Friday, August 30, 2013

Last days of summer

 Easy sewing project for a four-year-old/ mess maker/ glasses=officially old/ smiles on the grass in San Francisco/ Daddy and his ocean

Friday, August 16, 2013

Scalloped shorts

I love these new scalloped shorts of mine. I made them from an old pair of capri pants. I used this amazing tutorial which uses a skirt, but can be easily adapted for shorts. They are a liiiitle short for me, but it gets pretty hot around here, so I feel like they work!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Lazy days of summer

Well, we had our first blackberry picking of the year. It strikes me how tired I look in this photo (and yet the boys look so well-rested, hmmm.) It was fun picking berries, but kind of tricky with a baby in a front-carry baby carrier. I was so worried his little legs were going to get scratched by thorns that I didn't get the large amount of berries I'm used to getting. But it was good having him so close at the same time, since whenever I picked a blackberry that was too soft to toss in the basket, it went right in his mouth! This is him after I cleaned up his face (mostly.) Jack got good and juicy.

 Here are some art projects that Jack came up with. He's into creating landscapes and pasting things on top of them. The first one is a forest, the second, dinosaurs of course. I love the pterodactyl. And look, it's even got a volcano!

 Finally, these are some shorts I made. I got so sick of trying on shorts in stores that were just too short or too long or too old-lady-looking, I just made my own. I used a pair of pajama pants as a pattern and followed this tutorial for attaching the elastic. I always just tried to wing it with elastic before, which is ridiculous because my projects never really came out the way I wanted them too. It took like 5 minutes to watch the tutorial, and it's so fricking easy, I'm kicking myself for not learning this basic skill earlier. Still, there's something to be said for trying to figure something out on your own, no?

Not the snazziest material I know, but it was all I had a large enough quantity of (that's why I should always buy yards of fabric I love when I see it--duh.) But they are perfect for playing with the boys and going for walks in this heat.

Finally, a super easy, massive amount of time-filling activity for little ones. Get a big bowl of water, fill it halfway and have your 3-4 year-old gather little objects to see which ones will sink and which will float. We are on day three of this and Jack still loves it. As a bonus, he can now use the word 'hypothesis' in a sentence.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Decoupaged table with book pages

We'd been using this old table to hold some of Jack's toys in his room. Ugh, pretty depressing right?
I think I found it in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco when I was pregnant with him. Anyway, it REAAALLLY needed an update.

 See the fake wood bubbling? I knew it needed more than just a paint job. So I took it apart which was easy since it was just screwed together.

I thought about leaving the legs 'natural' since they still looked okay and thought it may add some interest. I did polish them up a bit with this restorer. Then I painted the top and bottom shelves green. I had some spray paint left over from this project.

Then I rummaged through Jack's books to find an old one with cool art. A few years ago I picked up a box of old books from a school sale. There were a few with pretty cool illustrations but that were otherwise pretty trashed (no covers, pages missing...) I thought this one would be perfect for this project.

 I measured the shelves and cut out a template for my paper 'tiles.' I needed 16 for the table. The book had exactly that many pages, including the title page. I probably wouldn't have included that one if I had enough pictures, but I think it actually looks pretty cool (and now we'll always know what book we used!)

 Then I painted the tops of the shelves (one at a time) with a thin coat of Mod Podge. You can find this in any craft store. I used the matte, but you can use whichever you prefer. I love this stuff.

I decided to start with the bottom shelf in case I ran into problems, I'd figure them out before I did the top. I'm glad I did this since my first attempt resulted in some major bubbling. After doing some research and messing around with the process, I found that I achieved the best results this way:

1. Paint a thin coat on your surface.
2. Position your paper where you want it.
3. Press it and smooth the paper down, concentrating on those edges! Do your best to get the bubbles out.
4. Wait for that bottom layer of Mod Podge to dry before...
5. Applying a top coat. Wait for that to dry.
6. Put two more coats on, waiting for the Podge to dry completely in between. Some coats took 20 minutes to dry, but it seemed as the layer got thicker it took longer.

And Voila! So much better!