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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Advent Devotions & Jesse Tree

There are some wonderful ideas all over the blogosphere for Jesse Trees.
Here's what we're doing this year.

I printed the free templates from Tired, Need Sleep (you can find them here). Then, I colored the pictures and mounted the devotions onto cardstock and laminated them. The tree is made out of scrapbooking paper and has magnets on the back so it can stick to my refrigerator. The picture circles also have magnets on the back of them. Each day, as we do the devotions, we add a magnet to our tree.

I also printed extra copies of the advent devotions and pictures and made simple coloring books with construction paper for my boys. They color the picture while we read the Bible story. 

Do you have a Jesse Tree? I would love to see how your family celebrates advent.

A GREAT BIG THANK YOU to Nicole @ Tired, Need Sleep for sharing these printables! Be sure to check out her blog.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas Books

A few years ago, our family started this tradition that I heard about from the Family Fun magazine. It has truly become a beloved tradition in our home. Each December, I wrap up 25 children's Christmas books and the kids take turns picking one book each night for their bedtime story. If you don't have enough Christmas books, pick some up at the library. There are so many great Christmas books for children, this is a great way to read some of them during the Christmas season.
 Here's our list for this year (a star indicates a family favorite):

*The Little Drummer Mouse - Mercer Mayer
Arthur's Christmas - Marc Brown
*Dream Snow - Eric Carle
There was no snow on Christmas Eve - Pam Munoz Ryan
The Steadfast Tin Soldier - Hans Christian Andersen Retold by Tor Seidler
Angelina's Christmas - Katharine Holabird
Wake Up Bear..... It's Christmas! - Stephen Gammell
Chita's Christmas Tree - Elizabeth Fitzgerald howard
The Christmas Train - Ivan Gantschev
Joy to the World! The Story of Christmas Retold by dina Anastasio
Stop! It's Christmas - Mary Manz Simon
*Father and Son - Geraldine Mccaughrean and Fabian Negrin
*The Grinch Who Stole Christmas - Dr. Seuss
The Nutcracker Retold by Stephanie Spinner
One Snowy Night - M. Christina Butler
*The Best Christmas Pageant Ever - Barbara Robinson
The Legend of St. Nicholas - Dandi Daley Mackall
When Christmas Came - Eileen Spinelli
Room for a Little One - Marin Waddell
The Crippled Lamb - Max Lucado
The Very First Christmas - Paul L. Maier
Lily, The Lost and Found Lamb - Lydia Salazar Martinez
The Silver Christmas Tree - Pat Hutchins
The Christmas Star - Marcus Pfister

Christmas Countdown & Activity List

Have you seen this adorable idea for a Christmas countdown over at Just Something I Made? SO cute! And she is even kind enough to share the printable labels.
Here's my version:

How perfect is this spool holder? My mom picked it up at a second hand store for me. Isn't she sweet?

Here's the list of Christmas activities I included on our countdown:
1- Make a Christmas craft
2- Decorate living room window with nativity window stickers
3- Prepare and mail a Christmas care package for soldiers
4- Get hot cocoa and go to a living nativity at a local church
5- Go to hometown family Christmas Celebrations
6- Watch a Christmas movie
7- Make a Christmas craft
8- Surprise other families with anonymous gifts on their doorsteps
9- Make a Christmas craft
10- Family Game Night!
11- Learn about Hanukkah & go to Hanukkah celebration with homeschool group
12- Make a gingerbread house
13- Decorate gift wrap & wrap gifts for siblings
14- Sing Christmas Carols
15- Bake bread & deliver it to the neighbors
16- Have a picnic dinner in front of the Christmas tree
17- Make Christmas gifts for grandparents
18- Make homemade Christmas cards
19- Bake cookies and deliver them to families from church
20- Drive around and look at Christmas lights
21- Take homemade Christmas cards to a nursing home
22- Make a Christmas craft
23- Go to grandparents house for Christmas celebrations
24- Watch a Christmas movie
25- Celebrate Jesus’ birthday with family

I hope that you're all able to take some time to make special family memories this holiday season!

Friday, October 16, 2009

I'm back with a little crafty project

Has it really been over a month since my last blog post?! Things have been busy around here and I've been anxious to get back into the habit of blogging. Thanks for your patience and for all your wonderful comments. I love reading your comments, they just make my day!

Here's a little project my boys and I did a few weeks ago. My boys were given these tins at a garage sale. 

I didn't like the tins, but they thought the window on the lid was pretty cool. So, we cut up small strips of some camouflage fabric that I had on hand and we covered the tins with the fabric, using Mod Podge.

They turned out to be the perfect size for storing all their little Army guys.

What are some things that you have re-invented using Mod Podge?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

One Lovely Blog Award

What a fun surprise I got this morning! Mama Mel honored me with the "One Lovely Blog" award.
 ((Thank you!))
I am going to pass this award along to some wonderful blogs that I highly recommend you all check out! 
Has great projects and tutorials. I can't wait to make some of these flaming pants for my boys
Has wonderful projects and beautiful pictures! Check out her Tulle Skirt, it's AMAZING!
Always has fantastic sewing projects and great tutorials. I'm already setting aside baby clothes to turn into doll clothes using her tutorial.
Has so many fun and creative ideas, especially for little ones. Her Family Shape puzzle would make a great gift!
Has some of the cutest ideas I've seen, especially for quick and easy sewing projects

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Robot Tooth Pillow

I have had this great tutorial from goody-goody bookmarked for quite some time and finally got around to making a robot tooth pillow for my 6 year old. Mine didn't turn out anywhere near as cute as the one in the tutorial, but I think my son will like it just the same.
Now, we just have to wait for him to start loosing teeth so he can use it.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Book Pocket for Bed or Armchair

Wow! I've let quite a bit of time get away before getting this tutorial together. Thanks for being patient with me! I made this book pocket for my mom's birthday and wanted to share with you how I made it. Sorry there aren't more pictures.
**This tutorial is for personal and gifting use, please don't sell your finished products**

You will need:
Medium or heavy weight fusible Interfacing (1: 25"x12" piece and 1: 12"x11" piece)
2/3 yard fabric 
(you might need slightly more if your fabric isn't a full 42"wide or more)

How to make it:
1. Cut your fabric:
2 pieces: 25"x12"
2 pieces: 12"x11"
2 pieces: 6.5"x7.5"

2. Pin and sew the 2- 6.5"x7.5" pieces, right sides together. Remember to leave an opening on the bottom so you can turn it right side out! Clip corners, turn right side out and press.

3. Iron interfacing onto one 25"x12" piece and one 12"x11" piece.

4. Pin the small rectangle from step 2 to the front of 12"x11" piece from step 3. This will make the small pocket on the front. It should be 2" from the top, 2 3/4" from sides, and 3" from the bottom. Topstitch this pocket on, sewing both sides and bottom. Be sure to catch the raw edges from the opening you used to turn small pocket piece right side out.
5. Next, Pin and sew the two 12"x11" pieces, right sides together. Remember to leave an opening on the bottom so you can turn it right side out! Clip corners, turn right side out and press.
6. Pin and sew the two 25"x12" pieces, right sides together. Leave top end open so you can turn it right side out. Clip corners, turn right side out and press.
7. Pin the 12"x11" piece to the 25"x12" pieces, with the small pocket facing in. Sew around the sides and bottom of smaller rectangle. Be sure to catch the raw edges from the opening you used to turn right side out. Turn right side out.
8. Press, folding in raw edges at top. Topstitch top edge to close. This is the part that will either be between a mattress and box spring, or under an armchair cushion.
Viola! You're finished! Wasn't that easy?
If you make one, please send me a message, I would love to see pictures!

Monday, September 7, 2009

T-Shirt Refashion ~ Dress for Baby

There are SO MANY super cute ideas for refashioning t-shirts into dresses for little girls and I've been anxious to try my hand at one. Here's the dress I just made for my baby girl from a women's shirt found at Goodwill. (Can you believe I forgot to take a picture of the shirt before I cut it apart?!)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sewing Machine Cover

This is my new reversible sewing machine cover:
Don't you love this fabric?
This cover is very simple: First, I measured my sewing machine, then cut one large rectangle out of each fabric to go over the front, top, and back of the machine. Then, I cut two rectangles out of each fabric for the gussets, and ironed interfacing onto the three rectangles from one fabric. Next, I sewed the gussets onto the larger rectangles and sew the two sides of the cover together, turned them right side out and top-stitched the opening shut. Super Easy!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Christmas Gift and Tutorial SWAP

My "Something Made Something To Be Made" Swap partner, Deanna, and I had so much fun swapping, we decided to host our own! We would love to have you join in on the fun! Here are the details:

We are hosting a Christmas Gift Tutorial SWAP! With Christmas just 115 days away, we are all trying to figure out which tutorials and projects we've found online to use for Christmas gifts. How about a Take Along Race Track and Toy Car Holder or a Cottage Chic Apron Tutorial? The options are endless and at times, overwhelming.

In this SWAP, you can make a Christmas gift using any fabric or any project using Christmas fabric for your partner using one of your tutorials in your To-Do list. Include the finished product with a print out of the tutorial (with the link of where you found it) with materials to make another object from the tutorial. Easy and you can check that pattern of your To Do list and hopefully you will find a new tutorial from your partner!

We will sub-classify everyone who signs up in hopes of getting you with a partner who will make something you love. This is open to all crafts- sewing, crochet, knit, etc.
If you would like to participate, send the following information to :
1. Name, email address, shipping address
2. Brief description of who you are, where you live, etc.
3. What types of tutorial would you like to TRY from these categories? Baby, Home, Women's accessories, Kid Boy, Kid Girl
4. What types of tutorial would you like to RECEIVE from the above categories?
*You can pick as many categories as you want
5. Whether or not you will ship internationally
Isn't this fun??
Here are the dates to remember:
September 27- LAST day to sign up
September 30- date you will receive your partner (at the latest)
October 21- deadline to have the project in the mail to your partner
Let's Swap some Christmas gifts!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Some Goodwill Finds

Check out the bag of goodies I got for $3.00 at Goodwill:
Ric-rac, bias tape, buttons, Velcro, snaps, elastic, pattern transfer markers, and patches:

And the curtain I made to cover my laundry area from a queen size sheet that I picked up for $1.25.

Update on my Iraqi Bundles of Love

I should have mentioned in the last post that JoAnn's (at least our local store) has A LOT of red tag fabric for $1 a yard. There's some really great fabric to choose from! Also, I need to thank my mother-in-law for purchasing 30 (Yes, THIRTY!) yards of fabric for these bundles.

Iraqi Bundles of Love

My boxes are packed and ready to be mailed! Have you heard about Iraqi Bundles of Love yet? If not, PLEASE go to the blog to find out more. It is a wonderful project with the goal of getting fabric, sewing notions, yarn, and knitting needles into the hands of women in Iraq. Visit the blog, get some boxes packed, and get the word out about it! I printed some information out and took it to all of our local fabric stores. Thank you, IBOL Guy for organizing this and giving us the opportunity to participate!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Something Made Something to be Made Swap

The Something Made Something to be Made Swap was A LOT of fun to participate in! My swap partner, Deanna has received her package so I can post about it now! Here's what I sent her:
Something Made: An Apron and a Wristlet Something to be Made: A somewhat random assortment of 1/4 yard of fun fabrics: The wonderfully thoughtful gift I received: Something Made: Coasters (don't you love the fabric?) and super cute hair clips for my baby girl Something to be made: Fun camping fabric to make something for my boys Thanks, Deanna! You were a great swap partner!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I Spy Swap Fabric Squares

I just received my fabric squares in the mail from the I Spy Swap! My boys and I have had SO MUCH fun looking through all of the fabrics. Now, I just need to decide what I'm going to make with 200 squares of fabric! I'm thinking about a mini I-spy quilt for each of my kids, or maybe a pillow, or how about a bag? What ideas do you all have for I-Spy sewing projects?
Here's what I sent in:
10 little stacks of 20 4" squares for a total of 200 squares
And here's what I got back:
200 4" squares ~ 200 different fabrics!

I couldn't photograph every singe square, but here are my favorites: Mushrooms, Owls, Vintage Girls, Jungle Animals, Green Animals, Very Hungry Caterpillar, Boots, Spools of Thread, Butterflies, and Frogs.

Thank you, Meredith and Wendy, for organizing this fantastic swap! And thank you to all of the other swap participants!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Featured on Fireflies and Jellybeans

What a great surprise this morning, to find my little blog featured over at Fireflies and Jellybeans! Jeannine and Fawnda have a great site, head over and check it out! Thanks for the feature, Ladies!

Diaper & Wipes Pocket

This project is the perfect solution for scrunched up diapers at the bottom of the diaper bag, or a toddler who no longer needs a full diaper bag. It's also very easy, so it's a great project for beginners. Put some travel wipes and a few diapers in it and it makes a great baby gift!
**This tutorial is for personal and gifting use, please don't sell any that you make. **

What you will need:
1 fat quarter each of 2 coordinating fabrics (or 1/4 yard each)
2 pieces (1- 9"x11"; 1- 9"x15") Heavy weight fusible interfacing
1 3-inch piece sew-on Velcro

Put it all together:
Cut one 9"x15" rectangle and one 9"x11" rectangle out of each of the fabrics. Iron interfacing onto the lining pieces. Take the two larger rectangles and measure up 11" from the bottom. Mark this spot and measure 1 1/2" from the sides. Mark this point.

Now, use a compass to draw a half circle between these two points. Cut the fabric along the line you just created, so that your fabric looks like this. Pin and sew these two pieces right sides together. I find it easier to have the heavier weight fabric (with interfacing) on bottom when sewing them together. Remember to leave an opening at the bottom to turn it right side out! Next, pin and sew the small rectangles together in the same way: right sides together, leaving an opening at the bottom. Clip corners. Turn right side out and press, being sure to fold the raw edges from the openings in. You now have your front and back pieces. Pin and sew these together with the outside fabric touching. You're just going to sew down both sides and across the bottom. When you sew the bottom, remember to catch the raw edges. It's a good idea to reinforce your stitches at the top on both sides. Measure in 1 1/2" from each bottom corner and cut this 1 1/2" square out. This next step can get a little confusing, but you can handle it! :)

Hold one side seam and the bottom seam and match them up. This should create a line where all the raw edges match up. Pin together. Make sure your seams are going in the same direction so that it will lay nicely. Repeat this on the other side. Sew along the raw edges. I sew this seam twice to make sure it's sturdy. This is what it should look like:Turn right side out. You're almost done!

It's a good idea to put a travel container of wipes and a few diapers inside at this point. Pin the Velcro pieces in place. Remove the diapers and wipes. Sew Velcro on.

That's it! Wasn't that easy?
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. If you make your own Diaper & Wipe Pocket, please send me a picture. I love getting to see other's projects!