I got in the car and cried. I was just so frustrated that somehow the shoe had vanished. And these were Evie's favorite shoes, her bright pink crocs. Cut to a couple hours later as we are shopping at IKEA, I get a call and its the restaurant, asking if I had gotten their message. They had found the shoe in a completely different area of the restaurant! Yay! So she nows has two shoes again!
Crazy hair after taking her ponytail out!

Stinky Baby close up portrait by Evie
her sofa bed at the hotel, by Evie
She came and told me at one point that she took a picture of "Weevies bed and mommy daddy's bed"
say cheese mommy!, by Evie
another one, by Evie