Friday, April 29, 2011

Learning to Embroider

I finally finished my first embroidery! I had to learn 3 stitches to complete this sampler. I think I'm going to turn it into a pillow, but for now I have it framed in our family room. I love looking at it! I have to admit I'm sucker for the adorable Bare Roots patterns at the quilt shop with all the adorable stitching! I've bought quite a few to make!

If you want to learn embroidery and don't know where to start, there's a great website to help-! It totally helped me out to complete mine. Here's a link to short video's teaching you all the stitches! Happy stitching!
Not bad for my first project! I'm excited to have something to keep in my purse for a project on the go!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Flannel Board and Flannel Story Tutorial

Here's how to make your own flannel board and stories! I've included the link so you can make the stories for the 5 Little Duck song and Easter story (plus a lot more).

Making Your Flannel Board:


Dry Erase Board
Cardboard Display Board
Flannel by the yard
Duck Tape
Glue Gun (Optional)

Since I wanted to be able to use this tool for preschool activities (songs, stories, letters, shapes, etc), and family night, I didn't just want a flannel board. So I decided to add a flannel board to a dry erase board. This is the front side. It's a dry erase board, and also magnetic so I can use cute magnets too. I got this dry erase board at Walmart for $16. They also have nice ones at Costco.
Front of the Board

Here's a view of the back of the dry erase board. It has a little medal lip and goes in about an inch. This is where my flannel board is going to go.
Next take your Display Board, or a very large piece of cardboard (also available at Walmart or Target). I call this a science fair board cause that's the only thing I had used them for until this. Lay the board down on top of the dry erase board and cut off any excess. The size of my dry erase board fit perfectly if I just cut off the 2 side pieces that fold. It's also important to cut the cardboard the exact size of the board. You want it to fit really tightly and if you try to make it smaller it will be too small. The cardboard will give and fit in perfectly. You should check it now.

Once you have your cardboard, cover it with a nice flannel. I got white flannel cut by the yard. Lay the flannel down, lay the card board down on top of it, then fold back the excess to the back of the cardboard and secure with duct tape. I think it's kinda like wrapping a present but the entire back doesn't need to be covered. (SEE Picture Below)

I used duck tape and NOT a glue gun to secure my flannel because I wanted to be able to replace the flannel when it gets dirty or change colors. The duck tape secures it without making it permanent. Turn the board around and insert into the back of the dry erase board. It should fit snugly.

If you DON'T want to change it then use hot glue to glue the flannel to the board and then use hot glue to secure the cardboard to the dry erase board.
Now insert your covered cardboard into the back of your dry erase board.

Here's a close up of the corner so you can see how the flannel board fits nicely into the dry erase board.
And here's the final product!
I love having it versatile so I can use magnets, flannel board, can write or even tape things to the other side. It's so perfect. And to answer some questions- yes the flannel board could fall out if I tip it over and shake it, but so far after having this for 4 1/2 years, my kids have yet to take out the flannel part or ruin it. And they LOVE playing with it!

Making Your Flannel Board Stories:
There are 2 main ways you can create your own flannel board story pieces.

One way is to get color images (I have links below) and print them out onto Iron-On transfer paper. I found it the cheapest at Walmart. This pack cost about $10 but I still haven't run out of it and I've done quite a lot.
Then cut out your images and iron onto white flannel following the package instructions. Here's a sample image.
I think this method is the best if you can get really good quality color images. These are very sturdy and last the longest with children. I prefer this method when I can get the images.

The other method of creating your own story pieces is printing the image out onto good quality card stock. Color the image if needed, then laminate the piece. Then attach a piece of felt to the back of the piece so it will stick to your board. Walmart carries individual sheets of flannel that have a sticky back. This worked great for these pieces. I just cut out a small square, peeled off the back and stuck to my piece.
Front of Paper Laminated Piece
Back of Paper Laminated Piece
To get you started, here are my favorite links to TONS of free flannel board stories!
Here's a great site to make the preschool felt stories. They have the The Ducks, Hungry Cattipillar, Brown Bear, Stone Soup, Farm Animals, Family, Shapes, some Christmas stories, and a bunch more.

Here's a great site for church felt stories including the Easter story. Some of these are in color and some are black and white.

This simple tool and stories has brought hour and hours of fun and teaching to our family! I hope you enjoy making and using yours!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Thanks for participating in my first giveaway! I had fun doing it and will do more :-) Here's the winners!

True Random Number Generator 4

Congratulations, Kal who said,
KAL said...

New follower here :) Saw and commented on your guest blog over at Running with Glitter. Email is


True Random Number Generator 6

Mohlers said...

Love it! I can always use more fabric for projects I have yet to do :).

I'll email you for your addresses so I can mail on Monday! Thanks everybody! Happy crafting!

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I'm guest blogging today! For the first time!! Come check my new tutorial over at Running with Glitter! Here's a sneak peak! I'll be posting it here next week for my archives.
To celebrate my first guest blogging, I'm giving away 2 fun prizes! The first prize is this adorable fabric!! The first is a fat quarter three pack of pink/brown coordinating Michael Miller prints!

And the second prize is this fat quarter three pack of soft brushed flannel in pink and blue!

To enter you must 1- become a follower of this blog and 2- leave a comment with an email to contact you if you win! You can get a second entry if you blog about it, a third if you facebook about it! This is only open to US residents. Giveaway ends Friday at 5pm (PST). The winner will be announced on Saturday and I'll ship it Monday when I get back into town.

I'm off to the desert for a few days! Have a wonderful weekend!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Hand-Blown Egg Tutorial

This is my all time favorite Easter craft! I learned how to do this from my Great Grandma when I was around 11. I have learned so much from my Great Grandma Dover. She is a wonderful seamstress, cook, and crafter. She always had great ideas of projects to do together! I loved spending the afternoon with her helping her make these special eggs for Easter!

These eggs are a great alternative to using plastic eggs in your decorating projects! Use them to make a wreath, put in glass containers for your mantel, or in a centerpiece for your table! They won't go bad and look very elegant! It's also very inexpensive to make!
Straight Pin
Egg Decorating Supplies
Step 1: Take your egg and with your straight pin, poke a small hole in the top of the egg. Next to that hole, poke several more small holes.
You want a small hole in the top that looks about like this.
Step 2- Repeat this process on the bottom of the egg as well. You now have a small hole on the top and bottom of the egg.

Step 3- Now your going to hold the egg over your bowl and blow in the top hole. I also take the straight pin and poke it in the hole on the top and bottom and stir the egg around. The more you break up the yoke, the easier it will come out.
It should look like this when the yoke starts coming out. Now you need a good dose of patience and lots of air to finish :-)
When the yellow yolk starts coming out then you're almost there! I've also found that shaking the egg, running just a little bit of water into the top hole, and stirring around will help get the yolk out faster.

Step 4- Once all of the yolk is out, run some water into the top hole, shake it around and blow out. Let the egg dry.

Step 5- Repeat this process for all of the eggs you would like to do.

Step 6- Decorate! You can decorate the eggs however you would like! The firs step in this process is usually dieing the eggs. Because your egg is now hollow, it will float! So you have to hold down your egg during the dieing process. Once some water gets inside then it can sink but you have to hold it down a while while it fills.
Here's a great link to creating your own die baths for your eggs from Not So Martha (scroll down past the craft).

Then you can embellish (and hide the small holes) however you'd like! You can keep it simple...

or use flowers and ribbon...
or rhinestones and pearls!
I think your hand blown eggs make a fabulous Easter decoration that will last from year to year, and look so much more classy than plastic eggs.
And how do I store my cherished eggs? I put them in a special sterling silver bowl we got when we were married and keep in my china cabinet. It brings a smile to my face whenever I see them throughout the year!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Max & Whiskers

Have you seen this new fabric line? It's SOOO hard to find cute boy fabric! And finally, there's a new line from Moda that is so cute!
and here's what my mom did with it for me and my newest addition...
Yep, a brand new beautiful custom fit car seat cover! It' not one of those elastic band covers. This is completely fitted and perfect. I LOVE the fabric and my carrier. It's one of my favorite new baby items and it's even on my old car seat that's already gone through 2 babies. Thanks Mom! You're amazing!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Happy Spring!

I'm in love with my new spring table runner! Big thanks to my sister for making it for me for Christmas! (she drew my name in our gift exchange and I knew this is exactly what I wanted. I knew I was having a baby right before April and would never get it done myself. Thanks Tiff!)

and introducing my newest addition and I'm sure newest blog model....