Let it grow

Back before I had children, I also had houseplants.  Suddenly I look around wondering what happened to them.  I mean, I remember having big pots, picking out plants, watering them and then suddenly poof!  It’s like an episode of Toy Story and they all must have snuck out when I wasn’t looking and gone on an adventure.

The timing is a bit suspicious.  It’s like, I can only handle raising one thing, children or plants.  Except for bamboo, that stuff has managed to outlast and outplay all other plants.  Oh, and one little one in my bathroom that I think survives on steam from the shower.

For example, yesterday my husband says to me about our bathroom plant “was I the last one to water this plant?” to which I replied “I don’t know, I don’t know when you watered it and I know I watered it at some point but it may have been before you.  How would I know when you watered it?  Either way it needs water”.  And then it hit me that the poor plant deserves better parents than a couple of people who can’t even figure out when it last received water.  Which brings me to my question…

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I sure hope I made the right choice!  Just kidding… sort of.  😉

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Printable Doll Clothes!!

I just had to share this fun thing that I discovered on Etsy!  Doll clothes, made out of paper!  I know, at first you probably think I’m loopy because doll clothes are fabric silly, NOT paper.  But hear me out.  Fabric doll clothes are a pain to make and expensive to buy and then they lose them.  So, to tide them over while I procrastinate making more doll clothes, and instead of them just cutting a hole in a sheet and going toga style like I did when I was little, you have this alternative!

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They’re cute, they’re SUPER easy to use, and your kids can cut them out and tape them on all they like.  Now, I admit that on our first go, we weren’t perfect, there are some split seams and some crusty looking edges but the kids had so much fun with them.

The one above was a free trial version from Printabledollclothes.com.  We had so much fun that I decided to order her huge package of them off of Etsy.  There are SO many in there.  And if you don’t have a colour printer, there are black and white templates that your kids can colour themselves!  Oh, and we only have Ever After High dolls but they do fit Barbies etc etc.

So that’s it, just wanted to share with you how I’m going to spend my Friday night, try not to be too jealous.  😉

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Peg Doll Travel House

Here’s a little tutorial for a travel toy I designed a couple of years ago.  The idea behind it was pretty simple, I wanted something small that I could keep in my purse for when my kidlets and I were in the car or at the grocery store or doctor’s office, or anywhere that their weak little attention spans could no longer handle.

Like a lot of people, I have a little crush on peg dolls.  I just love how little and solid they are.  So I decided to make a simple playhouse for them to play in and it really did amuse my kids for a decent chunk of time.

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Instructions

Supplies Needed:

Template

-two small peg dolls (the ones used here are around 1.75 inches tall)

-fine felt tipped marker and beeswax/olive oil for dolls

-felt for the following (I use wool blend felt but you could use 100% wool or acrylic):

 main house colour

 windows

 door

 roof

 inside lining

 back pocket

-a 25″ piece of ribbon for tying

-snaps or Velcro

-pins/scissors/washable fabric marker

1. Print the attached pattern pieces. Trace and cut two copies of the main house piece and the side wall piece as well as one copy of the overlap piece out of your main colour. Trace and cut two copies of the roof out of your roof colour. Trace and cut two copies of the door out of your door colour. Trace and cut two copies of the window out of your window colour. Trace and cut one copy of the back pocket. You should have the following:

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2. Sew the two roof pieces onto the front and back of the house.

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3. Fold the back pocket over one third of the way up and sew to the back of the house as shown.

 

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4. With wrong sides together, sew one side piece to each side of the front piece as shown, try and keep your stitches as close to the edge as possible while still being secure.

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5. Sew the back piece to one of the side pieces as shown.

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7. Lay the house flat, wrong side down, and pin to the sheet of inside lining.

8. Fold the ribbon in half and tuck it into the exposed side of the house as shown, pin to secure.

9. Cut around the house, leaving some extra fabric so the next step is easier to do.

 

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10. Sew around the entire house, close to the edge, be sure to sew in some extra stitches when you go over the ribbon so it is nice and secure. Trim the lining even with the front side of the house.

 

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11. Sew one window on each side. Cut out an opening in each window.

12. Sew the two door pieces together around all four sides. Sew one side of the door to the front of the house. With a washable fabric marker, trace the door onto the main fabric and sew around the inside of the line as shown. Cut the opening for the door.

 

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13. Place two snap tops on the open side of the door and two snap backs on the overlap piece, making sure to line them up so they will snap together.

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14. Now that the house is finished, it’s time to design the people! I like to make a guy and a girl and to give them hair and a face with the fine tip marker. You could make sisters or brothers or whatever you like. I also coat mine in beeswax and olive oil to make them nice and smooth and water resistant. To make it, you simply melt a bit of beeswax and mix it with an equal part of olive oil. It will cool down and make a polish that you can then apply with a rag and rub off any excess with paper towel. You could also paint them with acrylic paints if you prefer and then coat them with varnish.

15. Once the people are dry you can tuck them in the little pocket and roll them up or you can snap the house together and play!

I hope you enjoy!

The Outfit Fairy

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You know what I hate?  I mean, besides when Subway accidentally gets a rogue onion chunk mixed in with the lettuce of my sandwich and I bite into it and retch a bit.  Well, I hate mornings. I don’t even hate them just because I have to get up early to the sound of my local disk jockeys making jokes, I hate them because they’re so darn rushed.

First my alarm goes off, that is, if my four year old hasn’t come in and pounced on my bed already and dug her cold feet into my knee backs.  (what’s the right term for knee backs?  underknees?  kneepits?  meh, someone knows, but not me).  Then my husband and I argue over who has to get up and shower first and I win (which means I get to stay in bed while he showers) but I don’t REALLY win because my daughter wants breakfast and I have to go turn the espresso maker on so it can warm up.

Then suddenly… BOOM!  I’m making lunches because I didn’t bother making them the night before, I’m waking up my seven year old who’s suddenly turned into sleeping beauty (and conveniently, reading too late beauty at night), I’m trying to remember to get dressed myself and brush my teeth, I forget to make my own breakfast, I’m hassling the kids to hurry up and eat and get dressed and brush their teeth.  I’m making sure their school bags are packed with library books and permission slips and spare underwear.

So I discovered a while back one little thing that has shaved some time off of my morning.  Preparing clothes in advance.  I used to have to comb through laundry piles and drawers looking for clean socks for them to wear and it was so stressful!  Now on Sundays as I fold the laundry, I simply organize their clothes into piles.  Each pile has a top, a bottom, socks and underwear.  I then clamp them all together in one of those pants hangers, sort them by kid, and hang them all in the closet.  Then each morning the kids get to go into the closet and pick an outfit that the outfit fairy magically left there for them.

Now, I don’t pretend to be perfect so you can see that their clothes aren’t perfectly straight etc etc but they match(ish) and they’re clean(ish) so it’ll do for me.

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The Neverending Story

Okay so I never actually watched The NeverEnding story, like, the movie.  You know, the one with the big puffy cloud dog thing.  Scold me if you must for either not having watched it or not knowing what that dog cloud thing actually is.  To me the REAL neverending story is actually the one, the only… Housework.

I think all but the very luckiest (or unluckiest?) of us can agree that there are about a million things we’d rather do than chores.  However, in an effort to keep child services from knocking at my door and to also keep my husband from running away from my home waving his arms above his head screaming “I can’t take it anymooooorrrreeee!!!” I’ve had to come up with some ways to make housework… feasible.

As I’ve said before, I work during the week and have two young children.  My husband also works and unluckily for him he spends a lot of time at night hunkered down marking papers and planning lessons so unfortunately a lot of the daily drudgery falls on my shoulders.  Did I mention that he’s a total clean freak and I’m a scatter brained borderline ADD lazy craftaholic?  Well, guilty as charged.

So I recently made up what I call a Basic Chore Schedule.  This is basically the bare minimum that I need to get done in order to keep my house from smelling like pee and rotten vegetables.  Okay, maybe it still smells a little like pee but I’m going to blame that on the kids.

I’ve followed Flylady and studied a few different cleaning schedules and had a hard time finding something that really fit my schedule.  I’ve sort of stolen some ideas from everything and compiled them into what works for me.  I’m sure it will need a lot of fine tuning, especially as our lives are ever evolving but so far it works.

You’ll probably notice that my week nights are pretty bare.  Most posts I’ve read seem to want you to spread out your chores daily and honestly in theory that’s fab and maybe that works for a lot of people but I’m going to be honest here.  I’m a case study in good intentions.  I can stick all sorts of checklists to my fridge but when it comes down to it, I pick up the kids after work, maybe shuttle them to an activity, cook dinner and all I want to do is have a bath and tune everyone out.  So I’ve got it down to the “please do this at LEAST so that tomorrow the kitchen isn’t totally disgusting when you’re just trying to make your dang coffee in the morning as your four year old tries to convince you AGAIN that she should have pudding for breakfast”.  So week nights after dinner, I’m happy if I manage to tidy up a bit, put our shoes and coats away, clear the dishes and tidy the kitchen.

This leaves the weekend.  I tend to spend Saturday doing food type stuff and Sunday getting stuff ready for the week ahead, which means mostly laundry.  You’ll also see that one of my items is “hang outfits” which is better described in this post.  Not a hard concept but something I’ve found very handy!

So here’s my schedule, I think it’s pretty straight forward but feel free to adjust to suit you!  And yes, there are lots of other less common chores to be done like cleaning the garage etc etc but I’m really hoping if I ignore those things someone will take pity on me and do them for me.

Basic Chore Schedule

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mmmmm Cupcakes.

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I love cake.  I’m trying really really hard to resist eating cake.  I’m not sure if creating cake art is a clever way of getting a cake fixation or if it’s just a way to torture myself.  Either way, I decided to design these cupcake cross-stitch patterns.  Could be I’m a masochist but mostly I think I just like cake.

These little cuties are small quick stitches.  They only measure about 2.5″ high.  I think they would be really cute in a nursery or even in a bakery or on little doll pillows.  My 7 year old wants me to give them to her and I keep asking her what she’s going to do with them and of course she doesn’t really have an answer, she just wants them.  So I’m thinking I’ll make pillows with them.

Whatever the case, if you like cupcakes and you like cross-stitching then I’m here to give you these little patterns to keep you busy for a few hours.

I did each of these on 16 count Aida cloth, in antique white.  They could easily be done bigger or smaller if you change the count, or you could do them 2 over 2 in linen.

They’re shown in 5″ frames and I suggest using a cloth that’s at least 10″x 10″ so that you have some excess material for framing or whatever you’d like to do with it.  I’ve attached a grid for each of them, starting with the one on the left.

The floss I used was DMC, 2 strands of each colour and for blends, one strand of each colour.  For Cupcake Two I used one strand of 801 floss to go around the thick bordered parts of the butterfly.  The greyed out square is the middle of the project so line that up with the middle of your fabric and go from there!

 

Cupcake Templates

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Here I go again

I’m pretty sure there’s something wrong with me.  I mean, I can’t even say why it is I’m starting this blog other than the fact that my head is constantly bursting with things that I want to try or do or share and I feel like if I had a place to put them all, maybe I could get it all out of my system.  Or maybe I could inspire others to try things too.  Or they could inspire me.  Actually hopefully not that last one because I absolutely have no more time in my life to want to try more things.  But I still want to.  I need help.

You’re probably wondering who I am, or maybe you’re not, and that’s okay too.  But then it’s a bit confusing that you’re reading this… but I digress…

My name is Kristy.  Like most people I’m a lot of things.  I’m in my 30s, I won’t say where exactly but it’s *slightly* on the higher end.  I work full time doing accounting.  I have two little girls (4 & 7) and my hubby is a teacher.  I also love to create.  I know, I know, accounting and creating don’t exactly go together like play dough and cat hair but there it is.  Mild mannered number cruncher by day, wild quilter by night!

I actually don’t do much quilting anymore.  It’s so time consuming and the materials cost a fortune and once I had two extra quilts for my own bed and one for my oldest daughter (and well, the one I’m making for my younger daughter that’s been in a box for 2 years and I just pulled out last night and had to re-iron ALL over again… sigh) I figure that’s about as much extra bedding as any family needs.  What I actually do the most these days is make dolls.  Strange right?  I have a little home business called Honey Lime Designs.  I started out making baby toys and just evolved into dolls and I still love making them.  But alas, it’s a slow process when you work during the day and you feel compelled to spend time with your family at night.  This means I get most of my crafting done after the kids are in bed as the dishes call out to me from the kitchen and I put the TV on a little louder so I can’t hear them.

I’ve also been known to dabble in a few other hobbies.  Cross-stitching (which I used to be OBSESSED with but have not done much of since having kids and mostly since my husband said they were doing something awful to his walls) needle felting, pottery (not much, I’m taking a class right now and it’s amazingly addictive), knitting, crocheting, drawing, painting (neither of which I’ve  very good at), and I don’t have any of those adult colouring books but I can colour the heck out of a My Little Pony picture with some good ol’ Crayolas.

So you can pretty much expect this blog to be filled with little things that I come across that I think other people ought to like, that might be crafts, tutorials, food ideas, organizing, health and exercise (hahahahhaha…) or whatever is rumbling around in my head at any given time.

This isn’t my first kick at the can, I’ve started and neglected a few blogs in my time.  Hence the title… here she goes again.