Monster Purse (shaped) Threaders

Over on the TAST Facebook group our faithful leader Sharon from Pintangle posted a question the other day asking for our stitching confessions. It was such a great question and really got quite a response! The most common confessions ranged from stitching things other than the fabric being worked, to our work (corners of the fabric, finger calluses, pant legs, even hair!) to spitting to thread a needle… and everything in between.

I must “confess”, I continue to do these two things on a regular basis, as well as a myriad of other confessions on the board. I found myself chuckling and mentally saying “yep, me too!” over and over throughout the course of the day. The most discussed confession was definitely the spitting threading technique. Some say it’s no big deal, other women recounted tales of Aunts and Grandmothers tsking them for this supposedly improper technique and teaching them the “proper” one instead.

I will say threading a needle is tricky at best, at worst it is a downright impossible feat that may reduce you to a puddle of tears.

Soon you find yourself bleary eyed, desperately seeking reprieve from your threading woes…

anyone will do, you say…

your spouse  …who is out-of-town, convenient.

your live in elderly parent… with eyesight worse than yours. Can she even see the needle??

the 4-year-old you’re baby sitting for the evening… who’s mother has a phobia of letting her handle sharp objects, and up until this moment you could completely understand the logic of this phobia… but she seems so reasonable with other toys, you say…and now you begin considering the logic of that silly rule, just this once.

the next door neighbor… after you desperately explain 3 times you are not trying to sell them anything you just need this needle threaded… what? a needle? never heard of it,  while slamming the door in your face. ..

perhaps your cat…. who continues to lick his paws giving you a look of complete disdain for the depth of which you have allowed yourself to sink.

Wait?

What?

That’s never happened to you?

Hmm…  just me then, alright.

Well for some of us… it’s moments like these when you may find yourself in need of your very own Monster Purse Shaped Threader!

The one post that inspired this particular crafting adventure is found here. (I just love Wild Olive and all the fun inspirational and informative posts Mollie puts up on her blog!)

Since AJM and I have been working on embroidery samplers we’ve been having some needle threading issues of our own. When I presented the DIY Monster Purse shaped threader idea, she was very excited.

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They were both very excited for craft time!

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Though she didn’t quite understand exactly how it worked, she had faith that I was leading her in the right direction. We picked out some materials, based on Mollie’s suggestions (and based on what we had in the house) and got to work.

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Here you can see we’ve got some 32 gauge craft wire, Felt sheets cut into a few pieces, various colours of embroidery floss strands, large blunt needle for hole punching and our mini glue gun!

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We followed the basic instructions over at Wild Olive. First we folded the felt and poked some holes in the center.

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Even BAM helped!

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Then spent a half hour embroidering our big felt pieces.

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Finally we assembled our monster purse shaped threaders!! I did this by putting a little hot glue along the inside and pressing the wrong sides together, like a sandwich with one closed end. I added a little hot glue on the metal wire, where it is inside the felt sandwich and on the openings where the wire loop comes out of the felt.

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Yep, it’s hard to tell who’s cuter… the threader or the model.

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Well I suppose it’s time to hang them up and move on to dinner!

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This post and website contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase using any of the links you see here. Even if you buy something other than what is in the link/banner, I will still receive a percentage if you  shop by clicking my links first to shop on their website. Thanks in advance for helping support my family and our adventures!

 

TAST – #1 Fly Stitch

I started following along with the embroidery stitch TAST challenge over at Pintangle last week!

I am doing mine in square inch format, known as “Inchies”, and working each stitch daily. My oldest daughter, AJM,  is also doing the challenge, but in the weekly form. Every Sunday, she’ll start a new stitch. I’m making her sampler each week, by drawing out (in pencil) some different pattern with that weeks stitches. I’ll be including a small combination pattern with the previous week(s) stitches as we progress into week 2. I think this will help her learn how to use her new and old stitches together.

I will post my corresponding  inchie along with her weekly sampler once a week on Sunday or Monday for your viewing pleasure! I’ll include pictures of the previous weeks completed sampler as well!

Without further ado, may I share our “Fly Stitch” for stitch number 1!

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AJM seems to really enjoy embroidery. She spent a few minutes after dinner working on her sampler! Even BAM (my 3 year old daughter) sits next to us with her big needle and plastic stitch mat. It’s a lot of fun!

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This post and website contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase using any of the links you see here. Even if you purchase something other than what is advertised in the link/banner, I will still receive a percentage if you purchase by clicking my links first to shop on their website. Thanks in advance for helping support my family and our adventures!

Curtains!

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Today we put up curtains in the girls rooms. It was no sew and super quick. Basically we took 3 pieces of fabric, measuring 2 yards each, a 1/2 pvc pipe, some screws, a saw and a drill. J measured the space across the room where we wqnted to hang them and cut the pipe. Then he screw the pipe into place, semi snug to the wall. Finally we put the fabric over the pipe and smoothed it along the pipe so it was even. Super simple and the girls love them!

**update**

I pulled the curtains down and sewed them up nicely! I ended up putting snaping loops along the top and hemming the bottom.  Then I added snapping curtain ties and attached them to one side so they wouldn’t get lost.  They’re so lovely! PhotoGrid_1428870207095

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Make it! Bug Bags

Woah Bug Bags!
Yeah, a sun is not a bug.

I suppose a frog is also not a bug.

But a ladyBUG is a bug, and a BEE is a bug, so we’re just gonna go with bug bags.

Plus that’s what the book we used for inspiration calls them…so…anywho.
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Let’s get our materials together!

  • Different colours of felt
  • Scissors
  • Washable Marker … yep, it rinses right off the felt, just run it under the tap and squeeze a few times, it also gets all over your fingers, don’t wipe your face when doing this project, until you’ve washed your hands. Trust me.
  • Shapes or Pictures… you want to make into fun bags. I started with two from the book (ladybug and frog) and then used a big circle and some freehand for the sun and bee.
  • Thread … I chose black and white, but if you like things to match, then match the colour thread to the piece that you are attaching
  • Sewing Device… I have a machine, but this can be done completely by hand using a straight stitch (in zigzag pattern), back stitch (around the body to close it up and attach the legs, arms, antennae, and handle, and the French knot (for the eyes)

First choose the shapes, bug or whatever you are going to create into a bag.  With a few simple shapes you can create an endless array of possible bugs.  Don’t like bugs, how about a sun? fish? butterfly?  Use your imagination and you will be amazed at what you come up with.

For this demonstration I will do a bee! This is in honour of my friend N and her “love” for bees. Okay maybe she doesn’t love bees… but maybe she’ll like this one for it’s colourful, stinglessness.

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Yep! That's my amazing "Bee" sketch

Draw out your pieces onto white paper.  One main body, one of each different leg, one atenna, one of each different wing, stinger, etc.  Generally I don’t draw basic shapes, that I will only need one of, onto white paper.  Eyes for example, I’ll just cut to small circles that closing match, right out of the fabric.
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Cut out the white paper shapes and trace onto your fabric colour of choice.  I let AJ pick out her colours for the bee, this got her excited about the project and gave us some quality hang out time.  If your child is old enough to use scissors, let them cut out some of the basic shapes that don’t necessarily need to be perfect.
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You will need to trace and cut the following from your fabric; one whole main body and two 3/4 main bodies (basically fold one end down about 1/4, creating a straight line and trace) eyes, legs/arms, other optional pieces (wings, antenna, tongue, and body decorations.)

Draw and cut out  a 2″ x 6″ rectangle for your bag handle. (you can make it longer and/or wider) 
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Take your two 3/4 body pieces and your main body piece and set aside all the other stuff for a bit.  Overlap the two 3/4 back body pieces so that they are the same size as the main body piece.  Fold over the overlapped part so that they are still 1/2 or so overlapped. 

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Pin them and run a stitch along the edge to secure it.  Pin the two pieces in place, double check they match the top piece, and sew the at the overlapped section, leaving the middle open. 
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Place your arms/legs and stinger so they point inward and pin.  Run a quick baste stich to hold them in place. Place your handle and pin, pointing inward.  Run a baste stitch to secure. Set finished back body piece aside.
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On main body piece, place, pin and attach eyes, decorations, wings and atenna.
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Finally pin your main body and bottom body, right sides facing each other.   Run a short length straight stitch (or backstitch) all the way around the entire body, closing it up.  Reminder to double check that all the pieces were tucked in, not out, so you don’t catch any legs or other pieces.
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Pull the inside of the bag out, through that open pocket and smooth out the edging so that it takes the right shape. Smooth out any quirky parts, by jabbing a pencil eraser end in there and pushing the edges out (like if you have a tail on your little creation).

Hand it over to the love of your life, those little cherubs, and bask in the smiling laughter that will ensue as they stuff all kinds of blocks, milk caps and crayons into that little bag over and over.
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Repeat process about a bazillion more times as the children have discovered your new found ability to make bags in a variety of designs and begin requesting all types of animals, bugs, objects, etc.

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Make it! Princess (or Prince, Queen, King, Empress, Emperor) Crowns

Today we made princess crowns.
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From this brown paper roll I have that we use for all kinds of crafty things, including making patterns for sewing!!
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But today it was all about princess crowns.
It was fun, quick and super easy.
All you need are a few simple items and you’re ready to give your daughters (or sons) a title of royalty. 
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Supplies!!

Items:
Paper (enough to make it all the way around the head, we cut ours a bit short and just used some scraps and tape to add length.)
Markers (preferably the washable kind!!)
Scissors
Tape
And any other sparkly things you think might made it more super, glitter, little beads, ribbons, string, etc…and of course some glue if you go that route.
We kept it simple with just markers….and crayons work just fine for those precious 2 year old fingers who want to just paint your entire house and their bodies with the markers, just when you aren’t prepared for that kind of madness.  I wasn’t, so I decorated it for her.
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First, if you are making two, cut down on time by folding your paper in half lengthwise and then in half widthwise.
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Draw half of the design on the paper.
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Cut it out along the lines.
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Open it up!  Then cut along the center line for the two crowns, so they can be detached.  Unless you have children who like to stand head to head and then they can just wear them together. 😉 Now, measure the child(ren)s head and adjust accordingly, by chopping off or adding paper. When you’ve got the correct length, take two pieces of tape and tape along the cut on the inside and outside, this makes it more durable.
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Now go ahead and pass those markers or crayons out and let the children decorate their hearts content.
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Blam! Done.  Now bequeath those titles, while you crown your newly Royale and go on with your day.
Have a beautiful day,
Dashaina

DIY Makeup Item #3, 4 & 5 Lipgloss, Cream Blush & Eyeshadow All-in-One!!

Today as I was purusing the internet for DIY “lip stain” recipes.  I came across this easy and quick idea, using two ingredients!!  How fab is that??  I’m such a sucker for 2 ingredient DIY ideas.  This will go lovely with my 2 ingredient DIY mascara!!

I used the recipe here, DIY Crayon Lipgloss Tutorial, and tweaked it a bit, because I didn’t have coconut oil and I didn’t want to use an entire crayon, since I was planning on making a few different colours.

Now I also needed to figure out what I could use for the container.  I don’t have any lip gloss pots laying around and am not able to aquire some at last minute notice. I’m also a big fan of using what I have around the house already. I decided to use milk caps!!
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For the past 8 months we’ve been saving all the caps from the shelf milk we drink.  We go through about a case a month (12 per case).  Needless to say we have a pile of milk caps.

Here in Panama fresh milk is hard to come by, another post for another day. 

Anywho…

I collected the necessary ingredients and got to work!  We used the same process over at
Mom Dot and in about 30 minutes had 7 milk caps filled with brightly coloured homemade lip stain. 
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A.J. discovered it could be used as cheek stain, nail polish and arm tattoos…
B.A. discovered it could also be used as eyeshadow, above and below…
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What a hoot! 
Even I joined in the fun!
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We had a great time and now are able to play “dress up” without worrying about all the chemicals.

Have you tried any DIY makeups?  We’re really having a blast discovering all the things we can make ourselves.

Have a beatiful day!
Dashaina

Preschool with Aurora & Tot School with Bellatrix Begins…

For the past month I’ve been scouring the web and downloading lots of PDFs in preparation for starting school with the girls, at home.  I finally decided to begin our trial run preschool/totschool on 12 August.  I’m still working out the kinks of it and the how, when, what’s of the whole ordeal.  But it seems to be going pretty smoothly, all things considered.  If you want to see the girls artwork, head over to their section.  I’ll be doing a seperate post about some of the websites I’ve downloaded packets from or have gotten inspiration, as well as posting all of the packets I used and how they turned out.

Aurora’s favourite activites the first week were leaf rubbings, the indoor archeaological dig and read/write the house.

Bellatrix’s favourite activities the first week were drawing with markers, leaf rubbings and painting with flowers.

What are all these amazingly fun sounding activities you ask??  Below I will do my best to explain them in a bit more detail.

Leaf Rubbings

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Leaf Rubbings are exactly what they sound like.  Get a leaf, piece of paper, crayon and a piece of tape or four, for the little ones.  Place the leaf under the paper, tape the paper/hold it down, rub the crayon over the paper where the leaf is located, step back and admire the art you just created.  Feeling adventurous?  Grab a few different leaves.  Rub more than one leaf per page.  Rub with more than one colour on the same leaf.  The options are limitless, well as much as anything is I suppose.

Indoor Archeaological Dig

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Indoor Archeaological Dig is a fun activity to do on a super hot day, when actually going outside might not be in your families best interest.  You’ll need a box, a substance to dig in (sand, dirt, or in our case…cedar shavings), some small items to dig up, a digging device (spoon, spatula, noodle spoon…my personal favourite), a bit of yarn/string (to mark off the quadrants of your dig, makes it more official looking and introduces mapping to little ones), a marker (to mark N, E, S, W on the flap of the box) and a paper to write down what the little one’s dig up.  Put a few items in the box, cover them up.  Mark off your sections with the string.  Hand the digging device over to the wee one. Explain that when they find something, point to the section and you can tell them which section it is and where they can write/draw it down on their “report”.  You may have to keep reminding them to mark down what they find, but eventually you can let them do it on their own and come back to see what interesting drawings they have for each item found.  Aurora insisted on doing two digs in one afternoon.

Read/Write the House

Read/write the house is a fun activity I found in the preschool packs we are using from http://www.homecreations.com and http://www.1plus1plus1equals1.net. Basically it’s a fun activity to help your preschooler learn their words and practise writing them, while going on a treasure hunt.  You need two lists of words.  The first list you are going to cut up and tape around the house/room.  The second list you are going to keep together and give to your child to use for their hunt.  Aurora asked to do this activity almost everyday, without me prompting.

Painting with Flowers

Painting with flowers is just how it sounds.  Literally, painting WITH flowers.  Head outside with your children, collect a few flora specimen (we did this when we collected our leaves).  Bring your goodies inside and talk about the different flowers you found.  Once you’ve gleaned every drop of knowledge you can from the flower, it’s time to get dirty.  Put various finger/tempra paints out on a “palette” (plastic plate).  Place the plate in front of your child.  Instruct them to use the flowers the same way they would use a paintbrush.  Then step back and watch artwork in action.  Or join in (I did!!) and see how theraputic it can be during a hot day.

Well those are the highlights of our first week.  As I mentioned before, I should have another post up about each packet, where I found them and other activites we did during the week.

Have a beautiful day!

Dashaina