baby stuff

Bow Tie Kits Added to the Shop

11:12:00 AM

 easy sewing projects, little boy style, fashion, easter fashion, spring, vintage

You guys, I'm slowly getting through and refining the things I have planned for the shop. The process is going MUCH slower than anticipated, but it's moving forward at least. ;)

easy sewing project, kit, vintage, high quality

In the meantime, I DO have Bow-Tie Kits available if you would like to make your own! Check them out!

cotton, seersucker, oxford, textured, stripe, gingham

Aren't these fun color options? I love oxfords and seersuckers...and gingham, stripes and fun textures. Let's be honest, I love fabric.

baby stuff

Easy Bow Tie Tutorial

10:56:00 AM



my first video! Don't judge, haha.

DIY bow tie, easy sewing project, classy Easter clothes, vintage, oxford

I'm making ties for the boys this Easter and Abe and Rob get candy stripe bow ties. Watch the vid and follow the tutorial to see how easy they are to make!

***Bow-Tie Kits available at my shop!***

STEP 1
Cut fabric and interfacing following the cutting and size guide.


STEP 2
Attach interfacing to bow tie piece. Place interfacing at center of piece. Heat iron to correct setting (high for cotton/linen, medium for polyester/nylon/wool). Attach interfacing to neck strip. Place interfacing 1/4 inch from one side.

STEP 3
Fold bow tie and neck strip in half lengthwise WRONG SIDES TOGETHER. Stitch along long edges 1/4 from edge. Press seams open.

STEP 4
Turn bow tie and neck strip RIGHT SIDES out and press. For the bow tie piece, press with the seam in the center. For the neck strip, press with seam along the side.



STEP 5
Fold short ends of bow tie piece to center--overlapping 1/2 inch.

STEP 6
Thread a needle and stitch down the center of the bow tie piece following diagram below.



STEP 7
Pull stitching tight to gather. Push needle back up through gathers and pull tight again. Tie knot to secure.

STEP 8
Fold long ends of small tie piece toward the center. This piece should be between 3/8 and 1/2 inch wide.



STEP 9
Layer small tie piece, bow tie, and neck piece. Wrap small tie piece around bow tie and neck piece tightly. Fold small tie piece under about 1/2 inch to create clean edge to stitch.


STEP 10
Whip stitch small tie piece together while it is pulled tight around the other pieces.


STEP 11
String metal hook piece through one end of neck piece. Fold end under 1/2 inch and either zig-zag stitch or whip stitch in place.
String metal rectangle piece through one hole on other end of neck piece. String metal loop piece through same end. Put end of neck piece through the other hole in the metal rectangular piece and fold over about 1/2 inch. Either zig-zag stitch or whip stitch in place.

Finished!

garden finds

Gardening Book Recommendations

11:07:00 AM

 

Someday, I would love to have a few acres of land. I'd love to have an orchard, a flower farm, a wildflower patch, bees, a raspberry patch, and a small vegetable garden. Big dream? Yes. I would love to use it as a good way to my teach kids hard work. They could take goods to a farmer's market and earn money for missions and college.  In preparation for this dream, I've been devouring books about all such subjects so that I have a vague idea of what I'm doing. We've moved a lot over the past 10 years, but I still have tried to experiment in the gardening department. Sometimes I've had success, sometimes not.


growing flowers, gardening

This little beauty--Cut Flower Garden by Erin Benzakein-- arrived in the mail a few days ago! It was a very welcome treat. I've been having sooo much fun reading all the wonderful things Erin has to share about flower farming. I'm encouraged to experiment even though we are moving this summer, and hopefully I can get a lot of great flowers next year!

Since we're talking about gardening, I have a few more recommendations:

joy in your garden, book of garden wisdom, cut flower garden


I love the charm and history in the The Old Farmer's Almanac Book of Garden Wisdom. This book was the book that first got me dreaming about gardens, orchards and such. It gives wonderful practical tips AND goes into interesting and awesome detail about Thomas Jefferson's peach orchards.

Joy in Your Garden is written specifically for gardeners in the Utah/Idaho/Wyoming/Colorado area. However, I have used it as a pretty reliable reference while living in Illinois. I LOVE how she describes in detail all the "to-do's" for each season from pruning to planting to planning. It's also quite a fun read.

I'm just itching to get spinach, peas and carrots in the ground! It's very rainy for the next several days, so we'll see how far I get next week. Happy Gardening!

animal series

Chicks and Ducks and Geese Better Scurry--Handmade Dress with Embroidered Duck

9:57:00 AM


Denim Baby dress, handmad dress, spring dress, duckie embroidery

Happy Spring! You guys. It is finally here. Spring! Can you tell I'm excited? Can you tell it's my favorite season?!

Denim Baby dress, handmad dress, spring dress, duckie embroidery, crocus

Crocuses blooming, lilac bushes budding, daffodils coming.
Birds singing, ladybugs everywhere, happy chickens.
Today is an absolutely beautiful day!

Denim Baby dress, handmad dress, spring dress, duckie embroidery
"Wait a minute.. I have pockets?!"
Here is little Eve in a dress I made to help me get through the winter, haha. I was inspired by this darling duck fabric. I actually used a lightweight denim shirt for the fabric. I'm happy with how it turned out, but I think that Eve is always nervous to wear things after I've sewn them. There have been a FEW times I've forgotten to take pins out. Oops! Let's just say I'm pregnant with #5 and remembering has never been my strong suit in the first place.

Denim Baby dress, handmad dress, spring dress, duckie embroidery


How is your spring going? Is it in full swing or just starting?

 If you're interested in embroidering this little duckie, here is a basic outline pattern you can follow. I used a satin stitch for filling in the duck.

fairies

It's a great day for the Irish

10:02:00 AM

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Here are some fun things to celebrate the day:
  •  I talked to my sister, who married into an Irish family and she knows so much about the culture and how traditions started! She referred me to this interesting article about Corned Beef and Cabbage.
  • Did you know that leprechauns are categorized as fairies? I've been known to be obsessed with fairies, so this is of special interest to me. ;) 
    "Leprechauns are clever Irish fairies who wear three-cornered hats. Every leprechaun has its hidden pot of gold."
    -Fairyopolis, A flower Fairies Journal, Cicely Mary Barker
  • We made this darling sign for our St. Patrick's Day decoration this year. It was simple and easy to put together.
  • I'm loving all the rainbows in little girl clothes this year! Land's End, Gymboree and Children's Place all have super cute options that I wish fit me!
What are your traditions?



animal series

Bright Apple Blossom Patterns

9:50:00 AM

Felt Bumblebee Applique, Embroidery, Classic Design, Field Guide

It's an exciting day! 


is officially open!


Today, we're launching with two products-- My Felt Bumble Bee Applique Kit and the Pattern. Please go check them out!

Upcoming items:
  • Princess Dress Patterns and Kits
  • Easter Bow-Tie Kits
  • Felt Applique and Embroidered Halloween Patterns and Kits
  • Felt Christmas Stocking Patterns and Kits
felt applique, embroidery, children's clothing, costumes, sew-with-me
*Right now, payment is only accepted via PayPal. Other options coming soon, but please feel free to email me with any questions!

fun crafts

Free Printable Charades Game-- to encourage imaginary play

2:03:00 PM

preschool, imaginary play, coloring page, pretend, fun games

Spring Break has officially started even though spring has not. The weather here is shouting, "Hey! It's winter still!" and I agree. Let's just say, the prospect of having all 4 kids home while I'm 7 months pregnant, combined with cold weather and a cold has me a little worried for the next week, but I suppose we'll make it through.

I was trying to think of ways for the kids to be entertained and remembered a Charades game I made a while ago. We gave it a try this morning and had lots of fun coloring, cutting and pretending. Every kid enjoyed some aspect of it, so I can safely say that this activity actually fits ages 2-8 pretty well. I love games that encourage imagination and creativity, and this fits the bill!

pretend animals, pretend play, imagination, matching game, flashcards, coloring

Please download, print and enjoy for personal, education and church use! These Charades game cards can be easily used as coloring pages, reading flashcards, and a matching game.

animal series

Book Recommendations for Bee-Keeping and Growing Flowers

9:46:00 PM


honey, bee-keeping, seed starting, bee pattern


Getting everything finalized and ready to launch the bee pattern! I'm selling kits too! Until then, here are some books we recommend if you are getting ready to start a bee-keeping adventure.



First off, Storey's Guide to Keeping Honey Bees. This book is very factual, yet interesting to read.

Here's one interesting fact: Honey, when sold in the store has been extracted and processed so much that it has lost most of its nutritional value. They put it through so much so that it is clear and uniform on the shelves.
  • I knew about the corn syrup possibility with honey and have always thought I was so knowledgeable in buying honey I thought I trusted, but now I see that if I want good honey, I've got to find a local beekeeper. Apparently all the little particles in honey are good!

Second, Keeping Bees with Ashley English. This book is a delightful read with very practical tips. I read Keeping Chickens last year, and found it to be a bit more basic than I wanted, but Keeping Bees is packed full of useful information.
  • One favorite tip: How to tell your neighbors you'd like to keep bees. She gives suggestions as to good locations, bee lines, making sure your hive is non-aggressive and being very open and giving with neighbors- showing them the set up and giving them honey treats.


One more book-- not directly bee related -- Floret Farm's Cut Flower Garden. I've been following Floret on Instagram for a while now and it's basically the best eye-candy in my feed. Plus, it's my dream to have a flower farm if my allergies can handle it. ;) I've just ordered it and can't wait for it to arrive!

P.S. She has a great seed starting post and video and I can't believe the results! Hope I can keep my plants alive-- between me, the kids and the chickens, we'll see how it turns out.

field guide illustration, sewing, applique, embroidery, save the bees, DIY home decor,

P.P.S. Here's the sneak peek of the bee pattern!

recipes

Fluffy Gluten-Free Pancakes

10:00:00 AM

recipes, breakfast


Those who know me, know that I'm not one who loves being in the kitchen. Some may also know that I have a wheat sensitivity, so I've been exploring gluten-free food options. You may also know, that my husband is good at cooking and he is where this recipe comes from. :)

Fluffy Gluten Free Pancakes

makes 8 medium pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of 1-to-1 gluten-free flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 3 eggs (separated)
  • 1 cup milk

Instructions
  1. Preheat griddle to 350 degrees.
  2. Sift dry ingredients together. *I've learned that sifting is REALLY important when baking with gluten free flours. It helps prevent it from being grainy. 
  3. Separate eggs and beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  4. Add butter, egg yolks and milk to dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Fold egg whites into pancake mixture. 
  6. Scoop batter onto griddle (about 1/3 cup batter each pancake) and cook until a few of the bubbles pop on the top. Flip and cook until light brown.
  7. Serve with your favorite pancake toppings.

baby stuff

Sewing for Service--5 things to make and give to sick kids

11:48:00 AM



sewing for service, sewing, cancer patients, angel babies

Having had many surgeries throughout my life, I have become very familiar with hospitals and doctors. I was born with a bilateral cleft-lip and palette, and surgeries included a number of plastic and ear surgeries from the time I was born until I was 16. I thought I was pretty experienced in the matter until my sweet little 6 week old baby Eve became critically ill with RSV. I was then introduced into a whole new world.


There were many tender mercies and miracles that happened during the week we were in Primary Children's hospital. More than half that time was spent in the ICU. The life-flight, the lack of breathing and my own emotions resurfacing from a bad experience I had had during a previous surgery, left me anxious and vulnerable.

There were many angels seen and unseen who supported me during this experience. Too many to list here. I will say, however, that I was amazed at the wonderful donations of time and talents many people give to families with sick children. One particular morning I returned from having slept at my in-laws house to find sweet little Eve with a cute bow, a new pillowcase and new blanket. How it lifted my spirits!

I know that my short experience does not compare in any way to experiences many others have, but it did make me want to give back. I've compiled a list of donations that people can make to help children who are sick.

5 Things to Make and Give to Sick Kids

1) Wigs for Children with Cancer

yarn wigs, cancer kids, service, crochet

The Magic Yarn Project primarily makes princess and pirate wigs for child cancer patients. They have many opportunities for you to serve these little children: donate yarn, make a wig, make a crown, organize a workshop.

2) Gauze, Flannel and Fleece Blankets


Photo and tutorial for trimmed fleece blankets found at It's Always Autumn

A cute and snuggly blanket can be such a comfort. Hospital blankets are often stiff and scratchy.

3) Little Hats, Bonnets, Wraps and Gowns for Angel Babies

Photo from: angelbabiesblog

Sometimes very sad things happen in the hospital. Often families are unprepared for these events. You can help families who have lost a little one. Premature stillborn babies can be dressed in little hats and gowns or their fragile bodies can be placed in blanket wraps. Grieving families are grateful to have these thoughtful gifts.

4) Accessories

sewing for service, easy projects, babies
These hats were made using the Knot Hard at All Tutorial and Pattern

Headbands, bows and hats. They can really cheer a patient (or their family).


5) Handmade Toys

handmade, baby toy, sewing for service

It is incredibly boring for children who stay in the hospital. We shared a room with a little 18 month old while Eve was in the hospital and toys were really helpful for her! Whether it's something to snuggle or something to play with, they'll be grateful!

What else can you give?

Other things you can donate to children that are not handmade: mobiles, toys, onesies, cozy socks, books, crayons and coloring books (all new).

If you have questions, call your local hospital to see what they could use.

NOTES

*I talked to our local hospital and they were sure to clarify that handmade items are wonderful, but must be made from new materials

*One more thing: There are some small town local hospitals that are lacking basic needs like cribs for older babies. You may investigate an monetary donations that can fulfill these needs.

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