Saturday, November 28, 2009

Frustration and a diffuser.

My sewing machine is acting up again. I keep getting this error
message every inch or two as I sew. So frustrating! I have Xmas
presents to make!
So I decided to work on one of the dolls I'm making instead. I'm
knitting Robin Hood and Maid Marion dolls for D. (Weir waldorf dolls,
woodsman and maiden "fairy tale folk"). But the directions are on the
other side of the room. I can't possibly move a sleeping purring
kitten. I'm stuck.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

Busy night...

For the record, I spent the day at Disneyland, carrying my 1yo, a
diaper bag, and sometimes my 3yo, so I'm pretty tired. BUT, I've been
slacking lately, (mostly because my 1yo won't sleep, so I'm
exhausted), and I really needed to get stuff done.
SO: I made a pair of underpants for my boy-o. (it feels weird to show
a kiddos underpants online, but i'm proud of them, so here they are,
on my ironing board, NOT on my kiddo). I made them in a size 6, but
the pattern doesn't have a size chart, and I think they might be too
small for my ginormous boy-o.
I also made the Heather Bailey headband (just because), and I made the
Bean-o a little sleep sack. I can't find any that fit her long length,
but stay on her teeny tiny shoulders. So I made a slightly enlarged
newborn size, with an extra length. Of course, with my luck, the night
I stay up is the night she sleeps through, so I'll have to wait till
tomorrow night to try it on her.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ok, so they're not a perfect match...

But I finished!

what's up for today:

I saw THIS:
I'm not a huge crocheter... I tend to prefer knitting, I can go faster, and I can knit without looking... crochet needs more of my attention... but I've been super inspired by the awesome stuff over at Attic24, so I bought the magazine. and then I saw these. and I NEED THEM.
so, these are my naptime goals for the day.
wish me luck! (both in napping, AND in successful thread crochet!)

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I'm always shocked by how expensive soap is. especially dishwasher soap. maybe because I grew up washing dishes in a sink, not in a dishwasher?

anyway, I was listening to a snippet on NPR (so snippity that I have no idea what the show/topic was), but the woman (possibly being interviewed for a book?) said something about how cheap and easy it is to make your own dish and laundry soap... hmmmm

quick googling brought me oodles of suggestions.

My dad, who occasionally does his laundry at our house, has us pretty well stocked with laundry detergent, but we ran out of dishwasher detergent on monday, so I immediately set to work locating the ingredients.

erg. I thought the borax would be hard to find, as I've never seen it before, but that was easily located in the laundry/cleaning aisle of Albertsons, (my normal grocery shopping routine of costco/farmers market/trader joes/whole foods was obviously going to be inadequate for these purchases, although, actually, I DID get the vinegar at Costco).

Washing Soda.... I can't find this stuff... I plan on trying target or home depot today (I assume both of these places will be open on Veteran's Day? come on, stay at home moms whose husbands work NEED somewhere to go on vets day, given the closure of libraries, disneyland (ok, not closed, but our passes don't work), aquariums, etc.) .

I even ventured into Smart n Final, which has only happened maybe once before in my life... no luck.

so I bought 10lbs of baking soda, and came home to make it work.

D helped measure and pour (his FAVORITE kitchen tasks), following THIS recipe (because it calls for baking soda, not washing soda.

we doubled the recipe, (why not, I certainly have enough Borax!?!), and voila:

I used it yesterday and it TOTALLY worked! woohoo!

I didn't accurately measure, just poured, guesstimating the tablespoon recommendations...


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bias Tape Rose tutorial

My mom gave me this giant box of thrifted bias tape, hem tape, lace, corded piping, etc, and I needed to figure out SOMETHING to do with it... so:
Cut about a yard of tape, grab a needle with about a yard of thread, knot the end, and go!

Make a running stitch down the center

Gather as you sew... the final gathered piece is probably about 18" long, but DON'T bother measuring, just gather.

When you get near the end, poke the needle through to the "right" side, but DON'T knot the thread or cut it, just gather, and look at how pretty it is...
Fold the end with the needle in 1/2, so the pre-ironed folds face each other, and start rolling. (Instead of ironing these bias folds out, I found that they add body to the finished rose, so leave them in!)
Use the needle and thread to sew it as you roll it, so it's not too hard to handle... just pop your needle in near the bottom on one side, and make it come out near the bottom on the other side...
Roll a little more, and sew a little more...
...until you're done!

This is what the back/bottom of the rose looks like, and here is the front/top:

These look good in almost any color, so have at it, and when you finish them, you can put pin backs on them, (or just safety pin them onto a shirt), or sew them to bags, shirts, coats, etc, or put them on hair clippy things!
These take me about 20 minutes now, and are basically free, so just about every girl I know will be receiving these for xmas this year...

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Travel High Chair tutorial

I, too, saw THIS on This Mama Makes Stuff, and fell in love... I figured I'd get around to making one of my own at some point, but I was going to wait till she posted a tutorial (fingers crossed)...
but then, this morning, I saw that Jill had posted THIS, so I used her measurements (roughly), and made one of my own from scraps:

YAY! so, for those of you still waiting, here's a tute on how to make my version:
You need a front piece that is 20" x 10", a connector piece that's 4" x 7" (I went a little longer on this than Jill did, because the gap between the seat and back on our chair seems higher than hers) , and a strap piece that is 6" x the width of your fabric (unless you want it shorter, don't bother measuring; it'll be between 40-45, depending on the manufacturer)
Cut each piece out of 2 fabrics and 1 batting, and make a sandwich with batting on top of the two fabrics (right sides together)
start with the smallest rectangle,the connector piece, make your sandwich, and then sew the two long sides, leaving the short sides open:

here's a pic of the long sides after they've been sewn... (not sure why I took this shot, but I did, so here it is)

Turn it right side out, and, just to make it look pretty and have a teeny bit more stability, edgestitch both long sides.

The short sides can be left open (or closed, if you'd rather, they'll be hidden INSIDE the two larger pieces, so they don't matter)
Make a pin sandwich of each of the larger rectangles, curving the corners as you sew (I suppose this is optional, if you like square corners). Leave a hole in the middle of one of the 10" sides on the front flap, and in the middle of a long side on the wrap piece. This is the hole for turning right side out, and for attaching the connector piece later.
Turn it right side out, and before edgestitching, stick the connector piece in the hole.
When you do your edgestitching, you will also be sewing in the connector piece!

Here's a closeup, so you can see how the edgestitching closed the turning hole, and attached the connector piece...
Once you've attached the connector piece to both pieces, and edgestitched all the way around both, all that remains is to sew on some hook'n'loop tape (aka: Velcro)
Make sure you sew the tape on opposite sides so the wrap piece can wrap. I cut my tape about 12" long, and zigzagged the pieces down the middle of the wrap piece.
That's a view of the reverse... (it's a tomato print, it seemed fitting to do a food print on a highchair.)
Here it is on the chair, waiting for the baby:
...and folded up, with an invisible baby inside it:

Here's the real baby inside it, happily eating oatmeal:

She's a pretty happy camper in there, so I call this a success!
There IS a lot of room in that super long strap, but it doesn't bother me, and if I had to go all the way around a chair, it would get used up pretty quickly. Of course, the seat might also be slightly less safe...
Eh, leaving it long is just easier, and she might grow... someday... so long it stays.

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Fun with a box of bias tape

As previously mentioned, my
Mom found a box of bias tape, hem tape, corded piping, etc, at a
thrift shop. I've been having lots of fun with it, buy my kiddos have
been enjoying it even more! Both seem to revel in the act of

Best husband ever

My wonderful husband surprised me with tickets to see Wait, Wait,
Don't Tell Me, which is my favorite show EVER! They were taping in
Pasadena, as the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, which is ridiculously
beautiful. We were up in the balcony, and all I had was my phone, so
no good pictures, but I was laughing so hard I wouldn't have been able
to shoot pics anyway. Those people are so brilliant (and snarky). SO
MUCH FUN! (thanks, MIL, for babysitting).
To thank my wonderful husband, I made meatball sub-burrito thingys the
next day. Soooo easy, and so yummy!
Heat the oven to 350. While it heats, stretch out some pre-fab pizza
dough (we like the garlic n herb dough from trader joes), and layer
marinara sauce, shredded cheese, and meatballs(prefab from Fresh&Easy)
(I love cheese, so I add more on top of the meatballs)(I also am not
uber-particular about my cheese, so the majority of the cheese here is
Jack n cheddar preshredded from costco, and then I got some ovoline
mozzarella (also from trader joes), sliced it and put that on top.
Put it all on a sheet of oiled foil, wrap it up, bakebit for 20-ish
minutes, take out, let cool slightly, slice and enjoy!
I haven't perfected my wrapping technique though, so it tends to open
as it bakes. Still yummy.