Well, I’m Back!

Don’t I feel silly…I started this blog with a true intention of keeping it up and at least adding a post once a week but life got in the way.   Between school ending and having the four girls home all day and a change in medication for me that left me feeling like I’d been run over by a couple of trucks getting on the computer or making anything weren’t top priority.  Add to that the fact that our one year old washing machine died and needed pretty much everything replaced inside it which took 2 months to get back in working order and you have a very busy Mommy running after children, referreeing children, hand washing clothes in the sink (thank goodness it was summer!)  But fall is now upon us, my washing machine is operational, and I’m feeling better and  things are getting back into a routine with the two oldest in school full  time and the Number 3 in preschool two mornings a week. So… knock on wood…it looks like I may be able to finally get some things done that aren’t home or child related.    Plus, my wonderful hubby bought me a new compact laptop so I can now use the computer whenever I want!  With three kids who play games and  a toddler who likes to watch her favourite episide of Diego over and over and over again and my computer time seemed to be limited to 5 minute snatches every once in a while. 

I promise I’m here to stay now and I’m even trying to come up with some sort of  method to this blog. Stick around and I may just shock you!

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Teacher’s Gifts 2010

One night while searching the internet for new and unusual teacher gift ideas I happened upon this wonderful blog

and thought this idea was wonderful!

While it’s too late  to make one for this year I thought I’d share how I made mine.

First I went to the local thrift store and picked up 2 frames. You could go to a “real” store but why when you can reuse something that will look just as good? If they’re ugly, like mine were, you can easily give them a quick sanding and paint them. And it appears at No Frills last week Delissio pizzas were on sale!

While waiting for the paint to dry I went and typed up the words to the quote. I used fabric because it was what I had around the house but it would be MUCH easier if you had paper. Tomorrow I’ll tell you an easy way to print onto fabric using an inkjet printer. It is pretty neat. And that would be Cecily’s finger…she was determined to get into a photo one way or another.

the picture would look great just as it is but I wanted a matting so I took freezer paper cut to the size of the frame, ironed it to the back of a piece of fabric and measured in an inch from each side. Then very carefully I used my Xacto knife to cut around the inner lines to get this…

A fabric Mat! Now I put double sided tape along the inside edges of the matting and very carefully put it on the main picture.

Of course, in my haste to get these done before 1 AM I forgot to get a picture before I stuck the sticks on. I tried double sided tape for the sticks but it didn’t work. Eventually I settled on using my favourite fabric glue. It’s latex based and adheres most things together almost instantly. I’m sure almost any glue that adheres fabric and porous solid objects would work.

This is the glue I used…

sorry about the very squishy picture…

Now, because this frame wasn’t a shadowbox frame and I now needed it to be I needed to make some spacers to take up the space between the glass and the picture. I decided .5 of an inch would work and cut strips of foam core board that wide. To figure out how long they needed to be I first measured how long the two side pieces needed to be, inserted them and then measured how long the other 2 pieces needed to be to fit between the first two pieces. (clear as mud? It’ll make sense when you do it, promise) After figuring out the lengths I put double sided tape on one side.

and stuck them to the wrong side of a piece of fabric (Make sure you iron the fabric first) and using my rotary cutter cut along the edge of the foamcore so I ended up with this…

Now, clean the glass from your frame till it’s streak and fingerprint free and insert it into your frame. Insert your foam spacers on top of the glass and then insert your super cool quote and the backing cardboard (I’m sure it has a name but I have no idea what it would be).

If you saved the little staples or nails that held the backing in you can use those again to hold in the picture or you can use staples or small nails to hold it in. And as a finishing professional touch I glued brown craft paper to the back of the frame before I screwed the hanger back on. (sorry, no pics of the back I was too giddy that I was almost done)

When you’re all done you’ll end up with this. Pretty cute, huh? I hope the girls’ teachers liked them. I think I’ll head back to the thrift store and pick up another frame to make one for the living room!

My Sewing Buddy

About a month ago this little girl wandered into our house and refused to leave.  I’d kick her out, she’d run back in.  After two days the girls had fallen in love with her and named her “Mystery” so we decided if no one answered the ads we had out about finding her we’d keep her.  No one’s claimed her yet. 

She gets along pretty well with Mr. Patches, our male, but Shadow, the female Alpha of the house,  isn’t all that keen on her – she tolerates her but Shadow still gets first pick of the food. 

We’re pretty sure she came from someone’s home since she knew all about a litter box and the sound of kittie food being poured into a bowl (and people usually don’t spay stray cats around here).  And she loves to snuggle, especially with the two youngest during their naps.  But the biggest surprise I’ve gotten from her is her love of sewing machines.  I start mine up and in she runs, hops up on the cutting table and purrs away along with the machine. 

So now, late at night, when the other cats have found a kid to sleep with I have my own little sewing buddy to keep me company.  She likes our nights on the couch watching NCIS but I have a sneaking suspicion she prefers laying across from me keeping time to the humming of the machine. 

Welcome Mystery.  It’s a mystery how you came to be with us but you’re a lovely addition to our family!

Bean Bag Book Ends

My oldest, Lily, has books piled everywhere in her room. On the floors, on her bed, in her closet, on the dresser and 4 shelves on her wall. I asked myself why and when I couldn’t come up with answer I asked her. Apparently books are only meant to stand upright on shelves and not horizontal so she left the shelves empty.

In order to remedy this messy situation I let her pick out some fabric from “the stash” aka the piles and piles of fabric I have everywhere and I wipped up these

All they are is a rectangle of fabric sewn along 3 sides, filled with rice and slip stitched closed. They do a great job holding up her books and have the added benefit of being perfect for throwing at her sisters when they decide to intrude on her sanctuary (and are much softer than the books she was previously using)

Only the Cute Survive!

A while back I sent The Man to buy Ruby some new clothes with a gift card Grandma sent for her birthday. He came back with some really cute, completely not matching stuff. This t-shirt was one of them.

I thought it was adorable but she really didn’t have any bottoms to go with it and really loathe trying to find two matching pieces to go together in the morning before my 4th cup of coffee. So I had it sitting in the sewing room trying to find something to pair with it. Then I found this fabric.

The browns and burgundies in the plaid matched the paw prints . It had been sitting in a bin waiting to be made into something and there was just enough to make a little skirt. Perfect! Like it was meant to be.

20 minutes later I had this…

I used to hate t-shirt dresses but this one has made me a convert. Ruby calls it her “Diego” dress, lol. Now to get some warm weather to wear it!

Ruby in her Retro Dress

This week I’ve been working on getting my craft room moved upstairs from the basement into what used to be our Den.  My apologies to my husband who just had his computer moved into the living room – sorry Hun but it was for the greater good. 

So this week I only worked on getting a bunch of burlap sewn into recycling bags and on this cute retro pillow case dress.  I’m personally in love with it and so is Ruby.

I’m pretty sure you can only get away with wearing this fabric until you’re three but it looks adorable on my little Goober.  Okay, maybe I’m biased…

They’re the simplest dresses in the world to make and they’re great for running…

and running…

and even chillaxin’ on the slide…

I’ve got about 20 more pillowcases waiting to be turned into dresses and nighties (ya, my 10 and 7 year old informed me they won’t be caught dead outside of the house in a pillowcase dress – their loss!) so that’s my plan this week.  Pillowcase dresses for everyone!

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