Thursday, January 31, 2013

Remembering a Grandfather

My Grandma and Grandpa on their wedding day
There hasn't been much crafting going on here as we said goodbye to my Grandpa this weekend.  He joined my Grandmother on Wednesday, January 23.  It is sad to think that part of our life is over.  I will always remember him as a tall burly man with a loud voice and when he talked you listened.  He loved his family more than anything and loved showing off his grandkids to all his friends. 
I see alot of him in my son.  I don't know how many times my mom and I have watched Grant and said "oh my gosh you are just like your Great Grandpa". 
He was a stubborn man but a loving man and we miss him.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Puffy Vest

I saw this post on A Girl and A Glue Gun and Sugarbee a while ago and immediately went out and bought the flannel fabric I needed to make Grant his own puffy vest.  I thought after reading the tutorial how simple and quick the project would be so I could knock it out in a naptime.

Ask me why I ever think that will be the case, cuz it never is. 

Why don't I learn?

I proceeded to make my own pattern to use and cut both my lining fabric and outter fabric, then decided since I already read through the tutorial and knew (ok, thought I knew) exactly how to make this vest I didn't need to read the tutorial again.

This was mistake #1.

I stitched the lining and outter pieces together in the way I thought, ignoring the fact that they weren't matching up correctly, thinking the imperfections would work themselves out.

This was mistake #2.

I ended up getting most of it done (or rather thinking I had most of it done) to realize I had messed up the entire vest and there was no salvaging it unless I ripped out every seam I had previously stitched.  And seriously who wants to do that?  So, like so many other projects I screw up on the first attempt, it ended up getting thrown in a bag and procrastination set in on making another.  Every time I saw this bag an eye roll and a thought of, "I really need to make another one of those", would follow.

Finally I am here to say I have finished this project.  My words of advice.....
Read the tutorial.....And then read it again so you don't have to rip seams or procrastinate making another.

It really is a simple project.  I get easily distracted and lose focus cuz here is my background noise music:
(picture a 2 year old jumping up and down in front of you patting your knees, getting closer and closer to your face with every "Mama" he says)
Me: "what?"
Grant: "MAMA, MAMA......"
Me: "I said what?"
Grant: "MAMA, MAMA, MAMA......."
Me: "WHAT?"
Grant: sigh, eye roll, and he proceeds to turn around and watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

I stuffed mine with Polyfil, made the faux pockets and collar.  You can tell my work is not perfect but I think it's really cute.  My only regret is the length.  The next one I make will be about 1 inch longer on the bottom.  Grant is growing so fast these days (what am I talking about the kid has grown like a weed since birth), so I know this one won't fit him very long.
I swear I don't take him in public dressed this way but he wanted the vest on and I had to take advantage of my fleeting moment to take a few pics.

He likes to turn to the side when he knows I'm about to take his picture, laughing the whole time.
I get alot of pictures that look like this one.

Or this.
After making this here is what I would and will do differntly the next time around, I will use quilt batting instead of stuffing (mainly because I'm lazy).  I think I over stuffed mine making it shrink a little in length.  I also won't bother using bias tape on the arms.  I used it on the one above but it looked a little strange to me.  It may not have been the tape, maybe it was my pattern but when I tucked the tape inside and stitched it down so you can't see it when Grant's wearing the vest, it seemed to fit him better and look better on him.
 I have this vest on my list for the fall to participate in the fall kids clothing week challenge at Elsie Marley.  I've been dying to participate for about a year but just havn't had the guts to attempt.
I've got my guts now.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Sleep...Oh Sweet Sleep!

I have to shout this to the roof tops and I'm actually a little scared to do so for fear that it will end but I'm about to burst........

My little guy is sleeping through the night (ok, well technically til about 5:20 am but hey beggers can't be chooser's right?), in his own bed!!!!!!!!!!

Is that not the most wonderful news?

Almost like Christmas morning.

Probably not for you but it sure as heck is for me.  If you have read any of the random posts about Grant you know he has had horrible sleeping habits since he was 2 weeks old.  His napping through the day at 2 weeks was about 30 minutes to an hour 2-3 times a day and it took me the better part of an hour to get him to sleep in the first place. People have tried telling me it's all because I spoiled him or whatever, but seriously how much spoiling can you do in a week post birth?  So I whole heartedly disagree and chalk it up to Grant just trying his best to defy me where it hurts the sleep.

In his first year of life we moved about 3 times and each time there was an adjustment period and I would finally get him sleeping in his bed through the night and then go figure we would move again starting the draining process all over again.  I'm a sucker when it comes to my sleep. 

I like it.....I like it alot.

Most nights I would have no memory whatsoever of him crying and me getting him out of his bed and putting him in ours.

That's really bad isn't it.  Kind of like sleep walking, which creeps me out.

So I guess since I finally got him in his bed sleeping through the night we are due to move again.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Pretend Mail Set

My friend's daughter is turning 3 this month and I thought for quite awhile about what I wanted to make her.  Ultimately a play mail set was a must.  I'm all about simple toys for kids and toys they have to use their imaginations with.  I first saw a pretend mail set on the blog 12 Crafts til Christmas (which I think has been taken down since then or at least that's what google tells me) and logged it in my favorites as a "one day" project.  I guess that one day has come.

Here's the whole lot, 4 post cards, 3 envelopes, 3 letters, 7 stamps, and 5 address labels.  I think the whole set turned out really cute.  The only things missing is the mail carrier bag (still working on that) and the mailbox.  My plan is to buy one of the paper mache mailboxes at Hobby Lobby.  The only problem is they have been out of the size I need, bummer!  So I'm hoping they get it in within the next week.
I used heavy interfacing as the main part of the post cards and a sharpie to write on them.   As you can see I'm not great at making a perfect square.  All my postcards are a bit wonky, but that's the great thing about sewing for kids, they are very forgiving of imperfections.
I used ric rac for the address part of all the postcards with a place for the stamps in the upper corner. 
 To make the envelopes I used a sheet of computer paper and just cut it in the shape i needed.  I used a coordinating green fabric for the inside, velcro for the closer, and placed velcro on the outside for the address labels and stamps.
A word to the wise: make sure your letters are small enough to actually fit inside your envelopes.  I wasn't paying attention and mine almost didnt fit.  Oops!  The letters are muslin fabric with cotton on the back. I stitched them right sides together then turned them right side out and stitched a 1/4inch seam around the outside.  I used a sharpie to make the squiggle lines that represent writing.
 Address Labels:
 Each address label consists of 2 pieces of felt.  The top piece is hand embroidered with the person's name and the bottom piece has a piece of velcro stitched on so it will easily attach to the envelopes. Then I stitched the top piece to the bottom. 
For the stamps I just cut a square of felt, a small heart of felt, stitched velcro on the back and stitched the heart on the front.  Ta-Daa, instant pretend stamp.  You could be a really good crafter and applique the hearts on the front so you wont see the triangle stitch but let's face it, I'm lazy and I was working during nap time.  Which means short cuts are a must!
Hopefully I'll have the mailbox and bag to show soon but I got impatient wanting to share the pieces of the gift I had finished.  My plan is to make a set for Grant for Christmas this year (maybe with that one I'll have measurements and patterns since I was a slacker with this set).  I know what your thinking, It's January, what in the heck am I thinking of Christmas for?  What can I say? It's the way my mind works!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Counter Coloring

Santa brought Grant a coloring book in his stocking this year and I got it out for the first time the other day.  I got all excited to see him color with some washable markers I bought during school supply season.  So I got him all set up at the counter with his markers and Mickey coloring book and about 2 seconds after setting him in his seat with marker in hand he pushed the coloring book out of his way and started scribbling all over the counter.   Of course my first instinct was to say "no no, we don't color on the counter we color in our coloring book".  After about 3 times of me saying this I stepped back and thought why the heck am I wasting my energy when the markers are washable!

Who needs a coloring book when you have a counter?  Just a thought.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Craft Hope Project 19!

I LOVE CraftHope.  I made a couple aprons to send off months ago and it felt really good knowing something so small from me could help someone else.  I've been wanting to participate in their projects ever since but hadn't found the time.  When I happened to check out their Facebook page (their website is being worked on) I saw they are collecting dolls and monkeys for the victims of hurricane Sandy, I knew immediately I had to get in on this one.  I have made many dolls using Bit Of Whimsy patterns ( I love them, they are easy to follow and come together quick, even for a simple, not so great sewer like me)  and knew I wanted to make at least one to send.  Grant doesn't really like me sewing cuz you know that means my full attention is not on him, so sewing anything becomes quite a job.

I actually used 2 different Bit of Whimsy patterns to create this doll.  I used the Jean doll for the body and the Beth doll pattern for the front and back of her hair.  The pig tails I cut out free handed.
I wanted the doll to have clothes that were removable and reversable, and I really wanted an excuse to use a new pattern I bought awhile back.  The Criss Cross and Ruffles pattern was so quick and simple and I love that it's reversable.  I only did the dress because I ran out of time and needed to get this little one in the mail but the pants look really simple as well and probably wouldn't take much time.

My intent was to make a few different stuffed toys but needless to say time got away from me.  I am glad I at least got to send this 1 doll and hopefully there is a little girl out there to love her.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Play Kitchen Details

I posted yesterday about the play kitchen I made for Grant and I finally was able to upload pictures!  I knew after I posted the one picture I'd figure out how to upload the rest, so here they are:

I attached (ok well technically my husband attached it but it was my idea and I painted it so I'll take the credit for now) a menu board to one side.  Grant is still a little to young to be trusted with chalk in order to actually use the menu chalkboard but I think it will be a nice touch when the times right.  I bought the chalkboard at Hobby Lobby for $4.99 (used my 40% off coupon of course), painted the outside, then used my Cricut to make a stencil out of vinyl for the MENU label.  The opposite side of the kitchen has 3 hooks, I bought at Walmart in a package of 4 for $0.97, to hold his hat, oven mitts, and dish towles.

Do you notice the fact that the oven door is missing?  Only took a few hours before Grant pushed down on it a little too long and off it ripped taking the screws out and everything.  Needless to say, learn from my mistakes and use heavy duty screws.
I used my Cricut, vinyl, and the Accent Essentials cartridge to make the stove burners.  I painted them on with acrylic paint.  Getting them in the right spot was the most frustrating part.
 I originally wanted a tile effect painted on the backsplash, but due to time constraints and my lack of patience I only got one row of them done.  I actually really like the way it turned out with just the one row but maybe I'm just trying to make myself feel better.
I bought these drawer pulls in the unfinished wood section at Hobby Lobby, painted them back with a silver dot in the center then glued them to the top of the stove.  Here's a little tid bit for anyone who doesn't already know this (of course I could be the only one out there) if you are glueing these to the top make sure it's on an unpainted surface.  My father in law informed me, after mine started falling off, if the wood is painted the wood glue has nothing to adhere to.  I ended up having my husband screw them all on.

The 2 other knobs were made from 2 1/2inch wood discs bought at Joann's and the same drawer pulls I used above.  I used a black sharpie to make the lines and words on the disc.  Again these ended up having to be screwed on after they started falling off.
Of course no kitchen is complete without a chef's hat, and of course I can't just go to the store and buy a chef's hat without adding my own little touch.  I embroidered the top and I am in love with how it turned out.  He looks so cute in it, I just wish he would wear it more, maybe as he get's older.
I am so pleased with how the kitchen turned out (with the exception of the broken oven door) and how much Grant loves play cooking for us.  It's so much fun to play with him.
Here's the link to my other post regarding this labor of love including links for the felt food, oven mitt, and dish towels.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

My Labor of Love: Play Kitchen

For whatever reason Blogger has not been working well for me and I haven't been able to upload photos but I really wanted to post this.
My labor of love this Christmas was my son's play kitchen. 

I so love this kitchen, Fisher Price ain't got nothin' on it....of course that's just my opinion but I think it's my son's too.  We couldn't get Grant to open any other gifts because he was too busy playing with it.  My husband kept asking him if he wanted to open his other gifts, his response....Nope!
I searched all summer for an end table at yard sales and never found one. Who woulda guessed it? You would think I would have come across a dozen of them, oh well.  My step dad made this one for me and was kind enough to paint it too.  All the other details I did myself. 
I don't think my husband was sold on the idea of a kitchen for Grant this year but he loves it and has been cooking us food and pouring us milk and juice from his toy pitcher for days.
Chalk one up for mom!
Here are the links to the posts for the oven mitts and dish towels, felt food, and salt and pepper shakers.
Hopefully soon I'll be able to post about all the details like the menu board and chef's hat but until then I'll have to leave you in suspense.


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