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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Little Boy Bow Tie

I don't have kids. I might some day. When I do, there are two things I desire more than anything else in my children. One I have little control over one (please please PLEASE Lord, I really want red-heads!) and the other I have quite a bit of control over (at least for the first couple years of their lives...) and this one is a desire for my children to be handsome and well-dressed. I'm thinking nothing but bow ties and sweater vests. Oh, and suspenders. And blazers with little patches on the elbows. But most definitely bow ties. Every day. They can wear jimjams to sleep in-- but if not sleeping-- bow ties. I'm serious.
I love little tiny boys dressed as little tiny men. LOVE it. There are so many ridiculously cute ways to wear a bow tie-- we just need more of them in our lives, my friends! I'm bringing it back, hardcore!
Anyway. My fav little boy, Dawson, turned two, and had a shocking lack of bow ties in his wardrobe. That had to be remedied.
So here's what we did to fix that:

I started with a scrap of fabric... I really loved these multi-colored stripes, but I wanted the stripes on the Bias, which of course uses up a larger portion of fabric. I had to do some piecing together to make it work, but I was able to hide all seams. (You can see I am using the quilter's square my Granny gave me-- that thing is invaluable, even when i am not quilting! Thanks Granny!)

 I cut two strips 15 inches by 3.5 inches. Pin right sides together and sew all four sides with a straight stitch. Leave a two inch opening on one of the long sides to turn it.

Clip corners and turn right side out. Iron... and hand stitch that 2" opening closed.

You know have a long skinny rectangle, fold it in thirds accordion style, as shown below. Cut a strip of fabric 5 inches by 2 inches. Fold right sides together lengthwise, and sew along the long side of that... and iron flat. Then fold in half again and sew a seam 1 inch from the fold (pictured below-- sorry for limited picturage of these last few steps, I wasn't thinking...?) I trimmed off the excess... then turned that inside out again.

 Now fold up the (already folded) bowtie and feed it through the small loop you just made...
 VIOLA! Okay, I added a strap to it... you can add a strap that secures with Velcro, slides, or a bow tie clip. We'll discuss these options at a later date. (the one pictured has a strap that secures with Velcro-- just in case you cared)

Cute, no? It looked super cute on my friend Dawson. I think there will be more bow ties in our future... Yes?

(Hey... it's a BOY project. Have you guys seen Celebrate the Boy on MADE? It's an inspiring an much-needed series of all handmade 'boy stuff'. Check it out! )

CHECK OUT Little Boy Bow Ties: Part 2 for a tutorial on an adjustable strap!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Scrabble LOVE

I saw THIS on Ucreate the other day... And knew I must create it for my mom.

My mom is Scrabble Queen. I have never beat her. I don't think anyone in our family ever has. She gets super competitive about it. If you come close to beating her she gets a little ticked at you.  Not that she's a poor sport... she just doesn't know how to loose at Scrabble.

 I knew this would be the perfect gift to brighten her Valentine's day... and immediately went to work. Okay, I lied. I immediately put my dad to work. I have access to power tools... but no workshop-ish type place to use them, and my back porch is still frigid and snow covered. I know you can purchase wood at Home Depot and for a sweet smile and a good batting of the lashes you can get them to make a few cuts for you. But Daddy will do it for much less than that, and he'll pull the wood out of his stash for you... even though he doesn't understand the point of all these 'projects' you need his power tools mad skills and manliness for.
So he cut me up some little blocks and I took those puppies home and sanded them nice and smooth. Then I used my handy-dandy Silhouette machine to cut 2 inch letters out of black vinyl... slapped those on the blocks... then topped the whole thing of with about three coats of Krylon Clear Satin spray finish... and Voila!

Actually, they looked so cute sitting on this shelf in my kitchen (yes, with a cookie cutter) that I had a hard time sending them home with my mom. BUT after seeing them, my dad actually was very impressed with the project and offered to cut and sand as many blocks as I wanted. Heh heh.
Anyway... Happy Valentines Day. Celebrate by surrounding yourself with the people and things you love-- be it family, chocolates, fluffy white dogs, or games you just don't know how to lose. :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Quilt Teaser

I am currently working on two quilts.

Both are currently incomplete.

Both are gifts. (one an extra special one... no I am not the 'Mom' represented below-- so don't take it there.)

So you see why I can't fully disclose the progress or results at this point. 

But I thought I would put up some prettiness for you to gaze upon in your anticipation. 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Tummy ache-- and totally worth it.

For several days now Z and I have been discussing and reminiscing about childhood snacks. I mentioned an Orange Julius and and he enthusiastically agreed... and neither of us has shaken the thought since then. Though we have had several arguments about how you make them. I remember a recipe that my mom used to make where you used an egg-- a whole egg-- shell and all-- just dropped into the blender, and how fascinated my sister and I were with that. Z claims they always made theirs with orange juice concentrate and yogurt. Yogurt? I don't know about that...
Last night after dinner we were lounging on the couch and Z said: Let's make Orange Julius!!!
And I was ever so happy to oblige my husband when he was that excited about food and when he used the phrase "let's make" implying that he would like to be a part of the making process. DONE.

6 oz (half a can) of frozen orange juice concentrate
1 cup water
1 cup milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
6-8 ice cubes
Put the first 5 ingredients in a blender and blend on high until it is well blended and frothy. While blender is running start adding ice cubes one at a time until you have reached desired consistency. Serve in a pretty glass with a bendy straw! :)

We each drank two glasses and got a massive tummy ache. But it was so yummy and so worth it. I imagine the Julius will be making repeat appearances in our evening routine. Yum.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Paper Crafter

My friend Erin is super crafty and really into scrapbooking and cardmaking and all those paper crafts that have terrified me for years. Paper crafting-- I don't know what it is about it, I am just not patient or skilled enough to complete a project. So I don't. Erin laughs at me each time I express my fear of paper crafting.
Reeeewind about a month to Christmas. Santa was extra nice to me. He put a Silhouette under my tree. Yay fun. I was expressing to my friends once again that I was not a paper crafter and Erin said-- well you've got a silhouette now, so you are about to be. 
And I have to be honest with you, while I was BEYOND tickled about my new crafty gadget... it sat untouched for about four weeks, because I was still pretty intimidated by it. And you know... there's that paper thing...
Anyway. I finally busted it out about a week or so ago, and OMG I will never go back. I have barely scratched the surface of what this thing can do, and I am so loving it. Yay.

The first thing I made was a Happy Birthday cupcake topper for my niece. Not really ambitious or exciting, but it turned out cute and I was happy. (didn't take a picture...)
Z was impressed and asked me if I would make him a bookmark. I was like yeah, sure... and put it at the end of my to do list. Then he asked about four more times that same day, so I relented, and designed him a bookmark. 

(I had to put the thing together with fabric glue because I had no regular glue... Not a paper crafter, remember???) He was very impressed. We went to the store to get appropriate glue. As I type this he is requesting 2 more bookmarks. Husbands are silly.

At the beginning of the year there was this little thing going around on facebook where people who responded to a status post would get a handmade gift in 2011... and I decided to play along. My gifts are done, and I was trying to decide how to wrap them and I thought of those little pillow box things... and wouldn't you know... My Silhouette can make one of those. Easy peasy. 
But it couldn't be easy peasy, could it? It needed to be pretty and personalized... and well...
It needed to have intricate paper flowers on it. 
I did have a lot of fun designing and putting these flowers together after my spiffy machine cut them all out. All these shapes are ones that come with the software already, so that's pretty awesome too!
And I figured out how to weld all my text together so I could easily personalize them without a million tiny pieces to glue down.
And they are just colorful and make me happy. Oh, and if you happen to be someone owed a gift, and you see your name on one of these boxes... well, your gift is ready!