Sunday, March 27, 2011

Disney World Spring Break Tips

Lines too long? Take a break for face painting or a temporary tattoo~
For my Disney followers, here are a few of my favorite pieces dealing with Disney World Spring Break. Some of these are directly about Spring break itself, while others are simply about dealing with crowds (which you will see!) and the busy times of year:

* Best Disney Resorts for Spring Break
* Surviving Spring Break at Disney World
* Disney World in April
* Extra Magic Hours at Disney World
* Affordable Disney Dining Tips

Thursday, March 24, 2011

FO: Girls Boutique Outfit now with Chicks!

 SO its no secret we're a little chick happy around here right now! The babies are GROWING so fast--they are starting to look like real chickens!

Inspired by our chick-happy life, here is a cute little outfit perfect for a farm visit--this one is a custom, but I am thinking of making one for Charlotte, I am happy with how it turned out and think it would look cute on her!

I like the red and white ticking, and wasn't sure about the chick fabric, but it works, I think. I used my own pattern, but this could easily be duplicated by using a commercial pattern and adding some extra details.

Close up of the chicken-themed cuff

Shirt close up!
This was fun to make--I love making kids clothing, it really goes so quickly since the pieces are so small.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

FO: Recycled Juice Pouch Easter Bags

Old juice pouches + marabou=cute Easter bags
So, I won't let my kids have Capri Suns or other sugary drinks (only two like juice anyway, and Juicy Juice seems to work just fine).

The only downside to this health concious decision? I have to go begging for colorful juice pouches to craft with. (Try explaining that to a Mom/friend--"I don't give my kids those gross drinks, but you do, so can I can the pouches? KThanxBye).

Each bag takes two matching pouches (use a sharp sewing needle in the machine. The maribou is sewn on, but I am guessing that a plastic friendly glue would work as well.

Cute recycled craft, just in time to be Easter purses for little girls...and if you hit up a friend for the used juiceboxes and use on-hand!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Wishlist: Some Recent Favorites

Since my camera has disappeared into the nexus of the universe (complete with new pictures of our bunnies and the super fast growing chicks), I am going to share a few pieces from my wishlist instead! My "wishes" usually include stuff I want to make myself, but these are simply lovely things made by other artists, pulled from my (many pages long) list of etsy favorites:

Pretty! Purple! Want!!!
This gorgeous coat is from etsy seller Enlightened Platypus, who is not only incredibly talented, she is super nice as well. This piece is made from recycled sweaters and fabric and looks like it was designed for dramatic entrances. Love it!

One of my favorite pieces ever.
Ok, the awful thing about this piece? I want it, even though I already own this bit of red loveliness from the same seller!

This arrived beautifully packaged with a nice note from the seller. She used my measurements to make it and it fits perfectly

 If you want a stunning, eyecatching well made sweater check out her etsy'll need to get in line though, these pretties sell out within minutes of posting!

I also love the stylish and exotic jewelry from seller XOXODana. I tend to gravitate to sellers who are not only talented but also take great photos :) I really love this piece, it has an organic feel to it, with a great mix of metal, leather and glass.

This seller is also a sweetie, though I haven't met her in person--we are actually slightly related! She is the sister-in-law of my favorite sister-in-law (the one I made these cashmere gloves for).  Queue the theme from "It's a Small World"!

I am also totally loving this Loch Ness monster plush from Alexzcreations. For me. Not the kids. Mine. Not theirs. No touchie!
Adorable, love the hat!
This seller is the creative genius/owner of the SpookyPooky blog--I shared some of her super cute hand-drawn Valentines last month as well...That's February and March...makes me want to check and see what she comes up with for April!

I'll be back this week as soon as my camera re-appears from the wormhole--I did get a chance to snap a finished minion, the chicks first time outside and the start of our rather ambitious garden (2,000 square feet of veggie goodness!) Yep, that's thousand--so I will be begging people to take tomatoes off our hands in about two months!!

In the meantime, if you are in a Disney frame of mind, I am finishing up an exhaustive list of ride reviews for the Magic's a tough job, but someone has to do it!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Look! A bunny!!

I have been looking for an angora bunny for awhile--they are harder to find than you would think! I want an angora for two reasons--as a pet and for the fiber. Finding one that is friendly and doesn't mind the daily grooming the breed requires took awhile, but today we are picking up Louie:
Isn't he handsome?
Louie comes to us from the Luv-n-Bunns rabbit rescue organization, and the ladies I have spoken with there have taken such great care of him and have been so careful in placing him. I am glad to adopt him--both for his cute little furry self, and to support such a great organization! If you are looking for a bunny, consider adopting one instead of buying one retail, you'll save a life and gain a wonderful companion.

But wait, there's more bunny to this tale!!

I really wanted a bonded pair--although the girls and I will give him plenty of attention, I wanted him to have a friend so he didn't get lonely. He is such a sweetie that he got a little bullied by the girls and boys they tried to pair him with, so we figured he would be a solo bunny.

 We found out this morning that he finally found a match--a baby girl bunny about 6 weeks old. So we are picking up not one, but two bunnies today! I don't know what she looks like (the only things I cared about were that she like Louie and enjoy LOTS of attention from the girls). Jeff only cares that they poo--a lot, for his compost bins! She'll take a little trip back to the rescue when she's bigger, so she can be spayed (Louie comes to us neutered, as much as I love bunnies, I don't want babies!!)

I am putting them in the inlaw suite with the chickies for a day or two to let them adapt to all of us. My dad referred to me as "Ellie Mae Clampett" the other day on the phone, thanks to all the critters we have....

I will post pictures when we get them home and settled!

Friday, March 11, 2011

FO Friday: A sweater and a disaster!

Yeah, the sleeve colors are not perfect--but I would have had to buy another ball of yarn to match them!
So this sweater, last seen on a WIP wednesday , is now complete. I did decide not to use buttons, the holes are not in a good spot for me--they are a little too low. I am using a shawl clasp instead. I am really happy with this, and think it will be a good sweater for spring. The yarn is Noro Taiyo, which is a cotton/silk blend, and the pattern is Knitty's Mr. Greenjeans, with a modification for gauge, as Taiyo is a little heavier than the yarn called for in the pattern.
FO math for this piece: Great Pattern + Great Yarn = Great Sweater!

On to the disaster! You may remember this piece from another WIP Wednesday:
Off to such a good start--anyone know a giant who needs a cowl?
The math from this one is a little different--it looks like this:

Great Pattern + Gorgeous Yarn + "Winging it" when changing the yarn gauge=Giant disaster cowl!

I used the awesome "Pretty Thing" pattern, which I have used successfully for two other cowls before and Artyarns Beaded Mohair Silk (which is absolutely luxurious to work with). The problem? the Artyarns is a sport or light worsted weight and the pattern calls for fingering/lace. So I just lopped off two pattern repeats from the width and got to knitting. The awful thing is, I know how to modify patterns correctly, I just didn't bother messing with the math. Mistake. huge, oversized, giant cowl of a mistake. I pulled this triumphantly off the needles, ready to wear something lovely--soft and sparkling....and realized how oversized it was. It looks terrible, and all the lace work is just squashed in on itself, even blocking didn't help.

So, choices now: 
  1. Leave it hidden in the project bag until I forget it exists (what I have been doing since Monday)
  2. Felt it to make it smaller--I know the mohair will felt, not sure how the other components will react
  3. Frog it--but it will take a while and may shred the mohair, it is very grabby.
  4. Find a cow or yak that needs a pretty cowl for spring, and gift it.
What do you think? Any other suggestions?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Homemade Compost Bin -- Free!

We now have not one, but two homemade compost bins for the garden. They are both made of shipping pallets--the first ones were left out for trash in front of a local business --yay for recycling!
 The others were found a few weeks later, again, free. This time they were listed on, a site I adore for finding recycled and gently used items.

Here is the first bin, which was filled by Halloween and has been happily composting all winter. Remember all those acorns? They've been reduced to compost and are ready for the garden.
The cardboard on the side was deemed "not suitable" for composting by our in-house expert.
As with our homemade chicken brooder, I think it is an awesome idea, and Jeff did all the work. He used a hammer and nails to bang the four pallets together into a bin ( it doesn't have a bottom). It has wintered over perfectly, despite the all the snow we've had here.

Well, I will take credit for spotting the pallets and talking him into trash-picking them, something he up until then had refused to even consider. But the lure of a homemade compost bin --and hey, a free one at that--lured him in.

Bin #2 is about 10 feet from the first, and is made almost the same way, three sides are nailed together,  but the fourth is attached with hook-and-eye closures. This way it can be removed easily. I was eyeing this one for growing potatoes,  but we are filling it now with compostables (including the used litter from our new chickies) for next year.

Homemade compost bin 2 in progress.
The little seedlings we are caring for now are going to be well fed this spring! to figure out what to use for a homemade rain barrel!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

How to Make a Homemade Tutu : Tu-Tu-Tutorial

Make an adorable homemade tutu—perfect for dress-up, costume, or a special occasion. This technique allows you to quickly create an adorable tutu for your favorite person or pet, using a few simple supplies. Be careful—tutus are addictive! You may find yourself with one in every color!

Keep tutus short for infants, to make it easy to crawl.
(Makes 1 tutu for a baby, child, or pet---or even for yourself):
  • 2 Spools of Netting Tulle in your favorite color
  • 1” thick  waistband (non curling) elastic
  • Scissors
  • Needle and thread or sewing machine
  • Tape measure
  1. Measure the waist of the person who will be wearing the tutu. Add one inch to this measurement.
  2. Cut a piece of elastic to match this measurement
  3. Overlap the ends of the elastic, forming a waistband, and sew to secure. You can do this by hand or machine.
  4. Decide how long you want your tutu to be. 12” is a good length for small children. Crawling babies and pets may need shorter lengths—about 8” would work
  5. Double the length measurement you want—so if you want 12” in finished length, you will need to cut 24” strips of tulle. 
  6. Use scissors to cut strips of tulle from the roll in your desired length. 
  7. Use a lark’s head knot* to attach each strip to the tutu. Place strips all the way around the waistband. The more strips you use, the fuller your tutu will be. 
  8. Your tutu is finished and ready to wear when you are happy with the look

*Larks head knot: This is a very easy knot to make—chances are, you already know how to make one, but didn’t know the name of it!
1. Fold the strip of tulle in half, forming a loop at the top, and letting the ends dangle.
2. Place the loop behind the elastic waistband, and pass the tulle ends through the loop.
3. Pull the ends to secure.
Project Notes:
  • Don’t limit yourself to a single color—you can use multiple colors to create a unique tutu for any occasion.
  • Decorate the waistband of your handmade tutu with silk flowers or pretty ribbon for a fresh new look.
Want more cute craft tutorials?
Puppy Tug Toy
Needlefelting tutorial
Homemade ChickenBrooder

Monday, March 7, 2011

The peeps are here!

Remember this homemade chicken brooder? Well, now it has its first residents!
New chicks in the homemade brooder box!

We picked up chicks yesterday--8 in all, of several different varieties. These ladies are for eggs, not roasting, and we have 2 each of Buff Orpingtons, Wyandottes, Silkies and Cinnamon Queens. We picked these up at Jersey Chickens (they have a great site, see it here).

One day old Silkie--rooster or hen? No one knows for sure...

Extreme closeup of one of the Cinnamon Queen hens
This adorable Wyandotte looks like a baby duck!
The Buff Orpingtons are about a week old, the rest are a day or two old. There is already a size difference between the week-olds and the newbies! I found the two larger chicks on top of the water and food containers today, a good 8" jump (not bad for critters that are about 2 inches tall!)
Super high jumping Buff Orpington chick

Chicks are addictive...when these guys outgrow the brooder, I am getting some guinea hen babies to fill it again!
I will update again as they grow...
Need to build a Chicken Coop? Click Here!