Monday, August 27, 2012

Kid's Chef Hat Tutorial

This is the 6th and final video tutorial in the Invade London series being hosted on YouTube. If you've watched some of my more recent videos then you have probably seen my son make his on-camera debut!  He is a piece of work and quite the character.  He is also the best helper and cooks with me every day.  Since I'm at home with both kids every day I cook breakfast, lunch and dinner every day.  It definitely helps to have a great helper!

J scrambling eggs for breakfast.
This project is super easy for anyone with basic sewing skills.  It can be whipped up in about 20-30 minutes. The size I show in the tutorial is designed for a small child but if you want to make one for an older child or adult it's really simple! Just make the headband longer and start off with a larger square.  It really is foolproof!

My DS went through the fabric stash and found some really cute shark fabric we bought a few years ago.  I love being able to involve my children in everything we make. He has a lot fun and learns a ton in the process. 

The hat also has a hook & loop closure on the back making it (somewhat) adjustable. 

Check out the full video tutorial below or click HERE to go see it on YouTube.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Olympic Rings Puzzle for Kids Tutorial

I know the 2012 Olympics are already over but I'm still working on a few more tutorials as part of Invade London going on on YouTube.  This one was a lot of fun to create because it's really easy, washable, and great for kids to play with. 

My 3 yr old son loves to play with this puzzle! What I do is print out a color image of the Olympic Rings and place it next to him with the 5 different colored rings.  I then have him look at the image and recreate the Olympic logo himself by lining up and interlocking the rings to match the image.  I was surprised at how quickly he was able to do it!  I think he may have my puzzle-loving genes. Ever since I can remember I have enjoyed all kinds of puzzles and logic games.

I'll have to start brainstorming some more fabric puzzle ideas I can make for him.  They are fun to make and I love using Pellon's Peltex 72F product to create anything stiff that is still washable- like my ABC-123 Fabric Flashcards. 

You can view the video tutorial below or if you're reading this in your email just click HERE to view it.

Monday, August 20, 2012

T-shirt Drawstring Backpack Tutorial

For Week 4 of Invade London I've whipped up a quick an easy kid's project that is a go-to for using up old t-shirts.  Many people know that drawstring backpacks are simple to make but just don't know how to make the shoulder straps so that they serve two purposes- 1) the shoulder straps and 2) the closure for the backpack.  Once you watch this tutorial you are going to see just how easy it is.

In this project I used some white cotton stretch knit fabric I got from one of my sponsors- Fabric Mart Fabrics.  They have some ridiculous sales and I've scooped fabric up for even $1 per yard!  Check them out HERE for your garment sewing fabric needs. 

This project can be made in any size and with pretty much any fabric.  So, go for it and give it a try! If you don't have kids.. no worries. Just make a larger one for yourself!

It's also a must-have for any child involved in extracurricular activities. They always need to store something- dance shoes, tennis balls, goggles, cleats, etc. 

Hope you'll give it a try!  I'll leave you with the video below (if you are reading this on my site). If you are reading this in your email, click HERE to watch the tutorial.

Don't forget to pin! I love pins!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Chickens and Buckwheat

If you follow my blog or YouTube channel you probably noticed that I have yet to post a video this week.  I've been so busy I haven't had a chance to edit the next tutorial just yet.  It will be coming later this week so stay tuned for that.

Right now I wanted to let you in on what I've been busy doing.... farm stuff!  It's been a year since we bought our 5-acre homestead out in the middle of the country here in North Central Florida and we are very happy with the progress we've been making, knowledge we've gained and how far us city kids have come since moving into our double wide on five acres.

I recently designed this new chicken coop.. .which is still a work in progress. 

I designed the coop to measure 10' x 12' x 8' tall at the highest point and then the roof slants down to 7' on the lowest end.  I plan to install a gutter on that end and set up a rain collection barrel there to route into the garden for irrigation. But I'm not quite there yet. Still need to add more reinforcements to the coop frame, add the roof slats, plywood siding, hardware cloth, door, etc.  But it's coming along! I constructed the main body of the frame with 2x4s and then the reinforcements are 2x3s that I found at the lumber yard for $1 less than a 2x4 so I went with those.  Gotta save where I can!

This coop will be 120 square feet total which, based on the calculations I've seen online should comfortably house somewhere between 20-40 chickens. That should be plenty of space especially since my chickens free range during the day and only need a place to roost at night.  About 2/3 of the coop will only be covered with hardware cloth because we live in Florida and a main concern with our hot weather is ventilation in the coop.  The sides that will have plywood siding face the Northwest side of the property (where the winter winds come from) to help shield the flock from any cold drafts.

Right now we have a rooster and three hens, one of which has gone broody and has 9 eggs in her nest. woo-hoo!  We definitely need to get this coop finished up before those baby chickies arrive.  I plan to have the mama hen, Spicy, and her chicks in the smaller chicken tractor and the rest of the flock in the new coop. So, it's gotta get done ASAP!

In other farm news we have started working on our new garden plot for our Fall garden.  I had a neighbor come over with his tractor this weekend and till up a 20' x 60' plot that was beyond overgrown with weeds... think 10'+ tall weeds! The plan here is to sow a cover crop that will choke out weeds and help add nutrients and organic matter to the soil before I start planting seeds and transplants in there in the next 1-2 months.

We settled on buckwheat as the cover crop.  For the seeds I simply purchased 4 lbs of organic raw buckwheat groats (not the toasted ones) from my local natural foods store. It is a heat loving plant, grows super fast (1-3 day germination for ours!), adds organic matter and makes soil nutrients like phosphorus and calcium, more accessible to the fall crops that will be planted after it.  In only 30-40 days the buckwheat will be ready for me to stomp down and let it start to breakdown before planting my fall transplants.  My little helper spent two mornings with me walking and sprinkling buckwheat seeds in the plot. It rained both days so that saved us some water and work. All you do is broadcast the seeds everywhere, lightly rake it in and water. That's it. If some seeds remain on the soil surface no biggie.. but be aware that the birds will eat the ones they see! Don't ask me how I know that.

My baby was working and singing, "Farmer Jonathan sprinkling the seeds... Farmer Jonathan sprinkling the seeds." He is almost 3 years old now and going through a phase where he makes up a song about everything he is doing. I love it.

We have a lot planned for this Fall garden!  I've also started some seeds indoors to get a head start on the season.

Are you getting ready for your Fall garden?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Soap Sale & Class Announcements

I put together a quick video (scroll down to view) to announce the handmade soap bars I have for sale right now and to reveal my August 2012 most current sewing & quilting class schedule.

I've been working on a bunch of different cold processed and hot processed soap the last few months and I'm happy to announce some of them are now ready for sale!  They are all listed in my online shop. 

Here are just a few....
Brown Sugar & Fig scented soap bar
Soapy Clean scented soap bar

Cucumber Melons scented soap bar

Unscented all-natural activated charcoal soap bar

As for my classes... if you are in the North Central Florida area check out my current teaching schedule for I also have a page on my site here dedicated to my classes meaning at anytime you can check out THIS LINK to get the most up-to-date information on my classes.

I currently offer private and small group sewing & quilting classes for everyone including the super beginner who has never sewn before, children (ages 9+) and even more intermediate sewists looking to learn new skills or try fun projects.

If you'd like to schedule a private lesson for a time other than what is shown on the calendar please contact me and I will do my best to schedule something that works for both of us.

Now, I leave you with the short video announcement:

Click HERE to view video if you are not reading this on my website.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

British Flag/Union Jack Pillow Tutorial

It's Week 3 of Invade London and my project is a British Flag mini pillow that I think is just adorable!

I didn't use any fusible web or anything in this video because I know not everyone carries those type of products on hand and some people just want to be able to make a project without it.  I only used pins and it worked out perfectly! Give it a try... it's a really fun little project!

I had a lot of fun designing this project and I hope it will help some of you since I have received several requests for tutorials on making the British flag out of fabric.  There are tons of other ways to do it and if you want to check out a bunch of them HERE.

Watch the video below (if you are reading this on my site) otherwise click HERE.

Don't forget to pin! I love pins!

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