Monday, June 29, 2009

Blog Design and Being Busy

I haven't posted for awhile because we have been so busy. But I have had so much I want to post. The foremost thought on my mind, when I think about this blog is the lame design. It's really boring and dumb! Admit it!

The problem I have is lack of knowledge in the computer department, though we don't lack that in my house. My husband is a web designer, computer programmer, etc. He wants to help me, but he's always so busy.

When I first started the blog, I the look of it about twenty times (or more) and then settled temporarily on a style I just don't like but will have to do for now. I hope I can find the time soon, to design what I truly want in a website/blog. In the meantime, I'll try to post things rather than just being busy (or lazy - that may be equally true)!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Homemade Pinata

My kids wanted to throw a surprise party for their favorite babysitter. They wanted to have a pinata. Those are easy to find around here, but not so cheap. I knew we could easily make one. I looked online for instructions. This is a very novice try at making one. There is definitely room for improvement. I'm sure my kids will want one for every future birthday.

I found these links on after I made ours. There are so many good ideas out there.
Of course Family Fun Magazine has a good one. Here's a video that shows how to make one.

Basically you start with:

A balloon
strips of newspaper
a bowl that will fit the balloon

(optional: glue, rubber gloves, decoration for the outside)

Blow up the balloon and tie it. Mix one cup flour and two cups water together (add a few tablespoons of Elmer's glue, if you want). Lay down some newspaper to catch spills. Have the balloon on top of the bowl to make it easier to lay the glued newspaper strips on it. Dip the strips in the flour/water mixture and gently squeeze off excess. Put strips all over the balloon in one full layer, leaving a hole at the top (where the tie is) as big as a fist.

Allow that layer to dry and add another layer. Repeat until you have at least three layers. The more kids (or older) you will have at the party, the more layers you may want to have. It took our pinata about 7 hours to dry completely after each layer (we live in dry AZ, though - everything dries faster).

My kids decorated the pinata with dad (while I went grocery shopping). You could decorate it any way you like. I saw one video online that just had the final layer of paper as colorful construction paper in a mosaic design. Very pretty.

When you are ready to fill the pinata you could put some extra newspaper inside with the candy. We didn't completely fill the hole. We just put the candy and paper inside until it was full, then stuffed some tissue paper at the very top. This way the candy wasn't flying out the top. I'm sure you can come up with ideas to cover the hole better. I was lazy.

When it came time to whack at the pinata we used a hole punch to put two holes in the sides and didn't have twine (we were at a friends' house and we forgot our twine) to use, so we used a bungee with hooks. It worked, but ended up ripping through the pinata. We made some bigger holes down lower. That worked better, but looked silly. Oh well. The kids loved it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Doll Quilts

About two months ago, I finally bought myself a darning foot for my sewing machine. I didn't know it would be so cheap (under $4)!! I should've bought one years ago! I could've been "free motion" quilting for years. I haven't quilted in years. I guess it's probably because I have been busy with little ones. Well, that's not exactly a good excuse, since there are plenty young moms out there that find time to quilt and sew and craft. They're just the supermom types! But... not this mama!

So, back to the doll quilts. I bought the darning foot to try my hand at stippling a quilt. Yahoo!! It was so much easier than I thought it would be (you should totally try it, if you haven't yet)! It was so much fun. I sat in my kitchen until 1am the first time I tried it, and I was so giddy as I was moving my quilt all around under the needle! My husband must have thought I was so silly as he was listening to me from the other room.

I thought making doll quilts would be a good way to practice my piecing again and for sure on practicing the stippling. My girls would be less critical of my early mistakes, than anyone else would be. So here are my first two doll quilts. I hope to make some more, before I start making baby quilts again, and eventually twin quilts for my kids beds.

Here's the first one I made (don't know why the broken pencil made it's way into the picture):

And a closer look (don't look too close. It was my first time. Go easy on me):

Here's the second one I made:

The back of the second one:

A little more of a close-up, to show a little more of the stippling:

The second quilt I made is adapted from the whirly giggle quilt I saw on Crazy Mom Quilts blog. It would've been all whirly giggles and less white, except the border maybe. But. I wasn't thinking when I cut the fabric. I had my fabric facing back sides together and the whirly's were sewing opposite. It wouldn't have worked out right. Bummer. Oh well. Now I have enough of the other that I can make another quilt! :-)

The first one I made, the stippling was much too small (in my opinion). The second one was a little better. It looks fine for a doll quilt size. These pictures were both taken pre-washed. They looked very scrunchy/crumbly/quilty after being washed. Yum!

First Blog Post

This is my first blog entry (on blogger) in years. I hope I can keep this up. I'd like to use this blog to share ideas about motherhood, sewing, crafting, decorating, health, exercise, etc... whatever is on my mind!