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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Man-ups :0)

Man-ups: Dress-ups for real boys Men!
You can't really call these dress-ups, because they are for boys!!!  That is why we decided to call them Man-ups.  No hidden requests intended :0)
After little Chase-y had to wear pink princess gowns for the thousandth time, I decided he needed his own dress-ups.  I took a little trip to Goodwill and found a tux shirt, dress pants {and a few other outfits} that would make a lovely addition to our dress-up closet {rubber-made tote}.

While playing at the Discovery Gateway {Children's Museum} in Salt Lake City I was totally impressed by this dress-up apron.  It was a full dress from the front, complete with pearls sewn to the neckline, but it was an apron from behind.  I thought my hubby would sing praises if he saw it because he is the world's biggest not-fan of dress-ups.  Why, you ask?  It is totally because of the un-dress part that occurs before the up-dressing part.  He hates kids stripping down in the living room to put on dress-up clothes.  I was thinking if the dress-ups were aprons, we would have a few more kids with clothes under their costumes.  

Here is a behind shot of my Boy-ish Evening Wear...I was going to make Emmalee's dress an apron too, but decide why go to the extra labor when it worked just the way it was.
Not that making these is labor.  In fact, I feel silly showing this project because it was so very simple.

I took the pants and the shirt and cut them right up the middle of the back.  The pants, when I first cut them, I slit straight up the middle-back of each leg.  I laid the pants out, folded them so the crotch/inseam looked like it would if someone were wearing the pants, then pinned it in place and ran a stitch down the inseam.  I hope that makes sense.  
You can see my terrible white serging.  I just realized that the thread was white.  Oh well, I guess that makes it easier for you to see, right?  I came back and cut the pants just wide enough that they wrap around the back of the child.  I didn't want them to be a straight flap, but actually look like clothes that were being worn.

For the shirt, I cut it similarly, so that it wrapped around the back of the child when tied, but I left the arms intact.  I left a flap of fabric behind the shoulders to help keep the sleeves where they need to be.  The flap got wider as it went closer to the collar.  

The collar is cut right in the middle of the back.  I serged the whole apron edge starting at the collar, down the side, across the bottom, up the other side, and ending at the other side of the collar.  I made a little bow tie and sewed that to the collar, then stitched on the velcro.  Finally ready to ParTy! 


Oh, did I mention that I sewed the shirt to the pants?  I have been interrupted 60 times now so forgive my scattered thoughts :0)  I pinned the shirt to the pants and sewed along the top edge of the waistband to secure the outfit together....then I serged the whole thing!  After that I sewed a ribbon to each side of the waistband so the apron could be tied around back. 

Here is the finished product.  I was going to sew a cumber-bun on there too, but it was very, Very late at night and I needed to do just one more project before Emmalee's party the next day.  I have that cumber-bun on my to-do list...the one that never gets looked at :0)

Here you go, front and back shots.  Love IT!

The kids loved it too.  

Got a couple cute shots all dressed up, then Chase insisted I take the "Man-ups" off and he ran straight for the pink princess dresses.  Oh Well!  You can't say I didn't try.  

Here are the other things I had to make that night.  Eli was asked to be a waiter for the Tea Party.  He had to invite his friend, and then he insisted that I make bow ties and cumber-buns for both of them.  Really...Eli made me make them.  Even when I showed him the hot pink satin I picked out, he was jumping up and down with joy that I was going to make the sets for him and his friend.  They turned out well enough, even considering the hour at which they were made.  
One of these days I will finish the other two outfits I have planned and show them to you.  One is a football outfit and the other a day-at-the-beach outfit.  I am sure Chase just can't wait :0}



Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Getting to Work

WARNING: CONTAINS IMAGES OF REALLY GROSS THINGS!!!
I took my first trip to Home Depot today to pick up my Premium Studs-Don't worry Scottie, I am talking about lumber!  I am totally in love with the Premium Studs at Home Depot because they are dry, smooth, and save me tons of time because of the two things I just mentioned.  I purchased about half of the wood I need for the Super Saturday orders that were placed.  Emmalee and I spent a great deal of time picking each board out and moving it several times before it finally hit the sawdust covered floor of my garage.  

Emmalee likes it when we go to the "Wood Store" cause she gets to ride home in a fort made by mama.  This has to be the fullest I have ever packed it.  I had to slide a few boards back to shift the Tahoe into drive :0)
We got home, swept up the remnants of the dust/sand storm that blew through a week or two ago, and then began unloading.  

Now, yesterday when we got home from dropping the big kids off from school we found this on our driveway... 
I thought that was bad.  It was the biggest lizard I have had in my yard...and it was dead on the driveway.  Yuck.  But that I could handle a lot better than this...
What I found IN MY GARAGE!!!
**Uggh.  It leaves a bad taste in my mouth just thinking about it***
You see, I got home from the ordeal with Grandma at 2am Saturday morning.  I pulled right into the garage, turned the car off, pulled the keys from the ignition, and dragged my sorry butt into bed.  I left the house Sunday and Monday, but again, pulled out of the garage, went on my way, and pulled right back into the garage when I got home.  Today was the first day I actually left the car out in the blazing sun and walked into the empty garage.  
I vaguely remember a bird-like thing flying into me at some dark moment on the drive home from Utah Saturday.  I remember hoping it was a bird {not that I wanted to kill a bird that day, but I was hoping it wasn't exactly THIS- A BAT}.  Not only was it not a bird, but it is now resting-in-peace in my garage.  
I have only one thing to say....SCOTT!!!!!



Saturday, August 27, 2011

Party Hats!!!

I made these Birthday Party Crowns for Emmalee's party last week.  I first saw the idea on Pinterest, but it actually comes from The Quilted Fish, but the pattern is $9 and I really thought I could make the crowns myself.  I will show you how I made mine, but if you are in doubt, head on over to The Quilted Fish and purchase the pattern.  p.s. she has the most adorable fabric line!!!!

I bought a couple sheets of poster board, then worked and re-worked the pattern until I had the look I was going for.  Here is a shot of my final attempt...
It ended up 9" tall and 22" wide.  The crown is not 9" tall, but you will need a piece of whatever you are using for your pattern that is that tall.  The actual height of that front spike is 7".  It works to have the crowns flat on the bottom instead of arched like mine, but I liked the way it made the crown wider at the top than at the bottom.  I thought they looked fancier that way :0)

I used the same pattern to trace all 6 crowns onto the poster board.  Then I traced the crown pattern onto the wrong side of my fabric.  You need a piece of fabric about 20 high and 22-24" wide for each crown.  I doubled over the fabric, wrong sides together, and sewed between 1/8 and 1/4" on the outside of the line I drew.  You can sew right on the pattern line since the fabric stretches, but I tried to add just a little extra to make up for any irregularities {since my helper cut my poster board crowns out for me :0}  Do not sew along the bottom arch-leave it open for turning.  

Cut around the stitching, sniping relief cuts in the curvy parts so there isn't any puckering when you turn the fabric right-side-out.  Go ahead and turn inside out, then insert one end of the poster board crown into the fabric crown.  The other side goes in fairly easily if you bow it slightly and then tuck it in.  Adjust the points so they are in the fabric points and you are good to go!  

I was stressing about how to close up the bottoms, and as the clock ticked later and later in the night, I just decided to serge.  I held my breath as I ran the crowns through the serger, but it worked like a charm :0)
Apparently, poster board is sewable!!!

That made this step even easier!  I sewed on velcro so that the hats are adjustable :0)
It was "sew" easy it made my heart smile.

Many, many months ago I bought this spool of elastic lace for $1 at SAS Fabrics in Phoenix.  It had about 100 yards on it {at least}.  I ignored for all that time, but came across it while looking for something else, and discovered it worked GREAT for trim when ruffled!!!  I ruffled napkins, placemats, and chair covers with the first half of the spool. This was what I had left.  I ruffled it with my ruffler foot, then sewed the ruffled strand directly to my crowns. 

How luscious is that lacy ruffle!?!  I found spools of the crocheted headband ribbon at Hobby Lobby on sale for $1.50.  It was the perfect trim for the bottom.  I just kept it a little lower so that the bottom serge line was covered up and no one had to look at the evidence of my laziness.

And there you have it!  I put my Maddie Girl- Flower Slave Child {I think we will have to change her name to make that official} in complete control of decorating the crowns with rolled flowers and such.  She couldn't believe I would trust her with such a life-threatening assignment.  Just look what a fabulous job she did....my 13 year old.... 



This one has to be my favorite...


For the one boy at the party.  We were going to put a dinosaur or something on there, but just ran out of time.

Here is a view from the top. 
That is why it is nice that these guys are two-sided.  So cute!

The crowns were a HUGE hit and so adorable to see on the kids during our Tea Party.

Now that Emmalee finally got her birthday party, maybe she will stop telling people every day is her birthday :0)  Be sure to check back.  There's more birthday party coming soon!



Back to School Family Night

Sorry once again for the long silence on the blog.  I was preparing this Back to School Family Night when I got word that my Grandma was in the hospital and not doing well.  I went ahead with the Family Night, then booked it up to St. George, Utah to be with her in the hospital.  I thought if I loaded my photos before I left, I could just add the description on my phone and show you what we did.  Unfortunately, that didn't work and I never did find a computer to use while up there.  

Finally, almost a week later, here is our Back to School night.  The idea started with just a cafeteria style dinner.  It quickly evolved to a mini day of school.
To begin with, each student was presented with a student Id.  Here is what they looked like...
I laminated the ID cards and handed them out during Home Room :0)

Our school day was divided into subjects.  Here is what we did for each subject...

Reading:  We read 
and...

So fun.  The kids loved the stories.  Monday was the first day of school for Madison and Eli.  Madison has been doing school online from home the last two years and was horribly nervous about going back to public school.  Eli was terrified that he wouldn't know any one at the new school.  I was singing praises when both kids came home from the new charter school happy and ready for day two.  

For Language Arts we did the word search provided for free at The Activity Village, a totally fabulous website full of activities for kids.  

For Math we played a dice game.  The instructions and printables are available also through The Activity Village.  We played What's Your Number, because Emmalee could play and understand, but there are other dice games that are actually more math related on that site.  I am loven' that site!!!

Apparently the game was a hit because we had happy-dancing winners popping up all over the place :0)

Our next subject was P.E. or gym.  We all got up off our lazy bums and danced a song on Just Dance 2 for the Wii.  The kids thought this was the best.  Even Dad danced!!!  It was so funny to see him busten' the funky moves :0)

Recess was next.  I rented...
Recess: School's Out on Amazon Instant Video for $2.  We have the Roku box that allows us to watch movies on our TV that we rent or purchase online.  Totally Awesome!!!  I turned the movie on and ran to finish up our cafeteria meal.

Now, like I said the idea started with the cafeteria meal.  I went in search of the divided trays they use at school.  I guess, I was looking for the disposable trays, not plastic ones, but had no luck.  I couldn't find the milk cartons either.  That was when we turned the car around and headed over to the school.  I checked in at the office and popped into the lunch room.  The head lunch lady came over and I started to explain my strange request.  I was really just looking to purchase 5 cartons of milk and 5 lunch trays.  That darling lady gave me that, plus the little wrapped plastic utensils.  She asked me what I was going to serve.  I told her maybe baked spaghetti or something.  She said if I wanted to do a hot dog or hamburger or something she would give me ketchup and mustard packets.  I took her up on that offer with a smile.  Then she asked if I needed anything else.  Sheepishly I smiled wider and asked if I might have a hair net :0)
She walked off, and when she returned, she had a hairnet and not one, but two pairs of gloves.  Most amazingly, she wouldn't take any money for it!  What a doll.  She is officially my favorite lunch lady EVER!

OK, maybe this is my FAVORITE lunch lady :0)  but the one from the school comes in a close second!  I had Emmers come and help me load up the trays.

What a natural!

What's for dinner Lunch tonight?
Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, fruit cup, chocolate milk and a peanut butter snickers for dessert.  I bought a scoop for $5 from Walmart to scoop the potatoes into that perfectly rounded mound.  I was going to make peanut butter oatmeal bars for the dessert, but trying to pack to head out of town left me a little short on time. 

That dinner was a HUGE hit!  The kids were so impressed they thought we should have school lunch EVERY night.

Dad even liked it.  He was just amazed that I tracked down the trays and the milk.  I think it is cute he still gets surprised by how crazy I am.  You would think after 15 years together he would know better than to put anything past me :0)

I also planned Science: Diet Coke and Mentos
and Art: playing School Pictionary but I was getting anxious to get on the road.  We saved those activities for next time, and Madison and I took off for Grandma.

We sat there in grandma's hospital room with my awesome cousins and Herculean Aunt, basically leaving only to eat or use the restroom.  We teased Grandma, held her hand, kissed her, and gently dripped water into her mouth with a straw.  We laughed and cried, and eventually...finally... said goodbye to my sweet grandma.  She passed away on Thursday night after a very terrifying struggle.  I have to say, she had the best care I have EVER had privilege to witness.  She was in the Intermountain Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George.  I have spent a good amount of time in hospitals and care facilities, including the Mayo Hospital, and I have never seen staff as kind and compassionate as those that assisted Grandma and our family.  I will forever be grateful for the love I felt there as we went through such a terrible time.  

My Grandma taught me many things throughout my life, to love, to be good, that life is worth dressing up for.  My very first sewing project was started and completed seated in front of her own sewing machine, Grandma sitting by my side.  I still pull out my Cabbage Patch blanket she made for me when I was little.  There is something about wrapping that labor of love around my body that calms my troubled heart.  I don't like to get this personal on the blog, but Grandma was so much of who I have become.  I am thankful for Grandmas everywhere, loven' on little ones all through their lives.  What fabulous evidence that our Father in Heaven really does love us...He gave us Grandmas.