Saturday, October 29, 2011

Lullaby Art: Fall Pinterest Challenge!

It's that time again, another Pinterest Challenge from Young House Love and Katie Bower.  It's such a great idea to take all that pinning and actually make something for a change! 
My Version

I saw this beautiful painting that someone had done for a birthday party and knew it would be perfect for Serenity!  The colors were just right for her room, but I wanted to make it my own by using the lyrics from Twinkle Twinkle.  That is my go-to lullaby for Serenity.  I must have sung it to her ten thousand times, sometimes for an hour straight when she was tiny.  I'm not sure why, but it always reminds me of her now, and I sometimes hear her singing it to herself over the monitor.  =)

I have plenty of pink paint on hand, so I just took a light and a dark, plus a little bit of white paint.  I used a big, old house-painting brush because I wanted to be sure and see the brush strokes, and so I could cover the canvas with a minimum of fiddling.  I just started with the light pink, and when the canvas was mostly covered, dipped into the dark and added a few swipes of that, and then dipped in the white to finish up.  No washing brushes, quick and easy!

Then I went into photoshop to type out my lyrics.  I used the font Girls are Weird, and chose shades of lavender for my colors.  Print on some nice paper, and glue it down!  Then I just set it on one of her ledges to add it to her wall collage!  It's perfect, not only for the song, but because we seem to have quite a star theme going on in her purple bedroom.  To see more of her room, look here.  Or here.

I'm going to add a sound button to the back with my voice singing a little bit of Twinkle Twinkle, so it will have even more personal meaning. 

If you want to know how to make some other things in Serenity's room, check out my Wall Vase for a ThreeYear Old post.  That one still makes me happy!  Or her Oklahoma Art.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Lemon’s Purse

Since I actually finished my costumes with time to spare, I decided to procrastinate on Christmas presents by making a matching candy bag for Serenity’s costume!  In one of the books Lemon had a cute little lemon purse, so I just made mine a lot like that. 

I cut a four inch by 11 inch strip of yellow felt and then cut two yellow semicircles about as big as I could make them using just the two pieces of yellow felt I had left after all this lemony goodness.  That’s about a seven inch diameter. Then two white semicircles, slightly smaller, and six teardrop shaped pieces of yellow.  I hand stitched it all, I think I’m completely over my avoidance of hand stitching.  It’s just easier to manipulate felt by hand, and so soothing! 

Then I used a little bit of the ribbon that I’d used for the belt to make a handle, covering the end of the ribbon with a little rectangle of felt.  Then to make it a bit sturdier, I lined the bottom with a four inch wide strip of cereal box cardboard.  Then I thought, that doesn’t look finished, so I added a little flap of yellow felt on top to cover the cardboard. 

It works great!  She’s been using it as a purse all week, and although my husband voiced doubts as to whether it will hold enough candy, it will certainly hold as much candy as we should let her eat. ;)  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Curious George and The Man with the Yellow Hat.

Curious George and The Man with the Yellow Hat.

I nearly did this costume for Serenity’s first year, but finally decided on a flower fairy for her.  Hey, I don’t think I posted that here yet.  Something to look forward to!  Anyway, since then I’ve had this costume in my mind and so I’m so glad I got to do it this year!  Eric really makes the perfect Man with the Yellow Hat.  He’s so tall =)  And Donovan is a perfect monkey. 

The only thing that held me back from this costume is that I already have an adorable monkey outfit.  I got this sweater off Crazy 8 and still just adore it.  It’s cute, comfy, and useful, which I think makes it a perfect Halloween costume.  But since I want to give it my own touch, I decided to make George a little accessory: a banana!  I made it just like the tutorial here, except since it was for my baby I added a nice rattle.  I just took a drinking straw, filled it with quinoa (I didn’t have any rice, and besides, quinoa fit better in the straw.)   Then tucked that down inside the banana before stuffing.  It’s perfect!  And Donovan really likes it!  When Serenity isn’t running off with it.  She has lots of monkeys to feed besides Donovan. 

Today (last Thursday now) I finally got over my procrastination on the yellow hat.  I just wasn’t sure if I wanted to build it out of cardboard or what, but finally I decided that I needed to use some of that huge piece of yellow felt hanging out in my closet.  I stole it from my Mom to make Peeps but only finished one pink one last year.  So now it’s a yellow hat.  This tutorial worked just great, although since I did it in fleece, it’s a lot floppier so I stuffed the top part to make it stand up. 

If I get time I’ll add details, like yellow pants, maybe a tie, some black detailing, but the main point gets across already, it’s all about the Yellow Hat.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Lemon Meringue Version Two

And here it is, Lemon Meringue version two!  I absolutely loved this Cascading Ruffled Skirt Tutorial, and had it starred and unread in my Google Reader for weeks.  (That’s my version of a to-do list, at least until I started with Pinterest!)  And so when Serenity wanted Lemon Meringue for her costume, I thought, this is totally something Lemon Meringue would wear!  Stylish and cute!  So I got a couple knits and went for it.  The only thing I changed is that after I made it according to instructions, I realized she said it was 5t, and Serenity is a 4t just because of length, not because of waist.  That’s right, way too big.  Plus, I completely failed at putting the elastic on the way she does it in the tutorial.  I stretched it too much at the end so it was all uneven.  So I just turned the top part into an elastic casing instead!  Then I could use an elastic the right size for her waist, and the skirt looks just like it should still.  Those ruffles are very forgiving.  I totally recommend this tutorial for the novice clothing maker, it was fun and so cute!  And no finished edges so no worries about my lack of serger =) 

Here are the rest of the Halloween posts, just one more two go, for the Man in the Yellow Hat and Curious George!  Coming up Tuesday =) 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Lemon Meringue Costume

Serenity’s Halloween Costume is finished at last!  She decided to be Lemon Meringue from Strawberry Shortcake, and here is our inspiration. 

So cute =)  I bought her one of the dolls before she was even interested in dolls, just because I loved them when I was little.  She enjoys them now too and it’s such fun!  She wanted to be Lemon because she has yellow hair and eyes just like Serenity’s.  The best part about the costume is that Lemon wears all kinds of clothes, they just have to be yellow and blue!  So I got to play with all these great patterns and tutorials I’ve been seeing around the internet!

I started with this great pattern for a raglan sleeve dress from Lier at  She has fantastic ideas!  I will probably never sew clothes that well but I really enjoy playing at it. Sewing like this makes me long for a serger, but I only do this once a year, so I get by without =)  To adjust it for lemon meringue I just had to add the lemon details that I hand sewed in felt at the neckline and pockets.  Then I made the little belt out of a ribbon with a simple snap, and did a gather in the skirt so that her little blue skirt shows underneath, just like the doll!

I didn’t find striped knit fabric, and the only yellow striped leggings I found were twenty dollars.  At that price I might as well have bought the store bought costume!  So I figured out how to make my own.  =)  I took an old white t-shirt, and ironed on stripes that I cut from my leftover yellow knit.  I just took a square of steam a seam (the softest kind with the sticky back) and attached it to the yellow fabric, then used my rotary cutter to cut strips.  Then I just had to line them up and iron them down!  If it was more than a costume I’d probably reinforce it with a little stitching, but it will last well enough for now!  I used this tutorial on simple, two piece leggings from Make It and Love It to figure out how to make it.  The only problem with this is that t-shirt knit doesn’t stretch as much as the pants I used as my pattern, so it’s a challenge to get them over the heel.  I either needed to use a wider leg or cut a slit at the ankle, but as it is we’re just going to use them as they’re perfectly comfortable when on.
Eric was trying to teach her to curtsey... didn't quite come out right =)

Then there are the accessories!  I made the lemon headband, using hand-stitching to make the lemon and leaves.  Working with all the felt food recently has cured me of my phobias about hand-stitching.  I knew I could do it, but I always thought it’d be stronger on the machine.  Well, some things are just easier by hand, especially felt!  Here’s a link to my details on the headband. 

And if you’re still hunting for easy Halloween ideas, here are my previous posts on costumes! 

Saturday you can see the alternate Lemon Meringue outfit! Stay tuned!  Or be a follower, I would LOVE that! =)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Reorganization Stalled by OCD

So I was having a great Sunday.  We had Family Clean the Bathroom day and I assigned Serenity her first real cleaning chore (as opposed to picking up her own stuff.)  She got to clean mirrors!  She loved helping and kept saying, “You have to rub REALLY hard!”  She definitely worked at it =)  And I was so inspired by the clean bathroom that I decided to do something about my insane closet.  You see, anytime I start a project (which is almost every week this time of year) the closet ends up looking like this:

The problem is (besides my natural slobbishness) is that naptime is crafting time… and this closet is in the room where the baby sleeps!  So I have to tiptoe in there, barely breathing, and sneak out my supplies while he’s napping.  And forget putting them back where they go, even though all my supplies have perfectly good tubs and spots to go back into.  It’s not worth waking him up, if he wakes up before the craft gets done then my living room looks like that! 

So, I decided to move my crafting and office supplies upstairs to the linen closet that was holding mostly overflow toys (half my daughter’s and half my husband’s ;)  I got that all cleaned out and then, ecstatic, ready to organize…. I looked at it.  And it had that yucky tan paint that was all over the walls here.  I think the previous owners ( maybe two before me) must have had the entire house sprayed with that stuff.  I covered over it in all the main rooms, but most of the closets still have that paint.  And it just looks dirty!  So, I checked in my garage, and hey, half a gallon of white paint! 

So, I painted.  And guess what half a gallon of paint will do?  Two-thirds of a closet. 

So I bought an entire new gallon of paint to finish it up.  And now, I have another half gallon of paint.  So the next time I try to organize, I can once again make it a week long process by painting half a closet white =)  But the white is beautiful, and since the craft closet is going to get opened all the time, hey, I’m glad I did it!  Maybe by next week I’ll actually get to put all my goodies in it!

**Oh, and technically, the color is Silver Lining by Pratt and Lambert.  I love colors with pretty names, makes it even prettier =)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Gift Idea: Cupcakes!

My Mom bought me these awesome felt food patterns and so I've been sewing up a storm over here!  Serenity got invited to her first birthday party for a classmate, and she said that Lauren would love to have cupcakes.  So I made a batch of four cupcakes.  To make it a little special, I folded a box out of cardstock to look like a bakery box, and Serenity decorated it with the words, "Lauren's Cupcakes."  I think it would also be adorable to include a muffin tin from the dollar store, or a little chef's hat or apron to go with it!  What do you think? 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lemon Accessories

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Serenity got to pick her Halloween Costume this year, and she chose to be Lemon Meringue!!  Ok, it's possible I helped her just a little bit.  She originally said cat, but when I was looking at cat costume ideas, this Lemon Meringue one popped up, and she noticed that Lemon has yellow hair and blue eyes just like her!  The best part about this costume is that Lemon wears all kinds of different clothes in blue and aqua, so anything I can manage to sew in those colors works!  I've got it nearly done, but not photographed, so for today I'm just going to show off the headband I made!

Notice Lemon has that little lemon in her hair.  I struggle with Serenity's hair, as I am mostly clueless about my own.  We've never had it cut, and only brush it now and again, but it's starting to get long enough that it really needs something!  So I finally discovered that those fuzzy bristled brushes work great!  And headbands make it almost look like I know what I'm doing.  So a headband with a lemon sewn on is just the ticket.  I hand sewed some felt to make the lemon.  Very simple, a yellow semicircle, a white semicircle, and three yellow teardrops to make the lemon!  Plus two little green leaves.  Then I found a headband that has fabric on it so it was easy to stitch it down!  And cute! =)  Now I know why there are thousands of tutorials on headbands, bows, and flowers, they are so fun and easy to make!  

Here is the new improved picture.  Just can't beat natural light. =)

Now you can see why I need to take different pictures of the costume!  I don't know what I did so wrong! =)

If you're looking for other fun Halloween ideas, check out these:

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Carnival Game Ideas!

Serenity's school is having their annual Halloween Carnival soon!  Each class is responsible for making a booth and the parents from that class run it.  I won't be able to go to the carnival, but I'm still helping to figure out the games and ordering prizes!  So here's a list of my favorite Halloween Carnival ideas.  Now I just have to decide which one to go with.  I hate making these decisions on my own, any opinions? 

1.) Plinko. 

2.) Tic Tac Toe Toss

3.) Pumpkin Bowling (Can do this with toilet paper or empty 2 liters decorated as ghosts.  Probably a craft pumpkin so it's not too heavy.)

4.) Cornhole Game ( I actually have one of these already that I made for Barrett's Jedi Party, so it might be good to just paint it Halloween-y and use it.)

5.) Quidditch Pitch.  Hang Hula Hoops and have people try to throw balls through them while "riding" (holding) on a broomstick.  Maybe give out bouncy balls with feathers to be Golden Snitches.  This would be fun but one of the classes does a chicken toss through a hula hoop so I think it would be too similar.

6.) Craft Booth? Paint Pumpkins,

7.) Putting Green

8.) Dinosaur Dig… Dig for a dinosaur egg… either find a dinosaur in the egg, or a number for a prize.

9.) Donut race… (Hang mini donuts or pumpkin cookies? From a string, and contestants have to eat with hands behind back

10.) Ping Pong Toss (Also known as the Grand Prize Game! for those of you who remember Bozo the Clown. =)  I love it, especially with hollowed out pumpkins as the cups.  
And here are some extra ideas that I don't think would work this year...:
Pin the Tail on the Turkey… (write names on them so they can be hung?)

 Blow the duck

Cake Walk?

Kids loved hitting Darth Vader with a Light Saber… some version of that?  Throw balls at masked guys?

Silly String (need a tarp…)

Floating Pumpkins – Before the party, blow up lots of orange balloons. Pass them out at the party and let the children try to keep them in the air without touching the ground! Have some extra blown up in case some get popped right away.  (We don't have enough space but it looks like fun!)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Class Art Auction Handprint Quilt

My baby is in school!  Preschool, and just two days a week, but still.  She loves it, and I’m thrilled about that!  And I get to volunteer with her class, so more fun for me too!  Our school has an auction every year to raise money, and each class makes an art project to sell there.  I spent many happy hours on google over this project! =) 

We settled on doing a handprint quilt.  Stick with what I know =)  The kids are just three so we wanted to keep it simple, bright and fun!  Here’s how we did it:

I cut out 9.5 inch squares of muslin, because after testing with Serenity it seemed like I needed squares at least 9 inches to hold her handprints if we used both hands.  I had on hand red, blue, green and yellow fabric paint, and enough bright fabrics leftover from Serenity’s birthday to make four patch squares to alternate with the handprint blocks.  So that was our color scheme.

I made a sample paper with four choices for the kids: Dinosaur, Butterfly, Heart, and Fish.  Then they had four choices of color.  Having the paper made it really easy, the kids could just point to the one they liked!  It was important that each one had the hand or hands in a slightly different position so I could tell what the kid wanted to make without having to keep track of notes.  The other mother working on the project with me fortunately has nice handwriting, so she wrote the kids names on each square.

We had everything ready to go before we arrived at the class.  We taped the squares to a piece of cardboard with wax paper on top so the fabric wouldn’t stick to the cardboard if it soaked through.  That way the square had a nice firm surface for hand stamping and drying.  It was easy!  Just be sure to paint the hand with a good layer of paint, and then press the hand down.  Kind of rub your fingers across the palm and down each finger to make sure you get a good print.  The first print was a little too light but we got the hang of it quickly. 

After it dries I added tails, antenna, eyes, and smiley faces to the appropriate shapes with a fabric pen.  Oh, and I outlined the hearts to make it more obvious.  We have a pretty even mix of shapes and colors that the kids chose!  I’m glad they liked all the options!

Then I just pieced the squares together, alternating with four patch in some bright pretty solids.  I had some great Dr. Seuss fabric that made a perfect border, and I did a quick running stitch in Perl cotton down the diagonals of the four patch blocks!  Simple, fairly quick, and super cute!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Easy Halloween Costume: Max from Where the Wild Things Are!

My nephew Casey loves playing dress-up, and one year out of the blue he wanted a Max costume!  I was living in Cali at the time, and it happened to be summer so the hardest part of this costume was finding the sweat suit!  So it’s perfect for Halloween =)  I just sewed some white ears from felt and top stitched them into the hood.  Then I found the perfect fuzzy tail from Jo-Ann’s and attached that to the bottom of the suit.  I also made a little gold crown out of poster board that I glued the extra part of the fuzzy tail around to make it furry just like Max’s crown, but I seem to have lost those pictures! 

If you want to go the extra mile, get white gloves and sew some felt claws to the end, and maybe even do little shoe covers with more claws for the feet.  Casey loved growling in his Max costume! =)

If you want other easy Halloween ideas, try my:

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Making a Photo Quilt:

One Christmas my family made a photo quilt for my Grandmother.  It was one of her most treasured possessions, and I’m so glad we did it!  Sewing-wise it can be a very simple project, so I thought I would give you a simple tutorial and some tips from when I made mine!

The pattern itself is very simple, because I wanted the photos to be the focus.  So I did a double border.  One is solid, the other is set with squares like sashing.  The photo squares themselves were five inches finished (5.5 cut), because then I could get two per piece of fabric that I printed on. 

My favorite squares are the ones where the photo takes up the whole square instead of having any kind of border.  If I did it again, I would have all the text on their own boxes, and the photos take up the entire square.  The boxes that have captions on the photos look a little strange with the bright white background and then the photos. 

To make it a family project, each of my siblings was responsible for collecting pictures or stories to go on the blocks.  I think for mine each family contributed two or three blocks.  They chose their favorite pics of their kids, or quotes, or stories, and I combined them into the quilt.  Using her favorite colors, of course.  She was so proud of that quilt, and loved showing off both the pictures of her family and the quilt itself that we made her.