Tuesday, February 28, 2017


It feels like it's been a thousand years since kindergarten, but in the short 4 years since Joseph was in K-R, his teacher has gotten married, moved to New England, and now has had a beautiful baby girl!  Any idea what her name is?

Pardon me for gender stereotyping, but there's just something about little girls and rainbows that heavily influenced me when designing this quilt.  Plus a herringbone quilt has been on my to-do list for some time. It was much simpler than I ever imagined - all strip sets of 2" wide prints alternating with background, then cut on a 60 degree angle.

I thought the quilt would be plenty big at around 42" square, but after sewing it all together and trimming the ends, the strong vertical design of it make it looked oddly short and wide to me.  Luckily I came up with an adorable solution to elongate it by adding the baby's name.  (Please check out this guy's FREE pieced alphabet pattern, it's awesome, but yeah, a lot of crazy math to resize the letters).

I decided to do fairly repetitive straight(ish) line quilting about half an inch(ish) apart, which creates a lot of drag and wound up causing a little wonky distortion on the back.  This is why there's a saying in quilting that "finished is better than perfect." Luckily it's not that noticeable from far away, and it looks a ton better once the quilt was washed.

Perfect polka dot binding!

Take a look at how I wound up photographing this quilt.  Hanging from our pergola with binder clips hanging from nails!  The lightning was just right and there was no one around to hold it for me....until later.

It's just been shipped off to its recipient, and I sure hope she likes it.  Welcome Dylan Paige!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

This Used to be my Playground

We are this close to breaking ground on our addition, so it was finally time to clear a path for construction and say goodbye to the swing set I built with my dad back when Joseph was just 2 years old  (see this post and this post about it).  We have so many warm, wonderful memories of time playing in our yard with friends and neighbors, but let's face it, Joseph barely even fits on the thing anymore.

Still, we had a few last swings and slides, and even surprisingly had to wipe away a few tears before I got started disassembling it.

That sand hasn't been touched in years, but suddenly it's the most interesting thing in our yard.  Or maybe he's trying to get a head start on digging the foundation!

Monday, February 20, 2017

District Love

Ugh, the dreaded "class creation" for the annual school auction.  No one ever wants to be bothered with this chore, so as the lead room parent: tag - I'm it.  I realize I'm generally known to be pathologically crafty, but doing one project with 2 dozen kids in half an hour that someone actually wants to buy?   There's the drama.

I've always wanted to try "magazine strip art," where you cut magazine pages into little strips and then glue them down to form a silhouette.....if that doesn't make sense by the end of this post, then just search it on Pinterest or give it a Google.  I figured it would be a pretty quick and easy project.

I like to try to make projects that someone would actually want to have in their home, so I tend to focus on a DC-centric theme.  I designed the following template in my sad little graphics program - first I made the District of Columbia's flag, sized it to fit as the "E" in "LOVE" then overlaid it onto a clip art outline of DC.

I cut a piece of foam board to fit a 16"x20" shadow box frame, enlarged the template to the same size, and traced it onto the foam board.  Then I cut about a billion quarter-inch strips of patterned craft paper (instead of magazine pages) in blue, red, and some gray, which the kids took turns glueing down with a glue stick to fill the background.  I even made a mini version of the project so they knew what they were working towards, and they all seemed excited about it!

Next step: trace the template onto white poster board and cut it out to leave the negative space, layering it on top of the background.

To create some dimension I used leftover foam board and cut out a second poster board template to layer on top.  That's when I tried to slice a large part of my finger off.  Crafting can be dangerous!  It's OK, I was due for a Tetanus booster anyway.

And here's the finished project!

Now I just hope someone besides me will buy it at the auction next month!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

So Emojional

😍 Happy Belated Valentine's Day! 😘

OMG, I just discovered Blogger has a new tab in the tool bar for inserting Emojis - how appropriate for this post!  Joseph and I came up with a few ideas for his class valentines this year, but this one was the clear winner.  Emojis are so cool with the kids right now 😎.  I bought 2 sets of these Emoji "keychains" (which kids use as decoration or zipper pulls on their backpacks) from Amazon, and with free shipping it cost all of about 65 cents per classmate to make these. 

Joseph dutifully went through his class list and chose a specific Emoji he though each friend would like the most.

I made a simple card with the hashtag Joseph came up with (#happyheartday) and punched out a bunch of circles of craft paper.  Joseph then decorated each card to match the Emoji that went with it.

Once he was done, I punched a hole in each card and attached the keychains.  I LOVE the way they turned out, and I'm so impressed that Joseph put so much thought and effort into making these for his friends.  Ethan got the coveted poop 💩 Emoji and Max got the awesome purple devil 😈.

His adorable little drawings make my 💗 so happy!

We ran with the theme and made a mailbox to match.

I was in charge of providing a class treat this time around, so I made these fun confetti cookies using valentine colored sprinkles.  Did you know you can buy as much as you want in any color you want at the bakery in the supermarket?  They sell them by weight and it's WAY cheaper than buying them at the craft store.  I also stumbled upon the 💋 kiss chocolate mold (from Joseph's preschool valentine!) in my cabinet and decided to make those too.  Why can't making themed school treats be my full time job? WHY?!?!?

We knew we'd have a few keychains left over, so Joseph got to pick which ones he wanted to keep for himself.  They ALL wound up right where they belong.  👍💖