Friday, February 25, 2011

Felt Fridge Magnets - Woodland

I've been working on some more self-sufficiency update posts, but my camera battery has decided it can handle taking only one picture before begging to be recharged, and it's proving difficult to secure a post's worth of photos.  I'm ready to pull my hair out.

I did want to share some fun I've been having the past couple of days, though. Margaret and I have RSV, and she's been down for over a week now (my big, macho immune system is fighting it off much better than hers). Yesterday, I gave in and let her destroy my craft room so I could spend some time making these:

They're felt fridge magnets, inspired by Samster Mommy's. Simply a small, strong magnet sandwiched between two pieces of cut-out felt that are then blanket-stitched closed (any embellishment is added to the top piece before attaching the two together). They're deliciously addicting to make. I freehand my designs, but you can get hundreds of free patterns on the internet. I'm planning on making some jungle animal ones next. Maybe I'll even go for it and make some letters and numbers. I'd been eyeing these Melissa and Doug letters and numbers, but I hear the lead content in the magnets is high. Enclosing magnets in felt solves this issue.


Seed beads stitched on to mimic sunflower seeds.  The stiff petal edges curl nicely to appear more realistic.


Squirrel has two magnets so tail won't flop around.





Friday, February 18, 2011

Self-Sufficiency: Week Five Update

Week five's challenge was to make Valentine's gifts and decor. I already shared Margaret's outfit and gift. Here she is rocking the shirt and bow on Valentine's Day (she wore the skirt and tights to church the day before, but I didn't get a picture of it):

For decor, I decided to go with a simple heart garland for the stairs. I'm always sad to take down our glittery card-displaying Christmas garland each year, so I tend to leave it up through January. Now that I have this heart garland, I can actually look forward to taking down the Christmas one.

Make your own!

embroidery floss
something with which to hang the garland (ribbon, string, twine, etc)
"fun fabrics" (net, tulle, lace, vinyl, etc) *optional*
buttons *optional*

scissors or cutting mat/rotary cutter
fabric marker (a regular pen or marker will do)
stencil or cookie cutter *optional*

1. Cut out hearts. I free-handed one on a piece of felt and cut 25 identical hearts from pink, purple, red, and cream-colored felt. You can use a stencil or cookie cutter, if you prefer, or make each of your hearts unique. The size and number you make depends on how large you want the garland to be.

2. Cut out embellishment fabric. I cut more identical hearts from net and vinyl to jazz up some of the felt hearts.

3. Arrange hearts. I arranged my hearts in a pattern, alternately facing up and down, because I'm anal like that. I stacked the net on the hot pink hearts and the vinyl on the purple ones.

4. Stitch hearts together. I overlapped the edges of each heart and stitched them together using embroidery floss. The first time I went through and just stitched a simple 'x', but it didn't look funky enough, so I added a button at each joint. It might be fun to cut button holes on one side of each heart and stitch a button on the other, to make it an interactive piece for older kids. I didn't think of that in time, so my buttons aren't functional.

5. Stitch hangers to ends of garland. I used twine.

6. Hang and enjoy! I tried clipping some family pictures to the garland with clothespins, and that looked really cute, but Margaret wouldn't leave them alone. Maybe when she's a bit older we can leave little love letters on the garland.


February Self-Sufficiency Plan

Thanks to a time-consuming new assignment at church (secretary of our children's organization), I've fallen behind a bit on my blogging. I'm pleased to say that I haven't fallen behind on my self-sufficiency goals, though.

I did have to alter them a bit after sorting through some tubs in Margaret's closet, however. If you recall, my plan was to hand make Margaret's summer wardrobe this year. Happily, I found a tub full of lovely hand-me-downs and purchased-ahead clearance items that will take her easily all the way through this coming spring, summer, fall, and winter. I'll still be making her a few pieces for the novelty of it, but I don't need nearly the volume I originally thought.

So I tweaked my plan a bit and was able to fit in a few things I hadn't thought I'd be able to. Yay!

Here's the plan I worked off of for February:

Week 5
Make Valentine's decor and gifts
- heart garland
- outfit for Margaret
- ribbon streamer ring for Margaret

Week 6
Update emergency supplies
- 72 hour kits
- first-aid kits
- car kits
- other supplies

Week 7
Update 1-year storage
- household goods
- toiletries/cosmetics
- food

Week 8
Make homemade cleaners
Sew capris for Margaret

Keep an eye out for updates!


Friday, February 11, 2011

Heart-Shaped Pancakes

I'm not good about making a big breakfast in the mornings. In fact, I find pouring some hot water on instant oatmeal to be about the extent of my morning cooking capabilities. Our family does love traditional hot breakfast foods, though, so we often have "breakfast for dinner." It's quick, easy, and inexpensive, perfect for times like last night. Fritz had to hop off to teach cub scouts after work, then head right out to a church basketball game.

To make the dinner a little more fun, I poured the pancake batter into metal heart-shaped cookie cutters. I was worried they wouldn't cook through, since they were so thick, but it didn't turn out to be an issue. If you try this, make sure to spray the inside of your cookie cutters with nonstick cooking spray first. You might also want to avoid using a coated nonstick pan if your cookie cutters have sharp edges.

Margaret wasn't disappointed.

Also, completely unrelated, but:

I know, right?


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Valentine's Day Decor

To go along with Margaret's "Valentine's Day is meant for kitsch" outfit, I put together a mishmash centerpiece for our kitchen table.  Candy, ribbon, feathers, and tea.

The first year Fritz and I were married, we collected gel window clings for each holiday.

Our second year of marriage, we collected holiday-themed kitchen hand towels.

One of my previous daycare kids and I put this foam kit together years ago.  I love it so much, I still put it out every year.

This heart garland will get its own post later this week.