Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Beaded Christmas Ornaments with Kids

My kids loved making these beaded ornaments for our tree!  Our supplies included pipe cleaners and tri-corner beads (we only had white and red beads).  First, I threaded one bead onto a pipe cleaner and bent the end around it so the rest of the beads wouldn't slip off.  Then the kids went crazy threading beads.  When there were enough beads, we bent the pipe cleaners to make candy canes, wreaths, and Christmas trees.  The hooks are just made out of pipe cleaners, twisted onto the ornament.  Some of the bows you see are also made out of pipe cleaners, and one ornament is just a bow made out of three pipe cleaners twisted together. Two of them have silver ribbon bows that I hot glued on.

I actually tried this activity when Caleb was 3, and we invited a few other friends over to make them with us, but the kids got really frustrated because the holes on the tri-corner beads weren't big enough to string them easily.  This year, Caleb is 5 and had a lot more patience.  However, my 3 year old daughter was able to do it with no problems, and really enjoyed it.  So, while a 3 year old should be able to do this, it will probably depend on their personality. 

Are you making any homemade ornaments this year?  I'd love to hear about them!

I am linking up today with:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Shoe Box Ministry

Have you heard of a shoe box ministry in your area?  We participated last year in a local ministry that distributed shoe box gifts to local homeless shelters and hospitals.  The idea is to wrap a shoe box, top and bottom separately, fill it with gifts, and drop it off at a collection center in your town.  Ours will go to our local grocery store.  Today the kids and I picked out items to make 4 boxes this year, one boy, one girl, one man, and one woman.  The kids boxes will have coloring books, crayons, a puzzle, a toy, a hat, stickers, and candy.  The woman's box has a bible, sudoku puzzle book, socks, hair accessories, chap stick, gum, kleenex, and candy.  The man's box has a bible, sudoku puzzle book, socks, beef jerky, a flash light and batteries, kleenex, gum and candy.  Before we went to the store, I talked with my kids about how some people don't have homes and won't be able to have Christmas presents, or some kids are sick in the hospital and their parents can't afford to buy presents, so we wanted to help them.

Would you like to participate in a similar ministry?  Operation Christmas Child is a similar ministry that ships shoe boxes overseas.  I would love to hear what other charitable giving your family is doing this season!

Who doesn't love Christmas music?  K-Love is giving away 3 free songs on iTunes right now.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Baby Boy Shower Gift

Rebekah and I went to a baby shower this weekend.  This was her gift: a reversible nursing cover, a diaper and wipes case, two burp clothes, and a tag blanket.  If you want to make a nursing cover, see my post reversible nursing cover.  Look here for the diaper and wipes case and burp clothes. 

The tag blanket was really easy to make.  I used two squares of fabric, one cotton and one fleece.  Cut several 4 inch ribbon strips, fold them in half and pin them with the ends towards the outside of the square (on the right side of the fabric).  Put the fleece on top and sew around, being careful at each ribbon.  Leave a two inch opening for turning.  After turning, top stitch around the square to close the opening, and you are finished!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving & Sweet Potato Casserole

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thank you Jesus for all the blessings in my life!  This year I am especially thankful for our baby boy that is on the way!  At 30 weeks he's as healthy as can be, which is a relief after having two miscarriages.  I am also thankful for my amazing husband putting up with a cranky pregnant wife!

I made this sweet potato casserole for our Thanksgiving celebrations.  It's from my good friends, Janie and Phillip, thank you.  It is a very sweet casserole, really, it's more like a dessert!  Yum!

Sweet Potato Casserole
3 cups of mashed sweet potatoes
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups of white sugar
1 cup coconut flakes
1 tsp vanilla

1 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of broken pecans
1/2 cup flour
1/2 stick of margarine or butter

Mix the first 5 ingredients and pour in a casserole dish.  Mix the first 3 ingredients of the topping and spread over the potatoes.  Slice the margarine or butter in little pieces over the top.  Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown.  If you'd like the topping to be a little crispier, bake a little longer.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Homeschool Lesson

I am thankful for homeschooling!  I enjoyed teaching my kids about the first Thanksgiving, and then we did a few crafts.  The picture above is our Thankful Tree.  I used my Cricut, the Plantin cartridge, to cut out leaf shapes to glue on our tree.  I wrote down the things my kids said they were thankful for (and I might have given them a few suggestions).  We also read a few books, and I found a few coloring pages online of pilgrims and turkeys.

And of course, we had to do a Turkey craft!  I cut out the turkey using my Cricut and the Simply Charmed cartridge.  Then the kids got a little crazy with the feathers.

Even my nephew had fun with a feather!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sewing with Two Threads

One of the skirts I showed you yesterday had gold thread!  I was surprised to see this when I was ripping the seam out.  The stitching on the original jeans was very pronounced.  I was concerned how it would look if I just used tan thread like I usually do, so I thought I'd try using two threads, one tan and one gold.  This was my first time, and it worked very well.  First, I had to find my sewing machine attachment to allow the second thread to sit on top.  For mine, it is a white plastic spool holder that just presses into a hole on the top of the machine.  Then I just threaded the machine the same as always, but holding both threads together as if they were one.  I used the tan thread for the bottom thread (on the bobbin).  In the picture below, you can see the original stitching around the fly, and my stitching beneath it.  My stitching is not quite as pronounced as the original, but I think it looks good.  

Monday, November 21, 2011

Lots of Jean Skirts!

I have been busy making jean skirts these past weeks.  I have made 5 in the last two weeks!  If you'd like to know how to turn a pair of jeans into a skirt, see my tutorial: Jean Skirt - Recycling a Pair of Jeans.  

Friday, November 18, 2011

Mending a Hunting Coat

Deer hunting season is almost upon us, and there has been a flurry of activity trying to get everything ready.  Well, my husband has been scurrying around making sure he has everything ready.  I do not hunt, I am the designated baby sitter.  His hunting coat has been ripped for several years, so he asked me to fix it for him.  You can see in the two pictures what needed fixing, one entire sleeve, and one velcro tab.  Also not shown, was a pocket with a hole in it and some loose velcro. 

I actually sewed some of the stuffing back together because it was all torn apart, and then I had to sew a zig zag stitch on top to sew the sleeve closed (I could not turn the sleeve inside out to hide my stitching).  I think it turned out well.  The stitching is on the under side of the arm, so no one will see it, not that the deer or other men in the hunting party will care anyway!

The tab, pocket and velcro were very easy to fix.  I wonder why I didn't offer to fix his coat several years ago (it's been torn since before I met him...)

Best of luck to all the hunters out there!  Stay safe!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Decorative Dish Towel

I am participating in Tea Rose Home's link party this week, this is my first time, but I have spent lots of time looking at all the other great blogs that post their projects.  So after you're done looking at mine, go check out some of the others!

Do you have some plain dish towels that need a little extra cuteness added?  These make great little gifts too.  I started with a plain white dish towel.  Measure the width of your towel and add 2 inches to that.  Make sure you measure each towel individually because they are not all the same.  Then decide how wide you want your fabric strip to be, I chose about 3 inches.  You need to double that and add 2 inches.  My final dimension was 18 x 8 inches.  Go to your ironing board and iron a 1 inch fold on all 4 sides, and lastly iron the whole thing in half with the long edges together.  Then open your fabric back up and put your towel inside, the edge should be at the fold.  Wrap the 1 inch side fold over the towel, and then fold the whole thing back up and pin.  I hope that makes sense.  Your fabric should be wrapped around the edge of the towel, with no towel showing, and no raw edges of fabric showing either.  Sew the long edge of your fabric with a zig zag stitch, making sure that you catch the long edge of the fabric under the towel too.  Then zig zag stitch the short ends.  And that's it, a cute decorated dish towel. perfect for your kitchen or tucked into a cooking related gift.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Knit Fabric Headbands with Hairbows and Flowers

This was a birthday present for a 7 year old girl.  I made 3 knit headbands with 6 hair bows that she could attach to the headbands if she wanted to.  I found the headband tutorial at Altered Cloth.  It was a very easy tutorial to follow.  This is a great project for using up left over knit fabric!  Because my headbands were for a little girl, I decreased the length to 16 inches. 

The best internet site I've found for making hair bows is Girly Things.  For the pink flower clip, I just cut a fabric flower off of a bouquet that I got at the dollar store and glued it to the clip.  Then I glued a rhinestone in the center to jazz it up a little.  The black flower is actually crocheted, forgive the picture quality.  Remember my winter flowered headband?  I just followed the pattern for the flower, and then glued a black button in the middle. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Moving - Scrapbook Pages

We moved to a new state in July of 2010 and I just now got around to scrapbooking our move.  The part that's covered up is where we moved to.  We spent the first couple weeks with family, and then in a hotel.  You can see the picture of my husband on his first day of his new job.  We are so thankful that we were able to move closer to family!  I used the Plantin Cricut cartridge for the wording, and then the Everyday Paper Dolls cartridge for the car and suitcase.  

And here's our actual move in day.  We were so thankful that Kevin's new company paid for a moving truck for us.  They even packed up our house for us, and then put some furniture together after unloading!  The stickers on the page came from either Michael's or JoAnn's, I can't remember where I got them.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Dd - Dinosaur Homeschool Highlights in MFW

We had our first snow this week!  The kids were super excited to go outside and play.  I love the picture below of Rebekah trying to get up!

In school, we learned the letter Dd and all about dinosaurs.  Our bible verse to remember was "Big and small, God made them all".  MFW included a wonderful book in the deluxe package called What Really Happened to the Dinosaurs? by John Morris and Ken Ham.  It is a Christian book, explaining that the dinosaurs were created when all the rest of the animals were on day 6 of creation (in the bible).  Did you know that a dinosaur is actually mentioned in the bible?  Read Job 40.

I had a workbook about dinosaurs that I bought at Target for $1 last year.  They had fun doing the mazes, but didn't bother with most of the other stuff.

I also found these lacing dinosaurs at Goodwill this week!  I thought they would be perfect, but they proved to be a little too challenging to do by themselves, which meant melt downs...

My favorite part was making these giant stuffed stegosaurus's.  They are made from paper bags stuffed with newspaper and stapled together.

We also made some dinosaur stick puppets and put on a puppet show, acting out some of the books we read.

I let them watch a Curious George movie that was completely unrelated to our school this week.  George built his own boat in the movie.  So, after Caleb begged me several times, I brought out our box of recyclables and let them try to build a boat.  Caleb built a couple good ones, but Rebekah just really liked putting tape on a cool whip container!  Then they played in the bath tub with their boats!

As usual, our lap book stuff came from DLTK and Homeschool Share.  Rebekah's dog was glued on upside down... oops!

And here are our books from Dd dinosaur.  We were also blessed to be able to take a day trip to a museum to see their dinosaur exhibit, even daddy was able to come!  The kids loved listening to Danny and the Dinosaurs in the car on the way there... and the way home...

Click on the MFW Highlights button above to see what other MFW users have been up to this week.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mommy / Daughter Day

This past weekend my husband took Caleb hunting with him, so Rebekah and I had a whole day to ourselves.  First, we went to the craft store.  I bought her a scrapbook album, and then let her pick out some stickers and we found a paper pack to share.  See those white stickers?  She could color on them before putting them on her page!  She was so excited to have her own "crafty stuff"!  I usually order A LOT of pictures at one time, without planning scrapbook pages in advance.  This system means I usually have pictures that don't fit on my pages, or ones that I wonder why I actually printed them?  I put all these random photos in an envelope for Rebekah, and then she gets to pick the ones she likes. 

And here are the pages she created with minimal help from me.

We also went to the thrift store and bought 2 puzzles, and McDonald's for lunch.  Our afternoon was spent scrapbooking, doing puzzles, reading books, and I let her play on Star Fall (a rare treat since her brother always monopolizes the computer mouse and she usually only watches what he does).  We had a very nice day.

I would love to hear more ideas for a mother/daughter day, what have you done with your daughters?
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