Friday, March 30, 2012

Guest Post Today!

Kristen, a high school friend of mine, has a great recipe blog called "Confessions of a Not-So Domesticated Newlywed". I'm guest posting over there today!

I could probably pull up some pictures of us as far back as second grade, but I really don't think either of us want those floating around blog land (I'm pretty sure we both had some awful '80s bangs)
Here we are at our high school reunion a few months back. 
See you back here next week. Thanks for reading my blog.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Winner of the Sew Fine Fabric Giveaway!

I used to generate a winner from the 51 comments on the Sew Fine Fabric giveaway! The winner is comment #3:

Rhonda, who said:

I have 3 young boys so I know exactly how you feel! I love online fabric shopping, although my husband wishes I didn't ;>) I'd probably buy a lot less if I was in a store having to also keep track of the boys! She has so many great fabrics in her shop; loving Ellie Farm among many others! Thanks for chance to win! Rhonda (marshudson at comcast dot net)

I will email you to get your contact information!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Last Day to Enter Fabric Giveaway

Just wanted to remind you all to enter the fabric giveaway from Sew Fine Fabric! 
We're picking a winner tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Homemade Salsa

Easy Homemade Salsa Last week, the weather was superb for grilling out. This week, not so much. 
One night when we were going to grill, I wasn’t sure what we could have as a vegetable accompaniment for our chicken. We have a bunch of grape tomatoes that were past their prime, so I made them into salsa! I used my Vitamix blender, but you could make this recipe in any blender, I’m sure. (Just don’t over mix! You’ll end up with baby food consistency salsa!)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Vintage Skirt

Vintage Bird Applique SkirtI’m not usually one to show off what I’m wearing. That’s because it usually isn’t anything very interesting or unique. However, this skirt was my grandmother’s. After she passed away three years ago, I wanted to have this skirt (plus three others that are the same wrap-style). I have no idea where or when she got it, but I wore it to church last week for the first time ever. I got several compliments about it, so I thought I’d share it on here for all those readers who may be into vintage fashions (it is probably from the 1970’s).

Friday, March 23, 2012

Quick Easter Project

If you’ve been around on my blog for awhile, you may have noticed I am not super into holiday-specific crafting or decorating.

That means we had no Easter baskets for my boys.

That’s not fun.

So I made them some Easter pails.

I decided to go with more of an “Easter Bucket” idea.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Fabric Giveaway from Sew Fine Fabric

As I make more things for my kids and home, I find myself looking beyond predictable chain fabric stores for interesting fabric choices. I also love shopping online because it means I don’t have to take two active boys into a store! I tend to be a slow shopper, agonizing over what to buy. If you are like me and want to take your time choosing unique, quality fabrics that are shipped to your door for a (low!) shipping cost, check out Jodi, my friend at Sew Fine Fabric! (She lives in NE Ohio, where I moved from last year!)
Last week, I ordered some wonderfully colorful fabric from Sew Fine Fabric on Sunday night and it was in my mailbox on Tuesday afternoon. What great service!
Today Jodi is offering Monkey See, Monkey Do readers a giveaway! She’s giving away seven fat quarters from her collection of Desert Daydream fabrics.
3.16.12 008 3.16.12 009  
Would you like to win one fat quarter of each of the fabrics pictured? Then follow Monkey See, Monkey Do and go to Sew Fine Fabric and leave a comment letting me know what items you like best!
For a second entry, leave a comment below letting me know you follow Monkey See, Monkey Do on Facebook!
Jodi has a blog. If you purchase fabric from her, make sure you send her a picture of your finished item so she can feature you!
I’ll select a winner on March 29th, so make sure to enter before that date!

Handmade by KP Winner!

I’ve used to generate a winner from the comments that were entered for the Handmade by KP giveaway!
True Random Number GeneratorMin: 1   Max: 34 Result:28Powered by RANDOM.ORG
The winning comment is #28:
I’ll be emailing you to get your info to pass along to Katie.
If you didn’t win, remember that you can save 15% by entering MONKEYSEE15 at checkout when purchasing an item from Katie’s shop.
I will be posting another giveaway later today.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

“Things that Go” Wall Art

My husband doesn’t see the need to decorate bathrooms.
I respectfully disagree.
Boy Theme Wall Art
I wanted to do something for the blank white wall in my boys’ bathroom. I had these 8x10” canvases that I had purchased in December with the intention of making Christmas presents for relatives featuring the boys’ handprints. That project failed miserably.
Truck Wall Art
So I took the materials I had purchased for it and created these simple vehicle silhouettes. Bike wall art
First, I painted over the handprint smudges with navy paint. It took lots of coats. I apparently had a cup of tea, too.
Oh yeah, and this project was almost a fail. I found out the hard way that you can’t use freezer paper to stencil on painted canvas. So I had to re-paint the canvas to cover up the failed freezer paper stencil attempt.
So now that my canvases were carefully coated with about 15 coats of navy paint, I bought a roll of clear contact paper and cut my stencils out of that.
And by the way, it killed me to have to buy something…I’m usually able to come up with materials I have or someone shares with me. So I spent $7 on contact paper, making this an un-frugal craft. But I’ll figure out some other uses for this contact paper.
Anyway, I cut the stencil on my self-healing mat. I had printed the pictures off of the internet. I taped everything down so there was no shifting.
Anyway, after cutting the stencil, I carefully took the contact paper and applied it to the canvas. Then I dabbed paint all over it using a foam brush.
I couldn't wait to see how my canvases looked, so I removed the outer portion of the stencil first, before it was dry. I peeled off the little pieces later after it was [mostly] dry.
I hung them in the bathroom using adhesive strips. IMG_4743
Why not nails? It just seemed like overkill since they are so lightweight.
Also, it was naptime. Why ruin things by using a hammer? IMG_4715
Lesson learned: You cannot use freezer papers stencils on top of paint. One more time: Freezer paper will not adhere to painted canvas.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Yoga Skirt with Jersey Binding

I’m always trying to get out of hemming things. So I decided to try making binding out of jersey fabric. I ended up using this technique to finish off a spring-type yoga skirt I made for myself. See my tutorials for yoga skirts here and here. This one I just made isn’t gathered the whole way around but just in the front and the back. So it’s a combination of my two tutorials.
It turned out decently. It is a little bulky for a hemline, in my non-trained sewing opinion.
I didn’t take pictures along the way, but I tested the technique to finish off the neck of a shirt I made for my two-year old. (He loves his ‘wrench shirt’.)
For his shirt, I just cut a strip of jersey about 1.5” wide on the bias. I just folded it over once and zig-zagged it onto the shirt.
Not perfect, but it did the job. It was a lot easier than methods I have used in the past.
I decided I would do a double-fold bias binding for the bottom of the skirt. I probably should’ve stuck with single-fold binding with jersey fabric.
It’ll work, though! It made an interesting new technique to try.
I love spring colors! IMG_4773

Friday, March 16, 2012

Freezer Paper Stenciled Dish Towels

freezer paper stenciled dish towel with bike
This is an easy, fun project! You’ll need some plain towels. I have had some stashed in my fabric collection for quite awhile. I bought these from Target and JoAnn Fabric for only a few dollars.
Pre-wash and dry your towels. Assemble your supplies: Freezer paper, paint, fabric paint medium (if necessary, more on that in a minute) and any ric rac trim or ruffle trim you wan! Follow my tutorial on freezer paper stenciling.
One major tip I would like to give for the freezer paper stenciling:
You don’t want to use straight-up acrylic paint for most fabric projects. It gets really stiff when it dries. I did not know this and ruined another project.
If you want to use acrylic paint, you can add a fabric paint medium to your acrylic paint. (That’s what the arrow is pointing to in the above picture.) It won’t be all stiff and weird when it dries. It’s just better.
You can buy special fabric paint, which I have used in the past. It works well, but it’s more expensive and you get less paint in the bottle. For this project, I spent a little bit of money on the fabric paint medium and was able to use various colors of paint I already had to decorate the towels. As you know, I'm all about crafting on a budget.
Do your freezer paper stenciling.IMG_4588 IMG_4589 IMG_4591
Let the paint dry before adding the ruffle or ric rac embellishments!
Once everything was dry, I added some ruffle or ric rac trim to my towels. For the ruffles, I just gathered a 1.5” strip of fabric and pinned it to the towel.
Then I stitched it to the towel.
Finally, remove the original gathering stitches with your trusty seam ripper.
Make sure you iron the paint 24-48 hours later to 'set' it. That way it won't run after washing.
Enjoy your new towels!
IMG_4584 IMG_4600
The green paint didn’t cover the pattern on the fabric well. I might re-do the stenciling in red so it will cover better.
I especially love how the bike towels turned out. Living life with a husband and two boys means I can’t decorate with flowers and bows.
dish towel with bike stencil
But I do love the ric rac.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Freezer Paper Stenciling Tip of the Day

While working on my latest project, which will be posted in the next day or so, I discovered you can re-use your freezer paper stencils.

This is exciting, yet sad, since I have always thrown mine away after one use. I am now mourning all the stencils I could have re-used. (Like the bike stencils I used to make my husband a shirt for Christmas. I could use that one right now!)

I found this tidbit of information out when I tried to re-position a stencil. Instead of recutting the stencil, I just thought I'd try to restick part of it.

So this means that if you are positioning a stencil and you iron it down, then change your mind on the positioning, you can peel it up and re-iron it before painting.

I guess I'd better get a used stencil storage system started!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Giveaway from Handmade By KP

It's a giveaway day! Katie, of Handmade by KP sews & sells aprons, bows, key fobs, pacifier clips, burp cloths, and my personal favorite, tote bags!

Check out some of my favorite cute things from Katie’s shop:
I love the fabric Katie uses for these tote bags! bag
I love stripes! This apron is great!apron
These bows can be used as hair clips or bow ties!hair bow
My personal favorite item is this pink giraffe bag. bag
Would you like to win a giraffe or elephant bag of your choice from Katie’s shop? If so, enter the giveaway by leaving a comment stating which item you like best from Handmade by KP. You can earn an extra entry by following Monkey See, Monkey Do on Facebook! (Leave a separate comment saying you follow on FB!)
Katie is also offering 15% off to Monkey See, Monkey Do readers! Just enter the code: MONKEYSEE15 when placing your order in her shop!
Be sure to enter this giveaway before March 21st! I’ll choose the winner that day. (US winners only!) Also, make sure you leave an email address so I can contact you easily.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pillowcase with Ric Rac Trim

This pillow case was a simple little project I made for my little boy using one yard of cotton quilting-weight fabric and about a yard of contrasting ric rac.

I had this cute fabric in my stash. I've been trying to use up what I have instead of buying new fabric and materials. The ric rack is from Beautiful Additions.


Does anyone else call a pillow case a “pillow slip”? My grandmother always called them that. When I referred to a 'pillow slip' in college, a few friends laughed at me. Just wondering if anyone else has to remind themselves to say pillow "case"!!!

Anyway, my finished pillow case measures 19” in width and 33” in length.

Before starting, make sure to pre-wash and dry your fabric.

To make the opening, I measured down 6” from the top of the fabric. I pressed the fabric at this point, wrong sides together, to make a nice crease.


Then, I opened the fold back up and folded the fabric back down to the crease.


This is 3” from the top.


I pressed it into place. Then I folded it again along the 6” crease. This hides the raw edge.



Next, I pinned it into place. I didn’t sew yet.


I then pinned on the ric rac.


I hid half of it behind the fabric so that just the points are showing. Then I sewed it in place.


(Note: I’ve never used ric rac as a trim on a sewing project before, so this is just the way I did it. I don’t know if it is “technically” correct! This is just how I did it.)

Then I stitched 3" down from the ric rac to hold the rest of the flap in place.


Here is what the inside of the pillow case will look like:


I folded the pillow case in half and measured out the width I would need. 19” wide, plus 1/2” for seam allowance (x2, since the fabric is doubled over at this point).


I cut the excess fabric off of the pillow case.


Then I zig-zagged all the raw edges, matched up the edges and pinned it into place for the final seam to be sewn.


After sewing around the bottom and one open edge, on the wrong side of the pillow case, I pressed the seams open. Then I turned it right side out and pressed the seams flat.

IMG_4552 IMG_4553

My son is excited to have a Clifford pillow case!


It is fun to make things you know your child will love to use.