Friday, June 29, 2012

Tie Dye Fun

  We had some fun with Sharpies yesterday :)  Natalie said she wanted to do a craft, and I decided it was high time we tried out dying shirts with permanent markers.

 We gathered our supplies first. I had to search 3 locations to round up all these sharpies, and I have a nagging thought that I must have more somewhere that got stashed away when I packed up my classroom and brought it home.  I think teachers might be the top offenders on the most likely to have permanent marker collections list.  At any rate, it only took me one trip to find the rubbing alcohol.  We rounded up some old white shirts and rejuvenated them out on the deck.
I loved it, in case you couldn't tell by my crazy melee of successful and failed techniques on my shirt.  In the end, it's colorful, and even the wonderful husband came home and said that my shirt was pretty :)  Natalie was very impatient to get to the rubbing alcohol bit, so she would make a few dots, or scribble a bit, then use the dropper to make the colors run.  She abandoned me halfway through for her swingset, then came back for some more fun.  Overall, this was fun and very easy and very very gratifying. I'll definitely be trying it again!

You Are My Sunshine

This project has been ruminating in my head for a while now.  I've been wanting to try my hand at subway art for a while now, and I've been wanting to put something more interesting on the shelf in the kid's bedroom. 

So I had my wonderful husband bring home a piece of aged wood for me, he said he would assemble the sign too.  I was going to take him up on it, but he never got around to it. I finally decided to get out the power tools and do it myself.  I painted it with a brush that was on the dry side so it looked more mottled and distressed, cut out the letters with my Cricut, and used Mod Podge to glue them onto the sign.  The sign's finished dimensions are 11 1/2" x 24" and I'll admit, while my first intention was to hang it on the wall, it is far too heavy for anything like that.  I do love seeing it sitting there on the shelf, especially with our favorite books.

The rest of the kid's bedroom can be seen here if you like to see the before version of the bookshelf wall.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Dainty Dresses: A Really Useful Dress

 This is another project from Natalie :)  We found a pack of Thomas the Train fat quarters at Walmart, on clearance no less :)  Natalie was thrilled and couldn't wait to make something with them.  For a few days, she just played with the fabric itself, being completely happy pretending with it.  Then  when I asked her what she wanted to make, she first said "a horse."  I'm still not sure how to work that one out yet while maintaining my helper's participation, so I kept probing and she said "a Thomas dress".
 We had two of the green fat quarters in the set, and I decided to do a simple pillowcase dress so that she could really do some of the work.  If you would like to make a pillowcase dress, there are a lot of great tutorials, here is one that I like.
 Natalie was able to do a lot of the work with me.  I folded the edges and she pinned the fabric.  I was controlling the pedal on the machine, but we fed the fabric together and she controlled the presser foot and snipped threads.  I kept a constant stream of "first we need to..., this is why we ...., now it's time to..." going so that she actually knows the process herself.
 Thomas and Percy are trembling on their tracks when they glimpse the big slide the naughty Natalie is pushing them toward.
 This dress is her favorite by far, as in she wants to wear it every day and every night.
 I'm convinced that it's because she worked so hard on making it herself.

The fickle nature of the 3 year old is the reason the straps ended up being two toned.  No sooner had she decided on green ribbon for the straps and we had completed threading it through the casings, did she decide she wanted blue instead.  I suggested we do both because I foresaw her changing her mind again.  Isn't hard to pick between two good things?  At least in this case, it works.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Crown fit for a Princess

 I'm trying to do more crafts and sewing projects with Natalie these days.  She usually sits at the sewing machine with me and lifts the presser foot, etc...  The problem was that half the time she wasn't really vested in the projects since they were my ideas, not hers.  New strategy- let her come up with the projects.  Brilliant, right?
 Of course, the first thing she asked to make was a crown so she can be "Princess Aurora Natalie" like Sleeping Beauty. 
 We measured her head, drew out the crown on felt (we covered rectangles, triangles, counting, and measuring just drawing it out together :)  We used two layers of felt for stability, and sewed them together near the edge and joined the two ends together.  It was also her idea to decorate it with beads,  She picked them out and told me where to put them, and I really really tried not to influence her choices :)  Before you say choking hazard 3 times fast- all the beads are individually tied and they are on there pretty good.  We would have to really be trying to get one off.
Note:  The enchanting "princess" outfit was entirely Natalie's choosing, and I love it right down to the rain boots :)