Monday, September 30, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide - Parenting Edition

As I've spent the last week attempting to potty train my daughter, I've dealt with my fair share of frustration and impatience... and resignation. I think all parents will know what I'm talking about. Don't get me wrong -- I truly believe that my children are amazing and wonderful and I love them with all my heart. But man, being a parent is hard sometimes. As I thought about this, I decided that parenthood requires a certain sense of humor so that you can laugh about the ridiculous situations you find yourself in. Whether it's taking a kid to the potty for the 5th time in an hour or having the neighbor kids report that your son is baring his hind parts in the front yard, sometimes you just need to laugh.

And that is what inspired me to put together this Parenting Gift Guide. I've collected a selection of gift ideas from various Etsy shops that would be perfect for any parent. I hope you'll click through and visit some of these shops because they have more great stuff!

I wish that my kids would understand who the boss is supposed to be. Maybe this clock would help them remember... you know, if they could read.

It seems like it could be good to have a nice journal like this in which to vent my frustrations. And no, I don't really want to punch my kids in the face (because they have really sweet faces), but venting wouldn't hurt.

I'm going to start saying this to my kids. Maybe it could serve as a reminder that they ought to be a bit more grateful that I pour them glasses of milk when they ask for them.

No such thing when you're a parent. 

I feel like this on a lot of days. Sometimes I wish I could be the one to lay down on the floor and cry until someone offered me a snack. Or maybe I could be the one who can run and play all day long without a care in the world. Or I can spend my day coloring in my blanket fort. Sounds relaxing.

Every week when I talk to my mom on the phone and tell her our stories from the week, I am just amazed at the insanity of parenting small children. But it is true that I brought this on myself.

Our son is an epically picky eater. And now our daughter is learning to follow suit.  A sign like this might help me enforce my demands that they eat what is on their plates. Maybe they would respect a sign's authority more than they do mine. Maybe.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Little Distracted


That's right, folks... I am working on potty training this week, so my real posts may be sparse while I attempt to get the portable toilet in my purse... or just work up the nerve to go anywhere more than three feet away from the potty. Wish me luck!

Monday, September 23, 2013

From Blunder to Wonder... Lengthening Roman Shades

I made a major blunder last week when I ordered new Roman shades for the doors in our kitchen... they were too short! I ordered them from Window Blind Outlet and got a fantastic price, but I wasn't so careful about measuring before placing my order. In my defense, the shades I ordered only came in one length... four inches shorter than my window. I just assumed that shades made for doors would be a standard length. I assumed incorrectly.

Anyway, the shades arrived and looked fabulous until we hung them up and realized my mistake. So then I faced a dilemma... to send them back and try to find another set, or to make them work somehow.

Obviously, I decided to make them work! Back when I recovered our dining room chairs, I had ordered the fabric with the same print in two different colors (intending to eventually recover our barstool cushions too). This lovely grey fabric had been shoved into a bin to be used when I got around to it. So I pulled it out and decided that the shades needed it more than the barstools did.

If you are going to attempt a project such as this, please consider the following things that I learned in the process:

  • If you're altering shades for windows that are side-by-side, be careful to match up the print.
  • Measure thoroughly before you start so you don't waste fabric.
  • Roman shades have stiff slats that are not easily maneuvered through a sewing machine. Be patient and make sure you have some space around you when sewing!

Ultimately, this project was pretty simple and I love the results. I figured out how much fabric I wanted to add to the bottom of the shade, cut two strips with matching print, hemmed all sides to the correct size, then sewed it to the bottom of the shade, just above the bottom slat. I did the same on the valance.

I love that the grey and white print breaks up all the white of the doors and the shades. And these shades really are a great quality for the price!

Have you ever taken one of your blunders and come up with a creative solution? I'd love to hear about it!

{Linked on Carrie This Home, Sew Can Do, Uncommon Designs, Sumo's Sweet Stuff, All Things Fee, Serendipity and Spice, DIY Home Sweet Home, This Gal Cooks, Be Colorful, I Should Be Mopping, Craft-O-Maniac}

Friday, September 20, 2013

Blogger Spotlight - Chelsea @ Get Your Crap Together!

**Sorry to anyone who has stopped by this week hoping for new posts! I've been sick and it's really destroyed my creative juices. I hope to back to business next week!**

This week's Blogger Spotlight is Chelsea from Get Your Crap Together! Be sure to click on the link provided below to see Chelsea's blog and other social media sites! Chelsea's blog is awesome and if you like sewing, definitely check it out. I am especially loving her "Fall Clothing Series" that is going on now. She is sharing a lot of great ideas on making, styling, and altering fall clothing for kids... and gives her readers opportunities to link up their own posts in the process! Anyway, enough from me... let's see what Chelsea has to say for herself:

My name is Chelsea and I blog over at Get Your Crap Together!  I have been blogging and "getting my crap together" for 3 years and I really love it.  One of my favorite series I have done on my blog was this summer doing the "Organize Me!!  Sizzlin' Summer" series.  I had loads of guest bloggers, some great free family binder printables and an organizing linky party.  My other favorite series is our "31 Days of Halloween".  I love Halloween so it is great to get ideas and inspiration with this series.

K: Describe yourself in 5 words or less:

C: Organized, fun, motivate, silly, happy

K: How and why did you start your blog?

C: I started my blog as a way to be accountable for keeping my family more organized.  It has evolved into a way to express myself and make new friends.

K: What are some of your favorite posts/projects you have done?

C: I have a lot of favorite posts.  But if I have to narrow it down, I would say my DIY Children's Bookcase and my Mail Organizer Tutorial.  Both of these projects saved me from going insane in my own house, but they also are so useful that I still use them daily.  My son and daughter both love to get books from the bookshelf and I keep my counters clean with my mail organizer.

K: What do you do when you're not blogging?

C: When I am not blogging, I enjoy spending time with my children.  I also tend to sew too much and read too many books!

K: Which craft supply could you be accused of hoarding?

C: I am not one for hoarding, but if I have to choose, I would say sewing patterns!  I love them.  I collect them, I use them, but I also enjoy making my own.

K: Tell us something random about yourself:

C: Something random about myself is that I can make balloon animals!  I know.  Totally random.  But true.

I'd love for you to stop by and say hi!  We love new bloggy friends!  Or check us out on Facebook, Pinterest or BlogLovin'.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Trendy Tuesday - A Hexilicious Round-Up

I have been seeing hexies everywhere these days and now I am thinking of trying it out myself. Now, I am not a very experienced quilter, but I've found tutorials on how to piece hexes, so I will be giving it a whirl.

In the meantime, here is a round-up of my favorite hexie projects that I have seen so far:

**Please don't pin these images from my blog, but click through and pin from the original source!**

The "Hexcellent Headband" by Michele Made Me
The "Hexy Clock Ikea Hack" by Sew Fearless
"Hexagon Picture Frame" by Landee See Landee Do

"Scattered Hexagon Pillow" by Jacks & Kate 
"Quilted Hexie Stocking" by Simplify
"DIY Instagram Hexagon Frame" by Oleander And Palm

Monday, September 16, 2013

Oh So Fabulous Award

This week, my blog was nominated for the Oh So Fabulous Award by Blair over at Baby For Scale. Thanks Blair!

Rules for participating:
  1. You must link back to the person who nominated you.
  2. You must answer the 5 questions given to you by your nominator.
  3. You must pick bloggers, each with under 1,000 subscribers, to be nominated for the award. (I chose BlogLovin' statistics for my nominees.)
  4. You must come up with 5 questions for YOUR nominees to answer.
  5. Notify your award nominees. 
*Be sure to include the Oh So Fabulous graphic with your blog post*

Questions From Blair

1. What is your guiltiest pleasure? You're I'm kind of ashamed to admit this pleasure!

Eating all the chocolate chips in the house. My husband has been known to hide bags of chocolate chips on the uppermost shelves just so I won't eat all of them.

2. What is your go-to song when you are in a funk? The one you belt out at the top of your lungs!

I don't usually belt songs out at the top of my lungs... but I do often catch myself singing "Yellow Submarine" an awful lot. That must be it.

3. What is your most embarrassing moment? Give us the goods!

I think that I have repressed most embarrassing memories because I always struggle to answer this question. The only one I can think of now is when I didn't pull my foot out of my bike pedal straps soon enough and tipped over at a stop light.

4. If money were no question, what would you buy?

A house bigger than 1400 square feet with space for an actual craft/sewing room and a real piano!

5. What's the worst piece of advice you've ever been given?

"You just need to relax." Referring to my parenting frustrations with my strong-willed son.

My Nominees

Meegan @ Meegan Makes
Jayson & Ashley @ Him and Her
Anne @ Circus Berry
Bethany @ Pitter and Glink
Stephanie @ The Tip Toe Fairy

Questions for My Nominees
  1. What is the weirdest thing you've ever eaten?
  2. If you could go anywhere, where would it be and why?
  3. What are you afraid of and why?
  4. Name your top three favorite things about blogging.
  5. What is your biggest pet peeve?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Homemade Halloween Costumes - A Preview of Coming Attractions

Even though I don't like wearing costumes for Halloween, I love making fun costumes for my kids. This year, I have been so excited to make costumes, so I was a bit disappointed when Eddie declared he wants to be a skeleton. I did my best to convince him to be Jack Skellington instead of a plain old skeleton, but he could not be swayed. So, a skeleton he will be.

As for Violet, she is still too little to care very much. I thought up a few ideas of creative and unique costumes she could wear and eventually settled on the Backson (from Winnie the Pooh). Luckily, she was more easily persuaded than Eddie was.

I am about to begin the actual costume construction, and since I have the opportunity to guest post a costume tutorial on Blissful and Domestic two weeks before Halloween, I thought I'd give my readers a Preview of Coming Attractions!

For Eddie's skeleton, I've gotten him a black shirt and black pants, as well as some awesome glow-in-the-dark skeleton knee socks that I found at Target. I'm undecided on whether to use white felt for the bones or glow fabric paint. I know he would love to glow in the dark, so I'll probably end up painting his skeleton onto his clothes.

As for Violet's Backson, I found some purple velour pants at Wal-Mart, along with a turquoise shirt. I plan to add turquoise yarn to the torso since "the hide is like a shaggy rug." Then I will make a headband with horns and "a mop of hair that's red."

If you are unfamiliar with The Backson, here's the clip (right after a Little Mermaid commercial):

The Backson on Disney Video

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Quilted Sewing Satchel

I've been working on this one for a while and finally had some free time to finish it up this morning. If you'd like to see a tutorial on how I did my embroidery, check that out here.

I do a fair amount of embroidery. One of my favorite things about embroidery is how portable it is. But after several times of sticking my embroidery project in my purse and then stabbing myself with a needle when searching for my keys, I decided that maybe I need a small bag to keep my embroidery stuff in so that it is separate. And so, the quilted sewing satchel was born.

This was a pretty simple project. After completing the embroidery, the satchel only took about 30 minutes to quilt and put together. This could also be a great beginner project. I didn't take step-by-step photos, but here's a quick break-down of the process:

  • Decide on the size you want your completed satchel to be. Add 1/4 inch to each side for seam allowances.
  • Cut two pieces of your outer fabric and two pieces of your lining fabric to this size. Also cut two pieces of batting this size.
  • Create your "sandwiches." Stack your front pieces, wrong sides together, with batting between. Do the same with the back pieces.
  • Baste (loosely stitch) around the edges.
  • Quilt as desired. I did two vertical straight lines using a quilting stitch, then two horizontal straight lines. Without embroidery, a more complex quilting pattern could work well.
  • Place your quilted pieces right sides together and sew around the sides and bottom. Turn right side out.
  • Finish off the top using bias tape.
To keep my satchel closed, I added velcro to the inside lining. You could use any type of fastener you like, or leave it open.

{Linked on I Gotta Create, Life After Laundry, Embracing Change, Sunshine & A Summer Breeze, Willamette Valley Wonder Woman, Live Laugh Rowe, Rhinestone Beagle, Artsy Fartsy Mama, Crafty Blog Stalker, 36th Avenue, 7Alive, Sewlicious Home Decor}

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

DIY Cropped Toddler Jacket

Every time there is any mention of scheduling family pictures, I immediately become obsessed with finding the perfect outfits for everyone to wear. My extended family is planning family pictures in October, so of course, I already know what we're all going to wear. We're going for fall colors and my little family will be wearing olive green, orange, and tan. I found a fabulous orange dress on summer clearance for my 2-year old, but since the photos will be taken at the end of October, I figured I should plan on cooler weather. So I figured I'd whip up a little jacket for her to wear over her sundress.

Luckily, I found the perfect tutorial from The Sewing Rabbit for a "Gathered Pocket Jacket."

Be sure to click through and check out the photos and tutorial. The tutorial was very easy to follow and turned out super cute! I made a few modifications, which I'll explain below.

My original idea was to make Violet a military-ish jacket in olive green. I found some olive green polka dot fabric on clearance at Hobby Lobby and my idea evolved. Here is how mine turned out:

Since I opted for a lighter-weight cotton, the jacket's drape isn't quite what I was hoping for. I lined it with silky ivory lining and added some lace detail on the pockets. My jacket ended up with a different neckline than the original, so instead of using buttons, I folded the corners back and tacked them down with a couple of stitches so it has lapels.

I think that, all things considered, it turned out really well and Violet loves her "coat." Since I still have 6 weeks until family photos, I'll probably mess around with it some more to see if I can get it fitting better (i.e., narrowing the sleeves).

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Ready for Fall Round-Up

I don't think I have ever heard of anyone who dislikes fall. But I think I am one of the season's biggest fans. I anticipate it all year long. Unfortunately, Utah doesn't usually have the best autumn because you never know how long or short it's going to be. I would happily give up summer and winter if I could have 3/4 of the year be autumn.

But since that's not possible, I just have to anticipate it so that I can enjoy it to the fullest when it does arrive. Part of that this year is thinking of fall craft ideas I'd like to try, which is why I've put together this "Ready for Fall Round-Up." Enjoy!

Book Page Pumpkin by I Heart Nap Time
I love anything that uses book pages in creative ways and I think I might be making a pumpkin like this one this year! I love it!

Buckets with Burlap by Robb Restyle
I don't know about everyone else, but I am really liking all the metal projects I am seeing lately. And old buckets make me ridiculously nostalgic for my grandparents' apple orchard.

Hedgehog Craft Bag at Cut Out and Keep
Hedgehogs are cute! And this bag tutorial is a great way to add some cute but hip woodland creatures to your style. 

Scrappy Owl Pillow by The Eternal Thread
I know owls are everywhere, and I'm usually not a big fan of them (major fear of birds here). But I couldn't resist this scrappy owl pillows. Since I'm a fabric hoarder, I probably already have all I need to whip some of these up!

Autumn in a Jar by Fancy House Road
I want my house to smell like autumn all the time. I'm definitely going to try this craft idea out!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Blogger Spotlight - Jody @ Homey Home Design

Time for another Blogger Spotlight!

This week, we're getting to know Jody who blogs at Homey Home Design. Jody has a fantastic blog, including some awesome organization ideas. I found three projects on her blog that I am excited to try out for myself. Check them out here:

Door Mat DIY
Monster Family
Bike Makeover

I asked Jody to share some things with us about her and her blog. Be sure to hop on over and leave her nice comments because she is great! I'm including her social media links at the end of the post, so be sure to become a follower.

K: How and why did you start your blog?

J: I named it "Homey Home design" because my kids call our house our "homey home". 

I started my blog almost exactly 2 years ago as a creative outlet. I love to do craft/diy/home improvement projects and having a blog was a great way to share what we're up to. Having a blog also encourages me to follow through on these projects too! Nothing like accountability! 

K: What are some of your favorite posts/projects you have done?

J: Some of my favorite projects include the redo of our kitchen, striping the bathroom ceiling, and the updates to my entryway. 

K: What do you do when you're not blogging?

J: When I'm not blogging I am hanging with my four kiddos and hubby, working part time as a geriatric social worker, and living out my faith as best I can.

K: Which craft supply could you be accused of hoarding?

J: As for craft hoarding......hmmmm.....I am a bit OCD when it comes to organization and cleanliness. I am not apt to hoard anything but I sure do love drop cloth fabric and have quite a stash of that!

K: Tell us something random about yourself!

J: On a random note, we just got a new puppy, and let me tell you, its just like having a newborn all over again! 

Here's a link to Jody's latest series on back to school:

Follow Homey Home Design here: Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, Twitter

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Simple Preschool Name Magnets

At my church, I help out with the 2-year old kids. As you can imagine, this can get a little crazy. We have a great organization and stick to a tight schedule so that the kids (and adults) can make it through two hours incident free.

This project came about to serve several purposes. First, these name magnets help the adults know which kids are there each Sunday and remember their names. Second, the magnets hold the childrens' coloring pages until they go home. And third, they help jazz up an otherwise boring and generic classroom.

The great thing is that this project is one that even slightly older kids could do themselves! Here is a simple tutorial:

For the project, all you need is craft foam (from the dollar store), school glue, scissors, and a pen or marker.

Decide what shapes you want on your magnet and cut them out. I decided to do an animal that corresponds with each letters (as in J for jackrabbit). For some of the more complicated animals, I found a simple online tutorial to help me draw a recognizable animal.

Then, paste your shapes onto the background. School glue will adhere well once it dries. While it is wet, the foam is extremely slippery! So try to position everything and then leave it alone until it dries.

Then I colored the outside edge of the shapes (and the details on the animal) with a marker to make them stand out and wrote the child's name on the background. Attach a magnet to the back and you're done!

{Linked on Embracing Change, Sensational Creations, Live Laugh Rowe, I Gotta Create, 7Alive, 52 Mantels, The 36th Avenue, Joyful Homemaking, The Crafty Blog Stalker}