Monday, December 17, 2012

A Little Glimpse of Christmas Gifts + Links to Tutorials!!

I have been busy working away on making handmade Christmas gifts for the family, friends, and teachers.  I'm not sure I know who is getting what just yet, but I at least have some ideas and finished products that I can share.  We will see where it all ends up.  

I mentioned these cute coasters in a previous post, that I made from scrap Christmas fabric last year.  I don't think I finished them until after Christmas.  This year, I sent most of them off to D'Boutique, the little shop in downtown Manhattan Beach that carries a few of my products.  These are super cute.  You can use any kind of fabrics.  It is a great way to use up scraps, but don't kid yourself ... it takes a lot of scraps to make these bad boys!  I haven't decided if I am giving these out to the neighbors or teachers yet, but I'm leaning toward the neighbors.  I was planning on making homemade peppermint patties for the boys (who may not be to interested in cutesy Christmas coasters).  I will share that recipe if it turns out good.

I also found a cute idea for handprint coasters.  I'm not 100% in love with these, but I do like them.  I guess I prefer a little more cushion to my coaster, but they work just fine and I like that they have a personal touch to them, since they are each a handprint from my children.  I feel like these will be a cute gift for the teachers, since they had a "hand" in sculpting their little minds.  I added some stitching around the edges for a little more durability and color pop.  Each one is reversible with a different front and back fabric for contrast.

We gave a set to Aubrey's piano teacher.  :)  I love this sheet music fabric.  

I wanted to make her piano teacher a little something extra special.  He is great with both my kids.  It's Aubrey's piano teacher, but he also teaches drums and whenever Bayne is with us he gives him a lesson, too.  He even has me playing drums and bass!  I hope to get Bayne signed up with his own drum lesson soon.  I've been very pleased with how well he works with Aubrey.  She requires a different level of patience and he seems to have just that.  He goes over on time with us a lot, too.  I knew I was going to get a good experience at Dietz Brothers, since I loved taking guitar lessons there years ago, but we are getting much more than I could have imagined with Rich.  He inspires all of us and I know that he will have a tremendous influence on the direction of Aubrey's life.  Music is so important to me and I can see talent in Aubrey and I believe that with all she has to deal with in her life, music will help her heal, grow, thrive, cope, and survive.  She definitely has it in her to do great things with it and with a teacher like Rich behind her, I believe she will.  Either way, he deserves a little some of my extra time, so I made him a fabric folder.  I thought it might be a nice way for him to carry music sheets or whatever fits his fancy.  I used a nice heavy organic hemp fabric I got from the remnant box at Hemp Traders a while back.  The inside fabric is more of my favorite sheet music fabric that I had left over from a pair of shorts I made for Aubrey.

Aubrey has been having a great time making cards for everyone.  I love seeing what she comes up with.  This one, for Rich, is so far my favorite.

It says "I <3 - and there is a music note which stands for - music"  I thought that was so clever.  Then below the red guy (which is Rich) is supposed to be a check (it's backwards and half green) with plus signs following it.  He always gives her a check on her music if she plays it properly and if she can play it with chords, or sing along, or play in tempo, etc he gives her a check plus, check plus plus, or a check plus, plus, plus if she's super cool.  :)  Apparently, by Aubrey's standards, Rich deserves a check plus, plus, plus :)

I had so much fun making that fabric envelope that I decided to use that idea for another person.  My upstairs neighbor, Kevin, recently gave me a bunch of his old jeans and shirts.  I like to refashion clothing, especially jeans.  Kevin is a great guy and he's become a good friend of mine.  He likes to play guitar, too, so we've bonded over that and finally started  hanging out and jamming together instead of listening to one another play alone through the ceiling/floor of our apartments.  He also deserved a little something extra special because ... well, he's my favorite ... (sorry other neighbors!)  :)  I made his fabric envelope from a pair of his own jeans.

I used the leg for the envelope.  Cut a pocket off and sewed it onto the back for a little extra storage space for pens or whatever fits his fancy.

I lined it with a nice green fabric I had.  I took one of the buttons off the other back pocket and sewed it onto the front for the closure.

I remembered to sew the label on BEFORE I put it together (forgot to do that on Rich's!  OOPS!)  I prefer it on the inside.  I like how this one came out, too.  

 These are so easy!  I just want to keep making them .... and I probably will.  I did mine a little different from the tutorial.  I added a 1/2 inch to the pattern, so I could add a lining.  I just cut the lining the same as the outer fabric, added interfacing, pinned them right sides together and left a turning hole at the bottom of the flat edge (that will become the front of the envelope).  I stitched the top of the triangle flap and the top of the front of the envelope before I sewed the sides together, so it had some stitching around all the edges.

I also made a couple shirts for the kids.  Bayne is obsessed with Minecraft and he REALLY wants me to make him a Creeper shirt.  I love that he loves the clothes I make him.  I could only find this weird green at Target.  Hopefully he will like it.  It was easy enough that I can make him a new one when the short sleeve shirts get stocked again.

And whatever Bayne loves, you better be sure Aubrey loves, too.  I don't allow her to play Minecraft just yet, but she loves to watch her brother.  She had this plain green shirt hanging in her closet left over from a preschool field trip where she was required to wear green.  She'll never remember the shirt and now it has a new life!

She also had this plain long sleeve black shirt hanging in her closet.  I had bought it for Halloween, to go under her costume, so she wouldn't be too cold.  I added a heart made from my favorite sheet music fabric.  She has a tank top just like this, but now she has a winter version for the cold months.  I am sure she will like this and I doubt she will remember the shirt was ever in her closet.  :)

I have a few other handmade gifts I could share, but I wrapped them before I thought to take pictures, and anyway ... a couple are for Grandma and she may be reading, so we wouldn't want to ruin the surprise.  I will try to to remember to take pictures after we open the gifts.

I think I am mostly done with all my handmade gifts.  I was going to make a couple more handy coasters.  We see Aubrey's Cardiologist on Thursday.  He, for sure, deserves a gift.  Please say a prayer and think positive thoughts for Aubrey this week.  I am hoping for good news, but the reality is she is getting older and each year drawing nearer to her next heart surgery.  I anticipate that it will be this summer, but I will hold my breath until we get a good look at her beautiful ticker on Thursday.  Fingers crossed!  

Good luck with all your Christmas gifting and crafting!  Remember it's not how much you spend, but how much love, energy, and thought that goes into what you give that matters.

Happy Holidays!!

Coal Jar

How many of you find yourself at this time of year pulling out the whole Santa threat and using it to try to keep your kids in line near the holidays.  You know the one ... "Santa is watching!  You better be good or you will get nothing but coal in your stocking!"  I can't tell you how many times I have used this increasingly ineffective and (honestly) empty threat at this time of year.  It's pathetic, really.  

This year has been rather challenging.  My daughter has had some behavior issues.  She has always been a bit of a spit fire.  She beats to her own drum and has a will stronger than mine, which is saying something.  This year I swore I would take my threats of coal more serious.  I was exhausted.  Her behavior was seriously wearing me down, so I decided to take my threat to a new, more palpable level. And dammit ... I am going to follow it through if need be.

I created what I call the Coal Jar.  

You may call it the Mean Mommy Jar.  I'm okay with that.

It was super easy.  I bought a bunch of black pom-poms, which are the "coal".  I used a couple mason jars I had on hand.  I started this back in September or October, so I used the big mason jars.  I place them up high, but where they can easily be seen every day.  If their jar gets full of coal by Christmas Eve, than that is all they will receive in their stocking.  They know that Santa will be checking their jars when he shows up on Christmas Eve.  This has been surprisingly effective!  I like it because I finally have something to back up my words.

Bayne, as you can see, is a pretty good boy.  My biggest issue with him is getting him to do something when I ask.  Lately, I have to ask several times.  I hate having to nag him to do things.  I swear, he won't move unless I've asked it 3 times and am hovering over him.  I don't have time for that kind of nonsense and he is 8 years old (tomorrow!) now, so he needs to listen and do what he's told the first time.  Now if he doesn't go on the first time, he gets a warning and then BAM!  Coal in the jar.  Ha!

Aubrey, as you can see, has had a little more trouble :).  She has a whole bunch of behavior issues.  Talking back, not listening, not doing what she's told, screaming, fighting back .... the list goes on and on.  The coal jar was more helpful for my behavior, than hers.  It helped to have something to do when I got upset, rather than get sucked into an argument with her.  Instead, I could give her a warning and if she doesn't respond BAM!  Coal in the coal jar.  HA!  Such a satisfying feeling.  I know that sounds bad, but she has been wearing me rather thin over the past few months.  I believe her kindergarden teacher feels the same way, so I know it's not just me.

The good news is, we haven't had to add very much coal to Aubrey's jar over the last month and a half.  I discovered that Aubrey has an intolerance to gluten.  It took me a while to put this together.  She has had bowel issues most of her life.  She has abdominal pain, bloating, constipation.  The doctor had me giving her Miralax regularly.  She is fatigued and foggy often.  School has been especially exhausting for her.  She was unable to complete her work.  She has issues with behavior.  She gets very upset over trivial things (i.e. making mistakes on her school work, water in her eye in the bath, etc) and when I say upset, I mean insane crying fits.  I came to school at pick up time more than once hearing her screaming about something and the teacher would have to take her into the bathroom and shut her in because she will not calm down and it is a disruption to class.  She takes a long time to calm down when she does have these fits.  She was recently diagnosed with migraines.  She has had dizzy spells, that I thought might be seizures, but they diagnosed them as migraines and placed her on deprokene / valporic acid.  Towards the end of the summer she had a persistent rash around her mouth, that I assumed was from the heat, but it would not go away for 2 months.  I had the doctor look at it and she said it was from licking her lips.  Finally, while doing a post on my friends Facebook page (she makes the amazing Elemental Superfood Seedbars that are gluten free, organic, and raw - I do her page) I posted an image I found about gluten sensitivity vs celiac disease and almost every one of these health issues was listed on there.  Not to mention, muscle and joint pain, which she constantly complains of and was recently hospitalized for toxic synovitis of the hip.  The light bulb went on.  Immediately I went out and got a book on gluten sensitivity called The Gluten Connection byShari Lieberman.  I felt like I hit a jackpot.  This was SO my daughter.  Almost every symptom she had.  I placed her on a gluten free diet right away and almost instantly I saw changes.  The rash around her mouth disappeared!  The rash was the final symptom that really tipped me off.  I noticed that it would flare up at times and recede.  After breakfast one day it was flared up and I checked the ingredients of the food she had ate.  That morning I had given her a veggie sausage link .... main #1 ingredient .... wheat gluten.  HELLO!  

Now we are almost two months into this diet and it has been amazing.  Her teacher can't get over it.  She says she is doing so much better in school.  She is able to be reasoned with and talked down when she gets upset.  No more insane tantrums.  She is playing with others more, rather than isolating.  Has more energy, is getting her work done, not foggy or as fatigued, though she still does get tired with activity, but she still has a special heart, so that is to be expected.  Other parent volunteers in her class have noticed the change in her as well.  Just the other day one of the mom's told me how well she was doing and what a difference she has seen in her behavior.  She hasn't had a rash since we discontinued gluten.  She isn't complaining of muscle and joint pain.  She still has large stools, but the bloating and abdominal cramping have gone.  She use to sit for a meal, take a bite, then have stomach pains and need to use the restroom, never really finishing her food.  Now, no more interruptions at dinner time.  No more miralax either!  Very happy about that.  I hated giving that to her.  And even better than that ... no more anti-seizure meds (deprokene / valporic acid).  SOOO happy about that.  Her neurologist believes we may have found the answer.  We go back in February, so hopefully she will be migraine/dizzy spell free when we see him again.  I can't believe the difference.  I am just so happy.  I am amazed at what a simple diet change can do.  Here I was pumping all this nasty medication in her, doing God knows what else to her system, when really the answer was to ELIMINATE an allergen from her diet.  Oh boy I can't wait to chew the ear of her pediatrician.  Hopefully, her story will help one of her patients in the future.  I try to be grateful we found out when we did, rather than frustrated that it wasn't suggested sooner.  You live and learn, I guess.

Aubrey seems to love being gluten free.  Fortunately, she thrives on being different.  She had no trouble giving away the gluten filled candies at Halloween time.  She is fine with not being able to have some of the foods she use to order when we go out.  She doesn't seem to mind that she can't eat the same cake or cookies at parties.  I make sure to have a gluten free cupcake in hand when we do find ourselves in those situations.  I like to think that SHE feels the difference, that she FEELS better, and that is why she is embracing the diet.

Looks like no one will be getting coal in their stocking this year.  Which makes me happy for sooooo many reasons.  I think I will still do this again next year, just because .... it's one more tool in my Mommy tool belt.  

Maybe you need a coal jar in your house, too?  
Can't hurt!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Party

I'm so excited!  

My kids are finally old enough to introduce them to the wonderful series of Harry Potter books.  Well, maybe only my (almost) eight year old, Bayne.  It might be a little too involved for Aubrey, 5 1/2, who is not at all satisfied with the tiny little drawing at the top of each chapter as pictures.  Books simply MUST have pictures in Aubreyland. She's been a good sport and wanders off and entertains herself durning some of the longer chapters.  Bayne, on the other hand, would have me read the book cover to cover in one night.  If we run late to bed and have to skip a night of reading he gets SO upset.  I secretly find joy in this.

I adore his passion for reading.

So we started and we finished the very first Harry Potter book.  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

Neither of my kids have ever seen the movies, so I thought if the book was a hit we could have a little Harry Potter Book Finished / Movie Viewing Party!  

I picked out one craft for us to do.  I found this great blog post on how to make your own Harry Potter wand.  It seemed easy enough and I had all the supplies.  They came out really cool!  

I will let you in on a secret the original blog poster did not tell you.  It is a serious labor of love.  You will need SEVERAL glue sticks.  I made a huge dent in my 100 pack, okay!  And my poor hand ... oh man!  I got a blister on my thumb from trigger finger.  If you have carpal tunnel, get some help with this.  It's not something the kids can help you with either, since it's hot glue.  Two wands was the limit for me.  They are pretty cool and sturdy, though.  I added a clear sealant over mine, just to prevent the paint from chipping off, since we used cheap Crayola washable paint.

While our wands dried, we popped on the flick!  
They all look so little, don't they?

I made hot chocolate with marshmallows ...

.... got Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans (aka: Jelly Belly Beans) .... Chocolate Covered Frogs (aka: Junior Mints) ...

.... and some Kettle Corn ...

... and we munched and we watched and we enjoyed!

I even had all the tree trimmings ready for us to decorate our tree during the Christmas time part of the movie.  

After the movie, Aubrey seemed to be WAY more interested in reading the next book.  Hopefully it will help for her to have some idea of who the characters are and what they look like.  She's really enjoying her wand.  She is queen of pretend play.  She has been running around shouting "Winguardium Leviosa" and making her stuffed animals fly into the air.  So cute!

Here are the kids trying to turn each other into frogs, no doubt.  

The best part for me about was after watching the movie that night when I put them to bed I asked Bayne which he liked more, the book or the movie.  With no hesitation his response was the book.  

That's my boy!

We started Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets tonight.  The second book in the series. 
We are all very excited!  Even though I have read the series before it is even more fun to share the magic and bring it to life with my kids!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Christmas Crafts from the Past

I pulled out all the Christmas decorations over the weekend and I had so much fun re-discovering all the different Christmas crafts we made last year.  So many new additions we added to the celebration.  I figured I would share them again briefly, in case you are inspired to create some of these fun holiday decorations for your home, too.  Just click on the link below the picture to take you directly to the original post to find out how to make it yourself!

I also made some really fun Christmas coasters and braided bowls from christmas fabric scraps, but I never did take pictures or do a tutorial.  I will do my best to post those before Christmas.  They are both rather easy ways to use up old scraps of fabric and turn them into something fun and festive.  You can also use regular fabrics to make coasters and bowls that you can use all year long.  It may be more likely that I do a post using some regular fabrics, since I have myself pretty over scheduled at the sewing machine from now until Christmas.  

I've already made several handmade gifts for Christmas this year.  My mom is getting a couple things (I'd say, but she may read it).  I made the kids and I matching pj pants from fabric Coca-Cola fabric their Grammy gave me.  I made Aubrey's piano teacher a really cool fabric folder (I totally need to photograph this because I love it and it was SOOO easy to make).  It looks like a very large envelope, big enough for him to hold his papers in.  Each of the kids teachers will get a set of two of the holiday coasters I mentioned I made last year (I made a bunch - there are several on sale at D'Boutique in downtown Manhattan Beach!).  I have plans to do some applique shirts for the kids.  Aubrey already has two plain shirts in her closet - one black long sleeve we got to go under her halloween costume and a plain green t-shirt we got for a field trip at school.  Those will be transformed.  The black will have a fabric heart with piano music sewn onto it and the green will get a Creeper face (from Minecraft).  I'm going to make one of the Creeper shirts for Bayne, too.  I also want to make him a Creeper stuffed doll.  Bayne also has a birthday coming up and I plan on making all the kids my famous pencil cases for party favors.  I may be in over my head on this one.  Luckily we are keeping it at around 10 kids max, so it shouldn't be too much work and I have all the fabric on hand.  I just had to buy the zippers.  I would also like to make some more felt toys for Aubrey from my cool felt book, but I don't know if I will have the time.  We make gifts for the neighbors every year, too, so I have to make sure to save time to do that, as well.  I think we may make felt coasters for everyone this year.  I was thinking it would be fun to have the kids help me sew them and pick out the colors they want for each neighbor.  We will see .... so much to do!

I don't know how Santa does it?!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Dress

I was digging though my fabric stash the other day and stumbled on this funky fabric and it screamed Thanksgiving dress.  When fabric speaks to me ... I listen :)

It's from my vintage fabric collection.

I had this pattern that I haven't tried out yet and it was the perfect fit. 
Butterick B5030
Here is my Thanksgiving dress all finished!

My silly turkeys and me.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  

Now time to get cooking!!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A "Totally Not Me" Dress

I have been slowly working my way through all the vintage fabric I was given by a neighbors friend.  I have posted all my creations along the way.  I had only one dress and a shirt left to sew from this pile of fabric and patterns you see below.

I paired the grey and coral fabric together (upper right hand corner) and chose the pattern below to experiment with.  I used pattern A.  The fabric wasn't exactly the perfect fabric for the pattern, but I went for it anyway.

 Here is how it came out.  It is completely lined with the coral fabric.  The grey is pretty sheer.  I had to add a bow to the front of the midriff because the seams were showing through the coral fabric and the fabric sort of hung limply on the top instead of being bunched up.  Just not a good fabric choice for that type of gathering.  I'm not a huge fan of bows, but it kind of works.

Here is a side view.

And the back.  I haven't pressed it yet ... oops!

It took me forever to get around to doing this dress.  It's not a favorite for me.  I'm not sure if it was the fabric that I wasn't feeling or the pattern.  I doubt I would have ever picked these fabrics to work with if they hadn't been given to me for free.  I was a little hasty in making this dress, too, since I wasn't really feeling it.  I cut it a little short.  I probably could have taken even more time perfecting the midriff.  Sewing takes a lot of time and altering takes forever!  There is a point when you have to assess how many hours of wear a garment is going to get against how many hours you spend constructing it.  I don't really think this dress will get much wear, so it is what it is and here it is on me.

I realized something after I tried this on and that is that I really don't like gathered bodices.  I have another dress I made that I want to like, but every time I wear it it bugs me  ....  and it's the gathered bodice!  I actually went in and tacked down some of the gathers on either side of the bodice on this dress near the midriff.  It was super bubbly on the sides.  I guess I just prefer something a little more fitted.  We will see if this gets any wear.  Not sure what it would be good for, but it most likely be hanging in my closet until spring.  

At least I can check it off my list.  Only one more garment to go from my Fun With Free Vintage Fabric collection.  I fired up the Serger for the first time the other day, which I need in order to finish the final garment.  That thing is crazy!  I'm going to need a little time getting to know my new Brother before I tackle it.  That and a LOT more thread.  

Monday, November 5, 2012

I'd Rather Be Boarding

It's been a while since I've posted anything.  Foolishly, I thought the kids starting back at school would free up some time for me to sew ... HA!  I've been more busy than ever. Aubrey only goes for 3 1/2 hours, so it doesn't leave me with tons of free time. Between preparing food, taking kids back and forth to school, squeezing in shopping and laundry during school hours,  and all the extra stuff we do after school (hip hop/piano lessons/play dates/homework/etc), the days just fill up and fly by.

 I should be honest, though.  Now that school is in,  I do use many of my 3 1/2 hours of freedom to do something for ME.  As much as I do love to sew, one of my other passions is working out.  I love to exercise and stay fit.  My most favorite way to do this aside from lifting weights and walking is to body board.  I just love it!  Unfortunately, I did not get to do much of it this summer, when you would expect me to.  With school out, I have the kids all but a few days for those 2 1/2 months, which means no body boarding for Mama.  The kids aren't old enough for me to be able to leave them on the sand and paddle out just yet, so I spend most of my time in the sand or shallow water jumping the waves.  Which I also love to do.

Since school has started, my body board, wax, and fins have a permanent spot in the back of my truck and the surf report is my morning news.  If there are waves, I try to get myself down there at least two to three times a week or more if possible.  I probably should be sewing, or cleaning, or doing something around the house, but I NEED the break.  More importantly, I DESERVE it.  I work really hard and even Mom's need to do something for themselves, to fill their cup, to make their heart happy. For me ... that is body boarding.  Something about a morning spent in the water catching waves makes a tremendous difference on my attitude, my day, my life!  I always feel fantastic when I get out of the water.  Best natural high there is.  I've been in love with it since I was a child.  I tried surfing for a while when I was in Jr High and again as an adult, but my true love is body boarding.  I got my first body board when I was 5 years old.  My mom kept us at the beach all summer long.  I spent the entire time in the water.  After the Painted Cave fire that took our home when I was 13, the first thing my mom replaced was my Mach 7.7 body board and Church Hill fins.  As long as I had those, I was going to survive.  Here is a picture of me, probably 6 years old or so, on the way to the beach with my first body board.  Impatiently waiting for my mom to hurry up and get me there, so I could get in the water.

Who knew that 30 years later I would still be as passionate and as anxious to get in the water and board as I was at 6 years old.  I still love it!  People always ask me why I don't surf instead.  It's not that I don't like surfing, but I never got very good at it and never really cared to.  I just prefer to sponge.  That is what surfers always call body boarders ... Spongers ... because the board is ... well, like a sponge!  They also like to call us speed bumps .... I prefer sponger for obvious reasons :).

Recently, a neighbor gave me a bunch of new, blank t-shirts and I have been finding fun ways to re-fashion them.  I have had a silly idea for a body boarding shirt design for a long time.  It's hard to find body boarding shirts, since most brands cater to the surfer population.  I still haven't gotten all the supplies I need in order to do real screen printing, so I just did a ghetto version using modge podge, sheer fabric, and a quilting hoop.  Here is my vision come to life:

I had an idea of using the image of the women on the back of the truck flaps that you always see, but having her sitting on top of a body board with fins.  I don't know if anyone else in the world would get a kick out of this, but I do!  Probably only other "spongers" will get this, but that's ok!  I'm just happy to have the idea out of my head and onto my shirt.  Now I have the perfect shirt to slip my salty self into after getting out of the water.  I know it's a little silly, but I'm entertained and that's all that matters :)

Today, I'm dreaming of the beach.  The waves are up and although we have reports of Great Whites in the area I am still dying to get out into the water.  We had no surf for a week and then Bayne was sick all last week, so I haven't been out in two weeks.  Aubrey was sick all weekend and even though I wanted to keep her home an extra day, she was well enough to go back to school.  The thought of waves and the warm sun we have shining down on us today were helping me motivate myself to turn off the over protective parent and push her back to school.  Unfortunately, the over protective parent was right .... my little girl threw up just before we left for school.  I'm a little sad I can't get in the water today, but I'm secretly happy she gets to rest at home another day and very grateful she got sick before we left home or I ended up in the water and unable to be reached by the school.  

With Aubrey and all her medical issues it is very hard for me to turn off the "Mom" and let myself be "Erinn".  I get worried every time I paddle out. 

"What if the nurse calls?"
"What if Aubrey passes out at school and I'm boarding?"
"What if they get sick and is stuck waiting for an hour or more while I'm in the water?"
"What if Bayne gets hurt and I miss the call?"

I have a lot of worries that bounce around in my head and it's hard to turn them all off, but "Mom" does deserve a break and a chance to be "Erinn" and I have to allow myself some time to enjoy and relax and trust that they both will be ok and are safe while at school.  The ocean keeps me sane.  A sane Mom is a good Mom. :)

Tomorrow, it's on, though...

Let's Sponge Bitch!  

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Back to School!!

It's back to school time!!!  I did my best to not buy too many new clothes for the kids.  

My son, Bayne, needed jeans.  I can't really make those, so I bought a couple pairs.

My daughter, Aubrey, is growing like a weed.  She needed new underwear and a few t-shirts.  Two things I also can't really make from scratch.  She also needed some shorts.  Those I CAN make myself.

Recently, my neighbor has taken an interest in what it is I do.  He has his own marketing business.  I had asked him (and anyone and everyone) if he had any old jeans he no longer wears or even shirts because I love to re-fashion things.  Next thing I know he gives me a whole arm full of brand new t-shirts.  He had them as examples for his clients, but the t-shirt end of his marketing business never grew legs.  He also gave me a bunch of old jeans to work with, too.
(I love my neighbors!!)

As soon as I got everything washed up I started thinking up ways to re-fashion the shirts.  Three of them fit Bayne perfect.  I got started thinking up some applique ideas that he would like.  Here is what I came up with.  

My kids both LOVE Super Mario Brothers!

The first idea I had was to make Bayne an Invincible Star shirt.

Then a simple Rock Star shirt.  

Luigi is Bayne's favorite of the two Super Mario Brothers, so I made him a Luigi shirt.

I have been wanting to make Aubrey a cute piano outfit, since she is really enjoying her piano lessons.  I found this cute tank top at American Apparel and appliqued a heart made of piano music fabric.  I love this fabric.  I am making her a pair of shorts (like the ones you will see below) out of this fabric, too, to go with the top.

We had these cute white capri pants Aubrey wore for her Hip Hop recital this summer.  Unfortunately, white is not a good color for anyone in this family.  Somehow she got a big glob of melted chocolate on her back side.  Rather than tossing them, I just covered the stain up with a little applique heart.  It looks so cute on her little behind!

You can see the stain on the inside.  Gross.

As I mentioned, I planned to make Aubrey some shorts.  Here are my first attempt at shorts for her.  I really like them and she seemed to also, which is great!  I have two more pairs cut up and ready to sew. They are so light weight and comfortable.  I also made her Pokemon ball shirt, but not recently. :)

I also finished up this cute CHD Zipper Heart shirt.  I should be listing it for sale soon.  It is size XS, 4/5 Girls.  A little too small for Aubrey, I'm afraid.  It was for an order, but it never went through.  If anyone is interested, feel free to let me know, but it should be listed on Etsy by the end of the week.

Here are my two awesome kiddos, ready for their first day of school!  Their first day was August 29th. Aubrey started Kindergarden and Bayne started Second Grade.  Both of them are growing up so fast!  I love that they both picked out a Super Mario Brothers shirt to wear on their first day.

Aubrey with her Kindercone!

Their father was born in Germany, where his father was stationed in the Army at the time.  His mom adopted some of the German traditions while there and passed them on to him.  One tradition JJ really wanted to pass on to his kids is the Kindercone.  After the first day of Kindergarden the kids come home and receive a cone filled with presents.  Little things like pens, pencils, candy, etc.  We also got a cool set of Star War characters she saw at Disneyland and a mini doodle bear.  As you can see, she was very happy.

We just started day four of school today and so far everyone is still having fun :).  Once I get caught up on all the things I got behind on during the summer I'm going to get back to my sewing machine and get to work.

Hope all of the little ones out there are enjoying their first day's back at school!