Mom’s Busy…CAMPING

We are off for a fun weekend in the mountains with friends.

Nothing like fresh air, a tent, sleeping bags, and a campfire with the family to recharge your batteries!

But don’t worry…  LOTS of new crafts planned for the next few weeks.  Everything from vinyl, t-shirts, some small building projects, and maybe even a bit of sewing thrown in.

I’m off to enjoy my weekend in the woods…

Enjoy yours!

Tutorial Tuesday – Birthday Balloon Wreath

It’s all about birthdays this week since my little guy’s birthday party is this weekend!   {Today just happens to be my Dad’s birthday and tomorrow is my nephew’s 1st birthday also}  When I first saw the idea for this fun birthday wreath I immediately knew this HAD to be part of our birthday decor around here.  The How Does She? ladies titled their post “What would you do with 144 balloons?”, but I found that it was more like 400!  Each birthday in our house this gets pulled out along with the birthday bunting  and It’s Your Day Chair cover I made last summer.

Finished balloon wreath

Balloon Wreath

Supplies:

  • straw wreath (remember the bigger the wreath, the more balloon you will need! YIKES)
  • balloons (LOTS of balloons, but not the pink ones of course!)
  • floral pins – I found mine in the floral section at Walmart
  • PATIENCE, this project is great to work on while you watch a movie {or two, or three} It takes a while but the end result is totally worth it!

supplies needed

I started with 4 bags of balloons and ended up having to go back and get 4 more bags and another set of pins.  That is a total of about 400 balloons and 200 floral pins.

There are no pictures of the process.  It is pretty simple, I stuck two balloons – going opposite directions – underneath each floral pin. Then you keep doing that about 199 more times.  When I first started, I was too far back on the sides so I had to go back and move some pins around to get it to the look I wanted.

There couldn’t be a better birthday decoration since this would be great with ANY theme!  It can be hung on the front door to welcome your guests or it can be a centerpiece as well.  I even saw a pin recently on Pinterest where a balloon topiary was made {VERY similar to my DumDum topiary from my sister-in-love’s sweets themed shower}.  You can use just a few colors to go with your party decor or use them all like I did, minus the pink.

Finished balloon wreath

There you have it!  Hope you make your own very soon!  If you do, leave me a comment with the link so I can see yours!

My FIRST Giveaway!

I am having my first giveaway over on my Facebook page!

Head on over and LIKE my page for your chance to win a customized creation.

moms-busy-crafting-facebook

Don’t forget to share it with your friends!

The more you share, the faster we get to 100 fans!!!

My Baby is Turning ONE!

With the party in a little over a week, this mama is going to be VERY busy crafting up lots of fun things for my little guy’s birthday!  For months now I have been collecting ideas on my Cat in the Hat Pinterest board.  Pinterest seriously has everything from great party decor, crafts for favors, treats, and food ideas so it has made my party planning MUCH easier.  Plus it totally helps that we just celebrated Dr. Seuss’s birthday on March 2nd and LOTS of pinners were pinning ideas for celebrating that.

Here are just a few ideas that I LOVE and will be working on over the next week.

Party Printables

I found these cute printables from Cupcake Express on Etsy and couldn’t beat the price.  Usually I make my own but without Cat in the Hat clipart or Cricut cartridge it was easier to go this route this time.  Now to get printing and cutting!

Cat in the Hat felt party hats

I have lots of felt left over from the Valentine Chair bags I was making and selling so I am hoping to get these made for my boys, my hubby, and myself.

Thing 1 and Thing 2 shirts

These will be for my hubby and myself to wear for the party.  Everyone in the family has to be in Dr. Seuss attire.  I’ll be making a “Happy Birthday to ME!” shirt for little guy based on the Happy Birthday to You book.  My older 3 boys already have matching shirts I found a few months ago at Target on clearance for $2.74!!!

Thing 1 and Thing 2 party hats

The homeschool group I am in recently made paper hats similar to these at a playdate for Dr. Seuss.  I was thinking that I could make these out of felt and attach elastic and korker ribbons at the top.  We will see if time allows ;)

Shirts and Hats

Menu

The menu was finalized today with lots of cute Seussical names for the food.  I inserted the food tags and tent cards from the PDF files I purchased into a pages document and used the Grinched font to type up the new name, what book it was from, and then the real name of the menu item.

 

I am feeling better now that I have really sat down and started to think about all I have to do I am not quite as overwhelmed.  Just have to get all the supplies and food then do all the prep.  I got this ;)

Busy Bag Swap!

Can I just say it once again?!?  I love Pinterest!  Not only for the eye candy that the dream homes and cute outfits provide, but for all the practical things.  I am a busy homeschooling mom of four so I am constantly pinning things that will make homeschooling even better or fun.  Next year I will be homeschooling my two older boys so all the more reason to find things to occupy the little ones (that involves something other than TV).

Enter Busy Bags…  I have a board on Pinterest called Things for the Boys.  There I post fun activities or ideas I want to remember.  When I started to see the quiet books and the busy bags my interest was piqued!  This was the solution to keeping my little ones occupied in a way that was educational and fun.  Then one day I found a pin that lead me to the blog Second Story Window about hosting a busy bag swap.  There were so many ideas for busy bags for both toddlers and preschoolers (the ages of my younger boys).  Plus, all the work was already done!  The ladies behind Second Story Window had already created all the bags, hosted a swap and created a google doc with all the links to the various bags already done!  What a blessing that was.

At this point, some of you might be wondering what Busy Bags are.  Essentially they are self guided activities that don’t need much explanation or supervision.  Many of them work on some basic learning skills (patterns, sorting, shapes, etc) as well as, fine motor skills.

Immediately, I decided to see if there was interest among my group of friends to have our own swap.  And that is how the ball got rolling.  The bag ideas were divided up and we each got to work!  Our plan was to each do one toddler bag a month for 3 months so that we would have LOTS of activities for our little ones.  After we complete all of those, we will go on to the preschool bags.  I hosted the swap at my house so the mommies could have some fellowship time and the kiddos could play a bit.  Eleven of us participated so I made 11 of the same bag (mine was the Velco Shape Sticks) to give away and in return I got 10 different bags!

Velcro Stick Shapes
Busy Bags

I’m so excited to let the boys explore their new busy bags (come back for a follow up post of the bags in action!).  And head on over to Pinfluence.com to see my friend, Heather’s post about the bag she created for the swap!

Tutorial Tuesday: Desk Curtains

Knowing that I wanted to make curtains for underneath my desk, my search began for a tutorial on how to do so.  But unfortunately I really wasn’t able to find one :(  So I just had to make it up as I went along.  Hoping that I can make what I did make sense to you and that I took enough pictures of the process.

Finished Curtains

To begin, measurements of the desks were taken.

My desks measure:

“office” desk – 48″ x 27″ {upper right of picture}

L-shaped (work space) – 64″ (really TWO 32″ small desks put together) x27″

L-shaped (sewing table) – 48″ x 27″

 

First, I cut the main fabric for the curtain in half along the fold line (where it was folded on the bolt).  That gave me two 5 yard pieces that were 22″ wide. Now I had to figure out where to cut the five yards of fabric so I knew how much would go around the entire desk. This is where the measurements of the desks come in handy.  Instead of just hanging the fabric, a bit more drama was needed to I added in 10″ for box pleats (in the appropriate places, see the breakdown of my measurements below)

My measurements looked like this (using the “office” desk curtain measurements):

27″ (depth of the desk) + 5″ (to allow for half the pleat at the corner) + 1″ for the hem on the side =

32″ length of the fabric for the side of the desk

then for the front

total length measured 48″, but since I wanted it to open in the middle I divided that in half

24″ (half the length of the desk) + 10″ for the pleat in the center of this section + 5″ (to allow for the other half of the pleat at the corner) + 1″ for the side hem =

40″ length for the front half of the desk

Altogether that piece of fabric measured 72″ (Are you confused yet?  I would be!)

NOTE: Before I did any cutting, I measured the fabric, pinned the pleats, and secured the curtains to the desk using large binder clips so I could make sure that they looked right. 

Ok, so now that your fabric is measured and cut it is time to mark your pleats.  I marked each pleat at the center (where I wanted the pleat to be on the curtain once hung) and then from that center point I measured 5 inches on each side.  I then folded both pins into the center pin, secured the fabric, and sewed the pleats in place.

Notice my pins are placed at the 0″, 5″ and 10″ lines.

marking the pleats

Bring the pin at the 0″ mark to the pin at the 5″ mark and secure in place with another pin.  Now do the same with the 10″ mark and bring it to the center 5″ pin.

forming the pleat

Your pleat should now look like this

pinned pleat

Just to hold the fabric in place more securely than pins, I sewed along the pleat.

secured pleat

 

I then cut the stripes for the accent panel along the bottoms of the curtains.  This required a bit more work since the stripes had to line up.  Each of those pieces measured around 10 inches to allow for hemming.  I sewed the accent fabric all along the panels of main fabric after each one had been sized according to which desk it was going on.
attaching accent fabric

Once that was attached, I went back and pressed the edges up toward the top of the curtain and topstitched to secure them in place.

top stitching accent fabric

panel ready to hem

Now it’s time to hem up the bottoms and sides of the curtains. For the bottom I measured the length and hemmed each curtain up about 2 1/2″.  Then the sides were each turned in 1/2″, pressed, and turned in another 1/2″.

pinned hem

To secure the curtains to the desks, I used Velcro Decor since it allowed me to sew the looped side to the curtains and then adhere the hook side directly to the underside of the desks.  I cut pieces that were about 6 inches each and spaced them evenly under the desks making sure to sew on the ends and the pleats.  Unfortunately, all my curtains are not yet hung since I ran out of Velcro.  Since JoAnn’s is having a BIG sale this week I plan on going and buying more with my 40% off coupon!

Hope you found this tutorial helpful!  Please let me know if you have any questions or if anything isn’t clear.  I tried to take pictures of each step but I know that didn’t always happen.  If you make your own curtains please link back so I can visit your blog!

Completed curtain panel

Hello Curtains, Goodbye Clutter

As a crafter, I have supplies ALL over the place.  My craft room needs to be organized.  So after recently rearranging my supplies I realized that I needed some curtains for underneath my desk areas to conceal all the clutter supplies that I store my work spaces.

Craft Room BEFORE


Here is how my work spaces looked before the curtains:
Office Desk BEFORE

Sewing Table BEFORE

While I love all the storage that putting the supplies under the desks provides, I do not like the way it looked as I walked into my craft room.  I used the same fabric that I used for my ironing board cover.  Knowing I would need lots of fabric, I purchased 5 yards of the patterned fabric and 3 yards of the accent stripes.

We bought 2 of  these desks a while ago and redesigned them to make them fit our needs.  The two larger sections are my “office” desk and my sewing table.  The two smaller sections were put together along with the sewing table to create an L-shaped workspace.  Once my cutting mat was put on the top you can hardly tell it was two smaller desks.

Craft Room AFTER

Sew Table AFTER

I LOVE the way the curtains turned out!  It feels amazing to walk into my “quiet” place and not see all my junk staring back at me.  The colors work so well with the blue on the walls.  Now to find items to decorate my walls a bit and some spray paint to give my boring grey office chair a make-over.  But that is all for future posts ;)

Ironing Board Up Do

Let’s be honest – who really spends a lot of time ironing anymore?!?!  Definitely not me (much to my hubby’s dismay). If I am really making confessions here, I think in the almost 10 years of having my ironing board I had used it less than 10 times. That was until I started sewing. If you are going to sew, you have to iron!  So out it came and it is used on almost every project. I don’t at all mind ironing in this sense. It is fun since it goes with my creations. Isn’t it lovely!!!

Well one day while searching Pinterest I came across a tutorial from Sew4Home (which I LOVE) on how to recover your ironing board. Since I had been wanting to buy fabric to make under desk curtains I knew this could go right along with it!  First I had to find just the right fabric. This proved to be the largest challenge since the JoAnn’s here in town doesn’t have a huge selection. Before my nephew’s birthday party we decided to check out the Redlands JoAnn’s and I hit the jackpot!  A beautiful set of coordinating fabrics were practically jumping off the rack and into my basket. I love the color combos and the fun in the patterns.

Just a few days later I was following the tutorial to make my new cover. I am horrible at taking pictures along the way so all I have is finished project. I do have a smaller table top ironing board that I plan to recover and I will try to remember set by step pictures of that.

I love the color it adds to the room. More projects to dress up my craft room are coming. Including a sewing machine cozy and a Pinterest inspired valance. Check back soon!

Evolution of my Crafting Space

I know what you are thinking! She has re-done her craft room again!?!?!  Well yes and no. I finally have found a layout and organization for my craft room that works great. It allows me to get lots of cutting, sewing and other crafting done with ease.

So why the make-over?  Well you see when we first moved into this house, the craft room was my husband’s home office. Over the next several years I tried to make some different areas of our home a craft area only to always return to the dining room table. With small children at home, that was not a great solution since they quite often would get into my paints, papers, or glue. Fast forward a few years, my husband’s business had grown and he decided to rent an office space outside of the home. I was then allowed invited into the office to have a crafting space. Hence we got this. Trying to share the space proved difficult (I have a lot of stuff!). Then there was this attempt to set the room up. But still it didn’t work for long.

My hubby finally gave up any hope of having an office space at home and he moved out of the room completely (except for a TINY desk space in the corner). The result was the beginning of the space I have now. The paint color was changed to suit me SO much better and the furniture again rearranged. At the time we had hopes that the space could also serve as our homeschooling room since we would start that adventure that fall. Quickly we learned that with only 1 in school and the others being a toddler and a preschooler, that just wasn’t possible. There was NO extra space to move in there!

A few changes have been made to the furniture layout but I think we finally have a winner! {Pictures will be added to this post soon, thought I had some already on my computer, but I don’t and nighttime doesn’t provide the best lighting in there.} So now that it is set up properly, I am trying to dress it up a bit.  I have wanted to make curtains for under my desk for some time now, but I cannot find a tutorial on how to do so anywhere. Can you guess what will be coming to this blog really soon!

Thanks to Pinterest, I have a list of other craft room projects I have set to work on. But those are for another post.

The CopyCat Bag… Thank you Pinterest!

For my birthday this year, my hubby took me to JoAnn’s and let me pick out whatever I wanted. Since I was neck deep in Christmas projects I was grateful for the break and decided to spend the afternoon making myself a little something!  I found this purse on Pinterest and I fell in LOVE.  So much so that I even snagged the same fabric used in the tutorial to make my own.

While there is quite a bit of cutting, this was a pretty easy tutorial to follow and within a few hours I had a new purse!  I added some pockets to the interior of the purse to hold chapstick and such. In retrospect I would have also put in a snap to close the bag. When I made this same bag for my sister in law for Christmas i put a snap on hers.
This purse has gotten quite a few compliments and it is roomy enough to be a perfect mommy bag!

(just tried to link back to the blog post where the tutorial was given and the page it no longer being found.)