Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

We didn't have plans to do anything for Halloween this year because:
1) we live in the middle of nowhere and you don't exactly go trick-or-treating out here
2) my kids are still too young to get into the whole Halloween thing
3) I didn't have any costumes made
4) we don't give the kids candy like that and I rather not even have them see it.

But at the last minute we decided to attend an event at the local college where my husband works called Boo at the Zoo.  Admission was one canned good per person and there were tons of display tables, scenes, kids in costumes and zookeepers dressed up handing out candy and stickers to the trick-or-treaters.

I naturally thought my son would want to wear one of the two Spiderman costumes he has but I was wrong.  He wanted to be a pumpkin. So.... I just had to make it happen! We both went into my studio with about 30 minutes yesterday while the baby napped and whipped up a little pumpkin costume. I could not stop laughing once I put it on him because he looked so cute and seeing the excitement on his face was precious!

Homemade pumpkin costume.
In true sibling nature, after she saw it my daughter wanted his costume and refused to let him have it so I whipped up another one for her today while she took a little nap.  Phew!  Talk about last minute costumes! 
Both kids wearing handmade pumpkin costumes.

I really wish I could have planned it out better so I could have turned it into a tutorial but it was super last minute. Sorry!

A basic description of how I made them:
- For my son's (he's 3 years old) I cut out 2 rectangles of this fluffy orange fabric that doesn't unravel (fleece or felt would work fine too) that measure 18" x 22". The 18" is the width measurement and the 22" is the length. Lay them both pretty sides together and sew up both side seams. Turn inside out and trim fabric in a curve to create the arm openings.  I didn't hem the openings but you could if you wanted to. I cut the curves pretty deep to leave only a straight edge of fabric measuring 9" across at the top. Then I cut up some scrap felt and cut the green part for the top of the pumpkinand sewed that to the top edge on both the front and back necklines. I used plastic snaps at both shoulders to attach it over their clothes.  Then machine applique the eyes, nose and mouth of the jack o'lantern.  For the hem I created a casing and fed the elastic through making sure it wasn't too tight and they had plenty of walking room for their legs as they move forward and back as they walk around.  To complete the costumer I put long sleeved orange tops on the kids and dark pants. That's it! Super easy, comfy and easy to take off an on so it would be perfect for even a baby.


HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Spilling the beans & Giveaway Winner announced!

If you follow me on Facebook then you probably already know that I was in Colorado earlier this week for an awesome opportunity.  I can finally spill the beans!  I was shooting an episode of Sew It All with Ellen March! If you don't know what that means.... well, I'm gonna be on TV! Yippee!

Unfortunately, my local PBS station doesn't air the show but I'm going to get my hands on the DVD series once they come out sometime next summer.  For those of you that do catch the show I think my episode will air sometime in the Spring but as soon as I have exact dates I will let you know. 

On the set of Sew It All TV!


The trip got even better! I had no flight delays or issues. The hotel room was huge and my shuttle driver even gave me a free voucher for $10 towards a meal at any airport restaurant. But it got better!  As I'm sitting in the shuttle on the way to the hotel I notice the girl sitting in front of me opens up a folder and I immediately see in huge letters the words "Sew It All." Being my usual nosey friendly self I tap her on the shoulder and ask her if she is also a guest on the show, etc.  Next thing I know we spent the entire 1.5 hours on the shuttle talking about everything from kids to fabric and all out crazy ventures in between.  You wanna know who she was?! ummm.... Rashida Coleman-Hale of the i heart linen blog. Don't know who she is? Well, how about the author of this amazing book! She has done it all.  Fabric collections, another book, and has had her work published in multiple magazines. 

Click for more info on book
And would you believe I met another famous quilter?!  You may remember her from the tv show America Sews with..... yea, Sue Hausmann! I wish I would have had more time to take a picture with Sue but my shuttle was waiting to take me back to the airport so I had to run out the door as soon my segment was done. We did get to chat for a good long while on the way to the studio so that was fun.  She is such a darling! 

I'm back home now and with so much going on I almost forgot to post the winner of the latest Boho Shoulder Bag Giveaway.  Without further a do....

CONGRATULATIONS to......


A big thanks to all who entered and to my buddy Jen at SewFun for giving us such a great pattern for the giveaway.  You can always buy the e-pattern version of this bag at Jen's online shop right HERE.

Thanks!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Big Little Book of Fabric Die Cutting Tips- Blog Book Tour & Giveaway!

Hey quilters!  I know I haven't posted a quilting tutorial in a while but rest assured I am working on a few to bring you in the coming weeks.  In the meantime... I'm bringing you info (and a giveaway, of course!) on my friend, Ebony Love's new must-have book- The Big Little Book of Fabric Die Cutting Tips.

Book cover.

If you have any kind of die cutting system you have probably come across her video tutorials.  If you haven't and are looking for ideas, inspiration, tips & tricks check them out here.  

Author, Ebony Love
I have had my fabric die cutting system for 2 yrs now- the AccuQuilt Go! It's easy to use but early on I found myself looking for info on reducing fabric waste, how to cut through multiple layers with no shifting, making the cutting mats last longer, etc.  After some research, there was NOTHING on the internet. NOTHING. Every few months I would do another search until I finally found Ebony!  So, you can imagine my excitement when she told me she was writing this book with EVERYTHING the die cutting quilter needs to know.   

I had the opportunity to review the book and I think it is the must-have book for any die cutting quilter!

It's a spiral bound book with a whopping 256 pages! It is jam packed with INFO.  This is NOT a book of projects.  The book tells you everything about the die cutting systems on the market right now. From how many dies each manufacturer puts out each year to the warranty info on each manufacturer.

You can read a full 16-page excerpt from the book with the complete table of contents by clicking HERE. 

 But my favorite part has to be the little question & answer boxes that you will find throughout the book.  The questions are asked and answered in plain English and they all answer great questions you may already have.  Here is one quick example directly from the book:


These little boxes are everywhere in the book and offer great insight and guidance. I love them!

The book can be purchased directly from Ebony because she self-published this book! Go Girl! You can click HERE for the info. 

GIVEAWAY TIME: One random winner will be selected to win a copy of The Big Little Book of Fabric Die Cutting Tips.  

TO ENTER: Leave a comment below telling me why you want to win the book. 

DEADLINE: Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012 at 11:59PM EST.  

Check out the other stops on the blog tour some are also offering giveaways: Click HERE to read the blog tour recap.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Montessori At Home- New Sponsor Giveaway

Since my first homeschooling post many of you have emailed me to ask about the eBook I mention in that post. I've since worked out an awesome giveaway with my newest sponsor, John Bowman, author of Montessori At Home! How cool is that?!


Two (2) lucky winners will be randomly selected to win this amazing bundle!

Each winner receives the Montessori At Home! eBook & Materials Bundle, a $24.95 value, which includes:
Just look at some of the printable activities that are included!
Montessori At Home Materials Bundle

If you have young children or grandchildren in your family you will want to enter this giveaway for a chance to win this amazing early education bundle! You don't have to be a homeschooling parent to benefit from this bundle.  You can use the info and printables to supplement your child's schooling or just do them for fun!

Feel free to share this giveaway with anyone you know who may benefit from this amazing package!

Now for the giveaway details:

How to enter:
1. "Like" the Montessori at Home! Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/MontessoriAtHomeBook
2. Leave a comment below this post telling me why you'd like to win one of these bundles. Please DO NOT leave a comment on the Montessori At Home Facebook page.  To be considered a valid entry in this giveaway you must include a comment on this blog post.

Who can enter:
1. This giveaway is open to worldwide readers and requires you to have a valid email address to be eligible to win.

Entry deadline:
1. Giveaway will close on Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012 at 11:59PM. Two (2) random winners will be selected and contacted via email. Please be sure to enter your comment with a valid login below and/or leave a valid email address so I can contact you if you are selected as a winner.

Good luck!






Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Winner announced & New Giveaway- Boho Shoulder Bag Pattern

Hi all!  I'm in Colorado right now for an amazing opportunity! I'll let you know what it is as soon as I can spill the beans. But I wanted to drop in and post the winner of the Hypernoodle Fabrics 6 yard fabric giveaway!

Congratulations to......

I think I would make a Christmas Quit or maybe some Quilted Christmas Stockings. Maybe I would make my daughters first Christmas Stocking!

Thanks to everyone who entered!

...and if you are looking for another giveaway to enter, check out a giveaway I'm hosting over on my YouTube channel for a Boho Shoulder Bag pattern that I absolutely love! Giveaway ends on Friday, Oct. 26, 2012 at 11:59PM EST so there is still time to enter!


You can view the video for all giveaway details below or click HERE.



GOOD LUCK!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Easy Fleece Fringe Scarf- Jellyfish Applique

Quickie tutorial post this week.  A super easy fleece fringe scarf.  I made this one with a jellyfish applique for the kids but you can make it in any width and length for older kids or adults.  Fleece is the perfect fabric to use for this scarf because it's soft, warm, and best of all doesn't fray or unravel on you!

fleece fringe scarf

Jellyfish applique on scarf
 Click HERE to watch the video tutorial or view it below if you are reading this on my blog. 

 ENJOY!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fabric Giveaway- Hypernoodle Fabrics

Have you started your Christmas projects yet? Or are you still searching for the perfect fabric? Well, look no more!  Hypernoodle Fabrics is offering you the chance to win a chunky stack of fabrics for your stash.


Our very generous sponsor- Hypernoodle Fabrics is offering up 6.... yes, 6 yards of Christmas fabric!
GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. Winner announced HERE.

All Robert Kaufman fabrics: Jingle Snowmen, Presents, Candy Canes, Gingerbread Men, Jingle Penguins and Spot on in Holiday
Aren't they cute?!  I love the bright colors and whimsical prints.  I can think of soooooo many projects that would be perfect to make from these fabrics.

We are going to keep this giveaway quick and easy so we can hurry up and get the fabrics to the lucky (random) winner before we get any closer to the holidays!

Fabrics included in prize:   
Jingle Canes in Holiday- Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman Fabrics
Presents in Holly- Anne Kelle for Robert Kaufman Fabrics
Gingerbread in Holly- Anne Kelle for Robert Kaufman Fabrics
Jingle Snowmen in Holly- Anne Kelle for Robert Kaufman Fabrics
Jingle Penguins in Pink- Anne Kelle for Robert Kaufman Fabrics
Spot on in Holiday- Robert Kaufman Fabrics
Entry deadline: Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012 at 11:59PM EST. Winner will be selected and announced on the Monday, Oct. 22nd blog post.

How to enter the giveaway:
1. "Like" the Hypernoodle Fabrics Facebook page HERE.
2.  Leave a comment below telling me what you plan to make with the 6 yards of Christmas fabric if you win. 

To learn more about our sponsor- Hypernoodle Fabrics click HERE to read my intro post. 

 GOOD LUCK!



Monday, October 8, 2012

How to Make an Infinity Scarf- DIY Sewing Tutorial

The weather hasn't cooled down yet for us here in Florida but I know some other parts of the country have already seen snow! So, what better DIY (do-it-yourself) project than an infinity scarf to help keep you warm as the weather cools for Autumn/Winter.


It's a great beginner project and you only need a few supplies aside from a sewing machine.  Even if you don't have a machine you could sew it up by hand. It would (obviously) take a lot longer but it's totally do-able! I love that this project is unisex.  Men, women and even kids can rock an infinity scarf.  Just play around with the width and length measurements to get the look you want.

As far as your fabric choice goes you could pretty much make the infinity scarf out of any fabric you want.  I use more light-medium weight fabrics because we don't have real cold weather here. In the video I show you two different scarves one made with cotton gauze fabric and the other with a stretch knit.

I love that the scarf can be worn in a ton of different styles.  Here are the two most common.  But if you made it even longer you could do a lot more with it. 

Infinity scarf worn as a single loop around neck.
Infinity scarf doubled up.





 









{Note: The adjustable dress form I have is this one. They also have the same one but for smaller sizes. }




 
Now, here is the step-by-step video tutorial on the infinity scarf. Enjoy it!  You can also click HERE to go directly to the video.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Homeschooling Adventure Begins- Montessori


I've always wanted to homeschool my kids but never realized how soon these years would creep up on me! I don't have babies anymore. My son is now 3 and our baby girl is already 1! Pure craziness.

My kids reading our gardening books.
We've always done fun and educational activities with J since he was a baby but I started to do some homeschooling research last year and have slowly been implementing different activities into our daily routine.

A lot of you have asked me for info and ideas on activities I do with my kids at home so I thought I'd share some of what we do in this post.  I'm not an expert by any means and I'm learning as I go.

I started by researching Maria Montessori's educational philosophy.  I remember attending a Montessori school in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic when I was a kid and I absolutely loved it! The more research I did the more I liked what I was reading.  Now, I will say that I have never been one to follow rules to the T so, I wouldn't consider myself a Montessori purist.  I think it's about finding what works for your children and family.

A friend of mine recommended an e-Book she discovered called Montessori At Home! eBook.  It didn't take me long to realize I had to have it!  In short, the e-book has almost 300 pages of history, info, activities, charts and printouts written just for parents to get a start on early education Montessori-style. When I saw the price was $8.95 I jumped on it!  (Note: I am in no way associated with the author of the e-book but I would recommend it to anyone if this is something you think you may be interested in doing.)  Tons of valuable information, ideas, activities and inspiration...and my favorite part is that it's written for parents and specifically teaches you how to make most of the activities from stuff you already have at home or can buy for very cheap! Ok. I'll leave it at that. If you want more info you can check it out HERE.

Here are some examples of activities we do in our home.
Use toilet paper, paper towel or mailing rolls cut to smaller pieces. I wrote numbers on each and he glues the number of pom poms needed to match the written number.
Practicing independent life skills. Cutting grapes into smaller pieces. 

We built a wooden airplane together (from a kit) and he painted it himself.

We make homemade play-dough and then he rolls/cuts out shapes with cookie cutters.

Puzzles of any kind! He loves puzzles... he gets that from me!

Sorting metal washers by size.


Counting activity with dried garbanzo beans.
So yeah... you get the idea. I'm always looking to learn new things so feel free to leave me a comment with your homeschooling recommendations for any must-have materials, books or blogs I have to follow.

Before the year is up I hope to convert the play area in our house into a full blown Montessori-inspired classroom. I have a lot of work to do and a lot of furniture to build. Wish me luck!

Would you like to see more posts like this? I'd love your feedback. Thanks for stopping by!

Feel free to pin! I love pins!


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Halloween Trick-or-Treat Bag

WOW! I can't believe it's already October. This year is just flying by.  Living in Florida it's still pretty hot but we're looking forward to cooler days coming soon.  Now that my kids are getting a little older I'm thinking I may have to make real costumes for them this year.  No more getting away with quickie-thrown-together costumes. Oh, joy! I wasn't ready to tackle a full blown costume this week so instead I promised my 3 yr old DS that we would make a trick-or-treat bag.  He loves being on camera now and helping me make these tutorials for you.

Halloween Trick-or-Treat Bag Tutorial

Halloween Trick-or-Treat Bag Tutorial
It's super quick & easy to whip up because it's made of felt- which doesn't unravel or fray (yippee!) and minimal sewing.  The embellished jack o'lantern is put together with a craft glue gun and we had a great time whipping this little bag up.

The finished size is made for a toddler or young child up to around age 6.  If you want to make yours bigger simply increase the width and length of the main body piece and make the handles longer but not wider (unless you want to) and it will work out just fine.

I'll leave you with the video tutorial HERE or below (if you're reading this on my website). Enjoy!

I love pins!




Monday, October 1, 2012

Hypernoodle Fabrics for Overactive Minds

Please join me in welcoming a new blog sponsor- Hypernoodle Fabrics!



Hypernoodle: overactive mind

As soon as I saw the logo for Michelle's online shop I knew I could relate! Maybe it's the Gemini in me?!  Her fun and whimsical logo (yea, that's a wet lasagna noodle!) automatically let's you know this is not your ordinary online fabric shop! 

Say hello to beautiful, bright, fun and funky fabrics!

The Hypernoodle story:
 
Michelle opened up shop in 2008.  She was previously an employee at a quilt shop that only carried dated and not very colorful fabrics. She tried (unsuccessfully!) to convince the shop owner to carry more modern, colorful, funky fabrics for a different aesthetic... but the owner was not trying to hear that! 
 
So, Michelle left with the itch to open a shop where crafty minds could find colorful, fresh, modern prints.  According to Michelle, it was very much a desire to offer fabrics for the next generation of crafty minds. 

The shop's unique name attracts lots of crafty people who identify with being a "Hypernoodle" (like me!) Anyone who has more than 2 projects going at a given time is a Hypernoodle! Anyone who has more than 1 idea in their mind brewing about projects they want to start is also a Hypernoodle!  Ok, so.... that's all of us!
 
Michelle is trying to cater to the needs of all the Hypernoodle's out there offering "fabric finds for overactive minds".
 
Anne Kelle Urban  Zoologie Kitty in Spring
In addition to fun & fresh prints, they offer every colorway of Ta-Dot prints that Michael Miller carries and a great selection of other fillers as we know that blenders are at times just as important than the main print.
 
She also offers duos and trios of fabrics paired on our website for inspiration. Michelle knows not all crafty minds quilt, so for those that only need fabrics paired up, this works wonderfully for them. For those that do quilt, her duos and trios are great "jumping off" points!
 
 
I invite you to click HERE to head over to Hypernoodle Fabrics and check her out. There is no shortage of color anywhere on her website and it's so much fun to look at beautiful fabrics! 
 
Michelle also has another online shop called Hypernoodle Handmade where she sells her beautiful handmade crafts. Look at this wristlet pouch. She designs, cuts and constructs every piece herself.... umm, yeah. Love it!  Jump over to her shop and perhaps get a head start on your holiday shopping?
 
A big thanks to Hypernoodle Fabrics for sponsoring this blog!  And thank YOU for continuing to support my sponsors. 
 
 
Stay tuned for a Hypernoodle Fabric giveaway coming soon!
 
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