Keeping it Simple: September 2012

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Motivate Me Monday #142

Happy Sunday/Monday everyone!!  I can't believe that the weekend is already gone, I don't know what happened to it!  This weekend I was able to finish my craft room, so make sure you come back on Tuesday to see my big craft room reveal!  I've been working on it for a full month and I can't wait to show you it!

Thanks to everyone that linked up last week.  So much talent and so many great ideas!  I loved looking through the links!  Here are a few of my favorite:

Pumpkin bath poof by Crafty Journal 

Toxic Treat Jars by Every Creative Endeavor

Cheesecloth ghosts by Love and Laundry
Floating Cheesecloth Ghost by www.loveandlaundry.com
Fall Mantle by Kathe with an E

Halloween Poop by Bloom Designs Online 

Cafe Rio Recipes by Our Homemade Happiness

Google eyes frames by Southern Scraps

Messenger bag by Crazy Little Projects
Embellished hat by Brassy Apple

Halloween Wreath by Pretty Previdence
Shirt transformations by Home Sweet Homebodies
Rosette Pumpkin Pillow by Girl Loves Glam

Candy Holders by Momma Chelle

If you've been featured, grab a button!  

And now for the party!  So excited to see what you've been creating!
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Let's keep in touch!  

Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Little Glimpse

Hello!  How are you all this wonderful weekend?!  Isn’t the weather so wonderful?  I just love actually being able to play outside without being super hot!  We’ve had a busy week over here.  Here are a few highlights from our week

The biggest thing (pun intended) was we built a playground for our kids!  We ordered it online and then we got to build it.  The parks here are lacking.  There is one in the little town where my boys go to school.  We went to it this week and there isn’t even a slide!  It’s really sad.  So we needed something to have the kids get their energy out.

My husband did an amazing job on it.  It took him a week to build and lots and lots of hours of hard work.

 

But in the end it’s all worth it, because these 4 kids LOVE it!

IMG_5764

Yesterday was homecoming for our little town, so we headed over there for the festivities.  The elementary school got to be in the parade, so that was so much fun for my boys! 

Here are the kindergartners, they look so little. 

parade2

And here are the 2nd graders, my son is pulling the wagon. 

parade

The weather was just perfect for it and we had a blast! 

I hope that you are having a fabulous weekend!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Twin Needle {Melly Sews}

Hello Keeping it Simple readers! Today (as promised last time) I'm going to talk about one of my favorite sewing accessories - the twin needle!



I use my twin needles on a regular sewing machine mostly for hemming stretch fabrics, and therefore I prefer Klasse' Twin Ballpoint Needles Size 80 - 4.0mm. The universal twin needles they sell at Joann sometimes work and sometimes don't - like when I was sewing my tankini.

I read several blog entries about using twin needles that were pretty helpful when I first started using these, but there were several things I had to discover on my own. So this is a summary of my best tips for sewing with twin needles.
  1.  Buy ballpoint needles if you're going anywhere near knits for this. 
  2. Pay attention to the width (the mm number; 4mm in the picture above). Some extra wide-set needles won't fit with the standard foot on vintage machines. I learned this the hard way. 
  3. Leave loooooong tails when you start and stop sewing, and don't backstitch (see below)
  4. Set your machine to a long (if not the longest) stitch, and use the straight-stitch, not zig-zag
  5. Give your stitching a tug every 6 inches or so if you're doing a long hem to prevent puckering. 
As I mentioned, I mostly use my twin needles to sew knit hems. Here is a step-by-step of how I do that

First, replace your needle with a twin needle. Then put the thread and a bobbin of the same thread on your machine. Make sure thread is unwinding the same direction off both. Here are two configurations of what that might look like (please excuse the mismatched thread in the first picture).


Holding the two threads together, thread the machine as if you were only using one thread until you get to the needles, then separate the threads. Tug one to see if the left or right thread unwinds, then thread the corresponding needle.

Iron your hem. If you HAVE to, pin it. But you don't want to sew over the pins. Two needles = 2 x the chance you will hit a needle.


Sew with the top side of the hem up. I use my finger on the left hand to feel the seam as I feed the fabric. Remember to leave LOOOOONG tails before you start stitching.


Stitch around to where you started. Don't backstitch or overlap your stitches. Leave long tails again before cutting.

Give your hem a good tug. You'll notice that the bobbin thread tails in particular may get a lot shorter.

Thread your long tails through a needle, two at a time. Use the needle to pull the threads to the wrong side.


Knot all the threads on the wrong side before cutting.


Your stitches will look like this on the front


And like this on the back. That zig-zagging of the bobbin thread is what gives the hem its stretch.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Magic Tree House Dinosaur Party

My kids don’t love to read.  It’s like trying to pull teeth when it comes time to get them to read.  My 7 year old is an excellent reader too he just doesn’t have a love for it.  Then I realized that it was time for him to read chapter books, ones that are actually interesting and had a really good story.  So we got the Magic Tree House series.  To make it even more fun and exciting for my kids, I decided that for every book we read we will have a little party and talk about the book.  The first one is all about dinosaurs, so we had a dinosaur party.  These parties are going to be very simple.  A little craft and then maybe a treat, that’s it. 

This is what we did for the craft.  D is for Dinosaur.  I cut out a D and then let them make it into a dinosaur. I got the idea from here.  

magic tree house dino (4)
Even my 3 year old was able to do it all by himself. 
magic tree house dino (5)
And here are all of them.  I love how different they all look. 
magic tree house dino (1)
Then I made some volcano cupcakes.  I just turned the cupcakes over and put red gel on top.  I got the idea from here.  
magic tree house dino (2)

magic tree house dino (3)
The party seemed to work!  My oldest son read the 2nd book at school and my kindergartener immediately wanted me to read the 2nd book to him!  It’s fun to make literacy fun and crafty!



Let's keep in touch!  

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Caramel Apple Salad

It’s the time of the year for apples!  I love all the different kinds of apples at the store right now.  My favorite are the honey crisp, so yummy!  I went to a pot luck dinner a couple of weeks ago and some had made this salad.  It is so good and it has just the right amount of  sweetness.
Caramel apple salad
What you will need
4 to 5 apples, chopped
4 to 5 Snickers bars, chopped
1 package vanilla pudding
80z tub whip cream
2 cups milk
1) Mix the milk and pudding together
2) Thaw whip cream and add to pudding.  Refrigerate while preparing apples 
3) Chop up apples and Snickers bars
4) Add to pudding mixture and chill for an hour before serving

It's so easy and so yummy!

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