Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Shirts for Benjamin

Benjamin's summer shorts from last year still fit, but he needed a few more short sleeved shirts.  After seeing this free pattern (in the right size, even!) I decided I could make them myself.  I made one out of an old shirt of Seth's, which worked great and was super quick and easy, since I didn't have to do any hems.

I also picked up a little knit fabric to make another that matched his favorite shorts.  I bought half a yard, which made for an inexpensive shirt ($2.50), except that I realized (after I made it, of course) that I cut it out the wrong way.  The fabric stretches vertically instead of horizontally like it's supposed to.  It does fit him, but it's a little snug getting it on.  I may have to buy a little more fabric next time to make sure I can cut it out the right way, but it will likely still be cheaper than buying a shirt from the store - plus I get the fun of making it!

I'm not sure what those spots were, since this was right after I finished making it, but they came out in the wash!  =)

I definitely recommend this pattern!  It was quick and easy and fit great!  The neck ribbing seemed a bit small to me, so I cut it a couple of inches longer, which still is a little snug around Ben's head, but other than that, the fit is perfect.  I'm hoping to get a couple more shirts made for him, but these are a great start!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

(More) Curtains in my Windows

It is very exciting to me that (finally!) after nearly a year and a half in our home, all of our windows have curtains!  Yay!  It is just as exciting that the last set of blinds finally came down!  I absolutely love the fact that I have NO blinds to clean.  Ever.  All of our windows have close-able curtains only, with the exception of the kids' room, where I also added a room-darkening shade.  I will say that I hate shades almost as much as I hate blinds, and this shade is no exception as it is already broken after being in place for about a month.  But...I also place a high value on sleep, which is aided by having a dark room, and their curtains alone weren't cutting it.  I didn't really want heavy drapes in their room, so I went with the shade.  I may do something else at some point, but for now we're making it work.

Anyway, as far as the curtains....the laundry room:

This wasn't really the fabric I had imagined would be in here - I had kind of thought I would get something with blue.  But for some reason this grey/orange fabric grabbed my attention and I couldn't get away from it.  I loved that it was bold without being really bright and flashy - and it just so happens that the trim in the laundry room is a dark grey.  I had always planned on painting it someday, but now I guess I don't need to!  I'm actually kind of glad I didn't go with blue, as I already have lots of blue in the kitchen and dining room, so it's fun to have something different.  For the small window on the door, I found a matching orange and white flower print and added a little of the grey and orange fabric for trim.  I like that the curtains match but aren't the same.  Somewhere on my list of projects is to recover the ironing board - I'm trying to decide if a bright orange print would be too much, or if it would be a good complement to the curtains.

I also made new curtains for the dining room.  I liked the valances I had, but Seth wanted to have something that I could close when he was gone on his recent school trip.  I used one of my favorite fabrics - ticking - in blue, of course.  I had planned to make the curtains entirely out of the ticking, but measurements somehow got off, so they ended up too short.  I thought the ticking was a bit too plain anyway, once I saw it on the windows, so I decided to add a cheerful print to the bottom.  That worked perfectly, and I love the result!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

To Bookmark for Next Year.....

This post would have been more helpful a couple of weeks ago, but, oh well - something to keep in mind for next year!

Last year I thought about purchasing Resurrection Eggs to help teach the Easter story to our kids, but they ended up being a bit pricey.  Then I found online tutorials for making our own, but for one reason or another never ended up getting around to it.  I did have the foresight to save some plastic eggs, though, so this year I was ready to go!

I found this tutorial helpful, since it gives some different options for what to include, depending on what you have around your house.  I was able to put together a set completely from things I already had, in about half an hour.  I did have to print off a clip art picture of praying hands, and I made a spear by cutting off the sharp part of a skewer, and then made a cross by hot gluing together a couple of pieces of the remainder of the skewer.

We started using our eggs about a week before Easter, using them kind of like an "Easter Advent" activity, opening and discussing two eggs each night.  Some nights I read the corresponding story from a children's Bible.  Each night we would review the previous eggs, as well, to help them remember the story better.

Because our kids are still little, I was a little unsure of how much detail we wanted to go into with some of the eggs.  So we just explained to them that the whip, nails, etc. were used to "hurt Jesus", and that he "died on the cross".  That worked well for us.

Our kids LOVED these, and looked forward to opening them each night.  By the end, all of them, even Ezra, had a good grasp of the story.  I love that we have a fun hands-on way to teach the Easter story, and I love that we now have a great new Easter tradition!