Thursday, February 26, 2009

More Revamping, Reusing, Recycling

How do you demonstrate to your children the concept of waste reduction? I know most of us talk about recycling plastic bags and bottles, etc. ~ but what about less obvious ways? The outfit I posted in the last post is a flimsy example...but it is a way I reused something that could have just been stuck away in a box until next year, or even thrown out. After I posted it - I started thinking about how else I am being resourceful and creatively reusing, revamping or recycling items in our every day lives. The best way we can teach our children is to lead by example.

In that spirit - here are a few other projects around the house that are getting us thinking about revamping, reusing and recycling!

  • I just went through my daughter's closet. We are very lucky to have two nieces each a little older than my daughter. We get LOTS of hand-me downs. Most of her other clothes I make (I know, this will probably only fly until she's about 9 or 10). But, with good care many of the clothes still have life in them when the third child has outgrown them. We sorted together (which is fun and spurs memories and talks of how much she has grown) and came up with a box of clothes to donate to our American Vets and a box to take to an upcoming consignment sale. We talked about donations and giving to others and also about working hard to save and make money. (Side note... the sorting of the styles, sizes, seasons of clothing was actually a great activity for my five year old to take part in too. Categorizing is right up his developmental alley.)

  • Next, I am cleaning and revamping my office and sewing supply area. This is a CHORE. Our current space in the house is not exactly an ideal setup for my sewing... however, with some creativity and using what I already had on hand - I've made some great progress. I'll post before and after pictures. One of my favorite things... I used a little wooden horse stable toy that my daughter doesn't use to store a lot of my tiny items for sewing. I tried to entice my son into sorting all my pins and buttons and such for me, but he drew the line.

  • The cleaning of all my sewing items resulted in the discovery of some t-shirts that I had started to use for my little Guatemala tops I make (yes, that beauty is my daughter;) ) and then found that they ran too small for the size I needed. So, instead of throwing them out - I have used them for the basis of a new spring outfit! I kept hanging on to them thinking I needed to just get rid of them... and then it hit my that I could rework them into something really cute! Pictures coming soon!

Some other every day ways we try to reuse...

  • Save all egg cartons, toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls - this make great craft basis'.
  • Buy the reusable grocery totes! If you haven't done it yet - do it - or make one. They're easy. Or just search on Etsy... here, I'll get you started!
  • Refill water bottles - or just buy a big pitcher.
  • Save cardboard boxes. They make great forts, cages... the possibilities are endless.

So, please are you demonstrating to your kids the art of finding new uses or even just re-uses for old things?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Revamping of a Product

I have turned a cute Valentine's Tank that I hadn't sold into a whole spring/summer outfit. I love how it turned out. The skirt has a stretch soft cotton waiste (see more pics here) that enables it to be pulled right on. I'm trying to do almost everything with no snaps, buttons, or zippers (CPSIA reasons). This turned out so cute that I'm sending this one to my niece. She is three and is going to be a big sister in a few months. I have a blanket that I made for my nephew that I haven't mailed yet because I wanted to put something in the package for Audrey. This will be perfect.

I plan to make some more skirts and coordinating tops in this same still. The style is great because the skirts and a ruffle on the shirt do not take up much fabric - being very cost efficient - but still so cute. I'll probably add some appliques out of patterned fabric on some of the tops, rather than the rick rack (which I LOVE but you gotta keep things mixed up!)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Our "Love"ly Kid-Friendly Meal

This is a quick and VERY simple meal to make with your kids.
We start with plain tortillas.

For Valentine's Week we cut them into heart shapes, not wanting to waste anything we just cut the outer layers into small pieces and put them on top.

My kids (especially my son) like things PLAIN. So, they topped theirs with just mozzarella cheese this time. We also do pepperoni and sauce sometimes. I added feta cheese, spinach and some spices to mine (daddy working late this night - no pizza for him!)

Just bake at about 350 for 10 minutes. The finished product was scrumptious as always! With some fruit on the side and maybe some carrot sticks for the kids - you have a quick, well balanced and fun meal.

A Whale of a time

I got my new boy's shirt finished (it is actually cute for a girl too but I'm trying to make more little guy friendly clothing). I really like how it turned out. I think the white trim that gives it the layered look topped it off.

I asked my son what he thought of it - he said he liked it - but that maybe next I could make one with a dragon fighting a griffin on the front. Hmmm. We'll see. ;)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

For Little Boys

I'm the mother of a young boy and I've noticed that it is more difficult for me to come up with fun things to make for him than it is for me to come up with things to make for my daughter. I have never been one to dress my children (especially my son) in fancy clothes. I steer away from smocking or johnny suits (is that what they're called?) for little boys. Just my personal taste.

I made a snake shirt last year that was a hit. And I've done a couple other things for little guys - but this spring, I really want to expand to include more boy items.

While running a little bit ago, I came up with three t-shirt ideas (some of my greatest inspiration comes while running - and I recently lost my iPod, which I think is only helping me). I'm excited... I think I will use a Hancock gift card I've been hanging on to to order some fabric. I would love to hear ideas from other people if you have any. What type of handmade clothing would you like for your little boy?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Our Funny Valentines... the big reveal!

Here it is - the handmade Valentine's Day card that the kids and I created! Supplies used included:
  • Red felt
  • popsicle sticks
  • white paper and a color printer
  • scissors
  • glue
  • red cardboard (this is the only thing I spent money on - a couple red folders for 17 cents a piece at Target). I wanted a stiffer background for the poem to be glued on.

My five year old was able to assemble almost all himself. I did cut all the hearts for them. My two year old glued the hearts and poems. We will address plain white envelopes for each of their friends tonight.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Handmade Valentines... in the works

Obviously, we need to do a Valentine's Day activity around here. We're actually going out of town this weekend - so my kids will miss their parties at preschool. But, I don't want them to miss out of the fun of creating and sharing love with their classmates.

I'm all about saving some money and teaching my kids to use their imagination - so I'm trying to do some handmade Valentines with items we have on hand. I shall come back tomorrow and post pictures of what we come up with!
So far, I've got some red felt, Popsicle sticks, paper, markers, glue... and a talent for rhyming. ;) I figure this will only fly with my kids for a couple more years - so I'm doing it while I can! What are your little ones doing this year?

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Plan

So, I'm planning and hoping to morph this blog into more than just a place to post my new sewing projects. I would like to add tutorials - and put a focus on crafts and projects that can involve your children. This won't just include sewing (although it really is so much easier than people realize and it will have this), I envision it including other art forms, crafts, cooking, children's literature... basically sharing creative ideas for parent-child togetherness.

I have friends who homeshool, friends who have pre-school age children home each day, and friends (more like myself) who work full-time and look for new ways to have quality time with your kids when you are together.

I want to develop this blog into a place where I can share my ideas - and have other parents build on these ideas through comments, etc. I'm brainstorming some weekly themes. It will be a work in progress. It's not in my nature to be extremely organized or structured, but I'm going to try my best to have some sort of plan and routine with posting here to hopefully draw some regular readers!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The reverse applique t-shirt!

My favorite two things about this shirt:
  1. The surprise little heart on the back - which is the cutout of the front reverse-applique

  2. The elastic waiste which totally dresses it up and adds style! I think I'm going to try this with some of my old T's to dress them up for this spring... cute? I think so!

check it out! LOVE it a lot? Click here :)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Ooh - A Diaper Clutch

It started with an idea and the right materials on hand... and ended up just as I envisioned (which is great because anyone who sews or does any crafts knows that this isn't always the case).

The finished product is a Diaper Clutch. I am notorious for leaving the house without diapers or wipes. Even though I have been a mother for over 5 years now. I think it's because I've never enjoyed the bulk of a diaper bag. So - now I have a quick convenient clutch with a couple diapers and a handful of wipes - that can even serve as a changing pad. Check out the Etsy Listing to see it in action.

Two things I will note: 1) This is not the first time I've used a thick cotton cloth diaper as the start of a project. I love those things! 2) Snaps and the required snap tools that come with them, are kind of a PITA. But, they are convenient and nifty once done. ;)
Blog Widget by LinkWithin