Friday, December 28, 2012

Project 52 | Random Acts of Kindness

Twice now I have tried -and failed -at project 365, you know the one, you take a picture a day for a year. It really never should've been that hard for me since I take pictures- all. the. time. But alas... I never did make it.

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again... but first lower the bar. HaHa! This year I (along with the kidlet) will tackle Project 52- 1 thing a week. A little less ambition, a little more success? Let's hope! I was so torn looking for what could be the focus of my p52... I see lots out there- photography (clearly wasn't going to work), cookies (whoa now, just starting to see my waistline again), quilts (a quilt a WEEK?! I've never even finished one in my lifetime...). WHAT would I focus on?

I searched blogs, pinterest, and then I found it... Random Acts of Kindness! YES! That would be it =) 52 Random Acts of Kindness. This is perfect, too, because I can get the kidlets involved. Especially after my 4 year old's (Pumpkin) behavior at Christmas time... lack of appreciation and a bad attitude! She needs this. So, I spent quite a bit of time last night pinning different blogs and lists of RAKs and next I'm going to create my very own printable for us to use. Pumpkin's going to help me with this so that she's involved from the beginning. I'm very excited for this project!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

1 Week of Pinterest: Days 2, 3

1 new recipe
1 project for your home
1 craft type project
1 project for your toddler
2 of your choice
1 free day/do nothing

Day 1:
1 project for your toddler. (click to view)

Day 2:
(free day)

Day 3:
1 project of your choice
This one was found on a first grade teacher's blog. She used it as review after a map unit and the kids did the creating. Since I made it for my 3 year old, I created it myself. Here's the original:

And here's ours:

I LOVE it, and so does my Pumpkin!

Monday, July 16, 2012

1 Week of Pinterest

One of my online mommy groups is doing a '1 Week of Pinterest' challenge. I'll be blogging about my projects. The requirements are simple:

In that time you must do (one a day in any order)...

1 new recipe
1 project for your home
1 craft type project
1 project for your toddler
2 of your choice
1 free day/do nothing

Day 1:
1 project for your toddler.

Here's my inspiration. Sorry, my pin is only linked to an image, so no blog credit available. Luckily, this one is pretty self explanatory!

So, all you need is:

  • blank canvas (or paper if you want to keep it simple)
  • paint color(s) of choice
  • painter's tape
  • brush (optional)
  • drop cloth (optional)
Here's how the process went for us...

Gather your materials

We worked in the garage, but I still decided to put down a 'drop cloth' (cut up garbage bag). First, using the painter's tape, tape off your child's name or nickname. Curvy letters can be difficult!

My lil' Pumpkin decided to use just her favorite color, purple.

Give them a brush (or let them use their fingers) and let them go to town!

Encourage them to cover the whole canvas, as it will make the letters stand out more once you remove the painter's tape.

I let it dry just a little bit, and then carefully remove the painter's tape. You're left with your final masterpiece:

There ya go! Custom artwork for your little one's room =)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Homeschooling Pre-school

Despite being a teacher and a parent,  I never really saw those roles combining. Of  course, as a mother I teach my child certain skills and things, but I never predicted I'd venture down the path of homeschooling. Here I am, though, it's the first full week of summer break and I've been sitting at my computer for over an hour mapping the curriculum of our summer preschool home schooling adventure!

The reason I decided to really put a lot of effort into this is my 3 year old (Pumpkin's) birthday is in October- past the September cutoff for Kindergarten. So that means she potentially has two full years before she can enter Kindergarten when she is 5, almost 6 years old. Knowing my child, I just know that's not going to be a good fit for her. She's incredibly quick and will need to be challenged much sooner than that. This summer we're going to work on a lot of basic things using the preschool curriculum from Let me tell you, what a FANTASTIC site! Katrina took the time to lay out EVERYTHING... themes, subject areas, reading lists. It's amazing. All I'm doing is plugging it into our calendar for the best fit for us and tomorrow we'll begin. I can't recommend this site enough. Plus, I'm so grateful because, quite frankly after the last few months of teaching my high schoolers ... lesson planning was the last thing my brain could handle right now!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Parmesan Crusted Chicken

I pin, literally, hundreds of recipes on Pinterest. Obviously, I don't have them time to make them all, but I do feel accomplished when I get the time to try one! Tonight for dinner we had Parmesan Crusted Chicken. My favorite part about this one? EASY!!! Only four ingredients and so quick. I pinned the recipe from The Enchanted Cook and I highly recommend this one for a quick go-to flavorful dish.

Photo credit: The Enchanted Cook

Thursday, May 10, 2012

busy busy month of may

In my other life (a.k.a. during the day) I'm a high school teacher and in this last month of school with finals and graduation I feel like I could collapse from exhaustion! I have so many things I want to share I can't wait to sit down and upload some pictures!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Spring Break Productivity Pt. 3

Continuation. Read Pt. 1 here and Pt. 2 here.

Teething Necklace.
My little Junebug has some seriously swollen gums right now. Poor guy is drooling everywhere, putting everything in his mouth and losing sleep. And, well, we all know when baby loses sleep, so does Mama! We've been working on nighttime, but during the day I'm constantly grabbing big sister Pumpkin's toys out of his mouth. Oh, and if you pick him up, be warned you'll be covered in slobber later!

So, when I saw this on Pinterest, I thought, "oh yay! cute AND functional." So, I got right to it! Rebekah already has written out a very simple tutorial on A Bit of Sunshine, so head over check that out. Here's the one she made:

And mine that I'm loving!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Spring Break Productivity Pt. 2

Continuation. Read Pt. 1 here.

TV Tray Ironing Board.
If you know anything about me you know I'm a complete and total pinaholic.

Pinned Image

Over Spring Break I decided it was the perfect chance to actually make some of the things I've been pin, pin, pinning away for months! One of the things I was most excited about was this tv tray turned pressing board [tutorial from Oh, Fransson!] This is of high importance since we moved my entire sewing table and set-up to the office to allow me more access to it. (When it was in the bedroom I was hardly ever able to sew, seeing as hubby was often asleep when I wanted to sew.) Since moving it to the office I didn't have an ironing board nearby.

So, I picked up a TV tray at Target for $9 and picked up some natural batting and an outdoor fabric. Armed with my brand new staple gun (see Pt. 1) I got to work. Literally a few minutes later I was the proud new owner of a personal pressing table:

Cute, right? I love it!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spring Break Productivity Pt. 1

In hindsight, I actually got A LOT done over Spring Break. Instead of one ├╝berlang (hehe) post about everything I thought I'd break it down. So, in no particular order, here we go...

Junebug's room.
Nevermind the fact that the boy will be 10 months old tomorrow (eep!) I'm still putting the finishing touches on his nursery. The latest addition is something I hadn't planned in advance, but rather I decided recently needed to be done to fill up some wall space! Not being very artistic (crafty, yes; artist, not so much) I decided to put the scrap fabric from Junebug's bedding and my brand new staple gun (oh the simple joys for a crafter!) to use. I picked up some economy packs of the cheapest artist canvases I could find (12" x 12"). I then cut fabric squares slightly bigger- I went with 15" x 15" so I had enough to grab and wrap around the edge for stapling. I used 4 canvases to make my arrangement, so I decided to do 2 squares of the bedding fabric and 1 square each of some fun fabrics in coordinating colors. This was easy, because I just picked up a few individual fat quarters.

Here's the final product above his changing table:

up close:

Stay tuned for more productivity!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Peek-A-Boo Pull Bag

Made a new product for my shop tonight. It's called the Peek-A-Boo Pull Bag. As with anything the first time I make it I find all my mistakes! So this one will be for my daughter. I'll still photograph it in the morning because I have enough fabric to make at least a couple more just like it. I'm quite pleased with how it looks, just need to tweak a few things!

Spring Break

What's everyone been doing with Spring Break? As usual I had big plans for cleaning, organizing, sewing and more. ....

Uhhh I did some laundry. Haha! No seriously, I got a bunch of cleaning and organizing done. It just seems like right when you get in the thick of it is when the kids need you! Also, just two weeks ago we were sweating and wearing shorts and tank tops in the 85 degree temps... today? 50'!! The heat is back on and I've been wearing sweaters. What. The. Heck.

I do have a couple quick sewing projects I'm looking forward to sharing with you all.... if I ever get to them.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

T-Shirt Skirt Tutorial

If you're like me then you're constantly on Pinterest! I'm always seeing things I want to try but as a working mom with 2 little ones it's hard to get around do trying them all.... unless you're invited to a pinterest party and then you go crazy, hahaha! Our playgroup had a MNO (Moms' Night Out) tonight and we were all invited to bring something from  Pinterest . Sooooo... I brought a drink, a snack AND a sewing project! The project I made was a T-shirt skirt. It seemed like the perfect thing for any busy mom to throw together. And considering the 85' degree temps we've been having here in Illinois, despite it being mid-march, it's an easy wardrobe refresher!

I was inspired by this graphic:

Which I then tracked to this tutorial. So I snuck a peek in hubby's closet, but felt bad about stealing a t-shirt he still wears and I didn't want to try this on a t-shirt that I wouldn't ACTUALLY wear as a skirt, so I swung by Old Navy and picked up a clearance top! It went basically the same, but I had to make some small adjustments since I used a boat-necked top. Full disclosure: I spent more than 30 seconds on this. Haha! But definitely no longer than 30 minutes!

Here's what I started with:

Since it was a sort of boat neck neckline with extra wide shoulders, I had to make a few adjustments. The first thing I tweaked was closing some of the shoulder opening. I knew I needed to do this because I had slipped the shirt on to my waist to get a feel for how it would look and lay. So from the shoulder down a few inches I closed it- but careful, you're not going all the way or you'll lose your pockets!

Here's what it looks like with my new seams:

Then you'll need to stitch your sleeves shut to create pockets. My top had 3/4 length sleeves so I didn't sew at the cuff, rather a bit higher. Here you can see them sewn:

Then you can go ahead and cut your excess sleeves below your seam:

The rest pretty much follows the the graphic at the beginning of this post. So step 1) Cut from the neck to your shoulder- in my case I cut up to the point where I'd sewn at my shoulder:
(in this picture I'd only cut half way to the new seam, but it needed to be cut all the way)

Here you can see it cut on both shoulders and folded down:

I then folded it all the way around and pressed it to have a nice waistline:

My original intention was to have it be drawstring, so I sewed a casing all the way, leaving an opening in the front in order to be able to tie it:

I didn't really like how it felt/held up though so I'm going to add elastic to it and sew the casing completely shut. 

Overall, I love it. So easy, super cute and a one of a kind skirt!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tutorial: Making a Fabric Basket Lining

When I was a kid we always got those plastic Easter baskets, usually ready made or if not, just stuffed with random stuff. As a kid, they were fantastic. As a parent, I can't bring myself to purchase a cheap (overpriced) plastic basket every.single.year. So after I bought my Pumpkin's Easter basket for her first Easter, I decided we'd be re-using it. Now that our little Junebug has joined our family I needed to buy a second basket. I didn't have a lot of time to shop around, so I bought the first one that I *sort of* liked. Well, it's not nearly as cute as my Pumpkin's basket, so I needed to dress it up a bit. Since this is the first thing I've made in a while without a tutorial from someone else, I decided it was time for a tutorial of my own!

1) measure the inside diameter for the bottom of your liner. This is just to give you an idea of how much fabric you're going to need, because unless you have a big enough circle cutter you'll probably just end  up tracing the bottom to cut the fabric, like I did.

2) Measure from each end of the handle to find how long your inside pieces of fabric need to be.

3) Measure the height of your basket to know how wide your fabric pieces need to be. Keep in mind if you want it to fold over like mine, you'll need to include that in your measurements.

Add 1/2" to your measurements from steps 2 and 3... so if you measured 15.5" x 7.5" like I did, you'd cut rectangles that are 16" x 8".

4) You should end up with 3 pieces of fabric: a square from which you will cut your circle and two rectangles for your inner sides.

5) This is where I got bummed, my circle cutter wasn't big enough to cut the perfect circle I needed so I had to go old school. Darn it! So, here's where you'd trace your basket. This actually works out quite nicely, because the outer edge of the basket will measure slightly larger, thus giving you your seam allowance. After tracing your circle, cut it out.

6) Press the edges 1/4" in on 3 sides of your rectangular pieces. Yes, just 3 sides.

7) Pin the unpressed (bottom) side of your rectangular piece to half of the circle (right sides together). It should look something like this. Pardon the pinning, I get overzealous anytime I'm not pinning straight, like fabrics together!

8) After sewing this is what it should look like:

9) Repeat step 7 and it should look like this:

10) Sorry I don't have a picture for this one but now you're going to double check the inside height of your basket and determine where you want your inside pieces to split to allow room for your handle. You saw at the beginning of this post that my basket was roughly 5 1/2" tall, so I chose to sew 4" together and leave the rest open at the top.

11) Now, on your previously pressed corners of your rectangular pieces you're going to created tapered edges. This allows some space for your handle on the finished product. Simply fold, at an angle, from the corner to where you stopped sewing and press again. You'll also press 1/4" of the top side down, to give you the finished look without any raw edges. Beginning in the middle of the "V" you see below, stitch from one opening to the other side. Repeat on the other rectangle/inside piece.

12) Slip it into your basket and voila! You're done. I whipped this out in under an hour so I'm sure anyone could do this quickly =)

Monday, March 19, 2012

The new age of postcards

Are you planning a family get away soon? Looking to share your trip with family and friends? How COOL is this?! Send postcards directly from your phone! It's an app called postagram and it's available for iPhone and Android. Sarah explains it all here. LOVE this!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Little Sapling Toys

In one of my many online mommy groups Little Sapling Toys's wooden teethers were recommended and I think they are SO stinkin' cute. I'm so excited about them I'm blogging about them before even having tried them out, haha! Our Junebug is being baptised soon and I've asked his godmother (-to-be) to give him one of their wooden teethers because I love them. The have such a huge variety, too. You've got to check them out!

Sunday, February 19, 2012


I love, love, love the remnant bin at JoAnn's. I never go there with out digging through the bins! You can score some seriously awesome fabric for cheap, and if you make a lot of little projects it's perfect. When I was there on Friday I picked up some NFL fleece for just a couple bucks and I got enough to make 2-3 scarves! Hellooooo Christmas presents! Totally going to pick up some more and have that on hand for easy gifts for next year =)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

By Request: Tooth Fairy Pillow

So I've been seeing about 3,139,723,186 different projects on Pinterest that I want to try. But of course every time I go to my board to pick a project I get overwhelmed and quit, haha. Then a good friend asked if I had any plans to start making tooth fairy pillows. Well, indeed it was a project on my infinitely long to do list! So it seemed like as good of a place to start as any other.

So, this afternoon I got the little Junebug down for a nap after a hearty lunch (first time having a quesadilla, his little tummy is full!) I decided to see what I could whip up! After browsing Pinterest some more and sketching out exactly what I wanted, I got to work!

Using fabric scraps made this project both quick but economical as well ;) I'm looking forward to being able to knock these out a few at a time and have them as a regular listing in my shop!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Baptismal Outfit

Today my mom and I shopped for Junebug's baptismal outfit. After two stores we headed to JoAnns, which is probably where we should have just started in the first place! After just a minute we found the PERFECT pattern from Burda. It was a new brand for me, and it pleased me to see it was from Germany =) Ah, nostalgia...

Anyways here's what I got:

I won't be making the shirt or the bow tie and I'll be altering the pants a bit (no cuff, a bit longer and maybe wider). I got some lovely linen, which I'm thinking is going to look fantastic! I can't WAIT to see how this turns out!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Plum Pickin'!

A lot of you are probably familiar with the daily deal websites that are available. I've posted about quite a few, in fact. Many of them are geared towards moms and babies and what not. This one..... all. about. crafting. ohhhh yeaaaaah.

They post one deal a day at 7am (MST). It's early, but man is it worth it! You can sign up to receive their notifications, but you still better be quick because things sell out fast!!

Look what I most recently purchased:

oh.em.gee. I cannot WAIT  to add them to my next sewing project! Yay for branding =)

And I have to say their customer service is pretty freaking awesome too! One item they posted, they had said (on their facebook) "teachers are going to love this!" Well, as a teacher I was pretty excited, but also bummed, because I knew that typically things are sold out by the time I get home from school. They responded right away and said to email them when I got home from work. They saved me one and I was able to snag a personalized stamp that I now use in my classroom every. single. day. YES! Love them!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

so tutu-lly excited!

I'm diving into the world of tulle and tutus today LOL! Special request from a friend so I'll be making my first birthday tutu & onesie set. If it goes well and seems easy enough maybe it'll become a regular item in the etsy shop!

Here's the finished product! Can't wait to get the pics from Jacqui to see her lil' girl wearing it:

Sunday, January 8, 2012

hemming the short length

I am one of those people who is SO short I have to hem even the short length pants I purchase. Well despite all the sewing I've been doing the past year +, I've always been so afraid to try to hem my own pants. Partially because it's hard to measure them on yourself, partially because I'm afraid of screwing up and wasting a pricey pair of pants. Well, I finally took the plunge and I think they turned out pretty ok.... They seem a little short, but they're a very wide legged pant so I might be fooled by the "airyness" I'm feeling....

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Man, did school and parenting slow me down! Haven't been posting much because I hardly find the time to sit at the computer! The good news is we're cleaning up the house and re-arranging so that the kids have more safe playing space near both my sewing machine and computer so hopefully I'll be updating a lot more! In the meantime here's a fun site I've found: