Monthly Archives: June 2012

Show & Tell

I thought I would put together a quick Show & Tell post (yes, I realize it’s not Wednesday).


I love the look of  a simple graphic style tee, especially for a little boy.  I’ve toyed with the idea of purchasing a silk-screening kit and making my own, but that can be a bit expensive and it’s a little time consuming.  Then it dawned on me; why not use rubber stamps and fabric paint?  It’s quick, easy, relatively inexpensive (depending on how crazy you want to go buying stamps) and really darn cute.  So gathered up my supplies and made a whole stack of onesies and shirts.

If you are tempted to make some for yourself (and I think you should), here’s what you’ll need-

1. A small scrap of knit material (I save old t-shirts and use them to cut up for different sewing projects)
2. A rubber stamp, of your choosing   3. Fabric paint   4. A cheap sponge bush  5. A t-shirt or onesie

I start by tracing a rectangle on my scrap of knit material.  It needs to be slightly bigger than the stamp you are using, so make sure you do a rough measurement.  After I’ve traced lightly around the shape I carefully cut out the rectangle.  Cotton knit likes to move around, so take your time cutting.

Next, I dipped my brush into the fabric paint (don’t dilute the paint, full strength works best)

Then I carefully brushed an even layer of paint over the stamp.

Once you have the paint on the stamp, you want to work quickly.  Center the stamp on the rectangle and apply firm, even pressure.  Carefully lift the stamp off and heat set the image with a hot iron.  I just hold my iron over the image and give it a quick blast of steam.

The brilliant part about using a scrap of fabric instead of applying the stamp directly to the shirt, is you give yourself the freedom to make mistakes (like this one).  Ruining a small rectangle of knit fabric is so much less irritating than ruining an entire t-shirt!

Real quick, just a couple of tips on choosing a stamp.  Try to buy stamps that have deep grooves.  A few that I bought were so shallow that the details didn’t show up on the fabric.  Also, the simpler the stamp the better. 

Now that you have your image heat set, center it to the front of the shirt and pin it.

Carefully sew all the way around the rectangle. 

You can use a straight or zig-zag stitch for this.  If there’s a tricky part to this project (and I’m not saying there is) this would be it.  Onesies are small. You don’t want to stretch them out while you are sewing and you don’t want to stitch the front of the shirt to the back, so go slow and be careful.  Always check to make sure the back of the shirt hasn’t gotten caught under the presser foot.

That’s it!  It’s really that simple.

I had fun trying different stamps, dying onesies, using a variety of colors.  I was concentrating mostly on making shirts for little boys but there are so many darling stamps that could be used for a little girl.


This one isn’t a stamped tee, but I threw it in because I loved the way it turned out!

As always, if you have any questions please feel free to ask  ~ April

A little catch up

Okay, this is more than just a little catch up to be truthful.

So many fun things have happened over the last month, too many to just brush over.  Special moments that needed to be chronicled. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We celebrated a birthday last month.  J turned seven… seven-years-old!   He has gotten to that age were being with his friends is what life is all about.  So his dad and I took this handsome group of boys to play putt-putt golf.


The teenager behind the counter handed me several score cards.  I very enthusiastically declared that I would be the official score keeper.  My husband just laughed at me.  Pretty soon I knew what he was laughing about.  Keeping score for 7 boys was a completely fruitless endeavor.  Before long we gave up all putt-putt protocol and let them hack away at their brightly colored golf balls. 


The birthday boy even managed to make a hole in one!

Then we made a little trip to B&R for ice cream.

After we dropped all the boys off we went home for his special birthday dinner.

As is the tradition in our house, the birthday boy gets to choose a special dinner and dessert.  For J that means birthday pie, not cake.

And his dad’s amazing slow cooked ribs with his famous mustard BBQ sauce.

This is a picture of J reading his birthday card from Grandma and Grandpa W.  Not only did he get a new  fishing pole but Grandpa promised to take him on a fishing trip the following week.  J was so thrilled!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Look who discovered the joy that a blank piece of paper and a jar of markers can bring.  He spent an entire morning drawing little stick figures and loopy flowers.


I love this kid!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My sweet peas were a little disappointing this spring.  Last fall I planted twice as many seeds as I did the fall before, and I got half as many blooms this year.  Last spring I was picking buckets full of sweet peas and this spring I barely had enough to fill a dozen small vases. 

Oh well, the ones that bloomed were still so beautiful and I love the way they smell!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

J finished up 1st grade.  On the last day of school Mrs. Boone and Mrs. Jolliff had a little ceremony for the students.   It was another wonderful school year!  Mrs. Jolliff was such an amazing teacher.  The energy and creativity she brought to the classroom made a real impact on J.  He loved everyday of school and was heart broken when he had to miss any school days.

This is a picture of the two of them as J almost knocked her over with a big hug!


And this is Mrs. Jolliff reading J’s certificate to him.


Our annual “last day of school” picture with Lizzy :)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The very next day we headed to San Francisco for a weekend getaway with the children.  It seemed like a fun way to kick off the summer.

We started at the piers, wandered around pier 39.


We took in the sights, watched the boats coming in and out of the harbor, we ate tiny warm fresh doughnuts from a plastic bucket (so good!).


Miss E staring down a seagull

We stayed in a sky scraper hotel not far off Union Square.  The boys were so impressed with the tall buildings!

The kids were all spread out over the hotel room.


This was the view from our room.  I wish I would have taken a picture of it at night.  The lights of the city were so pretty!

The next morning we got up and went to The Maker Fair.  It’s a fun event filled with booths and exhibitions of all kinds of electronic and mechanical creations.  There were even booths where the children could make things for themselves.  They got to make their own rockets, and then launch them off an air compressed launch pad!  It was fun, but SUPER crowded and just a little over the kids heads, but I think they still enjoyed themselves.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 We have a very busy summer, filled with a lot of projects and work that must be done, so we won’t be able to take a big vacation this summer.  I’m trying to come up with fun, local day trips that we can go on during the week.

We went blueberry picking at Jessup farm with the cousins

Afterward we took our lunches to the park and had fun playing in the water fountain.  The girls were cracking us up.  The water in the fountain turns off and on and sprays at different times.  When it would turn off the girls would slowly and cautiously approach the hole were the water comes out.  They would get closer and closer…. and them BAM… that water would gush out, and they would run away laughing and yelling!

Sometimes our day trips are as simple as a trip to the library, or lunches and bubble blowing at the park.

This is the first summer that J has really liked reading books.  This is a sight I love to see!  He got a stack of mysteries from the beginner reader section, and then spent the rest of the night sprawled out on my bed reading them.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We also adopted an 8 month old puppy.  After a lot of suggestions and arguing, the children finally settled on the name Levi.   Everybody’s pretty excited about him.  My opinion of Levi varies greatly from day to day.  I’m sure he’ll be fine once we get him past his wild puppy stage (at least that’s what I keep telling myself)

He does have a pretty sweet face…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The chickens have a new home!  A bright red roomy coop with plenty of room for roosting and scratching.


There are nine roosting boxes and easy access to the eggs.  I can’t wait until we start getting our own eggs!


“The Girls” as I call them, were very please with their new home :)


The children are fascinated with the chickens.  They drug a blanket out on the grass, and spent the whole morning chatting and watching the chicks peck and scratch.  I thought it was a little strange but hey… I’m not going to complain about anything that keeps them busy for a whole morning and doesn’t end in someone getting hurt!

So there it is, my catch up post!  I’m going to try to make posting more of a priority.  Reading my sister-in-law’s post the other night, reminded me of all the things I love about keeping a blog about our family.  These are wonderful times we are experiencing with the kids and I want to keep writing about our little adventures.

Hope your summer is off to a great start!  ~April