Friday, July 29, 2011

Finger Painting Without the Mess!

Hello, it is Jennifer again to share a recent kid craft that Cupcake and I had fun with a few nights ago. I read about this idea when I was working as a Home Visitor for Healthy Families and I used it with some of my clients. One evening, Cupcake and I were hanging out and she seemed to be a little bored. So, I thought I'd try the same activity with her! I wanted something fun and stimulating but not too overly involved or messy, so I thought this would work out perfectly.

To create your Finger Painting canvas you need a few supplies you might already have on hand: paint (I used finger paint, just in case my child-proof sealing didn't hold up), a ziploc bag, tape, and a craft stick (optional).

Then, simply squirt your paint in the bag and tape it shut. I taped my bag 3 different times, I didn't want green paint squirting all over the place on accident! And there you have it!

I showed Cupcake that she could use the craft stick or her finger to "paint" a picture and she loved it!

It is a great way to work on Letter Recognition, especially for children who are more tactile learners. My little one let me go through the entire alphabet! I would paint a letter, tell her what it was and then she would paint the letter too (yes her letters looked more like random lines, but she was having fun and was proud of her work!). I can imagine when Cupcake is older, she could have fun practicing writing words and numbers in the paint!

Cupcake also had a lot of fun creating her hand print in the paint. Later, she tried her foot as well! She loved it so much that the next morning, when I went to get her out of her crib, the first thing she said to me was "paint!"

Good thing I taped it several times!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Guest Post:: Meet Heather!

My name is Heather and I am not one of the official “Crafty Mama” bloggers, but I really admire the ladies that are!  I was honored that Jennifer invited me to do a guest blog!  I have always considered myself to be crafty but once I had my first child my craftiness went by the wayside.  For me, sewing started when I was in 5th grade, my mom taught me to sew and I made a lot of money making scrunchies…. Needless to say, that was in the early 90’s.  If scrunchies ever come back, I will be sure to share, but until then, I will be following the Crafty Mama’s Blog and continue to be inspired!

I am a full time mom to my son, EJ (not quite 3 years old), and daughter, Elle (1 ½ years old), so crafting is a nap-time only activity!  Recently, a post by Andrea on the Crafty Mama’s blog sparked my crafty side back up again and I am itching to do more!!!  I decided to make a pillowcase dress for Elle using the Moda Bake Shop Fat Quarter Pillowcase Dress tutorial that she posted.  I live by the theory that if you like something, buy it in every color….. sewing a pillowcase dress for Elle was no different; I made 3 of them in all different prints. 

For each of the 3 dresses that I created, I made an addition of some sort to make them my own.  On the first dress that I made, I made the hem about 1 ½ inches and added additional ribbon around the bottom to bring out the color.  I also made a matching bow for Elle’s hair based on an April post from Crafty Moms

For the 2nd dress I made, I supplemented some of the printed fabric on the bottom with a piece of solid brown fabric.  I stole Jennifer’s idea from a previous post with a dress she had made.

For the 3rd and final (for now) dress that I made, I added ribbon around the bottom hem and used the  Poofy Fabric Flower Tutorial  posted on the Crafty Mama’s Blog to make a hair pretty to match. 

I always look forward to a little down time when I can browse the ideas that the  Crafty Mama’s have posted and can be inspired again!  As it goes, Elle is letting me know that my free time is up…. No more crafty ideasuntil tomorrow’s nap time!

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Junebug Dress: My First Sew-Along

Good Afternoon. As I've stated before, I am slightly obsessed with Jess and her blog Craftiness is Not Optional! When I saw her Junebug Dress she made for her daughter, I fell in love with it, as I do with most of the stuff on her blog!

After checking out Day 1 of the sew-along, I realized I might have everything I need to make the dress in my stash! With some of the stuff on the CINO blog I get a little intimidated because it looks complicated and SO darn cute and just a little above my sewing ability! But, Jess made a printable pattern with this dress in a size 2T/3Tish - she said her daughter is right in the middle of both sizes. So, thinking I'd just use her pattern, I could go for it! Cupcake is just now into 2T clothes, so I thought I could use this as a fall dress if it ended up being a little too big. I had this adorable vintage-ish fabric I picked up at JoAnn's and knew it would be perfect for the dress!

Day 1 was super easy, just cutting out the pattern and cutting my fabric. Day 2 was also fairly easy creating most of the bodice. I was a little behind because Cupcake woke up earlier than expected from nap, so I didn't finish Day 2 on time. But I was okay with that, I mean it was my very first sew-along! After checking my button stash, I realized I didn't have the exact buttons I wanted to use, so I headed back to JoAnn's for buttons and a few other supplies for Cupcake's upcoming birthday! I found the perfect buttons and was set to go!

Day 3 was my hardest day to get through! This was the skirt and the sleeves. I hadn't ever done a dress with sleeves like this before, so it was a little challenging to get through just due to lack of experience. Luckily, Jess' tutorials are fabulous, with great explanations and pictures, so I got through the sleeves! Then it was on to the skirt...I quickly realized I didn't have enough fabric! In the tutorial, Jess said she "barely scraped by with a yard" so I had a yard and figured I was alright. I think, because I didn't know how big the skirt needed to be in the end, I used too much of my fabric to cut the bodice pattern pieces. So, back to JoAnn's I went! Needless to say, I didn't finish the dress on Day 3 of the sew-along. But again, I was alright with that, this was my first time - did I mention that already??

Once I made it to JoAnn's and got my extra fabric, I was able to finish the skirt and attach it to the dress. After using my trusty seam-ripper once after realized I sewed the skirt part on wrong, I finally completed the dress! I was so excited and happy with how it turned out! Unfortunately, my model was fast asleep and I had to wait until the morning to try it on her. As you can see from the pictures, I didn't wait very long after she woke up to try it on her - she wasn't quite awake yet and really just wanted to continue watching Cars instead of smile for Mommy and play dress-up. It is a little big on her, which I figured, but I still love it. I think it will look great in the fall with some tights and a cardigan! I can't wait. Thanks again Jess, for another great tutorial!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Dress a Girl Around the World

Good Evening!

Jennifer here to share the rest of the dresses Andrea talked about in her previous post. A few weeks ago I was browsing craft blogs during Cupcake's nap and I came across the Dress a Girl Around the World site. The subtitle really pulled me in: "Imagine a world where every little girl owned at least one dress." What a world that would be, right?!? Making dresses for my little one is one of my favorite things to make, so I had to find out more about this cause. After clicking around on the website, I discovered that the organization delivers homemade dresses to girls and women around the world.

All you have to do to help out the organization is make a simple, yet very cute, pillowcase dress and send it to the provided address. Once I read all of the information, I knew this would be a great project for the Crafty Mamas! I sent an email out to the ladies, asked who wanted to participate, and instructed them to check their closest Goodwill for some gently used and cute pillowcases. Almost all the Crafty Mamas were able to participate in this one, which was great because that means more dresses for girls in need!

If you know anything about pillowcase dresses, you know that there are tons of tutorials all over the web explaining how to make one. The Dress a Girl website provides a tutorial. I had recently made a pillowcase dress for Cupcake (more on that in another post) using the Moda Bake Shop Fat Quarter Pillowcase tutorial, and since I was familiar with this method, we based our dresses off of this tutorial. Most of the pillowcase dress tutorials you will find are pretty much the same, some vary slightly, but in the end you will end up with pretty much the same looking cute dress! What is nice about these dresses is that they can grow with your child, turning from a dress to a top you can pair with leggings, and ultimately a tank top!

We each had fun making some cute little dresses and Crafty Mama Sara was nice enough to offer to send the dresses off to the organization. It is so nice to know we can have fun together sewing cute creations and help other people at the same time!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Andrea - An Introduction

Thanks for letting me join the Crafty Mamas team! I am Andrea, a stay at home mom to two sweet girls (2 and 5). I met these other wonderful mamas through playgroup. I am not that handy with the sewing just yet but I love to cook and create. Today I made my first dress with our group and I think it turned out better than I had hoped (thanks to a lot of help from Sara, Sally, Jennifer, Hillary, and Cassie!).

I saw Hillary taking pictures so hopefully pictures of all the dresses will be up here soon as they all turned out so great. Wonderful idea Jennifer!

Thanks again for letting me join and I hope to have more creative things to share soon!