Friday, July 27, 2012

Shortcake Quilt (top)

I'm showing this newly finished quilt top to you now because I just can't wait, I LOVE it! And honestly, I don't think it's going to get quilted until after the kids go back to school next month. I'm going to quilt it myself on my machine. It's not too big, just a small throw size.

Perfect size for my girls to cuddle under...

Isn't it sweet?! I want to lay on it in the grass with a good book and eat strawberries and cream.

We only have one month left of summer vacation and then the kids go back to school. It's feeling a bit long nowadays, but it will go quickly and the kids will be gone again, and my house will be quiet and clean and I'll start to miss summer, sunshine and especially my children. C starts kindergarten this year. What am I going to do every morning, all alone? Clean and wait around for her to get home, I guess. But before then we have a trip to the cabin to look forward to, as well as some birthday parties (including Harry's ;) and a few more trips to the water park. In fact, as I write this I am beginning to remember all the things we have left to do on our summer bucket list this year. I better get busy playing and less time locked in my sewing room... there's more time for that later.

Pattern: Shortcake by Cluck Cluck Sew
Fabric: Strawberry Fields

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Family Life: Harry Potter Party Free Printables

Sorry, another Family Life post. Last one I promise, I kind of had them back logged for awhile!

Did you know Harry's birthday is this Tuesday (July 31st). We have been celebrating Harry's birthday for a few years now. It all started when my son was little and he was a HUGE fan. There was probably a year straight (about 5 years old) where he wore a pen drawn lightening bolt on his forehead everyday. I had to keep drawing a new one on for him after each bath. One year while playing on a little soccer team he insisted that they were actually playing Quidditch and would not call his coach anything but Dumbledore. One year he dressed up as Harry Potter for Halloween and we threw a large Harry Potter birthday party for him. Since then he's moved on the other things but he still enjoys watching the movies from time to time and reading the books.

This Tuesday afternoon, while it's way to hot to play outside anymore, we'll come in and I'll hand the kids their Hogwarts letters. We'll celebrate in the kitchen where we'll make some WANDS at Ollivanders, then head to Potions Class and try out a couple science experiments (HERE and HERE). We'll grab some treats from The Great Hall (butterbeer cupcakes) and take the Hogwarts Express to the living room where we'll watch a HP movie (probably #1, #3 or #7.2, our favorites)

Will you be celebrating Harry Potter's 32nd birthday? (according the fan sites he was born in 1980, I had to look that up) I made a few printables for my kids and thought I'd share.

Cupcake Toppers

Hogwarts Letter (you'll have to fill in your child's name and place/time of party)

Party station signs.

Why do I make silly parties like this for my kids? Mostly because I get bored as a stay at home mom. I also think (or at least hope) that the kids will remember me as a fun mom. I like to keep them very simple so they are actually do-able. I've seen some crazy good HP parties out there on blog land that would make mine seem pretty pathetic.  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Family Life: Olympics

For Family night this week we held our own Franson Family Olympics. It was a success! My son had actually be looking forward to it for a couple weeks, ever since I mentioned the idea to him.

Before we headed to the park for some games, we had a "Opening Ceremony" in our home. We read this book to the kids...

And made the torches you see them holding in the picture above. The torches are just simple construction paper cones with crumpled red and orange tissue paper inside.

For the gold medals I just used a tiny dot of hot glue to attach a chocolate coin to a piece of ribbon. I had thought about using something healthier, but the chocolate coins were just too easy.

We headed to the park where we could have more room and played 3 games: a family relay race, Frisbee discus, and a sort of volley ball where we stood in a circle and our only goal was to not let the ball touch the ground (pretty hard to do with a giggly 5 year old!).

Earlier in the day I had each of the kids pick a different country out of a hat that they were to represent during our Family Olympics. I grabbed some books at the library on each of the countries and we read about them and colored a picture of their flag to hang in the house.

It wasn't real grand but it was a lot of fun family time. Sometimes I think we (well, at least I) get caught up in making everything over the top perfect, with tons of expensive games, treats and prizes. I've noticed this with birthday parties especially! You know... kids can use their imagination. A couple simple props is all you need to get their minds rolling and to make it memorable. Don't get weighed down by doing too much preparation... just get out and play!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Peasant Dresses

I finished up these dresses for my girls just in time for church last Sunday. The best part was I used fabric from my stash so even though I paid for it at one point, it felt like I made them for free! I even found a TUTORIAL online that was pretty helpful. Everyone kept saying that peasant dresses were soooo easy to make, but I just wasn't understanding without a pattern, until I watched THIS video.

Of course the embroidery just transformed it from something simple to something special. I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out.

P.S. I'm getting fairly frustrated with Pinterest right now! They have locked me out of my account for the past 4 days because someone hacked into my account. I can't get them to respond back to me through email about when I'll have access to my pins again. All they say is that they want to do an investigation. Has this happened to anyone else out there? My Pinterest withdrawals have not been pretty :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Santa's Little Helper Child's Apron Tutorial

Merry Christmas! No?... Yeah, me either. It's going to be a beautiful 85 degrees here at home today, thanks to some rain we've had lately to cool us down from 100+ temperatures. Me and the kids are headed out to enjoy to the day!

I do have to say though, there is something pleasant about getting some Christmas sewing done in July. Very little stress that I won't finish it in time. This apron was fun and easy to make too, perfect for lazy summer days. Switch out the snowflakes and change the stripes to checks and it would look very cute as a barbecue apron as well. It reminds me a little of a watermelon with the green chevron print and the curved pockets.

Head on over to the Pine Needles blog today and check out my tutorial for this Santa's Li'l Helper Child's Apron. And if you've arrived from Pine Needles blog, here is the promised picture of my daughters lovely outfit. Such a silly girl! I actually let her run outside to play dressed like this, apron and all... hey it's summer, relax! :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Family Life

Honestly, I'm not so great at remembering to do a weekly family night. We have a set night of Monday every week where we plan to get the kids together, turn off the TV and have some quality family time. Sometimes that means watching a movie or game, sometimes a "lesson" or a discussion on how to improve, and sometimes it's just a trip to get some ice cream cones together. With the kids being so young we actually spend a lot of time with them in the evening already, so I admit it usually slips my mind. Because of this though, when I do plan a family night, I go all out! This last family night was no exception. I felt like a pretty awesome mom :)

It all started with this great idea on service I found HERE! I really liked the "spy" theme and thought it fit in perfect with "secret service". My son claims that he will join the CIA when he's an adult (something that makes me a little nervous, to tell you the truth) so I knew he would love it.

In addition to the cute printable on secretly serving others, I added a pair of "spy" glasses (cheap sun glasses from the dollar store) and some "explosives" (pop rocks candy). We talked about why it's important to serve others and to serve others secretly, without a thought of reward. I set up a couple games for them as well. Black construction paper foot prints guided them through a red yarn "laser beam" maze and pop the black balloon "bombs" to find the secret coded messages (scriptures on serving others). Afterwards we sat around the living room and laughed together about the funny pop rocks tickling our noses as they popped.

Overall a pretty successful family night, if I do say so myself. I've come across a few more family night ideas that look pretty fun for the future...

Popcorn Parable with free printable

Banana Splits For Dinner Party with free printable and inspiring message


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Another Maxi Skirt...

...because in this hot summer weather this is all I want to wear right now, every single day.

A rare shot of me in my cute new skirt.

I basically made this skirt the same way as the other one, except I added the fun ruffle bottom. I'll tell you a secret, I didn't even finish the edge of the ruffle! It's knit, knit won't unravel. I'm really liking knit fabric right now!

This blog is filled with SO many cute skirts! Tons of inspiration and tutorials.