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Archive for the ‘TEH INTERNETZ’ Category

TGIF!

Have I been working on bags? Well… yes and no….

The daughter of a close friend is having her fourth birthday party tomorrow. And this week, after breathing a sigh of relief about my mom’s union and the stores reaching a tentative deal (rank and file still need to vote on it for it to be finalized), I got on my Own Bad Self and working on those dratted Projects.

Hat progress: Looks like ripping to the smaller crown size may have made the difference. Yay! It looks less like a watermelon cozy, and fits Preschool Rockstar’s head snugly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Housecoat: The piece doesn’t QUITE match, but right now I’m at the point of not caring. It’s not a very big piece, and it’s on the back of the neck. It’s close enough for govt work. Snaps, hemming, and trimming all the bits of thread are all that needs doing before it’s wearable. I’ll get a better picture of it once it’s done, maybe explain why I’m making this. (SAPPY POST WARNING!)

 

 

 

 

 

And now, for the fun. Here’s one of the presents. A little girl’s apron/smock made from Simplicity #3802. Worked up rather quick and Preschool Rockstar already wants one for herself. main fabric body is denim that has wee butterflies embroidered randomly on it (the fabric came like that. I’m not THAT fast with the needle). The pocket is a cotton piece that has multicolored butterflies. The white banding and ties in the back are from purchased bias tape.

I also made this knapsack from Prudent Baby’s wonderful instructions. I really try to keep away from disposable wrapping– and utilizing a gift as the wrapping can be awesome too. All the fabrics are from my stash (knapsack made from cotton print, the ribbon is some christmas trim I had been holding onto for stuff like this).

 

 

 

 

 

I loved how the ends of the drawstring is anchored on the bottom corners of the bag. Preschool Rockstar will be getting a similar one as well. oh, and because I’m paranoid, I used a little Fray-check on the ends of the ribbon after I sewed and trimmed. It is quite a roomy pack for a child, and maybe just a little bigger, and out of ripstop nylon, can be a great swimbag for the summer. Make it out of canvas and some twill strapping? A durable book or craftbag.

I also threw in the new Shel Silverstein book, because that’s how I roll– books are an essential present. Toys may break, clothes may be outgrown, but books open up the mind and the future.

I hope you have a grand weekend!

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Recently a lady posted on a Facebook group I belong to, about how they recently moved (a very good thing) and were getting the kids set up in school… and found out her daughter was two FULL GRADES behind in science (which was not her fault; and many parents who have moved have had this fun discovery) and would have to take a test at the end of the year. She needed resources to help her get her sweetheart up to her current grade.

First things first. Every state, despite No Child Left Behind, has their own set of standards as to what every child should know in each subject by grade. Some, like California, are above and beyond what NCLB call for, while other states may still be lagging (and sadly, families that move may get the brunt of that discrepancy). I honestly feel every parent should know what their kids are supposed to be learning, and it’s not even that hard to find out; go to your favorite search engine, type in your state’s name along with state standards for the subject you are looking for. Many states have them on websites, either on the webpage itself or in a pdf format.

Today’s post will concentrate on science again, but this will be for the older elementary set. Many of these sites also give supplemental information/activities for parents and teachers so you can expand on the lesson or casually see how the information’s sinking in.

PBS Kids ZOOM! This has a little something for everyone, with tons of different experiments for different subjects. Children can learn while doing.

Utah Education Network Science grades 3-6— bells and whistles galore (you’ll need flash, shockwave and java to fully utilize the site. Basically a site for home, not for a smart phone). Lots of interactive games and lessons by grade, and seems to introduce concepts and lessons in a fairly entertaining manner.

National Geographic Kids!— a good natural sciences site that can really appeal to the grades 2-6 set. The magazine that’s tied to the website’s pretty nifty too. Another website/mag combo is Ranger Rick.

As before, check your local area for museums, zoos and other such locations. Many offer special exhibits at different times, and sometimes offer unique member-only opportunities; plus your money provides much-needed funds and usually will give you free or discounted membership for a year. Not so bad if you are able to go multiple times and it does give you a place to go when the kids are climbing the walls out of boredom.

Another place to go is the park system. Your child can become a Junior Ranger (hey, I was one!) and learn about the history and the nature that is not so far from the computer screen. During the summer they also offer a program where the kids can go to the park, talk to a ranger or do a little activity and be rewarded with a patch specific to the park you’ve visited. Pretty neato, if you ask me…

Hopefully this can help get you and the young ones excited, motivated, and raring to go. And if you have any other resources that you would be willing to share, I would totally appreciated it if you could leave a comment!

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So I showed you a basic tote bag. I showed you different things you can do to your tote bag to make it even more awesome.

As I mentioned before, the city I live in passed an ordinance about plastic grocery bags. This is sorta a bummer as I do happen to reuse them– to put soggy kid clothes in, as liners for small trash cans, also as crafty items. But hey, powers that be will be and they said get rid of them. However, that’s not what drives me to distraction.

What does… are those plastic bags for produce or for meat. You know the ones I’m talking about– usually transparent, very thin, will tear apart if you look at them cross-eyed. HATE THEM. And these are truly one-use bags, which I will put in recycling when I’m done because I can’t really reuse them for anything.

So I’m playing on TEH INTERNETZ when I came across a bunch of bag tutorials, so many cute and neat and all sorts of interesting.  One of these awesome tutorials is from a fabric designer, Daisy Janie, for a produce bag that she designed for a no-plastic bag challenge. Here’s her Tutorial, which links you to a free pdf pattern and instruction file. I squee’d, I chairbopped in front of my computer at how neat and cute and righteous these are. “FINALLY,” I thought, “I can get corn on the cob and the bag won’t rip open!”

You can use either a fat quarter or an 18″ square. Poor Hubs asked what a fat quarter was, and I think I confused the poor man even further with the explanation. I made up two, using two different fat quarters and stitched them up, playing with the orientation of the stitch guide:

They are also a fast project. Maybe in all, given that I had kids that needed attention and I was working slower since it was a “new” pattern, it took about an hour for both.

As a test run, I took them yesterday to a farmer’s market-esque store. I was a little concerned; after all, they did not seem very big. It would be one thing for someone who might be buying a few items. I have three kids, one of which is on swim team, and three adults to buy for. Would these bags be good for a full house?

This bag is holding 8 apples. It’s only half-full, and kept closed thanks to the loop construction.

And here’s a closeup of a bag of nectarines! OH BOY! Preschool Rockstar loved helping me by holding the bags while I put the produce in them, and she was able to close them on her own. Yay for self-sufficient lessons!

The cashier had no problems with the bags either, which was another concern. She also LOVED them, so I happily directed her to the Daisy Janie site. I also dig the fact that they are washable. I’m so tempted to make about twenty, so I always have my produce bags and help to reduce waste.

Daisy Janie sells lots of cute organic fabric (I have a metric TON of fabric and I was impatient so I used my own). She also has other tutorials that I was eyeing, so please! Go to her site, give her some love, and tell her a wee squirrel sent you there.

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Sorry that there’s no tutorial for this Friday. This week has been Medical week, with running about making and going to appointments for all three kids, with the added fun of tracking medical records for schools and the like.

On the bright side, a persistent ear infection that Preschool Rockstar’s been battling seems to be gone for the time being. We were worried as the doctor was pushing for tubes (and she wouldn’t be able to swim with tubes inserted. My girls LOVE the water. This would be A Big Problem). We also found out she has an array of allergies, but they are something we are working on getting down. Some of them, like animal dander, are semi-easy to avoid altogether or be able to circumvent. Others, like the native plants she can’t tolerate… we try to deal with as best we can. Hopefully she’s also been able to build a good Herd Immunity on her first year of Preschool, and this year won’t be rife with illness (and I’ve probably had Murphy laugh hard on that one, didn’t I?).

On the bummer side, Toddler Terrorist has a slight case of anemia, so I have to up her iron levels and take her in for another blood draw around my birthday this month. I’m hoping my present will be that her red blood cell count will be normal. I’m good with that.

So instead of a half-baked tutorial, I’ll throw a few things up that I’m working/will be working on. Especially when the older two girls go to school. Not that I don’t love having them around but… well, there you go.

Birthday Banner— yes, it’s another tutorial. I did something similar for the girls, but I want to make one that’s reversible, with HAPPY HARVEST! on one side and HAPPY BIRTHDAY on the other to celebrate the fall birthdays. And maybe a few for other holidays. I already made one for the girls; that one I’ll have to put up for a picture.

Another Housecoat— I finished my first one last week and I love it. I need to get a DECENT picture (hated the ones I tried to take) so I can showcase the squirrel material I used. The pattern was pretty straightforward, and good instructions were included.

We are in the home stretch for turning Eldest Daughter’s room into her Moroccan Mecca (or some facsimile) as the primer’s getting on the walls. It might not get done by the time she goes to school, but it’s nearly there. I also have wall decals to put up for the younger set’s room as well as a bi-fold door to set into their closet instead of the regular door that came with the house.

That’s about it. There’s a holiday weekend, so Hubs is off work. Enjoy your day, your weekend, your holiday if you are celebrating. I’ll hopefully have an actual tutorial next week.

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Linky-love

Instead of a regular post (*snerk* like I’m ever regular…), I thought I would throw on some links for awesomeness I’ve found on the Internet. Because I’m such a giver. And so that I don’t have to re-google because I’m that lazy.

http://homejoys.blogspot.com/2010/01/master-muffin-mix.html— a blog called Home Joys, with a direct link to her Master Muffin recipe with variations to bake off (she has a link to another set of delicious, delicious muffins). School’s starting up, with some people already having their spawn in class (mine aren’t in until the first week of September. Yes, pity me). I would estimate that this halves my prep time since the base dry ingredients are already pre-mixed (and I keep the scoops in the bin). Especially useful to have muffins and stuff like that for those mornings we run late (way too many times), and for Hubs that has to leave at OHMYGOD o’ clock for work and needs something for the drive.

http://www.ravelry.com — If you like to knit or crochet, or even spin your own yarn (why yes! I like to sit and spin, why do you ask?) this is a great community if you can tear yourself away from Facebook or Google+. You can keep track of progress on your own stuff, set up an inventory page so you can see that you have 15 G hooks but no Js, find patterns for anything (and I do mean, ANYTHING), and even communities that you can discuss different things. There’s even a cheesemaking group, I kid you not.

http://psychojenic.blogspot.com/— I kinda know this lady named Jen. She has the most adorable set of twins (and a lovely son who is their Big Brother). One of the twins, Wyatt, happens to have Trisomy 21, or Down Syndrome (she has a blog where she chronicles it called http://downwitdat.blogspot.com/). She’s authentic– she’s not a saint, she’s not a martyr, she’s gonna say when stuff sucks, but she also sees her son as a person– not as a disease, or a cause. She is a Mom. And she is a really freaking cool person.

http://www.frugalupstate.com/— Another lovely Jenn, who writes a website on how to take those pennies in your pocket and stretch them for all they are worth. Lots of great ideas, I’ve been benefiting from her for a couple of years. She, as well, is full of awesome and win.

Those are the websites off the top of my pointy little head– I’ll probably do more later when Terrorist isn’t climbing the bookshelves.

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