Little Dresses for Africa

Yes, another post not about Celebrate The Boy, even though I have a long, long list of projects for CTB… But this one, has been on my mind and I needed to get it done….

 

Little Dresses for Africa is a non-profit organization that provides girls in African orphanages, churches and schools to let them know that people care and to tell these ‘little girls that they are worthy!’

And how did I find out about this??? My quilting guild, of course!  I haven’t been able to make it to the guild meetings lately, but there was a post of a different sort of meeting. A pillowcase dress meeting. Kathy from Pink Chalk Studio let us know about a girl Emily who’s Senior service project is to make 100 pillowcase dresses for the young girls in Africa.

Ok, so I didn’t actually use a pillowcase. I had a shirt that got a hole in it under the arm, but the rest is still cute. My plan was always to turn it into a ‘pillowcase’ dress, it was just initially intended for someone else. Once I read about the Little Dresses project I knew that this is where the dress will go. The pattern (and part of the tutorial) I used is from Prudent Baby and is very simple to follow. (I also just realized we both photographed our finished pieces in front of a fence… )

Here’s the before and after….

 And I love the flower…. 

Yep, a tutorial is on it’s way.

 And, another thing to add to my list of things to do is the Britches for Boys project. The same as the Little Dresses Project, but for Boys….  And as those of us participating in Celebrate the Boy, we know the boys sometimes get the shaft…  Yep, there will more about that too!

Right about the time I read about the Little Dresses project, I also read this quote. I hope it speaks to you as it did to me.

‘I have learned that life is not about me, and it’s not about you either. You cannot live a full life if you cannot share and give to others.’ 

– Behr Champana-Gagneron, architect

 

linked to Made By You Monday

Heart Shaped Crayons- Tutorial

Yep, the crayon tutorial. Yep, it’s been done before, but I want to do it a little bit different… Kinda like a sheet cake, I mean crayon, and cookie cutters.

Materials:

Baking Pan

Aluminum foil (optional)

Peeled Crayons

Heart Shaped Cookie Cutters

Note about the ‘Optional’ aluminum foil method- I was doing it this way with the aluminum foil, but then realized I like the way without foil better. You get a smoother finished underside without foil, but it means giving up the pan to the crayons… You decide! 🙂  So some pics are showing the ‘optional’ way….

Step 1- Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Step 2- Fill the pan with the peeled crayons.  Optional Method- Line baking pan with aluminum foil. Use the large size foil so that you don’t have to overlap  (My first batch I tore the aluminum foil and then overlapped… If you want to keep the pan for baking, this is not a good idea…) and then fill the pan with the peeled crayons.

 

Step 3-Cook the crayons for about 15 minutes.

Step 4- Let the wax cool for about 20 minutes. You don’t want it too warm that it’s still gooey, but you don’t want it too cool so that you can’t cut the wax with the cookie cutters.

Step 5- Use the cookie cutter to cut out the shapes.

Step 6- Let it continue to cool before separating. I put mine in the freezer for a while and then they just pop right out!

Step 7- Slide them in the Valentine envelopes, give and enjoy!

Monster Towel Tutorial

I said I was going to make the Towel tutorial ages ago… Thought I had actually. Then this weekend I realized that I had taken all the pictures, but never written the tutorial. So, here we go!

Materials

Old Towel

Old Sheet (or fabric)

Fleece , for eyes and back spikes

Flannel, for eye balls and teeth

Thread

Scissors

Straight edge

Step 1:   Cut all the pieces:

Towel   49 inches wide x 23 inches tall

Fabric side of towel    2 pieces 25 inches wide x 23 inches tall

Towel Side of Hood   2 pieces, 8.5 inches wide x 10 inches tall

Fabric Side of Hood    2 pieces, 8.5 inches wide x 10 inches tall

Teeth   10 pieces, 2 inches wide x 2.5 inches tall

Eyes   2 ovals about 6 inches x 4 inches

Eye balls   2 ovals about 2 inches x 1.5 inches

Back Spikes   14 triangles, 4 inches wide by 5 inches tall

For the hood, round the edge. Stack the 4 hood pieces, and cut a curve. I used a plate to make the curve and came over 3″ from the corner at the top and back. See photo below!

Step 2: Sew together the teeth and back spikes. Right sides together. Trim edges around points and turn right side out. Top stitch back spikes.

Step 3: Sew the eyes. First sew the eyeball fabric to wrong side of eye fleece. Then topstitch the eyes onto the fabric side of hood.

Step 4: Put together fabric side of hood with the scales. Pin hood fabric together, right sides together. Place back spikes between the fabric, with points facing in between the hood fabric. Sew together.

Step 5: Sew the two towel hood pieces together, right sides together.

Step 6: Finish Hood. Pin together the fabric and towel hood pieces. Pin the right sides together and place teeth between with points facing inside.

Step 7: Turn hood right side out and topstitch front edge.

Step 8: Sew together pieces for the fabric side of towel. Pin fabric side, right sides together. Insert the rest of the back spikes, spaced equally and pin with points facing in between the fabric. Sew together.

Step 9: Pin front, back and hood together. Right side of fabric to right side towel. Insert hood. Align seam of fabric side of hood with seam of fabric side of towel. Right side of fabric hood to right side of fabric side of towel.

Step 10: Stitch together along outside of rectangle. Leave a hole about 6 to 8 inches. Trim corners.

Step 11: Pull towel through the hole, right side out.

Step 12: Topstitch.

Step 13: Bathe that little one and wrap him/her in the monster towel.

Tip… Don’t tell the little one that he’s a scary monster! My son loved his monster towel, but too many silly scary monster jokes and now he’s scared of it…. I’m trying to convince him that’s it’s a googly eyed silly nice monster towel….

This was actually the second tutorial I photographed and I obviously missed a couple photographs for some of the steps. I hope it’s easy to understand despite the lack of photos. Please let me know if anything is confusing! And do show pictures of your monster towels!

Oh, Christmas Card, Oh, Christmas Card

Whatever am I to do with you???

Well, typically I’ve fallen into a Friday link love schedule, but this week I’m changing things a bit. Last weekend we cleaned and put away Christmas. Well, except for my Christmas Card scrapbook and my new pile of Christmas cards. I knew that there are cool projects out there to do with the old cards, so this week, I thought a project link love was in order today (hopefully before you have thrown away all your cards).

Last year I emailed all my friends about the St. Jude card recycling program, but then never mailed mine in… It’s a great idea, especially if you aren’t interested in making anything with your old cards…

But if you’re looking for another crafty project, I found some good ones to use with those cards you can’t bear to throw into that recycling can….

1. Holiday Card Gift Boxes from Martha Stewart. I’d like to get a package wrapped like these. And could be a good idea for an advent calendar!

2. I’m loving this garland by Bobbi from Bobbi’s Art

3. How cool is this star ornament from Jennifer Priest???

4. I’ve always loved blocks. But I never thought about making Christmas blocks….These, from Recaptured Charm, are great and you could substitute Christmas cards for scrapbooking paper…

5. And last but not least. My absolutely favorite idea!!! I am totally in love with these houses. Last year, Michelle, from Michelle Made Me, hosted a Tissue Box Challenge Project inspired by her tiny houses. If only I had found this then… But in addition to tissue boxes, these could also be made from…. yep, Christmas Cards!

I also mentioned my Christmas Card Scrapbook… I’ve always hated to throw away photo cards! So I had this pile that I’d ben saving. Then about three years ago I had another ah, ha moment and started a scrapbook of all my friends and family photo cards. This has been so much fun pulling it out each year and then looking back over the years of how my family has grown and my friends kids have grown. I have to start a new book for next year…

And off the subject, but on the same subject of photos…. I joined another group project! Azzari, of The Sweet Light, started a winter photo swap – an exchange beautiful images of winter. I discovered it late, or else I would have shared earlier so more could join in. I also signed up late…. Luckily she needed one more person! I am pretty sure I got my image to share already… More about this later!

On Gracie, On Woody, On Gus

OK, so it’s not Santa’s reindeer, they are our ‘cousin’ dogs! And it is another Christmas present checked off the list.

I’m totally loving silhouettes right now. (hint hint, upcoming link love to some other really cool silhouettes…) So I wanted to make one of my in-laws pups. My sister-in-law has been away from her loved ones for quite a few months now and as we were walking with the rest of her family, I saw a silhouette bag of these pups.

It was made with all scrap fabrics lying around the sewing room! I used my gift bag process, but put the seam down the side to make it a bit easier to add the straps. The longest part of the process was cutting out the dogs.

Gracie is the white one, Gus is the old grey Scottie and Woody is the crazy youngester of the bunch, the black Scottie. I’m very happy with how it turned out, except for one thing. In some light, Ms Gracie is hard to see. I should have used a more contrasting background. Hindsight, gotta love it.

Kids Hooded Towel

Well this has been on my to do list for ages!! Hooded Towel- Check. I could check it off, except for the fact I’ll probably make more over the next few years.

Originally I started out to just make a plain ‘ole towel with a pretty fabric back. As I was thinking about it, I thought, why not make it a dragon and give it fins?? But what to do about eyes? Then it became a monster with fins and big googly green eyes and yellow teeth (because monsters don’t brush their teeth and the sugar bugs turned them yellow!)

The plus is I used materials I had, so new towel equals free! I had a towel that was really big and we hardly used it, an old sheet, scraps from the fleece dragon wings for the fins and scraps from the fireman costume for the teeth. And wa-lah, a monster hooded towel!

Working on the tutorial! And it doesn’t have to be a monster. What would you make? A shark… A ladybug…  Let me know!