Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Mint Stuff I've Seen #3

More Pintrest love :)

I found this absolutely adorable skirt at Que Linda. Isn't it lovely! I definitely want to make one, maybe with a few more rows of ruffles to make it more dramatic.

Oh.My.Gosh!! I think I might be in love with this dress made by Ouma for Etsy!!

Isn't this little dress gorgeous!! So simple but stunning! Find out how to make one at Make It and Love It.

I found this tutorial for a makeshift canvas picture on Girl. Inspired. Too cute! I'm definitely going to be giving this a go. I was looking at buying a canvas picture a few months ago and they were sooo expensive. This would work out much cheaper.

Last but definitely not least, I found this recipe for Edible Finger Paints at Crumbs and Chaos. Such a good idea! My kids love yoghurt too! I might sit them in the bath one day and let them have at it on the tiles.

Feel free to grab my ''featured'' button from the sidebar if I've linked you :D

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Shabby Lace Pouch

I'm trying every Sunday to make something out of my ridiculous stash that I have managed to accumulate over the years. I have so much material and it is getting silly now so I need to use some of it up before I am letting myself buy any new!

I have so many muslin cloths that I've had since the babies were little. I was told to make sure I had tons of muslins so I totally over prepared and bought  too many haha. Yes, they came in handy at the time but I could've made do with about half the amount I had! I didn't want to throw them out so into my refashion pile they went.

Yesterday, I decided I wanted to make some drawer/wardrobe smelly bags (sorry I don't know the official name for them but you get what I mean?) and figured that muslin would be perfect for them. They're good for the bath aswell if you hang one off the taps by the ribbon! I use 2tbsp porridge oats and a good pinch of dried chamomile flowers in mine because I have dry skin and eczema on my hands. This little pouch really helps that!

So let's make some :) All you will need is some muslin and some thin ribbon.

I started off by cutting my muslin into smaller squares. I cut each big square into 8 little squares which ended up being approx. 5.5"x5.5". First things first, cut off all of the finished edges and do a zigzag stitch around all 4 edges. Muslin frays so I wanted to make sure to stop them fraying too much. You want them to fray a little bit to get the shabby effect but if they fray too much, your stitching will all fall out! You want to keep the zigzag stitches as close to the edge as you can. This makes the edges look like lace (well, I think it does anyway).

When you have all edges zigzagged you want to fold your square in half, wrong sides together and with a very narrow hem, sew a straight stitch down the two side edges. Leave the top edge open or it won't be a pouch! The bottom fold will be the bottom of your pouch. Do a zigzag stitch down both newly sewn sides. I thought it would be nice to have all of my seams on the outside to add a little character so the ''wrong side'' should be on the outside of your pouch and the nicely finished side should be on the inside.

Now were going to do the little casings for the ribbon. Cut out two pieces of muslin 5"x1". Do a zigzag stitch around all 4 sides on both pieces. Again, keep the zigzag stitches as close to the edge as you can.

We're going to sew those on under your zigzag stitching at the top of the pouch. I left about 1/2" from the top then sewed it on, stitching 1/8" away from the edge of the strip, sewing the top first then the bottom. I found it was much easier to do this with the pouch inside out (stitching inside). Remember not to stitch the two small side edges down, just the top and bottom.

Cut 2 pieces of ribbon, about 11". We're going to use those to make the fastening for the pouch. Attach one end to a safety pin then thread it through the casing on one side of the pouch. Using the other side of the same ribbon, thread it through the casing on the other side of the pouch, tie the two ends into a knot and cut off the raggy edges. The knot should be flush against the side of the pouch when it's fully open. Do the same for the other piece of ribbon, starting at the other side of the pouch. The second piece is a bit more difficult because you're going over the piece of ribbon already in there but just wiggle it through, pulling the first ribbon tight if you need to and it'll go through. A nice little trick I've learned for when using ribbon is to pass the cut ends through a flame on a lighter. It seals all the edges and stops it fraying.

When you pull both pieces of ribbon, your pouch should close up! Isn't that clever? I saw it on a handbag when I was out shopping and thought it was brilliant. I'd never seen it before!

And there you have it, a Shabby Lace Pouch for you to fill with whatever you fancy. I made a bigger one for Leyla to put all of her tea set stuff in too and it worked brilliantly :)

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Homeschool Week 3

For more posts on homeschooling, see here.

Practice drawing straight lines - I tried to get her to draw straight lines on her Colour Doodle but she was having none of it really. She drew a few but then got really bored and just wanted to draw pictures.
Sing the alphabet song - We sang the song together and I tried to correct her pronunciation a bit without making it no fun. She still struggles with the middle of the song so I'm going to keep on so she picks it up as we go.
Read a book during the day - We read Victoria Plum has a party and Babies.
Count to 15 - I'm going to have to think of some ways to get her to count 1-15 because I know she can do it but she just gets bored and makes mistakes because she's not paying attention.
Colours and shapes - We practiced our shapes and colours again, she knows rectangle now!! It took her a while but she got there in the end. I'm so proud of her :) She's known her colours and the rest of the shapes for a while now so we just reinforced those.
Read a bedtime story - We did read a bedtime story but I can't for the life of me remember what I read them *blush*.

The rest of the week was a write off because the kids have been pretty ill. They have bad colds and blocked noses and keep randomly breaking down in tears. I don't want to push Leyla too much while she's poorly so we just had a lazy week.
To be fair though, everything I had on the list for September she's finished already so I'm debating doing things a bit different next month. I feel a bit guilty that Naomie can't join in with a lot of the things I've been doing with Leyla aswell so I might add more ''learning play'' that Naomie can join in with too next month, maybe a 1 day lessons, 1 day play kind of deal?

This morning the kids were feeling a bit better so I broke out the Mega-Bloks for them and they had a fun time with that. Leyla built a castle (I built the first row as a base then she added more on top). She put a horse and a cat inside that she got in the pack and then asked me whether she could go in. I told her she was too big to go inside really so she asked whether Naomie was too big haha. We worked out that she could just about fit her foot in and she got really excited about that. Naomie is still too small to be building so I just gave her some blocks already built up to play with. When we had finished Leyla's castle, Naomie came in and pulled it all down haha. So helpful she is!

Friday, 23 September 2011

Feed Me Friday: Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Sorry I'm so late posting today. The kids are both poorly so it's been a bit hectic in my house!

I found this recipe through Pintrest and I have to say, it looks soooo nice! I think I'd probably make it without the bread bowl though, just for ease and to make it a quicker recipe.

It's on SugarCrafter and she has lots of awesome recipes on her blog so go and check them all out :)

Thursday, 22 September 2011

This Week Thursday #3

 (Yes, I did make my baby pose with a thermometer to prove how ill we've all been :P 
It's ok, I stopped as soon as she got bored.)

We haven't done much of anything again this week because we've all been ill for the past few days. At the end of last week Leyla and Naomie met up with their little boyfriend, and I met up with my friend. They both came for a sleepover and we had a girly night in once the kids had gone to bed, it was good. Paul was working late so it was nice to have some adult conversation haha.

We went fabric shopping the next day but I couldn't really browse because I started feeling really ill so just sat and looked through the sewing patterns. I didn't find any I wanted though really, booo!

Paul went on a manager training course yesterday, so hopefully he'll get that. He really wants it and he's really good at his job so here's hoping *fingers crossed*.

Other than that, we've all been sat in, trying to get over our poorly. I hate being ill, it sucks. I hate it more when the kids are up all night crying because they're poorly and I can't do anything for them *cry*. That's the worst part of being a Mammy I think. I wish I could take all of their poorlies away but I can't :(

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Fleecie Shorts

I'm trying to use up all of my fleece so I may be doing a good few fleece tutorials over the next few weeks! I decided to make this little pair of shorts for Naomie. I figured they'd be good just as shorts or with tights but they'd also be good for over her cloth nappies because fleece is waterproof!

To make them, all you have to do is take a pair of trousers/shorts that you like the fit of, I used pyjama bottoms because I didn't have any shorts and because they aren't too tight. Draw around them then cut off where you want the legs to end (if you used trousers instead of shorts). Then add a 1/4" allowance all the way round and a 1" extra on the waistband for the elastic. I used 3/4" elastic which fits nicely inside a 1" waistband but if your elastic is thinner/wider adjust the waistband accordingly.

When you have your front and back pieces cut out, you should notice that they are just slightly different. See how the back waistband is an inch or so higher than the front. That's to account for the baby's bum and nappy. If you're using cloth nappies like I am then you'll want to make sure you have the rise high enough to go over the nappy.

Lay some fleece, folded in half so you cut two identical (but reversed) pieces at once. Lay your pattern pieces on top and pin them down, making sure the stretch on the fleece is going from side to side not up and down.

With right sides together, pin and stitch one back piece to one front piece along the side seam. I used a straight stitch then a zigzag stitch right next to it in the seam allowance. Turn your material over so the right side is facing up. Fold the seam allowance towards the back and top stitch it down on the right side of your shorts. Repeat with the other two pieces.

With right sides together, pin and sew together the two front pieces along the waistband to crotch curve. Again I used a straight stitch then a zigzag. I didn't topstitch the seam allowance on the front or back because it would have looked uneven and I know it would have bugged me. Repeat with the two back pieces.

Open the shorts out. Pin and sew the legs, reinforcing at the crotch.

Fold up 1/4" at each leg and stitch it down. I used a zigzag to allow for stretch.

Cut elastic to whatever waist size you need. I used 18" for Naomie who has just gone into age 6-9months. Stitch the two ends of elastic together to make a tube. Find the 4 quarters on the elastic tube and mark each with a pin.

Line up the seam on the elastic tube and the back seam of the shorts and pin. Pin the other 3 marked points to the shorts. Stitch all around the raw edge with a wide, long zigzag, pulling slightly on the elastic to stretch it to the same size as the fleece. Put one side of the zigzag on the fabric and the other side off the edge to overlock it.

Fold the waistband over so the elastic is hidden on the inside. Stitch over the zigzag with a straight stitch, making sure to pull slightly to allow for stretch. Fleece is pretty forgiving but don't pull too hard, only pull it as hard as you had to when sewing the elastic on.

Your shorts are done. Put them on a cute baby of your choice and admire your handiwork :)

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Mint Stuff I've Seen #2

Following on with the Pintrest love, here are a few mint things I've seen and pinned this week.

Aaaah! I love this! I saw this Cute as a Button artwork over at Happy Together. I think it would look lovely in my girls' room, once I get round to turning the spare room into the girls' room that is!

This gorgeous flower potholder that I found at Visions of Sugar Plums. I need to make a few of these up for my kitchen!


Look at this ridiculously cute dress that I found at Girl.Inspired. I need to borrow steal one or two of Paul's shirts I think. It is adorable!

This one I found on Refashion Co-Op which I'm currently taking part in. I love these bellbottoms. I used to have a pair and I loved them, Huli's put a tutorial up so I'll definitely have to make some! She has a Facebook page, Made with love by Hulibug aswell with TONS more refashions on so go and check it out!

Feel free to take my featured button from the sidebar if I've linked you :D

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Fleecie Pinafore Dress

I have so much fleece in my stash, I seriously need to find ways to use it all up without just making nappies out of it all. I made a fleecie pinafore dress for Leyla a while back but it was getting too short so I knew I wanted to make another, longer one. I had this gorgeous material leftover from my nappy making days and I thought it would make a lovely dress. Turns out I was right :)

It was so easy aswell. It took me an hour from start to finish! To make one all you need is a dress you like the fit of to draw around and some fleece that you like the look of. I added a contrasting panel around the bottom because I made it too short initially but it would look lovely in just one pattern too!

To make your pattern, fold your dress in half and lay it on some pattern paper with the fold against the edge of the paper. Draw around, then add a seam allowance all around the edge. I use a 1/4" seam allowance so I added 1/4" all around the edges. Add a little more to the bottom if you'd like a wider hem. I made the back and the front the same but you can make the front neckline a little lower if you prefer.

When cutting out your pieces, make sure the stretch goes across, not up and down and make sure to lay the pattern on the fold. When you have your pieces cut out, lay them right sides together and pin the shoulders and side seams together.

Stitch them together. I used a straight stitch and then a zigzag stitch right next to it.

I folded over the neck and armhole hems and stitched them with a zigzag stitch to allow for stretch. Ignore the fact that my neckhole is pretty wonky. I obviously stretched it a bit while sewing. It doesn't look as bad when she has it on, honestly haha!

To make the contrasting panel along the bottom, I laid out the dress, folded, on some folded fleece, making sure the stretch went across, not up and down. I added a 1/4" allowance but I should've added 1/2" to allow for both sides of allowance. I ended up having to use a 1/8" allowance when sewing to make up for the fact that I'd cut it too small! Sew up both sides of your contrasting panel.

I don't have a picture of this next step but basically, lay the dress and the panel so they are right sides together and stitch all along the two raw edges to attach. I folded the panel down then stitched the seam allowance up with a straight stitch. It looks so much more professional this way and the panel will lie so much nicer than if you miss this step. Fold up a hem, however much you left when cutting it out, and stitch it. I used a straight stitch since it won't need to stretch really.

Ta da!!

I'm linking here.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Homeschool Week 2

For more posts on homeschooling, see here.

Trace straight lines with a crayon - She did this while we were making dinner tonight. She has the hang of this now definitely. She just gets bored and wants to draw a picture instead.
Sing the alphabet song - We sat round the table after tea and sang the ABC song to Leyla a few times. She's definitely picking bits up, she says ''a, b, c, d, e, f, g'' and she also knows ''w, x, y and z''. Oh and she sings the bit at the end aswell, ''now I know my abc, next time won't you sing with me''.
Read a book during the day - We read Dear Zoo before afternoon nap.
Practice counting to 15 - Before Leyla's nap I had her running around in the dining room to tire her out for sleep and we were counting up to 15 while she ran around. She counted along the first time but the second time she just listened to me saying the numbers. She also counted to 15 today for the first time by herself!! (We had to give her some help on 11 but I think that was more because we always used to stop counting at 10.)
Read bedtime story - We read The Very Noisy Night before bed.

Count to 5 using objects - Naomie has a set of stacking cups and I had Leyla count them as she was setting them up and taking them down again.
Comparisons and superlatives - While we were playing with the stacking cups, I was asking Leyla which one was biggest and smallest. She pretty much knows this now so it's just reinforcing it.
Read a book during the day - We read Room on the Broom before afternoon nap.
See how many items of clothes Leyla knows - I totally forgot to do this one *blush*, I'll add it onto another day.
Read bedtime story - We read Bella Fairy and Incy Wincy Spider.

Name and colour in two jungle animals - Leyla coloured in two monkeys, one with crayons and one with paint. She had a brilliant time :)
Sing the alphabet song - Leyla and Daddy sang the alphabet song this morning. She's getting really good at this, she's picking it up!
Read a book during the day - We had to go out today so the babies napped in their pushchair so we didn't read a story in the day *blush*
Read bedtime story - Paul read the bedtime story tonight but he can't remember which one he read *facepalm*

Count to 5 using objects - We laid out her little stacking cups and I had her count up to 3 first of all, then added more until we were counting up till 8. Yeh I know it's only meant to be 5 and I think she's only ready for 5 because when there is 8 cups she automatically says 9 and 10, even though there is no cup there haha, she easily did 1 to 5 though and now uses her finger to point which she never did before.
Read a book during the day - We started reading Cinderella before her nap. It was quite long so we'll finish it off at bedtime.
See how many fruits and vegetables Leyla knows - Paul and Leyla sat and went through her basket of food again. This time she knew everything except doughnut. She knew all of the ones she didn't know last time so that's brilliant!
Practice counting to 15 - After we counted stacking cups, I had her recite the numbers 1-15. She is brilliant at this now, I am so proud, she is really getting there!
Read bedtime story - We read some more of Cinderella.

Shapes and colours - We sat Leyla with the shapes/colours poster this afternoon and had her tell us what each shape was called. She still struggles with rectangle so we tried to make it more practical for her and showed her how the door and table were a rectangle shape. She knows all of the basic colours now and has no trouble at all telling us what colour random stuff is. She does get white and black mixed up sometimes but that's about it.
Sing the alphabet song - We sang it a few times throughout the day and Leyla asked me to find the video on my phone for her so she watched that a few times and we sang along.
Read a book during the day - We read the last bit of Cinderella.
See how many items of clothes Leyla knows - Paul sat with her on the computer and brought up some different images of clothes. She knew socks, shoes, hat, tshirt, vest, knickers, skirt and gloves. She got dressing gown and coat mixed up. She also called a dress a dressing gown. She knew trousers, jumper and pyjamas. She called shorts knickers.
Read bedtime story - We started off with This Little Baby, then went ont to a Baby Einstein mirror book, then we read an In The Night Garden book.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Feed Me Friday: Blueberry Breakfast Cake

I found a recipe for this gorgeous looking breakfast cake on Alexandra's Kitchen. Doesn't it look sooo nice? I think I'm probably going to make it a little bit less sugary since the babies will be having some but otherwise it looks fit!!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

This Week Thursday #2

This week has been quite uneventful if I say so myself. We haven't really left the house much. Leyla's been learning, Naomie has been playing, Paul has been gardening (when he's not working) and I have been crafting (when I'm not being a Mammy). Just a normal week haha.

We went out for family day yesterday. We normally take the kids somewhere every Wednesday because it's Paul's day off. We just went for something to eat in town, bit of shopping on the way, Paul made me spend £7.50 on some Lucky Charms cereal! I told him they had better be the best tasting cereal ever for that price haha. You can't get them here normally so the few shops that do sell them put the prices right up! We went and bought Naomie a pink Little Tikes car out of her birthday money. It's getting delivered next week, I can't wait haha!

When we got in from our day out, Leyla did the cutest thing ever! She went into the front room, gave a sigh of pure contentment and said "Such a good day!" Aww, I love my little family so much :)

Leyla's pretty much potty trained now during the day which is brilliant, I'm so proud of my big girl :) I had everyone telling me she needed to be potty trained as soon as she hit two and I was telling them she wasn't ready and would do it in her own time and sure enough, she went from wearing nappies all day and night one day to no nappies and being completely dry during the day the next day!

I'm reluctant to take her nappy off her at night yet. I think I'm going to give her a few weeks first. She's only just gone into her big girl bed aswell, so I don't want to put too much on her at once. Speaking of which, I need to remember to get pictures of her in her big bed! I was sure I took some but they seem to have disappeared...

I also bought Naomie a teething necklace from here. Leyla has one but it's just too long on Naomie so I had to buy her a new one. It's lovely. They've both got the same necklace now aswell :) This girl's service is amazing! I only paid for the necklace late afternoon and she must've posted it immediately because I got it the next morning!!

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