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My girl loves knits. She’s nine now, but ever since I can remember, comfort has been her style priority. More often than not, this means knit fabrics. I really hesitate to buy her anything that’s made of wovens.
Occasionally, though, I have trouble finding as much variety as we want. (okay, there’s Mini Boden, which I love, but I’m not in love with their prices). This tunic was an experiment that started out as a dress in my mind. Until I ran out of fabric. Actually, I think if the pattern sizing was anywhere near the mark it probably would’ve made a dress, no problem.
I thought I’d try making a raglan T-shirt into a dress by lengthening the bottom, since raglan sleeves can be easier to deal with than the standard set-in kind. I used See & Sew B4322, which is really a pajama pattern, but that was the closest thing to what I wanted that I could find in the fabric store.
The directions are nice and straightforward, but like I said, the pattern sizing is off by a mile. I know my daughter is slim, but she’s not far off normal store-bought sizing. We ended up with, like, six inches of ease on the sides and a Flashdance neck.
But anyway, I made it work. I hacked off the sides, took in the shoulders, and gathered the neck (this was pre-finishing). I added a wide waistband what I had leftover, and I’m actually pretty happy with how it turned out. It’s long enough that she can wear it with leggings, which was the goal in the first place.
I realize I could’ve done a better job with the bow pattern (I’m pretty unexperienced with patterned fabric) but Little Miss doesn’t seem to care, so I don’t, either. Next time, I think I’ll just trace clothes she already has, rather than use that pattern (though the directions are still helpful).
The fabric came from Girl Charlee. I’ve been enjoying sewing with their fabrics. They are good quality and very reasonably priced, cute selection. If you’re a beginner with knits, I’d recommend going with medium weights. They are easier to work with. I do love these bows!
For more of my sewing adventure, click here. Hope you have a great weekend!
By: Emily Smith Pearce,
Blog: Emily Smith Pearce
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This is the story of a wedding gift (my contribution to it, anyway) for a dear friend. I thought you might like to see the process. The picture is of my friend Jamie and her husband, who got married last June. As a surprise to the couple, her mother asked friends and family each to complete a design on a muslin square. She collected the squares and then had them made into a patchwork quilt as a gift to Jamie and her husband.
Jamie and I go way back, and a big part of our friendship has been about shared words. Books, movies, music, poetry, television. We have a lot of inside jokes about obscure quotes. So I sifted through our collective “library” of shared references, looking for the perfect quote to decorate the wedding square. Nothing seemed quite right.
When I saw the bride and groom, though, I knew nothing could be more Jamie and Jon than their fabulous wedding outfits.
I decided to make an embroidered picture and started with the best photo I had of the event. It’s blurry but gave me a good pose to work with. I used Picasa to play with the colors and then used the “posterize” effect to get the lines of the image to show up more clearly.
I printed the picture, traced over the lines with a Sharpie, and then transferred these to the fabric with a temporary fabric marking pen.
I like the back almost as well as the front:
Here’s the final:
If you’re interested in seeing more of Jamie and Jon’s wedding, click here.
Meanwhile, I’m hard at work on my nonfiction project and just got some excellent notes on my novel from an old friend. A little sewing going on, which hopefully I can show you soon. Back to writing now!
Happy New Year! Did you survive the holidays? Ours started out low key and then sped up after Christmas with the Colorado wedding of a dear friend, a couple of days of skiing, and 3 stitches in my lower lip after a minor fall.
Don’t worry, I’m fine! Luckily, nothing was broken, so I could go right back to skiing. Actually I can only find 2 stitches now. They are not the dissolvable kind, so I don’t know if I misplaced a stitch or if I just miscounted. Hmmm…
I’m finding, unexpectedly, that I kind of love January. Not for the weather. Who could love January weather, even in the South? But I love getting back into the routine and not having a bajillion outside actitivities to distract and exhaust me. And the days are getting just a tiny bit longer. So I’m told.
Currently I’m back to work on my nonfiction book for elementary-aged students. I’d taken several weeks away from it while focusing on my novel, and the break has really helped clarify things. It still needs a lot of work, but I’m excited to see how far it’s come since my initial brainstorm. I’ve been getting some feedback on both projects from writer friends, which is so invigorating!
The above picture is a sneak peek of a quilt I’m working on. It finally seems to be coming together, though it’s looking like spaghetti to me right now. For more sewing and quilting projects, click here.
What about you? What’s inspiring you this month? Reading anything fantastic? Stay warm, folks!
I got inspired to make a quick wreath after reading this blog post over on decor8 the other day.
I’d been planning to do something for our front door since our old wreath was so decrepit, but I hadn’t gotten around to it. I’d never considered using live greenery since the only ones I’d ever seen looked like they’d take a master’s degree in wreath artistry and a few months to create. Hello, Martha Stewart!
But the blog post made me see how pretty a quick, natural wreath could be, and I realized we had plenty of greenery in the back yard. I bought a form at Michael’s (about $4) and clipped various bushes: magnolia, Yaupon holly, rosemary, and wax myrtle.
Sadly, the regular floral wire was out at Michael’s, so I bought this stuff that’s kind of like a never-ending green twist tie. It’s not so bad. And I basically twist-tied the greenery on in a haphazard, overlapping circle. It took me about half an hour. The best part was not having to follow any directions.
Personally, I’m kind of smitten with its exuberant cowlicks. I would totally do this again. What about you? Have you made a wreath of your own?
In other news, with this being the last day of school for the year, I’m winding down my latest draft of my young adult novel and am readying it to send to a reader/ writer/ friend. Scary and exciting at the same time.
Hopefully I’ll be around a little bit over the break, but if not, Happy Holidays to you!
and p.s. We’ve been watching this hilarious show called Lilyhammer. It’s about an American mafioso-turned-informant who chooses Norway as his relocation destination. All kinds of funny cross-cultural issues come up. It stars Steven Van Zandt, of Sopranos and E-Street Band fame. You can find it on Netflix.
This is just a variation on a favorite simple craft of mine. In the past, we’ve used lightweight cardboard (cereal boxes, tea boxes), but since corrugated is such a thing in our house right now, and I’ve fallen in love with this cheap gold paint, I thought I’d combine the two.
If you’d like a template for a tree of your own, click here. That earlier post also has pics of some of our other trees. If you’re using corrugated cardboard, though, the slits in the trees need to be a tiny bit wider. I painted our tree white before I used the gold, though next time I think I want the brown cardboard to show through.
Checked out a fun Christmas book from the school library this week, by my lifelong hero, Tomie DePaola. An Early American Christmas is the story of a German family who arrives in a New England town in the 1800s, bringing their Christmas traditions with them. According to the author’s note, the Puritan and Calvinist types didn’t celebrate Christmas at all at that time. The story is fictionalized but based on actual accounts of “Christmas” families entering New England. I love the descriptions of cookie and candle-making. Mr. DePaola has always had a knack for depicting hands-on creativity in such an earthy, tactile way.
Okay, that’s all for now. A few more Christmas-themed posts coming your way soon. Cheers!
I’m not exactly sure where it started (maybe with the rocket? maybe with this book?), but over the course of the summer, our dining room became piled high with cardboard creations.
I thought I’d share a few, in case they might inspire you or your kids. The center photo is the first guitar my son made. The others, clockwise from the top: a rocket, guitar #2 and drum, shadow puppets, tube puppets, shadow puppet theater, and sword.
Summer’s over, and the factory had to be cleaned up, but we make sure to have a small cardboard stash at all times for building material. For more kid’s crafts, click here.
It’s that time of year again. Time to slap together a costume or two! I thought I’d list some of our past hits as inspiration for you.
I don’t put a lot of fuss into making costumes, but I do like them to be comfortable and reusable. My favorite method involves hacking items we find in the thrift store. It’s inexpensive, much of the sewing is already done, and the fabrics are often more comfortable than those used in store-bought costumes.
For details on these costumes:
Center: Turtle Costume
Clockwise, from the top:
Anastasia Romanov (Russian princess)
Knight Tunic and Helmet
One more idea for you. My niece is evidently going to be a mermaid, and I loved the look of this simple costume her mom showed me.
I hope these inspire you. This reminds me, I have to get my kids to commit to their costumes now, too. If they had their way, they’d probably get 10 costumes and choose one at the last minute. Ha!
This dress is fairly Eastery for September, but that didn’t stop me from wearing it when I finished it last weekend.
It’s a whole lotta pink! A little girlier than I’d intended. I just can’t seem to stop picking up pink fabric.
The pattern is the Lisette Passport Dress (Simplicity 2209) by Liesl Gibson. While it’s not a particularly intricate pattern, it’s the most ambitious one I’ve sewn so far, and I’m really happy with how it turned out. It’s not perfect, but I’m proud of the finishing work and the fitting I did. Special thanks to my friend Amy G., seamster extraordinaire, who helped me figure out how to shorten the straps after I’d already completely finished them. That was the trickiest bit.
I had read that inserting the zipper as instructed was frustrating, so I ended up using an invisible zipper and this tutorial instead.
Besides the zipper part, the directions are very good, better than most commercial patterns I’ve used recently.
The linen fabric came from the fabric market in Hannover, Germany from when we lived there. Silver necklace from silversmith Gaines Kiker in Blowing Rock, NC. Silver earrings from a shop in Brookline, MA—-they’re over 10 years old so I don’t remember the name, sorry. Belt from Marshalls.
I’m already cutting out another version of the dress—if I can just figure out how to line it. For more of my sewing, click here.
In other news, I’ve really been getting into my nonfiction book project. So good to feel it finally starting to gel. A hint: it has to do with fashion.
Coming up on the blog: green beans! Craft books! All kinds of thrills.
My friend Laurel, who is visiting London, sent me this photo. Aren’t the robots great? I love how the cardboard is rolled for the arms. This is the window of a shoe store called Schuh on Oxford Street.
In case you missed my earlier post about our own cardboard adventures, it’s here.
Meanwhile, I am still deep in research mode on my nonfiction book. It’s keeping me quite engrossed.
I’m looking forward to the Carolinas SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) conference here in Charlotte this weekend. Say “hi” if you’ll be there!
I love looking at craft books almost as much (okay, sometimes more) than crafting. In my house growing up, my mom and I always called these ”make it/ do it” books, after two of our favorites, her own McCall’s Giant Make It Book (1953) and my Great Big Golden Make It & Do It Book (1980).
Many happy hours were spent poring over those pages. Most of the projects I never made or did, but just knowing that I could, imagining them, and looking over the pictures and instructions was (is) very satisfying.
I still love make it/ do it books, and in the stack are a few more recent favorites.
Made to Play by blogger Joel Henriques. This book, given to us by a good friend, inspired our cardboard factory last summer. The author’s blog is madebyjoel.
Sticks & Stones & Ice Cream Cones by Phyllis Fioratta is another childhood favorite.
Oodles to Do with Loo-Loo and Boo by Denis Roche, a Vermont College friend of mine. This one has great illustrations and fun characters who guide you throughout as you make arts and crafts with easy-to-find and recyclable items.
Things to Do Book by Jennie Maizels. I love, love this concept for a book. Each illustrated spread has a theme (“in the car,” “in the garden”) picturing various activities in a particular setting. There are little flaps to lift that are like secret treasures. In concept, it’s a little like a Richard Scarry book with activities to do instead of labels. Perfect for those “I don’t have anything to do!” moments.
I also remember loving A Boat, A Bat, and A Beanie: Things to Make from Newspaper from the library back in the day. It shows you how to make great stuff (sandals! a wig!) out of, yes, newspaper. I think I need to order a copy of it. I love getting copies of old library books I used to check out over and over.
Below: It was so well-loved, we had to re-cover mom’s copy of the McCall’s Giant Make It Book:
Here are a few of the inside pages:
Ach! There’s just something about these glowing 50s illustrations that just gets me every time. Everything looks so fun! The clothes so quaint! I just want to jump into the pictures, like Mary Poppins’ chalk drawings.
There’s a little video about the McCall’s book here.
What about you? Do you have any favorite craft books of your own, or do your kids? I think craft books make great gifts.
For more kid craft posts, click here.
Hope you have a great weekend. I’m off to the Carolinas conference of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Lucky for me, it’s right here in town.
I’m sorry to have been away so long—I’ve missed being here in this space. I’ve been very busy on my writing projects and trying to use my days to work on them. But don’t worry, I’m still here.
My six-year-old made this robot, with just a tiny bit of help from his older sister on the hands. I love it! I think he must’ve been inspired by this robot display photo, sent to us by a friend while she was in London. The robot a continuation of the Cardboard Factory that hatched in our dining room over the summer.
I’ve been sewing a little, trying to screw up my courage to make some buttonholes (an Achilles heel of mine) on a dress. Also, I’ve been working on another Halloween ninja costume.
I’m a little stuck in the cooking department, having most days used my creative energy to write. But it’s got to change, because I get tired of the same old stuff. Any great fall ideas for vegetable dishes?
On the reading front: NEWSFLASH! It’s now scientifically documented that reading literary fiction promotes emotional intelligence. Read all about it here. I understand from a psychologist friend that Eleanor Estes’ The Hundred Dresses (not mentioned in the article) was used in this study.
I recently received Colette Sewing Handbook as a gift. I’m loving it. It’s so nicely laid out, and already there are so many little details that I’m learning about the sewing process that I never knew before. It comes with five patterns.
In other completely random news, Trader Joe’s is giving me no money to say this, but I’ve found a couple of new-to-me great things there lately. Their Five Country Blend whole bean espresso is totally awesome, as good as Illy. And I found a Hungarian gruener veltliner wine (Floriana) that reminds us of minerally, grassy, Austrian ones we’ve had but can’t find here. In our TJ’s, it’s in the German wine section, but the shelf label is French, so it’s not so easy to find, but well, there you go. Good luck.
Have a great weekend! Oh, and I’ve been a bit more active on Instagram and Twitter lately, so meet me there if you want to see more of what I’ve been up to.
Do you ever feel like your subconscious is leaking out?
I was researching decorations for my dear friend’s wedding when I got kind of stuck on sticks. Here’s my pinterest page on stick decorating.
My kids never saw any of this, but somehow, they seemed to know about it, because later that day, after hubs had trimmed some bushes, they hunted down the paint and began decorating these sticks. I’m loving the Dr. Seuss vibe.
I also chopped (with the trimmer) a bunch of sticks into shorter segments for us to make into a new winter wreath. Our old one is kind of sad and decrepit.
I’m alllllllmost finished with a dress I’m making. Just three more buttons! I can’t believe I actually made 9 successful buttonholes. This is a new milestone.
Meanwhile, I hope a certain little ninja will appreciate his costume that’s nearly finished. Who am I kidding? Kids have no idea the work that goes into costume-making. That’s okay. I’ve had fun making it, and I’ve kept it really low-key. I may make a little tutorial about the tunic part of it.
I’m still plugging away at my writing projects. Trying to keep my nose to the grindstone. And made Foster’s Market Jamaican black bean soup last night. Also put up some pesto. Yum!
I LOVE planning events. I do!! Until the event is right around the corner and then ...AAAAAAAAUUUUGGGHHH!!
And the Quaker Meeting Craft Fair is right around the corner. Say it with me!!! AAAAAUUUUGGHH!
So tonight I made my Special Chocolate-dipped Orange Sticks to sell at the "Bake" Sale table. My craft this year is Paper Bead Stars. I hoped to be able to make more but the planned-but-never-realized cruise and its destroyer, the-mother's-hospitalization sort of stole my crafty time and inclination.
|One of our earlier craft fairs - beeswax ornaments!!|
The Chocolate-dipped Orange Sticks are - need I say? - awesome. And I priced them accordingly - as in not too cheap.
So, what are Orange sticks? They are old fashioned candied orange peels. But, when you dip them into a mixture of quality chocolate chips and candy melts - dark, of course - they become something so much more.
I truly hope they all sell because I do not need them hanging around my house. And my father, God rest his soul, is no longer here to help me eat them. Hub is not a big sweets eater.
So, this event is October 26th from 10 am to 3 pm at Lehigh Valley Quaker Meeting - 4116 Bath Pike, Bethlehem, PA 1/2 mile north of Rte. 22 on Rte. 512.
Jewelry, pottery, glassware, miniatures, ornaments, knitted goods, soups and bread and baked stuff, delicious honey from our resident beekeepers, some vendor-y types like 31 Gifts and Tastefully Simple and a rather impressive used book sale - AND live music from 11:45 to???
Please come if you are in the area. I will be there - thinking wistfully of Florence - but only if I have the time.
Here’s one of my best sewing creations yet, from this Lisette pattern (the Traveler dress). Yet another pink-ish dress!
It took me a long time, but I did it! The buttonholes were the scariest part, but turns out my sewing machine salesman was right: if you practice twelve times (on the appropriate fabric) you can make them beautifully.
I made no alterations to the pattern other than to leave off the bottom pockets and to use two different sizes for the top and bottom (aha! That’s why I have trouble fitting in store-bought dresses).
Didn’t my kids do a good job with the photos?
Pattern: Simplicity 2246 by Liesl Gibson
Fabric: pinklish oxford cloth from an open-air market in Germany
Earrings: Ron Cravens
Boots: Bruno Premi (no, you can’t have them!)
By: Emily Smith Pearce,
Blog: Emily Smith Pearce
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Sorry for being away so long! I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving. Ours was nice and low-key, and featured some gluten-free apple pie. There was a big to-do about who got the last pieces, and not just among the GF folks. It’s that good.
The hubs and I also took a trip just before Thanksgiving, which I’ll have to tell you more about in another post.
Here I wanted to show you a little holiday craft we did. Last year I made gift cloths with Christmas fabric and existing Christmas linens, but this year I decided to add to the collection by decorating and sewing up scraps of fabric I already had in my stash.
The red and green stripe in the back left corner was made with watercolor-type fabric paints by Deka. I’ve had that paint forEVER. I tried to find a link to a place you can buy it, but it’s looking like it’s not sold in the US anymore. Bummer. It’s good stuff.
We decorated the fabric for the center red-ribboned present with Target brand “slick” fabric paints (you squeeze the bottles to draw with them). My least favorite fabric paint ever. Really poor quality, but we made the best of it.
The blue-ribboned gift cloth is pale pink, and we drew on it with Tee Juice markers, which are great for quick and easy projects, especially with kids. They are totally permanent, though, so, as with all of these supplies, dress accordingly.
Lastly, on the red-spotted cloth with the dark green ribbon, we used stamps with cheap acrylic paints from Michaels mixed with textile medium. This is one of my favorite ways to paint on fabric, because mixing it yourself gives you a wide range of choices. And in the end you aren’t left with a bunch of fabric paint you may never use again.
Below are some pre-decorated and hemmed gift cloths: a thrifted plaid tablecloth and two tea towels from Target marked down to 88¢!
The kids loved trying to guess what all these fake presents were, the favorite by far being the pink one below that’s wrapped like candy. It’s a sack of corn meal.
Loving this free printable nativity the kids can color themselves at Made by Joel.
Hope to be back soon with some details of our trip.
By: Tonia Allen Gould
Blog: Tonia Allen Gould's Blog
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Hey folks! I didn’t mean to be gone for so long. End-of-year activities completely knocked me off course in the last weeks.
Meanwhile, my five-year-old came up with this project. He designed the whole thing, directing me to cut the box into specific shapes and getting me to help him put it back together with duct tape. It’s a rocket for his Lego guys.
He often has cardboard construction projects going on, but this is by far his best yet. Next up, the two kids are working together on a shadow puppet theater. Hopefully I can share that soon.
As busy as we’ve been, I’ve found a few minutes here and there to finish up a few of my own projects that were alllllmost done, so I hope to show those to you, too.
Sadly, I did not finish my novel revision on time (my personal deadline was the end of preschool). But, I’m stealing all the minutes I can to keep working. Having a deadline definitely helps, even if it’s already passed me by.
What about you? Have you made any summer plans of things to do with the kids, or for yourself? We started making a list of fun things to do together. What’s on yours?
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Now that school is out for the summer, you may be wondering how to keep your children entertained without spending tons of money. If finances are tight, don’t despair. There are plenty of fun filled activities you can do with kids to make the summer a memorable one.
1. Pitch a tent for the GREAT AMERICAN BACKYARD CAMPOUT. You can sleep under the stars in your own backyard. Identify constellations, make s’mores (check out my recipe under the recipe section of this blog). Tell stories, sing songs, eat hotdogs, and do everything you’d do at a camp far away. Visit: http://www.nwf.org/great-american-backyard-campout.aspx
2.Check out: http://www.parade.com/summerschool for 14 days of how-to steps and expert tips on everything from building a sand castle, to how to skip stones. You can also learn things like HOW TO HOST A BACKYARD MOVIE NIGHT, SPOT CONSTELLATIONS, TEACH KIDS TO FISH, and even HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN ICE CREAM.
3. Put on a Show. A Puppet Show that is. There are tons of videos and sites on how to make your own puppets and puppet theatres. To get you started, enter: Making puppets in your search engine and a load of sites will appear. Here’s a good one:
You can also use stuffed toys, pencils with funny tops, or socks with painted faces. Or even cookies! (see photos) Let your imagination run wild.
To make it a real event, sell popcorn and lemonade.
4.And…you can’t go wrong with water. If you don’t have a pool, a sprinkler on a hose works great. Squirt guns and water balloon fights are sure cures for boredom and cool everyone off on a hot day. For little ones, fill up a bucket with water and let them “paint” the sidewalk to their hearts content. Add a few cups for pouring and you’ll keep them entertained for a long time.
Tada! I finally worked up the nerve to finish this dress, after lots of fear over working with silk. It’s got plenty of flaws (ahem, wonky tonky hem), but I’ve gone ahead and declared it wearable because…I like it anyway. After all that work, I’m not resigning it to the closet.
The silk (crepe?) was gifted to me by a friend who was moving. The original color, blue-grey, was a bit too pale for me, so I overdyed it (click here for before and after). That was over a year ago!
I cut the pattern out way too big, I think overcompensating for fit issues in my first Anda, which was a wee bit snug in the booty. So then I had to cut the silk version down, but when I finished, the sleeves stuck out in the oddest, ugliest way. I’ve since learned how to use bias tape better—-that might’ve been the problem. Great bias tape tutorial here at Collette Patterns.
I cut off the sleeves and used the bias tape as a facing, which worked much better.
I’ve worked on the hem some since these pictures were taken, and I will keep tweaking, but I don’t know if it’s ever going to be just so. I’m okay with that. I found another tutorial at Collette Patterns about rolled hems, but it’s too late to re-do this one completely.
I have to say, working with silk really is tricky, but I think I learned a few things, and I’d try it again. If you’re sewing with silk, another helpful resource is Sunni of A Fashionable Stitch. She offers helpful silk sewing tips here. Now I need a tutorial on ironing silk. I swear, I did iron it before these photos were taken.
Pattern: Burda Anda, with modifications
Sandals: gift from my friend (via Vietnam via Texas via Germany)
Necklace: a gift from my in-laws.
Photographers: my kids (5 and 9) Didn’t they do a great job? My primary photographer was, um, watching golf and could not be disturbed.
For more of my sewing, check out this link. This was my third Anda, the second being a linen colorblock one. I’m sure I’ll make more Andas, but I think it’s about time for me to move on to something else.
Have a great weekend! And oh, if you’re into Instagram, I’m finally actually using it, so you can find me there at emilysmithpearce. I’d love to see you there.
I had enough leftover fabric from this dress to make something kid-sized, and my boy said he’d be up for some new shorts. So many store-bought kids’ shorts seem thick and bunchy at the waist, so I thought I’d make him some that looked sharp but felt light and comfy.
I used Made by Rae’s free basic pant pattern, which I also used to make these. I gather the pattern is no longer available in that format. Rae does, however, have a new graded pants pattern (Parsley Pants) for sale. It looks to be similar, with maybe more bells and whistles and definitely way more sizes. I have to say she does an awesome job of explaining and tutorializing, so I’m sure you’d be happy with her pattern. The original was a perfect beginner project.
For the shorts, I followed the directions for flat-front shorts with front and back pockets. It was really so easy. The pockets were lots of fun (no, seriously, I mean that), and in the last photo you can see the lining, made out of a thrifted men’s shirt. Oops, I see threads that need trimming.
Oops again, I didn’t adjust the sizing enough. Rae’s original pattern was for 3T, and I was making them for an almost-six-year-old, so, I should’ve known better. Oh well, no harm done. I added side panels.
Voila! Now they fit. They must be comfy, because he wore them to play tennis the other day. I do love linen.
For more of my sewing projects, click here.
P.S. Currently reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Won’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. Fascinating.
My kids created this after seeing something similar on the ending of an episode of Curious George. See, TV isn’t all bad. The theater is basically a box with one side cut out and covered over with a sheet of white paper.
The other shape with the cat (above) is an airplane. Of course.
They used chopstick pieces as holders. I’m loving the cardboard factory that is our dining room right now. Each package that enters the house is eyed as building material.
Our five-year-old wants to make a ball (sphere) of cardboard. Hmmmm……which gives me an idea…..
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At Sylvan Dell, we have found it hard to keep focused with all the exciting holiday festivities on the horizon. Whether you are 60 or just 6, July 4th is a holiday easily celebrated by the entire family. There are some timeless traditions that, in our opinion, just cannot be forgotten! These include: the annual summer cookout, flying the American flag, spending time with friends and family (preferably by the pool, lake, or ocean), going to a fireworks show or July 4th parade in the nearest town, and of course, Cooking/Crafting/Wearing the color array of red, white, and blue.
As most of you have probably been taught, Independence Day refers to the historical event on July 4, 1776 when representatives of the 13 original colonies signed the Declaration of Independence, drafted by Thomas Jefferson, asserting their freedom from Great Britain. This declaration would come at a high cost. Soon followed the American Revolutionary War, where victory seemed doubtful. Yet here we are 237 years later as the fifty United States of America!
Today, July 4th is typically known for the amazing fireworks displays. Ironically, the first documentation of fireworks took place in China over 2,000 years ago! China still remains the leading manufacturer and exporter of fireworks, responsible for over 90% of the world’s fireworks. Fireworks originally were only made in orange and white, than in the Middle Ages new colors were made by experimenting with different salts. Blue is the hardest color to create. The largest recorded fireworks display happened in Portugal in 2006 which consisted of 66,326 fireworks.
The United States still has some pretty amazing fireworks shows across the country. The Travel Channel has put together a list of the “Best US Fireworks Displays” which highlights 17 different cities. http://www.travelchannel.com/interests/holidays/photos/best-us-fireworks-displays
If you can’t make it to one the locations on the list, don’t fret! Try taking some really cool pictures with sparklers in your own backyard. All you need is a few sparklers, a dark setting, and a camera recording a long exposure. Just make sure to put the sparkler in a cool bucket of water once you are finished (safety first!).
Some cities want to extend the patriotic celebration all year long. 31 places nationwide have the word “liberty” in their name, 11 use “independence, 5 places adopted the name “freedom”, another 5 use “America”, but only 1 place in the US uses “patriot”. The July 4th celebrations in these areas have to be a blast! No matter where you are at tomorrow, you can always show your American allegiance through dress or fun crafts. One website we found offers a fun way to decorate your bike for a stroll around the neighborhood or small parade. http://www.bhg.com/holidays/july-4th/crafts/patriotic-crafts-for-kids/#page=3
All of us in the office will be out celebrating our Independence tomorrow, what does your July 4th celebration look like?
Blog: Darlene Beck-Jacobson
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Micheals Craft Stores are offering the PASSPORT TO IMAGINATION crafts program for kids 5 and up. Children can explore all seven continents and learn about their landmarks. The program runs from June 17 through August 2 and costs $@.00 per session. For details go to: http://www.micheals.com
While summer should be fun-filled and relaxing, some children get bored or lose skills when they are out of school. Others just do better when there is some structure to the day. If you and your family are looking for FREE summer enrichment for kids, check out these websites:
http://www.ixl.com is an interactive math site containing more than 7 million activities and quizzes created by math teachers. There are problems from Pre-K through high school geometry and algebra.
http://www.funbrain.com was created fro children from preschool through grade eight. It offers more than 100 interactive games fro math, reading and literacy. There are also popular books and comics to read on the site, including “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”, “Amelia Writes Again” and “Brewster Rocket”.
http://www.openculture.com contains high-quality cultural and educational media from all over the world. Children can find free online classes on topics such as English Literature, biology, math and film.
So while you’re having summer fun, check out some fun-filled learning activities as well.
My first instinct, when I saw these stains, was to freak. No, I knew it wasn’t blood. But markers are NOT allowed in bedrooms in our house! Especially not in bedrooms furnished with handmade patchworks! Especially not with mystery markers that may not be washable!
When I calmed down, I thought about my options. I could try to get the stains out, but with the mystery markers, there’s no telling what would happen. I saw visions of a splotchy pink stain covering half the duvet.
I finally decided to cut them out and replace them with appliques.
I like the results. I’ve been interested lately in mending that’s meant to be attractive, not invisible. Annekata has done several posts about beautiful mending, like this one. There’s a word in Japanese (wabi sabi) for the imperfect beauty of objects with a history. You’ll get the idea from this wabi sabi Pinterest page. It’s full of the most beautiful mending you’ve ever seen. I love to watch fibers age and weather.
For more of my patchwork projects, including more pics of this one, click here.
I’ve been working on a new dress. So far, so good, if I can just master the zipper. Crossing fingers.
Still reading Quiet and also This One is Mine by Maria Semple. Looking forward to the Austenland movie next month!
By: Kathy Weller
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Today I am skipping PART TWO of this series until later in the week and instead I'm bringing you Part Three today. Today's video features the set of Winter Whimsy Drink Blots
coasters I did with Studio M
! Take a peek. I share a couple of ideas for ways to use them, too. (They're the coolest and they are more than just coasters!)
Come back tomorrow for another cool Christmas treat!!