Pumpkin Spice Fall Wreath

The kids are back in school–woo hoo!! It was definitely a weird type of week for me. Weird  but good. This year ALL of my kiddos are in elementary school. We have a 5th grader, 4th grader, 2nd grader, and two that just started kindergarten. I am not used to having a quiet house, so it’s taking some getting used to. My little guys are in afternoon kindergarten, so I’m footloose and fancy free for a few hours every weekday now. It’s amazing how much I can get done without any little ones around! One of the many little projects I tackled this week was this yarn-wrapped fall wreath.

I haven’t made a wreath in awhile, so I wanted something fall-ish to spruce up my front door.

This orange yarn with fall colored accents are just the ticket.

To make it, I simply wrapped a foam wreath form completely with yarn.

I made a variety of felt roses, flowers, and green leaves that I thought would complement it.

In addition, I also made some fabric covered buttons and regular buttons and glued those on as well.

To add a finishing touch, I ruffled three pieces of this brown and white fabric and layered them at one end.

Welcome Fall!

Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner

I love items that multitask, don’t you?

Instead of having a bunch of items that serve one little purpose each, I would prefer just one thing that covers a multitude of uses.

Like this all-purpose cleaner recipe I found.

One item, many uses.

I first made this a couple of months ago and quickly came to love its ability to wipe out many messes.

Just spray and wipe. Or, if you have a tougher mess, spray, let sit for a couple of minutes, and then wipe. I can’t tell you how many things this has cleaned up in a snap for me.

Just last week I had to make more, so I thought I’d share the recipe. You can whip it up in a few minutes at home!

What you need:

1 tsp washing soda

2 tsp Borax

2 TB white vinegar

2 1/2 C hot water

1/4 C castile soap

Heat water, then add Borax and washing soda and mix well until dissolved. Then add vinegar and castile soap. Pour into a spray bottle and you’re all set.

To me the secret weapon in this formula is the castile soap.

I purchased some Dr. Bronner’s castile soap from Amazon and highly recommend it. (I heard that Target sells this as well.) The label is a little weird, but don’t be put off by it. It works seriously well and comes in many scents. I prefer the peppermint, but have heard that there is other really good ones.

Have a great week everyone!

Rachel

How to Make T-Shirt Yarn

My 9 year old and I have been in knitting mode lately. Earlier in the summer he asked if I would teach him how to knit. I taught him the basics with knitting needles, which he actually picked up better than I thought. Then I bought him a set of round knitting looms and had him choose his own yarn. He now can sit for pretty long periods of time and knit on his loom.

As for me, I’ve been working on a couple of knitting projects in the evenings, usually after the kids go to bed.

Anyway, since we’ve been in a knitting mode, I thought I’d try my hand at making t-shirt yarn. I’m not sure how we’ll use it yet, but thought it would be at least interesting to try.

It definitely wasn’t difficult or too time-consuming.

Here’s how I made my own t-shirt yarn:

I picked out ratty older t-shirts that I knew we weren’t going to wear anymore.
Cut off below the armpit area. You may have to go lower if your tee has a larger graphic on the front. I also cut off the bottom hem.
Cut down one of the side seams and stretch out into a long rectangle.
Cut into abut 1″ wide, going down the length of the rectangle. When I got near a corner, I rounded it and basically continued around the perimeter of the piece, circling inward. You eventually get down to the middle and have cut it all up.
Starting at one end, pull the strip taut as you slide it through one hand. It will kind of curl and thin out as you go.
Roll into a ball and you’re all done!

From my little bit of research on this, t-shirt yarn can be used to knit, crochet, or braid. I’ll keep you posted on any projects I make out of this!

Stolen Pictures

This summer my kids have been fascinated with taking their own pictures. Sometimes I have no idea that they have “borrowed” my camera until I check my memory card and other times I’ve caught them in the act and give them a number of pictures they can practice taking. As a just-for-fun-type-of-post, I thought I’d share a few of them with you.

I have no idea why this was taken, but the setting is in my living room. As for the photographer, I know it’s not one of the twins this time around.

My 11 year old obviously took this one of himself. Great shot, eh? You should be glad I didn’t include the others ones he took of his own face that I deleted. Really. You do not need an extreme close up of  his nostrils. It’s not pretty.

My Andrew, who is 9, took this shot of a mushroom growing when we were at Raystown Lake. Not too shabby!

I could probably do a series of pics taken of our dog Molly. She is a 3 year old yellow lab that my kids adore. Up until recently she was strictly an outside dog. That is, until we went away twice and left her with my in-laws, who promptly spoiled her, let her come into their house, and now she thinks she’s an inside dog.

A half blurry dog and kids shot.

I had to chuckle to myself when I discovered this picture amongst my others recently. Apparently a little someone took this of me one day while I wasn’t paying attention. I’m at my usual laptop spot (the kitchen table) and from the look on my face, I’m either deep in concentration, a little ticked about something, or at least not amused about whatever I’m reading and/or looking at.

Another Molly shot. It looks as if she’s taking a nap after chewing up a paper. A dog’s life is pretty tough, you know.

My daughter Heidi, looking through binoculars across our kitchen at whoever is the photographer of the moment.

A nature shot, taken by Daniel in the woods behind our backyard.

And last but not least…a cute photo of my Josh posing in my hat with his tongue out.

Thimble & Flowers Necklace

This project is one I’ve been aching to try out. Thanks to a gloomy morning and nothing on our schedule today, I was able to make this cute thimble necklace.

My original inspiration came from this post, so it really wasn’t my idea. I did think it was awfully clever, so of course I had to be a big copycat and make one for myself.

In case you would want to make one too, here’s a quick play by play of how I put this pendant together.

Gather supplies. You will need one thimble, green yarn or embroidery floss, colored head sewing pins, hot glue gun, silver jewelry wire, pliers, silver jumpring.

Take a length of jewelry wire and wrap it around the edge of your thimble. I doubled mine, used a little hot glue to hold it in place, and twisted the ends together with my pliers. I first attempted to make a jumpring thing with my wire , but soon abandoned that idea and used a regular jumpring instead. (As you can see in my picture above, it wasn’t too pretty.)

Choose the pins you will use for your flowers. I snipped the ends off of all of them because they were a little too tall for my thimble arrangement.

Next you will squeeze some hot glue into the bottom inside portion of your thimble flowerpot. Arrange your pins inside the thimble and add some more hot glue.

I will warn you now–this is a hot job! Watch your fingers because the outside of the thimble will get really hot as you fill it with glue. Once you have your pins arranged, fill up with more glue and add your green yarn or floss. Press down a little so it adheres to the glue part.

That’s pretty much it. This doesn’t take very long to assemble. The last thing you need to do is string this onto a necklace chain, leather cord, or whatever else you want to use. I chose a silver necklace chain that I already had.

This would make a great handmade gift for anyone who enjoys sewing.

School Lunch Love Notes

I hate to throw another re-run at you this summer, but I’m going to anyway. This is an oldie but goodie from this time last year as I was preparing for the first week of school. I’m two weeks away from sending everyone back on that lovely yellow bus–this time my two babies are headed to kindergarten!  Honestly, I’m not sure if the kids are more excited or if I am.

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For the first week of school I like to put special love notes in my kids’ lunches, just to ease any anxieties they may have and let them know I am thinking of them. So, in preparation, I’ve put together some cute ideas for lunch box treats that have special notes attached. All were made using things I had around the house already, no fancy tools or special crafting skills required. Some are ideas I’ve gleaned from online and put my own spin on. I hope you enjoy them!

Tag reads “You’re O-Fish-ally a first grader!”

Yarn Bow

This may be one of the simplest little tutorials I’ve ever posted.

A sweet bow, made entirely of yarn. It can be used to embellish other things, but in this case I made a little barrette for my daughter’s hair.

Lots of yarn colors=lots of possibilities.

Like I mentioned, the tutorial is super simple.

Cut a length of yarn. Mine was maybe 20″ long or so, but you can really use any length. The longer your yarn, the fuller your bow can be. Wrap yarn around at least a couple of fingers.

Slide off your fingers and lay down. Cut another smaller piece of yarn and wrap it around the middle multiple times. Knot and snip ends.

Use however you wish. I hot glued mine to a barrette back, making sure the knotted side was against the barrette back so it didn’t show.

So sweet.