Jul 27, 2010

Tuesday tumblr #7

Some favorite links I saved in my tumblr inspiration files this past week:

1. the ultimate example of ultra ugly turned über cool! this craigslist castaway canvas was artfully re-purposed into a child's contemporary masterpieceby like merchant ships. 

2. mirror image printing made into little windows of handmade card-giving happiness, by love and lollipops

3. oh anthropologie, we do love thee. but we especially love an easy, affordable spin off! check out this awesome anthropologie inspired easy altered hoodie tutorial, by alisa burke

4. this diy bookshelf turned puppet theater is brilliantly creative with so many fun possibilities, by infarrantly creative

5. these sweet lemon treats look like so fresh, festive and fun, by an art family

6. such an original, creative idea, for turning posters into rich, canvas-like works of art, by frugal with a flourish

7. make affordable, custom labels for all of your handmade projects with this tutorial, by handmade therapy

8. stitch a set of these simply sweet russian dolls, by four wise monkeys, via day to day

Have a great project you'd like to share on Mother★Lode?
Email submissions to: camilledawnphoto [at] gmail [dot] com

Jul 23, 2010

Child's first embroidery project

check out delaney's first embroidery project!

first, we traced her hand. this made her giggle "that feels funny." i asked "how?" and her reply "it makes me feel like a fun art project!" which made us both crack up, so took us awhile to compose ourselves to get her hand traced on the burlap just so. 

it was a nice icebreaker. she was quite nervous about using a real needle. she hears me poke myself, often, and always comes running to see if there's blood - concerned, yet curious too. i assured her that i was confident that she was ready to use a real needle, and that i'd be close by to help if she needed a hand.

she didn't need my help! you should see her stitches - she's a natural, seriously! the stitches are so even and uniform in size. i was beyond impressed! this was after just a few minutes of instruction and demonstration, and then she was off, and totally into it. and so proud! and needed minimal assistance from me. trey came into the room a few times to see what we were up to, at which she proclaimed in her very capable and competent way-too-grown-up voice "dad, watch this. i skip ahead when I'm below, and backtrack up on top. want to see how i do it? watch this!" 

we started this project after talking about the idea of delaney and liam making each other christmas gifts this year (we'll have to get really creative with liam to make something for big sis!)

she decided to turn a piece of her art into something for him. i'm glad i took a picture of little hoot she drew on her dry erase board - he's awesome! i stitched him up while working alongside her yesterday. delaney picked the colors (is it cheating that i put only the colors that i liked i thought liam would like in front of her to choose from?) he now awaits incorporation into a gift idea - she's still pondering that. i started her on the hand, to assess her levels of willingness/ability before diving into something too advanced that would turn her off to embroidering altogether.

the conclusion: she could have stitched little hoot too!

i think i see more embroidery projects in our near future, oh yeah!

we have the ring finger and pinky to finish, and I think we'll add her name and age in her adorable four-and-a-half-year-old font. i can't wait to show you her first embroidery project finished!

in case you missed these links on my children's art turned into a softie post, and want to try embroidering with your child(ren) too, here are some excellent links to get you started!

   ★ embroidering with children by maya*made
   ★ teach children embroidery by House on Hill Road, via Skip to My Lou
   ★ child sewing basket by The Toby Show

Jul 20, 2010

Tuesday tumblr #6

Some favorite links I saved in my tumblr inspiration files this week:

1. these comic book bracelets are so colorful and clever, by craft envy

2. who could resist this adorable rainbow bunting baby quilta pretty cool life shares a great tutorial so you can make one too!

3. such a swanky and super sweet diy play kitchen, shared by marta writes

4. a great botany experiment with beautiful results, shared by 5 orange potatoes

5. recycled, whimsical, colorful, creative - creative jewish mom shares how she made this fun gift box using a cracker box and painting with potatoes - the color combination is perfect!

6. create a growing gallery of birthday paintings on canvasby make happy

7. oh, what endless possibilities for re-purposing outgrown favorite, comfy clothes - underpants! noodlehead shares her stylish success in making this, a  few savvy tips, and two sources for the pattern.

8. use your child's art for this great gift idea: embellished journals by quince and quire
And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Crave more? Click here!

Have a great project you'd like to share on Mother★Lode?
Email submissions to: camilledawnphoto [at] gmail [dot] com

Jul 19, 2010

Storybook puzzle blocks

Mother★Lode is nearing 200 fans, and growing daily, which is so crazy cool for the relatively short amount of time that the site has been live. I started this blog just five months ago, on Valentine's Day! So, to show some love and appreciation, I wanted to host a give away, to say thanks to my fun and fabulous fans, and give away a personal, handmade gift to one lucky winner!

My blogger stats page shows that my storybook puzzle blocks are the #1 most popular post with over 4,000 views - and I just happen to have an extra set to giveaway! This is a 9-piece set of Goodnight Moon puzzle blocks along with a gently used board book copy of Goodnight Moon.

There are eight ways to win. Each method below is worth one entry. Please leave a comment on this post with the relevant information for each entry you submit! Comments will close at midnight on Sunday, July 25, and the winner announced on Monday, July 26th. Good luck!

1. become a Mother★Lode fan/follower - click the "Follow" button in the fan box (right sidebar)
leave a comment on this post to let me know you're a new follower; if you are already a follower, leave that in a comment so you get credit too!

2. "like" the Mother★Lode Facebook fan page 
come back and leave a comment here on this post that you're a new fan of Mother★Lode on Facebook; if you're already a fan on Facebook, leave a comment with your Facebook username so you get credit!

3. post about this giveaway on your Facebook wall 
leave a comment on this post with your Facebook username so you get credit!

4. follow Mother★Lode on Twitter
leave a comment on this post that you're following on Twitter to get credit, along with your Twitter username so I can follow you back!

5. tweet about this giveaway on Twitter
leave a comment on this post that you tweeted this giveaway so you receive credit!

6. click the thumbs-up "Like" button at the bottom of this post 
don't forget to leave a comment that you clicked the thumb-up "like" button at the bottom of this post so you receive credit for doing so!

7. Check out some of the most popular projects I've posted (in the right hand side bar - there are 10 projects in addition to the storybook blocks) and click the thumbs up "like" button at the bottom of the post for any/each of the projects you like that you think others would too.
leave a comment on this post with the project(s) that you "liked" to receive credit for this entry - there's extra credit if you like more than one =)

8. Check out the inspiration files in my tumblr archives
comment on this post with a project you find that you can't wait to try first!

**More Extra Credit** Post about this giveaway on YOUR blog!  (worth 3 bonus points!)
leave the link back to your blog post in the comments

    Jul 17, 2010

    Homemade scratch and sniff paint

    yay - we tried a fun project from our "must make this" list today - homemade scratch and sniff paint! i filed the idea away when i first came across it on new nostalgia, and I saw it again on a bird and a bean just in time to put kool-aid on our list before heading out to the grocery store this morning. 

    at the store, delaney was skipping a few steps ahead of me in the aisles, eager to be the first to spot the items on our list. 15 minutes into it Liam started getting antsy. knowing I only had a few more minutes of mileage left in him, i tried to speed things along... I called out to Delaney, who was quite a bit ahead now, hey, come help me pick out the kool-aid. this was greek to her, she's never had kool-aid. so I added - there are all colors of the rainbow and you get to pick which ones we put in the cart. this got her attention, as well as that of a woman who gave me a very disapproving glance while checking me out from the corner of her eye. yeah lady, i know kool-aid is like crack for kids. seriously, i'm a good mom.... my kids don't even get juice - it's milk or water around here. but just because she was already convinced otherwise, I had to mess with her more - delaney, i'll even let you pick one out for liam - which color do you think he'd like in his bottle? ok, i didn't.. but i thought it, and really, really wanted to!

    so here are a few pictures of the fun we had painting with kool-aid. such a cool idea! just like everyone else attested to, the colors are vibrant, and it smelled oh-so-good! so yes, we inhaled, a lot, and it was highly addictive, in a good way! take that, nosy, naysaying Safeway lady!

    Jul 15, 2010

    Art is all around

    chalk art on the new patio table

    small scale drawing

    Little Hoot inspiration, and surprise self-portrait

    Jul 13, 2010

    Tuesday tumblr #5

    Here are a few of my favorite links I've tossed into my tumblr this week:

    For the Kids
    artist trading cards by laugh, paint, create
    baby steps stepping stone by make baby stuff
    comb painting by MommyTeacher123
    DIY snow globe postcards by giddy giddy
    DIY treasure stones by Sew Can Do
    hot rocks by Wise Craft
    owl toy tutorial by nanny goat
    self portraits by irresistible ideas for play based learning
    top 100 play based blogs by raising playful tots

    In the Kitchen
    chicken caesar salad pizza by my little gems
    chocolate mud balls by new nostalgia

    Get Your Craft On
    1 hour bag tutorial by vintage ric rac
    framed photo confetti by the Blackberry Vine
    framed vera napkin by angry chicken
    DIY envelopes by georgianna craft

    Craving more? Click here!

    Jul 9, 2010

    This is how we roll

    Art + exercise + the pièce de résistance (to be revealed below) = the perfect way to be the cool kids on the block on a hot summer day!

    It all started here...

    One giant roll of paper, oodles of paint, anything with wheels, and an adventurous artist willing to explore a new technique... this is what we call 'road art', and this is how we roll! (and quickly create a TON of  DIY wrapping paper!)

    While we were painting in the street, Dad was in the driveway working on his own masterpiece, which proved to be the perfect grand finale to cleaning up and cooling off...

    Let us introduce you to the best $15 bucks and one hour of labor spent, EVER.... or at least to date in our five year parenting history... the DIY kids bike/trike/anything on wheels wash!

    so. Much. FUN! Especially on a 90+ degree day.  Take that, heat wave!

    The street was full in no time with eager participants. Mr. Safety (aka Trey) set up the cones, brought out the whistle to blow when a car rounded the corner, and had a system in place in no time to keep the bikes flowing in an organized traffic circle to avoid minimal head on collisions.

    We had a train of teenagers on bike pass by once and quickly do a u-turn to give it a try. Neighbors getting off work stopped by to pass through too. An outgoing text message with a picture of the setup lured more friends from another side of town. Our six-month old Liam was the youngest through the wash - he didn't like it as much as we hoped he would. 

    But everyone else? Yeah, I think they had a grand time!

    I must give a huge shout out to these great bloggers that inspired us to try these two ideas - together, they were a winning combination - you totally made our day! 

    Want to make your own bike/trike wash this summer? Your kids will love you! A free PDF download is available here! The instructions include lots of fun ideas for extending this project with "chaining" - you could turn your entire street into a waterpark if you wanted to! One neighbor suggested using felt to put flaps on this like a real car wash... it had me thinking.. how about a clear shower curtain with long strips cut vertically and hanging from the top bar? The kids could bike through and still maintain some level of visibility.. might have to give that a whirl!

    Trey recorded lots of great footage on both the flip and the helmet cam - a fun video is in the works!
    Here's the video!

    Soaking Up the Sun from sockeye red on Vimeo.

    Jul 7, 2010

    Chalkboard top patio table

    Remember the patio table Trey was working on? It's finished, beating summer by a few days, giving us a great patio set for eating outside just in time for the beautiful weather that has finally arrived. 

    It was Trey's idea to make the table top a chalkboard - how fun is that? I love it!!

    Jul 6, 2010

    Tuesday tumblr #4

    Here are a few of my favorite links I've Tumblr'ed this week.

    For the Kids
    Balloon Themed Party Invites by Party Accessories
    Bike Painting by Homemade Mamas
    Earth Loom by Gingerbread Snowflakes
    Kid Wash (think car wash, for bikes!) by PB&Joy
    Kid Safe Batik by simple Analogy
    Magic Bean Drawing by Color Color Color
    Nature Impressions by Paint Cut Paste
    Painted Sun Prints by The Long Thread, via Skip to My Lou
    Painting Around the Hole with the Artful Parent
    Toddler Stilts by Made by Joel

    In the Kitchen
    Sky Jello by Huber Hof Academy
    Tiny Fruit Tarts by Good + Happy Day

    Get Your Craft On
    DIY Sunprints on Fabric by Gingerbread Snowflakes
    Recycled Boot Planter by the Inadvertent Farmer
    Steel Stamped Washer Necklaces at Poppies at Play
    Twiggy: Wrapping Sticks by Aesthetic Outburst

    Craving more? Click here!

    Jul 1, 2010

    Child's art turned softie

    **Check out my giveaway for one custom art softie featured on www.adelle.com.au, through August 15, 2010!

    These softies were designed using my daughter's art. This idea has been floating around in my mind for a while now, and I finally found time to pull them together, and I'm so glad I did. I love seeing her art come alive and watching her squeeze, toss, hug and love on these.

    She recently drew the bird, which was the inspiration image that prompted me to get on this project, pronto. I secretly confiscated the drawing from her art table and then worked on it that night after the kids were in bed. 

    She squealed with delight when she saw it the next morning, and then she insisted that her brother have one too. We took her art book down from last year and she picked out the perfect image from the archives - a dragon monster she drew that she insists he will love, when he's a bit older, because he might be too afraid of it right now. 

    I discovered a really nifty way of transferring the art directly onto fabric using my printer, and it's not mirror image like some of the ways I've seen for transferring. Here's how I did it:

    child's art
    freezer paper
    white cotton - i used a thrifted sheet
    rotary cutter
    cutting mat and ruler guide
    coordinating fabric for back
    embroidery hoop, needle and thread

    1. Print your child's art directly on fabric using freezer paper and your printer! 
    Cut white fabric a few inches bigger than 8.5x11" sheet of paper, and tear off an even bigger sheet of freezer paper. Place white fabric on a towel, place freezer paper glossy side down on the fabric, and iron on medium-high heat to adhere freezer paper to white fabric.

    Let cool, then place your sheet on a cutting mat and using a ruler guide and rotary cutter, cut your fabric into a "sheet of paper" 8.5x11" in size.

    2. Scan your child's art into your computer. I had to do some inverting, screening, desaturating and deleting and who knows what else or in what order to isolate the lines of the bird from the red paper - I have no idea how I did it once I finally figured it out, it was trial and error, so my suggestion is to start with a drawing from plain white paper and save yourself the headache =)

    For the dragon/monster drawing I bumped up the saturation before converting it to grayscale to make the lines easier to see.

    When printing, I decreased the opacity to 25% so that it would print faintly on the fabric.

    4. Embroider it. Remove freezer paper from back of fabric, and now you're ready to embroider. I didn't have all the right shades of color to recreate the softie using the exact colors of the original art, but Delaney helped me out with the color selections, carefully picking colors she thought her brother would enjoy most. I used the backstitch entirely to embroider the bird. For the dragon monster, I did the backstitch to outline, but it didn't look right when trying to fill in the body sections. I've never embroidered before, so I probably should have researched it and found a better way than how I went about it with the long, loose lines. For the final section of the body, I decided to sew a fabric piece in place that coordinates with the fabric I backed this with - it thought it was a nice touch to tie it all together, and it was a faster fun way to finish this off!

    5. Sew it up. Draw a pillow-y shape around the drawing, cut, then trace and cut a matching piece from a colored/patterned/coordinating piece of fabric for the back. Put right sides together, machine sew leaving a small hole for turning, turn, stuff, then hand stitch closed. 

    P.S. Delaney wants you to know that we tucked a bell inside her bird softie, and that it jingles and sings to her all day long, but she doesn't know how to put a roar inside the dragon monster, but thinks that will be better for Liam.

    P.S.S. I love looking at them side by side, to see Delaney's artistic progression from the past year. And now that I've finished these two, you should see the pile of pictures she has left in my "inbox" insisting they all be made into softies. Oy vey!

    While we're having fun playing with softies, Liam's found his own new toy!

    Where my new mad embroidering skills may lead...

    More embroidered keepsake art treasures:
       ★ art hanging by Soule Mama
       ★ art quilt also by SouleMama =)

    Teaching Delaney to embroider too? These two links make it look fun:
       ★ embroidering with children by maya*made
       ★ teach children embroidery by House on Hill Road, via Skip to My Lou
       ★ child sewing basket by The Toby Show