June 29, 2010

What a busy week I've had. We just returned after a wonderful trip to visit family. We've been to a wedding and a farewell and seen so many people we haven't seen in some time. It was so much fun and so busy. Let me indulge you with a few fun things from the wedding.

The bride's Mom called me about 2 months ago with questions about the invitations. She knew I designed cards and wanted to know what a good deal was for invitations. Honestly, I really wasn't sure. The Bride and Groom had found a kit at Michaels that they liked, but they couldn't get enough for the 400 invitations needed. So they found a second, similar style at Target for the rest. All together the 400 invitations would cost $200! That sounded good to me. But I didn't mind looking up what other options were available.

So I designed a few variations of a card so they could see what options they had, looked up printing costs and emailed them. The specific printer I found requires bulk purchases, so we could order 200 or 500 but not in-between. It was cheapest to just go ahead and order 500 instead of 2 sets of 200. Total cost? $85! Not bad, eh? Thank you OvernightPrints.com.

So this was the final design. Don't worry, all the information has been changed to protect the innocent. The print quality was fantastic. I've used this company before and I've been so pleased with them!

Sample Version copy

After designing their invitations I decided to make their wedding gift as well. I took 5 minutes to whip this up in photoshop and had it printed on 12"x12" canvas for them, gallery wrapped so that the names would wrap around the edge and not stand out so much. That way it was gorgeous artwork for their new home, and a subtle reminder of their union. The cost? $45 from Snapfish.com

I wish I had remembered to take a picture of the final product. It turned out so fabulous. I was so in love I almost kept it for myself. I'm definitely going to try out something else from them.

Sample Wedding Artwork copy

Of course, their 100's of invitees brought gifts, and so I included with the gift, the only other reasonable thing. Thank-you cards! These I ordered from OvernightPrints.com as well. They also turned out fabulous.

Thank You Cards for Wedding

Linking this up to the CSI Project Typography Challenge:

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June 17, 2010

I love to walk through the Dollar Store for inspiration. There's always something there that I can play around with and the prices are fabulous! So I nearly squealed with joy on my last trip when I saw the "Store Closing Everything 20% - 60% Off" sign. (There are enough in the area that I wasn't crushed that this one is closing.)  It was awesome. I bought Christmas plates (3/$1) for the neighbor gifts at Christmas, a few pots for the garden, wrapping paper, some things for camping and my husband got some things too.

But these were my most random and most inspired find:

Wash Mitt Hedgehog

What is it you ask? It's a Microfiber Mitt! It practically jumped off the shelf into my cart. OK really what happened is it was a huge display and I was drawn to the color and texture. Who can help it. Those fuzzy fingers are just so intriguing and wacky. And you won't believe how incredibly soft they are! My 8 1/2 month old freaked out when he saw me holding it. Oh boy did he want it. So I bought a whole bunch. They were originally marked for $1.79 but I don't even think I was charged $1 for them.

Wash Mitt Hedgehog

So I got home with the plans to make a soft baby block out of a few of them. But then I thought the fingers reminded me of a Hedgehog. Can you see it?

Wash Mitt Hedgehog

I unpicked the entire mitt.

(Note how the fingers all lay in one direction - I made sure to cut out the body so that 
Wash Mitt Hedgehog

I searched for patterns and loosely based mine on this pattern from LollyChops. I made it smaller, and split up the head and back, using the front and back of the mitt. I also cut the back from one piece so I had less sewing to do. Here are the steps:

1. Cut the pattern out. You can download it here or click on the image below to download it.

Car Wash Mitt Hedgehog Pattern

Wash Mitt Hedgehog

Wash Mitt Hedgehog

2. Fold darts right sides together and sew. I cut the fingers that would be tucked inside the dart away to minimize bulk.

Wash Mitt Hedgehog

Wash Mitt Hedgehog

3. Fold the body right side together, again I trimmed away excess fingers, or just pulled them out to avoid bulk.  Sew everywhere but the opening for the head. Zig-zagg the raw edges. Clip and trim the rounded areas so they lay nicely. Pull it all right side out, push on the seams to make sure it was all smooth.

Wash Mitt Hedgehog

Wash Mitt Hedgehog

4. For the Head: Right sides together, sew all but the opening to the body. Clip seams, trim excess and turn right side out. Smooth seams.

Wash Mitt Hedgehog

5. Draw or apply eyes and smile. (Now is the best time in order to match up both sides.) I used a black Extra Fine Permawriter Permanent Marker. Next time I'm going to try making felt eyes.

6. Stuff the head and body almost full. I had to pull a little of the stuffing from the head and stuff it back in later.

7. Hand stitch the head to the body, filling it all the way once the head is almost completely on.

Wash Mitt Hedgehog

I handed this to my baby and he squealed in delight. The texture has him raptured. Then I took it away for a second to show my husband. Screams of protest ensued until his new Hedgehog was returned!

Wash Mitt Hedgehog

Wash Mitt Hedgehog

Wash Mitt Hedgehog

As if that's not enough, there was enough left-over fabric to make one of these. I'll post a picture later today.

AND there's still the left-over elastic band to use. I have an idea for this. But no time to make it yet as my nephew is visiting! I'll have to save this for another post!

Wash Mitt Hedgehog

It reminds me of a sports cuff, and it's the perfect size, so I could just wear it as is.

Wash Mitt Hedgehog

There's also the GREEN mitt to play around with. I'm going to try something like this.

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June 16, 2010

This year for Father's Day my husband got a gift card to his Mecca, Fry's. (The intention is he gets to go there without a child in tow.) He also got a game that has been on his wishlist for years now. I've never played it but he loves it: Settlers of Catan.

Wait - did I say Got?

Yes, some uncanny turn of events had me thinking that last Sunday was Father's Day. It wasn't until AFTER sacrament meeting on Sunday that someone finally clued me in. The sweet, adorable old lady that my husband home teaches came up and asked "Seeing as next Sunday is Father's Day, do you mind coming to home teach me today?" AAAHHHHH! NO! My mind was screaming, reeling. WHAT HAD I DONE!? Gifts had been given, cards signed and opened, breakfast cooked and the Tri-tip dinner thawing. Thankfully, it was only the wrong day. At least it was still a special one for him.

So for those of you who are still preparing for Father's Day might I suggest some things:

1. For the soon-to-be or first-time Father of a Boy: I'll Wait Right Here. The first time my husband read this to our son (that I heard) I got teary-eyed bawled like a baby.

I'll Wait Right Here: The Power of a Promise Kept

2. For the new or soon-to-be Father: Safe Baby Handling Tips. My friend introduced me to this funny little book. It's a board book with pictures of the "Do's and Don'ts" of parenting! It's really good for a laugh. And of course, I judged it by the cover! It has to be good when it starts out with a "Wheel of Responsibility" right on the front!

Safe Baby Handling Tips

3. For the Dad that is awesome with kids: Super Hero Supplies. This is a super cute DIY kit with all his favorite treats from your very own Super Hero Supply Company. Follow the link for the downloads and directions.

4. For the geek Father: Binary Dad T-Shirt. Well, really pretty much anything from ThinkGeek.com would work for my husband, but this was a special request from him. He also wanted the Binary Kid T-Shirt and the Binary Mom T-Shirt to go with it.  I've got to say I have my limits to geek-dom though. (Which means I haven't left the house in my shirt!)

*This (or something more appropriate to your man) would be really easy to duplicate with Silhouette Heat Transfer.

OK, there are multitudes of ideas out there. I just wanted to share these with you for fun.

June 8, 2010

I've been wanting a Cloche for a long time now. So when I saw this one on House of Hepworths I decided to make myself one.

It only took one trip to Value Village to find a cute Cheese Dome for $1.99.

Cheese Dome Cloche

I bought something I planned to use as a base, but when I was getting ready I saw these candle stands that I already had and they looked like they would work even better. So I tried one of them instead.

Cheese Dome Cloche

I glued them together with Gorilla Glue. It took two tries because the first I didn't do enough glue. (It's expanding glue and I'd read about how it surprised everyone so I was over careful.)

Cheese Dome Cloche

Cheese Dome Cloche

Cheese Dome Cloche

After the glue was dry it took a few coats of spray paint, then a little sanding on the cheese plate and some varnish and it looked antiqued a little.

Cheese Dome Cloche

I love how it turned out! I love how fresh it looks with the bright green apples but I look forward to changing it up as desired. I also painted and antiqued the extra candle stand so that it matches, I'm going to pop the green candle on it once it's dry.

June 7, 2010

I'm back on the Preschool wagon this month. I think Potty Training was about all I could handle over the last month. We've been a few days without a single accident and three nights dry. (Of course, we still put him in pull-ups at night, but it's finally going well.) I know this is not the end, but I'm so happy to be moving forward.

This month we're going to learn about OCEANS! I think it's the perfect time and seeing as we live close to the beach it will be fun to go on adventures there. Instead of breaking it up and posting once a week, I'm going to do one post for the entire 4 weeks. I think it will help me to plan in advance and keep all information in one place for you.

Last time I had 5 activities a week. This time I'm going to plan about 20 activities, but I'm going to break them up differently. I'll print off the list, then daily I'll choose one and cross it off when we're done!

Letters: O, F and S
Letter O, Letter F, Letter S and the O Song on Starfall.com
Letter S worksheet, Letter O worksheet, Letter F worksheet from First-School.ws
Letter Practice on J4NE the Pink Robot

Books and Videos:
Starfish (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science)Starfish
Hello OceanHello Ocean
Incredible Ocean!: Eye-Opening Photos of Life Underwater Incredible Ocean
Sea Tunes for Kids: Beautiful Live Ocean Fish!Sea Tunes for Kids
Finding Nemo (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) Finding Nemo

Sticky, Sticky Starfish (To Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)
Five Little Fish in the Sea (Video Here)
Octopus (aka. Slippery Fish Video Here, by Charlotte Diamond, You can buy the MP3 Here for $0.99!)

Fish Coloring Page
Finger Paint Sea Creatures and Hand Octopus
Sandpaper Sea Creatures

Dive Under the Ocean
Sea Shell Sort and Match

Waves in a Bottle
Magnified Shells and Sand

Field Trips:
Trip to a Beach (take pictures of our discoveries)
Trip to the Aquarium

Beach in a Cup

For those of my friends following along, let me know and I'll make sure to invite you over for the art, games or science activities.

Feel free to comment with any more ideas for this theme! I'd love for this to become a way for everyone to share. Also feel free to post pictures of artwork, activities or snacks in the Maggie Muggins Designs in Action Flickr Group. Please if you do add photos, link up to your blog post if you blogged about it.