Thursday, June 30, 2011

Oh who am I kidding...I am on vacation!

I crack myself up! Does this look crafty to you?
Right. It is not crafty. At all.
I really, actually thought I would be blogging "from the road"...HA! Seriously, people. I am on vacation in every sense of the word!

I am not doing anything crafty.

I am not doing anything bloggy. Or blog-worthy, really.

But I am relaxing. And enjoying our last few days of detachment-from-real-life. I wanted to share that with you before you never come back to my blog again because you thought I bailed.

And just to prove that I am not doing anything crafty. I am here:
The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC.

Walking around.

Wine selecting.

Wine sampling.

Enjoying our time sans-children.

See you after the 4th!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Have You Tie Dyed Lately?

Gosh, it has been years and years since I have tie dyed anything! Until yesterday...

I got the kids excited to tie dye. Then headed out to the store to pick up the necessary supplies- shirts, dyes, and rubber bands. Then came home and washed the shirts and got everything set up. Sure the kids were excited, but they couldn't wrap the rubber bands and didn't understand the rubber banding process. So my mom and I did all the shirts. Then they couldn't help mixing the dye (because they are reckless kids). So my mom and I did that part, too. But they got to help drop the shirts into the buckets and stir them in the buckets for about 15 minutes. They only half-enjoyed that part. So my mom and I just finished it all up. We rinsed and cut rubber bands. Then washed and dried everything. But everyone ooohed and aaahed over the finished products. I will try and get some pictures of everyone wearing their creations. Today I had a swollen eye (gross and weird) so I have been trying to fix that all day. By dinner time I was able to see out of it again. Apparently it is some strange allergic reaction to something. Who knows! I am just glad it is getting better. I had to walk in the urgent care with sunglasses on so people wouldn't get grossed out.  They probably thought I got in a fight.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Summer Ideas for Kids: Weather Crafts

Weather Watching!
Even though it is summer, I still like to keep my kids learning. They made such great progress last year in school, especially near the end of the school year, and I would hate to see them lose any of it. So I am really trying to entice them into learning and reading by using topics they are interested in at the present moment.

Last week was My kids are fascinated with weather.  Maybe that is because we have such big weather in OK. Big winds, big hail, big tornadoes, big rain, and big hot sun!
The website I was using is called Fun4Kids. She had book suggestions and crafts. It is wonderful!

We made the cloud craft with the cotton balls...except we used paper plates and I didn't have cotton balls. We used polyester stuffing because I had tons of it.

The kids loved the craft. Plenty of gluing going on!

Today we are visiting family out of state.  We have spent the last three days in the car so the kids are outside running around.  It is great to stay put for a few days, at least!  I will post again on Wednesday and show you what we are up to!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Blog Design... Um, I DIY'ed it.

Have you noticed that every once in a while my blog appears different?

 old banner

You'll learn that I have a hard time making my mind up!  But for now, I think I am at peace with this new color scheme and "design" (if you can call it that...because I made it up).

So what is new?  Well mostly everything...
  • Like I have a background which I made in PSE
  • These new sidebar headers  ------->
  • New header (made that too in PSE)
  • The lines of text are closer together
  • Random post gadget added on my sidebar
  • Went back to a 2-column blog (from 3-column)
and no, I still can't seem to get my photos to be a size that I am happy with!

If you have any questions about any blog design let me know and I will do a Q and A post.  I have tweaked this Blogger template all by myself.  And I have a few more things I need to redo.  But I am learning a lot- which was one of my goals of starting a blog.  But everything you see, I have done so I could walk you through if you needed some help.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I was listed on Tip Junkie...and people liked me!

At least when I looked.  My grill towel is under new Father's Day ideas, here.  Now I am not "featured" or anything.  Just my tutorial is listed under the Father's Day ideas.  Which to me, is pretty darn awesome!

I was first most popular for the day (could have just been good timing)-- but whatever, I am thrilled. It is tough to devote time to my blog and not have an audience to read it. I know that is all part of the growing process. Oh I know.

But small blurbs like this put me on cloud 9!

I had submitted this tutorial and just hoped it would be listed!  Tip Junkie is the most complete creativity/craft blog that I know.  She has endless resources for anything you can think of!  I am stopping by now for Fourth of July crafts and ideas.  My youngest will be 2 on July 4th.  So I need party decorations, recipes, everything red-white-blue themed!

And get THIS...I just saw today that there is an app for Tip Junkie!  WHOA!  I love it!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

{Craft Bucket} Adding a Swim Diaper and Dyed Shoes to My List

Have you seen these shoes? They are boring white tennis shoes dyed into awesome!  A gal named Katy at Sweet Verbena made them and I love them!  She even posted a tutorial on how to make them.  I think they have been everywhere on every blog. All the cool crafters are drooling over them. And Me too! And I really would have already made them but I can't go shopping with my kids (see yesterday's post) and I can't go shopping without them. So I don't have any shoes to dye. But I will! And when I do...they will be this cool!

Added to my Craft Bucket List!  #21

Next, I really, really need to add this to my Craft Bucket List and I really, really need to make them soon.  Like, before I need to buy another package of swim diapers!  Right now I am using some leftover swim diapers from my daughter (who has been potty trained for about 2 yrs) and my neighbor who is 6.  I know.  They are old diapers but they are doing the job.  If I thought I had a handle on when my almost-2-yr-old was going to do a number 2 I would just wait and go swimming after it happened.  But since I don't and since I don't want to clean up a "code brown" in the pool (really don't want to add that to my day) then I need the swim diapers.  It just seems so silly to buy them now when we are cloth diapering, too.  So with about 12 swim diapers left, I need to get a move on with this project here:

I found the tutorial over at Sew Mama Sew (the very first craft blog I ever read daily).  But it is made by Samantha who has a blog, making it little by little, and a store, Little Comet Tails.  With all of her awesome patterns for sale in her shop, I feel lucky to have this free tutorial!

This Swim Diaper is now #22 on my Craft Bucket List.

Monday, June 13, 2011

What do you kids really DO have manners!

Last week was our "Manners Week" and I can't even begin to tell you what an improvement I have already seen in their manners. Did you know that (until last week) my kids are out to humiliate me in public by behaving like wild animals dressed in kids clothing? Well, they typically do. I get all the stares. I am so embarrassed.

Last week, I was actually able to take them, without embarrassment, up the street to this adorable little bakery for a fancy cupcake. I was nervous because the cupcakes were served on real plates- you know, breakable ones! I wasn't sure if my kids could handle it. But they did alright. Nothing broke. My son even asked for some napkins in a polite way. And, not wanting to press my luck, as soon as the cupcakes were devoured I rounded the four of us up and left before anything did break.

As you can see, the little one decided to scribble all over it!

Even though we were reading about manners and discussing manners last week, I think the real reason for their turnaround has been our manners chart. Complete with incentives. aka rewards. OK, bribes...whatever, it is working!

You see, my older two kids are always asking to eat at a restaurant. I don't like to because it ends up being an embarrassing disaster. Nobody listens. Kids everywhere. I would rather just avoid it right now. So during their last week of school I started a star reward chart. They can earn a trip to a restaurant (of their choice) by having good manners at dinner. It was an instant turnaround! Now, they are not perfect. But improvements I have seen are: not yelling, not playing peek-a-boo with the baby, sitting up straight in seat, using napkins, asking to be excused from the table...just to list a few. Funny thing is, these are not "new" concepts for them. We have been teaching them table manners from day one! But for some reason, they have slipped and I don't think an occasional trip to Chuck E. Cheese will hurt anyone. That is where we went this week. Their manners even continued there. I really could gush all day about them, but who wants to hear that? I am just so proud of them. And glad I finally found something that is working around here. Maybe a Good-Manners-for-a-Restaurant bribe reward chart will help you too.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Father's Day Grill Towel- Last One I've Got!

Another Grill Towel for Dear 'Ol...
...Have you see the other 4 grill towels I posted earlier this week?...
Now this one, I was CRAZY about! I love it! It was actually the first one I made. But it was not as much my husband's taste. And I really thought I had nailed it. He said this one was a bit too colorful. Really? What I think, is that to him, the blue and orange are team colors of a sports team or something. He thinks in sports.

An extreme close up:

Here is how I made it:
  • followed the basic tutorial from Monday
  • orange single fold bias tape
  • appliqued "d-a-d" from an old orange t-shirt
  • I used an iron-on interfacing to the t-shirt fabric to make it stiffer to work with
  • attached it to the plaid fabric band before sewing the plaid fabric on
  • attached letters with HeatNBond and then followed with machine stitching
  • no grommet because it already had a loop on the corner for hanging (see below)

You know...

You could make a pair of these this weekend!  But which one?

Black with argyle
Brown with leather patch
Blue with blue oxford
Red with monogram
or today's, Blue with plaid and orange

I would love to know....which one is your favorite?

Linking up here:

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating Lovely Crafty Home

MondayBWS tips buttoncraftMakingThe Girl Creative Keeping It Simple

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Father's Day Grill Towel- Red with Monogram

Here is a real simple style. Just a man's monogram.
...Check out all 5 grill towels this week!...

This is another variation of the Father's Day Grill Towel Tutorial.

I basically made my own iron-on patch and appliqued a B on it.  And I didn't add a grommet to the towel because it already had a hanging loop on one of the corners.  Very convenient!

How I made this one:
  • towel is from the dollar store and it already had a twill tape "hook" on the corner so I did not add a grommet on this one  {see pic below}
  • black fabric cut into this shape and I put HeatNBond on the back (kinda made my own patch)
  • small double fold white bias tape sewn around raw edge
  • the "B" was cut from an old t-shirt and adhered to the black with HeatNBond
  • hand stitched red embroidery floss around edge of the "B" (oh so carefully) 
  • ironed on whole "patch" and then topstitched around the white bias tape
  • bobbin thread was red to match towel
Towels here came from dollar store.  They already had this loop on the corner- perfect for hanging on the grill!

You know, you could even use this same concept and make Dad a golf towel or sports/gym towel.  Just a thought...

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Another Day...Another Grill Towel: Blue on Blue

Now this one actually was my husband's favorite one. It had all of his favorite colors- blue and blue, oh and grey.

On Monday, I posted a tutorial on how to make a grill towel and everyday this week I am posting variations of the first. I know this is a gift husband would use because he always needs to wipe his hands off when he is out there grilling. It could be raw meat on his hands, BBQ sauce, something fell, who knows.

I wanted to share with you all of my iterations of the Grillin' Towel because...1) I never come up with a good man-craft idea...and 2)I finally found a man-craft idea that my husband actually likes! I don't know. Maybe you have the same man-craft block that I do. Anyway...

Here is how I made this towel:

  • this design is very similar to the one I posted on Monday
  • the fabric strip is a blue oxford shirt fabric, 100% cotton
  • grey single fold bias tape
  • the patch is another iron-on mending patch I found in the notions section
  • freezer paper stencil "bbq" after I ironed the patch to the towel.
  • grommet is at the center of the towel left edge
  • I got all crazy and used blue thread for my topstitching, which I was surprised didn't make my husband think it was "too messy"

Also, I thought it might help if I showed you what the patches I have been using look like.

I really just stumbled upon them at at my fabric store. Do you see the ones I used Monday, yesterday, and today? Lots of possibilities for those in the future, too.

I was wondering if these ideas are inspiring you or confusing you? Thanks for looking!!
Linked here:
Somewhat Simple

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