Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Ben builds Cluckingham Palace

As the summer of 2011 waned, Ben began to build a winter home for the chix that had spent warm months growing  in the garage. By the end of August, he had a good start on Cluckingham Palace, as Jen named the chix crib. (Photos by AJT and BLT)

Right side

Left side

Door added

Interior with added run-side entry

Exterior of run-side entry

Exterior with insulated nest boxes and vent window above

Painted interior showing vent window

Exterior closeup of nest boxes and vent window

After clearing brush, and putting up a new fence, by September 19, Ben had the painted coop up on his site.
The run was completed by October 19 and by November 6, Jake was an old hand wrangling chickens in the hen house.
Nice job, Ben.

Sweet dreams, chix.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Tinier totes are great mini-bags for gift cards

A tinier tote (3.25-inch square) serves many uses:
  • Ornament
  • Gift card holder
  • Gift bag
  • Doll tote
  • Party favors
  • Placecards
My friend Joy T. asked if the tiny totes (Appleton Dance, Nov. 25, 2011) we made for shower favors could be used for Christmas ornaments and I told her the originals were a little too big for hanging on the tree. But I thought Joy's idea was great, so I sized the totes down and made some in the tinier size of 3.25-inch square. The tinier totes make cute Christmas tree ornaments. And the 3.25-square-inch tote size is perfect for presenting gift cards or other small gifts, like jewelry or candy. The small size also makes a great tote for a favorite doll. Made up in holiday colors, the tinier totes can also be used as favors and/or placecards at holiday parties. These tinier totes are very versatile! Use the following information in tandem with the Tiny Totes how-to in the Tiny Totes post (Appleton Dance, Nov. 25, 2011).

Cutting list for each 3-1/4 inch square tinier totes kit:
  • Bag top: two pieces of the same fabric 5 inches wide by 3 inches long
  • Bag bottom: two pieces of a fabric contrasting to the bag top 5 inches wide by 2 inches long
  • Bag lining: two pieces of a third fabric 5 inches wide by 4.5 inches long
  • Bag handles: two five-inch pieces of 1/4 inch wide grosgrain ribbon, satin ribbon, cording or fabric tube

I changed the proportions of the tote slightly so that readers can use their Scrap Therapy 5-inch-square stash or five-inch Charm Squares to make the totes. Of course you can also use any scraps or full yardage to cut your pieces.

Cut using Charm Squares or Quilt Therapy stash: (5 x 5 inches)
Choose two matching five-inch squares for the lining and choose four five-inch squares in two contrasting fabrics for the bag top and bottom. Cut the squares in two pieces to make a three-inch-long and a two-inch-long stack of four each, then match bag-top and bag-bottom to make the exterior of two different bags (they will be opposite each other in top and bottom bag fabrics, save one set for a second bag). Alternatively, you can choose four different five-inch squares and make a color-block or patchwork style bag.

With fat quarters (good for making multiples): (18 x 22 inches)
If you are using fat quarters, you can cut eight 5 x 4.5 inch squares from one-half of the fat quarter (make the five-inch cuts along the 22-inch side). Then cut two two-inch strips and two three-inch strips from the other half of the quarter and repeat with two more fat-quarters in contrasting or coordinating fabrics. (This will give you enough cuts to make a dozen bags.) Seam with 1/4-inch seams contrasting top and bottom bag fabrics to each other along the 22-inch length of the cuts, press seams open and cut seamed strips into four five-inch pieces. Match up bag parts to make tinier totes kits for 12 bags.

Assemble your bags using the same process outlined in the "Tiny Totes" how-to posted on Appleton Dance on Nov. 25, 2011. Make the following changes in that process:
  • When making the triangle shape to form the bottom of the bag, measure down only 1/2-inch from the tip of the triangle and sew across the triangle with a seam of about 1-inch in length. Cut the tip off, as shown in the "Tiny Totes" how-to.
  • When placing the handles on the bag, put the ends about five-eighths inch on either side of the center of the bag top (not the one-inch shown in the "Tiny Totes" how-to).
Tinier totes can be stuffed with tissue paper, lace doilies, or tulle. For a complete how-to-make the totes with photographs, go to  "Tiny Totes" posted on Appleton Dance on Nov. 25, 2011.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Baby's first year one-sies

I just made this for a baby shower.  I thought they turned out super-cute and can't wait to see my new nephew in them!

I got the idea from this blogpost on TipJunkie.  The download file and instructions are available here as free printable from Parties by Hardie

I hadn't used the iron-on transfers before and was really happy with how easy they were to use and how well they stood up to the wash.  One of them got a little damaged, but I think it looks cool.

I gave them as a gift along with a frame with 12 windows, one for each month's picture.  Now all we need is the baby to arrive!


PS - Jenn at Parties by Hardie has lots more neat printables available on her Etsy store.  (We used some of the Monkey Baby Shower images at the shower and they turned out adorable!)


I used these supplies:

These are packs of 4 and come in sleeveless, short sleeve and long-sleeve options.  I bought one pack of the short-sleeves in each of these sizes: newborn, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and 12 months.  I loved the long-sleeved ones, but trying to figure out what months would be long-sleeves vs. short-sleeves gave me a headache!

& my trusty Rowenta Focus iron

Step 1:
Download the file and print the transfers onto the Avery transfer paper.  Follow the instructions provided with the transfer paper.  I used the inverted images provided in the download file.

Step 2:
Cut out the transfers, stay close to the edge of the colored circle but leave a bit of non-printed white on the edge.

Step 3:
Assemble your onesies by size.  I used newborn size for month 1, 3 month size for months 2 thru 5, 6-month size for months 6 thru 8, 9-month size for months 9 thru 11 and 12-month size for finale month 12.
Step 4: Setup an ironing cloth (or a pillowcase!) on a hard surface.  Iron the onesie to remove any dampness, then lay the transfer face-down and press with hot iron for 1 minute. Make sure to cover the entire transfer.
Step 5:  Let onesie cool for a few minutes and pull off transfer backing.  Voila!
Step 6:  Wash in cool water (and Dreft), dry on low & touch up with iron.