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Archive for July, 2009

I bought Rebecca Danger’s pattern for Daphne and Delilah and have not been able to put it down.  I have not knitted a stuffed animal of any sort, so this was really a new experience.  I definitely need to practice my seaming/attaching techniques. 

The pattern was nicely written and easy to follow.  It was almost entirely knitting in the round, so lots and lots of knit stitches.  My monsters are a bit um…quirkier, yeah quirkier, than hers, but I like them that way ;).  I seem to have made everything a bit lopsided, but they are monsters, it just adds to their charm, right?

daphne and delilah This pattern is sooooo adorable, I will definitely be making more!  BTW leave me a comment if you have any tips for sewing up stuffies, I could use the help!

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My daughter recently received a doll house for her birthday.  It is a homemade one and doesn’t have a lot of accessories, so I decided we needed some play food.  There are a lot of really talented people making miniature food with polymer clay, but I don’t have time to hand sculpt fancy concoctions and I definitely don’t want to spend a lot of money buying something that can be easily lost or broken.

Materials:

  • Scrap polymer clay
  • acrylic paint, like apple barrel or folk art brands
  • acrylic sealer, I would use a spray
  • baby powder or cornstarch to use as a mold release
  • Play-doh sweet creations set (my daughter received this for Christmas, Play-doh has a lot of different sets and there are a variety of different shaped molds so check your sets, ask your friends and keep an eye out at yard sales, these molds work great for polymer clay).   The green and the red ones on the left are some that I found in our collection.play food supplies

Start by conditioning your clay, it need to be warm and soft to produce a good shape.  You can condition it by hand kneading or you can run it through the pasta machine a few times.

Use a brush to apply baby powder or corn starch to the inside of your molds.  Roll the clay into small balls and then firmly press a ball into the mold.  I use my thumb to really get it in there good.  There will be excess clay around the outside edge of the mold and this is what I use to pull the clay out. 

After removing the clay from the mold the bottoms can be rough.  I used my tissue blade to slice the excess clay off.  The piece can be easily sculpted and reshaped, remember this is just play food don’t make yourself crazy making it “perfect”.  Here they are ready for the oven.play food before Bake according to the package directions, mine were supposed to be baked at 275 for 30 to 40 minutes, but I must have bumped the temperature dial on my toaster oven because they came out looking like this.

play food afterI guess it’s good I used scrap clay and was planning to paint them anyway :).

Paint your creations to make them look like real food and then seal with acrylic sealer.play food aboveI was able to whip these up in an couple of days (during nap time and such) and my daughter was delighted with them.  An older child would be able to help you make/paint the shapes, but it was a bit beyond my three year old abilities.  ***Always supervise small children with this play food as it can be a choking hazard.***

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We all know that wine can be a great gift for may different occasions, but what is a good way to dress up the bottle and make it special.  There are fancy boxes and bags everywhere and they can really add to the price of a gift.  I was able to make this fabulous wine sleeve for less than a dollar.wine sleeve All you need is a package of copper pot scrubbers.  I was able to get a package of two at my local grocery store for $1.00. 

Figure out how your scrubber is wrapped up, this one had the ends twisted together and once I untwisted them it was easy to unroll it into a tube which slides onto any regular sized wine bottle. 

The one above is just plain, tied at the top with some ribbon and a card, but there are ways to dress it up a bit more.wine sleeve2 Dig some of those beads you’ve been hoarding and jazz it up a bit!wine sleeve3If you look closely, you’ll see this scrubbie is knitted, you might even be able to convince the recipient that you knitted it yourself :P.

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Overcooked?

I working on a new polymer clay tutorial.  I hope this is not an indication of how my week is going to go.Over cooked

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I borrowed this book from my local library, (it appears to be out of print, but there are used copies available on Amazon).  This book is targeted to children and it is simply written and has interesting pictures and fun facts about plants to entertain and educate.

My children, especially my son, are really interested in plants and seeds.   Most of the plants in this book are common, except for the wheat berries, I have nooooo idea where one would buy those, maybe a health food store?  I liked that how the plants sprout and grow was explained and is was made clear that most of the plants would not bear fruit indoors and what could and could not be eaten.

We have started our first project from the book, an avocado tree!avacado 1The seeds have to be dried overnight and peeled.  Peeling was hard, I found that the pointy bit of my pot scrapper worked great for removing the outer skin with out damaging the inner seed. avacado 2 The seed is then skewered and the bottom is immersed in water.  Now for a few weeks in the dark and we’ll see what happens.  I was hoping to start three seed, but one of them was damaged and broke in half when it was time to be skewered.

I am excited to see if anything will grow and if it doesn’t I’ll just be forced to make more guacamole to get some more seeds, wouldn’t that be terrible!

pineapple 1Guess what we’ll be planting next =D.

I did enjoy this book and it was a quick read, I would buy it if I found it on a yard sale or in a thrift store, but I am not inclined to purchase it for $10.00 online.  So thumps up, but don’t buy, borrow.  I’ll let you guys know how the avocados turn out.

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I don’t know about you, but I have a ton of milk crates.  They really are the perfect size for storing any and everything, but they are not cute, especially if you’re like me and have one or two of every color ever made and a few that are a little worn around the edges. 

I have the answer make them into Undercover Crates!  This has been on my to do list for quite a while and if I had known how quick and easy this would be I would have done it ages ago.  I even had to adjust the size (don’t worry there are easy to follow instructions on how to do this) and it still only took about an hour.scooby crate I used a Scooby Doo sheet that I bought on a yard sale.  I need to take a minute here and rant a little.  This fabric was AWFUL, had I known how poorly woven and badly printed this fabric was I would not have bothered.  I have had enough of “character” sheets, they are all crappy, loosely woven and printed off grain.  I will stick to the regular sheets from now on.  Okay, moving on, I wanted to use something fun, this is now our designated library book crate, so that Mommy does not have to spend 30 minutes rounding up books when its time to go to the library.scooby crate inside

I really like how the pattern turned out, the instructions were simple and it was easy for me to customize the size.  The only thing I will do differently in the future is to make the seam allowances 1/2” instead of 1/4”, I like a little more to work with.  I will have to redo this one because of the fabric issue, but that’s fine.  I only have about 20 of these crates, I’ll just set up a little assembly line and go to town!  I think I’ll make a set for everyone in the family! 

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Blog Friends

One of the best things about blogging is meeting new, interesting people.  I often feel like I really know these people just because I read their blogs and have seen pictures of the families and homes. 

One of my blog friends, Pam, had a blog warming party last week(The Adventures of Pam and Frank).  There were giveaways, recipes, and fun. 

Part of the giveaways was to  collect all seven badges and be entered for a chance to win your choice of two Pass it On Plates loaded with rice krispie treats from Pam’s etsy store.  And guess what, I won (the badges were displayed on my blogger blog).

pass it on plate stars I’m so excited, she’s going to send one to me and one to whoever I pick, hmmmm, who should I pick?

pass it on plate swirls The blog warming party was great fun, but I have to confess that I’m am more addicted to two of her other blogs: pamhawk, for all the wonderful blogging and business advice and pams-inbox for a little chuckle.

I’m getting to the point where I can barely keep up with all the blogs I read and my back log of projects to try is getting mighty long.  I think I’m going to have to learn speed reading!

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