Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easy Fleece Baby Blanket

My cousin makes the CUTEST little rag quilts out of fabric strips instead of squares. So when my friend announced her baby shower, I had to use her cute little sewing idea... but of course, I simplified things.

Cotton rag quilts turn out SO cute, but fleece can be much easier. The "rag" part of a fleece blanket ends up looking more like fringe, but I love it!

Fleece Blanket Instructions:

I used about 1 yard of white fleece and 1.25 yards of a patterned fleece (the fabric was 45 inches wide).

This was a bit more fabric than I needed for the blanket, so I made some burp rags to go with it (more on that later).

Cut the patterned fabric into 4 strips that are 8 inches wide. Cut the white fabric into 3 strips also 8 inches wide.

Lay the strips together, varying every other color, and pin the long sides (the 45-inch sides) together. Use a straight stitch to sew a 1-inch seam along the pinned edge, leaving the seam open on top. Sew another simple straight stitch 1 inch in around the entire blanket.

Snip the edge of the seam. That's what gives the blanket that "rag" or "fringe" kind of feel.

Snip the outside edges of the blanket too, and your DONE!

I must say, the stripes are so catchy. :)

The really nice thing about this little fleece rag quilt is how easy it is to make... and I LOVE easy! It also makes a cute and classy baby shower gift.

And to the young mommy who didn't get one at her baby shower, let me tell you - this is a simple and fast way to keep your little one all warm and fuzzy. :) Aren't easy crafts fun?


Stay tuned for a follow-up post on how to make "raggedy" burp rags with your leftover fabric!

Super-Duper Secret Lemonade Recipe

Our lemon tree over-produces. We ended up with over 1,000 lemons this year and each of the lemons were the size of small grapefruits. What do you do with so many lemons, you ask? GIVE THEM AWAY! And I tried. But nobody wants that many lemons. I probably gave away about 600 of them before people stopped being interested. A little lemon goes a long way. So what do you do with the rest, you ask again? RECIPES! There are lots of creative ideas for lemon recipes, but I'm still looking for ones that my family will eat. However, they will drink lemonade. I have tried so many lemonade recipes that I could probably come up with my own version, but as my husband so kindly states, a followed recipe is usually better. My kids were selling lemonade over spring break, and most everyone who tried it said it was the best lemonade they had ever tasted. Because of the revenue it was creating, I'd been keeping the recipe a secret, but then I realized that there were really no secret recipes anymore. Plus it wasn't my recipe in the first place. This one comes from Hot Dog on a Stick. I believe the trick is to use real and fresh ingredients.


1 cup Lemon juice
1 cup sugar
7 cups water

Mix all ingredients together. Serve chilled and/or over ice. Makes 2 quarts.

Place mat Pillows

Gotta love Tarjey and Pier 1. So much possibility. I made a toss pillow for my living room by taking out the side seem of this Pier 1 place mat so it was like a pillow case. Then I slipped it over a travel pillow from Target. About $7 and one straight seam later, I have a fun little pillow for anywhere.
I actually took this baby on road trip. Never had a problem finding out which pillow is mine, and super comfy and durable. Fun little idea.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Potty Training Idea

I recently potty trained my little girl. She was showing all kinds of signs of readiness to train a few months before I was showing signs of readiness to train. So I thought it would be a cinch once I finally got myself ready to begin the process. Everything started out well. She was going both number 1 and number 2 on the toilet well, with only an accident or two a day. And then after a few weeks she stopped pooping in the toilet. Why? I'll never know. What I do know is that after something like three weeks of having to clean at least one or two pairs of poopy underpants a day, I decided enough was enough. After trying a few different techniques that other people suggested, I finally went to my last resort: bribery. Well, sort of. Its really more like a reward system. I made a chart with sixteen squares. Then I got out some small stickers and bought a prize. I chose a $4 Cinderella doll that she asks for every time we go to Target. Next I taped everything up on the wall directly across from the toilet (and decently high up so she wouldn't be able to reach it on her own or with the help of a chair) so she could see it well every time she sat on the potty.

I explained to her that each time she went stinky on the toilet and still had clean underwear, she would get to put a sticker in one of the squares. Then as soon as all the squares had a sticker in it, she would have earned her Cinderella doll. 2 1/2 weeks later, she has earned her doll and I have only had to clean about 3 pairs of messy underwear since we put up the chart. It took her a day or two to catch on, but then one day it just clicked and she's made it to the toilet ever since.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lil purse cards

Recently, I came accross some papers in a store where it was basically 2 12x12 papers, double sides. On one side there were punch out purse cards, on the other, all sorts of shapes to embellish the cards.

This is such an easy craft idea. All of the really hard parts (cutting the shapes out) are done for you. Here is an example of what I did with just 2 of these sheets.

-- Tara
If you would like to see close ups of these cards, click here.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

cards, cards, cards!

Making cards is such a fun craft idea! And we've been having so much fun making cards for my sister to take with her. 

She's going to be gone for about six months
children's cards
pretty cards
fun papers.
You gotta love all those stickers that make them look so finished!
They also help with the ideas!!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Homeschool Schedule Chart

Homeschooling can be tough. Sometimes, okay a lot of times, the kids don't want to do what you have planned for them to do. And then its just a drudgery for you and them to get through the days work. We tried starting a couple of different daily routines here and there, but they didn't last long. With my kids, some routine is good, but too much structure (and likewise not enough structure) doesn't work. So I came up with this little chart. Well, the chart itself I found in the dollar section at Target.
But then I wrote each of the subjects I'd like to cover with the kids in any given week on a strip of paper. We don't do all the subjects everyday (none of us has the patience for that long of a day), so I chose a few strips that I want us to do everyday and then I let the kids pick what other subjects we do. They each pick a subject and we put it up in the chart for that day's schedule. If they choose the same subjects two days in a row, then the next day those subjects are out of the rotation so that we make sure and get some of everything in throughout the week. We've been doing it for nearly a month now and they aren't tired of it yet.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

HATS and my Homemade Hat Rack!

I love hats. Always have. The collector in me says I should have more, but the practical side says, "Isn't 10 enough?"

In case you're wondering, the answer is "no." I have 20+ hats, and I can always find a good excuse to get another one! :)

Over the years, there were a few fatalities. You see, they never had a home to call their own. The larger hats don't stay on pegs or hooks, unless they're GIANT hooks. Large hooks can get pretty spendy though, especially when you need 8 of them! So instead, they were piled high in corners and on closet shelves... which is a problem if I'm in a hurry. I can't just grab one and go. They wound up crushed, stretched or folded in some irreparable way.

In my hunt for a better idea, I finaly struck gold. On the clearance isle at Ross (one of my *favorite* stores!) were two things - a beautiful little 48-inch curtain rod and a bag of 7 curtain ring clips.

Presto! I have my solution. It's simple, it's easy, and it's out of the way enough that I don't have to worry about losing another of my prized collection pieces to lack of organization.

Now I just need to find a few more curtain rings...

...or maybe a 2nd rod. :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Hula Skirts of Fabric

Last week was Spirit week at my kids elementary school. Thursday was "Luau Day." My kids had been dressing up everyday to match the theme, but Wednesday night there was a panic. No hawaiian clothes in the closet! I sent my girls to bed telling them that they would have to be content with leighs and flowers in their hair. They were good sports, but I could tell there was a little disappointment in their eyes. I felt a little sad myself. I was wracking my brain for some kind of idea so they could still participate. I walked into my sewing room for inspiration. And then angels in heaven began singing as my eyes fell upon one yard of pink fabric. I took the fabric (which was left over from the 5 layer baby blanket) and cut it in half, one side for each girl. I then folded that in half and topstitched 3/8 inch away from the fold. Next I measured a hot pink ribbon the full width of the skirt with extra length for sashes to tie in the back. Pinning a safety pin to one end, I threaded my 1/4 inch ribbon through the hem. Measuring about an inch wide I cut the "grass strips" of the skirt about to about an inch away from the hem. I took the flowers off a couple of peices of an old hawaiian table skirt and hot glued them to the waist of each skirt. (I couldn't use the table skirts since they were made of real raffia and were falling apart. Otherwise I wouldn't have to be so creative!) They turned out great because they were easy to put on, easy to take off, easy to wear (no scratchy grass against little legs) AND they were easy to make! Can't beat that.

However, the raffia made kind of a mess.

Welcome Spring!

So fun to wake up to this in the morning! This is our peach tree in our back yard. It's what I see when I'm doing the dishes. Not a bad view.

We've waited a long time here in Oregon for some spring to show up!

I'm figuring out this camera of mine and so far, I like this lens type called "macro". It's very fun. Still know very little about it, but I'm liking how it zooms.

Oh, happy day!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

What to do with those old floppies...idea

Have you ever wondered what to do with those old floppy discs that for the most part you can't use? Well, before you throw them away, here's an idea for you. Simply open them up (after you've gotten off all your information) and remove the little round pieces. Then you can use them in your card making or scrap-booking as little embellishments.

Tara beat me to the punch by making hers first. Look at this great card she made using one.

And another one...

Pretty crafty, huh!
Tara always does a great job!
Thank you Tara.

Monday, March 1, 2010

5-Layer Baby Blanket

I got this baby blanket idea at a friend's baby shower. Babies (and moms) love these things!
This is how to make your own. First of all, choose 5 coordinating fabrics and cut a yard from each and wash them. Lay them flat on top of each other and trim so they are all the same size. Pin edges together. Draw diagonal lines with pattern-tracing marker or pencil about 1.5 - 2 inches apart. (I used a piece of wood trim as my gage because it was heavy and made straight lines easier to draw.) Pin then sew along each drawn line. Cut the top 4 layers between each sewn diagonal line. Try to keep your scissors evenly spaced between the sewn lines. Top stitch 1/4 inch away from the edge all the way around making sure the fabric layers are flat. Pin and sew on blanket binding around the edges. Now that the blanket is assembled, wash it a bazillion times. Just kidding. I only washed mine about five or six times. It gives it the shabby chic look. Plus it makes it easier for young moms to wrap up their little ones in the now-comfy blanket.
This is the front of the one I made (the side with the 4 cut layers) before I washed it.
This is the back.
When I washed it the layers folded over each other.
The colors for the layers I used were:
Layer 1 (back layer): Brown w/ pink polka-dots (broadcloth fabric)
Layer 2: Cream and tan stripe (loose weave)
Layer 3: Medium pink broadcloth (tight weave)
Layer 4: Light pink broadcloth (medium weave)
Layer 5 Bright pink broadcloth (tightest weave)
Cream colored blanket binding. (I was pretty lucky; my blanket binding already had the points on it.)

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