Monday, February 11

rainbow quilt, in progress

This is the layout for the rainbow quilt.  Abby's "big girl" room is rainbow themed, and I'm finally getting going on the quilt.  Each block is pieced with scrap fabrics, some small squares and some large.  Once the quilt is finished, I'll do some more close-ups.  I took this picture so I could use my iPad & Adobe Ideas app to plan the quilting pattern.
The rainbow quilt

After I sketched it out, I got busy using my new toy.  This is the free motion grip (and extension table hidden underneath the quilt) for my Brother Quattro.  It is great because I don't feel like I have to use my quilting gloves anymore.  There seems to be some pull on the fabric, but as long as I'm aware of it, I can keep it in check and glide right along.  I love it!
Get ready... go

I decided to do some free motion quilting on each of the white sashing pieces.  I am using colored thread by each of the colored rows, adding to the coloring and making the white not quite so bright.  On each of the tall vertical pieces, I'm also including my daughter's name somewhere in the maze of squiggles.  I think that will be fun for her to find!  This is quite time consuming, but I love how it looks so far.

Squiggly wiggly quilting
I have some more squiggling to do, then I will be quilting the borders & doing the binding.  The borders will not be quite as busy.  The backing looks like a cloud, and I will be doing the binding in some rainbow striped fabric.  Her birthday is in early April and I WILL have it done by then!!

Saturday, February 2

Calvin & Hobbes party

A Calvin and Hobbes party with a snowman twist...perfect for my eight year old!

The friend party invitations were a simple orange card, with a hand colored (by my son) Hobbes glued on the front.
 The Calvin & Hobbes invite - friend - outside
Inside were the party details(my identifying info is blurred out), complete with a gleeful Calvin enjoying a sled ride!
The Calvin & Hobbes invite - friend - inside

The family party invitations showed the family enjoying a special meal together. The Calvin & Hobbes invite - family - outside
Inside were the details for the family and the Calvin & Hobbes "party" shot.
The Calvin & Hobbes invite - family - inside

On the party day, everyone was greeted at the door by Calvin's club sign - hand drawn by my son.
Calvin's club sign

I made a banner for above the fireplace.  Using a Calvin&Hobbes font, I printed my son's name in large orange letters, cut them out, and glued them to photocopied pages from the comic books.  I used the page of Calvin & Hobbes dancing to music.  The pages were cut in a pennant shape and then glued onto thin rope.
Party banner

We used Styrofoam balls to make some of the famous snowmen.  Puffy paint was the black buttons and eyes, the noses were made with Model Magic.  The blue car is my daughter's Olivia car.
 More of the crazy snowmen

These snowmen were by the front door.  Sled was made out of Legos by my son.  The M&Ms were the hit of the party - especially for my daughter and nieces who were found in the closet holding handfuls.  Little sneaks!
 Calvin's crazy snowmen
 Conner made a poster with photocopies of some of his favorite comic strips.  He did his best to replicate the font when he wrote the title on the top.
 Favorite comic strips for friends to read

I made the goody bags out of tiger fabric, labels from the comic book strip, and twist tied them shut with pipe cleaners.  Each bag had a bag of "Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs" (Cocoa Puffs), an orange gumball, a Calvinball mask (cut out of black fleece) and a colorful bouncy ball.
 Goody bags

We weren't sure if it was going to snow, so we had to have a back up plan.  We had a good amount of snow outside for the boys to play in, but Conner still wanted to make the mess inside.  You can see we made newspaper hats for the boys, and then they made snowman jars.  They used tiger felt for scarves, glued on noses made from Model Magic, glued on eyes from buttons, and used pipe cleaners for hair, tails, arms, or whatever else they could think of.  The snow mess that went in the jar is shaving cream, cornstarch, and glitter.  Thank you Pinterest.  The boys said it was a little itchy, probably because of the glitter.  I think it was really cool stuff.  When they were done mixing it in disposable bowls, they put it in the jars, washed their hands off, and went outside to play in the real snow.  That gave me time to clean up the table for treats!!
Post-snow making picture
Here's a closeup of the snowman jar parts.
 Snowman jar - parts

We also had a little photo booth set up for the boys.  My husband turned the TV and made it like a monitor so they could see themselves.  PERFECT activity for the boys to start off the party.  We then watched all the pictures at the end of the party while they were having their treats.
Photo booth

After playing in the snow, they came in to have hot chocolate and cookies.  I made melted snowman cookies and can not find the picture anywhere.  I'll add it later if I find it.  For now - check out the inspiration on Pinterest.  Mine didn't have scarves, and the noses were orange TicTacs.  I also had chocolate chip, butterscotch chip, white chocolate chip, and triple chocolate chip cookies.  We also made "tiger tails" using pretzel rods drizzled with melted orange and brown chocolate.
 Hot chocolate bar ready to go

The boys had a blast, and would definitely have enjoyed more time playing outside in the snow.  It's our first significant snowfall of the season so they were eager to play!  One of my favorite parts is that Conner was old enough to really help out with some of the details, and had definite ideas about how some of the activities should be set up.  Most of all, he had fun.  Happy birthday, Conner!