Saturday, January 30

how does she?

Have you ever seen How Does She? They are such creative ladies and they are good at compiling ideas from all over. I sent in Conner's room and it was featured today! What an honor to be with so many other amazing people!!

If you want to see the original post on Conner's room... hop over here.


was a success!!!

Friends and family were greeted at the door with some more fun foam LEGOs.

There was some time for hard work & special creations. Awards were given for "Most Colorful", "Most Creative", "Tallest Tower" and "Funniest Creation".
We also played "stick the dot on the LEGO" (you can see it in the back behind the toy kitchen) - and we dropped LEGOs from up high on a chair into a jar. When the kids first got there, they also played hide & seek for a specific color of LEGOs.
There was time for treats & goodies. Brightly colored placemats, red plates, cups & napkins, and bendy straws were set out for each kid. Lego candies were in the middle of the table, and we also had some Chex Mix & popcorn for the kids to munch on. With the kids we had red Kool-Aid, cupcakes with Lego candies on them, and ice cream.

There was time for cake!!!! It's a 9x13 with cupcakes on top. I'm not really happy with how it turned out, but fondant was not my friend on decorating day... and it's REALLY hard to make homemade frosting be a bright LEGO color! We enjoyed the big cake with family.

A good time was had by all... now I'm tired & headed off to bed!

{edited to add link to party}
Bird Crafts Party

Friday, January 29

rock star finish!!!!!

It's done! It's finally done!!!!!!
He's off to school, so I snuck up for a couple photos of the quilt on his bed. I love it next to the blue wall!!!!! (surprise, surprise, right?) I just did a simple stitch-in-the-ditch quilting job, and a little bit of framing in the large guitar patches & paper piecing patches.
The backing is a crazy fun rock star fabric - black and white all over! For the binding, I found some fabric that was black at the selvages & white in the middle, shades of gray in between.
Sweet dreams, sweet boy!
(I think I need to whip up a pillowcase now, what do you think???)

Wednesday, January 27

lego goodies

I finished up the goody baskets for the party!

I used small bright colored tubs from the dollar bin at Target... with foam stickers to label with each child's name.
Each child will also get a Lego magnet - bought at the Lego store near us. They come in a variety of colors, so Conner picked a special color for each guest.
Each child will also get a small bag of Lego block candies - from a candy store in town. They taste kind of like Sweet Tarts. We'll also have a bowl of them sitting out at the party, of course!
At the Lego store, they have a table with built-in tubs full of legs, torsos, heads, and hair. Conner personally selected each of the parts for his guests. Unfortunately, there wasn't any blond girl hair - and the girl torso choices were all kind of pirate slutty-wench looking. But he had fun choosing the parts and putting his friends together. Then you just put your people in that handy dandy box pictured behind them, check out, and bring them home to play. Pretty fun!
They also had a sale section in the back - and we found a couple Duplo grab bags that will be perfect for the younger nieces. Their parents will get the candy too.

Tuesday, January 26

lego tee - a tutorial

Boys are so hard to sew for. It's just the way it is. Almost 5-year-old boys with definite opinions about their apparel - darn near impossible.
Luckily - I knew how to weasel my way into his wardrobe!! Appeal to his love of LEGOs!!!!!
Want one of your own?

Gather your supplies:
Scrap fabric - solid color
Scrap fun foam - matching color
Thread - matching color
Sewing machine
T-shirt (I chose to use a bright green to match the base he builds off of)

First, cut 2 pieces of solid color fabric in the color you want the LEGO to be. I used yellow for best contrast in the pictures. My LEGOs are 2"x4" - depending on how many you are going to put on the shirt, you can make them bigger or smaller.
Then cut a piece of fun foam the same size. A little bigger is ok - just don't go smaller than the fabric!!
Then on one of the fabric pieces draw 8 circles with a washable marker or pencil. Trace around a dime, freehand, whatever will fit best.

Now, make yourself a fun foam and fabric sandwich. See the layers in the front there - fabric on bottom & top, fun foam in the middle.
Head on over to your sewing machine, set it to free motion and stitch the circles. If you're still a novice sewer & don't have a free motion setting, just be ready to make a lot of turns as you stitch your circles!! You might want to make your stitch length a little shorter than usual too. It helps later, trust me.
When you're done with the circles, clip any dangling threads on the front. Flip it over, and slice up the back. You should now have eight "squares" with circles inside of them.
Fun foam rips pretty easily once you get it started - your stitches will have perforated it enough. Keep on ripping until the only fun foam is sandwiched between the two layers of fabric.
Flip it over, and there's your LEGO!!!!
Line up all your LEGOs on your shirt and pin them in place. I chose not to use anything to iron them in place considering the whole fun foam melting possibility. ;)

Zig zag stitch around the edges of your LEGOs and trim random threads as needed.
Give it to your LEGO-maniac, listen to him declare that the shirt is too big, make him model it anyway, and be thankful that you have a little girl who is too young to argue with how you dress her! And oh yeah, he is SO wearing it at his party. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.Make as many LEGOs as you want - whatever colors you want. Change your measurements, change your LEGO size to be a 2x2 block - your options are limitless!!

Saturday, January 23

rainy Saturday

Started off the day with a haircut....
Then a trip to the Children's Museum....
Then Home Depot to finish birthday shopping for Conner.
A quick stop at Joann's, and now I'm off to pin, sew, and unpin!!!!

What's your "perfect" Saturday look like?

Tuesday, January 19

wreath around the year

I decided to try a little outdoor experiment this December. There's just so much snow and so little green.
My craft group at church was cleaning out our room and we came across some old greenery we didn't need anymore. It was kind of pathetic looking for putting on a mantel or where someone would see it up close. But I had an old wreath form sitting around, so I wrapped (and wrapped and wrapped) and made myself a wreath. The striped ribbon is something I've had for a couple years now. What a perfect greeting by the front door through the Christmas season.
I don't really like my bow very much, but was kind of rushing and didn't feel like messing with it. I think a wired ribbon would be much better don't you think?
Yes, I think wired ribbon works much better! (That and paying a little bit better attention to how bows are made on other people's blogs.)
Add a couple glittery hearts and we're ready for Valentine's Day! I'm not exactly sure I love it hanging off the light (that was my cheap easy solution) but for now it works. Maybe I'll hang it on one of the porch columns the next time I change it up.

Monday, January 18

room redo

I was going a little stir crazy. I usually do when things are a mess. I love to rearrange furniture too. So this was just calling my name! Luckily, he was happy to play along!
Have I ever shown you my son's bedroom? (I couldn't remember, and after a quick glance through my old posts didn't see it listed. If I have, then feel free to just skip this post!) Well, the picture above was his room at about 1 pm yesterday afternoon. The rest of the pictures are how his room looks now. ahhh....

The shelves are dusted (woohoo!) - they are metal shelves with Where the Wild Things Are magnets on them. The other stuff on the shelves are just little momentos from "the early years". There is also a little mailbox where Daddy leaves him things when he has to be at work early (things like a little toy he finds laying around the house that hasn't been played with in a while, a little snack for later, a short note). The memo board I made using denim fabric wrapped around a styrofoam piece. I used silver pins & tape measure ribbon to make the lines to hold papers and pictures. Right now it holds a picture of his cousins, and a picture of him with a preschool friend. There's also a cable wire strung to hold some of his artwork, important papers, etc.
The chair rail is one of my favorite touches in the room. He counts on it when he's laying in bed trying to fall asleep. LOVE that! The comforter will soon be replaced with the music one I'm making. The pillowcase is one I made out of John Deere fleece. Soft and comfy!
Part of the reason for the rearrangement is my ADD with room design. Part of it is that he wanted a light by his bed, and I had this lamp all ready to go, just no outlet close to where his bed used to be. So now he has a lamp to read books in bed! He's so excited - he wanted to close the curtains and turn off the light and try it out as soon as possible! We keep his Legos and Matchbox in pull-out tubs underneath his bed, so the rug is perfect for right there.
The CONNER letters were painted and hung above his bed when we originally put his room together. They were probably hung a little bit high at the time, but I didn't want him reaching up and playing with them when he was supposed to be sleeping. It worked out perfectly now though because they are the perfect height above his dresser. The curtains were just plain chambray ones we had at our old house - I added the tape measure ribbon along the bottom, and they were perfect for his room!I love this corner. It's just a whole lot of family craftsmanship in one place. The rocking horse was a 1st Birthday present for him from one brother-in-law. (the same one who made Abby's doll bed. which reminds me I need to show you the doll quilt my mom gave her for Christmas.) Anyway - gorgeous workmanship! The bookshelves were a 3rd Birthday present from him. LOVE them too. They have three full shelves for books, and three cubbies for bins of "stuff" - marble run pieces, Mr. Potato Head, you get the idea! The bean bag chair is new - and he is loving it! (Slept on it the first 2 nights he had it!) We have a Mike Mulligan print hanging on the wall, and an alphabet rug on the floor. The pegboard has hooks for hats, dress-up shirts, his calendar, tool alphabet cards, and his chore chart. (We don't make a big deal out of daily chores, but it's something we keep trying to do!)
Then at the bottom of the pegboard - book racks made by my brother. They're perfect for holding some of our current favorites so they don't get lost on the big bookshelf.
Hope you enjoyed the tour of a CLEAN room! Woo-hoo!

power solids

We had a lazy day at home today. I was excited about that, but realized I needed to pull something new out of my bag of tricks if we were going to make it through the day!
So... I went and grabbed my POWER SOLIDS off the shelf. Unfortunately, I didn't have any dry beans and didn't want to deal with the mess of rice. We'd already had a somewhat unfortunate water mess and I wasn't ready for another. So noodles it was!
We scooped, dumped, poured, measured, and had a blast! I realized I don't use terms like pyramid, cone, cylinder, and prism very often. (Do you?) So, we're going to get these out more often, play with different materials, and figure out what it all means!
At dinner when he was telling Daddy about our new toy - he said "you know the blue things Mommy used when she was a teacher?" Well for now, we're just having fun sticking noodles in the blue things - guess the names need a little more practice.

Wednesday, January 13

the coolest snack bag ever

"Mommy... everybody has an interesting snack bag. Mine is just all black. Why does it have to be all black?"
Uh, cause I just used an old leftover formula bag that they gave us at the hospital. Sorry kid. Let's see how I can make it up to you...
How's Mickey? Want a fancy strap too? Black polka dots for you then!
"Mommy, I have the coolest snack bag ever!!"

Monday, January 11

rock star in progress

So.... like a year ago, I started a rock star quilt for my son. I cut, I planned, I did 3 of the special blocks. Then it proceeded to get stuck in my piles and I never got back to it. Well... it's about time!!!!

I've been paper piecing, putting blocks together, and sewing like mad!
I know the lines on the staff don't match up perfectly. I'm ok with that.
I have two more of the special paper-pieced blocks to go, and then I'll be able to piece the whole top. I'm excited to get it all put together. Maybe I'll have it done by his birthday!!!

Sunday, January 10

LEGO party - invites

My boy is turning 5 next month - so time to get a party organized! In the past, it's just been family parties. But since it's 5 this year, we decided to let him have 5 friends over for a little party. We're hosting "Lego-Mania". I'm having fun looking around for ideas and trying to come up with stuff. Here's what I'm doing for the invites...

I decided to make some Legos. I made 4 different kinds so I could choose which one was easiest to make, which one looked the best, etc. The first one is cardstock on little pop-up foam dots. Cute, and had lots of supplies for those - but hard to line up the dots as you can tell!
The next two choices have foam bases. The one on the left has foam dots glued on, the one on the right has metal brads. The foam dots were static-y and stuck to the hole punch. The brads were easiest, but most expensive and in the least supply.
This was another foam attempt. I hand-cut the foam circles and stuck them on bigger pop dots. Too high of a rise, and too annoying to cut out as many circles as I was going to want. Plus I just didn't like the jagged look on the little circles.

So here's what I finally decided on... On the front, I used a green crayon and did a rubbing with a Lego base plate underneath. Using a LEGO font, I typed out the front of the card "Join us for Lego-Mania", put it on colored paper, and used a couple big circle brads. Then I made 5 Lego blocks - yellow, red, green, blue and black - and put them on the green crayon-rubbed base plate. I ended up going with the all-foam example from the middle picture. (It probably would have been easier to just buy Legos and stick them on. But not nearly as much fun!)(Can you tell my son loves LEGO?!!! See the little black and white car in front - he put that together all by himself!!!)
The inside just has the details - birthday, time, address, etc. Simple.
I'm working on what to do for a little goody bag, so more Lego stuff coming up in a week or two. And a cake - I've got big plans ;)

Saturday, January 9

miss alice

This week was not quite the "return to normal" I had hoped.
Intestinal bug for Conner AND I.
Watched my niece one day while her mom was in surgery.
Not enough sleep.
Whiny daughter who "needs" to learn to talk before we both loose our minds.
A project that didn't go according to my plans. *ahem* because they "always" do... what was I thinking?

So, I was happy when I got an email from Samantha that her pattern is finalized! Hip hip hooray! I have something to show you that's not in pieces all over my craft room floor & tables!

I made this dress in the fall - you may notice the leaves on bushes behind Abby. Yeah, there's about 8 inches of snow covering that bush right now!
I love the yoke on the dress, and the gathers under the arm. The yoke was a bit tricky for me to sew, just because I haven't done that kind of sewing very often. The straps at the top were skinny too, making them hard to turn. But so cute when the whole dress was put together - it was worth it!
The dress was a little big for Abby, but I think if I were to try it on her again now it would fit a little better, and by springtime for sure. She's wearing it over some leggings because I was trying to get a quick shot & she was not cooperating.
Check out the Miss Alice pattern for yourself. Check out her blog too. I totally want to go to her farm and hang out by her fireplace!!!

Hopefully next week will go a little more smoothly & I'll have a couple things to share with you - birthday party invites, paper piecing, and what I did with the Pez fabric!

Saturday, January 2


How did you spend your New Year's Day? We enjoyed our favorite feast with family... beef fondue. Two vats of peanut oil & butter... 6 lbs of beef... countless veggies... a big basket of garlic bread... sparkling grape juice... and 5 yummy sauces.
(yes there is an extension cord running down the middle of the table. that's just how we do it!)My parents made the basil butter and the dill dip - I made a sweet & sour (from scratch - I can never remember where the pimentos are at the grocery store. had to ask. arrgh) - a barbecue (so much better than anything from a jar!) - and a cranberry sauce (my new favorite).
We followed up the meal with some Chex Mix, football watching, hockey watching, naps, and then for dessert - this yummy cake. White-ish frosting on a yellow cake, pearl sprinkles, white sugar sprinkles, and white chocolate snowflakes.

We finally got the tree & decorations taken care of too, so I feel a little more organized & ready to face the new year. School starts again Tuesday, so we'll be back in our normal routine. It's been a busy, crazy, fun two weeks - but I'm ready for a little "normal"!!!