Summer is rapidly approaching! And it comes year after year, so why do I always feel like summer catches me with my pants down? This year I refuse to be caught without plans. Of course I’ll be face painting, and I’ve decided to organize the summer by weekly science topics, starting with etymology. I didn’t choose our first topic randomly, it just happens we have a pretty cool bug collection we’ve put together over the years, and its nice to start with something that’s already somewhat prepared for!
My daughter will be entering second grade in the fall, and my middle child kindergarten. I ought to be able to provide science based material for each topic that they can each benefit from, like bug themed coloring pages and mazes they will both enjoy. We will make a paper mache exoskeleton and make small mosaics with bits of broken mirror to represent bug eyes and how they see. My daughter can work on spelling the more advanced words while my son learns to write his name on his coloring pages and worksheets. We’ll buy some big nets and hunt bugs and observe their details from how they move to what color they are to where we found them. They can each keep a journal and draw pictures of the bugs we see and my daughter can write her observations next to the pictures!
So we start with etymology. Then we’ll follow with botany, I think. Botany is a good one for kids, especially in Austin. Austin’s Botanical Gardens are amazing! Austin is also home to some amazing nurseries. Its About Thyme, The Great Outdoors, and The Natural Gardner are awesome places to visit.
Cells are pretty cool, the study of cells is called cytology, and I found a neat microscope at a garage sale with a 5″x5″ screen that shows the organism in a nice big picture vs. having to squint into little microscope eye pieces.
Then there’s always the animal kingdoms! I’m working with local traveling petting zoo Tiny Tails To You and we’re welcome to visit the animals any time! There are tortoises and turtles, bearded dragons and gecko’s. Chicks, ducklings, rabbits big and small, hedgehogs and guinea pigs… I feel like I’m forgetting something. Well anyway, Tiny Tails does a free monthly petting zoo during story time at Book People each month, and would be an option for other parents wanting to give their kids a chance to see the different animals!
Aside from science themes we’ll of course have swimming lessons, lazy afternoons in the backyard, ice cream making, and decorating the kids’ room! Summer of 2012, I am ready for you!
I sat down and cut out about a million butterflies one day not long ago, in lots of colors, and as I sat there admiring the beautiful pile of delicate wings and bodies I wondered, “what am I going to do with these?” Cause I have this problem of getting ahead of myself when I’m working. I throw myself into a project and start brainstorming, then my imagination gets cranked up, after a while the creativity high crashes and there I sit in a pile of materials ready to do…. Hmmm. Since I’m on a crown kick of course I leaned towards a party theme.
Using a tiny cross-stitch in the center of each butterfly I stitched them onto a blank crown piece I had lying about from some earlier burst of production madness, and I must say the resulting butterfly crown is LOVELY. It has been very popular on Etsy, featured in many treasuries, “favorited” a hundred times, and sales have been good too! 🙂 But did I stop there? NO. I had too many butterflies!
Next up, matching butterfly party hats!
I stiffen my felt party hats so they retain their shape, then I stitch a thin, soft elastic strap to the base. These hats would look gorgeous adorning the birthday feast table awaiting guests!
What’s a birthday party without a banner?
All of my birthday crowns can be customized. Just because a banner, wand, or coordinated party hat isn’t in my shop doesn’t mean you can’t have it! I love custom orders. Being a mother of three, add to that a mother of a special needs child, sewing time can be difficult to work into my schedule! So while I make what I can my mind is overstocked with ideas and your custom orders give me an opportunity to make some of those ideas come to life!
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A while back I badly wanted to make felt butterfly wings WITHOUT wire and failed miserably. You may recall reading about my attempt. I used felt for the front and back of the wings, with felt inlays and sandwiched between the front and back I used a fusible fleece. All of these materials hold their shape very well, even in single layers. But the wings I developed were huge. The wings were beautiful and I was so excited – then the whole thing flopped when I tried it on my son. He was so disappointed – as was I! Fusible fleece ain’t cheap, and it had taken a considerable amount to try with the wings. I get mopey when things don’t work out. I sulked for a few months and worked on different projects for a while, then I returned to wings but on a smaller scale. I wanted to do dragon wings. And I wanted to make them without wire. I tried a number of different fusible options and finally success was mine! They were light. They were shapely yet flexible. They did not flop! Very strong and durable, they’ve passed adventure after adventure with flying colors! (pun intended!) So I’m going to return to making butterfly wings. But I want to know, do you like the idea of individual wings – one on each arm? I like the individual wings because the kids can actually flap their wings. Or do you prefer a solid wing with elastic shoulder straps, like traditional fairy wings? Hmmm… Lots to consider. I hope to have a couple of models to write about within the next couple of weeks. Leave me some feedback!!!
Today was just one of those tricky days. The weather was tricky – cold and yuck. The kids were tricky – crabby for lack of exercise. And I was tricky – grumpy because cold, gray days make me want to hole up behind my sewing machine and stay there watching CSI reruns and stitching. I managed to load us into the car and we hit Central Market for muffins. I told the kids they could get what ever they wanted. Central Market has chocolate everything and I assumed a chocolate something is what the kids would choose – except today was tricky and my assumption was wrong. Hazel went for a glazed cinnamon raisin bun, and Walter came unglued in his excitement at getting a blueberry muffin! Armed with a freshly ground bag of coffee and muffins we returned home to watch Peter Pan and clean the kids’ room. Again my assumption that their room would be a nightmare was proved false. We had so much fun cleaning and organizing!!! Definitely the most surprising highlight of my day. I had accepted that I wasn’t going to get anything new made, when again, life surprised me with a little gift of time and I cranked out what I’m going to call the first of My Sunshine series.
The circle in the center can either feature a large summer flower, or the initial of the light of your life. In my case this crown is going to feature the letter “H” for my darling daughter, and I’ll make her a summer scepter and skirt to match. This crown and scepter will be available in my Etsy shop.
They look so great! I used a satin casing for the elastic in the back, and wow, it really makes things pop! Check them out!
Here’s another one with the front and side views:
And oh my stars, look at these!
The red one has sequins in the smaller hearts to add a bit of bling, the purple crown’s small stars have french knots in the center.
These were a lot of fun to make and I have ideas for about twenty more! I love custom orders, so if you’re in the market for a crown and see something that is ALMOST perfect, message me and lets chat!
I have been having so much fun playing with my kids, making candles and working on my daughter’s etsy shop I haven’t been getting much work done with my own business! So today I am going to Mind My OWN Business, and get to work on some super cute felt crowns. Now these haven’t been stitched up yet, but I wanted to give you a sense of my direction.
Of course a lovely Valentine’s themed crown with beautiful red and pink hearts secured with buttons.
A spring time crown with beautiful purple flowers and lime green butterflies.
This one celebrates the power of love! Red and gold together on a cream background – striking!
This crown with the pink and red flowers was intense! I hand tied a faux pearl into the center of each flower. I tied them each individually so in the event one came off they wouldn’t all come off! But this meant hand tying twenty something flowers. Its lovely, truly, but I’m going to have to come up with a more time conserving option for my shop!
Since taking these pictures I’ve managed to sew everything down and stitch the crown itself – each crown has a lovely accent thread around the edge – pink, of course, for the hearts crown, lime green thread for the purple flower spring crown, and gold stitching on the Power of Love crown.
Have any thoughts on my crowns? Think they need a little something? I’d love to hear your opinions!
Soon to follow, coordinating star wands!
Don’t forget to enter to win a heart felt garland made by yours truly!