Wednesday, May 30, 2012

PVC Pipe Soccer Goal

One year our niece wanted a soccer goal for Christmas, so my husband came up with this PVC pipe soccer goal. He purchased the PVC at Home Depot and bought some netting (he can't remember where he bought it or what kind of netting it was...sorry).  This really wasn't cheaper than what you can buy at the store, I think it cost $30 to make - but, if you make it yourself, you can make it whatever size you want.  Ours is bigger than its $30 store-bought counterpart.

He built the goal with the PVC, then cut the netting to fit and sewed cylinders to fit over the pipes.  One thing we discovered is that the netting should be longer in the back to give it plenty of slack...there should be a good amount of netting just laying on the ground to "catch" the ball.

The way we made it, the back responded like a spring board when the ball hit it which works well for kids who want to practice their aim alone as it returns the ball to them, but not so great for practicing with a goalie.

Enjoy your Wednesday!


Monday, May 28, 2012

Makeover Mondays: Pillowcase Halter and Doo Rag

Happy Monday! This upcycle project was inspired, again, by a trip to Goodwill.  I promise I don't spend all my time there, but it's a great place to buy inexpensive fabric.  This time I came across these sweet vintage pillowcases.  I decided they would someday make something great, but didn't know what at the time.
After looking at them for some time at home, I decided they had to turn into little girl halter tops and I had the perfect ribbon for the project. 

My daughter (pictured here) is now 4 1/2, so this obviously was created years ago...which means there is no tutorial, but again, if you like to figure things out on your own, hopefully this will inspire you to make a halter top (or perhaps something you dream up) out of a pillowcase :)

At this age, her hair was always getting in her face, but it wasn't quite long enough to pull back.  I would put these little clips in her hair, but as fine as it was, it was always falling out.  So, I decided to make a doo rag with some of the pillowcase fabric I had leftover.  It worked like a charm and I think it was absolutely adorable.

I decided to make it double sided to get more use out of it and so I didn't have to be so careful with the hems.  The green side is an old sheet.

Here are a few more pictures of the hems/seams to give you an idea of what I did.  For the neckline, I'm pretty sure I sewed a few stitches in the center that went through the ribbon to keep it from falling out when it got washed or pulled on.  I sewed some elastic on the top of the back to help it hug her (even though I got it a little too big). 

Happy Sewing!


Friday, May 25, 2012

Compare, Compare, Compare...

Have you seen the recent Time Magazine cover, "Are you Mom Enough?" It has obviously stirred up some controversy.  Reading about this topic made me realize that I am not alone in this matter.  As moms we want to do our absolute best.  We pour into our children's lives with our love, values, beliefs, education, talents, and finances.

In addition to this, we work tirelessly to keep our homes running smoothly, we cook, clean, do laundry, grocery shop, work, educate, give baths, read, sing, kiss boo boos, listen, pray, tuck little ones in, open our homes to friends and neighbors, and make endless school lunches.  Not to mention committees we serve on at school and church and community volunteer work.

We are moms, we are strong, we are driven, and we are tired.  As a mom it is super easy to compare yourself to other moms.  This one does this really well and that one does that like no one else.  We want to do everything well and when we see someone who has it together in a particular area, it's so easy to compare ourselves and think we're not doing a good job with our children. 

One thing we tend to forget when making this comparison is that we each have special gifts and talents unique from others.  Some of us are more creative and do lots of projects with our kids, some of us are more active and help our children get out and experience a variety of activities, others have a strong domestic bent and their house is amazing and always has a freshly baked something-or-other laying around, while yet others are book worms and frequent the library encouraging their children to make new discoveries. 

Whatever your strengths, you have value and you add value to your children's lives by focusing on being you...not by trying to be someone else.  The truth is, I'm great at being myself.  My daughter knows when I'm being myself and she responds best in those moments.  When I'm trying to be like someone else, we're all miserable.

This doesn't mean we can't learn from other moms and implement new ideas.  But, we should remember that God, in His wisdom, chose us to mother our children.  He's the one who gave us our mother's intuition.  He's also the one who gives us the grace to walk through the tough days with a smile on our face.  And, He created us to be ourselves - not our neighbor or our good friend who is better at this or that. 

So, I'm asking moms to take a pledge to stop comparing themselves with other moms. When you notice that a mom is super patient and you know you lose your patience all the time, remember that you have clean floors or you're really animated and make The Hungry Caterpillar come to life when you read it to your child.  Remember, just as you are looking at moms and wishing you could have it more together in one area, they are looking at you and wishing they could be more like you in another.

What do you say?  While you take the pledge?


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Quick Girl's Headband

This is a very simple way to make a headband for a baby or toddler.  I picked-up this ribbon/edging at the craft's cute on it's own, so I just added a little elastic.  You could also do this with some pretty ribbon as well. 

To Make: Hold the ribbon around the head of the little girl you want to wear it, cut slightly smaller (maybe 1/4") than what you "measured" and sew an inch of elastic to the ends making a complete circle(make sure not to overlap the ends or it will not stretch :0). Done. Wasn't that easy?

Happy creating!


Monday, May 21, 2012

The First of Many "Makeover Mondays"

These days everyone is getting into recycling, upcycling, reusing, and using what we have.  In the spirit of upcycling, I am starting a series called "Makeover Mondays" where I will be sharing an idea that takes an old item and gives it an overhaul - a Makeover! 

Today is the first of these makeovers, and I want to share a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to create a paint smock or two for your children.  My daughter loves to paint and in my experience, washable paint is only washable if you wash it immediately.  As a laundry procrastinator, I had to come up with a solution.  So, I created a paint smock that would not allow the paint to bleed through to her shirt. 

I took a trip to Goodwill, found my inspiration - an old vinyl tablecloth! 

I folded the tablecloth in half lengthwise, and cut it in this shape (I just eyeballed it, but you could always fold a halter dress in half lengthwise and lay it on the tablecloth as a guide).  Then I took some contrasting ribbon and made two strips to tie around her neck and two to tie around her back and pinned them in place. 

I then cut enough to sew around the edge of the paint smock (folding it in half lengthwise as I sewed). I used green thread to make it more playful and because I didn't have yellow thread to match the ribbon. And, I was done. 

(My niece reluctantly modeling the smock)

But then I decided it would look cuter with a pocket, so I cut a rectangle, sewed ribbon around the edges and sewed it to the smock on the sides and bottom of the pocket.  I pictured the pocket getting used to hold paint brushes, etc., but I found that it is really just there for 2 years, it has never been used :)

(My other niece who had been waiting all her life to be asked to model - smile)

My daughter was 2 years old at the time I made this and my niece was 8 - it fit both I know it will last her at least six years. 

And, a quick picture of the back...

Let the painting begin!


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Placemat Bag

I've been going over some pictures of projects I've done over the last several years and came across this bag which was inspired by a magazine article a friend gave me.  Since this bag was made several years ago, before I ever had any intention of starting a blog, I don't have a tutorial but if you like to figure things out and you just need an idea to get started, here it is!

This bag was made using three placemats (super cheap - maybe $1-2/placemat) and some "handle material"(sorry, I don't know what it's called) I picked up at a local craft store.

I used a brown placemat for the bottom, and two blue placemats for the top. The placemats are very durable but they can get bulky, so if you don't need such a sturdy bag, you could use some cloth napkins to make a similar bag. The nice thing about using pre-cut, pre-hemmed things like placemats and napkins is that you spend a lot less time sewing seams and cutting fabric.  

Hope you are "pinspired" today!


Monday, May 14, 2012

Organization TIP: Keeping Track of Borrowed Kid's Clothes

If you're blessed like me, you have friends who pass along their children's clothes for your kiddos to use.  This was the case for me with both daughters.  The first one was given clothes to borrow from two different friends, one of them labeled all the tags so when it came time to sort through them and give them back, it was very simple. 

This time around, I was given some clothes to keep for my sweet baby girl and some to borrow.  I thought I would remember what came from where (because I'm usually really good about that) but I have found that because I'm now focusing on three kids instead of one, I'm much more forgetful. So, when I was putting away the 0-3 month clothes I thought that maybe I wouldn't use the borrowed clothes for 3-6 months to avoid confusion in another 3 months.  But, I did it, I peeked at the borrowed clothes for the next three months and they are SO. CUTE. (thanks Mandy) so I decided I'd have to come up with a plan for getting all the clothes back in the right place.

I thought about labeling tags, but there are so many clothes and some tags are missing or hard to find.  So, here is the solution I came up with.

I took pictures of the clothes that were borrowed so I have a quick visual inventory when the time comes to pack them up to give back to my friend. Pretty clever if I may say so myself :) 

I grouped like clothes together: dresses, rompers, two piece outfits, etc. and took pictures of 3-4 outfits at a time. 

Now I'll not only know where each outfit belongs, I'll also be sure none of them went missing. 

Getting Organized...