Saturday, July 31, 2010

Felt Farm Food


After my last post about the Farmer's Market, this project was ready to be shared. This is part of a larger project I'm working on....or rather, I plan on working on at some point in the near future, and by saying this is part of that project I'm hoping it will make me force myself to finish that project since I don't like dangling/incomplete projects, though my life is filled with ideas in the oven. On another note, I'm totally fine with dangling participles. This has nothing to do with the other, but....it seemed like a good time to mention it.
Anyway, I love making felt food. I've made quite a bit of felt food in the past. No calories, this is a good thing. I went back and tagged some of those projects, and I've now added a 'felt food' label to those post. I guess it's that girl in me that would have spent my whole time in the play kitchen in pre-k....except I didn't attend a Pre-K program, so I have a lot of playtime to make up for in my adulthood.
OK...enough on that other mumbo jumbo...on to the specifics....
I have a friend with little boys, one of which really likes barns and farms. I decided to make some felt farm food to go with that large project I'm working on for the family....I'll get to rest of the project...right after I post this....and watch some day time TV....and surf the net....and paint my dog's toenails...and....
Anyway.
I bought felt in the colors I needed. I did a sewing assembly line of stitches that would match the food's dents/bumps/features/characteristics...whatever.
Here is my 'corn features' sewing assembly line:


I sewed two sides, and the tip of the vegetable inside out. I turned it rightside out, stuffed the vegetable with scraps of felt, and cloth, and then cut out the shape of the 'green leafy part.'

I squished it into whatever shape I wanted it to be in, and then placed it in the (still) open end of the vegetable.

I just sewed a line across.

I know there is a whole process to hand stitching and pulling these so the tops are more rounded,and authentic, but I just didn't think the 6 and under-year-old kiddos cared about that extra step.l..incidentally, neither did the 31 year old making these felt foods.
The Carrots

The Corn


The Eggs (I've seen things like this around on the net with a cool little blanket stitch around the yolk.  I didn't do this....I just used my machine....I didn't want to show off, oh, and I have no idea how to make a blanket stitch.)
I made little egg yolks...

They fit inside the plastic eggs I saved from Easter...

And I slipped the yolk filled eggs inside the cartons...

Here's the problem with a farm project....I could go on...and on...and on. I wanted to make pails of milk, but I imagined the milk drops all over the house...and my friend never speaking to me again...b/c she's too busy collecting parts.
...or all the felt farm animals I could make.
...oh no, this can't be good.
Someone please call me in thirty minutes and make sure I'm not ordering chicken feathers off Amazon or something.
Forget felt. I want a real farm.
Do they sell chickens on Amazon?
...let me go check...I'll post the rest of this in a few weeks....assuming my new chickens don't chew through my power cord.
Linking To:
Under the Table and Dreaming
C.R.A.F.T
Sew Can Do
Topsy Turvy
Trendy Treehouse
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Friday, July 30, 2010

Farmer's Market


One thing I love about summer are the fresh fruits and vegetables. I guess I should just say....I feel less guilty in the summer paying less for fresher vegetables that too often (still) go to waste. I blame it on being single, and being forced to buy too much of each vegetable/fruit in the prepackaged containers. Really, it's eating too many carbs and not making enough room for vegetables. I still like to pretend I'm going to eat really healthy...and that dream usually takes me downtown to the farmer's market.

There are actually little stands all along the highways during the spring and summer months, and there are farmer's market, and gourmet grocery stores all over the suburb in which I pay my house taxes, but I like the Dallas Farmer's Market b/c it's big....4 huge sheds full of fruits, vegetables, and other goodies.

I like to stick to shed one when purchasing b/c they are the farmers within the closest radius, and that's sort of the point-the closer, the fresher....I hope.

You can get full just walking around and sampling all the fruits and vegetables at each stand.

And they also have some pretty neat little cafes with some really great looking food....I've tried out few of these meats, tamales, and meals, but I did go to this vendor selling roasted corn.

The regular toppings for the corn is a large slathering of butter, and parmesan cheese....and then every salt/seasoning option in the grocery story....

How many calories can I pack into an ear of corn? I'll leave that for another blog entry someday....
If it helps, among other things, I bought these...

....and other healthy 'stuff.'
....but, I have to be true to myself, and so I also bought these....

....and I made blueberry muffins...
....ooops.
I think I've established I have a carb problem, but I'd still like to count this as one serving of fruits.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Blythe's Play Tent


I've wanted to make a play tent for a long time.  I saw felt houses you can throw over a card table about a year ago, and I knew this was something I 'needed' to put on my list of things to give the cutest baby in the whole entire world of my family members-Blythe Ann Cutie Pie Bug Ear Baby Girl.  I asked my cousin (her dad) if they owned a card table.  He said, "No."  Umm....I don't understand this, I own three card tables!  Short of buying him a card table he would then have to take back to California, I let it eat at me for months.  And then I saw this super cute tutorial making a play tent using a hula hoop on Living With Punks.  I did not pass go, I did not collect 200 dollars.  I ran out and and began buying supplies.   I'm not really one to follow too many directions, so if you want really well written sewing directions, go check out her tutorial.  My style is pretty sloppy, but I'm proud of my tent.  The instructions I'm about to write are more for me, like I said, they are very inexact, but....I'll know what "I" mean.  If you'd like a good laugh at my sewing inexpertise....feel free to follow along.  I assure you there isn't a Home Ec teacher in the world that would claim me as their former student (I did take ONE semester), but I don't care.  I love this play tent idea so much,  I'm thinking about keeping this one.....better yet, I'm thinking about keeping Blythe with the tent at my house.  It's the best of both worlds! 
Supplies:  2 flat twin size sheets (I found these for 3 bucks a piece at Walmart, yellow is my cousin's favorite color, and since it will be in his house with his daughter, assuming Plan A-Keeping Blythe, doesn't work out....), I also bought a yard of fabric (which was MORE than I needed for the little decorative edges, but....more is better than too little), rick rack for the flower stems, felt, and buttons for the flowers, a hula hoop (I found this one for 3 bucks at Academy Sports), and a ribbon scrap for the top of the tent. 

Instruction:  I started with the 'top.'  I cut out triangles, and I actually used the measurements for a play tent I found here at Blue Cricket Design.  I cut out six triangles with a base of 22, and side edges that measured 24 inches each. 

In Blue's tutorial she lays them along the edge of the hula hoop and cuts it along the curve as well, I didn't do that.  I wanted the excess fabric for the mess I was about to make out of 'real' sewing instructions. 
I sewed all six pieces together along the 24 inch edge, and then, as I got to the sixth piece and sewed the first and sixth together, I inserted the ribbon to hold the entired tent up, created a loop and then sewed back and forth 5 or 20 times to hold it in place. 

I then turned it inside out and pinned it on the hula hoop.

This just let me know how I was going to sew the base of the tent to the top.  I latered removed the pins, and sewed on ties so that Blythe can pack this in her suitcase and head home to California after the holiday festivities (Living with Punks snapped the hula hoop in half, and threaded it in for a permanant home, Blue's tutorial uses the ties). 
Next I took the second sheet (I had left over from the first sheet....I'll be able to put this to use on one of the 3,456 projects I plan on working on this month, I could have added a little more to the width of sheet two if I wanted the tent to meet completely, but....I didn't.  Mostly because I'm lazy, but also b/c....I didn't want to.).  I cut out 8 inch wide triangles, sewed the edges, and then just attached them along the top of the sheet that would be sewn onto the tent top later.

I didn't worry about it looking messy b/c I knew I'd hide this seam soon, and....I never really worry about anything looking messy.  I then decided to add some flowers to the bottom just b/c I like flowers, and I had extra felt.  I pinned on rick rack stems, and flowers. 

I sewed them on with a machine.
 
Ignore the wrinkles....I did.  OK...I didn't, but....I had a few arguments with the sheets even after ironing.  I think it'll be OK once it hangs from a ceiling for awhile.  I sewed another black piece of fabric to the bottom, just because I felt like it. 
I added big buttons to the flowers.  I'm sure I broke 17 or 18 child safety laws when I added the buttons. 

I then pinned the bottom sheet to the top 'tent'.  Since the top was attached to the hula hoop, it gave me a more exact idea of how to pin this to create the circle.  I sewed it with the two right sides facing each other. You could also draw a circle with a pencil using the hula hoop as a guide to save the needless pinning, but  where is the fun in that?   I removed the hula hoop from the top.  I made 6 ties I sewed 5-50 times back and forth near where the two fabrics met.  I should also say, I just cut these ties out of the portion of the sheets where the seams were turned under along the sides...a sloppy version of 'my' own binding.  It's several layers of fabric, already sewed, so....it worked for me! 

This could potentially be washed since it can be removed from the hula hoop.  I could cover the hula hoop with colored electrical tape or something, but....I'm OK with this too.  I'm easy to please, I hope Blythe is too! 
This really wasn't as complicated as I expected, I've been putting it off in 'fear.'   I probably took me three hours or less....most of that time was spent with the flowers, and a few embellishments.  I can't say I'm going to make another one tomorrow, but I can almost guarantee I WILL make another one someday....perhaps when someone else in my family has the cutest baby every born since Blythe Anne Pumpkin Pie Cutie Bug....you get the point.  Oh, and did I say I'm not posting Christmas gifts early this year?  Yes, but I'm getting around this by posting gifts and not saying who they are fore, and posting gifts for small toddlers.  Blythe is 15 months, I think her parents are still limiting her internet access.  I should also say I have at least 20 post I've set to post over the next few months of Christmas gifts I said I wasn't going to post before Christmas, OH WELL!  I shall now go work on blocking my friends, and family access to my blog....or not.  I can't decide if I like inside shots where the colors are more true, or outdoor shots better, so I'll end with the rest of the outdoor shots. 
 
Linking To: 

Adding "You Might Also Like" Feature to a Blog

I try to keep up with blogs, and I'm always adding new blogs that I find and love to the list I follow.  When I start following someone, I usually start exploring their blog, but depending on how long they've blogged, sometimes it's impossible find all their fun post.  I've seen this great little feature at the bottom of several of people's blog post, and I love them b/c they hint at past post I may have missed for one reason or another.  I finally googled how to do this, and it was much easier than I thought when I put it off over...and over again. 
If *you* (as usual *you*=me in the future) want to add these fun little teasers to past post on your blog, go to http://www.linkwithin.com/ and follow the instructions.  There are about two that involve hitting something like 'allow' and 'save.'  Now, I'm going to solve another one of the 'world's problems.'  And when I say 'the world's problems'....I mean the dust currently residing in my living room. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Europe Scrapbook...So Far


To say I didn't get everything I wanted accomplished on the retreat I wrote about yesterday....would be an understatement. BUT....I did get started on my Europe album from my trip a year ago. I knew it would be a huge undertaking b/c I took thousands of pictures (not exaggerating)...and I just am not willing to cut as many as I usually do. I only finished scrapbooking 1 of 8 boxes of pictures, so...it looks like I have a long road ahead of me....and no doubt, this won't be the last I blog about this project. I'm including a sampling of a few of the pages I did...just b/c I need SOMETHING to represent 3 days of scrapbooking. These are in no particular order....
ENGLAND

I love making little paper pockets to store brochures etc I sometimes ave when on vacation....depending on how much of a pack rat I'm feeling like at the moment.  I was feeling like a packrat on this vacation!
Around Town

(I ALSO like making little books, like the one on the left hand page I can slip in and out with more pictures. I want to be able to look at the pictures, but I don't want 4 or 5 pages of the same type of thing. I also saved some of the brochures/maps etc from the different tours I took, and I used one of those as my 'paper' on this page, so I have the map to remember the journey, and it doubles as this paper in my scrapbook....frugal is good.)
London Eye

London Bridge

(No, not the real one, the real one was apparently imported to America...who says money has limitations?)
Buckingham Palace

Tower Of London

DOVER, ENGLAND

CALAIS, FRANCE

HOLLAND

GERMANY

Rhineland Valley

...for now....I'm moving on to other crafts and letting this project nap.
Linking To:
Scrappy Gifts