Saturday, February 2, 2013

Hello Homeschool!

It has been over a year since my last blog post...I even considered deleting my blog.  However, it seemed very sad to wipe out everything that I have shared and comments from sweet readers.  So, where have I been???  Well, last year (January 2012), I entered the world of homeschooling.  Always be careful about saying, "I would never do that!"  God had different plans, and I am thankful that He did, because it has been such a wonderful blessing to my family!  Do I still craft and sew?  Yes, but not as much.  My children have grown to be a 5th grader, 2nd grader, pre-K(er), and an almost 3 year old!  Homeschooling keeps us tremendously busy...then you add in extracurricular activities and...whew!  I do try to carve out time for myself, whether it is a little soak in a hot bath or on occasion, sewing a project for the kiddos.  I really am going to attempt to be a better blogger!  Only now, I will also include things that may help other homeschooling families.  I was a kindergarten teacher for 7 years before having babies of my own, and I really feel that God used that to give me a comfort level that I needed to ease me into being a teacher again...this time to my very own children.  The thought of being completely responsible for my children's education was terrifying at first, but now, it seems like the most natural thing in the world!

I'll close this post with a few pictures to share our homeschool area and my kids in well as a picture to show my latest sewing project.  :)  Please excuse the blurry photos!  They were all taken with my phone... I must get back into the swing of things!!!

Sombrero Cookies for Spanish class! 

I highly recommend BJU Press Spanish Kit A for elementary kids.  It is so much fun for all of us!  Kit A only concentrates on speaking and understanding Spanish.  The kids sing songs, memorize Bible verses in Spanish, and learn so many fun and interesting facts about Spanish speaking countries.  It is so much better than any Spanish class I ever had!  Kit A can last 3 years, so it is worth the money.  Kit B is also available and meant for older elementary children that have completed Kit A.  It focuses on writing and reading in Spanish.  My 5th grader is enjoying Kit A with the rest of us, and it does give suggestions on things to do with an older student.

My little preschool group!  


I'm VERY glad we replaced the dining room table with a sturdy, play-doh safe table!


Baby Girl Loves!!! 

 2nd Grader hard at work!


5th Grader...posing!  :)


100th Day of School

Earlier this week, we celebrated the 100th Day of School!!!  Woohoo!!!  We did many activities, but they really enjoyed working together to color a 100" Inchworm.

Lastest Sewing Projects...

This is my first attempt at a soft sculpture baby.  I used the Dinky Baby pattern, and it was a lot of fun to make.  The dolly diaper bag was sewn up on Christmas Eve (nothing like the last minute!), and I stuffed it full of goodies that every little mommy needs to take care of her new baby.
Well, that is just a smidge of what we have been up to!  I will continue to share project that hopefully inspire my crafty readers, but I hope to share ideas with fellow homeschoolers as well!  :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Fancy Legs! Giveaway!

I am currently working on a very special pair of "Fancy Legs" legwarmers to offer as a giveaway prize!  To enter, you must become a facebook follower of Sew Bananas Boutique.  When the legwarmers are offered on my fan page, I will let everyone know so that they may comment telling me who they have in mind for some "Fancy Legs!" 

Find Sew Bananas Boutique on facebook here.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Join Me on Facebook!!! Giveaway Soon!!!

"Little Monkeys" is the blog...Sew Bananas is the shop!  I'd love to have you join me on facebook.  As a little incentive, there will be a giveaway this week for one lucky follower.  If I have several new followers, then I'll add an extra prize!!!  Don't forget to comment so I know you joined!  Sneak Peek coming soon...

Sew Bananas on Facebook

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Freezer Paper in the Printer?!

I love coming across a new tip or trick that makes life a little easier.  I remember how excited I was when I found out that freezer paper makes great pattern tracing paper because you can iron it directly onto your fabric.  I was ecstatic when I realized that I could put the freezer paper in my printer!  Yep!  It works!  You can actually print out your patterns right from your computer files to your freezer paper.  I don't recommend it for a pattern that you don't intend to use more than once or twice, but if you will be using a particular pattern frequently, then this little trick is for you!

I could have sworn that I took a picture of the first step, but I cannot find it.  Basically, I took a piece of freezer paper (I used Reynold's freezer paper) and cut it out so that it was the same size as a piece of card stock paper.  Lightly tape it to your card stock before putting it in your printer.  This will help to guide it through your printer.  Just print your pattern pieces just like you normally would.  After you print the pages you need, untape the freezer paper from the card stock.  Save the card stock to be reused again!  Cut out and tape your pattern pieces together.

Here's the part I love... Iron your pattern pieces directly to your fabric.  You will not have to do any pinning!  Just cut your pattern out.

You can then peel off the freezer paper pattern and it can be reused many times just by ironing it back on to your next piece of fabric!  How cool is that?!

I really dislike pinning, so I loved how easy it was to just cut around the pattern!  If you have a time saving trick that you love...please share!  I'd love to hear it!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

...for the last 6 months

First, let me wish you a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!  May the year 2012 be full of joy and blessings!

I know it's been nearly six months since I've posted anything on my blog, and for those of you that stuck around...THANK YOU!!  I did receive a new computer for Christmas (yippee!!!), and it is much easier to get online with my new desktop!  My old laptop was about ten years old, and it definitely was acting its age.  Anyway, I thought I'd share a few pictures of what has been happening in the crafting department... I did continue to sew, even if I didn't blog about it!  Thank you for being so patient!

Let's see... my last post was in July with the "too large" wrap dress for Isabella.  In August, I moved on to making cutsie socks.  These were a lot of fun to make, and I made this particular pair for a very special trip which I'll share in a few...

In August, it was back to sewing summer clothes.  This little dress fit Isabella much better than the previous one, and I actually created a quick "pattern time saver" tutorial, which I'll share this week.

The back view is my a big bow in the back!!!

Action shot!!!  Toddlers will not pose, especially when they are outside!!!


Back in the house now, though still rambunctious...

OK, now on to the fun stuff!  I told you we had a very special vacation this year.  We went to Disney World in October, and the kids are already asking when we can go back!  I have to admit, I love it just as much as they do!  With four kids, we don't go every year, but we make the most of it when we get the chance to go.  We stayed in a Disney resort for a whole week, and it was so much fun!  I do think, however, that you almost need a vacation after a Disney vacation to REST!

This outfit was for our breakfast at the Crystal Palace with Winnie the Pooh and gang...

Unfortunately, Isabella was terrified of the characters!  Eeyore looks so sad to be shunned...

We planned on a few Minnie and Mickey encounters, so Mom had to whip up a certain number of polka dotted dresses....but....NOPE!!!  A big yellow bear was there instead!! Oh the horror of it all!!!

Big sister (wearing a Minnie embroidered shirt) was also wearing a smile and enjoying herself very much!

Not a good picture for viewing the pink version of the Minnie dress, but at least she's not panicking!!!  ...and there's the socks again...

On blogs and on Etsy, we are used to seeing outfits like this, but it was really nice to receive so many compliments from other Disney goers...the best one being, "Where did you get that?"  As a self- taught crafter/seamstress, I realize I've come a long way from the major mess I created six years ago!!!

Here's a better view of all three of the pillowcase dresses I made for the trip...the two Minnies and the Halloween one...

As I mentioned, we were in Disney during all of the fall/Halloween celebrations.  The park looked so pretty in its fall splendor!  If you've ever thought about attending "Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party,"  do it!  It was so much more fun than traditional trick-or-treating.  There have been a few years that we didn't even go door-to-door.  I've got one child with a peanut allergy, and it's not fun to let him get it and then take it away from him...not that any of them need boatloads of candy.  It is such a fun, festive atmosphere in Disney anyway, and we had a blast!

Please excuse this poor quality picture!  It was taken in the hallway of our hotel with my phone!  I have four little "monkeys," but one of them was running down the hall ready to get to the Magic Kingdom!  He had a shirt to match his brother's.

Caught him!!!  The boys had little stars in their silhouettes, and the girls had tiny candy. 
Princess Tiana, herself told them how much she liked their matching shirts!

Disney was fun, but when we got home, it was time to sew for Thanksgiving and Christmas!!!

For the turkey dinner...

I made this dress "just for fun"... (sorry, sometimes they just aren't in the mood for a picture!)

And here are some fun and easy (one not so easy) Christmas gifts that could be given any time of the year...

First, the not so easy project (but well worth it in the end)...

I made this bean bag chair for my oldest daughter.  It is adult sized, so there is plenty of growing room! It has a removable cover for washing.  It was a challenge for me, and it certainly cost me just as much to make it as if I had bought one, but I'm happy I made it.  You can find a free pattern for this on the Michael Miller website.  There is a child sized version as well. 

For the easier projects, I used a "Precious Patterns" tutorial to make these cute little pillow pals for my younger three children.   They all have bonded with them already...dragging them by their little "arms" and "legs," and sleeping with them.  These took no time to make (I made three of them late Christmas Eve!).

Well, there you have it!  Six months of projects in one blog post!  I hope you feel inspired to go sew some new projects.  If you do, please comment with a link to your own blog...I'd love to see what you have been working on.  :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

"Sew Baby" Pattern Review

With summer break, dance team, karate, and swimming, I haven't had much time for sewing.  It seems like we are always headed out the door!  However, there are times when I need some time by myself to!  The project I chose was an adorable wrap dress and bloomers pattern by "Sew Baby."  There are many versions of this pattern, and I have most of them, but I decided to give this one a try first.  It is reversible, so you do get two dresses for the time it takes to make one...can't beat that!

Using some fabric from my stash, I chose the 12-18 month size for my 16 month old baby girl.

You can see the reverse side in this picture.

Isabella is small, but I do think that the dress portion of the pattern ran large.  The bloomers were fine.  I didn't really like how large the armholes were on her, so if I used this pattern again, I would definitely make the 9-12 month size for her.

Silly girl!  This is her favorite pose!

This was supposed to be a knee-length dress, so you can see that it is definitely too large for her!

Paired with a onesie, the dress looks better...more like a jumper.  It will at least allow her to wear it modestly this year, and there is nothing wrong with getting two years out of one of Mommy's creations! 

Isabella is constantly on the move, so this is another action shot!

This pattern is super easy to follow (only one pattern piece), and I really love how the derss is full and "swingy!"  Most wrap dresses are not as full.  This one crosses in the back, but it isn't really an "open-back" style.  The bloomers do not show like they do in other versions of this dress.  Although large on her, it is wearable, and I have finally warmed up the sewing machine!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Pink Poodle Birthday for Two, Please!!!

My two daughters have birthdays within four days of each other.  Isabella turned one (sniff, sniff!) and Hannah turned 9 (last year of single digits...another sniff, sniff!).  We celebrated each girl's special day on their actual birthdays, but we had one big party for the both of them.  Isabella didn't understand what all the fuss was about, but Hannah said she enjoyed sharing a party with her only baby sister.  We had a lot of pink...including the cupcakes!

My littlest princess was sound asleep when the party guests began to arrive, so I put her in her tutu while she was still half asleep.  She seemed to think that Mommy had lost her mind, but she was nice about it...  She even let my grandmother stand her up, still half asleep, so that I could get a picture of her.  I did add ribbon to the tutu.  If you read my post on this tutu, you will remember that I was still wondering what to do with it.  It was very easy to make (You can find a link for it on my post on the tutu.).

Here is a close up of the birthday shirt I made her...

One year olds that are about to devour their first cake will most definitely need a bib, so I made this for her just in time... (actually about an hour before the party!). 

"Hmmmmm...looks pretty good, and they don't seem to remember that they put this cake in front of me!"

"You mean you still are going to let me have this cake???  Cool!!!"

Since I made cupcakes for the guests and a cake for Isabella, I decided that I would make a special cake for my oldest birthday princess.  She told me that she loved it so much better than the Publix cakes we usually get because her mom made it for her with love.  Love my girl!!!  If you are wondering why she has enough make up on to star in a Vegas show, it is because she is on the dance team, and they had a costume practice that morning.  I was so worried she would catch her false eyelashes on fire!!!

A new dance bag from a sweet friend!

I made a special birthday shirt for Hannah too.  Last year, I didn't get to make her one because I was in the hospital giving birth to Isabella!

I love this picture!  My sweet boy, Aidan, was so proud to give his sister the card he made her and the candy bar that he got her!  He sat there patiently waiting for his turn to give her the present.

Daddy sharing a hug with his little birthday girl...

As much as I loved celebrating this special day with my two favorite girls, I am glad that the birthdays are behind us for awhile!  They are tiring!  :)

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I am a former kindergarten teacher who is now a full time, homeschooling mom to four wonderful children. I love crafty things, especially sewing for my friends and family. When I had my first child, I knew I had to learn to sew! I wanted to make clothes and other cute stuff for her. I got a sewing machine, but the first thing I made for her was a "dud." So, I turned to making hairbows instead. Gradually, I worked up the courage to give sewing another try. I bought tons of books, and through a lot of trial and error, I learned how sew! I now make "sew" (sorry!) many things for my family and friends. I am very proud of that accomplishment, but I give all the credit to God who answered many prayers along the way and gave me many "lightbulb" moments.