She wanted a sewing machine.

My little girl turned 5 a few weeks ago and for her birthday she requested a sewing machine. As you can imagine my heart just melted! After a little research I decided or more like she decided to go Janome Fast Lane Fuchsia Portable Sewing Machine from Amazon. Pink is her favorite color and this one really caught her eye…and I can see why. Once she picked out the machine she decided that she needed some butterfly stickers to go on it. So I purchased these Colorful Glitter Stickers. I can honestly say it was love at first sight for her. The moment she saw her sewing machine for the first time you knew she loved it! 
IMG_3067 What I am loving most about this machine is that it is small in size and the kids are able to sit and sew all by themselves. They don’t need to sit on my lap nor do I have to push the pedal for them. They are doing it all by themselves. I was a little nervous about their fingers getting too close to the needle but the plastic foot that came with the machine actually has a bit of a lip on the front so it makes it a little harder for their little fingers to get in there. I’m not saying it is impossible to them to get hurt on it, I am just saying it keeps them a little safer then a regular sewing foot. I also purchased the book  Sewing School to go along with the machine. Not that I need anymore ideas, but it is great for the kids to look through and see some ideas on what they can make. Most of the time they cannot decide on just one project. They have sewn with it almost everyday since we bought it. They all are loving it and as you can imagine I am loving every second of it too! The machine works pretty good and I really don’t have any complaints other then the lack of a light. It has jammed up a few times but that is usually when a little 3 year old is behind the pedal. So yes, I would totally buy this machine if I had it to do over again.

IMG_3066My little girls first project was a pillow for her foxy. I may be a little biased but I think she did an amazing job!IMG_3062 She was pretty proud of herself too!IMG_3064Do any of your kids love to sew? Do they have their own machines?

Sun Scholars Summer Program

 A few months ago I purchased the Sun Scholars Summer Program. I was in search of something fun and educational to do with the kiddo’s this summer. I wanted to keep my son from loosing everything he had learned this past year, while continuing to teach my girls the basics. I have been following Rachel’s blog Sun Scholars for some time now and have always been impressed with all of the fun and educational activities she does with her kids. So I knew that her Summer Program had to be good. Good is actually an understatement, it is amazing…seriously! And just in case you are wondering, I paid full price for the program and in no way were asked to write this post. I am doing this post just because I wanted to spread the word about it. I know many of you are also stay at home moms and will have your kiddos home for the summer. A program like this will give you a ton of fun and educational things to do with the kiddo’s. We all know that keeping them busy is the key to keeping everyone happy!

After I purchased the Sun Scholars Summer Program I immediately printed off all the pages and placed them into a binder. Then I added some folders for storing extra papers and ideas in. I also added an area for storing tourist books and brochures for things to do locally. Then I followed Rachel’s suggestions by gathering all of the needed supplies for the program and are storing  them in one box. The kiddo’s call it their school box and look forward to digging into it everyday.

scarecrow 005I bought each of them their own pencil case in which they were able to fill it with their own supplies. They LOVED this part! It was Christmas in June I tell ya. This little box of supplies is key. It makes it more special for them and easier for me…that is a huge win in my book! We have done journal time everyday this week along with a few of the activities from the program each day.scarecrow 011

So if you are looking for something fun and educational to do with the kids this summer I highly recommend you checking out the Sun Scholars Summer Program. It is not to late to start.

Here is more about the program:

The Sun Scholars Summer Program was created for the sole purpose of keeping young minds active over the summer months… and in a way that is easy for even the busiest parents and caregivers!  It can be used with one to many children, at various levels of ability.  The entire family can have fun while learning this summer.  No need to spend hours planning, because I’ve done all the work for you!

This is the COMPLETE 12 Week Summer Program.  This kit is simply laid out, one kit per week, each week with 20 well-organized activities in subjects from reading and writing, to math, art, music, science, health and social studies.  These are activities that are easy to set up, easy to lead (if needed at all), and easy to clean up after.  Most importantly, they are fun!  You will find that many of the Sun Scholars Activity Kits can easily be used with children ranging in ages and capabilities from 4-9 years.

How to make a Kid’s Lunch Tote from a milk jug.

The kiddo’s love eating outside and so don’t I. I usually pack everyone’s lunches up in bread pans but for some reason my crafty mind came up with this little lunch tote from a milk jug.

All I did was cut out a little area in front of the spout with my scissors. Make sure you don’t cut out the spout because it makes the greatest little utensil and napkin holder.

Fill it up with their favorite treats. Sometimes they are lucky enough to get something a little special on these days. Today they were lucky enough to get s’mores on a stick. MMM, I say, you gotta make some.

Now all the kiddo’s have to do is grab the handle and carry their own lunches outside.

It’s a great upcycle project that took about 2 minutes to make. And the kiddo’s thought it was so fun to eat out of a milk jug.

Happy picnicking!

How to make a kite from a garbage bag {Tutorial}

A little over a month ago I shared a tutorial over at U Create with kids on how to make a kite from a garbage bag. It is so quick and easy to make your own kite, all you need is a few materials and a windy day.

Garbage Bag Kit Tutorial
(allow 30 minutes to 1 hour to complete)
Materials Needed:
*2 skinny wooden dowels from the hardware store
*1 garbage bag
*duck tape
*ribbons and string Cut one of the dowels 21″ long and keep the other dowel full length for now. Take the 21″ dowel and center horizontally it onto the larger dowel 9″ down from the top of the longer dowel. My dowel ended up being 10 1/2″in from the sides when centered. Secure the dowels in place by wrapping string or ribbon around the dowels in the middle. Make sure that they make a straight cross and are as even as possible. Take and lay your garbage bag flat on the floor. Place your cross on top of the bag. You want the top of your cross to be even with the top of your bag. Mark your wooden dowel where you want to cut the excess part off. I wanted to cut the drawstring part off from my kite, so I measure just above where the drawstring area stopped and cut my dowel there. Cut the dowel with a pair of sharp kitchen scissors. Should look like this now.

Take some duck tape and tape it around all of the edges of the dowels. This will keep the dowels from making holes into your kite.
Now lay the cross onto the bag. Measure to make sure you have it evenly spaced on the sides and as close to the top of the bag as possible. Tape the dowel in place at the edges of each of the dowels.
Now take and fold the top edges of the garbage bag in. Try and keep them neatly folded and even. Place tape on the front.
And fold it over neatly, like so.
Repeat with the other side of the kite.
Your kite should look like this now.
Cut off the drawstring part if your bag has one.
Tape the bottom of the bag.

Tie some ribbons onto the bottom of the kite.

Tie a piece of string or ribbon onto the kite just above the center of the cross. Wait for a windy day and enjoy!

How to make your own cupcake liners.

The kiddo’s wanted to make Daddy some cupcakes for Father’s Day. So we mixed our batter and were ready to put them into the liners when I realized I had no cupcake liners. EEK! Not able to get to the store I racked my brain on what I could use instead. Of course baking a cake instead never crossed my mind. The kiddo’s wanted to make cupcakes and I was going to find a way to make those cupcakes. Because afterall cupcakes and cake taste so differently…am I right?! Looking through my drawers I came up with the idea of using parchment paper. And much to my surprise it worked great! Actually I love the idea of it. It takes a bit longer to do it this way, but once in awhile it will be fun to do for the kiddo’s.

Wanna make your own liners? Here’s how:
You will need parchment paper, regular and fancy scissors, a glass and your cupcake pans.
Rip off a 7″ piece of parchment paper.
Cut it in half.
Then center the piece of paper evenly over one of the holes in the pan.
Take your glass and push down the parchment paper. Make sure the paper is even on all sides, or as close as possible.
Now take your fingers and press the folds flat against the sides of the pan.
Take the glass out and flatten the parchment paper some more against the sides of the pan.
Now take some fancy scissors and trim the sides, or cut into shapes if you want. The kiddo’s wanted to make flowers for Daddy, so I attempted to make some flowers.
Use a large scoop to scoop the batter into the liners. Make sure you don’t get any batter on the sides…it’s just not pretty.
Make sure you give the kiddo’s their own pan to fill up. I’m a bit OCD and could never let the kiddo’s get my cupcake liners all messy on the sides. Yup, that’s how I am…sorry!

Bake your cupcakes per instructions. Ours baked a little longer then usual because we used jumbo muffin pans. We like BIG cupcakes.
We attempted to make sunflowers and some purple flowers.
But as you can see, I’m not the best at decorating cupcakes as flowers, that’s alright the kiddo’s loved them just the same.
The best part is that they can eat right from the cupcake liner. Easy clean-up and fun for the kiddo’s.
While the kiddo’s like their cupcakes decorated like flowers, I’m all about peanut butter frosting with some mini Reese’s and a peanut butter topping.

Happy Baking!

How to make a bubble station.

We spend a lot of time blowing bubbles in this house, so in turn we make a lot of messes with bubble solution. You know the deal, each kid wants their own wand and their own glass to dip into…baby included. So this momma fills 3 glasses with bubble solution and in about 2 minutes all of their glasses are spilled over and they are asking for more. Soon that large bottle of bubble solution is gone. So it was either come up with an easier way for us to enjoy blowing bubbles or buy stock in bubble solution. So this is what my never-ending-crafty-brain came up with.

The ultimate bubble station.

It was a no-brainer to use canning jars since we use them for EVERYTHING in this house, plus they are the perfect size for holding bubble solution and are easy for the kiddo’s to dip into. But the best part about using canning jars is that since the kiddo’s wont be spilling their bubble solution, all I have to do is screw the lids on the canning jars once they are finished and we have the remaining bubble solution ready for next time.

I can’t tell you enough how much I love this little bubble station of ours. It has really turned bubble time into something fun and not something I used to dread.

As you can see, the design is super simple. The top board is large enough for 5 holes and thick enough so that the canning jars wont tip over. The bottom piece of wood is a piece of ply-wood and is there just to keep the canning jars from falling out.

To cut the holes, the hubby simply used a hole saw that was slightly larger then a canning jar.

Once the boards were cut out I sanded and painted the two pieces of wood…orange of course. And as you can see, I’m not the best as sanding or rather, I’m very impatient. But really, if you are going to make one, take the extra time to do a better job sanding then I did. You will be thankful you did. Then after a few coats we screwed the boards together from underneath so that the screws wouldn’t show.

And there you have it, our perfect little bubble station!

Of course this little caddy isn’t used just for blowing bubbles. A caddy made for holding canning jars can be used for ANYTHING! Just think of all of the goodies that can be stored in this little caddy. I already have used it for holding candles, flowers, drinks and kids snacks.

How to make homemade ice cream in a baggie.

This is just as cool as my homemade butter in a canning jar. Oh how I wish I could take credit for coming up with this one, but I can’t. I saw it in Disney Family Fun Magazine the other day and thought it was such a great idea. I whipped up a few batches in no time and soon we were eating homemade ice cream from a baggie. I’m pretty sure this is not a new concept and has been done for years, but its new to me.

Here is what you will need to make homemade ice cream in a baggie:

2 TBL sugar
1 cup half & half (or light cream)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup coarse salt or table salt(I used canning salt)
gallon-sized Ziploc bag
pint-sized Ziploc bag

Mix the sugar, half & half and vanilla extract together. Pour into a pint-sized Ziploc baggie. Make sure it seals tightly.

Now take the gallon-sized Ziploc bag and fill it up halfway with ice and pour the salt over the ice. Now place the cream filled bag into the ice filled bag and seal.

Make sure it is sealed tightly and start shaking. Shake for about 5 minutes (or 8 minutes if you use heavy cream.)

Open the gallon-sized bag and check to see if the ice cream is hard, if not keep shaking. Once the ice cream is finished, quickly run the closed pint-sized baggie under cold water to quickly clean the salt off the baggie.

Open the baggie and pop in a spoon.

Hope you enjoy your homemade ice cream in a baggie as much as we do!

fat quarter friday {butterfly net / bug catcher tutorial}

First of all, since it’s fat quarter friday I have to mention The Vintage Crafter’s Challenge that is going on over at Simple Simon and Co. Have any of you been following along too?

The Vintage Crafter's Challenge
If not, head on to Simple Simon and check out what some amazing crafter’s have created by using one vintage fat quarter and some other vintage goodies. I haven’t been much of a vintage girl, but this challenge is definitely turning me into one. Plus we all know how much I love crafting with fat quarters.

Ok, now on with this weeks fat quarter friday tutorial!

Do your little ones spend hours a day searching and capturing butterflies and bugs like mine do? Then why not make them their very own butterfly net/ bug catcher. These cute little nets are fast, easy and cheap to make. They will give the kiddo’s hours of enjoyment outside.

Butterfly Net / Bug Catcher Tutorial

(allow 1 hour to complete project, plus drying times)

Materials Needed:

*wire wreath ring (I purchased this one at the $ store)

*metal wire for attaching ring to dowel

*tulle for the net (about 1/2 yard depending on size of wreath and length of net)

*1 fat quarter

*wooden dowel or something to use for the handle

This is what the ring I used looks like. First I took my ring and cut one slit into the smallest ring and carefully took it apart from the rest of the rings. Now you have 3 leftover rings and could actually make 3 more nets.

We took the ring and bent the openings like so.

The smallest bent part is about 1/4″ long and the next bent part is about 1 1/4″ long. But you can make yours whatever size works best for you. That gave me a ring that was about 22″ around from the bends.

Then we took the dowel and measured down to where the bent metal would poke into the dowel. Then we drilled the two holes where the ring would be sticking in. Then we took a utility knife and carefully made little cutouts so that the larger bent part of the ring would fit into the dowel. You could probably do without the holes and cutout parts but the hubby was helping me and he thought it would make the net more stable this way. I think he was right and plus I think it makes a cleaner neater looking net.

See this is what it will look like when the ring is poked into the dowel and is pushed into the cutout part

Now that you have the dowel and ring set up, it is time to cut some tulle. To determine the width of the tulle to use, measure around your ring from one bend to the other bend. Now divide that number by two. That will give you the width of each piece of tulle. Now make two pieces of tulle that are that width, by whatever length you wish to have your net. *For example: my ring measured 22″ around so I cut 2 pieces of tulle measuring 11″ wide by 18″ long.* You can leave the edges all square if you want, but I chose to round my bottom edges slightly. Round them now if you want to and then set aside.

Next you want to gather your fabric and cut:

*one piece 22″ long by 6″ wide (large bias tape for the net)
*one piece 6″ X 3″ (bias tape for semi circle on net)
*cut two smaller pieces that measure 6″X 6″ (fabric pieces for the handle)

Take the two 6″x 6″ pieces and fold the raw edges in so that they meet in the middle, iron flat. The pieces of fabric should now be 6″x 3″.

Take the 22″ x 6″ piece of fabric and make it into one large piece of bias tape.

Take the 6″x 3″ piece of fabric and iron that into a small strip of bias tape as well. Now set the pieces of fabric aside and gather the tulle.

Sew the two pieces of tulle together on the sides and bottom. Make sure you leave the top open. Then turn right side out and iron gently.

Now working with just one top edge of the net, fold the net so that the sewn sides are in the middle. Take a bowl and line up the bowl in the middle of ONE of the top edges of the net. So the sewn edge should be lined up with the middle of the bowl. Now trace that bowl and make a semi circle onto the net. This is where the ring and handle will fit under the net.

It’s hard to see but this is what the 1/2 semi-circle will look once it is cut out and the tulle is folded.

Now take the 6″ x 3″ smaller bias tape that you made and sew it onto the semi circle that you just cut out. Just take your time sewing it on.

This picture shows you where that semi circle cutout is going to be used under the handle.

Now take the 22″ x 6″ bias tape and fold in the raw edges on the ends slightly and iron flat. You don’t want any raw edges showing. Now unfold the large bias tape and line up the net so that the edge of the net is even with the middle of the large bias tape. **See photo below.**Sew the larger bias tape all around the net.

Fold the bias tape over and top stitch down near the net. Do not top stitch at the top of the bias strip or you will not be able to sleeve the ring through the bias tape.

The net should look like this now.

Top stitch around net again for a little added stability and decoration.

Here is what your net should look like now.

Now take the ring and push one end through the fabric.

And here is your net. Now you just need to attach it to your dowel.

Take your ring and fit the bent edges into the dowel. Take wire and wrap it around the bent edges and secure the ring onto the dowel.

Now to cover up the wire I decided to mod podge one of the now 6″ x 3″ pieces of fabric around the wire and I also put mod podge on the other piece of fabric around the tip of the handle for a little decoration. I used outdoor mod podge and applied two coats to the entire handle plus the fabric that is wrapped around the wire and at the tip of the handle. Let dry per instructions on bottle.

Once dry spray with a crystal clear coat of an acrylic spray paint. This will take the stickiness of the mod podge away and make the handle water proof and washable. Give the handle a few coats of the spray paint and allow to dry per instructions on the can.

And now you have your sweet little homemade butterfly net/ bug catcher!

Make up some cute little butterflies out of fabric and attach them to the net.

**Please feel free to use this tutorial for your personal sewing projects. You may link this to your blog and use any photo’s. Just please be kind and give credit where credit is due.**

Any questions or comments please do not hesitate to contact me. If you make one using this tutorial, please add it to my flickr group. I would love to see it and you just might see it featured on my blog one day!

Butterfly Net…or…Bug Catcher?

I was finally able to finish my latest creation that I have been working on for over a week now. The whole project will take about 2 hours to complete and with most of that time being drying time. I decided to use mod podge on the handle to keep the fabric clean and washable. It only required about 10 minutes at the machine.

I’m pretty happy with the outcome and I will definitely be making some more of them. They are easy, fast and very cheap to make.

Although I’m pretty sure this cute little butterfly net will turn into a bug catcher pretty quick!
Whatcha think? Wanna make one?

I will have a tutorial to share with all of you next week for fat quarter friday.

Headbands for the girls.

I finally got to do some crafting this weekend and boy did it feel great! Now granted I only spent about 15 minutes whipping these headbands up and they are far from being inventive as I see them everywhere but at least now I know why. They are so fun and easy to make and with how quick they go together, they can become addicting. I’m sure I could have made a few more but my little girl was helping momma and accidentally spilled all 4 containers of buttons everywhere. So we spent more time picking up and sorting buttons then actually crafting. But that was alright with me, cuz I think she already loves buttons as much as I do.

These 3 went to my little niece for her birthday.

While I kept the lace one for my little girls.

There was something about this orange one that I just couldn’t part with.

Maybe it was how cute this little munchkin looked with it on.

Lace + baby = pure sweetness!

If your looking for a tutorial, check out this one from Disney.