Monday, January 31, 2011

E's boots!

Mly little E is such a chub that all socks leave marks on his legs. When I saw this pattern from Sweet Pea Patterns Etsy shop for slouchy boots, I LOVED them! E is not walking yet, so no need for clunky shoes. These keep his toes warm inside and out!

The friend who graciously got E the pattern for Christmas also got a few others, so I'm excited to try them too. And 3 year old L has already tried on his teeny boots, so I'll be trying to figure these out in her size (and maybe even mommy's if i get really adventurous)!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Child size runarund bag!

As those few of you who look at this blog (or my Monkeyshiners facebook page) might know, I have a thing right now for Noodlehead's Runaround Bags.

Case in point:

The newest one...I LOVE this one... but its a gift...

I've been wanting to try to make a mini bag for my 3 year old, and needed a birthday present for an upcoming party, so I had an excuse to move it to the top of the TO SEW list...

I kept it simple:  I didn't bother with interfacing, used the exterior body pattern for both pieces so both sides have a pleat, and its completely reversible. 
The perfect size for a child and still big enough she can help carry a few of her toys!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Book review: The Miracle of Mercy Land

I recieved the book The Miracle of Mercy Land by River Jordan to read and review.

I enjoyed the book; I enjoyed the main character who is a spunky young lady who works at a newspaper. Her boss finds a book that shows them the lives of people in her town, and her boss brings in an old acquaintance in hopes of changing the wrongs done to him in his life. It's a bit of a supernatural mystery type book.  I have to say, I was a bit confusing with regards to the book, I felt that this part of the book was not explained well.  It seemed to be kind of thrown in there to promote the book's theme of the choices one makes in his or her life and their effects.  And as this is the main part of the book, it threw me off a bit. So while it was an ok read the first time through, I don't think it'll be one that I reread frequently. 

Click here to read an excerpt from the book.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Crayon "Roll"

Do your children’s crayons look like this?

You can't even see all the broken crayons down there, but... In hopes of avoiding the broken crayon mess, I decided to try a crayon roll -there are tutorials and crayon rolls for sale all over the crafty world on the internet… just google it (or sign up for swagbucks on my sidebar or click here and start earning free gift cards or prizes while searching!).
Happy Little Homes for each crayon!

And a notebook!  this will fit a 4x6 spiral bound notebook, but I didn't have one on hand (ok, really, I can't find it...), so I slid in a freebie notepad of that size.

I’m hoping this will help the crayons stay organized at home, as well as being able to throw it in my purse for church or appointments.  I wanted mine to fit a little 4x6 notebook, so it’s a little tall for the chunky crayons.  But an unplanned bonus… she can also use it for markers! 
This is also a very simple project; again if you can sew a straight line, you can make one! 

If you want to sew your own, here’s what I did: (if you don’t sew a lot, you may want to look for a tutorial online, they are very helpful with lots of photos and step by step instructions.)

how I did mine:
I cut 2 pieces of fabric (one for the inside and one for the outside). I would use something sturdy for the outside to help it keep shape.  My pieces were 10 inches by 25 ¾ inches.  I placed them right sides together and pinned 2 ends of a piece of elastic about 3 ½ inches from the top. My piece was about 11 inches long. You could also use one of those elastic headbands if you don’t have elastic and don’t want to purchase it. (Your elastic loop will be inside with your fabric, with just the ends lined up with the outside edges of the fabric. Sew with a ½ inch seam around the outside, leaving one end open. Turn and top stitch the whole way around, folding under the open, raw ends and sealing it shut with your topstitching. Fold the bottom up about 2 ¼ inches (lay your notebook in or measure just to be sure it will fit), and then sew up the sides creating a pocket.  Sew up a line about 4 ½ inches from one end (your notebook will fit in the big space) and then sew a line up every 1 ¼ inches (for fat crayons/markers). I drew my lines with a pen, if you are good, you could eyeball it!).

That’s it! Slide your crayons and notebook in and enjoy!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Scarf for ME!

Have you seen the loop scarves that are popping up everywhere? I found this book at our public library: Cowlgirls. They have beautiful ones that you can knit, and several have been added to my list of projects now, but I have to learn to knit first… and wanted a new scarf before next year! So I made myself an easy peasy loop scarf out of flannel and fleece!

Awful pics... sorry!
And it only cost me about $1.25 and 30 minutes or so!

I love the loop scarves cause there are no ends flopping around, and you can wear it with 2 loose rings, or snug one up on your neck!
If you can sew a straight line, you can save some money and make your own! A 6 inch cut of fleece is long enough to loop twice (if you want another loop you’d want a 12 inch cut to make it longer). I bought a 6 inch cut of flannel also, though, because it is not as wide, I Patchworked matching solid flannel in. You could also just buy a 12 inch cut and sew two pieces of the same fabric together. Another option would be to just buy 2 pieces of fleece, and sew them (note that it would be a bit stretchy then!). Fabric stores (even Walmart) will sell you a 6 inch piece, by the way. No need to buy extra! Below is how I sewed mine, (no pics sorry!) if you want to do your own!

1. Trim your piece of flannel to 6 inches. (I didn’t bother trimming my fleece, I figured the more the merrier!)

2. Patchwork your flannel, or add another piece so you have a piece as long as your fleece (I think I cut off a 2 inch piece or so from my fleece and it was still long enough!). I cut my main flannel into 3 pieces (approximately 14.5 inches each) and the cut 3 6 by 6 blocks of my solid flannel (I had this at home; if you don’t you’ll need to buy a bit of extra flannel). Lay them right sides together and hem. Press open your seams. Continue til you have a length of flannel as long as your fleece.

3. Lay the fleece and flannel right sides together. Sew the long ends (I used ¼ inch seams, but you can use what ever you are comfortable with.), making a long tube with 2 open ends. Since I didn’t bother to trim my fleece piece, it was a little wider than the flannel. I just lined up my fabrics so the edges were straight, even though the fleece bubbles a bit in the middle.)

4. Turn it right side out. Press seams if you want (I just straightened them as I went) and topstitch it (sew down those long ends about ¼ inch or less from the sewn edge).

5. Now take your open unfinished ends. Fold the raw ends of one end inside the tube. Tuck the other end in, creating the loop, and pin it. Check both sides to make sure they are lined up and raw ends are hidden. Stitch over once or twice and you are done!

Sorry I didn’t take any pictures of that last one. If you want to make one and are confused, leave a comment and I’ll gladly take the chance to make another and take some pictures!
handmade projects

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Easy kid's scarf

My little girl has had no scarf all winter and after seeing some cute scarves on other blogs, especially this one on Living with Punks, I thought of a way to make one she can (hopefully) do herself!
Sorry in advance for the terrible pictures...

This scarf is simple! Flannel and fleece with a loop at one end to pull the long tail through!

See?  And she CAN do it herself! YAY!

This is what we get when we ask her to smile now...
This scarf was SOOOO simple. Any level sewer could whip one up in no time!  If you'd like to make your own, read on (no pics, sorry, but really, its so simple you don't even need them!).

All I did is cut 2 rectangles (one fleece, one flannel); for my 3 year old, I cut them 5  inches by 31 inches. Lay them right sides together and sew around the entire thing (I used 1/2 inch seams) EXCEPT for one short end. Turn it right side out, pushing out your corners, and topstitch, starting at one end of the  unfinished short end, going up the long end first and all around. When you get back to the unfinished piece, tuck the ends up inside and pin, creating a finished edge.  Fold it over about 4 inches (I made it JUST big enough to reach adult fingers through to grab the tail, but big enough for a child's hand) and stitch it down, sealing the unfinished tail. That's it!  Any questions, let me know, I can make a tutorial with pictures- My girlie would love another!
Very simple and very inexpensive!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Ipod Touch Portfolio Case

My Christmas present this year was an Ipod touch (I needed a nice calendar... nice excuse, no?!); generally we wouldn't spend this much but I figured it was my turn for a big purchase after all my husband's video game systems! I wanted a case that would protect the screen (the screen protector that came with my soft case is about as useful as a piece of saran wrap!), and decided to try to come up with a portfolio type case. And came up with this:

My case closes snuggly with velcro; Version 2 will probably have a button or some kind of decoration.

I like that i can use it any functions without taking it out of the case-even headphones!  V.2 will have the tab and elastic on both ends to hold it in (made a bit larger so it fits better). Also the entire case needs to be a bit bigger, especially cause I really wanted my stylus to fit.  I made a little pocket on the left side to tuck in what ever small item I may need: note, cash, credit card, etc.

The tab allows access to the headphone jack easily; in v.2 the power/sleep button will be more accessible as well.
 So as noted, Version 2 will be here sometime (and possible a tutorial, or a few for the Monkeyshiners shop if anyone is interested) with some changes, but I'm pretty happy for a first shot!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Book Review - The Questions Christians Hope No One Will Ask

I recieved a copy of Mark Mittelberg's The Questions Christians Hope No One Will Ask from Tyndale. It is a pretty good book for someone who frequently (or at any frequency!) gets into discussions with others about Christianity and faith.  He tackles some of the BIG questions, like "How could a good God allow so much evil, pain, and suffering--or does he simply not care?" He discusses subjects like abortion, homosexuality, and hypocrisy. I felt that he treated these issues respectfully and tactfully. He explains the evidence and arguments, and then gives a simple summary of the chapter at the end, along with tips for talking about the issue and questions for group discussion.  It would be an excellent book, both for personal growth in understanding these issues, as well as preparation for discussion with others, both on one's own, or in a group setting. I would recommend reading it and felt he had excellent answers to these questions that helped me in understanding them for myself! And now I also have a reference for when God puts others in my path!

Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review.