Thursday, June 27, 2013

Hooded Towels

So, it was briefly summer here!  They say it will be again - we shall see... 

In that brief window though, I got to take the kids to the pool a couple times, where I discovered that instead of regular old towels that fall off when you let go of them and only stay around you when you know how to do the funky wrap and tuck thing, what they really needed where hooded towels with some kind of fastener to hold them shut.... Voila!  Idea!

I found these scrumptious towels for not very much at Target - so cute!  They are perfect for a little alteration with their clean stripes so you can't even tell they are shorter than they were made.  (As opposed to a superhero or princess towel where you would cut off part of a picture.)

Next, I found a hooded bath towel that I liked from the linen closet, traced the hood shape, made a quick little pattern and started cutting.

I only took off about 12 inches of material from the original length of the towel and I made sure to squish the hood pattern so that both the back and front of the pattern would fit side-by-side on that 12 inches.  The towel size that is left is perfect to fit around my little guys with plenty of room to wrap up and get cozy.
To finish it up, I added about an inch and a half of velcro on the front about six inches away from the edge of the hood.  Baby Girl can't quite get it on her own, but the boys can. 

They seem to love them!  And now I can march my little munchkins from the pool deck to the showers with a lot less complaining...
And just to give you a taste of our weather, these lovely pictures were taken in the 30 minutes yesterday between complete downpours!  Phew!
Here's to summer!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Lampshade Re-do

I have had the BEST bed-side lamps for a while now.  We got them at IKEA maybe 8 years ago - plain, modern, stylish.  Unfortunately, however, their lovely cream and brown shades no longer match with the grey, yellow, back and white room that I came up with about a year ago when we move into our new house.  So, there they sat for almost a year...  not matching, but lighting up the room quite well. 

About 6 months ago I got an idea - recover!  I went out right away and found an awesome back and white print (Waverly, Coral Sea) with some contrasting texture and then those poor lamps sat there un-matching for another 6 months until I finally got my act together last week. 

I didn't really have a plan other than "get the fabric on the shade," but that doesn't usually stop me.  So, in an effort to get some projects finally crossed off my list I grabbed my scissors, spray adhesive and glue and jumped in!

The whole process was relatively easy and quick, but there were definitely some tricks.  First being, get a fabric pattern where direction doesn't matter.  Because of the conical structure of the lampshade, anything with too much of a vertical or horizontal pattern will get "warped" and not match up when you wrap it around.  There probably is some easy and smart way to fix that, but I couldn't come up with it off-hand, and thankfully didn't have to because I lucked into buying a kind of swirly non-directional material.

I started by just draping the fabric over the lampshade to make sure I had enough and to roughly measure where to cut.

Next, I made a nice, straight cut on one edge with my rotary cutter...

Then, I lined up the edge of my material with the seam of the old lampshade fabric, gave the lampshade a good spray with my spray adhesive and started rolling, smoothing and spraying some more adhesive around the shade. 

Another tip:  Start by placing the lampshade fairly close to the bottom of the material. As you spray and roll, the shade will travel in an upward arc across the material and you are liable to run out of material if you start in the middle. Never fear though because the adhesive is removable, so you can just peel it off and try again if your placement doesn't quite work.

Also, be sure to put down newspapers and get anything that you don't want sticky out of the way when you spray the adhesive.  It seems like it goes right where you spray it until later when you realize that your scissors, ruler and cutting mat are all tacky...

Make sure the fabric is nice and smooth!  It's looking pretty good now right?


Next, I cut the excess fabric off on the inside about an inch and a half from the edge of the shade on both ends.

It also helps with smooth-ness to clip around the inside.

Finally, start gluing down the inside overhang with fabric glue.  It's kind of hard to see below, but I just folded over the fabric and spread a bead of glue over the cut edge.  I also made sure to clip an opening around the lampshade supports and glue securely around those as well.  Warning: This can be a little messy...

So, as I mentioned before, when the fabric wraps around the conical lampshade it will start to get a little wonky due to the differing circumferences of the top and bottom of the shade.  This will leave a triangle of material that hangs over once you have covered the shade.  To take care of this, I simply cut it off straight up the seam leaving about and inch allowance. 

Then, I folded it about a half and inch under and glued it down the seam being careful overlap the edge where I started wrapping.
And here it is, good as new...

 And, FINALLY, our cool little lamps fit in again and all is right with the room... until I get another bright design idea...  :)

Friday, June 7, 2013

Five Minte Friday: Fall

Here's my second attempt at this exercise.  I had a great time last week!  It was awesome to read some of the other entries out there in Five Minute Friday land.  I'll be honest, writing in five minutes and not really editing is difficult for the perfectionist in me... but here goes again.


When I hold them tight, they resist.  They struggle and giggle and whelp.  It becomes a game, but as much as I want to hold them like this forever, it's the learning and growing that amazes me the most.  And that is done away from me on their own terms. 

They run down the driveway when I want them to walk.  A misplaced toe.  A bloody lip.  They climb too high and let go.  They jump in when they think I'm not looking.

But I am always looking, if even from the "eyes in back of my head."  Just like He is looking.  Hugging too tight then letting go.  Always there even when we don't think so.  The ultimate Father.  Letting us fall because watching us figure it out is miraculous and amazing.  Hoping we don't make the mistake, but ready to pick us up and put ice on our bloody lip. 

And the hardest thing of all is to let go.  Because the last thing I want is for these wonderful creatures to be broken and hurt.  But I must let go.  They must learn.  I must learn.  I must let myself fall too.  And trust that HE is always there.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Summer's Here! Hopefully...

In most parts of the country it's SUMMER! 

I think it might be summer here too, but it's Seattle, so you don't ever really know.  In fact, most people agree that Summer doesn't really start here until July.  Dang.  Even C-man said the other day, "Hey, Mom.  It's it supposed to be Summer?  It's after Memorial Day, but it sure doesn't look like it."

Well, the sun's out today, so here's hoping!

The first thing I always notice about Summer is how it catches me by surprise.  I'm always looking forward to it, but never quite ready when it appears.  So, I went to dig out the summer garb and realized that the largest shorts we have are size 4T and C is now 6... Ooopps.  Not to mention trying to dig out something in size 3T for Ry-man.  It seems as if C grew through that size during the winter because I came up with a big goose-egg for him too.


But, YAY!  Because now I finally have the ability to say, "I'll just whip them up some shorts" and actually do it.  And these were super easy, which is a theme for me...

I used the kids shorts tutorial from Made along with her kids pants with pockets tutorial.  I got some fun material that every boy would like from JoAnn's and threw some together.  The hardest part was the fact that both my boys have the smallest little waists, so I had to cut down the elastic more than usual to keep them up over their cute little tooshes. 

Actually, I probably could have just made the same size for both boys and just left them a little longer for C-man.  As it was, I graded the pattern up a bit and they turned out huge, which is fine when you are making elastic-waist shorts, but the butt does look slightly funky.  All in all, it's still a much better fit than anything I can buy him from a store, so I'll take it. 

Nothing like feeling like a superhero on a gorgeous day! 

"Zee plane, zee plane, boss!"

YAY! SUMMER!  And YAY! Shorts!