Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Crochet Owl Coffee Cozy

It's been quite the busy week at our house.  My full intention has been to post but it's fallen low on the priority list. Spring must be right around the corner because all I can think about is cleaning everything!  Anyone else feel the same?

I'm going to make this a quick one since I don't have a ton of time.  I made this coffee cozy awhile back  and never got around to sharing it.  It's yet another great beginner pattern and if sewing weren't taking up so much of my time right now I would probably make a few more.  It isn't perfect but it is still really cute.  Next time, I would for sure make the body portion bigger.

       The pattern for the body of the cozy can be found HERE.  To save you some time I pasted it.

Round 1: Single crochet in each chain around; join with slip stitch in beginning stitch – 25 stitches.
Round 2: Single crochet in each stitch around; join with slip stitch in beginning stitch.
Round 3: Work 2 single crochet in first stitch, single crochet in each remaining stitch around; join with slip stitch in beginning stitch – 26 stitches.
Rounds 4 and 5: Repeat Round 2.
Round 6: Repeat Round 3 – 27 stitches.
Round 7-9:  Reapeat round 2

For the eyes you chain 4 and then 11 double crochets in the 3rd chain from the hook.  Join with a slip stitch to the top of chain 3.  Make two and sew them onto the body.  I just used regular thread and needle since I don't know what is the proper way of sewing it on.

Then you add the button to the eyes.

For the beak, I cannot remember for the life of me how I did.  For an alternative, chain 6, double crochet in the 3rd chain from the hook, half double in the next chain, single crochet in the next, and then slip stitch.  Sew it on and in no time you have a really cute owl coffee cozy.
 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Mommy iPad Hanger

Ever been on Zulily??  Well it's a company that gives great deals on name brand clothes and toys.  They have events where they feature certain companies items, Zulily places a bulk order based on what the customers order, and then they ship it out.  I'm hooked on the awesome prices.  You can sitgn up and start looking for deals through my link HERE.

I was browsing on the site yesterday after being lured to a sale on Tiny Toms for $18 dollars and found this genius product!!!  I wish I was the one that thought of it, but once I saw it I knew I had to have one.  So genius!   I was so inspired I made one the exact same night. 

Of course mine isn't even as close to as nice as theirs, but I sewed it on a whim.  Late night sewing projects don't always yield awesome results.

I love that the plastic cover keeps sticky fingers from the screen so I don't have to constantly keep cleaning it.  I didn't have clear vinyl so I improvised, I dug deep in her toy box for the rings and before you know it I had a case finished.

The main purpose I made it is to hang in the car and it does.... perfectly.  I love it!!!

And this morning, we took it to the grocery store with us and it clipped right onto the shopping cart.  No more dropping the iPad!  Woot woot.

We took it to the store too.  The best part is you can still use it even with the vinyl on it.  She doesn't know that yet so it is awesome for now.

The biggest plus to making your own is customizing the size.  My iPad has a nice thick yellow protective case and I wanted to make one that was big enough to fit.  Interested in a tutorial??  It's coming soon.  But if you don't sew or don't want to bother making one, you can find it on Zulu  HERE for a very reasonable price and they also have a case for your iphone.  Hurry before they are all gone!  I am seriously in love with mine.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Tutorial: Art Smock

Remember the art smock I made to go in Cindy's Valentine heart?  Well here is the tutorial for it in case your budding artist needs one too.  It would be better to make this with laminated fabric but I am a cheap-o and I need to start using fabrics from my stash so I stuck with this.  It came out really cute and fit her perfectly.

I completely failed at getting a picture of how I cut the pattern piece out so I drew you a diagram to make up for it.  I used an old tank top of hers and traced it on some freezer paper to create the pattern piece [you can use regular paper too].  I wanted to make the straps pretty thick so they cover the entire shoulder area.  Once you have your pattern piece, fold your fabric into fourths and pin your pattern down onto the fabric.  The diagram shows where the fold should be.  Hope that makes sense...

Anywhoo, when you cut it, it will look like the picture on the left.  To create the back opening you will cut all the way down the backside like the picture on the right. 

Attach bias tape to the neck and down the back.

If you are creating a pocket, cut a rectangle piece and add bias to the top.  Lay it on the front of the smock and sew down the sides.  I also sewed down the middle to create more pockets.  

Now attach bias to the arm holes and on the bottom raw edge of the smock.

Make sure the smock is inside out and sew down the sides.  

Sew straps to the back side and before you know it you will be done!

It's a really fast project that is pretty simple.  It's perfect for painting and in our case, holding ducks.  

Friday, February 15, 2013

Very Hungry Caterpillar Party and Decorations

Hope you all had a wonderful Valentines Day!  Ours was wonderful except, I think I woke up with a chocolate hang over.  Worth every piece though. 

And now that Valentines Day is over, I can finish up with the Very Hungry Caterpillar saga.  Only a few more posts about the caterpillar and I promise I will move on to some fun stuff that has been brewing in my craft room.  So here are the highlights from the party....

I set up a little main table with all of the food and goodies.  Cupcake stand and toppers post HERE and details about the $20 dollar cake HERE.  And those yummy cherry tarts, the recipe is HERE.  

I kept it pretty simple.  I trimmed the table with water color dots.  Same idea as the leaf garland but I painted the card stock in different colors and used my big circle punch.  The banner was given to me from a friend but can be purchased at the Eric Carle website.  

The drink station had this big number two that I created with the little painted circles.  The table was trimmed with the leaf garland.  I just love the little caterpillar hiding under the punch.  Sun straw toppers printable coming soon. 

I decorated the room with a just a few pom poms and of course caterpillars.  The lanterns were given to me from a friend but you can buy them on Amazon.  You can also just buy balloons and blow them up just a little bit to form perfect circles to create a caterpillar like the one I have crawling on top of the door. 

I also wanted to have a banner of pictures from each month so I put that in the framed banner.  I printed out a few pictures for the wall using this special paper and had to have a little bling so I glittered her name that I cut out with my Slice.  

It was a fun party and we even played a game with the kids, pass the parcel.  Cindy enjoyed eating cake, candy, and of course playing with her friends.  As a thank you they all took home a little treat, personalized white board and crayons.  

That is a picture of her hugging her best friend.  They had little matching dresses.  I haven't posted a tutorial for the party dress yet but you can find a tutorial for the other dress HERE.  

So now that the party is over I guess it's time to start thinking about a theme for next year.  She will be old enough to pick by then but I want to give her some choices.... Any ideas? 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Felt Heart Door Hanger

One day closer to V-day and another fun fast craft!  I saw this small felt heart door hanger on Pinterest and I had to have one.  When I was growing up my mom use to always leave a gift at my door with a card and this is a tradition I wanted to continue with Cindy.  What a more adorable way to find your valentine goodies than in a felt heart??

This project is simple enough.  Definitely use the secret to cutting felt tutorial to make it go even faster.  The first thing I did was cut out all the pieces.  The pink hearts is bigger and I used the my pinking shears so they have the zig zag edge.

Here are all the pieces.

Now before you sew them together, sew on the ribbon to the pink heart so it an hang on the door.

Once that is done, you can sew the two back pieces together.  If you want it to be a little more stable depending on how big your heart is (mine is pretty big). Use two pieces of pink hearts.  Now for the pocket, if you want a design on the front be sure to add those on before you sew the two pieces together.  I did the hearts and her initial.  Then sew along them together by seeing along the top.

To finish off the heart, sew the pocket onto the back portion.  If your heart was a small one you probably won't need to do this but because mine is so big, I had to sew the middle section down.   Just a little bit not all the way down.  

Isn't it darling?  I love that I can use it every year for her.

And if you are wondering what is in her heart, there are  these rubber ducks she sees at the grocery store all the time and is obsessed with,  her favorite chips, her favorite candy, some homemade pay dough and this darling art smock I made (tutorial to come).



Monday, February 11, 2013

Toddler Valentine Cards

Can you believe valentines day is already this week?!  I am pretty proud of myself this year because I actually accomplished all I wanted to do.   The 14 days of Valentines have been fun for the hubby and I but all the sweets sure are taking a tole on my face.   Today I wanted to share a craft we did at preschool, a cute card for the daddy's.  Isn't it sweet?!

I loved it and ended up making a bunch to send home to grandparents and family too.  I have to admit though, this is more a craft for mommy than baby.  First, the fun part which is painting. I think water colors look better but my little love bug wanted to paint with tempura.

Once the painting dries, fold it in half and trace your little ones hand on it. Be sure that the tip of the thumb and the pointer finger is on the fold.   

When you cut it out there will be a heart in the middle.  I couldn't resist sparkling it up a bit.

Now during a messy paint session and right before bath time, dip their little feet in paint and stamp them on paper.  Cut them in the shape of a heart.

Then all you have to do is assemble it.  I helped her write the I love you part and I couldn't he it put glitter in the heart.  We can't wait to give it to daddy and this is one that will be kept for sure in the memory bin.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Pass the Parcel Toddler Party Game


Now that the party is over I can share some if the details, one of which is the game we played.  I know what you are thinking.... A are for two year olds?!  Yup I am out if my mind, but this one actually worked, sort of.  It is an Australian party game that is really fun called pass the parcel.  The kids ended up being more interested in the lollipop part if the prize than the actual prize but that was expected. 

Some awesome person actually has a video on how to wrap a the pass the parcel prize here.  It's pretty much a spin on hot potato.  So you start with prizes.  Since the party was small I was able to collect enough prizes for everyone.  Mostly paints and little toys like these.

You start by wrapping the first gift in a special color tissue paper and in my case it's purple.  This way I know when I see the purple paper it is the last prize.  Then I wrap the next prize along with the last one.  I also included a lollipop and some confetti (love the sparkles!).  You keep repeating this process until you have all the prizes wrapped.

You will end up with one big gift like the first picture above.  At the party we had the kids sit in a circle with us while my hub played some music.  When it stopped the kid holding the parcel got to open it.  Then we kept passing the next prize inside until there were no prizes left.  Considering they are only two they did pretty well.  It took a lot of mommy help therefore no pictures, but it was a lot of fun!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

$20 Very Hungry Caterpillar Cake

I am always trying to save a buck when it comes to parties because it can slowly add up.  I love having a beautiful cake for the center of the table but not a fan of the price.  Last year, I created a digital design and had the baker print and apply it to the side of the cake.  This year.... I discovered marshmallow fondant.  Can you believe this cake cost me less than $20?! 

I completely understand why cakes cost so much.  Working with fondant and baking a cake takes so much time and effort.  I just was not up for paying big bucks.  So, we got a store bought cake and it cost $11.  I brushed off all the design with a knife  until the cake was plainly frosted.  You don't want to brush off all the frosting.

Then I made a full batch of white marshmallow fondant [recipe and tutorial HERE].  I rolled out a circular piece and plopped it onto the cake.  Be sure that you roll your fondant big enough to cover the entire thing.  Once it is placed, there is no turning back.  Also be sure that it isn't too thin or it will rip.  I used colored fondant to create all the pieces and placed them right on the cake.  I used gum balls on the bottom trim of the cake.  Not too shabby for my first time!  A huge difference from the before.

If you are considering doing this and have never worked with fondant here are some tips from a fellow beginner:

1. Be sure to practice before making and working with fondant before doing the real thing.

2.  Powder sugar is your friend but too much can ruin the fondant.  If your fondant gets too sticky, wash your hands, powder them with the sugar and then work with the fondant.

3.  To make the cake, I needed a ton of different colors, but not a whole batch of it.  The easiest way to make colored fondant is to cut the recipe into fourths.  [1 cup marshmallows, 1 cup powder sugar, etc.].  After the marshmallow and water have melted in the microwave add your food coloring [picture on the left].  Once you achieve the color you want, then add the powder sugar.  You will then end up with a small roll of fondant [picture on the right].  Wrap it tight in plastic wrap if you are saving it for later.

4.  You can create pieces for the top of the cake ahead of time and let them sit and dry.  I did that with the caterpillar and her name.

5.  Pieces that wrap around the cake need to be done right before you place them on because they still need to be malleable.  If the pieces dry before you place them on the cake and you try to put them on, they will break [trust me I know].  I you want to make them ahead of time just be sure to keep it wrapped up tight so it stays soft.

6.  If you have powder sugar remnants on your fondant that is okay.  A damp paper towel will wipe it right off.  

I definitely have a new respect for bakers and cake designers.  I now know why cakes cost so much, but if you want to save money and are up for a challenge then make some fondant and design your own!  The cake, fondant ingredients, and gumballs cost me less than $20!  You can't beat that for such a cute cake.  It was worth all the time and effort.