Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Crayon Hearts

We've got some cabin fever going on here with about 7 inches of snow and more expected in the forecast. So, I looked online for a fun Valentine type craft that Brynn and I could do together while Parker napped. I found these great Crayon Hearts on Pinterest. It took longer than I anticipated to cut and attach strings to the hearts, but the overall project was completed in about 2 hours. Brynn was able to participate in most steps; I did the shape tracing and cutting, knot tying in the thread and hanging them up. Brynn loved using the scissors to cut and the needle to pierce the hearts.

The first step was to shave or sharpen crayons onto half of the amount of wax paper.
After the desired amount of crayon shavings were on the wax paper, you fold the clean half on top of the shavings and secure by folding the edges. We then placed a cloth napkin both under and on top of the wax paper prior to ironing it. The heat from the iron melts the shavings.
Once the wax cools, you then trace your shapes and cut them out. We then attached a thread to the hearts for hanging.
The picture at the top of this entry is of the original way that we hung them, but once our heat kicked on it blew the hearts and tangled them all together. So we decided to spread them out, thus looking like this:
It's not quite as I envisioned when starting out, but we made it our own with some green, pink and purple hearts. The best part is that Brynn feels good having creating some awesome window art to last us through Valentine's Day.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Book Sling

As recommended by my friend, Mo, I used my novice sewing skills to make a book sling for Parker's room. Parker's room doesn't have adequate space for a bookshelf, but we are swimming in books at this house. The sling gives us a cute, practical space for storing books! I tried to coordinate fabric colors with her curtains, but honestly I wish I had chosen something different. I love the way the sling turned out, but I'm not crazy about the stripes - a bit more whimsy would have suited my taste better. Now that I have the dowels and brackets, I figure that making another sling as Parker grows older, and has an opinion on her decor, will be fairly simple. I am even thinking that Brynn may need one of these above her bed since she has no headboard. Her most favorite books could be tucked inside to avoid loosing them in the midst of the other chaos on the shelf, under the bed or among the toys. Overall, I enjoyed making this project and may have to whip up a few more for around the house! If you'd like to make one for yourself, you can find the tutorial at Penny Carnival's website.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What draft?

So, the picture above is what our kitchen floor has looked like all winter long. Our garage is behind that door and the temperature is drastically different between the two spaces. Our door has a small gap at the bottom that allows the cold air to come in, so I used my newly learned sewing skills to make a draft stopper. I took advantage of the great sale and teacher appreciation weekend at JoAnn Fabrics and bought 1/3 yard of upholstery fabric. After washing and trimming the edges, I sewed the two long sides together, pressed the seam flat and then turned the tube right-side out. I then folded in one side about 2 inches and sewed the opening shut. I used kitty litter as the filler then finished off the other end. I am happy with the way it turned out - the only bummer is that the kitty litter has a strong floral smell, which I'm not loving. Hopefully with time the odor will fade and not be noticeable. This project was finished in no time, which made it even more fun for me.

Next in the sewing world is practicing a zig-zag stitch since I do not have a surger. I found some simple skirts that I'd like to make for Brynn's birthday.

Ribbit, Ribbit

I had some leftover fabric from making Brynn's curtains, so I decided to make a little softie to practice my sewing skills. I had these little critters cut and sewed together a couple of weeks before Christmas, but never got around to filling them and stitching them up until the other day. I downloaded the pattern and instructions from the Purl Bee tutorial: The Purl Frog. I opted to not add beaded eyes because of Parker Mei's obsession with putting everything in her mouth right now. I used lentils to fill the frogs and did my best attempt at hand-stitching them together. Hopefully they'll stay together well; one of them is being given to a friend of ours who just brought home a new baby sister.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Crochet Cowl for the Kiddies

My almost 4 year old daughter watched as I made a couple of cowls over the holiday season. She asked if I could make one for her, but when I looked around online I didn't really see anything specific for kids. So, I attempted to work up my own pattern. The first attempt was way too large so I passed it on to our neighbor's nieces for them to enjoy. Prior to that, I had her snap a photo of me wearing it.

Since practice makes perfect, the second attempt turned out just right. Brynn loves the color, especially because there is a shiny piece of tinsel running throughout to give it that sparkly, shimmer that little girls love.

Just in case you are interested in making one of your own, either for your little one or yourself - here's what I did:

Material: Red Heart Shimmer, turquoise; 2 skeins
Crochet Hook: 10 mm

** I used 2 strands of the Red Heart held together. You can use any worsted weight yarn, two strands held together - or- a bulky weight yarn.

Kid's (Adult) Cowl Pattern:

Chain until length measures 20-21 (28-30) inches. Count number of chains, be sure that you have an odd number. Crochet loosely, to allow for a bit more stretch in the finished product.

Join together with a slip stitch to beginning chain, being careful not to twist. You now have a circle. This pattern is worked continually in a spiral without joining rounds.

*sc in first ch; hdc in next ch* Continue from * to * around to end of round (no need to join in the end of the round, just keep on going).

Continue to alternate sc and hdc around until you reach your desired length - 7-8" (12-13"). Fasten off. Weave in ends.

You will notice that by alternating the stitches, you are working each stitch into the other. What I mean is that each sc will be worked into a hdc of the previous round, and vice-versa.

Hope this makes sense. It's a quick, fun pattern to whip up. The one for Brynn only took me about an hour.