Monday, January 28, 2013

6 months

More precious than a diamond

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Mr. Frog

Do you have the time? Mr. Frog does!

Made of wool-blend felt with hand embroidered details. Complete with removable plaid trousers and gold pocket watch! Available for sale in my etsy shop.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Hopscotch mat tutorial

Want to make your own hopscotch mat? They're great for playing indoors on cold or rainy days, are machine washable, and roll up for easy storage. (Thanks to my friend Bethany for the idea!)


12" x 14" pieces of fabric:

  • x 10 cotton print
  • x 10 white muslin

85" x 36" medium or heavy weight fabric for the mat (I used an old curtain panel)
Twill tape, ribbon, or bias tape
Disappearing marking pen or chalk
Fusible webbing/tape
Fabric turner
Fiber-Lok Non-Skid Rug Backing
Cardboard toilet paper roll
Paint brush


Fold the long sides of the mat fabric over 3/4" and press. Fold another 3/4" and press again. Sew along inner edges. Repeat for one short side of the fabric. Before hemming the second short side, tuck the twill tape under the hem, 5 1/2" in from the long side of the mat. Make sure one piece of twill tape is pulled away from the fabric. Sew along inner edge of hem, then sew along outer edge of hem where the twill tape is pulled away from the fabric.

Pin together each 12" x 14" cotton print to a 12" x 14" piece of muslin, right sides together. Sew around the edges with a 1/2" seam allowance. Do not leave an opening.

Clip the corners and cut a 4" slit in the muslin, 3" in and parallel to the long side of the rectangle. Turn right side out by pulling the printed fabric through the slit. Push out corners with a fabric turner. Press.

Print numbers and cut out. I used Myriad Pro font, size 400, or you can download the number template here. Trace the numbers onto the fronts of each rectangle using chalk or a disappearing marking pen.

Using a zig-zag stitch, stitch around the outline of the number. I used the following sewing machine settings:
Tension: 3
Length: 0.4
Width: 3.0

Cut away the printed fabric inside the number, being careful not to cut through the muslin.

Pin the rectangles onto the mat then secure with fusible webbing. This will keep them in place while sewing. Sew rectangles onto mat.

If you like, you can use scraps of fabric to create a small bean bag and pocket to store it in. The pocket closes with velcro and the bean bag is filled with rice.

The last step is to add non-slip rug backing to the mat. Cut off the end of a toilet paper roll to create a round stencil. Using the toilet paper roll stencil, paint the rug backing onto the back of the mat in a polka-dot pattern. (Use in a well ventilated area because it has a pretty strong smell.) Let dry overnight.

The finished hopscotch mat:




Roll up and tie with twill tape to store

Monday, January 14, 2013

Squirrel pull toy

This paper mache pull toy was a birthday gift for a friend's little girl. Zach built the base and I made the squirrel. The tutorial, along with videos, is available on Martha Stewart's website.

A couple of things I learned along the way:

  • Apply several thin layers of paper clay. I applied 2 layers but think next time I would do at least 3 layers for a smoother surface.
  • You can speed up drying time between layers by placing the paper mache on a sheet pan in a 170 degree oven.
  • When painting on the dots, make sure the paint is not too thick. I used acrylic paint and noticed that some of the colors dried a little bumpy. Next time I would water the paint down a bit so the paint dries smooth. You only need to use a small amount of paint for each dot. The tutorial says to use a dowel rod to apply the paint but I used the wooden end of a paint brush.

Below is a photo of my squirrel when the first layer of paper clay was being applied. The paper clay really helps smooth out the surface.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wool dryer ball tutorial

Wool roving
Panty hose

Begin by tying a knot in a strip of wool roving. This will form the center of your wool ball. Wrap the roving around the knot and continue wrapping until a large ball is formed. Make the ball a little larger then the desired finished size because it will shrink when you felt it.

Put the wool ball in the end of a panty hose leg and tie it off with a knot. You can put more than one ball in the panty hose, just make sure to tie a knot between each ball.

Put the panty hose containing the wool balls into the washing machine and wash for 2 cycles in hot water, no detergent. Dry in dryer on high heat until dry. This will felt the wool and make the balls firm.

Wool dryer balls are a good substitute for fabric softener and also help cut down on drying time. They work great for cloth diapers too.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

5 months

There's never a Boron moment with Vera!