Monday, December 22, 2014

Kid's play stove, The beginning AKA Part 1

Sunday, December 14, 2014 is when I discovered this adorable stove on Facebook. My post on that date included Dawanda the German website where the stove was posted. It is sort of like Etsy. I knew I couldn't order from them because chair sizes vary so I decided to create my own. 

This is the picture from their site. 

I knew I wanted to make one but was faced with several issues.

1. I don't have any small children to make it for. I recruited a family with two small girls who could use such a stove. They are two and four years old. First problem solved.

2. The stove needs to be based on the size of the chair. The mother of the two small girls is in the process of getting me the diminutions.

3. What is it made of and what do I need to purchase? This seems pretty straight forward. There are three sides, a top, a back splash and the back piece. The back appears to be one long piece that almost reaches the floor. It has a tie to keep it on the chair but the sides do not seem to be attached as in the picture, the right side is longer than the chair back portion.

I am a competent seamstress. What that means is that I can sew fairly straight seams. Fortunately, this is all that's required. I am also fairly good at applique so I know I can do the burners. What I am finding a little difficult is what materials to use. 

Here's what I have determined so far. Since this is for little girls who are not careful with this kind of stuff, it needs to be durable.  

From the pictures it seems like the white cloth may be bar cloths. They take repeated washing and are pretty sturdy. I will need to go to my local Smart&Final and check out what they have. They are generally good sized so I may luck out and find some I can use without seaming. That depends on the dimensions of the chair. The material might also be flour sack clothes so I am on a mission to touch all the fabric until I find the right one. Looks like I also need seam binding.

There are some great rubber like scrubbers out there that will work for the burners. However, they would need to be soft and not rough. These are little girls. 

The knobs on the stove look like pom-poms that one would make for a quilt. That is not going to work with my little girls so I am searching for another solution. I may just applique a fabric circle. 

I think I have a fairly good handle on what I need to look for. Can't wait for the holidays to be over so I can start of this! Any suggestions?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Beaded Foam Ornaments

I have a guest blogger today. Many of us have made have made beaded ornaments but if you don't remember or never have, M. J. Joachim provides instructions on how to create these beautiful jewels.

M. J. Joachim is my go-to person when it comes to blogging. She is a prolific writer with several blogs. She has an incredible blog where she shares detailed instructions on making beautiful crocheted items from patterns she creates herself. She is very talented and you can see her work on Lots of Crochet Stitches.  On a more serious side, Effectively Human speaks to the human spirit. See her other blogs at the bottom.

How to make beaded foam ornaments by M. J. Joachim

Almost everyone loves a pretty tree, all decked out in lights and ornaments for Christmas. Handmade decorations enhance lots of memories, not only because they are unique and original, but also because of shared friendship when people work together. Beaded foam ornaments are inexpensive too. The beautiful effect is limited only by individual imagination and creativity.

Beaded Foam Ball Ornament

At your local craft store, purchase some Styrofoam balls, some beads. straight pins, and floral wire. Insert a long strip of the floral wire all the way through one end of the ball, to the other, leaving about an inch tail to secure. At the top, add on some small beads to form a loop for hanging. Make your loop, twisting it at the base and inserting the floral wire back through the top of the ornament, and back out the other side, as before, securing a one inch tail on the bottom.

Once you have the loop for hanging your new ornament, you can begin attaching beads with straight pins. Your pins can be silver headed or fancy, according to your preference. You can design patterns, write names, and spell words. You can even combine sequins into your ornaments. Simply place your sequins, add a tiny glass bead on top, and then secure with a pin.

As you decorate the foam ball, it is important to work over the bottom of it where the loop tail is secured, adding extra reinforcement, and also near the top so the loop doesn't pull out easily. For added variation, you can add trims and fabric to your ball.

Fabric Covered Foam Ball Ornament

To make a fabric covered foam ornament, wrap your cloth around the foam ball, leaving a very tiny opening at the top for the loop. Proceed to make your ornament the same way you made the beaded foam ornament, securing the fabric by decorating sections of it with beads and pins. You can even pleat the cloth you use for added texture. You are only limited by your own imagination.

Alternate Shapes for Foam Ornaments

While it's easy enough to purchase foam balls, you are not limited to making circular ornaments with this idea. You may also purchase floral foam that comes in a variety of shapes, including square and rectangles, and make foam ornaments that way. This might be a little more expensive, so if you'd prefer, you can carefully cut ordinary foam balls with a sharp knife, adjusting their size and shape as desired.

Foam ornaments are easy and fun to make on your own or with a group of friends. They are also a great way to prepare for the holidays with family. Kids enjoy designing cool patterns, and everyone has fun interacting with the sound of Christmas carols in the background. Best of all, the ornaments will create lasting memories for years to come.

More blogs by M. J. Joachim:

FlashTyme - "anything that flashes across her brain"

M. J. Joachim's Writing Tips - I find this one helpful!

Christian Catholic by M. J. Joachim - Even the Southern Baptist in me can relate to this blog. I go here for inspiration. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Kid's play stove - can't wait for the dust to settle so I can try this

I found the cutest idea on Facebook. Let me show it to you.
This comes from (what I think is a German website) Dawanda, which looks to be a site like Etsy.

Once in a while I find something that captures my attention. I spent some time checking this out and it's easy to recreate. I want to make one but don't have any girls the right age. So...I reached out to a friend with two young girls.

Mid January, I will have some time and will make one just for the fun of it. I am already window shopping for pots and pans. I need baking dishes too because the oven opens and the girls will need pans for that. Maybe I should get play food too.

Watch for details in January. Now, all I need is the dimensions of her straight-backed chair.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Candy gifts from the microwave - Peanut Brittle, Fudge, and Chocolate Almond Clusters

It was with complete joy that I found three candy recipes on (where else?) Pinterest. The best part...they take minutes in the microwave.

I am not going to reinvent the wheel so I am posting the websites here. I am also using their photos because I can't keep these candies in the house long enough to photograph them. These three candies are going into pretty tins for my friends and family.

Creme de la Crumb - Chocolate Almond Clusters
3 lovely ingredients - Almond Bark, Almonds, Coarse Sea Salt - total microwave time 2 minutes, 30 seconds.

Allrecipes - Fudge
Again 3 lovely ingredients - Chocolate Chips, Butter, Condensed Milk, (can add walnuts or other nuts which I do) - total microwave time 3 minutes.

And my most favorite of all - Drum roll please...

Budget 101 - Peanut Brittle
Six ingredients: Sugar, Light Corn Syrup, Raw Peanuts, Butter, Vanilla, and Baking Soda - total microwave time 11 minutes.

I make one of these at least once a week. We share them and the boy fills up baggies to share with his friends at school. So yummy!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

First post, let's start with a Christmas gift with wooden spools

If you don't live on Pinterest, you should. It is my go-to place for everything I want to make or want to save. I have found the most amazing ideas for gifts and food. I also save all my genealogy information there and tons of other stuff.

I have a thing for wooden spools. I buy them from eBay and then store them until I find ideas for their use. I am a bit stingy and hate to give them away but when I find a gift that I know someone will like, then it's all OK.

I found this idea on Pinterest (surprise). I am scanning thousands of family photos from the 1800's to now, trying to get them all cataloged for posterity. Right now, I am doing the Rhea family. Lots of the photos are going to my cousin so this idea appealed to me.

Some burlap, ribbon, accent flowers, buttons, and string make these wooden spools into photo holders. Just push a paper clip into the hole on top and add pictures. Nothing fancy but a unique way to share photos with my cousin Patty.
My aunt, holding Patty, Sharon in the middle and my dad holding me.