08 August 2009

milk jug houses

Months ago I found a really great, old book at a garage sale:

Product Details

It was cheap, and I thought there might be some fun stuff that the kids would be interested in doing over these hot, humid months. And I was right.

Our first project were these milk jug houses. Of course when we start a craft like this, I always start out thinking that it will be something that they'll be able to do on their own, and I might get a few minutes to myself. Somehow, it usually doesn't quite work that way.

Isaac made did two jugs... one is a gas station and the other was a hanger for his airplanes.

Sadie and Phebe each made houses with theirs for their Polly's. In these pictures, both girls are meticulously placing each tile on their "roofs".

I really thought that I had taken pictures of the completed projects, but apparently not. Maybe I'll add that later. Originally, I was worried that it would be one of those projects that they would only play with for a few hours, and then it would end up as trash/clutter in their bedrooms. But, I was wrong... they have really proven to be worth the time and work - they've played with them countless times. Thank you Family Fun!

07 August 2009

cooking school

Long before our trip to Utah, we had a cooking camp. One of the three camps we have done this summer (three moms, each in charge of a different "camp", two days, three hours each day.)

So, I made Chef hats for each child, and an apron... obviously you can't be a Chef without these items. I found a white sheet at a garage sale, and it wasn't long before I had 8 hats... what a bargin!

We made Vanashing Breakfast Rolls (a TLC favorite), patriotic colored star Sugar Cookies, Calzones, and Ice Cream in a baggie. So great! The kids had a lot of fun, and hopefully learned a little more about measuring and ingredients.
Look at those happy faces! Phebe of course had to pull a face.

The Howerton kids. Thanks for smiling Abby!

And the Erbes

06 August 2009

bad blogger

I have been such an awful blogger lately... too much summer fun. WE just got back from Utah - what a great time we had with family and friends. I had never really thought of Salt Lake as that large of a city, but after getting used to living in a smaller town/city, it really seemed quite large. Funny how persepective changes.

Before our trip to Utah, Sadie had a birthday party to go to. A little girl that was in her class this last year. I love making homemade gifts - there's something fun and personal about it, so we decided to do a Buttercup bag, and a notebook holder. My idea for the notebook holder came from Michelle's blog.

Here's the inside. Two large pockets. One for the notebook, and the other could be for used sheets of paper or other bits of treasure. With a small pocket space for a pen. (Sorry about the picture, it was the other direction before I imported it.)

Here's the outside shot... check out the cute appliqued flower.

Here's the Buttercup bag.

And a close up of the appliques on the bag... pink on one side...

and blue on the other. I love the messiness of the stitching around the flowers. Those were just free-handed.

Sadie said that it was a hit. All the little girls loved it. But what girl wouldn't?

03 June 2009

needed: little girl

I found this great tutorial here, for turning a men's shrit into a dress for a little girl. Shawn had some old shirts sitting in the pile to go to Good Will, so I thought I'd give it a try.

This is the original shirt. The picture looks really dark and yellowed - but it is actually a yellow shirt, with blue and while plaid.

And the finished product.
It was a lot of fun, the only problem is that my girls are no longer small enough to fit into this dress. So, someone post a comment telling me that you want this, and it's yours. I have two more shirts that I'm planning on doing the same with. Maybe I'll do one with the buttons down the back. So many possibilities.

30 May 2009

flower pacifier

This was my first project from this book. It was a birthday present from last year. The pictures of all the projects are so beautiful, and there are so many projects that I want to do... just not enough time in the day, so little by little. This was for a baby shower, and I can just imagine how cute this will be hanging from a baby. I made a brightly colored changing pad to go along with it, but I guess I didn't get a picture of it.

I really haven't done a whole ton of knitting, but this was really easy... I only had to look up a couple of stitches. Such a cute pattern, so glad that some people are so creative, and like to share their creativity with others.

29 May 2009


Before leaving for Palmyra, NY on 9 May, I had some gifts to finish up and take along with us. Since Arlo and Kara were going to be at my parents' for a bit during our visit, it turned out to be a perfect savings of postage. I made myself a needle case, for knitting/crochet needles, a while back, and made a couple more at the same time. One was for Kara, who is an amazing knitter, and the other is for Michelle, who is also a fantastic knitter, and who actually taught me to knit. I still haven't mailed Michelle's yet... so if you're reading this, the secret is out!

Anyway, wouldn't you know it - I waited too long to mail Kara's, she had just recently made herself one - so, now she can gift the one I made to another knitting friend, or just have more spaces that she needs to fill with needles. (I hope I haven't waited too long for Michelle.)

Arlo had also mentioned that Kara had liked the Buttercup Bag I posted a while ago, so I decided it would be fun to surprise her with one. Here's her bag in a cute green fabric, with brown ric-a-rac, and cute striped pink/green lining. Turned out really cute, and she loved it.

Our trip was perfect, since we arrived in Palmyra on Mother's Day. So here's the bag I made for my mom...

Mom's is a blue toile, with a dark blue lining with roses on it. This one is actually 30% bigger than the original pattern. I thought mom might appreciate it just a little larger.

Then, the week after we got back my sister Lynette and her husband, Anthony were stopping by on their way to Corpus Christi, (yeah! Someone closer... a meger 11 hours away!) Lynette was one of the people from my pay it forward post, so for her handmade gift, I made her a buttercup bag as well. Here's was also green (kind-of an apple green), with brown ric-a-rac, but her's had a blue inside.

What can I say... I LOVE making bags!!! So who knows, myabe if you leave a comment, requesting a buttercup bag - I may just make one for you!

28 May 2009

teacher appreciation 2009

Last year for teacher appreciation we did this. It was a big hit, with a few teachers asking to purchase some as gifts for daughters, etc... but since we had a repeat in one teacher this year, I couldn't do the same thing. So here's what we ended up with this year...
Slice of paper cake, filled with chocolate.

"You take the CAKE, Teach!"

Too cute, and so easy! You can find the pattern here. And you just print the largest size cake slice (bottom slice) onto the back of your pattern paper, and then cut and score and fill. The flowers on top I embossed and sanded - they really add something. The possibilities are endless. Wouldn't these be cute as party favors from a baby or wedding shower? So cute!

And then each teacher got a bag... Sadie's teacher got this one.

This one was for Phebe's teacher. It ended up a little smaller than the one for Sadie's teacher, but the same basic pattern.

And here's the one that Isaac's teacher got. This one was a little different, a little deeper - she has little kids, so we thought she might appreciate this one.

We have really loved all of these teachers, they've all done so well with our kids. It's been a really good year!

27 May 2009

felt food

Around the first of the year, the girls were invited to a birthday party. I love giving homemade gifts, especially if I know it's something the person will really use/love. This little friend has a fun wooden kitchen, and the girls often play with it when they go to play. So, here's the gift they gave...
Bacon and eggs for breakfast.

Pita sandwich and chips for lunch.

And pizza for dinner.
And don't forget the dessert... frosted sugar cookies,


and chocolate chunk cookies. Then doing the packaging was almost as much fun...

(obviously you can't tell from this picture, but these were packaged inside a cute "lunch sack").

The finished gift all packaged up and ready to gift.

The birthday girl loved them, and the rest of the birthday guests had fun playing with them... score! So, the food was so fun to make and play with, I made another two rounds (minus the pizza) for a neice and one for Phebe too, for her birthday.

The doughnuts came from a pattern that I found online here. The rest came from my head, after looking at lots of fun food from etsy, or other random places. So fun. Now I want to add to the start of a fun collection. Amazing what you can to with felt!

In case you're interested, here are the directions for the packages... I think they could be used in so many different ways.

Here are the directions for the "lunch sack". I think I actually made it from two 12" x 12" sheets of scrapbook paper, to make it large enough for the pita and chips.

And then here's the box pattern I used for the doughnuts. I think I actually made it a little larger, I think I just increased the dimensions and made it fit a 12" x 12" piece of cardstock. Then I cut the window and taped some clear cellophane over it. Fun, fun!

28 April 2009

spring tops

I stumbled across a blog, Made by Rae a while ago. She's a fellow lover of sewing, and has designed some great top patterns, along with other things. (I previously posted about her cute, free Buttercup bag pattern.) Anyway, she's doing a Spring Top Week on her blog, and invited anyone interested to submit entries as well. So, here are my 3 entries. It was great motivation to make something other than a bag, skirt or something for the kids.
This was the first top I made. It's from Simplicity pattern # 7185. I used some blue fabric from IKEA. This is a misses pattern, so I wasn't sure how the sizing would work, and I didn't pre-wash my fabric, mostly because I wanted to start sewing it right away, and didn't want to spend the time waiting... should have taken the time. After sewing it, I wahsed it... it shrunk. It's a little tighter than is super comfortable, and is a little shorter than I wanted, but I really liked the pattern, and think it turned out really cute. The bottom piece of the shirt is cut on the bias - fun visually for the eyes, with the fabric pattern and all, but also feels good, fit wise. So, I need to give this pattern another try.
My second top was New Look pattern # 6179. I used some white fabric that I had had laying around for a long time. It may actually be what I bought for this pattern? Who knows. Anyway, it was an easy pattern. I did lengthen the sleeves slightly, I was worried that with the elastic in the bottom it might pull up too high. The neck seems a little wide, so I'll probably alter it on my next one... but it's really comfy, and was quick to sew up.

And my third top - Kwik Sew 3222 with a flour collar. I had seen this cute pattern on Rae's site, with the collar tutorial link. Her's was so cute, I just had to give it a try. Okay, the pattern seems to run really large, or maybe I've just lost tons of weight... yeah, we'll go with that. I ended up taking a lot in on the sides, and still wasn't completely happy with the way it turned out. The sleeves were supposed to be small little capped ones, which worried me, so I added to them, and they're not so great. Too tight, when I lift my arms. Luckily this fabric was really in-expensive, which is why I bought it. The collar was fun, I want to try it again... I didn't plan well enough while cutting out the shirt, so I didn't have enough fabric to cut it on the bias like you're supposed too, so I'll do it right next time. Live and learn.
Thanks for the challenge, Rae. More tops in my future!

13 April 2009

poncho villa and the easter bunny

A friend had some cute little fleece ponchos for her girls, and I thought, "what a great idea!" So here are my girls in some cute little ponchos. Just right to wear to church in the spring!

Phebe's is a gray fleece with hot pink pom pom's. Don't you just LOVE pom pom's?!

And Sadie's is a brown fleece with tourquoise pom pom's. Gotta love the happiness in this photo!

Yesterday, Easter Sunday - I was asking Shawn where the whole idea of the Easter Bunny came from? I mean, a bunny delivering eggs? Why not a chicken? Who came up with the whole bunny idea, and why? Silly. And a little freaky. Makes you wonder.