Tag Archives: child

Halloween Fabric Garland

I think Halloween just might be our families favorite holiday. Maybe it stems from the years I spent as a teenager helping my mom in her costume shop. I loved seeing the enthusiasm customers brought to finding the right costume for 1 night of the year. It’s a chance to pretend to be something else good, pretty, scary, strong. It’s a holiday that even lets adults pretend to be a kid!

This Halloween garland is so easy and the kids loved to help. Ripping the fabric was productive destruction and with my boys guided destruction is usually best!

Time: 45 minutes
Level: EASY peezy

Materials:
1/2 yard of 4 different Halloween fabrics (makes 4 1/2-5 ft of garland)
7-9 ft of jute string
scissors

1. Fold 1/2 yard matching up selvage edges. Make small cut through both layers of fabric every 1″.


2. Rip fabric strips by grabbing fabric on each side of small cut.  You may be able to rip both layers at the same time. This was what the boys loved most!


3. Tie jute string between two posts, chairs, something to give you a taut string.
4. Fold strip in half to make a “loop”. Place fabric loop behind string. Reach from behind through the loop and grab the lower section (tails) of loop, pulling them through the loop. Pull tight .


5. Repeat step 4 for the remaining strips of fabric until you reach the desired length of garland.
6. String you garland where all will enjoy. Ours is currently on the front porch entrance. You may place yours inside on the mantel, hallway entrance, above a doorway, etc!

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Banana Crumb Muffins

In high school (many many years ago) my nickname was Betty Crocker. I was always cooking and baking and bringing the goodies to school to share. One might have thought I’d go on to write cookbooks or be a famous chef. Well almost…I did minor in Family Consumer Sciences in college and thoroughly enjoy spending time in the kitchen creating. But alas, that is as far as it goes. Thankfully I married a man with an infinite appetite who is also not too picky about the food on the plate.

I may be passing this love for cooking along to my youngest son, my super “maker” as he is always asking to help “make” with me in the kitchen. He loves adding the ingredients and stirring, mixing, and of course tasting.

The big man is at school today and we have a trio of very over-ripe bananas that are begging to be utilized. Our freezer is literally packed with loaves of sweet breads, banana and zucchini.  So we made muffins. They are easy for breakfasts, snacks and lunch boxes. Nothing like home-made goodness in a school lunch to make you feel loved, right?

Banana Crumb Muffins
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 large ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten lightly
1/3 cup butter, melted

Topping
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tbsp flour
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tbsp cold butter
1/4 cup nuts (optional-we did not include these)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
1. In a medium bowl, mix first 4 ingredients. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, mix bananas (I use a potato masher to smash-up the bananas in the bowl I will use to mix all the ingredients-one less bowl to clean!), sugar, egg, melted butter.
3. Stir in the dry mixture until moistened.
4. Grease muffin pan (or use liners). I love Wilton Cake Release for greasing my pans. It’s quick one step and easy clean-up. Grease bottom only of pan. Fill cups 3/4 full.


5. Topping: Combine first 3 ingredients then cut in butter until crumbly.
6. Sprinkle over muffin batter.


7. Bake for 20 minutes until muffins are firm.
8. Cool for 10 minutes then remove from pan.

Enjoy with your little “maker”!
This recipe was originally found http://www.food.com/recipe/crumb-topped-banana-muffins-43509

Leaf Garland Tutorial

About 10 years ago we planted our first Virginia Creeper vine at our previous home. Known for being a fast growing and hardy plant (likely to survived our snowy winters) my husband selected it mostly for its vivid fall color change. We loved it and it grew several feet in the first year!

So when we moved to our new home 6 years ago, we agreed on side of the house needed a good climbing vine to give our “cape-cod, Victorian cottage in the mountains” a little romance. I stopped by the local nursery and selected several vines. Upon my return home, I excitedly planted them and when my hubby returned home was informed that they were NOT what he wanted. They were not Virginia Creepers (I think they were English something or others which in my mind some how correlated with Virginia-yup that is how my brain works-eek!)

So we agreed to see if the new vines survived. I suspect he poured salt on them or something because not one of those vines survived the winter leaving us with no vines the next spring. The new homeowners of our old home agreed we could stop in and take a few slips to replant.  We have successfully transplanted the Virginia Creeper vines which are now thoroughly taking over the one side of the house giving it a charming feel that all “cape-cod Victorian cottages in the mountain” should have. And now that we are into fall, the foliage is changing from green to yellow to red…just beautiful. The hubs was right again! (don’t tell him I said that).

So today my boys ran into the house with handfuls of large red and yellow leaves. They wanted to do something with them. Still in a fog of sickness, I just couldn’t get into any king of major art project. So we made leaf garland….here’s how you can make your own!

Time: 10 minutes-maybe
Materials:
Leaves
Yarn (I think jute string would have been better but was too sick to go rummaging for it!)

1. Cut approximately 3-4′ of string/yarn

2. Begin making a knot (my husband, the master knots-man would know the name of this knot, half-hitch maybe?)

3. Slip stem of leave into open knot.

4. Tighten string around stem.  Repeat a few inches down the string. I would make the knot and then the boys slide the stem in place and tighten the string themselves. They really like doing things for themselves!

5. Continue until you have made a garland to your desired length.

Cool Playdough

With my oldest son off to kindergarten I have more hours alone with my little man who is 3.  I admit it would be easy to get lots more work done with only one in tow, I am trying to be more present with him and enjoy our solo time together…like the early days with my first son.

Today we created play dough!  Here’s an easy and fun recipe I found at http://www.playdoughrecipe.com/

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • Food coloring

Directions:

  • Mix the flour, salt, cream of tartar and oil in a pan.
  • Mix the water with the food coloring.
  • Add the water/color-mix to the other ingredients, stir well.  (it will be really runny…that’s where the next step comes in)
  • Cook on medium heat for 4-5 minutes, while constantly stirring.
  • When the mixture becomes “doughy”, remove from heat and start kneading. (the dough will be hot, so mind your hands)
  • When desired texture is achieved, the play dough is finished, enjoy!

When all done we put the playdough in a ziplock bag, pressed out all the air and stored it for later use…maybe when big bro comes home?

Stack-em Up Fabric Cubes

I have 4 friends that are all preggers right now! It is such a fun time with babies arriving soon!  I’m a little inspired by all the baby-mania and here is a fun way to use up some scraps and create lasting toys for those little ones in your life!

Level: If you can sew a straight line-you got this one!

Time: about 30 minutes

Materials:

Scrap fabric – 3 prints (A, B, C) , 2 pieces of each print cut to 4″ x 4″ square for a total of 6 pieces

Light weight iron on interfacing (Pellon 911FF)

Thread

Stuffing (poly-fill works well)

1.  Cut out 6 4″ x 4″ squares of fabric and interfacing.  You should have 2 pieces of each print (A, B, C)

2. Iron interfacing to Wrong side of each piece of fabric.

3. Using this diagram, stitch squares together to form block.  Stitch fabric A-B-A-B. Then stitch fabric C to end piece A, stitch second piece of C to the bottom of the same end piece A.  Stitch end piece A to end piece B to form main square of the block. Then stitch pieces C to A then to pieces B. Leave a small opening for turning and stuffing when you stitch the last 2 pieces together.

Download the template here http://www.scribd.com/doc/97938721/Fabric-Cube-Template#fullscreen

4. Turn right side out. Stuff with batting.

I Love Montana

If you live in Montana then it is most likely because you LOVE it!  The outdoor adventure, skiing, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, etc.  Our summers are too short but that makes us appreciate every sun-filled moment and savor every warm breeze. Montana is the romantic subject of movies, music and books and it’s every bit of amazing as you can imagine.

Honestly, it took me a little while to come to appreciate where I call home. And on frigid winter mornings I sometimes have to look with purpose for the beauty, but it’s there, always. So to honor the rugged land I love to call home, here  you go!  You live here? Brag about it….you’ve earned it!

Level: Eazy-Peezy

Time: 20 minutes

Materials:

Wonder Under double-sided lightweight interfacing

Scrap fabric

Felt -for the heart

Thread

Iron

1.  I googled maps of Montana online and used one as a template (yes I pressed the paper on my screen and traced it from the monitor).  Show your home pride and make your own state shirt!

2. Select your scrap fabric big enough to fit the state template. Cut a piece of Wonder Under a little bigger than the template. Iron to the WRONG side of fabric

3. Trace template on the paper side of the Wonder Under (make sure that the image will be facing the right way once cut)

4. Cut out image, iron to shirt. Using a small zigzag stitch, stitch around edge of the state.

5. Using a small piece of felt, cut a heart (tip: fold felt in half and cut a 1/2 heart so that it is even on both sides-think Valentine cards in Kindergarten)

6. Place the heart in the area that you live. stitch it to the applique and shirt  stitching by hand or using short straight stitch on your machine.

Bamm! You’re done!  Flaunt it!  You love your state, now show it!

Baby, you are 1!

The youngest little dude in our family (my nephew Baby Carter) is turning 1 which inspired me to create his very own bragging shirt!

Level: Super Easy

Time: 1/2 hour or less

Materials:

Scrap fabric

Wonder Under double sided iron on stabilizer

A Number template (I used WordArt in Microsoft Word to create the number 1)

T-shirt

1. Create your number template (I used my computer but you could draw it freehand), print on paper and cut out.

2. Select scrap fabric big enough to fit the number.

3. Iron Wonder Under fusible webbing on the WRONG side of the scrap fabric-leave the paper backing on

4. Place number on the RIGHT side of fabric and trace with disappearing ink fabric marking pen  (another option is to place number on the paper side, use a pencil or pen for marking then cut…be careful to have the number “reversed” so that when you cut it out the number is not backwards….makes sense? clear as mud, right?)

5. Cut out number, remove paper backing, position number with fusible side down on your t-shirt, iron in place

6. I used a contrasting color thread here to give the number some pop. Select a narrow and tight zig zag stitch on your machine. Stitch all the way around the number. Clip threads.

Sha-Bam you are done and  your little one has some bragging power!