Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A New Season + a New Pullover

Well hello again! It's been a whirlwind past two weeks with a new kindergartener, a new pre-schooler, and starting a new job as an assistant teacher at my son's pre-school. Happily, everyone is settling in nicely and most of my nerves are intact lol. It helps that both kids are loving school, especially Haley who bounds off the bus everyday with new stories about what they did that day in kindergarten. It's only been two weeks and she's already learned how to spell several words and repeats them to me excitedly each day. Oh the kindergarten years, when school is carefree and fun. I hope she never loses her love for learning.

While the kids have been in school, I've been busy adding to their fall wardrobes, including making a couple of these awesome Pine Lake Pullovers by Peek-a-boo Patterns (released this past Thursday.) This is a pattern I tested (with no expectation of a blog post), but I just wanted to share because it's become another new fall wardrobe favorite - I even have a couple more in the works for next fall.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Michaels Makers: Burlap Banner DIY

This month we were challenged to create something inspired by fall for the Michaels Makers project... specifically some home decor or something for hosting little soirees.  I've been wanting to DIY one of these banners for so long and thought this would be the perfect opportunity!

Rope - Ashland brand bought in store (not available online)
Fake Succulents - Ashland Fall Bouquet available in store (not available online)
Glue gun
Paint brush
Dial rod or square basswood pole

First, cut a rectangle roughly the size you want your banner to be.  To get the ribbon cut on the bottom, follow the diagram below.  After that, paint your words!  I used a square tip paint brush to get the clean edges.  Make sure to put something beneath the burlap before painting!  It WILL get everywhere!  I chose the Bible scripture 1 Thessalonians 5:18.  For each line, I'd measure out and mark with a pencil how where the letters were to begin to make sure everything was spaced properly.

Next, fold the top edge down, making sure that your rod fits inside.  Then glue with your glue gun. Slide your rod in after the glue has set.  I chose a square rod because it prevented it from spinning once I attached the succulents.  Tie your rope to the ends, you can place a dot of glue within the not to reinforce it if you'd like.  Next, take your succulents and simply wrap the wire stem around the rod where you'd like them to be, placing a dot of glue to hold them in place if you feel it necessary.

Now you're set to hang!  I put me in a place that can't be ignored, because I think the words are ones to be reminded of constantly.  

Looking for autumn inspiration?  Check out Michaels' Fall Market Lookbook.  I spent a good hour in the store pouring over all the awesome selections in their fall market place!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Two Henday Hoodies

As a pattern tester, I was provided this pattern free of charge, but all opinions are my own.

I'm the kind of person who appreciates a quick and dirty project - one that I can sew during naptime or right after the kids go to bed, so I typically stay away from outerwear. I know, I'm such a baby. I don't want to have to sew a lining because I'm pretty much sewing two jackets...which is exactly the point so it'll be warm. And don't even get me started on pants. I've had the same pair of shorts for my daughter sitting on my work table for months. MONTHS. Because I can't bring myself to make another fly or sew on tiny belt loops. Pants are my kryptonite.

And I mean that is a completely non-creepy way.

Anyway, after making up a few Raindrop Tees, I called my fall sewing done and set out to catch up on Game of Thrones - I've become a recent addict and am currently in the middle of season 3. And then, Jess of Gracious Threads put out the call to test her newest fall pattern, the Henday Zip-Up Hoodie. My kids are always in need of outerwear (probably because I never sew any??), so I asked Jess how long it took to make one. Less than 90 minutes, she said, zipper and all. Sold.

Friday, August 22, 2014

A Gingham Boardwalk Dress and Some Denial

At this point in time, I know I'm supposed to be talking about fall-ish things but you know what? I'm not ready for that yet. We've been enjoying the bare foot, popsicle-filled, dog days of summer, and I'm not so sure I want to see those days go yet.

Just last week, I drove by a house near ours that was already decked out in full Halloween decor, and all I could think was, "this is not happening yet."

We have too many pool days left. Too many afternoons spent at the park. Too much summer left to seize. And yet...

Friday, August 15, 2014

DIY Library Tote with Library Card Pocket

My daughter has been really into reading lately, which is really exciting for me because I was quite the bookworm when I was little (I used my allowance to buy every Garfield book I could get my hands on.) Every night, my daughter and I read a book or two before bed to help her wind down and because reading "makes the bad dreams go away" according to her. I think it's just another way to delay bedtime, but who am I to argue with the powers of a good book :)

This month's theme as part of Michael's Makers is back-to-school. With kindergarten just over a week away I wanted to make something for Haley that would encourage her love of reading as she goes into the new school year. What better way than to make her a library tote to carry her library books?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Raindrop Tee Blog Hop + Giveaway!

As a pattern tester, I was provided this pattern free of charge, but all opinions are my own.

Today, we have the honor of being part of Gracious Threads' Raindrop Tee blog hop and giveaway! Jess is the creative mind behind The Raindrop Tee, and plenty of other fabulous patterns you can check out here on her Etsy site, including the Lazy Days Lounge Pants that I really wish came in my size. Get on that, Jess! ;)

I got to test her latest pattern, which so happens to be a fabulous addition to my daughter's fall wardrobe in preparation for kindergarten which starts in 2 weeks - gah! 

Friday, August 1, 2014

DIY Chalkboard Breakfast Tray #Create2Educate

Is it just me, or is summer just flying by for anyone else? I was the first to sprint outside in shorts and a tank top on the first day the temperature crept over 55, but now school is looming right around the corner and it seems like summer is quickly slipping away.  I will definitely miss all of the fun trips to the zoo, park and pool that we've done this summer, but with my daughter's very first day of kindergarten coming up soon, I know it's about time I get off the couch/computer and help Haley prepare, not that she needs much help really. She was ready to kick me out the door the day we visited the school!

When I took Haley into school to take her kindergarten assessment test, they had her do several different activities to determine her readiness (and she passed with flying colors I'm proud to say!) Two of the things they said she needed a little more work on was writing her name, and recognizing/writing her letters. Today, Michael's kicked off a campaign, #Create2Educate, encouraging parents and teachers to incorporate more DIY projects into their plans for the new school year, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to make something to encourage my daughter to practice her reading and writing skills in a fun way!

With just a handful of supplies, I came up with a fun and useful chalkboard breakfast tray that can be used to practice writing and word recognition during breakfast time - and it's ridiculously easy to make, which happens to be my favorite kind of crafting :)

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