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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St Patrick's Day!!!

Did the Leprechauns come to your house? They came to mine and the Boys were SO excited to see what they left. We got very lucky, and had nice Leprechauns, who did not wreak havoc on my home.  Only my camera, which faithfully TOOK pictures of our festivities, but would not stay alive long enough to upload them to the computer. Blah, the day was coming, but I didn't want it to be today!

Last night, Mr Cyn helped the boys decorate a cardboard box and made it a Leprechaun trap, which was filled with paper. I used my trusty Silhouette to cut some small vinyl foot prints and then it was BEDTIME!

When the boys woke up, they found little foot prints by each of their beds, on the doors, walls, and leading right into the trap! They opened the trap, but instead of finding a new little friend, they found all the Gold Nuggets he left behind when he magicked himself out of our trap.

(I am trying really hard to get my image of footprints to load up so I can share, but can't figure it out. If you  have any tips for me to try, leave me a comment!)

A few days ago I happened across Rainbow Waffles, I don't remember who pointed me towards them, but I knew they would be perfect for breakfast!
image source from Random Thoughts of a Super Mom. Please follow the Rainbow Waffles link

Don't they look amazing? I found these and lots of other ideas from Kelli at Random Thoughts of a SuperMom and loved it! They were easy, tasted great, and the boys LOVED them.

For lunch we are sprinkling Leprechaun dust (lime jello mix) on wet apples so we can watch the white powder turn green, and we will be making Kelli's Leprechaun Jello for dessert after our traditional Irish dinner, that is NOT corned beef and cabbage because...blech!

What are your plans today? I wish I had some more pictures for you!! Maybe I can convince Mr Cyn I need a new one...

Saturday, March 5, 2011

So far with my Silhouette...

Despite having three sick little boys, and now one sick Momma, I have spent the week playing with my Silhouette. This may be the best gift Mr. Cyn has gotten me to date. (I am giving him the credit for this one, since his urging and pressuring led me to order it.) 

I vinyled my Mom's front door, we will be moving soon so I am waiting to do anything to my own space. I will have to redo Mom's door though, because it is in need of a paint job... 

Mr. Cyn will graduate in July with his Bachelor's. There is one professor who has really made an impact on Mr. Cyn and they have formed a friendship, recently this professor really came to bat for him to help rearrange some classes and get us graduated on time. 

Mr. Cyn wanted to give him a gift and really loves this quote. I used my Silhouette to make a stencil and we etched the quote in. I finished it off with a family picture.  I love the way this turned out and will definitely be doing more etching in my future. 
"Consider that I laboured not for myself only, but for all them that seek learning. ~Ecclesiasticus"

Hope you have a great weekend, I am off to take a nap and hopefully get myself and the kidlets better.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Let's Talk Patterns

image source saraicat
Those who sew know how much easier having a pattern makes sewing, whether it is one you make or one you buy. It seems to me that within the realm of craft and sewing blogs, purchasing a pattern from a Conventional source(i.e. McCalls, Simplicity, etc.) is really looked down on. I think that attitude regarding patterns does a disservice to Beginners.

I think that before sending people out to make their own patterns, beginners should first be taught how to understand and follow directions, and a good place to learn that is from a pattern.  After successfully tracing out your clothes, how will you know the order it was pieced together, or by what method to use when sewing on the sleeves? Using patterns when learning is a great way to learn many different techniques and the method and order that is used when sewing clothing. 

VOGUE DRESS Sewing Pattern
image source danagraves
Would you send someone with no cooking experience into the kitchen and have them, by taste, reconstruct the Hostess' salsa? The idea sounds absurd! So why the assumption that sewing is different? To teach someone how to cook, you first teach them how to read and follow a recipe, to understand each ingredient,  later to change/modify the recipe, and finally to create their own. 

simplicity knit top 4020 back
image source carbonated
Look at the back of this pattern with me, it is very detailed, and includes measurements, materials, correct sizing, and that black bar at the top will help pick the right fabric, with the right amount of stretch. Those are things that one will not learn by deconstructing an article of clothing, and then trying to replicate it.

Using a purchased pattern has some benefits to new sewers that they would not have by making their own. Each pattern includes a directions packet, that includes pattern placement on your fabric, acknowledges seam allowances, and has a glossary of terms that describe what some key words will mean through out the pattern. Each pattern piece has directional marking so that they are cut correctly with the grain of the fabric, not understanding this idea could be responsible for ruing a garment.

After learning how to follow a pattern, and recognizing the steps involved in clothing assembly, I encourage beginners to then try modifying the pattern. Make a change that changes the look of the garment, this will require tracing your pattern, and drawing the changes in so that you can cut your fabric correctly, or maybe you want to change a few steps, after understanding construction and sewing, you will begin to recognize where changes can easily be made. 

The Bowser costume I made, started with a pattern for a Turtle that I modified, altered, and changed to meet my needs. There was a lot of pattern making involved for the accessories, the tail, spikes and horns. But using the pattern for the body suit saved me time, because I didn't have to make my own pattern. The finished product barely resembles the pattern example, but it made things smoother for me. 

After you feel comfortable sewing with a pattern, and changing a pattern, then go ahead and construct your own, by tracing existing clothes or starting from scratch. Making your own pattern can be fun and exciting, but best done after the basics are mastered and understood.

Sign up for the mailing lists for your local fabric store before buying patterns, Hancock's and JoAnn's frequently put patterns on sale for $1.99. This would be a great time to find a simple pattern you want to learn with.

Our next lesson will be reading the direction sheet. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Mr. Cyn must love me, because when I found a GREAT deal on a Silhouette last week...HE LET ME BUY IT! Actually he practically forced me to buy it because I have a real issue making purchases for myself.

So now, sitting beside my computer, waiting to be used, is a beautiful Silhouette. I have SO many projects planned, I can't wait to share them! If you want to know where I got my Silhouette and for how much (btw, less than the current Silhouette site sale...) send me an email.

In other news, Remember Susie? She posted a great upcycle? Susie launched her own website to really showcase the items she lists on Etsy. Be sure to check out Free Rose Studio.

Check back on Monday, we are going to discuss patterns, their pros, cons, uses, and benefits.