Sunday, August 26, 2012

Little Dresses for Africa - School Colors

Have you heard of Little Dresses for Africa (LDFA)?   Rachel has a Website Here and you can find her on Facebook Here.  LDFA collects simple little dresses and shorts (for boys) from all over the world and hand delivers them to several different countries.

I first found LDFA when I was looking for a simple dress pattern for my daughter - I blogged about it HERE.  I've sewn up a few pillowcase dresses and have donated them to this charity.  It's fun, easy, and such a sweet cause.

A week or so ago, Rachel suggested on her Facebook Page that we (any and everyone) make some little  dresses in our school colors for LDFA.  I thought that was a great idea!  So, off to the fabric store I went and bought some Green and Gold.  When I sat down to start cutting the material, I was suddenly struck with inspiration!

My Niece has a 2 1/2 year old BEAUTIFUL daughter (we call her Lil Queen because she's such a sweet lil Diva!  and she doesn't walk or run, she sorta bounces and tippie-toes) and I've been wanting to make her some summer dresses, but just haven't had time.  Well, I sat down and whipped her out a cute little dress!  It was so fun and easy, I've decided to use this design for my LDFA dresses instead of the traditional pillowcase pattern that I use.  There are no buttons or zippers, so it will be very durable and simple.

As I'm sewing up the dresses, I'll take some photos and share how I made the dress.  I didn't use a pattern, but I was inspired by

From an Igloo's Garden dress and  Prudent Baby's Summertime Jumper.

I hope that you'll be inspired too and make some little dresses for LDFA!  Maybe in your School colors!!

The front has elastic.

The back has a buttonhole that the straps go through for adjusting the length of the straps

Isn't she a doll!  All those little blonde curls!!

Ladybug and MaoMao didn't help with the dresses, but they are just so darn sweet together. She loves that little cat and I love her!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Lanyard Tutorial

Hot Yam Son of a Gun you did it (a censored version of the phone text I sent my sister)!!  My sister, Peaches, is a full fledged Kindergarten teacher!!    Waaaahooooheeehaaaaaawww!  I'm doing circles for you Peaches!  I have to admit very proudly that Peaches is one of the most amazing individuals I have ever met and I'm blessed to call her kin.  She starts her new adventure in life as a kindergarten teacher on Monday!!

Many years ago when I was studying education, I 'observed' a kindergarten classroom.  I was planning on teaching K-3rd  grade.  However, after a few weeks of 'observing', I shook the kindergarten teacher's hand and declared her a saint and informed her I could not, would not be a teacher.   I changed my major and never looked back.

Peaches on the other hand is made of all that good, patient, loving, calming stuff that kindergarten teachers are made of.  I truly hope that she starts a blog and I know that she'll keep us all laughing with her Kindergarteners' antics.   One of the items that I made for her new classroom was some lanyards. My Little Ladybug was in Kindergarten last year and she was always wearing a lanyard.  Her teacher used them for field trips, going to the media center, special events, and more.  Well, Peaches' fellow teachers really liked her lanyards, so I'm working on some for them too.  Then I thought, there are lots of teachers out there and these lanyards are super easy and quick to make, why not do a here we go.  :)

First cut a strip 2.5" x 36"  You can make the strip longer or shorter depending on your need and preference.  Fold and press one short end about 1/4".  Fold and press lengthwise toward center so that raw edges touch half way in the middle.  Do not let them over lap.

Fold and press in half again along the length of the strip.  Place a key ring onto the strip.  Open up the strip at the short ends and tuck the raw edge end into the folded end.  Make sure that your strip is not twisted. Fold back together.
Sew along the edge of the folded short-end piece.  I always pull up my bobbin thread on top so that it will not get tangled.  Make sure you back stitch.  

Without cutting the thread, turn and begin sewing down the length of the strip.  Sew close to the edge but make sure that it is catching the bottom edge too.

Sew all the way around until you get to the beginning; stop and turn before you cross over your first stitches.  Sew along the short end, parallel to your first stitch line.  Turn again and begin sewing along the opposite end.  This side is the folded edge and does not need to be sewn; however, I have found that sewing this side too adds durability and helps the lanyard not to twist.   Sew all the way around and don't forget to back stitch a few times before cutting your thread.

 Move your key ring down to where your two short ends where sewn together.

Sew several times between the two parallel stitches.   This step helps keep the key ring in place.

You can add a clip to the key ring.  I like using a key ring because it makes it very easy to change the clips when needed.  I hope that you enjoy and remember, the only real thing that you can change in this world is your perspective.  It's amazing of the wonderful things that happen in life when we begin to see life with a hopeful and positive perspective.  Love life, one moment at a time! -Little Mama Hen.
Linking up to

Crafty Vegas Mom

Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Freemotion by the River

Quilt Story

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Bear Paw Pattern

Not long ago I discovered the Bear Paw Pattern while roaming the internet for inspiration.  To me it looks more like a pretty flower than the claw of a bear.  I really like it.  I can't wait to make some more blocks.  Have you ever tried the Bear Paw?  There are some really pretty patterns out there and I want to try them all.    This particular size variation came from Craft and Fabric Links;  the final block is 14.5" square.

Bear Paw or Bear Claw
And what has Mr. MaoMao been up to??? Well, let's just say he's been trying on Little Ladybug's doll clothes.  ;)  Such a silly boy.

I'm linking up to 

I'm also joining a blog hop in October, check it out Here

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Blog Hop

Leafs Me Happy,

I joined my first Blog Hop!  You can join it too!  The deadline to join is August 17th, then the hop takes place in October!  I think it will be fun and there'll be Giveaways too! Yay!

Check out what to do at:

Sew We Quilt

Monday, August 13, 2012

Bran Muffin Recipe

I really am amazed how quickly Summer has blazed by!  Little Ladybug starts First Grade next week!!!  Wasn't I just pregnant with her, craving Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream!  Little Man will be with me one more year and then next fall he will start Pre-School!  They are both growing so fast and it is bitter-sweet.

For some reason Boxed Cereal has been a big breakfast item this Summer.  We don't usually eat a lot of cereal, but the kids (and I) have been munching on cereal all Summer and it's been fun.  The cereals I like best are Mini Frosted Wheat, Bran Flakes, and Peanut Butter Captain Crunch. ;)

I like using the Bran Flakes cereal to make Bran Muffins  AND (believe it or not) the kids love the Bran Muffins too!  Now, I'm not so naive to say that these Bran Muffins are Healthy and good for you, BUT they do have some good things in them.

What you'll need:
3/4 cup all purpose flour (I use King Arthur unbleached)
3/4 cup wheat flour (King Arthur too)
1 TBSN baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups Bran Flakes (measure 3 cups and then grind them in a blender)
1 1/2 cup milk (I use 2%)
1 egg
1/4 cup butter (I use smart balance)
1 cup of Chocolate Chips (optional)

What to do:

1.  Mix milk and ground bran flakes.  Let them soak up the milk for about 5-10 minutes.  
2.  Add butter, egg, and sugar.  Mix well.
3.  Add salt and baking powder.  Mix well and then gradually add flour.  
4.  Stir in about a cup of Chocolate chips
5.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes in a greased muffin pan.

Enjoy!  -Little Mama Hen

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Pet Contest

 A Pet/Quilt Photo Contest!  That sounded like fun to me.  Over at Lily Pad Quilting you can enter  the contest too (Until August 9, 2012).  There are a lot of great prizes too!  So without delay I present......(drum roll please)......

Emperor Mao Mao
Mao Mao was an abandoned kitten that found refuge in the bushes in front of our house.  We found him dehydrated, hungry, a few fleas, an ear fungus, and very very scared.  We (Me and my two little ones) couldn't get him to come out of the bushes.  He wanted to but he was just to scared.  So, we found a yoohoo (chocolate milk) and started meowing.  Every time we would meow, he would meow back and come a little closer.  Finally, after half an hour of meowing he came close enough to the edge of the bushes to drink some yoohoo and I caught him.  He didn't fight; it was as if he was happy that we finally caught him.  

We took him to the Vet and got him all cleaned up and now he is one of the family.  I never knew I was a cat person, but this little guy is sweet and playful and FULL of sweet Mischief.   He loves that I sew and quilt or at least he makes himself right at home among my strings, fabric, rulers, and baskets.  Sometimes, it is IMPOSSIBLE to do any kind of sewing because he attacks everything! haha  

I am very sorry for Mao Mao that he had such a rough start in life, but we are very blessed that he found his way to our front door!  And I have to admit, I like being his Mommy.  I like that I'm the one he comes to when he's sleepy, he meows at me for his morning milk, and he tries to sleep on my head at night; he makes me think I'm a very good mommy indeed.  ;)

sometimes getting pictures of pets aren't easy.

Come on Mao Mao, just look at mommy...PLEASE!

I see you Mommy, don't touch my quilt.

I've got claws and I'm not afraid to use them.  ;)

And of course Mao Mao has his very own quilt.  ;)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Dresden Charity Finish

Vacation is always FUN!!!  But it's always so wonderful to come home.  We had an exciting trip to visit some of Scott's (my husband) family.  We hiked and explored and had picnics and hiked some more!  Everyone had a great time and we were all happy to be home.  Mao Mao had stayed behind to spend some time with my Mom.  I'm sure he was spoiled silly; however, he was very happy to see his family return and we were greeted with much purring and sweet nudges.

Before we left for vacation, I finished the Dresden Charity quilt.  I couldn't decide what charity to send it to, so I asked Mama to help.  Every so often she buys 'Bundles' of stuffed animals and takes them to the local hospital's Childrens Wing.  Before a child goes into surgery or chemo or whatever scary event that is before them, they are given a soft stuffed animal to hold and hug and love on.  I don't know if it will be someone at the hospital that will receive the quilt, but if I know my Mama she'll find just the right little one that needs it.

Little One, wherever you are, this quilt was made just for you.  It is already full of love and hope.   May you be blessed with comfort and peace.

My first attempts to take pictures were attacked by Mao Mao. Why is my quilt on the floor?? Simple, Mao Mao pulled it down on top of himself.  He's under there and was not a bit interested in crawling out. ha!

My only hope to get a decent picture was to go out on the patio where Mao Mao is not allowed. He was not happy, but he's still so cute.  

I love the colors purple and blue together.  so pretty.  :)

As much as I love this quilt, I love the backing even more!  I didn't know what fabric to use at first and then I had an idea! Why not make a scrappy patchwork back!  I never realized how much I really love patchwork.  So many colors and sizes. I like my life to be sprinkled with a variety of cultures, people, views, perspectives; it makes for a beautiful quilty kind of life.
Hopping on over to Quilting by the River where I'm sure to find inspiration and more cute cats!

May your day be a quilty kind of day!   -Little Mama Hen.