Friday, September 30, 2011

Baby Shower Gift

I made a gift for a friend’s baby shower. The bunny was made using this tutorial & pattern, and the blanket and burp cloth were made with my pattern and tutorial. IMG_2691 IMG_2692

The bunny was my favorite part.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Quiero Perfecto

A few weeks ago I was at a MOPS meeting talking with one of the mentor moms about a few frustrations I was experiencing. She said to me, "It sounds like you just want everything to be perfect. It isn't going to be that way."

She's right.

But yesterday I had a day where I want everything to be perfect. The last few sewing and crafting projects I’ve done haven’t turned out exactly the way I imagined them {perfect}. So I'm frustrated. Other things I want to be perfect:

I want my kitchen to be perfectly clean, yet have a perfectly presented meal for dinner.

I want my kids to never have runny noses or food on their clothing.

I want them to nap (at the same time) between 1 and 3 pm.

I want all my craft projects to go perfectly.

I want my craft/sewing area to be perfectly clean.

I want my bathrooms to be spotless.

I want my kids’ toys to be arranged in proper order.

I want to be able to sit on my deck and enjoy my perfectly mowed yard with perfect landscaping.

I want a beautifully organized linen closet and empty laundry baskets.

I want to wake up feeling rested.

I want to have a relaxing Saturday morning with my husband and our kids play without crying.

I want to wear PJ’s that match.

The reality is:

I’m always cleaning the kitchen.

My little boy’s nose seems to be constantly running due to seasonal allergies.

My kids rarely nap at the same time.

I have to sand the shelf and end table I just painted and attempted to glaze to correct my mistakes and start over.

The zipper pouches I spent so much time on the past few days don’t look the way I expected.

I don’t know if the showers have been cleaned in the past two weeks.

It is raining outside and our grass is still patchy.

I’m exhausted when I wake up in the morning and race to brush my teeth and put in my contacts before my two-year old decides to jump out of his crib. [I’m trying to prevent him from learning to escape. Just a few more months, please!]

My husband is busy biking, running, playing his saxophone with a band, and too busy with his own pursuits for relaxing over coffee. Our kids whine and cry a lot.

None of my PJ’s match. I wear old t-shirts with shorts to bed.

So while I’m sitting here longing for a blog-perfect or magazine-page family, house and life, I wondered why we all long for perfection. Why do I spend my free time creating things? Taking pictures? Posting them online? Why do I clean my home, attempting to make it appear perfect? It just gets messy and dirty again. The laundry fills up. Another meal or snack has to be served.

Hygienic motivation for cleaning aside, I was thinking that we were all created {by God} to live in a perfect world. God placed the first two people in the Garden of Eden, which probably didn’t get dirty. Kids weren’t supposed to whine. Beauty and perfection abounded in this garden.

We’re all trying to recreate the beauty and perfection God intended for the world. We can’t do it and always fall short. Bummer. But that’s because we weren’t created to live in this world. If you confess Jesus Christ to be your personal savior, you can have the assurance that you’ll be surrounded by beauty and perfection for eternity.

There’s nothing wrong with making fun crafts and cleaning your home. The problem comes when it becomes an obsession and you can’t stand your house because it isn’t as perfect as a lovely picture you’ve seen on someone’s blog or in a decorating magazine.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pattern Testers Needed

I am planning to sell a pattern for making a raglan shirt from upcycled t-shirts. I've made it several times for my little boy.

However, I want a few testers to try their hand at it before I try to sell it. This way, the testers can report any problems or quirks it may have!

This is my plan:
Email me to express your interest in being a tester.

I will send you the pattern (for free) in several emails which contain PDF files. (There are several variations...long sleeves, short sleeves, hoodie, kangaroo pocket...)

You print it off and make whatever variation you want from your own t-shirt stash.

Take pictures of the final product & send them to me.

Give me feedback.

Update: The shirt pattern is size 3T.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Winner of the My Memories Software

Thanks to my two entries for the My Memories Digital Scrapbooking Software. chose comment #2, so Stephanie, I'll be contacting you soon with your code to download your free scrapbook software!

Thanks for entering!

Next time we have a giveaway, I'll make sure it is some sort of crafty item! I got the picture that Monkey See, Monkey Do readers would prefer a crafty giveaway!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Covering a Photo Book

My 2 year-old loves to look at photos. I’d rather his hands not rip apart the scrapbooks and albums I’ve spent hours organizing and decorating, so I wanted to make him an album all of his own.

Note: You could follow this tutorial to make a cover for any type of book (journals, baby books, etc!)

I found this photo book for $.50 at a dollar store. It fits 4x6” pictures. The cover was ugly and I couldn’t insert a picture to cover it up.


Solution: I made a cover (out of old t-shirt scraps) to cover it up. IMG_2592

To start, I measured the book and added 1/2” to each measurement for seam allowance.

(1/4” for each seam.)


I cut one piece for the outside (I added a fabric stamp as an embellishment) and two pieces for the pockets. I made the pockets 4” deep. I would also recommend adding the button at this step. I did it at the very end and it was considerably more difficult.


With right sides together, I sewed 1/4” from all the edges to create the pockets.


I also used a small hair elastic to create the loop for the button. I just sewed it right on into the pocket so that when it is turned right sides out, the loop will be on the seam.


After clipping all four corners, I was done. Since I used a t-shirt, I didn’t hem any of the edges.


Flip the whole thing right sides out, press it flat, and cover your book!


Perfect for a 2 year-old.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Toy Tool Belt Tutorial

Looking for the My Memories Giveaway? Today is the final day for entries.
Click here to enter!
My little boy likes tools.
A lot.
One day, he was at my parents’ house and my mom used a scarf to make him a makeshift tool belt. I figured he needed one of his own. With special spaces for his two hammers.
(“Only hit your tool bench, not the walls!” comes out of my mouth at least 45 times per day.)
toy tool belt tutorial #toytoolbelt #DIYtoolbelt
The belt ties at the waist. IMG_2640
To make it, I used some scraps of fabric I had left over from converting a pair of too-large maternity pants into shorts. (Tutorial for that found here and here.)IMG_2631
I took one of the large pieces and sewed a ribbon to the top, just for decoration. Then I stacked two of the large pieces but placed the top piece (for the pockets) about 1” down from the top of the base piece. I made the pockets 5” deep.
Don’t sew the pockets yet, but cut the fabric to size. IMG_2632
I made the ties by folding over two 1 1/2” scraps and sewing them into tubes, turning the tubes, and then pressing them flat. IMG_2633
I made the hammer loops by taking two pieces of scrap fabric, sewing a tube, ironing it flat, then zig-zagging it, just for fun. Then I just sewed them onto the front of the pockets like belt loops.
I then sewed the pockets. I just stitched down the center for two wider pockets and then off to the side to make two narrower pockets which will be created with the side seams.
Next, cut a piece that will serve as the back. Pin it with right sides together. Slip the ties between the back and front pieces so that they will be caught in the side seams.
Sew around the whole thing, leaving a space at the bottom for turning. Be sure not to sew through any other part of the ties!
Turn the whole thing right sides out and press. IMG_2638
Top stitch around the entire border.
Now your child’s tools will be waiting for him (or her!) after naptime!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My To-Do List

Looking for the My Memories Giveaway? Click here for the post about how to enter!


Here’s a to-do list which includes pictures of home decor projects I’d love to tackle around our house.

1. I have never spray painted a lamp. But I really am not liking the brass lamps we have in our house. I am wondering if it would work to use some sort of nickel colored paint for this lamp? IMG_2613

2. This shelf was in the old house that we had torn down to build our new home. I’m thinking of making our kids’ bathroom a ‘nautical’ theme and painting this shelf a navy blue color. First I have to strip it, right?


3. This table is in our baby’s room. It’s pretty awful and I’m thinking of spray painting it a blue color. I also was thinking of doing a chalkboard top or a striped top. Thoughts?


4. We have had this filing cabinet for a long time. Before that, it was in my parents’ basement for a long time. And before that, it was in my dad’s office for a long time. I am thinking of painting it black. Or a fun color, like blue.


5. This was a calendar holder. I don’t have a calendar the right size to fill it right now. I am wondering if it is worth the trouble to get a piece of glass cut for it, spray paint it, and then use it as a dry erase board for a calendar.


6. We’ve had these bar stools since we were married. I’m considering upgrading their color…as in painting them with some color.


If I ever get a chance to tackle messy projects again, I’ll be starting with one of these!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Really Cute Baby Gift

Looking for the My Memories Giveaway? Click here for the post on how to enter!


I just wanted to share some pictures of a really adorable baby gift a friend gave us. It is a pair of monkey booties and a monkey hat! She crocheted them and they are so cute.

IMG_2405 IMG_2406 IMG_2407

Monday, September 19, 2011

Giveaway: My Memories Digital Scrapbooking Software

I really love looking at photographs of my family. With two young boys, I take a ton of pictures. But the challenge is getting them off of my camera or computer and into a scrapbook. I have so little time to cut out each picture and create a show-off-worthy scrapbook for each of my children!


The solution to the time crunch we’re all in is to use digital scrapbooking software with pre-made templates. Creating scrapbooks using digital software saves a ton of time over the cutting and pasting or taping we’ve been used to. It also saves time over using a web-based service such as or I’ve spent loads of time uploading pictures and creating an album only to have the computer freeze or the website lose all my photos.


With My Memories software, using the pictures you have on your computer or camera, you are able to drag and drop them directly into a template and then create great photo books that are shipped to you. You can find free templates on their website or you can purchase additional templates for more background or paper options.


I was given a free downloadable copy of My Memories to review and one to give away to a reader of my blog!

To enter to win this free downloadable copy of My Memories software, you can visit the My Memories website and leave a one comment specifying what digital paper pack or layout is your favorite. Also, you MUST be a follower of Monkey See, Monkey Do to qualify to win! (Be sure to leave your email address in your comment!) Make sure to enter by Friday, September 23rd.

As a special for all of the readers of Monkey See, Monkey Do, use this Share the Memories code that provides a $10 discount off the purchase of the My Memories Suite Scrapbook software and a $10 coupon for the store: STMMMS83825

If you don’t win, be sure to use the code to purchase your own copy of the software. You can get all your summer vacation pictures organized into cute photo books for yourself or to give as gifts! Don't forget to use the code: STMMMS83825 to save yourself a total of $20 when you place your order.

I will use to generate a winning comment number and will send an email to the winner’s address with the code and instructions to download the software.

Good luck!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Two Things I Dislike

Lots of bloggers write about things they love. I usually write about stuff I want to make, so I normally am writing about what I like. But here are two things I just don't like.

1) Halloween. Since I do blog, I read crafty sites {sometimes!} and this season is sort of *blah* for me when I look at other websites. It isn't a religious objection to Halloween, I just don't like it. It just seems like a waste of time! I don't love candy, so maybe that's why I just never got that into it. I do admit that I'll let my kids wear costumes (that I'll probably make!) when they can ask for them.

2) Missoni for Target. Am I the only person in the country that thinks the colors and patterns from this line are hideous? I normally love Target! Half my wardrobe is from the clearance section there.* I would buy all my children's clothing there if they wouldn't end up looking like clones of every other child I know. How could Target have such poor taste?

So there you have it. Two things that have been annoying me this week: seeing tons of Halloween projects show up in my blog reader and ugly Missoni clothing being at Target.

*I have not taken a leisurely shopping trip to Target to browse the clearance section in quite awhile. I think I am due for one!!*

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Repurposed Craft Supply Wall Organizer

I found this item in my parents' barn. My dad said I could do whatever I wanted to it.

"What is it?"
My dad explained it was a radiator cover that was in my great-aunt's apartment. She passed away approximately 25 years ago, so I have no idea why anyone saved this custom-designed radiator cover for an apartment in which she no longer lives.
Whatever the case, I saw great potential for repurposing it into the craft storage unit I've always wanted.

To start things off, I took a tiger saw and removed the grate from the front. Then I
sanded (a lot) to get the peeling paint off.

This was before my dad mentioned that it was probably lead paint and I should be careful of the dust and fumes.

Here is a picture of the whole thing clamped on its side post-tiger sawing:

My dad helped me cut some cleats and dowel rods (the cleats are “u-shaped” and hold the dowel rods up) to use for ribbon and paper storage. I attached them with Gorilla Glue and some screws.

I later coated it with antique white glossy spray paint. Then I masked the sides, top and bottom of the shelves, like I did for the bookshelf, and sprayed the back of the shelves with flat lilac spray paint.

Here is the finished product!IMG_2496 Notice how perfectly it holds my spray-painted yogurt containers? How about my rescued metal recipe boxes? Everything is color coordinated!"> src="" target="_blank"/>

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Unloading the Dishwasher

Could there be a more boring title for a blog post?

Anyway, just wanted to share some tips I've been using to make the task of unloading the dishwasher go faster. I personally hate this quick chore.

1) Open all your cupboards and drawers in the kitchen and leave them open til you're all done putting away the dishes.

2) When loading the dishwasher, put all the forks in one of the utensil spaces in the utensil caddy. Do the same with the spoons and knives. That way you just take them out and plop them into the drawer. No sorting necessary. (My husband instituted this one in our home.)

Do you have any time-saving tips for doing dishes?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Old Bra=New Accessory! (Guest Tutorial)

This tutorial was created by a friend of mine from Ohio! She has two adorable kiddos and we were in MOPS together.

May I just say that if you are a mom of pre-school children (ages 0-5), you must find a MOPS group to join. Hope you enjoy Katie’s tutorial!~Jen


Hi, I'm Katie and Jen has graciously allowed me to share a super fun project with all of you. So just a quick background before we get started... For nearly 5 years straight my breasts have taken on a life of their own, through 2 pregnancies and 41 months and counting of breastfeeding. As a result, the girls have changed over the years and my once well-fitting bras, well lets just say their day has come and gone in my wardrobe. So, while going through my clothes in an effort to condense, purge, and donate items I came across 3 very lonely bras. Upon seeing them, 3 things came to mind:

  1. Who would really want my used bras? (Although I have donated them to Goodwill in the past.)
  2. I can't throw away gently used clothes- not even bras!
  3. How can I repurpose them?

Hair Accessories! I love hair bows and headbands. They have the power to make you look and feel so feminine in a nanosecond. One problem: My bra cups are, eh hem... small. And I didn't have enough fabric to make a proper hair bow.

So I opted to make a Bra Broach... ta-da! I hope you'll enjoy this mini-tutorial. By the way, I'm really no Martha so please forgive me and my asymmetrical cuts!

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I hope this project got you thinking outside the cup. Another idea of how to use fabric from an old bra... sew it into a sports bra to hold an mp3 player or cell phone! The possibilities of reusing items is endless! How have you recently reused fabric or a household item to create something special?

I'd love to hear from you on Twitter @kbevan4 as to how you plan to repurpose an old bra. I'm no longer a bloggy dog, but if you care to read any of my past thoughts, check them out here--



Friday, September 9, 2011

Parting with My Creations

This blanket, hat, and stuffed hippo are all on their way to a friend of mine in Maine who just had a baby girl around the same time we had our new little guy! IMG_2499

Sometimes it’s hard for me to part with things I’ve made. But I’m so excited a little girl can finally use some of the girly things I’ve made and stockpiled. They’ve sure served no use to my boys!

What's in the box?

Stuffed Hippo

Ribbon Edged Baby Blanket

Newborn Hat