Friday, July 29, 2011

Sensory Bags

I had another baby shower to go to and I wanted to make something for it. I made a couple pairs of booties like in this post and some matching beanies. (I will post pictures of those later.) But I really wanted to make something else, so sensory bags it was.

I have made bean bags before on my own with appliques, but this tutorial on Sew Like My Mom had little ribbon tags on them which added that little something extra. She appliqued letters on the bags for the child's name. I did one set with a name and another set with shapes. For the filler, the original tutorial used split peas. I figured with babies sucking on these things, I don't want anything sprouting or getting moldy. So I opted for something different. I used a few different things. Some have just polyester stuffing and some have an added jingle bell in with the stuffing for a nice little sound when shaken. Other bags have a grocery store bag stuffed inside. This gives a different texture when pressed and a nice crinkly sound as well. I also used some plastic pellets that you can get at craft stores. Those make for a heavier sensory bag. I have also tried to find the squeakers that come in squeaky toys to put in one, but no luck at the stores. I have only checked a couple of places so I will have to check more. I have found some online really cheap but I don't want to pay the over $7 shipping. If you know where I can get any locally, please let me know!

Okay, on to the pictures. The first set I made for a little girl. I spelled out her name, one letter on each bag. I used a zig-zag stitch for the applique and I ended up not really liking it, so I changed the stitch on the next set. (Probably because I am not very good at it.) This set had 3 ribbons on each side of the bag, like the original tutorial and I used good old cotton fabric on both sides.

For the next set, I changed things up a bit. I used some leftover flannel that I had for the front and then used the soft minky fabric on the back. And if you look really close, I changed the stitching around the applique to a blanket stitch. I like this one so much better and it was way easier to go around corners and curves and not look all wonky. I also cut down on the ribbons, just two per side and some I didn't put any ribbons on. It kind of sounded like people liked the ones with the ribbons more at the baby shower, so I will stick with the ribbons next time.

So there you have it. A super easy project that uses up some scrap fabric and ribbon and make a great gift at the same time. And just a side note, I have no idea why this is making a link and no idea to where is linking. I just checked - it links to a big old picture of the sensory bag so no worries!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

We Have a Winner! and a Bookmark

And the winner of the first giveaway is Anita! Congratulations! Message me your address on Facebook and I will send the towels off. I will have another giveaway next week so check back.

Okay, on to the bookmark. I found this tutorial for a scented bookmark and I thought I would make some for the ladies in my book club. That didn't happen, I only made one. Maybe eventually. I just find other things that catch my attention. I have ADD when it comes to projects.

This tutorial comes from The Sewing Republic. Pretty simple, although with the decorative stitching, it was a little annoying to get the interfacing in. I didn't put any scent on mine. The book I am reading now is borrowed from a friend and you never know how people react to their things coming back smelling differently. Anyway, here's how mine turned out.

Just a quick little project that is useful. Well, so is a scrap piece of paper, but this is more fun. And I got to use the decorative stitching on my machine. I have a few more things I've been working on so check back soon for links to more tutorials.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Not Your Regular Old Bib

It's a bapron! What's a bapron? It's a baby bib that's big enough to pass for an apron. It think the creator of this tutorial, Jess, coined the term. Most baby bibs are so dang little that they are only good for when they are being spoon fed by someone and they sit super still and don't have flailing arms. What baby is like that? None. So enter the bapron. I like it because it goes up high on the chest and protects the mid section from flying food.

Okay, so on to the tutorial. It can be found on Craftiness is not Optional. She has tons of other tutorials as well. A lot of them are some cute clothes for little girls. But, since I don't have girls (longing sigh), I have only made the bapron so far. And here's how mine turned out.

Benj was not too happy when I first put it on. He hasn't worn a bib for a while since, like I said earlier, the other ones we've had are pretty much useless at this stage. He wasn't too messy with this meal, but you can see in the second picture, the bapron did it's job. No spaghetti on the clothes! And the second time around using it, he was much happier.

Benj is a couple of months away from being two and a half years old and it's a little snug. But if you started using these at the beginning of the self-feeding stage, you can get a lot of use out of them. I might try to make another one of these, tweaking the pattern a little to make it bigger and see how it turns out. I also need some more practice binding. Ugh! - binding.

So have fun making your very own bapron! And remember, giveaway entry deadline is tomorrow. There are not a lot of entries so your chances are good.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Changing Pad and Diaper Pouch

Brieann - this one's for you! My sister-in-law asked if I would tell her where I got the tutorial for the diaper pouch I use for my two-year-old so I figure I would put it here so others can enjoy as well.

Once our kids got out of the baby, baby stage, they didn't need the "nursery in a bag" brought along on every outing. A diaper and some wipes in the purse would work, but if your purse is anything like mine, there were likely going to be some crumbs or old gum wrappers mixed. And I could never rely on there being a disposable changing pad in public restrooms. So I searched the internet for a tutorial. I found one that looked pretty cute so I made it. But a couple weeks later I found one that I loved. So I made that one as well and I am never using anything else.

I found the tutorial at Bugglebee Handmade. The thing I like about this one is that if you just need a diaper or some wipes, you don't have to open up the changing pad to get to it. Most tutorials you find are the tri-fold type where the changing pad is attached to the pocket where you keep the diapers and wipes. Not so with this one. The changing pad is in a separate pocket. Let me say again I love, love, love this one. Well, let me say I love the idea of it - this was only my second attempt at binding (I hate binding) and my first attempt at double sided fusible lining. I need a whole lot more practice. Mine may not look all that great, but it sure is functional and I use it all the time. Take a look for yourself.

So there you have it. If you don't have any diaper wearing kids, this makes a great baby shower gift. Hopefully this time next year I won't have to use this anymore, but until then, I won't leave home without it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

As Promised - My First Giveaway

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Anita! Thanks to everyone that entered. Check back soon for the next giveaway.

It's here! My first giveaway. I must admit, I'm kind of excited. I actually had the project all made on Monday but have waited until today to actually post. This project is so easy, so useful and makes a great gift. I've given them as a Mother's Day gift, birthday gift and a "thanks for having us to dinner" gift. I have yet to make any for myself to keep, so I think I'm going to tell the hubs to enter the giveaway in hopes he'll win. Just kidding.

So what we have is a set of four, yes four, ribbon accented kitchen towels. This project comes from Sew4Home. I love this site. They have so many tutorials that I could keep this blog going for months with just their site. They also have links to other great sites that sell fabric. When I am independently wealthy, I will buy all my favorite fabrics from their recommended sites. But for now I'll just have to look.

After searching way too many stores, I finally found these at a great price of 2 towels for $3 at Walmart. Wahoo! They are nice and thick and super absorbent (or so I have been told). The tutorial had you do all sorts of measurements to make sure all the ribbons and fabric were lined up exactly so on each towel. I just eyeballed everything and you can't tell unless you look real close. So if things not lining up perfectly bothers you, don't look too close.

Okay, on to how to enter. You can enter three ways with this giveaway.
1. Become a follower of this blog. Once you are following, leave a comment that you are following. If you are already following, just leave a comment that you are.
2. Post a link to this giveaway from your blog and leave a comment that you did so.
3. Post a link from a social networking site about this giveaway, like Facebook or Google+ and once again, leave a comment that you did so.

Other rules and stuff. A winner will be chosen at random from all eligible comments left by Wednesday, July 27th at 11:59pm mountain time (is it standard or daylight savings now?) and announced on July 28th on the blog. Sorry, but at this time I will only be able to ship the towels to an address in the United States. If you are outside of the US, I will gladly send it to someone in the US for you.

So there you have it. My first giveaway. Happy entering and good luck. I have a couple more projects in mind to post about so keep checking back!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Ruffled Scarf

I made this scarf way back in March as a "hello, spring" scarf. Little did I know I would need to use it as a "winter go away" scarf for the next couple of months. I didn't think summer would ever come this year. Anyway, this was one of my first attempts at branching out in my sewing. The tutorial was pretty easy to follow with lots of great pictures. Getting the ruffles just so was a little tricky for me though. I am going to go back and try this one again come fall with a heavier material and with a little more sewing experience under my belt.

The tutorial comes from Make It and Love It. The blog has tons of cute ideas and tutorials. Check it out and explore. I'm sure you will find a few things you want to make. From here she links to Sewing Republic, which has even more project ideas from other crafters. You can find the pdf tutorial for the scarf here.

Here's how my scarf turned out.
Sorry about one of the pictures being turned sideways - blogger is being buggy with that picture. And one last thing I liked about this project. It calls for about two yards of fabric, if I remember correctly, but you don't need the entire width. So there is enough for two scarves. One for you and one for a friend. My extra fabric is still sitting in my fabric drawer though . . . .

This is the first decorative scarf I have ever owned/worn so I needed a little help with how to tie it. I googled "how to tie a scarf" and this great site by popped up. So if you need a little help in this area, check it out.

Okay - giveaway is still on for this week. Most likely on Wednesday so check back. I'm thinking something for the kitchen.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Strawberry-Peach Jam

I originally thought this blog was going to be about crafty things like the previous post. But I got thinking about it and I decided food can be crafty too!

For a while now I've been wanting to make jam and about a month ago I roped my friend, Lucinda, into helping me. Everyone says how easy it is to make jam but I was a little nervous so help I received. And it didn't hurt that Lucinda brought over her canning pot so I didn't have to buy one. Thanks!

I got the recipe from Kraft Foods website. The website on the box of pectin led me there and it was really yummy. And easy too! I mean there was some prep work involved and I have burnt strawberry jam in my drip pan - but totally worth it. I've had way more peanut butter and jam on toast for breakfast this past month than I have for years. It's that yummy!

So here are my pics - and just remember - a food photographer I am not. Enjoy!

If you have a great recipe for jam that you love, let us know about it. My six-year-old loves the blackberry jam from Trader Joes, but since we don't have one around here and we're out, I need to make some of that next. And come back next week for a giveaway! I haven't decided what it will be yet, but it will be the first of many so tell your friends!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

My First Real Post - Afgahn, Cloche and Booties

Alright, so after two and a half months I am finally going to actually post a project I have made. I have made lots of stuff since starting this blog and I decide I better get around to posting something. So here we go.

I have three different projects in this post. First is a baby afghan. Well, it's actually a "super-simple throw", but I made it a little smaller to be a baby afghan. And it was just that, super-simple! If you can do a single and double crochet, this project is right up your alley. Pictured below is my second one that I made.
I forgot to get a picture of the first one I made. Would it be weird to ask the person I gave it to if I could snap a photo real quick? Anyway, the pattern is so easy that I just sat in front of the boob tube during quiet time to catch up on trash tv and at night sitting next to the hubs. I used Caron Simply Soft yarn in vanilla, off white, orchid and a sagey green (i don't have the wrapper with the exact color of green). And, in case you're wondering why I used vanilla and off white, I'll tell you. I had some leftover vanilla from the first afghan I made so I used it to start the second one. Then I bought some off white, thinking it was the same color and it wasn't. Whoops! You can kind of tell but only if you look real close. And I tried to make it look like I meant it to be that way by using some more vanilla to finish it off. So, let that be a lesson to you - always check the names of your colors, even if they look the same. If you want to make this bad boy for yourself, check out Coats and Clark's website here.

Okay, on to the next project. It's a little cloche. I had no idea what that was, but after looking at the picture, I assumed it was a hat. So I made it. And it turned out rather cute if I do say so myself.
The original pattern called for 100% cotton yarn but I just used my leftover Caron Simply Soft from my afghan. The pattern was really simple and comes together very quickly. If you look closely, there's a shell edging which is way cute. The pattern seems to run a little small or maybe I just crocheted tighter than usual on the first one I made. So I used a bigger hook on this one. There are patterns for children's sizes as well and could easily be adjusted to fit an adult. Also, on the original pattern the flower was sewed to the hat. But I thought it would be cuter to make the flower detachable so you could have more options. So, I made three flowers and hot glued them to a little hair clippy. Now you can change the flowers on the hat or use them by themselves in your hair or wherever else you want a little flower. So if you want to make this cute hat, uh I mean cloche, for yourself, check out Aesthetic Nest.

Okay, last project. I had been wanting to make some booties for a while but really hadn't found a pattern I liked. But then I found an amazing book, Little Crochet by Linda Permann. I originally got the book for a sweater pattern so the booties were an added bonus. (I'll have the sweater on here when I get around to making it. It's way cute.) Here's how mine turned out.

Yup, you guessed it - leftover afghan yarn. I think that's the vanilla that made the star. Again, these booties come together way easy and they are just so cute when finished that you just want to make more and more of them. I checked out the book from my local library so check there first and then decide if you want to buy. I might actually have to have a little birdie tell my hubs that this would be a great birthday present.

So there you have it. Any of these by themselves would make a great baby shower gift or a great I'm thinking about you gift. So have fun making these cute projects and let me know how yours turn out!