Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pretty clothespins

Here is a quick and easy thing I did a few nights ago.
Pretty clothespins!
No, I'm not so crazy that I need this for hanging my laundry (I don't know how durable they would be if used for that reason). I was thinking more on the lines of hanging up student art. I used the clothespins last year, but I just wanted to spruce it up a little, make it "cutesy," like a good primary teacher would. :) Using clothespins was so-o-o handy--no pushpins=so much quicker to put up and down! An easy student art wall!
 Here is how easy it is: Cut strips of scrapbooking paper--really thin! Measure your clothespins and cut away. Glue the strips on. Wait for them to dry. Then modge-podge, or whatever brand you have of that glue-ish-y paint. Wait for it all to dry again--really good this time, and there you go.
 So, now I have done my first "get-ready-for-the-new-school-year" project.
And I'm wondering where is my summer disappearing to???


Back when #3 was a fresh baby, I had borrowed this sling or "Peanut Shell" from one of my sisters. It worked like a charm! I used it as he grew older and was able to sit in it as well. I loved it.
But eventually, it had to go back. He was getting bigger anyway, and we had a backpack carrier for him to go in. It turned out that he HATED the backpack carrier! He screamed whenever he went in it or even saw it! I'm not typically one of those moms who lets my baby-child "decide" what he or she wants, but this was just plain irritating, since my ear was not that far from his scream! I was kinda stuck, because he was much too heavy to carry, especially is we ever went walking or hiking!

So I went on an Internet search. . .and found my solution. It was found here, although the link to the instructions is no longer on this page. Hmmm. . .

I wasn't 100% sure on making my own sling, but didn't want to spend the $$ on one, especially if #3 didn't want to be in it! My cousin had one and she had even carried her 3 year old in it (on her hip or on her back), so I thought this might be the answer. But being cautious, I didn't go out and buy the trendiest material for it, just in case. Here is my plain-Jane blue.
Based on the advice from the instructions, I doubled my material because it was only cotton.
I cut my curve. . .2" less on the sides than in the middle.

 I made my super nice french hem. . .
 Okay, so I didn't follow the instructions to a "T." I eventually found the sizing chart, which wasn't 100% clear as I fit into two of the sizes, and re-cut my project and sewed it all over again!
 Here is me, with it on, although he picture seems to show off the kitchen more than me. Oops!
And below is my model, the banister post. . .who does a lovely job of showing it off!
 Here is my munchkin who LOVES being in it!(And who LOVES freezies! How can you tell he is #3? #1 would have never been able to have so much sugar/junk food at that age!) What a great thing to make, and what an "arm"-saver for me! Sorry I don't have any photos of me in it. . .I just haven't thought of taking a picture when I am on the go with him! :)
If I do it again (which I will, when I have time!), I will pick better fabric. Thick cotton with a nice pattern so I don't have to double it. I will also add a small pocket. And a loop to hook my keys on or a toy on. I was thinking that I could add a pocket or some printed bias binding to the current one. . .we'll see.

So this whole post was written a LONG time ago!!! (My links above disappeared in this time of not posting!!! Oh no!!! So sorry if you were trying to hook to them--I'll go searching again! Just give me some time!) 
Over a year ago! And I have used this sling like crazy! LOVE it. I still use it a bit, eve though baby #3 is past the 2 year mark. He's too old to be in a stroller--according to him--and too young to walk as much as the rest of us can. So this is always in the van, for just those times! And although he is heavy, using this is much easier than having to carry him without it and it frees us my hands a bit!

But I did do some exploring with the pockets, loops for keys and bias binding ideas. . .
dinosaur trim

racetrack trim
Happy sewing for me again!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A few "pets"

We are a pet-less family. At least for now.
So when my kids find animals, they like to "adopt" them. (Meaning: research, watch and follow them to death and act like they actually now own the rights to that species). Our summer has not been without animal adventures!
Here is our first  to showcase: a little baby pine siskin.
This little guy (or girl or one of its friends) decided to spend some time sitting on little A's head to our surprise a few days ago, and then E found another one here in the tree (below). He could actually reach out and touch it--I'm not sure it was old enough to know it should be afraid of humans. Luckily, this one found my kids, who LOVE animals!
And we have our owl from the creek. We think it is a barred owl (we have seen two together, but there might even be three of them), but E is a little on the fence on this one. His screech seems to mimic a barn owl, but a barred or spotted owl is our best guess from all we have researched. We've taken some extra walks in the creek to visit our friend, and to see the things it likes to eat! (Ew!) We've had some pretty close encounters with it.
Below is a picture from my camera--your plain old point and shoot kind.

And another one from a different day--yah, I'm pathetic. I go out each time we see or hear it to see if I can do any better for a photo. We've had it sit on our back fence before, but then there is no camera around!
These two pictures are sent from our neighbours down the road. He has the cool camera with the specialized settings and the extra lens and all. . .Maybe I can convince my hubby that I NEED one of those cameras!!! Can't I hope for my Canon Rebel for Christmas? :)

And a few from E's bug box. He has been busy collecting caterpillars of all sorts and enlisting the help of others. Here was Opa's contribution one day--he caught it and put it in E's bug box while we were out to surprise him! (This one was taken on my boring old camera--I was kinda impressed with how well it turned out!)
And as you can see (or this explanation will help you see) that beside our butterfly friend (who was released the next day) a cocoon or chrysalis of some sort. You can correct me if I am wrong, but I think this one is a cocoon because it is silky and cotton-like and a chrysalis is more of an opaque hard shell. It came from a black caterpillar with orange spots.
Well that cocoon  (and one other darker coloured one) sat there in its pupa stage for FOREVER! I was ready to scrape them out. This particular white one is actually still sitting there and getting thinner, but the darker one is broken open, because. . .
out came this moth! We haven't quite pinned down what kind it is except that the wings are brown with white spots (and we have a few pictures to go back to and compare for our searching for the exact name!)
In this above photo you can see the cocoons and the moth. We had a big releasing at Grandma's house and by her pond. After it was all done, E decided to announce that he had learned that usually moths and butterflies go back to the place of their emergence to lay eggs. (Glad it wasn't released at our place if that was true!)
And another is on the way--a fuzzy brown caterpillar in a new bug box brought over by Opa. We will see what comes of that!