Tuesday, August 31, 2010

DIY Summer Lawn Games

Searching for some fun summer lawn games lately, and finally found some really interesting ones on This Old House. The best part, they are so easy to make, with materials you find around the house, in the basement, or garage, and can be built with just basic tools. Love it! Next summer, once little caterpillar can understand rules, we will have tons of fun! I probably should start accumulate materials and get building soon. 6 months winter is just what I need! Check out these videos, and you will be surprised how much fun you can build with your own hands.

Pipe Ball Lawn Game
Cornhole Game
Ricochet Game
Ladder Golf Game
Kubb (Viking Chess) Game

Summer is almost end now, but if you living in the higher number zones, you should start building. These games are much healthier than the computer ones, easy exercises, fresh air, quality family time, and endless fun.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Fabric Flowers

I am adding more and more feminine touches to my wardrobe ever since I got pregnant. Guess the hormones changed me permanently. Love how the big flowers can make plain and tired outfits shine, like this.

I am not brave enough to wear a big flower on my head like this and this, but they will be perfect for my little girl. Last week at J Crew, we saw some really cute hair accessories with huge flowers, and little caterpillar looked really cute wearing the pink one! Stubborn wanted to buy it on the spot, but for about $13, I told him I can make a drawer of them for her, in all sorts of colors. So, now I have to add one more project to my crazy list.

Bought some hair bands and elastic ones at a dollor store while shopping, and I am going to use ribbons and fabric scraps from my stash, so the whole project would probably cost me $2 and some time. I tried wrap a plastic one with pink ribbon, couldn't figure out how they made both ends so tight, and look so neat. Then the light bulb moment. Duh! The big flower covers a small section of the band, so I can start wrapping from the ends, and stop at the point where I want my flower to be, and secure them there. Once the flower is sewed on, no one can see it. Yeah, I am that smart.

Then I started searching for online tutorials for making fabric or ribbon flowers. Wow! People are so creative! There are so many great flowers and tutorials out there, I don't know which one to start with.

OK, this one is a ribbon peony! Gorgeous! And I can finally use some of my wire ribbons.

These cuties are made of long stripes of fabric and beads. I have 3 jelly rolls, and lots of scraps, it will be fun to make several flowers in different sizes and matching colors, and combine them on one hair band for a more dramatic look!

I always loved these flowers! But never knew the correct name. Finally, found this tutorial. It's called Kanzashi flower, and so easy to make.

These are made of ribbons too, just instead of wired ones, these used 2 different sizes of regular ribbons. I have a box of those too, so I will definitely try this one as well.

I love how these flowers also works on clothes and bags. See how cute they made this plain white V neck t-shirt? Fabulous! I am currently working on an old white t-shirt of mine, and don't have enough cut off fabric to make the decoration I wanted. This might be just what I need to do! I thought I saw a tutorial about how to make the center flower a while back, just need to find it again. Oh, never mind, found one. Not as detailed as the one I read before, but will do.
Note: Found another one, just a little bit different.

Didn't find tutorials for these cuties below, but I am sure I can figure them out.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Another Really Talented Lady

I was googling other scrap sewing ideas, and several links and jumps later, I landed at this amazing website Ruffles and Stuff. Love all her creations and transformations. How generous of her to post this many tutorials! I am so going to try some of them soon. Here are just some of the ones that I checked.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Scrap Sewing Project

I have lots of scraps from previous projects, always try to find a way to use them. Yeah, I cannot even throw away a tiny bit of my fabric. Here are just two simple things I made, but they are very practical, so I'd like to share with you.

This first one was done last year, when I was still pregnant. There is a big gap underneath the basement door, so I always worry about AC or heat leak through there. I had a small area rug there before, but it's not covering the whole gap, and it made the hardwood floor underneath it very slippery for some reason. Then I saw this tutorial. I bought tons of fabric sample squares when Fabric Place closed down, they are perfect for type of small job. The piece I chose was not wide enough, So, I added a matching piece on either end. It was so easy to make, and so cheap too. I mean you can buy a dual draft stopper for about $10, but why do that while I have the materials already and I know how to sew. Mine probably costed me a couple of bucks, whatever you pay for the pipe insulation thing. And it's way prettier than the commercial ones.

I made this second one a couple of weeks ago. I always wanted to keep an extra roll of bath tissue nearby, just in case I forgot to refill it, Stubborn or my guests won't have to scream for help. I used to use plastic baskets, they are functional but not very pretty, and never the size I want. I saw lots of fabric baskets on flickr, they are so pretty, you can use up your scraps and make it to the size and shape you want. I chose the scraps for 3 baskets, perfect color match for my bathrooms, but ended up only making one. Just not enough time. And I have to say, I am quite happy with the result. I didn't really measure and design it carefully, just made it slightly bigger than two big rolls of tissue. Look, there is even enough space for a box of matches. Oh, the best part, it's fabric, I don't need to worry little caterpillar somehow manage to push it to the floor and break it. There is nothing to break here.

I will show you more of what I did with scraps. I probably will make this a series. Hmmm, I will try to keep up with it.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Road Trip To Ipswich

We drove up to Ipswich Sunday afternoon for the Best Fried Clam at Clam Box. Man, that place is hot! We got there right before 2pm, and saw a very long line outside. And when we finally left around 4pm, still that long line. DH waited for at least an hour in line to place his order! But it was worth it! Look at these!

Well, little caterpillar and I was quite bored waiting for food, so we tried to find something to look at and play with. Little caterpillar found mommy's lens cover and her blue wash cloth to chew on,
another baby to play with,
and a tasty leaf to eat.

And I found these.
And apparently, a picnic table is very dangerous.

We really enjoyed eating outside under big trees, you can feel the breeze. On our way back home, we spotted a local farmer's market, among corn fields and some green houses. It was a quite simple little store, but lots of charm. There were flowers outside, antique farm tools hanging on the walls, and lots of fresh vegetable on the stands. Little caterpillar was very curious and checked almost every bucket.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Cold Beach Day

We had lots of fun at local beach on Sat. This is the first time we took little caterpillar to see the ocean. We met our friends, little YY's family there on the beach. We didn't know there was some event going on that day, so parking was quite a challenge.
I think we have to get one of those beach cart next time. We had to carry two heavy bags, a big cooler, beach hut, a baby and umbrella stroller, and walked about 400 yards! Not fun at all! And the little wheels on the umbrella stroller were no match to the sand, stuck in it right away! It was just too windy and cold, so we had to fold up the beach hut, just let the babies stay warm under the sun. The water was too cold and the wave was quite big, none of us dare to dive in. The dads held the babies and let their feet touch the water and wet sand, and as you can imagine, they both screamed and cried. Well, at least we didn't take the big float thing out of the car!
But little caterpillar really loved chasing the water and being chased by the wave in the safety of daddy's arms.
Everyone really enjoyed the beach, some sand castle building, ball playing, and kite flying.
All under the close watch of the lifeguards. Look, even they had to stay warm with some extra clothing.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Felt Food Tutorials

Found this through Craftzine Blog. I have marked lots of felt goodies on flickr as future project inspirations, including felt food for little caterpillar's future play kitchen. So, imagine how happy I was to find all the tutorials in one page! Thank you, Crafty Crow! There are so many kids friendly crafts ideas on this blog, I will sure come back and visit later.

Here is the link to the index page for all felt food crafty crow collected. I particularly like the sushi and birthday cake showed above. I can see myself making tons of these and playing with my little girl next year. She is way too little to play with them now, she will just put everything in her mouth, real or felt.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Gorgeous Little Girl Dresses

This will be a very short post. Found this through Nicole, and loving all the cute dresses. I will keep these in mind when planning little caterpillar next summer's outfits.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall

How I love your new look! For a long time, we have been hunting for a more modern mirror for the entrance. I bought the rectangle one from Building19 years ago, when we were still renting and we didn't need fancy stuffs, just a plain mirror. And for just $10, I was quite satisfied with it for all those years, until a couple of years ago. We found the perfect little console table for the entrance space, right size for the narrow wall space, not too deep to block traffic, and we both love the style and rich color. Then this old mirror started looking like an eye sore.

I have been kicking my own *** for not buying a matching mirror when we bought the console table, because when we went back for one, that store was closed! Too bad. I wanted a round one, Stubborn wanted an oval one. I wanted one with thinner border, so it won't overpower the console below, but stubborn wanted one with very wide and heavy frame, because he loves the one Charlie (Two and A Half Men) has in his bedroom. I kept telling him the reason that one works, it's because it sits above a equally heavily built dresser, and our console table is just too skiny for it. The ones that met both our criterias were way too expensive, no way I am going to spend $300 on a mirror, even $200 is a huge stretch on my budget line. So, imagine how happy we were when I spotted this baby at T.J.Maxx last weekend. It was the right size, oval shape, and almost perfect color match to our little table. And for just $39.99, I had to put it in my cart immediately. Even though it's not actually made of wood, it has the feel and look of it, without any joint lines. I could love one with bevelled mirror, but for this price, I can live with a plain one for now. Look how much difference it makes! Mirror, mirror on the wall, I am so in love with you!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Playdate Fun

Little caterpillar had a great time with YY on Sat. There were some crying at the beginning, since YY got a new haircut, big shiny bald head. Guess little caterpillar didn't recognize him at first. But after some warm up, they started play together. YY's mommy brought lots of toys as well, there was almost no place to walk. We were very disappointed that we couldn't use the big inflatable pool we bought, this was suppose to be a pool party. When we saw it at Walmart, there was only one and it was the size I wanted, so we didn't inspect it at all. When I was trying to set it up for testing Friday evening, I noticed the boxed was opened and retaped, my heart sank a little. It was a returned product! There could be something seriously wrong with it. Well, my instinct was right. Not only it was dirty, all three covers for the openings on the inflatable borders were missing! I cannot even blow one section up! Well, that taught us a lesson, don't invite your friends over before you tested it. We still have the smaller baby pool, YY can still swim, just the adults won't fit inside. It turns out YY was afraid of water. He won't stop crying and struggled to get out, almost flipped over. Even after little caterpillar showed him how much fun it is, he still cannot enjoy it. So, we had to stay inside and play with all the other toys. They tried some new toys, and found new ways to play with some old ones. Here is YY pushing Nimo as a push cart instead of sitting on it rocking as intended.
Everyone was so happy, no fighting at all. They took turn riding the new trike we bought recently.
Then the rocking horse.

A friendly race on the stairs.
A chase and ambush around the kitchen island.
And this is what happened right after YY's family left. Too much running around, they both missed their afternoon nap. Little caterpillar was exhausted. Finally some much needed rest, with her lovely tigger on the side.