Wednesday, June 30, 2010

More Thrifty Goodness - Airplane shelf

Found in a garage sale, fifty cents. Super cute and just the right height for an airplane-crazy boy to put his treasures on. The propeller spins - probably because the glue has come undone - and we're going to leave it that way. Hope three hooks can hold it on the wall... The pictures above - collages of Cinderella and the Wizard of Oz - were created by my Grammy for me, ages ago. They are really intricately done - as a child I didn't appreciate the time that would go into something like that, but now when I look at them I think of her and wish she could have met my kids so they could have loved her too.

We also made an Ikea run and got a new bookshelf (not shown. I'm not sure putting together a Billy bookshelf counts as a project completed, although I did make it by hand, and it was of course a thrifty purchase.) So another treasure trove - a box of books from my parents' attic - got unpacked and shelved and we have a ton of new reading material for summer. The books that were too old and worn for toddlers to manhandle were moved up to the dresser top. Now I need to keep an eye out for cute bookends at the next garage sales.
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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Knit Summer Dress

With flower. And crochet scallop edging.

Pretty as a picture.
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Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer Solstice

Mr. Sycamore would like to point out that I did not, in fact, make this. But boy was it tasty on a million-degree-day out and about.

Happy happy days of summer to you!
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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Long Sleeved Onsie to Short Sleeved Top - Tutorial

I pretty quickly turned the knit onesie on the left into the short sleeved top on the right - if you can sew a zigzag hem (or have a serger) and can cut a straight line, you can do it. I had several of these onesies from last winter that still fit Sweet P, but she doesn't need long sleeves in our sweltering summer, and she is potty-training, so snappy crotches just slow her down. I've also turned long pajama bottoms into summer pajama shorts the same way, and I received a bunch of snappy-crotch type oufits that have been turned into cute little tops. I figure, since they are just going to be passed along to friends with smaller kids, or to goodwill, be bold and if you make a mistake, move on. It is not like cutting into haute couture. And these are so easy you almost can't botch them.

Measure across from just above the hip opening (if you are doing a onesie) - since the hem is going to be finished in a "lettuce" style, pretty straight is good enough. If you are type A then by all means, use a straight edge and fabric marker, or a rotary cutter works too. Ignore the blurry photo (we got a new camera, yay! I'm still trying it out, more on that soon)

When cut, you will have this.

Now, don't be shy about the arms. I made them more of a cap sleeve, but when you are cutting into perfectly good clothes you can make them any length you want.

It probably does go without saying but I'll say it anyway - cut off the other sleeve. I used the first sleeve as a template to make them approximately matching.

Now you can use a serger. I don't have a serger, so I have to use the zigzag on my regular machine. If you stretch it a little as you zigzag the edge, it will make a lovely lettuce edging. If you are J Jill you can charge more for this.

To be honest, I'm not all that great at sewing on knits without stretching them into lettuce-y shapes, so this is a perfect project for my skills.

Hope your kids get more use out of their old onesies!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Painting and Mobile

The painting is a thrift store find in great condition for $3. For real. Our local thrift was having a summer sale on marine themed items and this was hiding in amongst the "gone fishin' " signs and anchor-decorated placemats. J is fascinated by the water coming up over the side of the boat as they sail. The mobile includes a helicopter, a jet, a bi-plane and a regular old timey plane, and the necessary dirigible, a J fave.
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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Handprint Quilt

Scraps in the sewing room

Laying out the blocks

I pieced the back out of necessity - used up just about all the prints to make it fit. I really like pieced backs, so had planned to do that anyway - I really like how the flannel picks up the colors in the front.

The final product! This was a collaboration with the school administrator, who organized getting the handprints and printed them all out on printable fabric. Because the handprints were different sizes, it worked out that I wanted to make a "wonky squares" quilt anyway. Since it is a wall hanging, and because I didn't have a ton of time, I quilted straight around each handprint block, around each color block, and up each line of sashing. Very simple. It was also nice to do the wonky blocks - I didn't have to square everything up and stitch perfect seam allowances - just trim at the end to 10" blocks. Since the printer ink is water soluble, this type of quilt has to be dry-cleaned, so it isn't as practical as an actual quilt. Kind of a bummer, I like dual-use art. I needed to include the school motto and thank you (for J's teacher, who is leaving for a new job) so I printed everything out in the school font, and used black permanent market to trace and color it in on the aqua panels. It would probably hold up better to a wash than the handprint fabric! A quick and dirty solution I think works in this case.

All in all, a wonderful project and it was great to have a deadline, although we were still late to the party where we presented it. Sweet P really needs a girl quilt, she has this terrible navy and cranberry quilt from Mr. Sycamore's batchelor days. Her birthday is in August... stay tuned.
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Friday, June 4, 2010

Where the Leak Was - Fix It Friday

I probably should've taken a photo of the water jetting from the broken pipe, once we took the siding off. This little bump out is the downstairs bathroom, and for some reason instead of running the shower head pipe up the interior wall and making a little access door to it, someone ran it up the outside wall and yes, it froze. And we had no access, except through tiles or siding. Our clever plumber helped us cut the siding as neatly as we could and fixed up the pipes - leaving the siding for us to tackle. Step one, duct tape and a drop cloth for the high chair. Pooh and Tigger do their part.

Step two - nail the siding back up as best you can while watching toddlers, and scrape the paint that buckled because of the water flowing down. Don't think about how long that water flowed. Or the mushrooms growing in the tub tiles (for real). Please ignore that area right in the middle where I had nailing issues.

Prime and paint, replace the shutter. If you are me, this last, easiest, step will take approximately two months.

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Toddler PJs

Sweet P has a set too, although the photos are action shots in low light, so I'll have to try again. They came out pretty sweet, only took 30 min or so each, and are comfy cotton for summer. From fabric I bought last summer. Better a year late than still sitting around in the stash!
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