Jack’s Easter Party at School

I was the party planner for Jack’s Easter party which was held the Thursday before Easter.  Thankfully I had other moms helping out with the food but I put a lot of time and thought into my craft and the egg hunt.
I sent a note home with the parents to have everyone send in 14 eggs.  Jack’s teacher had mentioned 14 since that’s how many kids are in the class.  Not 30 minutes after I sent the note home, I realized that it didn’t matter how many kids are in the class as long as they all send in the same amount of eggs.  Because I really didn’t think they needed 14 eggs filled with candy.  But that’s what they got!  
I learned that they now sell eggs already filled with candy and you can get Star Wars themed eggs.  Brilliant.  But I’d already bought my empty eggs and candy and stuffed my own.  
Now what to do with almost 200 eggs.  It seemed too easy to just throw them all in a field.  Last year they each got six and I numbered them with the intent that they all get one of each number but that was a little confusing.  I was going to put their names on the eggs or their initials but that seemed to easy also.  I ended up numbering them again and then assigning each child one number.  It worked out great.  The kids had a fun time hunting for their numbers and helping each other. 

I made miniature brownies with cream cheese frosting and raspberries on top for dessert.  This was the second batch of brownies and I had barely minutes to spare before I had to be at school for the party but it worked out.  I figured they didn’t need a huge dessert on top of their 14 eggs full of candy.

And here is my craft:  a little sock bunny.

This is the version I made for an example.  The ones that the kids made were cuter and they had some different colored ones.  We filled the bottom of a child’s sock with beans, put an elastic around his neck, then stuffed his head with cotton stuffing and another elastic at the top.  We cut the rest of the sock in half for his ears.  Then we added eyes, nose, teeth and tail.  I found felt with adhesive backing in black and white so the eyes and teeth were easy to go on.  The tail (a white pom pom) and nose just needed a little tacky glue and stayed on there fine.  I spent forever putting all the supplies together for these and putting kits together for the kids but it went really smoothly and I think everyone had fun with it.

I also made these cute carrots out of napkins and silverware.

Jack was not cooperating with the camera but at least there is evidence that he is eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich again.  After eating two a day for a couple years, he got tired of them and went on a sandwich strike for about a year.  But he realized that he likes jelly again and has been eating jelly sandwiches lately.

After all was said and done, this was one of my favorite parties to do.  I was so glad when it was done but it was satisfying to see the kids have a great party and we now have three cute little sock bunnies to decorate with next year.

Summer Sprinkler

I am so proud of this project!  Today I made a fun sprinkler/bike wash for the kids.  Disney’s Family Fun magazine had a deluxe version of it but a blog called Simple Simon & Co had a pretty simple version that I copied.

Once I got all the parts I needed, it only took 20 minutes to make.  And that was with 2 impatient children trying to “help.”

It was the trip to Lowe’s that was the hardest part.  The lawnmowers were an instant distraction.  Jack wanted to sit on them and he wanted me to take pictures.  So I did.

Casey likes the pricier one!

I found the pvc piping.  They come in 10 foot lengths.  I knew they would fit in the car but trying to push them around Lowe’s in a cart was no simple task.  Jack and Casey were trying to help with the fittings I needed.  “How about this one, Mommy?”  Jack helped so much that when we checked out, I realized that the T joints that he was in charge of were not in the cart.  Instead of pushing my cart with its 10 foot poles around, I elected to take things out to the car and then we headed back into the store.

The second time around I found the correct fitting to connect my pipes to a garden hose.  It would have been a sad sad story if I had put this all together and then found out I couldn’t connect it to my hose.  I also snuck by the plumbing man to grab the pvc pipe cutting tool.  Earlier, he was pretty adamant that I didn’t need it and I could just use a hacksaw.  I decided it was worth the money to buy the tool because I was pretty sure it would make the whole process of creating this easier.  I couldn’t picture myself trying to use the hacksaw and answer 3000 questions from Jack and Casey and still remain patient and still keep all my fingers.

In the meantime, Jack and Casey turned their T joints into guns and then into microphones and then they wanted to sit in different seats in the cart and then they wanted to go back by the lawnmowers.  I was very happy to leave and get home with my parts.

After a little measuring, a little oomph to cut the pipes, some drilling to make holes and a little assembling, I was very happy with the results.  The kids were very happy too.  They took all their cars, bikes, trikes, scooters and lawnmowers through the car wash.  It made the trip to Lowe’s worth it and the 90+ degree heat more bearable.  And I smile every time I look at my handiwork!

My Pretty Girl

I went to the fabric store with Casey last week to stock up on some fabric that was on sale.  The corduroy was also on sale and I wanted to try to make Casey a jumper so I let her pick some fabric.  I didn’t really love any of the corduroy selection but she found a pink one with blue and pink dogs on it that she loved and she was happy.  She was also adorable as we waited for the kind but slow lady to cut all our fabric.  Casey wanted to hold on to her fabric and kept telling everyone that I was going to make a pretty dress for her.  She also kept touching all the pink and purple fabrics and saying “Dis is bootiful, Mommy.”

It only took a couple hours (over the course of a couple days) and I made this “pretty dress” for Casey.  I used this tutorial from a blog called ikatbag.  She wore it for two days and then I convinced her that it needed to be washed.

We’ve also reached a big milestone in Casey’s life.  After over a year (seriously) of whining and expressing her frustration, she can finally reach the light above her seat in the car!  She would be so upset when Jack could click his light on and off and she couldn’t reach hers.  I noticed her light was on one day last week but I didn’t think she could reach it yet so I didn’t ask her to try to turn it off else she would get frustrated.  But all of a sudden she reached up and said, “I turned my light off!” I’m not sure who was happier, her or me.

Casey is also on a funny name kick.  She keeps repeatedly asking me, “What’s your name again?”  She knows the answer but she asks it so genuinely, like she has just met me but forgot my name.  The best is when she says, “What’s your name again, Jack?”  Then she makes up names for Legos or dolls or imaginary friends and they are all called Kaya, Naya or Saya (the first a is a long a).  It’s pretty funny to watch her play with her toys right now.  She and Jack have been playing very nicely with their Legos.  I’m so glad I bought her a box of her own pink Legos for Christmas.

A Finished Project

In the car on the way to Ocean City last weekend, I had a little sewing to do.  I had to finish sewing one side of the binding of my first quilt.  It was a gift for my sister-in-law, Jenny and niece, Charlotte, who will be arriving in June.

I am so excited that I finally finished my first quilt!  And I love how it turned out.  In fact, I’m a little sad that it’s no longer here for me to admire.  After I gave Jenny the quilt, I had to take some pictures because I hadn’t had the chance to take any as I was still sewing at the last minute.

A few years ago, when I was living in Gig Harbor, Washington, I thought I would make a quilt.  I found some intricate pattern on the internet and figured it wouldn’t be too hard to cut out the triangles that I needed to make the quilt.  I was so wrong.  I don’t think I had the right equipment and I didn’t realize exactly how patient I would need to be to cut really straight lines to make all the triangles the exact same size.  Then, I decided to just cut out tiny squares and put them all together but that wasn’t working either.  So that quilt is just a tangle of crooked strips and crooked squares sitting in a box in the closet.

A few months ago I stumbled across a website called the Moda Bake Shop.  Every other day or so there is a new sewing project on there using Moda brand fabrics.  I learned that you can buy precut fabric and I found a quilt that looked pretty simple so I decided to try my hand at quilting again. And Moda’s fabric lines are so beautiful that I want to make something with all of them.

I decided to make a Snuggly Layer Cake Throw, using a layer cake, which is a stack of 10×10 squares.  There was a little cutting and trimming involved but once I started making it, I realized I was actually going to finish this quilt.  I had been holding off on buying the fabric for the back until the top was finished.  I think I went to the fabric store about a dozen times buying all the thread and binding and tools that I needed.  I used multiple tutorials on the web about how to do the actual quilting and how to finish the quilt with the binding.

Jenny is planning to decorate Charlotte’s room in brown and purple so I found a line of fabric called Gypsy Rose (from Moda) that had some pretty purple and brown in it, and some pink too.  For the back, I used material called Minkee in a chocolate brown.  I used a premade binding in purple to finish it.  The Minkee is super super soft and so snuggly.  I quilted using straight lines (per the tutorial), but some day I will figure out how to make all the swirlies that are on some quilts.  

And now I think I’m hooked on quilting.  Beautiful fabrics, modern, simple designs and all the right equipment are making me think I should do a few more of these.  In fact, the second one is already started.  I have another niece or nephew due in August.

Easter Bunny Sewing Project

Just had a nice visit with the Easter Bunny.  He procrastinated a little this year and didn’t get his homemade sewing gifts done until about an hour ago.  But they’re done and set up on the table for the kids to see in the morning.

Jack helped me pick out some material at Hancock Fabrics a few weeks ago…it had baseballs on it.  He was excited about the prospect of something being made out of it.  In fact, one night he sat and played with his fabric, folding and unfolding it for about half an hour.  I made the mistake of telling him that the Easter Bunny was going to stop by and pick it up some night, make him something and then bring it back on Easter.  So, the Easter Bunny had to work only at night and during naptime to conceal the baseball fabric from peering eyes.  Why I didn’t tell him that I would make him something for Easter, I don’t know.  The Easter Bunny’s got a lot more street cred I guess.  Jack probably thinks the only things I get him are from the dollar store.  But a dollar store toy can make his day…and the price is always right!

The Easter Bunny made little binders for crayons and a notepad for both Jack and Casey, using this tutorial – Airplane Art Binder.  (I’m going to stop with the Easter Bunny references for a little bit.)  I made the first one for our friend’s daughter’s 3rd birthday present.  It turned out alright but was the first detailed sewing project I’ve done in years or maybe ever.  I worked on Casey’s next and it turned out the best even though I had some problems with the binding.  Jack’s was last and was the quickest but I also rushed a little bit and it wasn’t the best.  Anyway, it was fun to make them something and get the sewing machine out again.  More projects are in the works.

Here are some pictures, although they’re at a weird angle…

Hopefully they will come in handy at church tomorrow.  When Pat told Jack that we were going to church tomorrow, he said, “Again?  Why?”  I guess Christmas still feels like yesterday to Jack.  Pat told him that we were going to church to celebrate Jesus.  Jack said, “Jesus, again?”  Only from a 3 year old. I’ve been singing him Easter songs all week so he will get excited when he hears them at church or at least recognize them.

New Pillows

I finished the first of what I hope is many crafty projects today. I think I started this project about 4 weeks ago when I ran out to Hancock Fabric on a Sunday afternoon to buy some fabric to cover some pillows. The pillows I planned to cover were red and I switched to a blue with white polka dot. Hancock Fabric closes at 5pm on Sundays which I learned as I pondering different colors and a store manager announced that the store was now closed. The blue with polka dots was in front of me at the time and that’s what I went with.

This couch doesn’t get used much, except by the dog, so I wanted to make a cover for these red pillows that I could just throw in the wash when I needed to eliminate some dog slobber. I used a simple tutorial from a blog called Make It and Love It.

The hardest part of this project was cutting out the material. I didn’t have all the right supplies to make sure that I had straight lines and square corners. I thought if I just used the polka dots as a guide that everything would come out alright. This was not true, as one came out a little skewed. Because I was a little dejected by this, it took about three weeks of the fabric just sitting on my dining room table before I finally sewed them. The second hardest part of the project was digging the sewing machine out of the closet and actually bringing it all the way down the stairs and taking it out of the box. After that, it was a sewing breeze.
It’s not the most dramatic transformation ever, but it gives the couch and the room a fresh look and brings out the blue in the Annapolis picture above the couch.