Chillin' wiht my Peeps

FREE file to make a super cute spring shirt

Mini Photo Frame Banner

A cute and simple way to display mini pictures - come find out how to make one for yourself!

Pony Bead Lizards

Learn step-by-step how to make pony bead lizards

Glitter Felt Hairbows

Add a little sparkle to any little girls wardrobe with these DIY hairbows!

Perfect Crisp Lines

Find out the trick to getting perfectly crisp lines on name signs

June 30, 2010

Playroom: Welcome Rug

Getting overloading with the playroom craft parade??  I love showing it all off.  I've been wanting to do a couple of things that are everywhere in the craft blog world - use burlap and do freezer paper stencils.  A play welcome mat was a great project to combine the two.
I printed the letters off using Word.  Then I grabbed some freezer paper - it even says great for crafts!
With the piece of freezer paper over the letters I printed, I used a razor blade knife thing (utility knife?) to trace the letters and cut them out.  I thought this would be slow and tricky, but it really wasn't.
Then I just ironed on the freezer paper to the burlap and used it as a stencil.  When the paint had dried about 5-10 minutes, I peeled the freezer paper off.
I thought it needed more interest and really wanted to add some ruffles (must be all those burlap ruffle runners I've been seeing) but I have a toddler who can trip on flat ground and who knows what would happen with ruffles to step on.  So I just sewed a couple of flat strips of fabric on the top and bottom.  That was it!

Playroom: Floor Cushions

I just thought that every tree needs a place to sit under it.  So my tree was begging for some floor cushions.  And ever since the idea was linked-up on my Take-A-Look tuesday, I've had these floor cushions from Living with Punks on my mental to-make-soon list.  About that same time the blog Lucky Star Lane was doing a post about using denium, so I had it in my mind to combine the ideas - denium floor cushions.  So that's what I did - - follow the above link for the full tutorial, but here are my tweaks:

I thought it'd be fun to have a patchwork look, plus I was using an old pair of overalls for my denium, so I couldn't get one large piece out of it anyways.  I cut 9 squares out like so for each side:
Then I sewed then into rows, then I sewed the rows onto each other.  I do not claim to be a quilter, so everything didn't line up perfectly, but eh, it's just a floor cushion so perfection wasn't needed.
To cut a 17 in diameter circle, I measured my biggest bowl and then added  a couple of inces all the way around. 
Then I didn't want my cushion quite so tall so mine middle is about 7 inches high instead of 9 inches.  For the handle I just used the strap part of the overalls.  The edges were all finished except for one, so that was perfect.
I should have taken a picture of the piping packaging to show you.  I looked all around the cording and pillowmaking section, and found some piping there, that you buy by the yard, but it was all decorator stuff and tasteful colors, not the orange I wanted.  Then I happened upon what I needed - prepackaged piping, and it hangs out with the packages of bias tape, kind of near the thread.  You'll need 2 packs.  Piping is easy so don't be intimidated - you just add it between the 2 layers you're sewing - easy, and it gives such a nice finished look.  You will need to use your zipper foot on your sewing machine to let you sew close to the piping.
Then just fill it.  I bought an old bean bag from a garage sale for just this purpose.  I let the kids help fill it.  When I took the picture everything was under control.  So I let them at it while I was checking blogs - mistake - if only I had taken a picture after I heard them say "look, it's snowing inside!"...
Oh, I forgot to mention, when I cut the squares, on the back side of the cushions one of the squares was cut from the pocket of the overalls.  So there's a "hidden pocket" - the kids enjoy it.
I made the bigger cushion first, and then realized I had enough piping left to make a smaller cushion.  It's 4 squares and I just measured how much piping was left and made that my circumference.  
 I love these cushions!!

Playroom: Apron to Match

(No Show-Off this week - it's the Playroom Craft Parade and I am headed out of town while that is rolling on auto-pilot.  I'm sure there were lots of fabulous links - I'll do a shout-out to a few from this week on next Take-A-Look Tuesday!)

Most people might think it's overkill, but if you're reading craft blogs you're probably on my side - I had to make an apron to match the playroom decor.  I had extra fabric, so why not!  I know we have several aprons (see HERE), but they're kind of girly so what if a boy wants to cook at the play kitchen - then we need a gender-neutral apron.  A quick how to make a plain child apron:
I had an apron from something so I just traced the shape (looking at the picture now I guess I should have folded it in half to check my symatry - looks a little off - oh well) - if you don't have an apron to trace, just make up the shape.  Then I just serged the edges.  I didn't realize I had black thread until I started sewing - oh well.  If you don't have a serger, you can hem all the edges.  But let me tell you, this was so fast to just serge and go.  I cut a pocket, serged its edges, and sewed it on as well.
Then I used ribbon for the ties.  I just attached the waist ties by sewing them on.  With the neck loop I sewed one end and used velcro for the other end.
That's it.  I don't think an apron can get any easier than this one.  Here's a couple of more models for you:

June 29, 2010

Playroom: Playhouse Shelves

Our toys used to be located in the main room in our basement - it was a huge area.  To move to this smaller playroom required lots of storage areas.  There is a playhouse built in to the playroom (it's under the stairs) and so inside it we built in lots of shelves.
There was an area that was already studded, but there was about 2 feet behind it that seemed like dead space.  We didn't want to remove the studs (what if they were load bearing) so we built the shelves inbetween them.  Maybe you can tell in this picture what I'm talking about:
The shelves hold bins for small toys.  If you're wondering, they are: polly pockets, puppets, food for the kitchen, plastic animals/little people, Mr. Potato Head, and a couple I can't remember right now.  The area on the left is left open for a closet of sorts.  Dress-up is big in our house, so there are two rows of hooks (upper and lower) for the big dresses, then drawers for accessories.  Baby clothes also take up a drawer.
I was so glad to get the dress-ups out of my daughters' room - now all the mess when friends come over is contained in one area.  And I can say "only play downstairs" - perfect.

Playroom: Handprint Portraits

It's still Take-A-Look Tuesday...scroll on down for that

The Playroom Craft Parade keeps on marching....

In my mind most houses have a wall of portraits.  So my playhouse wall of handprints is a play off that idea.  I used 4 main colors in the space, and have 4 kids - perfect.
I found these cheap frames at a garage sale and they were begging for a purpose.  I painted each a different color.  Then I had each child pick their frame and then pick the color they wanted their handprint - the stipulation was that it couldn't be the same color as the frame.  Then I painted their hand and pushed it on to a piece of paper (each kid got a "trial run" on scrappaper first) that I had cut to fit the frame.  I think it turned out great - so fun to see how the kids are growing!

Playroom: Double-sided Curtain

It's still take-a-look Tuesday - scroll on down.  But it's also the Playroom Craft Parade, so I had to keep that fun rolling...

Here's a shot of the fabrics I used up-close.  They are Riley Blake and I LOVE them.  I designed the whole space around these colors.  The playhouse has a window in it, so of course it needed a curtain.  The small challenge was that I wanted it to look good from the inside of the playhouse and from the outside, or the playroom area.  That way the kids could pull the curtain and put on a puppet show.
So here's a quick how to make a double-sided curtain.  If you want a bottom band, attach that first.  You'll need 2 panels - one for the front and one for the back.  Then hem or serge the sides - this is because when you have the tunnel where the rod goes through you'll want it finished on the ends.
Oh, I forgot to mention, grab a helper or two - straight line sewing is fun for kids.
Put your two panels right sides together and sew the top and the bottom, then turn the whole thing right-side out.  Then sew your side seams (which you already hemmed) to each other, but when you get to where your rod goes, leave an opening.  Then sew across for a tunnel for the rod.  I think this is best explained using a picture:
That's it!  Double-sided curtain - for decor or for puppet shows - it's multipurpose.  I just grabbed the cheapest rod I could find.  It came with gold hardware but I just spraypainted it white (what's with all the gold when you buy cheap things?!)
(maybe linking...check out all the link parties!)

June 28, 2010

Take-A-Look Tuesday LinkUp

I'm interrupting the PLAYROOM Craft PARADE for our Take-A-Look Tuesday....
Let's see what you have to show-off :
 - - just a run down- -
 the basic rules to the link party if this is your first time here:

  • Link to a Specific Post, not your whole blog (to do this, click on the title of the post you want to link and it will open on it's own page, then copy that url)

  • Grab my button below - you can post it on your post, on your sidebar, on a page of a list of link-ups, wherever as long as it's somewhere

  • Try to visit a few other people on the list - it's fun to support and encourage fellow craftiness - and everyone LOVES comments
If you're new to link-ups and have questions let me know and I'll do my best to help


Playroom: White Board

So since I just posted about painting a bulletin board, I thought it was a good segment to lead into the painting of a white board.
You can't paint the actual board paint, but why stick with the trim color it came with?  I made the board match our decor by painting it orange.  It wasn't hard at all and makes it look like it belongs.  I should have written something clever on the board before I took this picture - oh well, just imagine is says "We Love Sugar Bee Craft Edition!"

Playroom: Friend Cloud

On the wall directly across from the Tree is painted a big cloud.  I also painted a bulletin board white (even the cork area - why not!).  Then attached the bulletin board to the wall on top of the cloud.
We call it the Friend Cloud.  I take tons of pictures, but what do you actually do with the ones of your kids and their friends - nothing really.  So I printed a bunch off and now the kids can gaze at the pictures of them with people they love.  Did you make it on to our friend cloud???
I like how it's a bulletin board so the pictures can get changed around and added onto and all that sort of fun.

Playroom: Tree

It's playroom week here at Sugar Bee Craft Edition.  I am SOO EXCITED!! This has been a long time coming.  I will spend all this week with lots of posts (several a day - keep coming back!) of all that went into the room.  Then Friday I will  have a grand finale big reveal.  So today I want to kick-off with what anchors the whole space - the TREE.
Tree murals are all the rage, so I knew I wanted one.  Under the stairs is a playhouse so the little room next to the playhouse is like the yard.  And what yard is complete without a tree.  I browsed lots of great examples of tree murals and saw one with circles - it was just the right amount of whimsy I was looking for.  Of course I don't know the link - if anyone saw a tree that looks like mine but was all paint (no fabric) let me know so I can share the link with everyone.

I wanted to incorporate fabric on the wall to tie together the color scheme, so some of my leaves are circles of fabric.  So a quick how to paint a tree on a wall and use fabric..

I had help in this - I'm not an artist at all.  I had my husband freehand the tree outline and place all the circles.  He used our big Tupperware bowl set for the various sizes.  I traced the bowls onto the fabric in the sizes we wanted.  All the paint was finished first:
For attaching the fabric to the wall - super easy.  I found a great how-to on How About Orange - basically you paint the back of the fabric with goo, put the fabric with goo on the wall, then paint another coat of goo on top once it's on the wall.  The cornstarch holds it to the wall and apparently it will just pull off the wall whenever we need it to.  For the goo recipe I used:
1/8 C cornstarch stirred into 1/4 C cold water
then added that to 2 C boiling water
You can see how many circles I did, and there was still leftover goo.
I used 2 different fabrics from the same family (Riley Blake All Stars) - dots and stripes.  I absolutely love how this turned out.  It was just what I pictured in my head.  Love when that happens!!
I am entering this in the Fabric Challenge at CSI - - here's to hoping for a win!

June 26, 2010

Crock Pot Chicken

I thought I'd take a break from the awesome sweets I've been posting lately - it is swimsuit season and all....

So for today: crockpot chicken.  I know when you think "crockpot" you think winter.  But really it's a great cooking tool for the summer - not much prep time is involved, so you can run around doing all your summer activities, plus it doesn't heat your house up like an oven would.  I LOVE my crockpot.

Did you know that you can cook chicken in your crockpot?  I just discovered this several months ago  - and oh, what a discovery.  Oftentimes there are sales on chicken, but it's the bone-in kind and I always debate if picking around all the bones is worth the savings.  Well, now I stock up with the sales come because I cook mine and debone it without even touching the meat.  Let me show you (although meat pictures are kind of gross - sorry about that!).  You just dump the chicken in straight from the package (see, it still kind of has that square shape from coming directly off the styrofoam):
Then let it cook - in general, 1/2 a day on high or all day on low.  Occasionally stir it around.  It will cook itself down and the stirring will break it up in to pieces.  Then I just grab my tongs and take out all the bones, skin, etc, and this is what I'm left with:
Easy, right?!

Then you can use it for such things as:
--inners for enchiladas
--chicken on summer salads
--chicken over rice
--BBQ chicken sandwiches
--chicken and noodles
--the list goes on....