Thursday, July 30, 2015

A Flock of Birds Skirt

After I designed the bird applique pattern in yesterday's post, I starting thinking how cute it would be to have a whole flock of birds sewn along the bottom of a skirt, creating a border. To accomplish this task, I spent a lot of time cutting, measuring and machine embroidering but the finished outcome is so worthy of sharing.

At first I cut out all the birds and wings from two different fabrics but after laying everything down onto the skirt, it looked boring. So, I cut out more birds bodies and wings from different fabrics, mixing the fabrics up as I positioned the birds in place. 

If you want to create this skirt, get the bird pattern here and have fun cutting. Reserve about 3 1/2 hours to add this design to a skirt.  The bird's eyes was cut from the black and white polka dot fabric and then machine embroidered in place. My bird's beaks are about 1 inch apart and their tail feathers are around 2 3/4 inches apart. These dimensions will vary for you depending on how wide your skirt is.  A tutorial on sewing these birds onto a skirt is found here.

I love the look of this flock of birds skirt!  Don't you think a little girl would have fun wearing a skirt like this?  xoxo Grandma

Linked at: Simple Simon and Company, Threading My Way

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Skirts for Skirting the Issue & a Free Bird Pattern

It's that time of year when seamstresses across this nation turn to making skirts.  Simple Simon and Company sponsors a project called Skirting the Issue. All the skirts donated to this project are given to girls in foster care.

My niece and her 9 year old daughter came to visit me for a few days.  I explained to this cute 9 year old a little about this project. She was impressed and wanted to be my model for it. 

This magenta colored skirt (pictured above) was pretty simple, so I decided to step it up a notch and add a little fun. 

See that cute little bird? I had a little too much fun creating the pattern for it. The pattern is a good one for using your scraps. It'll add a whole bunch of pizzazz to a simple skirt. 

If you'd like to use this simple design too, download it here.  Then cut out the three pattern pieces.  Layer them together onto one side of a skirt using either a glue stick or fabric spray adhesive to keep the pieces in place.  I added some tear away stabilizer behind the design.  Next, machine embroider the pieces onto the skirt using a zig zag stitch.

To mark the legs onto your skirt, use bright yellow thread and hand stitch two three inch long lines.  Then hand stitch the lower bird feet lines. Once those are in place, machine stitch right over these basting stitches.

The finished bird should look something like this when completed:
I had a lot of fun machine appliqueing this design onto several of these skirts.  I love that Simple Simon and Company sponsors this project every year.  If you have time, why not sew a skirt to donate to your local foster care program?  It'll really leave you with a good feeling if you choose to participate in any charity project. You have until August 15th to get your skirts sewn and donated to this cause.  xoxo Grandma

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Monday, July 27, 2015

A Little Bird Dress

When I used to talk to this little girl on Facetime, we'd talk like this, "Cheep, cheep-cheep!...Cheeeeep, cheep?"  She loved pretending she was a little bird and her birdhouse was my son's old brown plastic football toy chest. So for her birthday, I made her this little bird dress.

When I thought about making her a special dress for her birthday, I decided that the pattern needed to include ruffles, birds and it needed to be pink. Last year, I made her this yellow dress and she immediately told me that she did not like yellow.  So this year, I knew I needed to stick with things that she positively liked. And that was pink. 

Before I started this dress, I found a fun site for testing out fabrics you're thinking about using for a project. The site is called Pattern Jam. First on the site, I found fabrics I loved and then "favored" them. Then I found a pattern called the Bali Hai which I knew my granddaughter could put on by herself with lots of girly ruffles. Next was the fun part, dropping those "favored" fabrics into place to see which combination I thought looked best. Pattern Jam is a way to audition fabrics and designing before you sew. This is what auditioning the fabrics looks like:

The process of "auditioning" fabrics made designing this dress so much easier. 

I know she likes this dress because she's already worn it three times in one week.  I'm giving myself a big pat on the back for pleasing a four year old!  And also for finding the site Pattern Jam, which helped me design this dress!

Give Pattern Jam a try! As an added bonus for signing up at Pattern Jam, this company is giving away a bundle of fabric when people share Pattern Jam with their friends. When you sign up, you're given a unique code that you can provide your friends. This code enables the company to track where referrals come from. I'd love to hear if you like this design program too.  xoxo Grandma

Linked to: Threading My Way

Thursday, July 23, 2015

How to Make a Ballerina Pinata

This past week I've had more grandchildren visiting my house. One of them was about to turn the fun age of four. To celebrate, she requested a ballerina birthday party with a ballerina piñata.  

Let me tell you, I had no idea this little request from a four year old would be such a stressful project! I searched high and low for a ballerina piñata, but I couldn't find one anywhere, not even on the internet. The closest girl looking pinata I could find was a fairy piñata. So, voila! Being a resourceful woman, I turned that fairy pinata into a ballerina.  If you have someone that loves ballet, you'll appreciate this tutorial.
  • Girl looking pinata (I used a fairy piñata)
  • 6-10 feet of netting or tulle
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Craft glue
  • Needle

1.  Cut off the fairy wings using sharp scissors.
2.  Cut the dress up to the tops of the piñata's legs.  Trim any excess tissue paper to form the piñata's leotard.

3.  Add a lot of glue to the upper leg area of the piñata.
4.  Press the cut leotard tissue paper into the glue.
5.  Let glue dry.

6.  Sew several layers of netting together using a gathering stitch along the top of the netting.
7.  Pull the gathering stitch to create a tutu skirt.
8.  Tie the threads together in the back of the skirt to the piñata.

Doesn't that sound so easy?  

Now, to top it off, fill your pinata with treats or prizes, get a blindfold, grab a stick or plastic baseball bat and have fun!  xoxo Grandma

Friday, July 17, 2015

Make a Simple Fairy Hammock

Most children love helping with craft projects. So, this summer, make a fairy hammock with your child out of twigs and a few other supplies you may already have.

Supplies needed: 
  • Leather cord
  • Netting about 8" long
  • Twigs (Cut 2 sticks that have a "V" shape.  The sticks need to be cut to the same length.) 1 stick that's for the cradle base.
  • Jute
  • Scissors
  • Super glue

1. Make a slip knot at the end of the leather cording.  Attach to the end of the cradle base twig.  Pull the end tight.
2.  Wrap the leather around the base and the legs, creating an "X" as you wrap.
3.  Repeat step 2 to attach the twig onto the other legs.

4.  When finished wrapping the leather cord, your hammock base will look like the first photo.
5.  Bunch the netting with your fingers and tie it onto both sides of the top portion of the cradle bases.
6.  Add a drop of super glue to all the joints and around the netting.  Let dry.
7.  Once completed, your fairy hammock should look like this:

Time to sing a little rock-a-bye song for some little imaginary garden friends as your child plays outside.  xoxo Grandma

Part of this post was originally shared as "Fairy Fun" with Nap Time Creations.

Fairy Cottage:

Or a fairy house like THIS.  

Fairy Named Locations HERE

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Fairy Named Locations

Skye Fairy Pools, Scotland - photos copyright by Lindy Minert 
This summer, take your children or grandchildren on a hike or enjoy a peaceful walk to one of these "fairy" named locations throughout the world:

Locations in the United States:
Alabama:  Fairy Alley in Hueytown 
California: Fairy Falls or Pixie Woods Amusement Park
Colorado: Fairy CavesFairy Gardens and Fairy Hills
Connecticut: Nature Walk with 100 fairy houses and Fairy Lake
Georgia: Fairyland Elementary in the town of Lookout Mountain 
Idaho: Fairy Gardens
Illinois:  Fairy Festival in South Eljin
Indiana: Enchanted Fairy Trail
Maryland: Faerie Festival
Minnesota: Fairy Lake in Sauk Centre
Mississippi, Fairy Lane in Vicksburg
Missouri: Fairy Cave Lane in Mark Twain National Forest
Montana: Fairy Lake
Nevada:  Fairy Falls and Dry Creek Loop
New Hampshire: Fairy Houses Day
New Jersey:  Fairy Lake in Hudson County
New York: Fairy Trail and Fairy House Tour
Ohio: Fairy Lane in Carlisle
Oregon: Fairy Falls
Pennsylvania: Fairy Festival 2015
Tennessee: Fairyland Caverns
Texas: Fairy Homes in Zilker Botanical Gardens
Utah: Fairy Forest and Fairyland Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park
Vermont: Fairy House Festival
Virginia: Fairy Stone State Park
Washington: Fairy Falls and Fairy Bakery
Wisconsin: Fairy Springs Road in Hilbert
Wyoming: Fairy Falls and Fairyland Basin in Yellowstone National Park
International Locations: Australia: Port Fairy
Canada: Fairyhill, Saskatchewan
China: Fairy Bridge
Jamaica: Fairy Hill
Ireland: Templemore Park Fairy Trail
New Zealand: Fairy Falls
Scotland: Fairy GlenThe Fairy Knoll, Fairy Pools & The Fairy Bridge 
Turkey: Fairy Chimneys
Vietnam: Mui Ne Fairy Stream

You could also go for a drive or take a bike ride down a road with an enchanted name.  For a list with places in the United States to go HERE.  xoxo Grandma

This post was originally shared at Nap Time Creations.

Other Fairy Posts:

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A Summer of Fairy Magic

This post was originally shared over at Nap Time Creations but if you missed it there, I'm going to highlight a few of the things I shared. This summer I've planned a little extra special magic for my grandchildren when they come to visit us. Since I have some pretty girly little granddaughters, I've planned several activities around fairies, including stories, treats, crafts and fun outdoor activities. Take note of these ideas and join us in the fun!


To start out that fun, I plan on reading to my three and five year old grandchildren, "The Night Fairy" by Laura Amy Schlitz.  This is a chapter book with beautiful illustrations. The story is about a night fairy named Flory. When she was three months old, her wings were injured by a bat. She falls into a human's garden and because of her injury, she can't fly away. It's a darling book I know they will enjoy.    

Reading chapter books with younger children can also be entertaining. Another fun chapter book to read to older children is "The Fairy Rebel" by Lynne Reid Banks.  This is a fun chapter book about a woman who is sad. When she goes to her garden, she meets a fairy and then confesses to that fairy that she really wants a baby.  Let's just say this fairy livens up this women's life.

If you have younger children, a really enchanting fairy book is "The Faerie's Gift" by Yanya Robyn Batt. The illustrations are beautiful. In the story, a kind woodcutter helps a faerie that's in trouble.  In return, that faerie gives the woodcutter a very special gift. I loved this story and how the woodcutter uses his gift to help his family. 

When you're done reading this book, ask your child what wish they would ask for if they were given just one wish.  My grandson said he would wish for all the bad guys to go away and then all the jails could be taken down.  I told him that sounded wonderful.


When stories are through, doesn't everyone like a good treat? My grandkids do! We'll be making fairy dust. My grandchildren helped by stirring the ingredients together.  This magical treat is so easy to make and the best part is there is no hot summer baking. Here's how to make it:

Fairy Dust Recipe
  •  1/4 c. powdered sugar
  •  1/4 c. granulated sugar 
  •  Red or pink food dye. 
  •  Strawberries, raspberries, grapes or bananas
  •  Colored toothpicks
With a spoon, mix together the sugars and stir in two to five drop of food gel or food dye until the sugars have speckles of color.  Cut up fruit as desired and add colored toothpicks to each piece of fruit. Dip the fruit into the fairy dust.  

We'll fill a very small container (I'm talking really small, like a toothpaste cap) with this mixture and then I'll have the children take it to our garden and leave it for the fairies to enjoy.  Make sure you don't put it where ants frequent...that could bring unwanted guests to your party!


Online at Flower Fairies Fun and Games there are free computer games, printable activity sheets, and coloring pages which are always fun for children.

Please join me tomorrow for more fairy ideas.  I'm enjoying my son's family this week.  I hope you get to enjoy family too! -xoxo Grandma
Other posts about fairy crafts:

How to Make a Fairy Cottage go HERE or house go HERE.