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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Pinwheel, pinwheel spinning around….

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Pinwheel, pinwheel spinning around….

I have that stupid song stuck in my head. You remember the 80’s Nickelodeon show? This one? Yep, stuck in my head. Why, you ask? Because I’m making pinwheels. Yep. Pinwheels. I’m hosting a baby shower for my sister-in-law next weekend and I’m working on some of the decorations. I’ve seen these paper pinwheels all over Etsy and decided to give it a go. They’re turning out pretty cute, so I thought I’d do a post about them.

They’re actually pretty easy to make. They’d be even easier if I had double-sided paper. But I don’t. So I’m basically making some by gluing two sheets together. Fun times.

So, here’s what you do.

Start with two sheets of 12×12 scrap booking paper of what ever color/design you like. My color scheme is black and white and turquoise.

I then folded each sheet into fourths creating four smaller squares, and cut them out.

Now glue them together. Woohoo! (I cut them into smaller squares before gluing because I was afraid of not having enough glue to hold the edges in place if I glued them first.)

Now the fun begins. Grab your scissors and cut from each corner in towards the center.

At this point, I warmed up my glue gun. I put a little dab in the center of my paper and started folding and gluing.

Now find something to glue in the center to hide where they all came together. I used a fun glittery button on this one.

Here are some of the others.

My plan is to make them into a garland to string across my mantle. I plan to punch small holes in the top two corners and run a hemp cord through them. I’ll definitely post pictures when I get it all finished!


Play Stroller Re-do

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Play Stroller Re-do

The Little Monkey got this doll stroller for her birthday last year. She loved it. Pushed it around constantly. Then the big kids got a hold of it. And they thought it would be fun to sit in. Well, let’s just say that it’s not build for a 3 and 4 year old to sit in. The seat cover was pretty much torn to pieces. So I decided, why not just make her a new cover for it? I found this fabric while digging through a box in the garage that I had completely forgotten that I bought. I bought it years ago to make something for my niece (which I obviously never got around to doing). It’s this precious Peter Rabbit print that I just adore. So I had a mission. Stroller re-do.

First, I deconstructed the stroller. Pulled the cover, basket, and canopy off.

Before the canopy came off.

Basically all there was to this thing was a layer of fabric with a bias tape trim. Nothing terribly difficult. I reused some of the pieces from the original stroller, like the seat buckles and straps and the little mesh pieces from the basket (mostly because I didn’t have anything else to use at my house already. Why leave the house if I didn’t have to?). So I took the deconstructed pieces, pinned them to my fabric, and cut them out.

         You get the idea.

At this point, I pinned the bias tape around the seat cover (being sure to stick the buckle/strap pieces in where needed) and sewed it on.

Then I folded it into a “seat” shape, pinned it in place, and sewed it down.

   As you can see by the lighting, we hit night time!

Next I worked on the basket that fits under the stroller. This part was a little trickier, mostly because of the shape I had to sew it into. It was just a bit fiddly, trying to work it on the machine.

The original basket had this hard cardboard piece in the bottom of it, so I reused that. I just sewed it between two layers of fabric.

The cardboard piece is in there. Promise!

This is when I had to attach the mesh pieces I reused from the original stroller.

Here was where I had to do a little experimenting to see how I needed to fold it, etc. to get it to line up correctly. But in it the end, it wasn’t too difficult.

Now the original stroller used snaps to attach the basket to the underneath bar. But I don’t have a fancy snap press. Or even pliers. So I just used good ol’ velcro.

And all attached.    

Now it was time to do the canopy. I cut the pieces just as like the original, then pinned everything into place, and sewed.

On the original, they must have sewed the canopy into place before they assembled everything, because unless I wanted to sew it on by hand (and I didn’t!) there was no way to do it how it had been originally done. So I improvised. I attached some velcro again. Three little spots on the small fabric flap and their coordinating pieces on the actual canopy. Then I strapped it on.

I think it turned out pretty well!

And the sleepy Little Monkey was thrilled to have her stroller back in working condition this morning!

Shirt to Dress refashion

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Shirt to Dress refashion

I’ve been seeing all of these t-shirt refashions on Pinterest lately and decided to do one myself. We have a TON of t-shirts in this house. A ton. But most of them aren’t terribly cute. They’re just solid colored shirts, some of which have some sort of logo or saying, etc. But I found one that I had worn just after giving birth to the little monkey. You know, before I was back to down to pre-baby weight. It  had a little more style and was striped! (And definitely too big for me now.) So I decided it would make the perfect dress for the Little Monkey.

Now, had I been smart, I would have found one of the tutorials out there that gives step by step instructions for turning an oversized t-shirt into a dress. But who said I was smart? I mean, how hard could this be, right? First, I started off by cutting the top of the shirt off right under the arms.

I wanted to use the bottom hem of the shirt as the hem of the dress. You know, save myself a step. Plus my hems never come out as nice as the factory ones. Especially on knits. And I was thinking I would do a sort of braided band at the top. Maybe make it kind of a boat neck dress. So I tried that. And it just came out a bit silly. I should have taken pictures of it on the Little Monkey so you could see. But I didn’t. But this was my process, in case you were wondering.

So I cut some fabric off the sides and then cut in at the top. I hemmed the top cut in part (thinking it would be my arm opening) and then sewed the sides together.

Then I attached the band and sewed it on. Ta-da! Ummm, not so much. I realize now that I probably could have just cinched my fabric in on the front and back and given up on the boat neck idea and it probably would have been fine. But I don’t like to do things the easy way. Ha!

Anyways, what I decided to do at that point was just use the existing neckline in some way. So I took the top part of my shirt (I had already cut the arms off at some point thinking I might use those for something) and made a neck opening that would work for the Little Monkey.

It’s hard to see, but I stitched it right across the shoulders there.

So at this point, I took the braided band off of the other piece. Then I took this piece, lined it up with the other piece, and cut it down to size. I then hemmed the arm hole openings, just as I had done on the other piece. I fitted this piece into the other piece and sewed it on. Then I took it in on the sides so that the arm holes weren’t ginormous. I thought I was done, but I didn’t really care for the seam across the front. And then I remembered the bands that were around the arms on the original shirt. So I cut one off and sewed it across the front. All done!


I know, not the best pictures. But by the time I got it all finished it was dark outside. So boo for night time lighting. And boo for a model who refuses to stand still! I’ll have to try to get some better pictures at some point because it did turn out pretty cute after it was all said and done.



Alphabet and Rainbows

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Alphabet and Rainbows

For some reason, I have been getting an extreme amount of “repins” on Pinterest of one of the pictures I posted from the Little Monkey’s first birthday party. I figured since there seems to be interest (and because I’m feeling a bit nostalgic since her second birthday is coming up WAY too soon) why not post some photos from the day.

Let’s start by saying that this started out as an alphabet themed party and kind of morphed into a rainbow alphabet party. It was pretty small-scale. Nothing too elaborate. Just some family members coming over to celebrate her big day. These were the invitations we sent out.

See? Super simple. The back contained all of the info, of course.

So Alphabet. That was it. Until I started finding all of these super cute ideas (thank you Pinterest) that were more rainbow themed. So I thought, why not just have the alphabet AND rainbows. To be honest, I didn’t really have any actual rainbows. More just the color scheme. But it worked.

First the decor. I kept it fairly simple since we were actually spending most of the day outside grilling hot dogs and playing in the yard. I strung up some alphabet cards across the window behind the dining room table, where I set up the cake and snacky type foods.

I know, not the best picture, but it was hard to get anything decent with the sun beating in the window. Ah well. I had some simple ABC cut outs stuck to the other windows in the dining room. Then I decided at the last minute, the night before the party, that I wanted to do a rainbow balloon garland across the opening into the dining room. So I sat and blew up balloons and tied them all together and hung them all while watching Harold and Maude with my lovely husband.

Oh! And I found an alphabet boarder at the dollar store to use. You know the kind that an elementary school teacher might have in his/her classroom? Yeah, that. I just taped it up in the dining room. You can see it peeking out from behind the balloons in that last picture. I also used some alphabet blocks from the kids on the table. I made a pyramid in one spot and spelled out the birthday girl’s name in front of her cake.


Pssssst. Those cookies on the sticks over there is what keeps getting pinned over on Pinterest. Don’t worry. There’s a better picture to come.

Here’s the whole look.

The food was the fun part. The party started at 4 pm, so we wanted to have plenty of snacks available before we served dinner. For dinner we had hot dogs. My husband grilled and he set up a whole little bar area full of condiments. Any kind of condiment that you could want, including peanut butter, bacon, cream cheese, etc. And we served them up in these adorable plastic baskets lined with parchment paper. And somehow in the craziness of the day, we forgot to take any pictures of that part of the action. Oh well. C’est la vie.

So on to the stuff we DID get pictures of.

We did some fun little Caprese salads. The adults loved these! Just a cherry tomato (with the bottom cut off so it would sit nicely), a basil leaf, and a cube of mozzarella all held together with a toothpick and drizzled with balsamic. Yum!

Then there were the Jello slices. The kids totally dug these.

      See? Here’s Monkey Man chowing down.

We had “fruit cones,” too. Just fresh fruit stuffed into waffle cones. Easy peasy. And yummy!

And of course the homemade alphabet cookies. After I cut them out, I pushed a long stick into the backs of them, and then baked. To display them, I used a wide mouth vase filled with Fruit Loops cereal. And yes, I separated the colors by hand. It actually didn’t take as long as one might think.

     And just because I love this picture.   

Then there was the cake. We wanted to do a rainbow cake. You know, the ones with like six layers of vibrant colored cake separated by lovely layers of frosting? Yeah, well, ours didn’t quite work out that way. We lost a couple of layers during the assembly, but I was still pretty pleased with the way it came out. My husband is always the one in charge of decorating because I just don’t have the patience (or artistic ability) for such things. This year he went with a simple design. Blocks with the Little Monkey’s initials.

     The inside….   

She just couldn’t wait to get her hands on it!

Oh! I almost forgot about the party favors! We only had four kids at the party, so this is what I did. I found some fun colored buckets for $1 each and filled them with some alphabet stickers, an alphabet activity book and some other goodies.

    And inside were these little cuties.   

Now I didn’t design these guys. I used Rebecca Danger’s Monster Chunks pattern. They’re such a quick knit! And I used the same yarn that I used to make the birthday girl’s shorties from. My friend Christia made the adorable t-shirt. Look at those cute little monkey toes!

So that was the Little Monkey’s first birthday party. I’ve already got some ideas in the works for her next one as it’s only about 3 months away. So hard to believe. Next I’ll have to share Monkey Man’s 4th party that we just had. Muppets!!!

The Funny Bunny

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The Funny Bunny

With Easter coming up, I decided I wanted to make something for the kids. And since I’ve been on a sewing kick lately, I thought I why not sew them a little plush lovey of some sort. Well, I had a little bit of the stripe fabric I used on the bottom of this dress. And it was one of my absolute favorite prints when Monkey Man was a baby. He had cloth diapers in that print, a shirt, some slippers, and even a pair of knit shorts. So it only seemed right that he get something made out of my last scraps of the fabric. I didn’t have much left, only about 2 9″x9″ squares and a few other scraps, so it couldn’t be anything too elaborate. So this is what I did. I decided to make a bunny. First, I sketched out a general pattern for the body of the bunny.

I pinned it to both layers of my fabric and cut them out together. Then I pinned them together, wrong sides facing.

And sewed around the edges leaving the top of his head open and flipped it right side out. Look how silly it is!

And stuffed him full.

Then I made him some ears. I cut out two pieces of my striped fabric and two pieces of a coordinating solid I had on hand.

I pinned one striped piece to a solid piece, wrong sides facing, and sewed them together. Then I flipped them right side out and did a little gather at the base.

At this point I hand stitched the ears in place and then sewed his head closed. By this point I was fed up with the incredibly thin, flimsy striped fabric and I just threw it back on my machine to finish, not caring what the top of his head looked like. If you read my post about the t-shirt dress, you’ll remember me ranting about this fabric then, too. It’s impossible for a fairly inexperienced sewer like myself to work with. (I can’t say that I’m really sorry that it’s all gone!) Needless to say, if I wanted it to look a bit nicer, I would have finished it up by hand. I figure that’s what I’ll do on the next one I make for the Little Monkey. At this point, I stitched little eyes and a nose on him using embroidery floss. Seeing how I have never embroidered a thing in my life, I just kind of winged it until they looked decent. Any way, here he is. The Funny Bunny, as he’s become known around our house.

I went ahead and showed him to Monkey Man, mostly because he saw me finishing it up when he got home from preschool today. It made me super happy when he saw it and asked hopefully if it was for him. I think he’s in love.

Is it terribly mean that I took it and put it away a little while after this? Maybe. But it’ll make for a super Easter gift!