Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sail ho!

I love how when kids see 2 sheets hanging out on a rope to dry, right away they see a magnificent pirate ship waiting to be sailed. These 3 spent nearly all day on board.
 Sophie was, of course, the Captain. Will was "all the other pirates who did important jobs like hoisting the sails and such." and Madeline was the "princess". of course.

 There were lots and LOTS of "ARRRH! arrrh! Arrrhs!" going on. As well as lots of fighting off the bad guys with their little lego swords. (skillfully made and continually repaired by pirate Will)

 (I love how he's using his toes in this one) Will was very specific with this outfit. He searched high and low for these red shorts because in his mind these were the epitome of pirate apparel. Especially paired with his orange shirt and bandana. :)
 oh look! the princess came on deck
 Ahoy, Matey!

linking to


Monday, August 29, 2011

quick ruffled gift

I went to Target in search for a baby girl gift last week and found all 4 of these coordinating pieces on clearance and the perfect size for next spring. But....i thought the little white hoodie needing a little sprucing up...besides, all white is kind of an accident waiting to happen so i thought some ruffles in the front would make some nice camouflage. :)
I cut these strips out of some old knit t-shirts. Then i adjusted my tension to a loose basting type stitch that gathered it up all on its own. Then i stretched them out a bit and sewed them onto the jackets.

This quick little clippy to finished it off. This is super simple, but if you'd like a little how-to, you can look at this tutorial HERE.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

framed chalkboard!

Hello? Hello! So, my life is kinda going in spurts recently. For a few days i get super motivated, productive and on top of life and then the loooong list of life's to-do's overwhelms me and i kinda run around in circles starting and stopping new tasks and generally just getting more overwhelmed...Last week was like that, hence, my absence. But anyway, this is a new week. My kitchen is clean and i'm ready to start fresh. :)

So, this chalkboard project is not all that original but Handy Andy put a twist on it that is pure genius. (Although, knowing how many crazy talented people are out there in the world wide web, this twist is probably not all that original... But in MY world, he takes the cake.) 
 Materials: * "hard board"- this came in a gigantic sheet at lowes for about $6 bucks. i measured my frame and had them cut it to size....but here's the twist. Don't measure the inside of the frame like you would if you were measuring the glass that fits inside the frame edge. Instead, just roughly measure the outside so it not go past the outer frame edge. THUS, creating a perfect lip for the chalk and eraser! Does that make sense?  (There are a few pictures below that illustrate what i mean)
 * Frame (i spray-painted this one yellow) Oh, and if your frame has the little metal pokey things that keep the glass/backing from falling out, you'll need to take pliers and remove them. You WON'T be putting the chalkboard inside of those!
 * Chalk board spray paint.
1)Spray frame **make sure you paint the inner edge- which is usually covered by the picture/glass!
2)Spray the chalk paint onto the hardboard and allow to dry. btw, this took LOTS of coats to get good coverage!
3) "Season" the board by rubbing chalk all over it and then smearing it with lots of little hands.

4) Place the board on the back of the frame and staple onto the back outer edge of frame. 

Do you see the perfect little lip that was created?!?! cool, eh?

 All done and ready to hang in the school room...actually its already been hung in the school room. But then i had handy andy unhang it. I promised that this time i'm actually going to spend time thinking about where i want it hung before i ask him to pound more holes. :)

 {linking to:  life made lovely and skip to my lou and the lettered cottage!}

Monday, August 22, 2011

toddler aprons

This is a somewhat condensed apron tutorial. Given the fact that i had never made an apron OR used bias tape before this project, i found it extremely comical even taking pictures of the process. I am soooo far from knowing what i'm doing but winging it usually works for me and besides,  kid aprons and bias tape are clearly very user-friendly. Otherwise, i would never have made it through...
Nevertheless, i did still want to give a brief how-to in case there is someone out there who needs first-hand assurance that a project like this is simple and easy and should not be intimidating in the least.

Now, what was the occasion that i should get it into my head to make these?? None other than my adorable little niece and nephew's birthday. You can see all the lovely details of their super cute ice cream party HERE at my sister's cool blog. :)

Alrighty, well, here's what you need:

* Apron fabric (this was kind of like a duck cloth but a little more flexible)
* Template- I used this home depot apron, although i made it a couple inches bigger all around.
*1 piece of coordinating pocket fabric
*1 package of double fold bias tape (if you get 2 packages you would have enough to make the neck strap out of the bias tape as well. I chose however, to just buy 1 pkg and make it out of the apron material instead)
*Neck Strap- mine was about 3x15 inches

1) After your apron is cut out, then cut the pocket, fold, iron and then sew the top edge (this is not pictured as i completely forgot about this step until i had pinned the whole apron! ha:))

2) Pin pocket onto apron
3) Begin pinning bias tape, leaving some extra on the edges to turn under

4) for the waist ties, start a new piece of tape, overlap the bottom piece and then continue it up towards the top of the apron. make sure you leave enough to tie.

5) Fold over the top edges
6) Sew all around the edges of the apron. Don't forget to sew the apron ties shut!
7) Sew the bottom of the pocket to the apron. And sew vertically on the pocket to create divisions
8) Fold neck strap fabric in half (lengthwise), right side in, sew and flip right side out, iron and top stitch.
9) Sew neck straps on securely
Voila'  Two little apron/ art smocks!

Sister always dresses her kids respectably (see picture above? yeah well, her lil guy loves to wear those bow-ties and her cutie pie girl is always in a girly dress. wish it would rub off on their cousins....Oh Well) so i figured these would come in handy for even everyday marker activities. :)

Packaged up and ready for fun

linking to: A bowl full of lemons and sewmuchado

Sunday, August 21, 2011


**I know other people's vacation pictures aren't exactly the most fascinating to look at, but like i've said before, this blog might be the only "scrapbook" my family ever has, so, just scroll through them quickly.;)

For Will's 6th Birthday Andy and i decided to take him on a quick California adventure. He had never flown on a big plane and since his daddy is a pilot and all, we thought it was about time. So, we made arrangements with our wonderful grandparents to take care of the other 3, put ourselves on stand-by tickets and hoped for the best. Amazingly, we got on the first flight, Andy and Will even got to sit by each other and we arrived in CA by 9:30am.

Will's primary wish was to see the ocean, but then his Nana offered to give a day in Disneyland to him for his, we got off the plane, our super fabulous friends picked us up and let us take their car to the Magical Kingdom. 

This was Andy's first visit to Disneyland as well which made it even more fun.

The jungle cruise was our first ride and Will kept this expression the entire time- except when he was truly ducking to get away from the dangerous hippos and other wild animals. Afterwards, we had a big talk about animatronics which definitely cleared up some things for him. ;)

His favorite part of disneyland was, by far, everything pirate related. Although, he was extremely reluctant to go on Pirates of the Caribbean, and we started feeling like bad parents for pushing him to go through with it. Thankfully though, he had a great time and now calls it his "favorite ride ever" and wants to go on it 5 times in a row the next time we're at Disneyland. 

We stayed all day, watched the parade and the fireworks, went on nearly all the rides and didn't leave the park until closing. It was a great day with lots of memories. Then we drove our friends' car back to their house and stayed the night with them. We are SO thankful for the blessing of such wonderful friends who hosted us all 3 days!

The rest of our little vacation was spent just hanging out, shopping, relaxing and playing at the beach. 
Will absolutely loved his first ocean experience. He was adorable.

On our way home!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Disneyland Party

Will has been talking about wanting to see the ocean for the last 2+ years. So, Andy and i got it into our heads to try and make that wish come true for his 6th birthday. We made did make it out to CA on his stand-by tickets and were planning on just living it up at the beach....but then, Will's Nana had the idea to give Will a day at Disneyland for his birthday. So....we hopped off the plane in LA and went straight to the "happiest place on earth". Anyway, we had a great time (pictures coming), but when we got back home we still needed to have a little bday party with family so I decided to carry the "magic" back home and make it a Disneyland party. 

I really tried to keep it inexpensive and use what i already had as much as possible.
So...the banner and bunting was just paper and free-hand letters, and all the rest of the decor was just stuff we had on hand or could easily make. Oh, and i printed out some pics from disneyland and stuck them all around. :)
Of course, Will's favorite ride was the Pirates of the Caribbean so Mickey definitely had to share center stage at the party.
The ship was super easy...especially thanks to Handy Andy who made it his business to create accurate sails for the ship.
the mickey ears, were just stiff black felt glued onto headbands, when i ran out of headbands i glued some onto bobby pins for the adults. Side note: Buy headbands at the dollar store. I got a pack of 6 for $1. Packs at Target or Walmart were at least $4. :)
Disney character pez dispensers were from the dollar store too!

Since it was MY birthday too, its become tradition that i at least get my own cake at our shared party. This year my brother in law made this most fabulous lime cheesecake. It was the BEST thing ever. Thanks Nathan!
My lovely sister in law and mom in law. Don't they look great in their mickey ears?!
Little Eric was all ready for the party too. Isn't my newest nephew the cutest?!

Oh Baby Ben, everyone knows you're the cutest too. 

Happy Birthday buddy!  We love you!

Oh, funny story: So, Will and i had been talking about the disneyland bday party idea for a couple of days before the day and had been throwing out ideas etc. Well, the day before the party, we were in the car and he, (completely seriously) started talking about trying to find a store or somewhere where we could find the right parts to maybe make the pirates of the caribbean ride. "Like some gears, a boat, robots etc." Anyway, there was too much craziness going on in the car at the moment so i didn't respond to him then which was fortunate because i kinda panicked. I started realizing that somehow i had given him cause to totally blow his expectations for the party waaaay out of proportion and was consequently going to be super disappointed with the results. 
That night at bedtime i knew i needed to talk to him. I started out with, "Soooo buddy, i think we need to talk about your birthday party tomorrow...i know we're really excited about the disneyland theme and i love how you have tons of really great ideas....but, i know today you were talking about maybe trying to buy parts to make the pirate ride...and i just wanted to let you know that as cool as that would be... we're just really not going to be able to do"
Well, you should have seen his was like he had just pulled off the biggest joke ever without even trying to make one. He said, "Mom! i knoooow we can't build the pirate ride! That would like take a whole YEAR! There's not even any way it would fit in our backyard!!!" then he just giggled and giggled and giggled and reveled in the fact that he had totally fooled me.  It was a great moment and definitely made me realize how much my little guy is growing up. :)