Jun 30, 2011

Lake Day!

A little girl is ready for the lake.
These two little girls were very adventurous as well. They are two of Ainsley's besties.
Hey look! I'm actually in a shot, thanks to my friend!We invited four other families with lots of little ones to go with us. Most were shy on the tube. But um, these two were not. Cohl is making sure we go faster. The look on his face was priceless. Thumbs up for more speed, haha!
Look at those boys go!
And then there is "my" boy. He saw me get out the camera and did some jumps across the wake for lense.


Jun 25, 2011

Camping Fools

So our lifegroup from church all went camping together this last weekend. We went up the Sierra mountains to a favorite place of our called Dinkey Creek. As you can see, neither the creek nor our camp setup was dinkey. This would just be three of the five large tents set up around our camp. Ours is the red one. It has three rooms and can sleep 10. Walmart called it the camp tent "lodge". Uh, huh. The Griswold's went on vacation, folks.

So the creek called Dinkey Creek? Well, this place usually has some good swimming holes and some good natural rock slides in the water that are blast to slide down. Not so this year. The campground had been closed for an extra month due to unseasonable snow on the ground. There was still snow in places around. The river was ripping, icey cold, snow melt. So no swimming for us. Nights were really cold but the days warmed up to a perfect temperature.

We still found much to do. Here the dads took the little ones on a hike to climb rocks overlooking the creek. We also did a lot of bike riding.

Just in case you were wondering how many people that was and how much stuff we brought...here is a small picture or two of just our eating area. That would be 10 adults, 1 elementary schooler, 5 preschoolers, and 5 baby girls. Uh, huh. For just our family, we filled the back of our SUV with blankets and sleeping bags, and then filled and brought up a whole trailer full of stuff. For just four days.

The kids were well entertained as you can see.

The five babies were dirt balls since two were walking really well now and the other three dirt crawlers. They were pretty much black with dirt and ended up eating a lot of it I'm sure. And yes, we all had a baby girl in the last year or so. Crazy, huh? Allana, Dawson, Michaela, Sadie and Tessa, left to right, top to bottom..They are just the cutest little things together. Look at that happy disgusting face. Oh Tessa. What a mess you were!
Now these girls are becoming the best of buds. Aren't they the cutest? Here are all the preschoolers on the big stump they found for climbing on. You can't forget our two preschool boys who are also just as adorable.How did we keep the babies contained? Well, we tried to keep them in this play yard. As you can see, it attracted more big kids than babies since we kept chucking all the toys in there. We affectionately called it the "cage", haha! I count 7 heads in here and only 2 of them are the babies. Too funny, right?
We went on a couple of long walks. We kinda looked like a kid parade. Mine would be the lazy ones in the jogging stroller while the rest of the kids are walking. They like to roll like that...like little raja of paja's while they sip their drinks and relax in style while Daddy is huffing and puffing with Tessa on his back pushing them up and down hills, all the while they are yelling, "faster Daddy!" Yes, those would be my lazy bones kids.
When we got to the creek, we found an area that wasn't rushing but the water was so cold even my water baby couldn't put his feet in for more than a minute before it hurt. At least that was enough to wash the black dirt off his feet. We were all so grossly dirty.

Of course we had smores every night. George here thought he would try a 6 mallow graham. Being that I can barely eat one for sugar overload, I find this terribly gross. To each his own. We ate like kings on the trip since we divided up the meals so two families were responsible for each meal (breakfast and dinner). That way prep and cleanup was quick and efficient. With all the hands on deck, it meant there was actually time for relaxing and we gorged on amazing meals with way too much food. And yes, that is a full on grill. One of the guys thought it was necessary and threw it in the back of his truck to bring up. It was wonderful until it ran out of propane on the last night. Oops!

So it all went well with a couple of snags. Tessa had a nasty cold up there the whole time. Can you believe her gross face?? So disgusting. Then she shared it with me. Nice.

The worst though was Hunter. On the second day there, he got throw up sick. In the middle of the night of course. Ainsley did too, but she only threw up once at night and it was easy cleanup. Hunter however, exploded all over his whole sleeping bag and blankets, and we had to scrounge around for enough warm blankets for him to sleep in. Not only that, the cleanup in the tent was the worst EV-ER! In the dark. Freezing cold. Fantastic. We just chucked everything in plastic bags and made do. My laundry is still churning a week later trying to get through everything.

He was sick the whole next day, but I kept thinking he would get over it soon since Tessa had had it a few days before we left and it was only a few hours. He didn't. He spent all of the next day looking like this with his trusty bucket by his side. He didn't get better until the next day and that was the day we went home. So he only got one day of fun before getting sick. Poor guy. However, both kids violently protested against going home, and so we stuck it out.

Not to end on such a down note, we actually did have a blast with everyone. In fact, we had so much fun we are planning another trip before the summer is over. Hopefully next time we can use the swimming hole and no one gets sick. Fingers triple crossed.

Jun 18, 2011

Felt Gardenia Flowers: Day 5

So this one is the easiest of all. It's almost silly explaining it, but here we go. I'll teach you at the end though how to cover a hair clip with ribbon and my favorite "no slip" grip for hair clippies. I feel that this will justify calling this a "tutorial" with the flower being as easy as it is.They have a big "Wow" factor though, so they are worth explaining.
I don't know how else to explain this since the pieces are cut out free form. You cut out wobbly circles in graduating sizes large to small. Here I think a picture is worth a thousand words.
Then you stack them and sew beads or buttons to the center. I love using pearl beads on these too.
Then hot glue some green fleece or felt leaves to the back. See! Told you that was easy.

Here is the step for attaching a hair clip for little girls.
1.Aligator clips. By the way, many people ask me where to get clips. I think the best place is ordering online from here, Ribbonsandbowsohmy.com. I order 144 in a package for $14. I get single prong alligator clips. This site also makes sure that their hardwear is lead free if you are worried about that. This will last you for-ev-er and the clips are quality and the perfect size.
2. Ribbon (satin or grossgrain the same width as the clip)
3. Hot glue gun and glue sticks
4. A roll of shelf paper for $5 at Walmart. The waffle weave cushy white kind. One roll will make millions of clips. Below I cut off one strip from the end of the roll. If you need to see it better, go to this old post of mine. Uh huh. That's it. That's my secret and it works way better than lining the clip with felt.
Start at the bottom of the clip. See where I start gluing the ribbon on the bottom? On the bottom just at the base of the prong. You aren't going to put ribbon on the bottom prong. I used to and it was really tough to slide it into pony tails so now I don't. They work so much better this way. They slide easily in but don't slip out once closed shut.
Then wrap up and over the top, gluing as you go.
Flip the clip over so the bottom is on top. Pinching it open, glue ribbon along the top prong and inside edge of the top. Clip off excess. This picture is the best one for showing how all the ribbon should be glued.
Now cut a small piece of the shelf paper and glue on the inside edge over the ribbon .
It should look like this closed up. Just don't do what I have done countless times and closed it before the glue dries. Then I can't pry it back open and have to start over, haha!
Put glue along the ribbon on the top. Stick the clip to the flower back. And done. Even with one prong unlined, the flower isn't going places with that shelf paper attached. It stays in hair really well.
Even super fine hair like Ainsley's. However, I do also put in teeny tiny rubber bands first before putting in the clip. Her hairbows never fall out this way and will last all day long during rough play.
Now go dig out all of those hair clips you have lying around and start lining them. It'll save you from having to replace them because they slipped out for the umpteenth time.

Jun 17, 2011

A Crocheted Flower and Yo Yo Flower: Day 4

Today is kind of a two-for-one day. It's really two flowers stacked together, and I liked the juxtaposition of materials together and created these little pretties. Let me make a HUGE disclaimer first.

I suck at crochet.

I've been doing it since high school and it's still really not my thing. It's because you have to count. I really can't keep numbers in my head and it's too monotonous for me. My mind wanders too much. You don't even want to know how badly I've messed up cross stitching. I've come to realize certain crafts are not my "thing".
So most of the time I don't pick crafts that rely on counting. See? These yo-yos are super sweet all on their own too.One good thing though is that these crocheted flowers are SO easy, that even little ol' lazy me took the time to do it. I didn't think up the crochet pattern for the pansy. I got it here. You may just want to go there to see how they should REALLY look. Mine look pretty wonky compared to hers and that's why I decided to cover up the centers. Seriously. I shouldn't even be allowed to do a tutorial on this.Anyhow, if you crochet, here's the pattern:

Ch. 3, sl st to make a ring.

Rnd 1: Ch. 2, 9 dc into ring, sl st to 2nd st of the ch. 2. 10 sts.

Rnd 2: ** sc and 2 tr in the first st, then 2 tr and sc in the next st **

repeat ** 4 more times. Sl st and fasten off. 5 petals.

It's a pretty basic one. One I still managed to foul up on a couple of stitches, but they still look like flowers. Good enough, moving on. If you don't crochet, then just skip along to the next step.

Cut out two circles for your yo-yo's. Again I used my sizzix machine, but these are about 4 inches across give or take. Your finished yo-yo will be about half the size of the circle.
Go to your sewing machine and adjust the stitch length to be on the longest stitch (or highest number) for a loose stitch that you can gather. Mine is 5. Sew around the edge of the circle with the right side of the fabric down and wrong side up. I use the edge of the foot as my guide.Sew all the way around and take it off the machine. Taking the bottom two threads, start pulling and gathering your circle. Keep pulling until you get a pouch.Seperate the bottom two threads from the top two.Make a simple knot tying the bottom threads with the top threads and pull tight. I do two knots to ensure my pouch will not come loose. Then snip off the excess thread.Flatten the pouch and pull out the edges to make a yo-yo. Stack them up! You can choose which side up for the look you want. When the opening is up, you see the gathers. When it is down, it's a smooth circle. This time I'm putting the opening up. (Sidenote: Sometimes I make differing sizes of yo-yos and stack them up instead). I picked out some buttons and decided I liked the big ones.You know, go big or go home, right? I sewed on the buttons and cut out some leaves from fleece, though felt works for leaves too. Then I hot glued the leaves to the back making sure all layers were secure.I put a pin on the back and attached it to a purse I made a while ago.And here are a couple more ideas from other projects I have done. I posted this flower bouquet one here, but it's a set of hair clips for a little girl's birthday. On the brown and purple, I stacked up two yo-yo's in differing sizes. For the rest I stacked yo-yo's on felt flowers cut on my sizzix machine.
This is one I sell in the shop. The yo-yo's are flipped over for a smoother look. I guess I just shared a trade secret. Ya'll must be mighty special. Just don't copy it exactly and try to sell it, Okay?
Have fun with these yo-yo's! The possibilities are endless!