Sunday, November 24, 2013

Making Christmas Presents Part 1 Tutorial...

I wanted to make Christmas gifts for different family members this year.  I normally only buy for the kids in the family and for my parents and in laws.  I came across a really cute pin on Pinterest with a tutorial on making Foot Warmers.  I knew automatically which family member would love this so I made my own...with a few small changes.
For the original tutorial you can follow the link below.
I had most of the cotton material on hand for this using fabric scraps from other projects but I did buy about a yard of black fleece and a yard of red fleece.  I bought two bags of white rice 3lb each at only $1.50 a bag.  This is a super easy, money saving and useful gift/project.  Even if you have to purchase the cotton fabric, you don't need very much per foot warmer.
First I measured an old..I mean old, why do we still have these, pair of Jerm's shoes.
The length measured at 13 inches, and the width was 10 inches. I added an inch to for hem allowances.

Now, I honestly don't know how fleece will hold up in the microwave but I do know that cotton is a safe fabric choice.  I wanted to use the fleece because of two reasons, one fleece eliminates the need for batting to insulate the warmth, and two because fleece is super soft.  So I changed the design a bit, I made a separate rice bag out of cotton fabric.
 Since the outside of the foot warmer was going to measure 13in x 10in once sewn together, I made the rice bag 12in x 9in. I cut the fabric 13in x 10in  to allow for a seam allowance, then placed the two printed sides together and sewed up three of the sides.

I filled the bag halfway up with the white rice. and then finished sewing up the fourth side.  I used about half my 3lb bag of rice.  I may have filled it a little too much...but the bag only cost $1.50 so meh not too worried.

Now for the foot warmer I measured a 7in x11in  piece of cotton fabric for the top cover of the warmer, and two 14in x11in  pieces of the black fleece for the main part of the foot warmer.  I hemmed the bottom edge of the cotton then pinned it to one piece of fleece sewing the remaining three sides (top, left and right ).

I then pinned the second piece of the black fleece to the already sewn together fleece and cotton. I placed both pieces of black fleece together,  You can't really see it in the picture above but there are two pieces of black fleece on the bottom and then the inside out piece of cotton.  I then flipped the cotton piece over the fleece so that the UK design was facing up.
Now you can place the cotton rice bag between the two pieces of black fleece.  But, how to keep the heat contained and the bag inside?  I added a strip of Velcro to the inside of each piece of black fleece.

The finished project looks a little like this on the bottom edge.

The Red Arrow: Where you slip your feet.
The Orange Arrow: The top layer of the black fleece, soft and warm on the bottoms of your feet.
The Yellow Arrow: The Velcro closure ad the edge of the foot warmer.
The Green Arrow: The cotton rice filled bag.
The Blue Arrow: Very hard to see, bottom layer of the black fleece.
Just a few changes made to an amazing idea.  I am very excited to give these to family members for Christmas and I hope that they will be as pleased with them as I am excited about them! By the way, you simply have to microwave the rice bag for about 2-3 mins, for at least an hour of piggy (feet) warmth.

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Starting Our DIY Christmas...

Christmas decorations, in our house, don't usually make an appearance until the day after Thanksgiving.  This is was the tradition that my mom started with me, and I just can't bring myself to do it any other way.  I have always been very type A about my Christmas decorations.  They have to be perfect, organized and in sync.  Who am I kidding?
I have four children ranging from 11 to almost 3.  Why can't the decorations be more fun?
The goal for Christmas this year, kid made and approved decorations; plus a few handmade touches from me.

I have seen tons of craft cones covered in burlap, on Pinterest for Christmas decorations.  I am not really fond of burlap, it doesn't really fit in my house, but I loved the look all the same.
  • 1 1/4 inch Ribbon (mine were spools about 9 ft long)
  • Styrofoam craft cones
  • Hot glue gun and glue
  • Candlesticks (optional)

The ribbon that I found was on clearance for only $2.00 a spool and I just loved the colors.  The design really doesn't scream Christmas, but they are red and green!
I cut a strip of the ribbon and glued it to the bottom of the cone and then repeated it on the other side.

Starting from the bottom, I simply started wrapping the ribbon around the cone at an angle. Gluing the ribbon each time I came back to the starting side of the cone.

During the wrapping process the ribbon wasn't really staying flat to the cone, but I honestly liked the look of it with the folds.  I think that it added a nice little touch of texture to the decoration.

The three candlesticks that I placed the cones on normally sit on my kitchen table, until about a month ago.  One of the kiddos, trying to clean the table after dinner, broke one of the candles.  Not too big of a deal, but since then, only two candlesticks have been on the table.  Now I have three again, and a pretty table decor.




Thursday, November 21, 2013

It's Been A While...

I can't believe that it has been over three months since my last post.  Where does all the time go?  I honestly thought that I would be able to post at least two to three times a week; when I first began this blog.  Hmm, life does have a way of throwing those curve balls when you aren't looking.
 So speaking of curve balls...what have we been up to for the past three months?
Well, the Fall Baseball season finished up and honestly I am not sure if fall ball is worth it.  We started off thinking that it was going to be a "less competitive, more practice like season" boy were we wrong! What they actually meant was that there wouldn't be any "actual" umpires and the rules were going to be based on the morals of the teams and coaches we played against.  Let's just say it was an interesting season that I had to bite my lip through most of.

We spent a lot of the summer going to the park and just enjoying the outdoors.  Honestly, I would have liked to spend much more time outside.  I think that next summer we will be able to accomplish a lot more outdoor time, and a lot of the activities that I had planned on doing.  If Christmas works out to my plan...

In October Monkey turned 11!!! Goodness I feel old admitting that.  We celebrated at a local laser tag place and the kiddos had a blast.  Monkey wanted a zombie theme, which works out with the venue because it's Zombie laser tag.  I even made these super scary zombie cupcakes to celebrate the day.
 All I did was buy these zombie finger puppets from the dollar section of Wal Mart and place them on top of each cupcake.  The red sprinkles were supposed to represent blood, and the icing was supposed to be green. They were supposed to look like zombies coming out of the ground, but alas the green color never turned out right.  They were still a fun addition to the party, and we may be venturing back to laser tag, just for a fun night out.

Towards the end of October I was blessed to be there for one of my amazingly beautiful friends when she was married.  She had a wedding shower vs the bridal shower. Again I played with cupcakes and made a pull apart cake that looked like a wedding dress! I found the inspiration on Pinterest, and was pretty pleased with the way that it turned out!

We didn't carve pumpkins like usual for Halloween this year, instead we melted crayons all over them.  This was a task that took a lot of thought...and practice makes perfect.

During the first week of November a tree tried to murder me. The tree was vengeful and jealous, it let emotions run high and fell flat on it's face. Honestly, I was standing where it fell not two seconds before.  I did suffer injury from the debris of flying pine cones, but nothing too substantial

On Monday the kids and I finally convinced Jerm that we needed another pet.  I wanted a larger dog, but nothing too large. I have been reading up on good family dogs for a while, and was watching the local shelter's web page for a while.  Well, we found our perfect puppy! He is a Blue Heeler mix and we love him to pieces already.  He was one of four puppies and I so wanted a blue one, but our dog won out.  The day I went to look at them, he was the most loving towards Baby Boogie and I knew he was ours the minute I held him.
Na na na na Batman!

Honestly, that's about it! I can't really think of too much else that happened over the past three months.  Work, kids, sleep...and repeat!  I plan on eventually giving some step by step instructions on the pull a part cake, and I have a ton of crafts I plan on doing for Christmas.  Let's hope that I can get back to blogging on a regular basis.  I know it's good for me, and hopefully every once in a while someone else will find it useful!