I am an unfinished work, and so are many of my projects. This blog is just an odd collection of things I make and do.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Money Can't Buy Happiness, But It Can Help Dreams Come True

Christmas for my sons this year is very simple.  I made each of them a bank, similar to the one I made last year for Secret Santa.  Of course, they are in  more masculine designs, like red and black and brown, favorite college logo, cars, etc.  I personalized each one and filled it with treats--nuts, dried fruit, white-chocolate covered cashews--the kind of things they love but most young families can't get on a budget.  

One son and his Sweetie are coming and going by Greyhound bus, so they will have snacks for the return trip. She gets a bank too. Hers is all flowers and stripes and very pretty.

We shopped at a nearby store that carries such items in bulk at a very good price, so there is plenty left over for us to enjoy.

I made up little sayings and stickers to attach to the banks. Each was personalized for the recipient.  On the one with the George Bush quote, I added a Mickey Mouse and Disney logo, since their family is saving for a big trip to Disney World. I thought he'd get a kick out of the quote, since I'm fairly certain he's not a Bush fan.

I also covered them with clear adhesive paper to make them more durable.  They came out pretty nice. This one is the one for the youngest, who is in college, and is also in the military to defend his country and pay his way through school.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Bowl Full of Lemons
I'm going to link up with the New Year's Organizing Revolution.

I'm pretty well organized right now, but I could use some improvement.  

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

If Superman Was so Super, Why Did He Need a Cape to Fly?

And how can we keep him from getting hung by the neck by his own cape?  

Earlier this year, my daughter-in-law asked  me to make capes for her boys.  I was happy to, but it took me a while to get them done, so I just threw them in with the Christmas box.

My concern with capes is that if they get caught somewhere, they could choke the kid before he can get help.  I considered velcro straps instead of ties, but even that worries me, because if you catch it just right, it might still not come undone.

After researching a bit on the internet, I came up with simple instructions for making a safe cape.  I modified the pattern a little, because it was using felt, and had Batman edges.  I used regular fabric and hemmed the edges, so they are washable, but otherwise it's pretty much the same.

My capes have no designs because my daughter-in-law has some iron-ons she will use for them.  My husband asked a little boy downstairs to model them for me, and here they are.  I made four colors, but we got pictures of two of them. The others are red and green.  Each took about a yard of fabric.

Superman ponders the secrets of the universe.
Or maybe he's just a bit shy.

I have got to print this one for his mom.

Batman is ready to jump, or fly, or whatever Batman does!

On this cape, you can see the elastic on the arms.

Why in the World Did My Momm Stick a Hanger in My Christmas Box?

What an odd thing that she stuck a sturdy coat hanger in the box.  Oh well, nice hanger. I'll put my coat on it.

Well, not quite what Momm had in mind.  Her's the real reason for the hanger:

Merry Christmas to my grandchildren!

Here is their gift:

Oh, how cool is that?  It has Iron Man and Captain America both!  Those are the current favorites.  But, what is it?  Is it a blanket?  Nope, not a blanket.  But what can it be?

 It's a Lego mat. It's 2 yards long and about 45 inches wide.  Just about the right size for two little boys to play with their Legos comfortably.  When they're done, just hook the loops over the sturdy hanger  (No, son, it wasn't for your coat. Sorry.)

We always had a rule in our house that Legos were to be played with on a sheet or blanket. Any that fell off were quickly picked up or confiscated by the adults around.  At the end, we'd gather up the corners, causing the Legos to fall to the middle, and then work together to dump them into a big bin.  My son had mentioned that they were planning on the same rule for their boys.

With this, they don't even need to dump them into the bin; just hang them up for another day.  I hope they like it!

I made long channels for the cords to run through, but I think it might have been easier and better to just sew the cords into the ends.  However, this way they can gather it into more of a sack if they like, and since it in one long cord, there is no danger of it pulling out from the seams.

Now I am worried about the long cords if they gather it down, so I might suggest to the parents that they could put a safety pin through the corners to prevent that until the boys get older.

Next best thing to getting actual Legos!  Oh yeah, got them too.  And so did the other grandparents!  So they are all set for some building fun.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Frosty the Snowman melted away and all the kids got for Christmas was a corncob pipe...

I really don't know the song/story of Frosty.  To me a Frosty is an ice cream at Wendy's!  

The Chocolate Frosty™ ShakeI was going to remake a very cute polka-dotted dress that didn't fit any of us into a tote bag for my polka-dot loving daughter-in-law for Christmas.  I had the lining of a purse I bought but ended up not liking, with the pockets all sewn in already, for a lining.  As I started to cut apart the dress I realized it was gored and all the pieces were narrow.  I then decided a makeup bag for her Disney World trip would be a nice gift.

I cut out the lining and some fusible interfacing, turned on my iron and went to work.  The first thing I did was melt one of the pockets.  Apparently this purse lining was made of a cheap synthetic fabric. So now the pocket was all scrunched up, basically unusable.

Having no scraps to use as a lining, or time to remake all the pockets and everything, I tossed the entire thing in the trash and went shopping.

Merry Christmas, dear daughter!  I'm afraid your gift is a little generic, and no polka-dots, but it comes with warm thoughts and lots of love!  

Wendy's has a special deal on with ToysRUs;  I don't know much about it but if you want to find out how to buy a kids' meal and get a Toys gift card, click here. It might be "maybe" get a gift card.  I'm not sure.  They didn't pay me to post this, either; I just found it when I went looking for a picture of a Frosty.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

And Lady Mondegreen sang: Oh little tiny butt of lamb, how still we see thee lie...

That was the  translation I heard from my 4-year-old granddaughter one year after she sang at the church Christmas program.  I think I will hold it over her head as blackmail in a few years.

For more fun Mondegreens, and the origin of the word, check out this link:

For maximum fun, sing them aloud.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Caps for Kids

I bought some gorgeous soft teal yarn (Caron Soft) for a sweater, but I didn't like the way it was knitting up for it.  I took most of it back, but what to do with the remaining skein, which I had opened?

I found this cute pattern for caps, knitted in 3 patterns, and it looked like fun to try, so I started in on a cap. 

It's acrylic, washable yarn, so it would be pretty good for kids' caps. The pattern is supposed to be for baby caps, but with bigger yarn and needles it was perfect for kids.

After I got the teal one done, I used leftover purple Caron Soft for a second one. I got the two of them done in time to donate to Coats for Kids, along with a scarf my daughter-in-law started last year.  It didn't come out all that well, but it'll be warm for someone, and the caps are darling.

For the pompoms on top of the caps, I used pompom yarn.  I knitted it in with the yarn for the last row, so that when I pulled it tight at the top, it pulled all the little balls together, leaving a cute, tight pompom that children cannot easily pull yarn bits out of.

For a third one, I switched to a heavier pink yarn and even larger needles and made this one for my daughter-in-law.  I wasn't thrilled with the yarn--I think it fits the definition of "crap yarn"--it's kind of rough and doesn't show the pattern well, and it turned out too big for her.  However, she said she likes it and wore it all weekend at least.  It is big enough to fit over a tighter cap, and roll down her neck, so when we get those freezing winter days she can bundle up and stay plenty warm. 

And the yarn was free--a friend gave me a whole bunch of yarn she was weeding out.  I think the rest of it might be better for tying a quilt or something, but I did at least finish the cap just for the practice of it.