Thursday, February 26, 2015

Drool Bibs For the Sweetwater Grandbaby!


"I can't think why mothers love them. All babies do is leak at both ends."   Douglas Feaver   
 Isn't that the truth?
I have been sewing up some pretty cute drool bibs for the Sweetwater Grandbaby!

There are tons of tutorials and patterns out there! 
The Bandana Bib seems to be popular.....but personally....I think all that fabric up by the baby face is cumbersome!  If you like that look...here is a link to a pattern and tutorial!

Since there are many tutorials out there...I won't bother to write one....so check out the links I have found!

Grow Giggle Designs Big Tutorial and Pattern


Make It Love It: Bow Tie Bibs from a Shirt

These little bibs are on my list to make!






This Pinterest Board has bunches and bunchers of inspiration!

I spent some fun time at the fabric store looking for cute fabric!
I bought a yard of nice white terry cloth and scored a remnant of some sturdy soft flannel that is actually drapery lining.....the $5 remnant was a great bargain!
Here are the bibs for the Sweetwater Grandbaby!


Don't you love this print?

I put a snap on this one...but I discovered that I am a bit "Snap Challenged"....


I opted for velcro on the next ones!

However....I really struggle to sew the velcro on in such a way that it stands up to laundering!

I would love to hear from you if you know a solution for sewing velcro on neatly and sturdily (is that a word???).










This denim look is nice...

 The double stitching is a nice finish too!

I have more denim and I might try one with a pocket and some kind of pocket square!












I love this doggie printed flannel!
My sewing machine has some embroidery stitches that are a cute finished edge!
The one on the left is done with a frayed edge....but be sure to launder the bib before you let the baby wear it or you will have lint mixed with drool everywhere!






















The REAL reason for this post is so I can do a little "cute agression" and post pictures of the "cutest baby ever" modeling my creations!
I had an old University of Minnesota sweatshirt that had seen better days!
I used the M from the arm and appliqued it on the front of the bib!
Now....our little Minnesota Gopher.....can drool in style!
During his "Photo Shoot"....I caught an editorial expression of the opinion most Gopher fans have of this year's Basketball season!
Is that funny or what?!

Have A Wonderful Day!
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Sunday, February 22, 2015

A Fabulous Student Drama Production!

"Let's Put on a Show!"
That is exactly what happens at Park Spanish Immersion School every year!

Under the direction of an amazing educator (and one of my favorite friends)....over 50 kids work together to stage a musical production!

This is no small feat!  The script and music needs to be written IN SPANISH!  Funny...there aren't too many ready made Spanish scripts out there....so they have to be translated!  

Kim works hard to create a production that includes as many children as possible!
The many volunteers who work on scenery, props and costumes are pretty amazing!
Since there isn't a lot of money in the budget....everyone needs to be "pretty creative" to find inexpensive ways to make this happen!

I had the pleasure of helping with costumes this year!  

We had the idea to do headpieces reminiscent of The Lion King!

Obviously the budget meant that the headpieces would not be this elaborate....

And....the whole idea is that the kids get involved in making and doing a lot of the work themselves!

The framework for the each headpiece was a "crown" made with strips of mat board!
Once that was done.....it was just a matter of making each look like an animal....that was the creative part!

The basic supplies were pretty simple....lots of duct tape, feathers, fabric and a glue gun were used in a variety of ways!
 
 
Here is "Anansi" the Spider!



Foam core board, pipe cleaners and duct tape were put together for this amazing effect!



The turtle was created using a circle of fabric gathered around a child sized Fireman's hat! 

The stuffed toe of an ordinary sock was perfect for the turtle's head....once the "google eyes" were added!









The crowns for these birds were covered in colored duct tape and feathers!  Orange felt glued to the beaks finished the effect!



Fur glued to a foam core shape adds the look of feathers for the owl!




Gray fleece wrapped around wire shapes for Elephant ears worked well....the trunk is pipe insulation with more fleece!













 The first "Bull" headpiece that we made was less than successful!  
In fact....it was pretty darn lame!
When the boy who played this part tried it on....I could see that he was pretty disappointed!
But....he didn't say a word....just smiled...no complaining!
His attitude inspired me to go home and come up with something better!
His genuine appreciation for the new and improved headpiece was very gratifying!

 
Monkeys and Rabbits and Pigs....OH MY!


Working on the project was so much fun!  Watching the natural problem solving creativity of these kids was pretty awe inspiring!

Some of the volunteer helpers are PSI Alumni....teenagers willing to give time out of thier busy lives to get involved!  Watching them interact with the adult volunteers and the younger students is "youth empowerment" in action! 

The musicians are also PSI Alumni...who play their own original compositions for the performance!


While the "Anasi" Drama Performance was amazing.....the real amazing part of the whole thing is the community building that happened in the process! 

Educators are always talking about "Performance Assessment"!  In its simplest terms, a performance assessment is one which requires students to demonstrate that
they have mastered specific skills and competencies by performing or producing something!

I would have to say that this production is the true definition of that!

If you are interested in reading more about the PSI Drama Club, check out this link!

Have a Wonderful Day!





Sunday, February 15, 2015

How to Make A Custom Ironing Board Cover!


Ironing and ironing boards are not exactly exciting topics!

Actually.....I don't do a lot of actual clothes ironing....but if you sew....you have to iron!
My Grandma told me (correctly) that the iron was the MOST important sewing notion!


I will say that crafting and sewing take a real toll on an ironing board cover!


Yikes....this is seriously ugly!  I am not sure what the red stuff is....and the scorch marks were getting pretty bad.


















It was actually getting so bad that I was laying down a protective tea towel when I ironed anything "nice"!

It was obviously time for a new ironing board cover! Because our ironing board is one of those "in the wall" built ins, it is kind of hard to find a cover that fits exactly. The ones for this model cost about $20 and come in GRAY or GRAY!  You know....that shiny gray metal color that is soooo attractive!

The easy.....and I do mean easy....solution to this "critical problem" is to make your own!
I am laughing as I write this because the "tutorial" is so classic "Sweetwater Style"!  It is a case of "just do it" and "use what you have"....come along and see!


I had a piece of sturdy navy and white ticking.  This will go nicely with the blue and white craft room floor and stand up well to any "ironing abuse" I can throw at it!

I traced the shape of the ironing board on paper....really rough...by just running a pencil around the edge!

I added 3 inches all the way around and cut it out!



I used the serger to finish the raw edge...but you could just turn this edge under and press it inside.
Then I made a 1 inch casing by pressing in the whole outer edge except a spot at the back. (Because of the way my board is designed...I leave the whole back without the casing)
 This is where the ironing part of sewing comes in!  Pressing down those little tucks around the top of the board makes stitching the casing a lot easier!

The next step is inserting some sort of sturdy string into the casing.

I "used what I had"!  This jute twine is nice and strong.....

That funny looking "pin" is called a BODKIN!  You don't need one....a safety pin will work...but you know how fancy we are here at Sweetwater!

Actually....this tool really does make pulling strings or elastic through casings and they only cost a couple of dollars.

Push the string all the way from one end of the casing to the other.






Leave a whole lot of extra string on either end.

This will make it easier to pull the cover tight when it is on the board.


I added a layer of fiberfill batting to the top of the board....not necessary if your padding is in good shape!


 By the way.....I didn't take the old cover off!

If I decide the batting is too soft, the old cover will be a good solid base!


Now it is just a matter of putting the new cover on the board and pulling the cord tight.

You will have to pull pretty hard to gather the edge securely around the board....which is why you need a sturdy cord in the casing!


Tie a knot or a bow and you now have a wonderful new ironing board cover!


For almost no cost.....just a small depletion of my "fabric stash"....now I have a great looking new ironing board and I don't have to cringe whenever I iron!  However....Mr. S is going to cringe when he sees the messy background in this photo!  What can I say.....I was focused on the project!


Have A Wonderful Day!
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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Healthy No Blender Smoothie!

I just love Smoothies!
I have a wonderful VitaMix Blender that is great!

But sometimes....I am too lazy to get the VitaMix out...
and
I am too lazy to clean it after I blend up a smoothie!

Here is a quick solution!
No Blender needed!






Healthy No Blender Smoothie Ingredients

6 oz. Orange Juice
2 TBSP Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate
1/4 Cup (2 scoops) Protein Powder
1 packet Raspberry Emergen-C

Mix well with a small whisk until blended!

This couldn't be simpler!
And....it really is delicious!



The Cherry Juice Concentrate is a great anti-oxident even though it is a little "spendy"!
Since you only use a little bit.....it goes a long way!
The protein powder is a quick burst of energy and makes the "smoothie" thicker!
The Emergen-C is also great as a cold fighter!
The "high-tech" whisk makes clean up a breeze!

A quick energy drink like this is perfect for those days when you are on the run!
Five minutes and you can be on your way!
Enjoy!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Customized Fabric Covered Wastebasket Tutorial

I was thinking that  I haven't been very crafty around Sweetwater lately!

Actually...my crafty skills have been busy helping design and create costumes for a Drama Performance at my old school. The costumes are amazing and fun head pieces instead of full body costumes.  The fun part is that the kids are heavily involved in making the costumes themselves....so I am more the "director" watching over flying fur and feathers and glue guns! I will write about that another time when I have pictures!

On to the transformation of this rather mundane plastic wastebasket into a customized fabric covered gem!!

There is really nothing wrong with it!
Except it is the wrong color for the decor in my Yoga room!

There was no way I was going to spend any money on a wastebasket.....

Time to get my craft on!

Time to use what I had!




I was going to use burlap....until I realized that the red plastic would probably show through.

Then I got out this piece of heavy canvas from Goodwill.

It is nice and neutral....and would be great for the stencil I planned to add.

A paint drop cloth would also work for this project.




I measured the fabric by rolling the wastebasket on the fabric.
I left lot of overhang.  I was planning to tuck the extra down into the can as a self liner....

As you will see....that plan changed!

Then I folded down a 1/2 inch  on the top and bottom  and one side for finished edges!

It was ready to glue to the wastebasket.....





Here comes the customized part!

I am lucky to have a CriCut machine.....and even better to have the Sure-Cuts A Lot software.  The software lets you design on the computer....using any image you like and then run it through the die cut machine.  It sure saves on buying cartridges!
Sadly....I am not sure if it is still available for purchase!!!

As you can see....I decided to go full on with the the Yoga theme!  I found the symbol for the word namasté and then added the wording.


I got a bit lazy and decided not to actually stencil!

Instead.....I used a pen to create an outline of the stencil shapes and letters.

Then I simply used a black Sharpie to fill it in.

It saved the bother of cleaning the stencil brush and looks every bit as nice....in fact it might be better because it is more defined!


Once the ink was dry....it was time to start with the glue gun!

This is when the fun (Not so much) started!

The waste basket is wider at the top than the bottom....

That means you need a wider top than bottom!!!


 Instead of just rolling the fabric around the can.....it goes all crooked!


You need to sort of gather the bottom as you glue.

I had to get a little too close to the hot glue to pinch in the little tucks!

THIS WAS NOT FUN!








Do you remember that I was going to self-line the wastebasket with the long tube of canvas?




WELL....when it was tucked inside.....it looked really awful!

It was all crumpled and would certainly cause issues when it was used for WASTE in the waste basket!

So I cut it off....and tuck in the edge and glued it down...








More tucking and gluing....more touching the hot glue!

OUCH!

But it worked.....sort of!

I wasn't totally happy with it....but it was what it was!
I told myself....it is JUST a wastebasket!




You can see......the folded edge still looks a little messy....


I figured that once it was in the room....it would be OKAY!








I went about my business.....but seriously....the way it looked was disappointing!

I kept thinking about it....
I had spent too much time....and had burned fingers besides!

There had to be something that I could do to make this better!

I remembered that I had really wanted a burlap look for the project!






 AHA!


I dug out a roll of 5 inch burlap "ribbon" from my stash!


By adding this to the top and bottom of the basket.....it solved the problem!

Well.....it meant more glue gun burns....but it was worth it!








 The inside edge of canvas is covered and I got the burlap "look" I was after!



I think this just goes to show the "process" necessary when you set out to craft something!
The vision I had for the basket didn't just happen.....
It is always a case of trial and error to find the right solution.....

So after all of this....I think I need to go actually USE the Yoga Room to Relax!

NAMASTÉ!

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