Monday, August 31, 2009

Lisa Leonard giveaway at Simple Mom

Just sayin' that Simple Mom, one of my very favorite blogs, is giving away three Lisa Leonard gift certificates. If you have never seen her work, check it out. Her jewelry is awesome! Go leave a comment at Simple Mom, right now!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fabric Tag Chart Tutorial

Finally have my computer back for a few hours. This sharing thing takes some getting used to! And, in the spirit of sharing, I have a tutorial for you today. I had purchased a fat quarter bundle from Fresh Squeezed Fabrics (just saw she had some new fabrics that look pretty tasty...) without any particular projects in mind. This one seemed perfect for a fat quarter, but any size fabric would do.

Step One: Cut material to desired size. I used a fat quarter for the body, and a striped remnant for the topper (stitched together). For this wall hanging, I cut a piece of old acrylic blanket as a filler, and muslin for the backing. You could also use quilt batting, or fuse an interfacing to the wrong side of the front fabric.

Step two: Place right sides together and sew around the edges, leaving a space for turning. Since I was using the blanket batting, made that the bottom layer, so it would end up as the middle layer when turned.

Step Three: Turn right side out, press and sew seam closed.

Step Four: Decide on what to use for "hooks" to hang your tags. I chose large beads, figuring they would be easy for little hands to slip tags over. If I were to o this project again, I would use my original idea, buttons. The buttons have a greater area around the point of attachment with which to support the string for the tag. Since my beads are sewn side to side, the tag kind of drapes around it and has a tendency to fall off more easily. Attaching the bead through the center with a french knot (more like sewing on a button) would also be a better choice. Oh well, live and learn.

I measured out the spacing for the beads (this would depend on the size of your chart and the size of tags you are going to hang from it) and marked it with a water soluble fabric pen. Finally, I stitched on the beads.

Step Five: Using scraps of scrapbook paper, I punched out tags and labeled them with activities my kids can do when they are board to earn extra Disney dollars. Of course you could also use pre-made tags, but this was a great way to use some of my paper stash.I also added a pocket at the top to hold the tags we remove when we use it as a vacation count down chart (see this post). It could be a calendar, chore chart, reward chart... whatever you (or your kids) can come up with!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Matt had my laptop all last night for his engineering homework , so I couldn't post the tutorial. I'll try to get on this afternoon before he comes home.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The kids get ready

While the Disney trip is still a long way off, the kids' excitement level is in high gear. They put their stamp on the tag chart project (tutorial for the fabric chart on Wednesday) with a little art project. I gave them a scrap paper file and a large tag punch, and had them punch out 30 tags. Not only was it a great motor activity, but it gave me a good thirty minutes of interruption free kitchen time! Then i brought out the markers, ink and stamps, and let them go to town. Polka dots were a definite favorite! Next, a numbering from one to thirty. A few ribbon ties and we have count down tags for the big vacation. Or punch some orange and black ones and we can count down to Halloween. A versatile project!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Back to the pencil

This Saturday I was finally able to spend some quality time at my desk, to play with my pencils and watercolors. I even managed to do a few daily drawings last week. Okay, they are not exactly daily anymore, but I keep the title with great hope. As much as I love my paints, inks, and assorted ephemera, I have to say that the simple drawing is still my greatest love. Pencil, pen, paper - that's all I really need to be happy. So here's to hoping that Max's cough clears up today, so he can finally get those abscessed teeth out and actually go to kindergarten, and we can all get our routine back. A routine that includes good health and daily drawing.

Friday, August 7, 2009

A Little Break

It has been awhile, hasn't it? Well, as Max prepares to get two teeth extracted (he has not one, but two abscesses)and I finally get to downloading all of our recent photos, I'll let you know about a great Green blog, and a fabulous giveaway they are having. The Alternative Consumer highlights some wonderful Green companies, and this week they are giving away clothing from Indigenous Designs (beautiful, classic clothes, by the way). Click here to enter the giveaway, and stay tuned for more frequent posts!