Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Owl and Fox Valentine Tutorial

Here are a few of the Valentine cards we're making in our house this year.

Owl Valentine

Materials:                            Tools:
Paper                                  Scissors
Glue                                    Pen

Step One
Cut out three hearts of different sizes.

Step Two
Glue the smallest heart in the upper corner of the largest heart.  The smallest heart will be the face of your owl.

Step Three
Glue the medium sized heart right in the middle of the largest heart.  This heart is the wing of the owl. It's okay if it slightly covers the face.

Step Four
Fold the heart in half and draw the owl face on the smallest heart.  You can also add details like a little love note.

Fox Valentine

Materials:                            Tools:
Paper                                   Scissors
Glue                                     Pen

Step One
Cut out three hearts of different sizes.  Cut the smallest heart out of white paper and the medium and large hearts out of orange paper.

Step Two
On the medium sized heart, cut two fox ears at the top of the heart and round out the rest of the heart just a bit.  You might have to practice this one a couple of times to get it right.

Step Three
Glue the smallest heart onto the medium heart (the one that has the fox ears) and draw on the face for the fox.

Step Four
Fold the largest heart in half and flip it upside down.  This will be the body of the fox.  Glue the head of the fox on to the tip of the largest heart.  You can add detail  like a tail or a cute little note for the one you love.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Heart Pancakes for Valentine's Day

We started off this Valentine's week with healthy, oatmeal pancakes.

The trick to get this heart in the middle of the pancake is to cook the heart first.  Put some of your pancake batter into a frosting bag and gently squeeze the batter right out onto your hot griddle in the shape of a heart.  Let it cook a little, then ladle pancake batter right over the top of the heart.  Cook as directed and enjoy.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Chinese New Year Tiny Lantern Tutorial

Happy Chinese New Year!  Today we celebrated by making tiny, paper Chinese lanterns and dragons.

To make your own Chinese lantern you will need

Glue or tape
Stick (optional)

Step One:

Decide how big you want your lantern.  I wanted mine about 2 inches tall.  Cut your paper into a rectangle.  For my 2 inch tall lantern I cut a rectangle that was 2 inches by about 5 inches long.

Step Two:

Fold your paper in half length wise.  Along the fold, cut slits perpendicular to the fold every quarter inch.  Remember not to cut all the way through to the top of the paper or you'll cut your lantern into little pieces.  Leave about 1/4 inch at the top of the paper.

Step Three:

Open up your folded paper.  Bring the two shorter ends of the rectangle together.  Glue these ends together to form a tube with your paper.  Push down gently on the top and bottom of the tube. This will push out the sides of your tube and make it look more like a lantern.  And you're done.

You can attach string to your tiny lantern and hang it from a stick if you'd like.

I wish you good fortune and happiness in the upcoming year!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Pinecone and Sparkle Tutorial for Kids

This pinecone tutorial is super easy and fun for kids.  You can use your sparkly pinecones as bowl fillers or attach a ribbon on each pinecone and use them as Christmas tree ornaments.  Your kids will love to hang ornaments on the tree made by them!

You'll need:
Mod Podge or glue
small paintbrushes
Sparkle Flakes or glitter
plastic grocery bags

Place the plastic grocery bags down on your work surface.  These bags will make clean up afterward a breeze!  Help your child to dip the paintbrush into the Mod Podge or glue and paint the Mod Podge on the pinecone where she wants it to sparkle.

Once your child is satisfied with the amount of glue that is on her pinecone, use your fingers or a spoon and sprinkle Sparkle Flakes or glitter onto the pinecone making sure to do this over the plastic bags.

Let the pinecones dry for a few hours and you're done.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Embroidery: The French Knot

The French knot is a simple knot that will lay flat on your fabric. Often a small, open circle on an embroidery
pattern indicates where the French knot should be placed on your embroidery.

1. Thread your needle and tie a knot at the end of the long tail of the thread.

2. Poke your needle through the back side of the fabric and gently pull the thread through until it
is stopped by the knot at the end of the long tail of your thread.

3. Starting with the thread on the left side of the needle and wrap it around the needle twice.

4. Poke your needle into the fabric slightly left of where the thread originally came up through the

 5. As the needle goes through to the back side of the fabric, gently hold the knot (the thread that
you wrapped around the needle) in place, against the fabric and carefully pull the thread all the
way through.

I had to practice a few time to get it just right.  With a little practice you'll get it in no time!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Grand Birthday Crown for My Grandma

This is perhaps the most important birthday crown I will ever make!

My grandma is turning ninety this week. She is a beautiful woman with so many strengths.  I do wish I could see her in her birthday crown!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Spider Web Embroidery Tutorial: A Perfect First Embroidery for Kids

This Halloween, teach your child how to embroider with this super simple spider web embroidery.  The huge stitches on this embroidery gives kids the feeling of immediate success.

When teaching your child how to embroider, it's important to be right there with your child.  This will minimize potential frustration on your child's part and keep him safe from the sharp point of the embroidery needle.

So if you have 30 minutes to an hour, you and your child will love doing this project together!

Let's get started.

Before getting your child for this project, get all of your supplies ready.  This was Micah's first embroidery project so I wanted to make sure I had his full attention.  He's only four years old, so if I had him gather materials with me and get the embroidery hoop ready, I think he would have been done with the project before we even started sewing.

You will need:
cotton fabric (preferably black or white)
cotton embroidery floss (use black floss if your fabric is white and vice versa)
embroidery needle
embroidery hoop
transfer pen or pencil

Get Your Embroidery Hoop Ready

Unscrew the embroidery-hoop fastener and take out the inner hoop. Place the inner hoop under the fabric and place the outer hoop over the fabric around the inner hoop. Gently pull on the fabric until it is taut. Secure the fabric into place by tightening the fastener.

Make a Spider Web Guideline

Now you are going to draw dots on the fabric with your transfer pen or pencil that will be a guide for you and your child when sewing the spider web.

Each spider web is unique, but a similar method for the dot guideline is used for all of the spider webs. Decide if you would like a full circle spider web, or a portion of a circle.  Place one dot where you want the middle of your spider web to be sewn.  This dot is the origin of your spider web.  The origin of my spider web is on the edge of the embroidery hoop. Place the other dots around the outer edge or what would be the circumference of your spider web 1 to 2 inches apart.

I decided not to make my spider web a perfect circle.  So when placing the dots around the circumference of the spider web, I purposely misaligned several of the dots.

Thread your Needle

Thread all six strands of embroidery floss into the needle and knot the end of your thread.  I recommend using a long piece of thread (2 feet at least) because your child's stitches will be so big.

Now go get the kiddies!

Time to Sew 

Have your child push the threaded needle up through the origin or center of the spider web and gently pull until the thread is stopped by the knot at the end.  Choose one dot on the circumference of the spider web and have your child push the needle down through the marked spot and gently pull until the thread stops. That is your child's first (huge) stitch. Let's call these stitches the "runner" stitches.

Your child will now bring the needle back up through the origin pulling gently until the thread stops.  Choose another circumference dot and send the needle down through the fabric at this spot.

Help your child repeat this process, sewing large runner stitches from the origin outward until all of the spider web guide dots have been used.

When your thread runs out and you cannot make another stitch, just tie off your thread close to the fabric on the underneath of your embroidery and trim the extra floss.  Re-thread your needle and start your embroidery where you and your child left off.

Next, make back stitches with your child, going from one runner stitch to the next, starting on one end of the spider web. Make several rows of these stitches across the runner stitches all at about the same distance apart.  Repeat this process until your spider web is complete.

And there you have it.  In just about 30 extra large stitches your child has completed his very first embroidery! Hooray for kids!

If your child is not quite ready to embroider, you can still get him involved.  Have your child pull the thread through the fabric after you have make the initial poke with your needle.  Keep practicing until he feels confident to sew right along with you.