Tuesday, March 30, 2010

March Necklace Madness Recap

Here is a recap of the jewelry I made this month.  I created these using materials I purchased from orientaltrading.com, old t-shirts, ribbons, needle, thread and my hot glue gun! Check out the links at the bottom that will directly you to the original posts.  Also, check out the parties I'm linking this up to here.








Find the original posts here, here, here and here.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Hemming...or not?

I am getting ready to finish up a dress for Annabelle.  It's darling.  Remember that strawberry fabric I bought last week? It came pre-shirred? I will write all about it later but I need ideas of how to finish it.  I want the hem to look nice but my stitches aren't straight and all out of wack.  Is there other ways to hem without it look like a disaster? The rest of the dress is really cute but the hem just ruins my finish product.  I might hand sew it but that will take forever and probably won't look any better!

Any suggestions?

Also, I am so excited about the people who are following me and hope to hit 100 followers soon! Hello everyone! But April is a very busy month.  Easter and my daughter's birthday is the 16th, the baby's birthday is May 3rd and we are having a big party at the end of the month.  I want to concentrate on giving them a nice party. So, I will be blogging, just not as much.  I am going to try to limit myself to 3 times a week until May. 

When I hit 100 followers should I have a giveaway? Anyone interested in one of my necklaces? I'll keep you posted. 

Friday, March 26, 2010

What We Are NOT Reading: Here Comes the Garbage Barge!


To be fair I never did read it. 

I brought it home and Annabelle said, "No, put it back!"

 I immediately tucked it into our library bag for quick transport back to the library.  Look at the cover.  I'm sorry but that man is creepy.  And the inside illustrations are even creepier!

Here is information about it from our library's catalog:

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! Teaching environmental awareness has become a national priority, and this hilarious book (subtly) drives home the message that we can’t produce unlimited trash without consequences. Based on incredible true events, Jonah Winter brings us the flavorful story that starts in a little town on Long Island that has a big problem: 3,168 tons of garbage and nowhere to put it! Enter the garbage barge, who hauls the junk down the coast of North America looking for a place to dump it. . . . Humorous language and amazing art built out of junk, toys, and found objects by Red Nose Studio make this the perfect book for Earth Day or any day. Photos of the work-in-progress on the back side of the jacket offers added appeal.

And the STARRED School Library Journal

Starred Review. Kindergarten-Grade 2—A fictionalized account of real events that occurred in 1987, this story will convince young readers to take their recycling efforts more seriously. When Islip, NY, has nowhere to put 3168 tons of garbage, the town officials decide that shipping them south is the right thing to do, so a tugboat towing a garbage-laden barge takes it to North Carolina. But North Carolina won't allow the vessel to dock. It goes on to New Orleans, but again is denied harbor rights. Then it is on to Mexico, Belize, Texas, Florida, and back to New York. The garbage is ripening all along the way. Now even Islip refuses to take it back. Finally a judge orders Brooklyn to take it and incinerate it, 162 days after the barge started its journey. Islip is ordered to take the remains to their landfill. The illustrations are photographs of objects made from garbage. The people, full of personality and expression, were made from polymer clay, and wire, wood scraps, and leftover materials of all kinds were used for the tugboat and barge. The inside of the paper jacket explains how the art was done. This title should be a part of every elementary school ecology unit.—Ieva Bates, Ann Arbor District Library, MI










Thursday, March 25, 2010

Halloween Already?

This past Halloween Annabelle was a fairy princess.  If you know us and you saw us in November, you probably saw Annabelle in her fairy princess costume.



She wore it to school, the store, outside to play.  She loved it.  We had many converstations about how she shouldn't wear it while eating spaghetti or in the snow because it wasn't the type of clothing you threw in the wash. 

She wore it to daycare and the teachers fussed over her until weeks later she still wore it and they just looked at her and looked at me like, "really? again?"

I loved this about her.  I thought it was quirky and endearing.

One day we got in the car on our way to daycare and she screamed the whole way there because she forgot to put it on.

Sometimes she wore it without the wings, sometimes we couldn't find the wings, sometimes she wore the antennae with other outfits without the costume. 

The antennae? Yes, antennae on a fairy princess costume.  I did't understand it either but that's the way the costume came.  To my knowledge, neither fairies nor princesses have antennae but when you combine the two, apparently, antennae are born.

Needless to say she enjoyed Halloween.

So much so she is already planning this year's costume. My husband took her to see Max and Ruby at a local toy store.

This is the conversation we had when I came home from work:
Daddy: She decided they will be Max and Ruby for Halloween.
Annabelle: I'm going to be Ruby.
Mommy: Really?
Annabelle: And Dashiell will be Max.
Mommy: Obviously.

How cute will that be?


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Flower Hair Clips


I whipped these up for Annabelle's Easter basket.  My glue gun has been getting a lot of use lately! 

My husband said she'll love them.  I think so too! She's been wearing a lot of head bands lately but hopefully she'll like these too.

I bought the flowers at Oriental Trading.  The clips are from the grocery store.  You can get them anywhere! The flowers are just glued right on the clip.  Lots of glue!

I hope to make something for Dashiell too but I just don't know what yet.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Craft: Under the Table and Dreaming

Remember that St. Patrick's Day Craft Annabelle and I did and I posted about last week.  I couldn't remember where I saw the project and ran into it today.  I wanted to show some love.  Check out this blog.  She has some great Spring crafts for kids posted today!

Here's what we made again:




Aren't hers beautiful!?






UndertheTableandDreaming





Read more: http://www.bystephanielynn.com/#ixzz0j0r3DKur

Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

Fabric Store

If I've learned anything today it is that it is extremely difficult to shop at a fabric store with two small kids.  Annabelle was touching everything with chocolatey fingers! Dashiell was trying to escape the shopping cart! I had them both in one small cart and all the fabric I wanted in another big one.  I must have looked ridiculous! The kids were great, considering!  Annabelle picked princesses, Tinker Bell and monkeys.

I found this great pre-shirred fabric.  How easy is this? Going to be one of the first one's I make. Love the strawberries.


I had to buy some for myself too!


It looks better in person! I'm thinking a top for Mommy and a dress for Annabelle!

I picked this fabric out too! Maybe matching tops or skirts! I bought plenty of it!



Not to leave Dashiell out, I bought this fabric and hopefully will make some pants for him!



I asked the guy working there if they sold plain white onesies I could decorate for Dashiell and he had no idea what I was talking about! I had to explain to him what a onesie was and then he directed me to a pattern book. I thought I could make matching tops for him too and I thought I saw them there before. I might have some laying around or I'll get some later. Oh well. I guess if you aren't a Dad...but really he works in a fabric store!

Such big dreams I have. Better go get started.

Monday, March 22, 2010

March Necklace Madness Continues

I cleaned out my drawers this weekend for repurposing purposes! This is a T-shirt necklace made from an old T-shirt of mine.

Materials:
Old Necklace
Rotary Cutter
Scissors
Hot Glue Gun


Cut the t-shirt and cut into thin strips with a rotary cutter or scissors.  The rotary cutter makes easy and  fast.  Then tie the strips together to make it long enough for a necklace.  I tied a knot and with the length I turned it around the knot to make the little flowers. 
  



This was so easy and looks fun on!

And you know what else!? The kids can pull on it all they want and it won't break! How's that for baby proofing?

I'll be linking up to these parties this week! Check them out!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Too Many Projects So Little Time

I added a list to my sidebar of all the tutorials and projects around the blogging world that I have been wanting to try.  Check them out!

Some things aren't there that are in my mind or in books I've been hoarding from the library!

I really want to make some handmade things for the kids for their Easter baskets.  I'm going to make some flower clips for Annabelle.  I haven't decide what to make for Dashiell yet.  Maybe a felt book or some blocks.

I intend to go to the fabric store this weekend and buy fabric for dresses for Annabelle and maybe some for myself! I love the One-Yard Wonder book and would love to try some projects from that. 

I also want to make some pants for Dashiell.  It would be great to have custom made pants that actually fit but I haven't seen any tutorials recently.

Let's see, what else? I want to do some spring decorating.  I bought some stuff at the dollar store that I wanted to do some decorating with.  Maybe I'll get to that this weekend. 

And then their birthdays are coming up.  Should probably get started on their invitations.  Something custom-made would be great but I'll probably run out of time and just order something.  My sister-in-law did some great ones recently through kodakgallery.com.

Decorations too.  I added some of my favorites to the list and the crowns! Oh my! So much to do!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Feed Me Books Friday: Harry and his Bucketful of Dinosaurs

A co-worker found these books and they are so cute! Harry finds dinosaurs in his grandmother's attic and decides they would rather live in a bucket than a box.  He carries them in his bucket throughout many adventures and books by Ian Whybrow. 

I was charmed by Harry and his bucketful of dinosaurs and equally charmed when Harry went to the museum with his family and bucket in tow.  Harry's sister is looking for their ancestors, the Romans, and Harry finds his dinosaurs ancestors too!

Annabelle is a fan of these books too.  Last night we were reading about Harry and at the back of one of the books were pictures of the dinosaurs and their names with pronunciation.  I was pointing to each and saying, "Stegosaurus, Tyrannosaurus," etc. She points to one and says, "What's that saurus?"  Oh she is such a hoot! I love the conversations we have while reading. 


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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Dollar Store Baby Doll

Annabelle's favorite baby doll is from the Dollar Store. 

She has a baby doll that says, "Mama" and makes sucking noises when a pacifier is placed in her mouth.

She has another one that is worn and well-loved but it is still only second best.

A baby doll from the Dollar Store.  One dollar! That's all it took for her to find true love.

She loved that baby doll so much it's head fell off.  Twice.  I caught her eating the stuffing out of one and hid it for awhile.  Then Santa brought her a new one.  Last week the head was coming off of this one as well. 

What's a Mom to do?

Annabelle really wanted to take the Dollar Store baby to daycare with her.  The baby doll's head was barely on and I had visions of it popping off at naptime and Annabelle having a complete meltdown. 

"No, let's leave her at home," I said and directed her to Second Best Baby Doll to take with her.

She carefully placed Dollar Store Baby Doll on the stairs and gently kissed her.

"Bye bye baby.  You'll be okay."

She just about broke my heart.

"Okay, you can take her in the car."

There we are in the car on the way to daycare with Annabelle holding Dollar Store Baby Doll in one arm and Second Best Baby Doll in the other.

"Annabelle. Mommy will take your baby to the doctor's today, Okay?"

"Okay, Mommy. But she doesn't need a shot!"

"Right. No shot."

This Mommy had a plan.  A plan to replace Dollar Store Baby Doll with as little tears as possible. 

I dropped the kiddos off at daycare, Annabelle with Second Best Baby Doll waiting for naptime. I headed to work and snuck out to the Dollar Store.  I carefully examined all the Baby Dolls to find one that had purple eyebrows and blue eyes and a limited chance of their heads popping off in the near future. 

Don't let the picture fool you. These baby dolls aren't cute. 

I left with four.  Four replacements.  Because chances are this baby doll wouldn't last either. 

I made the switch in the car and threw the Nearly Headless baby doll in the trash outside work. 

I picked Annabelle up from daycare and handing her the new Dollar Store Baby Doll.  As I passed her back to Annabelle I noticed something I hadn't before. 

I hadn't noticed the dent in the baby's head. 

I sat in the front seat wondering how this would go. Wondering if my very observant daughter would notice a head dent and wondering if a little lie ever hurt anyone.

"Mommy. Look! What happened?"

"Oh. She got a little bump on her head at the doctor's.  During the operation.  She's fine.  She was such a good girl at the doctor's.  And look I got her a new dress!"

"Because she was good at the doctor's?"

"Yes. Because she was such a good girl."

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patrick's Day: Irish Soda Bread

My Aunt Lucy (I sometimes refer to her as my grandmother) used to make soda bread.  She immigrated from Ireland when she was nine. 

Her "soda bread" always had raisins in it.  Turns out that's actually not soda bread but "spotted dog".  I found the recipe for Irish Soda bread on the Society for Preservation of Irish Soda Bread website. 

I decided to make soda bread for St. Patrick's Day.  I made it without the raisins to be traditional and because my husband thinks raisins are weird.
This is probably the first and last "recipe" post I will ever do.  I don't cook. I kept texting my husband with questions. "What do you use to seive?" and "How do I measure 14 ounces".  I'm also not much for recipes.  I have a hard time following the back of a Tuna Helper box!


My little helpers:

The Finished Product! It didn't taste like my Aunt Lucy's.  I missed the raisins! But it wasn't half bad and my husband raved about it.  He said I should make it again!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

St. Patrick's Day: Art Activity for Kids

Annabelle and I made a St. Patrick's Day art activity.  I found this on another blog and I wanted to link to it but I can't find it now! If you know where it is from please let me know!


Step One: Color on coffee filters using blue and yellow markers.  This is Annabelle's favorite part! We've done this and then turned them into snowflakes and butterflies before. 
Step Two: Use water and a paintbrush and paint water onto the coffee filter so the markers bleed.  Some people use a spray bottle.  I prefer this method because it allows Annabelle to be a part of it.

Step Three: Allow to dry. (I cheated and colored with a green marker. 

Step Four: Arrange into a Shamrock shape and decorate.


Monday, March 15, 2010

My First Dress for Annabelle

I did it! I was so happy about this I could barely sleep last night and my head is swimming with ideas and patterns I've seen that I can't wait to try and make. 

I have been wanting to make a dress for Annabelle since I got my sewing machine.  Recently, my sewing machine and I haven't been getting along.

Well, yesterday all was forgiven. 

This is my second finished sewing machine project and I couldn't be happier.

I took this:

And turned it into this:



I cut off the top of the shirt.  Cut it to make it fit and sewed it back together.  No hemming because I still had the hem from the bottom of the shirt.

I then made a few ruffle flowers and some braided straps.  Hand-stitched the braided straps and now Annabelle has a new dress!


Okay. So she was a little less than thrilled.  The only way I could get her in it is if she wore it over her other clothes and promised her chocolate. 

Here she's saying, "where's the chocolate?"


Looks pretty durable!


In action!

And some close-ups:



I am happy with how it turned out!

I also learned a few things:

1. It takes time.  I was so tempted to get out my glue gun and glue the flowers on but I resisted and stayed up a little late to stitch the flowers on.

2.  Practice with the thread and fabric you are going to use first.  It's always something I read but it really made a difference.  Which, goes back to the it takes time.  This way you can find the tension that works best!  Also, if the needle isn't bringing up the bobbin thread, adjusting the tension helps!

3. I love sewing and now I have the confidence to tackle some other projects.

4.  Annabelle isn't going to like everything I make.  She said, "I like this dress, Mommy," then ripped it off!  Not sure what that means.


I'm linking this up this week here.
Check these parties out and see all the wonderful things everyone out there is making!





Saturday, March 13, 2010

Saturday Stories and a Craft: St. Patrick's Day

Annabelle and I made a a quick project this past week.  I had printed off some four leaf clovers and got out green tissue paper.  She used the glue stick and stuck the tissue paper to decorate the clover. 

When it comes to art projects these days I'm trying to keep in mind, both personally and professionally, that there is no "wrong" or "right" way to do an art project with kids.  I heard this at a training this week and I truly believe it. 

I also think that when doing art projects with kids it is more about the process than the finished project.  I heard this somewhere too and think it is so true.  Make a mess! That's what its all about!

I am not a big fan of St. Patrick's Day books! Do you have any favorites?

I do like the Irish folktales by Tomie De Paolo.  This is my favorite and is best for older kids.  It is the story of Fin and his wife and how they trick another giant who wants to fight Fin. 


My grandmother immigrated from Ireland when she was nine years old.  She's not really my grandmother so technically I don't have any Irish blood in me but she's pretty close to being my grandmother so I suppose it has rubbed off a little.  And now that I'm a redheaded I'm often mistaken for Irish. 

I would love some of her Irish Soda Bread this week! And some of her stories about the "old country."

Friday, March 12, 2010

Feed Me Books Friday: Favorite Baby Books

I've written before about the frustrations I've had with reading to Dashiell.  The boy just won't sit.  When Annabelle was his age, she would sit for the longest time.  I remember the toys not being touched some evenings but the books would be a mess!

Dashiell is a different story altogether.

He is always on the move and he just won't sit still for a book.  During the day I will let him just crawl around while I read, thinking that atleast I'm reading to him right?

At night I try to read atleast one but by the time we have both of them in their pajamas, he is ready to pass out. I pick up a book and he once nothing to do with it.

I've found that the books with lift the flaps keep his attention the best.  And books with pictures of babies. Bonus if it has both!

The other night he literally pulled a book out of my hand and threw it on the floor.  So whatever it was, was not keeping his attention. 

I will keep at it and just steal moments when I can. 

Here are some I will be trying this week!

I love the DK Peekaboo Series.  It has both lift the flaps and pictures of babies. Woo Hoo! Dashiell loves playing with these books.



Karen Katz writes wonderful books for babies.  They are beautiful and tactile and many have flaps.  Here are a few we have at home that Dashiell will sit still for.



Dashiell really likes this one too.  It has great rhythm which I think he enjoys.  No flaps but pictures of babies. 






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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Epossumondas

Epossumondas is probably the hardest charcter name I have ever had to say.  In reading these books, I said them a lot! In Epossumondas (and hard to type, geesh!) by Coleen Salley, Epossumondas, takes his mother's instructions much too literally.  Think Amelia Bedelia only this is a cute little possum.  He travels from his aunts house to home and each time is given some present.  A piece of cake, a puppy. When he returns home his mother instructs him on the correct way of carrying home what he is given.  So he follows those same instructions with the next gift with hilarious results.  The ending  is my favorite.  

In Epossumondas Plays Possum, Epossumondas goes into the swamp alone and plays possum to a host of swam creatures.  He again doesn't follow his mother's instructions correctly. 

These are delightful noodlehead tales but I am always fearful of reading these types of stories aloud.  The children I've read Amelia Bedelia too don't always get why they are funny. 

Annabelle loves Amelia Bedelia and she loved these ones too.  She enjoyed them and to hear her say Epossumondas was worth it!






Wednesday, March 10, 2010

March Necklace Madness: Day 3

I want to apologize for the quality of these photos.  I was taking photos of my projects when my camera battery died.  I took these using my camera phone but I was losing my natural light.  All the close ups turned out blurry.  And I was being rudely interrupted by a teething baby! Poor Guy!



Can you tell what the flowers are? Yep, more t-shirts turned into flowers! This is my third project.  So easy and so much fun. I made a bunch of the flowers then glued them to a piece of felt.  On the back of the felt I glued the chain and glued another piece of felt to hide everything and make it more secure.  I wish I would have taken pictures in progess so I could show more of the process.



I also glued some accents to the the flowers.  They are sterling silver flower shaped beads.  Why this picture looks like there's a lot of light I don't know!

I also got some serious glue gun burns doing this.  Turns out I left my glue gun on overnight! The thing was crazy hot!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

March Necklace Madness:Day 2


I love all the ribbon and fabric that I see in necklaces these days. It is so simple to recreate the look for much less! And this was so easy! The materials all came from Oriental Trading again.  They sell this nice chain and many ribbons.  I bought a bunch of ribbons and fibers to make some of my own necklaces.  
 
Using wire cutters, I cut a piece of the chain and a piece of the ribbon.  Tied the ribbon on either end then ties a couple to the chain.  It took me about 5 minutes! I'm wearing it now and love it!

I also used Fray Checker which really helps keep the ribbon from fraying.  I have never used this before but couldn't have had such a nice finished piece without it.  The ribbon frayed almost immediately but with the Fray Checker it hasn't at all!
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