Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Pioneer Trek Part 7: Buzz Saw

When I saw this simple toy the pioneers made to play along the trail, I thought it would be a perfect thing to mess around with during our get-to-know-you time.

Buzz Saw
Items needed:
Large Button
String (I used embroidery floss because it's what I had around the house)

Simply thread the string through the button and tie in a knot.  It will look like this:
To play, just twist twist twist.  Try to keep it going as long as you can.  Here is a video of my hubby doing it.

So easy!  And seriously keeps those kids busy for a while!  Give it a try!

Trek part 6: Leather Cuff Bracelets

Last night I was dropping off some music at a friends house, and she showed me these cute bracelets she made for her Trek kids.  I was giddy.  She gave me supplies to make my own and I am excited to show you!

For more information on why we are going to Trek, click here.  You can also see tutorials on bonnets, pioneer shirts, padded buckets, and personalized chap stick.

I guess the reason I was so excited to make these is because not only are they rustic and fun, but they have a spiritual thought on them.  My friend Britt chose a scripture reference to put on hers.  But I have had this verse of "How Firm a Foundation" in my mind for weeks as I have thought about the trek.  Fear not, I am with thee.  I plan on using it as a teaching moment tonight (our FIRST NIGHT!!!) I really want these kids to remember that God is with us in our trials!  This will be hard, but with his help, all is possible.

To make, we used some leather scraps.  The thicker one is 6 inches by 3/4 inch.  The thin piece is 10 inches long, and really thin.  We also used a couple of wooden beads.

Before I put these together, I used a little tool Britt loaned me that burns on leather.  I think a thin Sharpie would work, too.  Mine says, "Fear not I am with thee Trek 2012"

Punch 2 holes, one on each side of the thicker piece of leather.  Poke the skinny piece through, add bead and tie knot.  We used a hammer and nail to punch the hole.


These would be awesome to make for girls camp or a family reunion, too.

Trek Part 5: Personalized chapstick

Did you all know that packing tape is the same size as the chapstick container?  This makes personalizing it a cinch!
I simply googled Orange Paisley Bandana and found a background picture.  Went into Picmonkey and added text.  I made some for my friend, too, using a googled image of parchment.

I pasted a bunch of my finished photo onto a word doc and hit print.

Cut out, taped on.

I do think they would be a bit cuter if you took off the factory sealed top, but I decided to leave it on, anyway.  Now we have chapstick to give to all our kids on Trek!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Visit Newport Beach, CA

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Newport Beach for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

We LOVE visiting California.  I was born and raised in LA, but when we go back it's the coastal areas we want to visit.  In Novemeber we visited Newport Beach with some great friends of ours.  They came from Oregon, and us from AZ.  It was a good place to meet up.  


Visiting Newport Beach will exceed your expectations.  It's the chic big city of Los Angeles meets laid-back beach town.  And the perfect place for families.

One visit to the Newport Beach websiteand you will have your bags packed and your family in the car.  This website helps you plan your entire vacation.  Where to go, what to do, where to stay, where to eat.  Everything. You can even make hotel reservations and find city information.

Two years ago when we visited Newport Beach, we visited the LDS temple which is so beautiful, then headed over to see some tide pools.  It was amazing!  

Last year, it was Novemeber and we weren't sure of the weather.  So we headed over and simply played in the sand.  You can see the Christmas tree the girls made and the toilet the boys made.  haha!

Have you heard of the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach Hotel? The Hyatt Regency Newport Beach Hotel has a special promotion right now.  Buy one room at full price, receive a connecting room for kids 18 and under at 50% off!  

Sounds like heaven, right?

Here is a short video you will love.  Like you need more persuading to get you there?

So are you excited to visit Newport Beach yet?  What would you do with your family?  Surfing lessons?  Shopping?  There are even summer camps for your kids!


Do you NEED this vacation?  What would you do when you got there?

Visit Sponsor's Site

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

More Teacher Clocks!

Last year, I made these clocks for a teacher's end of the year gift.  They were a hit!  I had random teachers in the hall saying they wanted my kids in their class.  lol!  So I made a few more this year, and thought I would share the designs with you, as well as a tutorial update.

For the tutorial, click here.

This one was simple.  The easiest, yet my favorite!  Just some quick bling in the center of the flowers.

This chevron was fun.  Pink paper, with green vinyl.

The Math Nerd clock.  Definitely the hardest to make.  All those little pieces of vinyl.  It looks a little "off" in this picture, but it's pretty well spaced and even.

As for the tutorial update, I found that if you simply pull off the hands of the clock, it's so much easier to glue on the paper.

Just be careful to not bend the hands.  Pull from the middle and be SO gentle.

So, which one is your favorite?

Linked today at:  Home Stories A to Z, Junk in their Trunk, Creations by Kara, A Little Tipsy, Lil Luna, Ginger Snap, DIY by Design, Uncommonly Yours, The DIY Dreamer, Tater Tots and Jello, Lolly Jane

Monday, May 21, 2012

Pioneer Trek Part 4 - The Padded Bucket

We have to fit all of our belongings for Trek in these 5 gallon buckets.  My husband was supposed to be in charge of the buckets.  He bought them.  Then he worked on them for a while and claimed finished.  This is what I found.

Oh that is so cute.  You actually think that the duct tape tag is going to cut it.  hehe.

And on a related note, this whole "no pillow" thing was stressing me out a little.  I figure I will go through a whole bottle of Advil, since I can't have a pillow.  Well, I came up with a little solution.  The Padded Bucket.  I can sit on it softly around the camp fire, and sleep with it at night.   I remember seeing these many years back when I lived in Utah for Girls Camp.  But after searching around online, there weren't really any tutorials,  So I made my own.

For more on why I need this pioneer stuff click here.  For pioneer shirts click here  For bonnets click here.

(1) 5 gallon bucket and lid (Mine are from Home Depot because I wanted the orange lid.)
1 fat quarter of fabric

Tools needed:
Jig Saw
staple gun
hot glue and gun

First, I used this pressboard stuff I had in the garage.  It was like $8 at Lowes for a HUGE sheet.

Using a compass, I made a circle that fit on the top of the lid.  I cut it out with a jig saw.  It was NOT a perfect circle.  :)  But I tried.

Next, I piled up the batting into a square on top of the wrong side of the fabric.  I probably used 1/2 yard.  I wanted it really cushy.

Place your *absolutely perfect* circle on top.

Pulling the fabric tightly, staple it to the circle.  When the circle is complete, cut off excess fabric.  It will look something like this.

Now, hot glue the crap out of it and stick it on the lid (while your little child is rolling around in the excess batting.)
Here is the top:

I added vinyl to mine to make it personalized.

And as a side note, my husband will NOT let me touch his bucket.  He likes it with duct tape.

Linked today at: Funky Polka Dot Giraffe, Not Just a Housewife, Mommy by Day, Our Thrifty Ideas, Sugar Bee Crafts, Home Stories A to Z, At Home with K, Hope Studios, Rae Gun Ramblings, Lil Luna, Ginger Snap, Creations by Kara

Friday, May 18, 2012

Our Backyard Garden

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Whitney Farms for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

My husband LOVES to garden.  He grew up with an empty lot separating his and his grandparent's home.  It was (and still is!) a beautiful garden.  It's taken us a little while to figure out the Arizona gardening thing.  It's so hot here, you have to time everything a little differently.  Here is a picture of our tomatoes right now:

And our zuchini and peppers:

Have you heard of Whitney Farms®?  Yeah, I wish I could say it was mine.

Whitney-Farms-Logo_Banner_New_C.jpg (6 documents, 6 total pages)

They are not only cool because of their name (haha!) but they have a full line of 100% natural plant food!    Using organic plant food is all the rage right now... and it is obvious why!  You spend all this time, energy and love to feed natural food to your family.  Let's keep it as healthy as we can!

109103_1.jpg (6 documents, 6 total pages)

Do you guys need to add soil to your garden every year?  We do!  This clay is crazy!  Whitney Farms® has organic soil, too.

Honestly, if you garden or want to start, this is a great option.   Whitney Farms is even offering everyone a $3 off coupon!  Go for it!

So tell me - Are you producing any veggies yet?  Here is our bounty for the day:



Visit Sponsor's Site

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Pioneer Trek Week - How to Sew a Bonnet Tutorial

It's no secret I am NOT a seamstress.  But I do have a fabric stash and I didn't want to spend money on a bonnet - especially since it is going to be trashed on trek.  So I made one.  And in case you are wondering, I am not wearing this with my turquoise shirt.  haha!

And just to prove I am a nerd, here is a pic of me in it.  hehe.

First, I found this tutorial over at Buns and Baskets.  She has an entire site on dressing like a pioneer.  I would recommend heading over there if you need some advice.  Anyway, I tweaked it just a little with help from my mom.  She is awesome at sewing.

Also, if you want to see WHY I am making a bonnet, click here.  And if you want to see my tutorial on a pioneer shirt, click here.

*This tutorial is for an adult sized bonnet*

3/4 yard fabric
9 inches of 1/4" elastic
Interfacing (enough for 1 brim piece)
2 pieces of 24"coordinating ribbon for ties

1.  Cut fabric into one 22" square (bonnet) and 2 strips of 5 1/2" by 21" (brim)

2. Fold the bonnet piece in half, and the in quarters, making a square.  Iron to create lines.

3.  Unfold the fabric so it is halfed, vertically.    Cut a quarter circle on top half of fabric.  Now, I am going to make this picture really big in case you don't know how to make the half circle.  Take a string and tie it to a pencil.  Hold the edge of the string at the edge of the fabric and the pencil at the other edge. Holding the string side in place, draw a line with the pencil, creating a half circle.  I wish I had learned that years ago!  See the pencil line below?

4. Cut a 1/2" deep mark 4.5" from the bottom and another small mark 1/4" deep 1 inch above that,  This is for elastic casing later on.

5.  Mark the center of your bonnet piece with just a little snip.
6.  Take on brim piece and fold it up two times to make a square.  Iron to create lines.  Unfold once.

7.  Unfold once and cut a quarter circle off the top half.  You know how to do it now, right?  Cut the second brim piece and a piece of interfacing to match.

Sewing: This part was a little confusing to me, so hopefully these pictures will help a ton!
1.  Below the bottom slit mark on bonnet, fold the fabric in 1/4", then another 1/4".  Press and stitch.  Repeat on other side.

2.  Fold bottom edge 1/4" then another 1/4".  Press and stitch.
3.  Fold top slit down to meet bottom stitch in a "z" shape.  (See image.)  Press.
4.  Stitch bottom and top of casing, leaving sides open to insert elastic.
5.  Cut a 9" piece of elastic and feed it through with a safety pine.  Stitch ends down.
6.  Run 2 rows of stitches up 1" from notches around bonnet.  These will be for gathering.

1.  Fuse interfacing to one piece of brim.  I used the iron on kind.
2.  Take other brim and fold straight edge 1/2 to the wrong side.  Press.
3.  Stitch the 2 brim pieces right sides together along the edge with 1/2" seam.  Cut to 1/4" and clip curves.
4.  Turn, press and top stitch.
5.  Mark the center of the brim with a pin.

1.  Poke ribbon into notched area of bonnet (yes, over by elastic) and sew into place.  Both sides.  I had to pin it in place to sew it in there.  Then I just went back and forth a few times to reinforce it.

2.  Gather bonnet all the way around.  I would gather a bit and hold it up to brim so they were the same length.

3.  Pin straight edge of brim to bonnet, right sides together matching centers.  Stitch.

All done!!!

Now, I have to say, this was a bit of work for me.  It probably took an hour.  And it's not super authentic.  But I am happy with how it turned out.  Please let me know if you have any questions!

Linked today at:  Mommy by Day, Sugar Bee, Hope Studios, Lil Luna, Ginger Snap,  Junk in their Trunk, Creations by Kara