Monday, October 31, 2011

Cloth Beaded Necklace

For months, I have been looking for the perfect navy beaded necklace.  I just can't see to find one that is exactly what I need.  I have also looked at beads with the plan to make my own, but again I haven't been able to find simple navy beads.  So, I decided to take matters into my own hands and make this simple cloth necklace.

This is what you need:
wooden beads (any size you want, I used 3.25 inch beads)

Since I used 3.25 inch beads, I cut a strip of material 4 inches wide by 36 inches long.  To figure out how wide your material should be, measure the circumference of your bead and add .75 inches to it.

Next, fold material in half, right sides together and sew up the edge.  Then turn the tube of material right side out.  You will end up with a long tube of material.

Next I measured down 12 inches from one end and tie a knot in the material.  Put one of your beads in the tube and work it down to the knot.  Then tie a knot on the other side of the bead.

Continue adding beads and tying knots.  I used 6 beads in my necklace.

Cut the ends even and tie a knot at the end.  I didn't even hem the ends, I just left them undone.

Here's the finish necklace.

You can even use beads from an old necklace, you don't have to use the wooden ones.  I just happened to have some left over from another project.  Instead of tying knots between the beads, you could also thread another bead on the outside of the material.  There are a lot of variations you could do with this necklace.  The color possibilities are endless with all the material choices available! 

Happy crafting!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween Costumes!!

I've been making my daughter's costumes for years now.  This year for Halloween, my oldest daughter, B, decided to be a Bumble Bee.  My youngest daughter, MK, wanted to be Rapunzel.  Here's how I made their costumes!!

The Bumble Bee costume was fairly easy to make.  B already had a yellow and white striped shirt from Gymboree.  She also already had yellow and black striped legwarmers we purchased at 5 Below last year for dance (that she HAD to have!).  I knew I wanted to make a 'tutu' skirt for her costume.  I purchased 1 yard of yellow tulle and 1 yard of black tulle.  I cut the tulle into a strip 28 inches wide, then I just cut strips of it about 2 inches wide.

 Using 1 inch elastic, I measured around B's waist, took about an inch off and sewed it into a loop.  I then stretched this around two chairs put back to back and started to slip-knot the tulle around the elastic.  I did two strips of yellow tulle, one strip of black tulle, two strips of yellow tulle, one strip of black tulle, and so forth around the elastic loop.

Once done with the tulle, I went back and added some black/white and yellow/white polka dotted ribbon, the same way.  I sewed a bow made out of the black/white polka dotted ribbon to the front, as well as some bee buttons I found at the craft store.  At Target, I found a set of Bee wings, antennas, a clip on stinger and a bow tie for $5. 

Rapunzel was a bit more complicated.  I decided to make this dress so that the shoulders were ribbons that could be tied like a sundress.  If it is cool on Halloween, MK will just wear a long sleeve shirt underneath.  To start, I measured the width of the top of one of MK's dresses and fashioned a loop of material out of purple to the same measurements.  I then add the pink inset with purple criss-cross on top.  I ended up with this.  Notice the top is hemmed with a finished edge.

Next, I made a loop of purple material that was 3 times as around as the top.  I then pinned it to the top in the middle of the front/back and to each side of the top.  The bottom was pinned on in four places.  Going around the edge, I pinned pleats all the way around between the four original pins. Then sewed the skirt on and turned the dress right side out.  I then cut four pieces of pink ribbon 12 inches long and sewed them to the top of the dress as seen below. 

Almost done!  After trying it on MK, I cut the skirt to the length I wanted and added this little tulle trim to the bottom.

Now for Rapunzel's hair!  I cut A LOT of yellow yarn 8 feet long and then folded in half.  My oldest daughter held the top where it was folded in half and I divided it into 3 equal sections, then braided it.  I tied a piece of yarn around the top where the loop is and also around the bottom of the braid (just like how you would put an elastic band around a real braid of hair).  I then put the end through the loop at the top, so the braid goes around MK's head like a headband. 

And here they are all dressed-up!!


Here are some costume's I have made in the past as well for a little inspiration!  (I made all except the rainbow caterpillar.)  From left to right/top to bottom, starting at top left - Dalmatian, Parrot, Flower Fairy and Caterpillar, Tooth and Tooth Fairy (Tooth was in her typical mood that day), Jellyfish and Mermaid.


Happy Halloween!  I hope it's a good one and you get lots of candy!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Apples, Apples....and more Apples

A few Sundays ago, on the way home from Blacksburg, we decided to make a quick stop to pick some apples at Johnson's Orchard in Bedford, VA.  This is also where Peaks of Otter Winery is located.  We had never been apple picking before, so I wasn't sure how it was going to all work out.  When we arrived we went into the store to see what it was all about.

There was a gentlemen in the store giving out instructions.  The rules were...
1- You could not pick apples from the trees behind the red rope (if you did you would be charged $20).
2- You cannot throw apples or sticks.
3- If you pick an apple you either have to eat it or put it in your bag.  Don't drop it on the ground!

Let me tell you, he was serious about these rules.  I was a little scared to even go into the orchard.  After receiving instructions, there was some debating on what size bag(s) we needed.  After much discussion (I won't go into the details), we decided on 3 'pecks' of apples, so we got our bags, paid and walked down to the orchard.

I cannot tell you how much fun B and MK had.  Sometimes it's the little things, like filling up a bag with apples that is so EXCITING!!  When MK picked the first apple, 3 more fell to the ground....I didn't know what to do, you know the rules and all about not dropping any apples on the ground.  We decided that didn't count since she didn't drop them on purpose.  There were all types of apples at this orchard, but I couldn't tell you the names.  You see back in the store, someone asked that specific question to the gentleman giving instructions and well....his answer was 'There are a lot of different kind, but I'm not going to go into all those details with you' (seemed like somebody got up on the wrong side of the bed).


After picking our pecks, we walked around to the visit the big Johnny Appleseed statue.

Me: Hat-Etsy;Vest-Land End; bunny sweatshirt-Urban Outfitters; lace tank-Anthropologie; skinnies-Loft; boots-Ugg (Zappos)
MK: Strawberry Hat-craft show; vest-Old Navy; hoodie,apple dress,leggings,boots-Target
B:Polka-dot Hat-Target; vest-Old Navy;hoodie,skinnies-Target; boots-Children's Place

After giving away 3 dozen apples, we were still left with two large bowls.  

I decided we would make applesauce in the crock pot. B had done this last year when she was in kindergarten, so I knew it was relatively easy.  The girls wanted to make strawberry applesauce.  After reading several recipes online, I decided on this combination and hoped it turned out good.  So, I set the girls to work cutting up the apples (using butter knives of course).
Strawberry Applesauce Recipe:
10 apples (peeled)
2 cups frozen strawberries
1/4 cup apple juice

We combined everything in the crock pot and set it on low.

 This is what it looked like after 2 hours on low.

 This is what we ended up with after letting it cook on low overnight.  I strained it and put in Tupperware to cool in the fridge.

The girls were a little disappointed, since they were expecting the bright pink color like the store bought kind.  But, after giving it a try....
the verdict was....
two thumbs up (or maybe 3)!

Since we still had apples left, the next day I made two apple pies.

Guess what?!?!  We still have a bowl of apples left!!  I think next time we might only need 2 pecks!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pies Anyone?

For months, I have coveted this galvanized metal 3-Tier stand on Pottery Barn's website.  But, the price!  I just couldn't come to grips with spending that much on the stand.  Then I saw this on Pinterest and knew I could make my own.

So, one Sunday afternoon, B (my oldest daughter) and I went to the antique store and I was able to find all the pie plates I needed.  I spent a total of $14 on them.  I could not find any old candle sticks, though.  The next Friday, MK (my youngest daughter) and I went to our local thrift store and found the candlesticks.  I spent $3.50 total on them.

I decided to paint the candle sticks yellow.  I used Krylon Indoor/Outdoor paint.

I am not sure how many coats it took, but it was probably close to 6 or so.  I didn't worry about complete coverage because I wanted the candle stick part to look old and worn.  Once dry, I just glued things together using Household Goop glue.

I used A LOT of Household Goop, to make sure these stay together!

Second tier and third tier ....

 Close up of the middle and top pie plates....

And....the finished stand!

And here it is all decorated for Fall on my kitchen table!

THANK YOU MaryJanes and Galoshes and The Crafting Chicks for the great idea!