Friday, July 24, 2009

Simple Kids Showcase

I am thrilled to report that our nature journals were the Showcase this week on one of my favorite blogs, Simple Kids. You can see the post here.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Car Seat Protector Tutorial

Remember that post about the slower pace of summer? Well, I'm afraid that will be ending in a few precious days, as I have to return to work on Friday and the kids start back on Tuesday. Since we will be spending more time in the car now, I thought I'd make some new back seat protectors. (If you have kids that never kick the back of your chair or put their feet on the back of the seat, you can skip this post. But, if your kids are like mine, then the backs of the driver and passenger seats seam to have a permanent "kick me' sign attached.)

I had one awful vinyl cover still hanging on behind the passenger seat. The other had torn apart last year, and this last one was in bad shape as well. Besides, it was made of horrible plastic, and I thought fabric would be ever so much better. Since I needed a material that would hold up to many bouts with tennis shoes, I chose a towel for the main portion, and some cute Ikea fabric to add a little style up top. I already had the fabric, and the towel was $5 at Target, which was enough for both seats. So this project cost me a grand total of five bucks! For two seat protectors for my Honda CRV, I used one bath towel about a half a yard of cotton fabric (although I didn't measure), ribbon and thread. That's it! Here we go:

Step One:
Cut 4 pieces of cotton fabric to serve as the top of your protector. This will basically match the top portion of the back of the driver's or passenger's seat.(I used the old protector as a pattern guide, but you could also just go trace/measure your seats.)

Attach ribbon (or shoe laces) to the tops of TWO of your pieces, pinning it in place. These ribbons will tie your protector to the headrest of the seat to secure it.

Put a second piece ove the first, right sides together. Sew a quarter inch seam around the top and sides, LEAVING THE BOTTOM OPEN.

Turn right side out and press. Turn the bottom under a half an inch all the way around and press.

Cut the bath towel in half horizontally. Take one piece and trim the side to match the width of the topper. You could be good and sew a matching bias tape along this cut side, or you could be lazy like me and zigzag stitch the cut edge. Slip the towel into the bottom opening of the topper and topstitch across (make sure you use the finished edge of the towel as the bottom!)

There you have it! Tie the ribbons to the back of your headrest and let the kids kick away! When it gets dirty, you can just throw it in the wash!

The seat protectors are still going strong, but the ribbons kept coming untied. I removed the ribbons and added twill tape loops, which fit around the head rest poles (remove your headrest, slip loops over the holes, and replace headrest). Problem solved. When I make them again (once the fabric is deemed "too baby", which I'm sure will come) I will add stabilizer to the top fabric, to give it more body. Otherwise, they do their job and still look good!
Note: I tuck the bottoms of the protectors into the seat pocket so it is still a usable storage area.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Alice goes to Canada

Here are the final pages for the Alice In Wonderland art journal exchange I'm participating in. The pages were mailed to Canada, where they will be combined with pages from France, the Netherlands, and the United States to make books for us all. I love how the internet has brought people from around the world together. It's just cool.

Friday, July 10, 2009

A slower schedule

Well, sometimes life throws a wrench in your plans. I was hoping to have a card week tutorial up in June, and here it is July 10, and no tutorial. It's in the works, but recent events have definitely caused some schedule changes this summer. The kids, however, have been hard at work in their art journals. At least someone's producing art this summer!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Ink is Good

It has been awhile since I've had ink stains on my hands. First, I was consumed with fabric. Recently, I've been consumed with researching Celiac and various disorders, eliminating gluten from our world and taking a crash course in gluten free baking. But I have a deadline. I am participating in an Alice In Wonderland art journal exchange, and I need to get my pages done. So today, I inked, and painted, and stamped, and sanded 14 background pages. It felt welcoming. Paper always feels like home. Ink is good.

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Pleasures of Real Food

I cannot believe it has taken me five years to buy most of my produce from the farms that circle our town, but sadly, I confess it is true. In my defense, when we moved here I had a two year old and a one month old, so quick dashes to the grocery store were about all I could manage. But how did I let four more years go buy with primarily shopping for produce from a grocery store instead of a local stand, where the corn was picked that morning? Oh, the years I have wasted, the berries I have missed. I will miss them no more. These are just a sample of the amazing produce found at the Smith Family Farm stand. The blackberries are sinful. Plump, sweet and tart, and so full of juice! The juice absolutely fills your mouth, and finishes almost like a good Syrah. The kids ate bowls full. I popped some in Matt's mouth as soon as he walked through the door. Eating in season is so worth it. I will eat these until my finger are permanently purple, and wait for the heirloom tomatoes to arrive, their specialty. Oh, don't get me started on tomatoes...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A little scrappin'

This little guy arrived a couple of weeks ago from Down Under. He is the fabulous creation from Blinking Flights that Madeline took from my hands the minute I opened the package. He, after having been in California for only a few minutes, was redubbed a "she" although the name has stayed the same. Gordon has visited the many wonders of our town, such as Target, the post office and the dentist. I'm sure he, no she's mighty impressed with California. Please visit Rebecca's fabulous blog, and her delightful Etsy shop (so sad to see the bugs going, sniff!) and wallow in her wonderful fabric creations!

Allison and I were able to steal away to our local LSS, Scrap Diva, to do a little scrappin' a few weeks ago. I had brought several kits, but I couldn't resist the lure of some new lines, especially the Penny Lane series from My Mind's Eye. I could have bought it all!