Saturday, July 30, 2011

Yard Sailing for Crazies!

Move outa the way mall shopping divas, I'm a crazy yard sailing momma!
I've always loved great deals and have a twisted fascination w what the neighbors put to the curb.
I mean let's face it some people put out perfectly good items for the trash! Antiques to garden equipment to perfectly usable furniture. So it's only natural to have a love affair w yard sales.

So how do you yard sale with a four, two, and one year old? Oh come on don't give up so easy!

Step one: Line up shoes so your not hunting for them in your mad rush to early bird the yard sales.

Step two: Pack snack, drinks, and some occupying toys along with the normal going out bag.

Step Three: Find your gear... Stroller or wagon, baby sling, potty seat stashed in the vehicle for tot potty breaks, and my life saver Mommy Hook...
This little sucker can clip on the stroller and carry all the bags!!

Now wake those kids up, throw clothes and shoes on, don't forget the sunscreen! Say a little prayer before you head out... Ask for guidance, wisdom, and safety! (and pray those kiddos don't drive you insane!) lol!

Load up and you're off! Now die hard "modern" yard sailors don't just rely solely on hardly readable signs posted on telephone poles. They are handy but now days ya break out your smartphone! There's yard sales posted on online classifieds, craigslist, and specific yard sale sites. I'm nutty enough to map out our trip the night before, allowing for those few wind torn sign detours. Best yard sales with kids are community ones like we hit today. If you can handle the walk. Park and load everyone into the double stroller and stick the baby in the sling. Make offers and get great deals! Chat up the sellers and keep a positive attitude, even when ya get funny looks! Told ya I was crazy!

.....After a few hours of walking, take you finds back to the truck, load the kids back in, crank up the a/c, and then bribe w smoothies to keep the day rolling. While the kids get brain freezes drive around to those individual yard sales that you can pull right up too and jump out to check out. When the kids have had enough of hearing, "just one more yard sale!" Then it's time to head home with only one more detour! Muwaahhaaa!

Score! Tons of puzzles, games, and preschool goodies! See this is precisely why I need a school room! I'm stocking a freaking preschool with stuff! Gotta love being a homeschooler! But seriously I do pick some stuff up to put on eBay and things here and there for other little ones in the family.

I have no clue what possessed me to buy these but you really cant pass up bins!
Any ideas what to use them for?

I even picked up some name brand jeans for myself but they might go to a sister cause my momma hips might hinder a nice fit. But when you can find $50 jeans for $2, duh!!!

Okay so now you know I'm a crazy nut! By the way once you get home, feed the kids and let em play with some goodies, drop them in front of a movie until everyone passes out and take a nap! You've had an exhausting day!

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Friday, July 29, 2011

Recycled Wool Sleep Sack Tutorial

It's sewing season for me again! Round the clock burning the midnight oil building stock for Palmerton Festival. So I thought I'd share how to make a sleep sack or sleep shirt for wee ones. Most wool sweaters will make a sack to fit anywhere from newborn to 9 months. If you want to make it for an older child just adjust according and add some length.

So here you go... Please pardon the Low light pics, it's stormy outside and the sun is hiding!

Find a soft wool sweater. It's not necessary to felt it but if it is a loose weave I would. You don't want toes and fingers getting caught.

Measure 3 to 4 inches from armpit and cut off the sleeves.

Since the average neck hole will be too large for a wee one... Cut a one inch wide strip from the end of your now short sleeve all the way into the neck.

Next cut the lower side of the arm into the armpit. You want it to measure about 11/2 inches wide. Then continue your cut down to the hem of the sweater. The sweater I'm using here is XL so I had a considerable bit to take off.

Fold sweater in half and make sure everything is matchy matchy as well as trim if you want it a bit slimmer. Also curve the cut the last few inches at the hem so when the sack is done it more or less hugs around the bottom of their feet. If your making a larger one for an older child just leave it straight like a night shirt.

Cut the cuffs off your previously removed sleeves.

Optional: grab some wool scraps and design a cute appliqué.

This also comes in handy if you need to disguise a flaw like I had in the neck... Ta da! Bubbles!

Sew your cute little design to your sweater.

Now with right sides together line up the neck and sew a straight line starting at the NECK to the wrist. Not the other way around or else you'll have an uneven neck seam.

Then sew a seam from the HEM to the wrist. Again not the other way around or your hem will be uneven. Then you can even up both sleeves trimming if necessary.

Now remember those cuffs you cut? Too big for the little wrist now so cut the cuff and sew a new seam to make them the right size.

See much better!

Now place your cuff inside the inside out sleeve. RAW edges up and right sides together. You'll know you did it wrong when you finish and turn it right side out and your cuffs are backwards! Lol. I did it a dozen times making wool diaper covers.

Sew the cuff to the sleeve.

Ta da! Now do it again on the other side. Then trim any bulky seams and snip stray thread. Turn right side out and lookie lookie what you made!!

Wool is the number one best thing for your child to sleep in. Keeps them an even body temp. The don't sweat or freeze. It's not flammable! It's antibacterial and antimicrobial. Means less washing for mom too! Just let air out and it's ready for bedtime again! Not all wools are itchy folks! You can find buttery soft cashmere, merino, lambswool etc.
Sew away ladies! And Don't forget to check out my favorite wool recycling gal!
Don't forget to tell her I sent you!

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Bananas and more bananas!

Again blessings come when you lest expect them and this week was a fine example. We received 40 lbs of bananas ready and ripe! Now what on earth do you do with such a large number of bananas, you say? We shared 6 lbs right away, delivered 3 lbs to my momma who was under the weather, and we ate 3 lbs on our own. Then we made enough banana chips to fill two dehydrators. The girls peeled tons of bananas and had a blast...

Then I realized we peeled to many for the dehydrators and they'd go brown before the first batch was finished so we saved those for the freezer. Reality hit when I discovered I didn't have near enough freezer bags because we never use them. We always use containers, not enough of those either. So the huge bowl overflowing w bananas went in the fridge. The following day the girls and I went yard sailing and among our great finds was....

Yea! Freezer containers!!!!! God bless the old man who was delighted to be rid of them.
All things work together for good and now we have enough banana for bread, smoothies and whatever else we can come up with!
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Procrastination & Napkins

Yes it's true I'm the queen of procrastination! Unless it's something I absolutely want to do it's just gonna sit until I either HAVE to do it or finally get the motivation to get it done.
This time of year I'm the worst. I want to play in my garden and play with the kids not sit inside working. I participate in our town festival every year selling crafts. It's the second weekend of September. I swear every year I'll work a little here and there to build stock but every year around this time, I'm panicking to get it all done. It'll never change, I work well under pressure and apparently enjoy torturing myself year after year. So again today I glared at the pile of work that must be done and turned away looking for something else to do. Yep I admit it! But in my defense I only blew a half hour and taught myself how to thread my serger. Funny I should mention the serger was a gift for my birthday back in February and I'm just now breaking it in, despite it being on my want list since i drooled over my moms as a kid. The fabric for the napkins I made today was purchased 11 years ago, it wasn't cut into napkin squares until 6 years ago and today I finally serged the edges. So sad, yes so very very sad. Okay you can stop laughing now!!!! These napkins had a long journey and will have a story to tell, especially after my gremlins get their sticky fingers on them.

So here's my Serger getting a workout... It's idiot proof threading too!

Now I have thirteen simple cloth napkins! Why an odd number? I have no clue probably just what I could get out of the fabric.

For the "how'd ya make 'em?" crowd.... Easy! Cut fabric to the size you want and zip thru the serger. No rolled edges needed.

See are they not the easiest little napkins to make? And I even have the perfect basket to house them in. The basket was given to me by a friend who has a beautiful collection of baskets. Thank you again!

So that's the story of the 11 year napkins! Lol! Now I need to stop playing around and get back to real work...

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