Friday, July 29, 2011

Little Girl's Apron Tutorial {Re-Post}

I'm taking a blog vacation and rather than have nothing to post I thought I'd repeat some of my past projects.

After my friend Melissa saw Catie's cute apron she asked me to make one for her little Emily which I was more than happy to do.  Her's turned out so cute and I hope she's happy with it.

I also had a couple people interested in making an adult sized apron so I finally managed to track down some measurements, they're listed below.  If you're looking for a tutorial you can find it here, it's for a child's apron but the adult will be the same except for sizing.

Cut List
Front - 23" sq
Back - 25 1/4" Sq
Bottom Trim - 2 1/2" x 26" - cut two (back fabric)
Neck Strap - 3" x 23-25" (back fabric)
Waist Ties - 3" x the width of your fabric - cut two
Pocket template - cut two (one the front fabric, one the back)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bouncy Chair Re-Cover {Re-Post}

While I'm on vacation I'm re=posting old projects, perhaps you missed it the first time I posted.
I've re-covered a bunch of these bouncy chairs but none of them more difficult than this one.

Never have I worked on a project like this. It should have been a simple copy of this project that took a long time but turned out great and wasn't super difficult.  Read below for details on this beautiful disaster.

I had a baby shower to go to and wanted to give something really nice.  I thought back to what I liked the most when Catie was new and it was definitely the bouncy chair that we used all the time.  Since Michelle and I had re-covered ours and they turned out great I figured this was the perfect opportunity to make a really cute gift.

I found a cheap second hand bouncy chair to start and the fabric practically jumped off the shelf it was so perfect.  Armed with the necessary tools I got to work.  I very carefully unpicked the old chair so I could use the batting and backing fabric and then I cut out all my new pieces.  I pinned and started to sew and it wasn't very long before I ran into issues.

I have this sewing machine that I love.  I feel lucky to have it as my brother took his co-worker's old machine, he didn't even know I wanted one and at the time I didn't know I wanted one either.  It sat mostly unused for almost two years but lately it gets used just about daily.  I'm aware of how important this machine is to me so I try to oil it regularly and take good care of it.  For some reason this project proved too much for my trusty Hobby 303.  I spent hours fiddling with issues and called my Mom multiple times and when that failed I called my sister-in-law just as many times.  It seemed like as one problem was fixed another crept up.  I finally called it night at 1:00 am when my last needle broke.

I got up early and headed to Walmart for new needles with some new resolve to make this work.  My resolve was not enough and eventually I had to call a friend and beg the use of her machine.  So on the one hand my project is finished and adorable and on the other hand my sewing machine seems to be out of commission.  Now comes the question of, to try to fix or to buy a new (to me) machine.  Decisions.

But let's celebrate the beautiful new project and admire how lovely the chair is.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What Catie Wore Wednesday #44

I've gone a little overboard with pictures today but we had a great weekend that's worth sharing, lots of first for Catie.  We went down to Magrath for their annual celebration and there were parades, fireworks, a mini rodeo (which she hated) and fun with cousins.

I've mentioned before that she loves to colour and the magna doodle is a perfect facilitator.  Love this cute nightgown.
Cousin Brendan has always loved backpacks, he carried it around everywhere putting in his treasures.  He turned three years old while we were there and one of his gifts was a new (really cute) dinosaur backpack.  He's a nice little boy and he gave his old Elmo backpack to Catie.  It looks so cute on her and she immediately filled it with rocks and pennies and any other treasure she can find.
Parade day was a lot of fun, here she's waiting for it to begin
In Magrath at the parade they throw out candy and it didn't take long before she understood what she was supposed to do.  She'd run over, pick up the candy and bring it back to her backpack.  We thought it would be plenty big to hold it all but it had to be emptied into a larger bag twice, she brought home a huge haul.

Waving to the horsies
Enjoying a sucker and her necklaces.  By the end it didn't matter if it was candy or garbage, she was happy to pick up both.  I was grateful we were down a bit from the horse poop so there was no chance of her confusing it for something else.

Later there was a petting zoo.  When I took her closer to the donkey she shoved it's head away, oops.  She did like the sheep though and would say, "Baaa" as we got close.
Walking home with Daddy.

We woke her up and took her to the fireworks later that night, we weren't sure what her reaction would be but we were pleasantly surprised when she loved them.  "Woooow", she'd exclaim and she loved the finale.

We'll  repeat the weekend next year for sure, she may even be old enough to participate in the rodeo and chase the chicken.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Art Bucket {Re-Post}

I'm on vacation, posting older projects you may not have seen.

As promised it's Tuesday so time for the second half of my gift that I'm so excited about.  I didn't get a comment from the person this is going to so I'm going to assume I'm not spoiling anything.  The first part of this gift is the art smock that you can read about here, that part of the gift will be included in the awesome art bucket that I've made.

This bucket will hold all of the cute girl's art supplies so when it's time to craft you can just pull out the bucket and she's good to go.  There are pockets all around and most of them are empty just waiting to be filled.  I got the idea here at a blog called Kotori.  She used a bucket tool belt but I wanted mine to be a little cuter and the belt was a little more than I was willing to spend.

One quick side note... I called this a light tutorial because I had a very sad thing happen while crafting this project, I filled up my Picasa storage space.  For those of you unfamiliar, Picasa is the site that automatically stores all of your blogger pictures.  Once your space is gone you can no longer add photos to your blog posts and you need to buy more space.  I've been really un-happy about my free hobby suddenly costing $5 a year (I know, it's only $5).  I was a little poutty about it so I just didn't take photos during my creation of the bucket, sorry.  I have now come to terms with the necessary $5 (unless you have an awesome suggestion for me) so the many photos can continue on future posts.  On to the tutorial...

Here's my bucket, naked and ready to be re-used.

I used a plain canvas type fabric for my cover and I started by tracing around the bottom of my bucket and then adding some seam allowance.  I also cut a rectangle that was wide enough to fit around the widest part of my bucket.  I made sure it was long enough to extend from the bottom of the bucket up to the top, over and down to the bottom again.

I sewed up the sides of my rectangle and slipped it inside my bucket to see how it fit.  I wanted the cover to fit nice and snug so I checked the fit a lot.  I thought a rectangle would work well because my bucket seemed really straight up and down, I was surprised just how much I ended up needed to cut off my original rectangle though, the slant was subtle but definitely there.  I placed the fabric in my bucket and then pinned the excess fabric so I could move my seam in where necessary.  I did this a bunch of times until my cover finally fit how I wanted and then I cut the excess fabric off the width leaving my length the same.

I would do one thing differently next time, the circle is going to fit the inside of the bucket which is smaller than the outside of the bucket which meant my circle was too big and I had to trim it, next time I would trace the outside and not add any seam allowance.  That extra size on the outside will become the seam allowance and the circle will fit the bottom.

I next pinned my circle onto my tube of fabric and sewed it together (a photo!)

At this point it looked like this.
I wanted the cover to stay snug on the bucket so I made a casing at the bottom and inserted some wide elastic.  I pulled the elastic as I went so everything is cinched into place.  You can see in the picture above the little hole where my handle goes (I removed it before I started), I marked that hole and then made a button hole.  I did the same on the other side so my handle could slip back into place (but I didn't put the handle on until my pockets were finished).

From this point I made my paintbrush pockets on the inside of the bucket (such a pain but it's like making a crayon roll), I then put pockets on the outside.  I made my pockets poof out a bit by not sewing them flat, I would pin one side and then lay the pocket flat but before pinning I'd move the second side an inch or two closer to the pinned side.  I'd make a little pleat on the bottom to give it the space to put stuff inside.  I did that all the way around the bucket making as many pockets as I had room.

Here's what I filled the pockets with (this little girl LOVES Dora)

I also plan on making some homemade play dough but I can't do that until closer to Christmas.  The art smock will slip in the bucket as well.  I've left plenty of room for supplies she already owns.

Here are some more pictures of the completed bucket (I added a few things to make it look more full).

I think the paint brush pockets are my favorite part and I just hope this Mommy and little girl enjoy it.

I'm going to link up to these fun parties and this one

Friday, July 22, 2011

Butterfly Specimen Case {Re-Post}

While I'm on vacation I'm re-posting some old projects that you may not have seen the first time around, hope you enjoy the repeat.

This is certainly not a new project, they're starting to pop up all over but I think they're really cute.

I first saw this idea at least a month ago and knew I wanted to re-create it so I bought the frame but I was unwilling to buy a butterfly punch that I'd probably never use again.  My sister-in-law has a Cricut so I was waiting to make use of it.  This weekend was the right time to work on it so I headed over to find out she doesn't have a cartridge with what I wanted but she did have a punch and a ton of beautiful paper so I started flipping through and punching.  I'm sure this idea is pretty straight forward but tutorials are the thing to do so here goes.

For supplies I used an 11x17 frame I bought for real cheap at Liquidation World.  I really wanted a double matted one but they were all too expensive so I made do (more details on that further down).  I also used the borrowed butterfly punch and lots of pretty paper plus a couple magazine pages.  I used a nice cardstock page for the backing and some adhesive pop dots that I bought at the dollar store.

I started by cutting out all my butterflies (I have lots extra just in case) and then since I wanted them to be extra 3-D I bent all their wings a little.

Then it was time to space them.  I couldn't bear the idea of measuring and marking each spot so instead I came up with this using PowerPoint.

The large rectangle is 8x10 inches since that's how big my opening was.  I figured out how many rows of butterflies I wanted and then I used the computer to evenly space them.  The dots show the centre of each butterfly.  Much faster and easier than marking them by hand.  So I printed the above page, lined it up on top of my cardstock and using a pin (still loving my pink pins) I poked a little hole through the centre of each black dot.  That showed me exactly where to put each adhesive dot which I did using tweezers (those things are tiny!)

Then I layed out my butterflies on the counter with the patterns arranged the way I wanted them.

 I transferred them to my sticky dots using tweezers.  I tried not to place them down too well figuring I'd have to move a bunch of them to make my lines neat but somehow I manged to do that on the first go so very little moving was necessary.

All butterflies glued down, see how their wings stand up?

Here's where some creative thinking came in.  I wanted the wings to stand up so I bent them, remember?  The problem being when I put the picture in the frame the glass was going to squish them flat again (that's why I wanted a double mat).  I'd seen other bloggers just leave the glass out but I was worried about the stability of my foam dots and I also like the finished look of glass.  So I took the frame apart and it consisted of the mat, the page inside that tells the size and a really thick piece of cardboard to hold it all flat.  I pulled out some bbq skewers, taped them to the cardboard and reassembled (with my butterflies inside of course).

The page you see above was my test to make sure it would be raised high enough.  I had visions of using a glue gun to carefully and neatly attach my skewers but once I got to this point it all seemed so silly and it worked so well that I just left the masking taped and put it all back together.

Here's the finished picture all re-assembled and ready to hang.

I hung it up in Catie's room and I think it looks so sweet though it's almost a shame to waste such beautiful paper.  It's hard to tell but lots of them are glittery or shiny and on their own they looked so beautiful.

There are a few things about this that could be changed, like the cardstock colour and the mat colour don't go together all that awesome.  I also would have liked a little more space around the mat and the start of the butterflies but I'm happy enough with it to call it finished.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Strawberry Smoothie

Look at this, a brand new post!  This one is not a repeat.

I have a new smoothie obsession, I eat one for breakfast every day and sometimes a second later in the day.  They're great for me and delicious so I refuse to feel guilty about it.  The beauty of a smoothie is that you can put just about anything in them.  Today I thought I'd give my recipe for the most basic smoothie, you can build off this one to make some delicious creations.

First, here are you ingredients and I think these 4 are the building blocks to any good smoothie. 

So 4 main ingredients:
  1. Juice - Orange juice, apple juice they're both awesome
  2. Milk - This one is pretty obvious, you need the liquid to your fruit
  3. Yoghurt - This makes just the right consistency.  Any flavour works but I tend to stick with vanilla
  4. Frozen Fruit - I almost always use strawberries because you can buy big bags but as long as it's frozen it does the trick
Let's get on with the blending.

Start with your liquids and your yoghurt and put them in the bottom of your blender.  I know in the picture above there's a lime, it's my favourite addition and I'm sad when I don't have one but it's not essential.

Okay, here's where things get a little crazy.
Yes, that's spinach in there.  Sounds gross, I still can't quite convince myself that it's good so I only manage to add about 7 leaves, I'm getting better though.  I swear you can't taste it at all and it adds a ton of iron and other good stuff, you just have to get over the idea of it.  Add it to your liquids and blend it up.  Don't be afraid of those few flecks of green, you won't notice them.

Now add your frozen fruit, blend it up and your done.

Strawberry Smoothie
1/3 cup juice
1 cup milk
the juice of half a lime
3 tablespoons yoghurt
8 frozen strawberries

Now that you have the basic recipe you can change it up anyway you want.  I like to use two kinds of fruit, mango and strawberries being my favourite.  The second fruit doesn't need to be frozen either, just add it to your liquids and blend well.  Thicken with strawberries like usual and you have a whole new drink.

Happy Blending

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What Catie Wore Wednesday #43

I'm enjoying the freedom I have now that I'm not telling you where Catie's clothes are from.  Before I was always trying to find the picture that best showed her outfit but now I get to just find the picture I like best.  This likely means there will be a few more pictures than there were in the past, I think we'll all agree that's not a bad thing.

In Calgary at this time every year our city hosts the Calgary Stampede.  Labelled the greatest outdoor show on earth it's a week full of western wear, lots of tourists and free pancake breakfasts.  Normally I can't be bothered to get up in time to stand in a very long line for some crummy pancakes but some of these breakfasts had pony rides and I was determined that Catie would ride her first horse.  We had some hiccups along the way and it took us 3 breakfasts but she rode her pony.  I was a little disappointed that she was finished 3/4 of the way through the ride but she looks so darn cute in that helmet that what does it matter.

For your viewing pleasure this ride was videoed.

Catie loves blankets and pillows.  Today we were relaxing and watching TV.

This was another Stampede breakfast, only it was much more enjoyable because it's one put on by our church.  Catie refused to turn around and is in fact very carefully ignoring me as I called for her to come back to us.

Today was hot hot hot so we called our friend Jane and her son Russel to come play with us.  We bought a cheap $4 sprinkler and hooked it up for the kids to run through but neither of them were very interested in that.  Luckily we thought to bring out some large bowls of water and they were a much bigger hit.  Daddy found a gun attachment for the hose and would occasionally mist Catie just so we could see this cute shrugged pose.

She thought it was great fun to sit in the bowl.

When she wasn't wearing her bathing suit she was wearing these cute pink shorts, though they'll real short so that'll probably be the last time.
And one more cause she's so darn cute

She was a blur today, refusing to stay still for a picture.  She ran around in this cute nightshirt all day.

You'll find me linked up at

the pleated poppy blog