Friday, September 24, 2010

A New Old World Favorite Felt Play Food Set

I am in love with these new vegetables! I had a great customer request some Old World vegetables that her daughter could play with in a Renaissance festival, and I think these will be a hit! I especially liked the turnip - as I have NEVER had one, and had fun searching Google for turnip pics to work from. I have heard that you either love 'em or hate 'em. I will have to try them someday. Hope you enjoy them too!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Strawberry Crepes Felt Play Food Set

Another ORIGINAL new tasty treat from Bug Bites Play food - Strawberry Crepes with Whipped Cream and a Jelly spread inside. Aubrey (my 2 year old product tester) and I had fun rolling these up and topping them with the cream and strawberries together.

I designed these to be similar to the Burrito set as I love how the velcro closure tab wraps all of the fillings up in a snug little roll. I am working on a Banana Chocolate version as well, so stay tuned!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Autumn Felt Play Food Pumpkin Pie

 I have been re-designing the old, tired version of my felt play food pumpkin pie into this sleek new version. I love how they sit nicely next to each other and are all handstitched for a nice, flat look. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

New Felt Play Food Empanada Treats

I have some new felt play food goodies to unveil in my Etsy shop today, and am really excited about this one - as it is an original item never before seen on Etsy - Empanadas!

My husband has a special love for empanadas, as he lived in Chile for 2 years, and would seriously eat these daily. So, hopefully this felt food version will ease his cravings a bit - though please don't eat these ones, Austin. They are for the kids.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Gusseted Cloth Sandwich Snack Bag Tutorial

I can't stand spending money on items that are destined for the landfill. Diapers, wipes, sanitary pads, paper towels and especially expensive Ziplocs no longer have place in our home. Not only have we saved hundreds of dollars a year by not purchasing these "throw-away" items, they are also really fun to make yourself!

These bags feature a gusset at the bottom, so they open nice and wide, and don't squish sandwiches! Gussets allow the bags to hold more stuff (or wider items) and collapse flat when they’re not in use.

I designed these snack bags this past spring for a trip to Mexico, and we have a drawer full of them! I use them daily for granola, sandwiches and even our car toys.  My son is starting school tomorrow (1st grade - eek!) and he wanted his own cool bags for his lunches. He picked out this "awesome" flame fabric from the scrap bin at our local fabric store, and he can't wait to have lunches in them! Last year, his friends all told him that they wished their moms would make them some cool lunch bags too (blush!), so this is your opportunity, Moms!!

Sewing Machine
(2) 7"x 7" Cotton fabric of your choice
(2) 7"x 7" Ripstop Nylon fabric
1 each 1/2"x 5" Hook and Loop Velcro (I cut mine to 1/2", but you can leave yours whatever thickness you like)
Step 1. Cut out (2) pieces of 7"x 7" Cotton fabric, and (2) pieces of 7"x 7" Ripstop Nylon for the liner.

Step 2. Place right sides of the fabric together and stitch the two (right and left) sides together with a 1/4" seam allowance.

This will make a "tube" of fabric. Repeat with the ripstop liner fabric, so you have 2 separate "tube" pieces.

Step 3. Turn the liner fabric inside out, and slide it inside the cotton fabric "tube", so that right sides are together. Make sure to line up the seams on the sides. You can pin the fabrics together at this point if you like. (I rarely do, but that is just me)

Step 4. Choose which side will be the top of the bag, if your cloth has a top direction, and position this side in sewing machine. Sew through 2 layers of fabric - 1 cotton layer, 1 liner layer. Stitch *almost all the way around on one side. Leave a 3" hole un-stitched for later (Step 9). Make sure you don't accidentally stitch through all 4 layers.

Step 5. Pull the liner out, and lay flat, right sides of the fabric inside, aligning the side seams.

Step 6. Sew a straight line along the bottom (open) end of the liner fabric. Repeat with the other cotton fabric side.

Step 7.  Create a Gusset: On the bottom corner, pinch and slide the bottom corner of the fabric into a point, so that the seams align with each other on opposite sides. It helps to open up the bag a bit to give you some room to slide the fabric around. Pin, or iron this flat. (See the pic in Step 8 for clarification).
Step 8. Sew across this point in about 1" from the end. Note - you can make these as large or as small as you like, the larger (longer) you measure away from the point of the fabric, the wider the bag will be. Don't make it too wide (over 1 1/2") or the bag will be too small to fit a sandwich.

Repeat on the other side. Then do the exact same with the nylon side.

I like to trim the excess fabric triangle off, as it makes the bag less bulky. Be sure not to cut through the seam.

Step 9. Remember the hole we left open in Step 4? Turn the bag inside out through this hole.

If you forgot to leave a hole, gently use a seam-ripper and open up a hole.

Nice huh!
Step 10. Tuck the liner fabric down into the cotton fabric.

 Step 11. Topstitch around the opening of the bag to help it lay flat.

 Step 12. Line up the hook side of the velcro along the top, and stitch around. Repeat with the loop side. Finished!

To clean, just wipe clean with a damp cloth, or toss in a cool water washing machine and dry.

Congratulations!! Aren't you proud of yourself? By using fabric sandwich/snack bags, we can save thousands of plastic bags from becoming non-biodegradable trash filling up landfills and floating in our oceans!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Make your own Play Kitchen!

We have a lot of play food around here. A. lot. And, crime of crimes - no play kitchen. (gasp!) I have been wanting to make/buy a play kitchen for E and little A ever since she was born - especially now that her play food collection (my first designs are always hers) has grown to overflowing her little tote. She needs a kitchen. 

I absolutely detest the plastic crap that is sold in toy stores, and have long wanted a beautiful, handmade play kitchen made from natural wood. I have scoured and other beautiful models from other online sellers, but sadly cannot justify the $300-$500 pricetags on the ones that I would put in my home. 

My husband is really skilled with wood working, but sadly full-time school, work, church callings and family life in general haven't permitted him the time to make a play kitchen from scratch. SO, while reading some excellent blogs, I found some amazing DIY projects! This pink & white one is made from a simple Ikea shelf, instructions here on ikea hacker.

DIY play kitchen

Here is a great one made from an old nightstand from oh write! This is her version, and I am SO excited to use some of her amazing ideas to make our own play kitchen for the kids for Christmas this year! 

Last Christmas we decided to make Maren a little kitchen of her own. I had seen a few ideas here and there (I'm sure you have, too!), so I can't take complete credit for what we came up with.

We found this little footed nightstand on Craigslist for $15. Here's the best before picture I have. We had already sanded the top, but you can see how the piece looked in it's original form.

And, the completed kitchen:
We used wood craft circles and a square dowel for the burners. We painted wood nobs found in the craft store for the black nobs. The sink is a square cake pan and the faucet came from a salvage yard. Brett cut shelves to fit where the drawers had been, and cut and routered the back splash from a piece of shelving we had on hand. Hinges and handle for the oven came from Lowe's.

The inside of the oven is spray-painted shiny silver, and we have since added chains to both sides of the oven door to make it more sturdy. I made the little curtain rod with leftover fabric from M's nursery, and it's hanging on a small tension rod.

We estimate having spent close to $60 total, but definitely could have done the project for cheaper. Since this was a gift for our only child, we did splurge on a few things. (Namely the cost $20, but we loved the size and the 'realness' it brought to the project! We also splurged on the handle for the oven door, and again, just loved the size and look of the one we chose.)

I found some great pics of other DIY play kitchens, and am so excited to get going on E and A's!! 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Long Absence

Sorry for the delay in posting, I have had several fun posts about summer projects, trips and the like rattling around but have not been able to sit down & blog them. I have been sick for 10 days with a terrible sore throat & am finally headed to the doctor tomorrow. I am suspecting Tonsilitis or Strep Throat. I haven't touched my desk or sewing for days, and am feeling the itch to get back to work, and am definitely ready to be feeling back to normal again.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Waffling Around

I. Love. Waffles. 
 Though I don't top my waffles with the traditional butter & syrup (applesauce, berries or banana slices is more my cup of tea), I could eat waffles every day.

My Etsy shop has desperately been needing these little play food beauties to brighten things up a bit.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Felt Food Bakers Rejoice!

My childhood baking memories are bubbling up through my creativity, and manifesting themselves through felt. I have long needed a felt play food Baking Ingredients set to add to my shop. This set was inspired by my daughter, who loves to help me in the kitchen, and who insists on having her own "ingredients" to add to her felt food baking bowls.

This set was a real challenge as I waffled back and forth, trying to decide whether to allow the sacks to be opened or sewn shut. I wasn't sure how to create "flour" and "sugar" that would be functionable and something that wouldn't be scattered throughout the house, aggravating unsuspecting Mothers. In the end, my genius husband suggested 100% cotton balls - perfect!

The egg, which is my very favorite felt food item, is inspired by one of my favorite wool food artisans called Wool Food.  I make it my habit to never copy another designer's work, but as I struggled to design a sewn, "crack-able" egg that didn't have at least 4 tacky seams, I gave in, learned to "wet felt" and thankfully pushed on.

I hope this set inspires Grandmothers, Mothers and Daughters to spend time gathered around the counter (or play kitchen) sharing teaching moments together.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Kitchen Tools

Little chins resting on the counter, short legs tip-toeing on chairs, eyes curiously watching, and eager little hands helping is one of my favorite moments of the day as we sift, mix and measure random powders, flours and goopy syrups when making cookies.

I hope to share some of my favorite moments with my new set of kitchen utensils in my Etsy shop.

My favorite is the pancake turner, mostly because it is my daughter's favorite. She spent an afternoon flipping felt play food pancakes, eggs and pies at me as I worked. She also made great use of the measuring cup by filling it with spools of my thread and bobbins. Thread cookies anyone? Huge grins and giggles from each of us that day.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Super Hero Cape DIY Tutorial

I have a Son who has a shadow. A two year old shadow, always following at his heels, copying his movements, words and every silliness that can be had. Since his greatest ambition in life is to grow up to be Batman, he practically lives in his cape - zooming around the yard fighting bad guys, and all other injustice (the world needs more of these heroic men, doesn't it?). Along with all of this crime-fighting comes his little Sister - shadowing his every move like an apprentice in training.

So what a shame, I thought, that this little super heroine doesn't have a super cape of her own. A crime worthy of the baddest of bad guys! I have redeemed myself today, and hope to pass along this fun design to you, so that you may not face the wrath that I did. ;)

You will need:
- 2 Pieces 22"x 24" fabric (I used fabric remnants from the fabric store. 1 cotton print, 1 satin liner)
- 1 Piece Hook Velcro
- 1 Piece Loop Velcro (I prefer these over snaps, as they are safer and easier to break in event of
- Scissors
- Sewing Machine

**Note: this cape is to fit a 2 year old, so you can adjust the length to fit your Little Hero (or big one!).
1. Decide on the top & bottom of the fabrics, line them up with right (printed) sides together on the inside.

2. Cut the bottom corners to be rounded, and cut a semi-circle from the top for the neck. I also tapered the sides so they angle up from the bottom of the cape to the top.

3. Line up the fabrics and start sewing with a 1/4" seam allowance. Sew all the way around the edge of the fabric, stopping about 4-5" from your starting point. You will need this opening to flip the fabrics right side out.

4. Open the hole, reach inside and pull the fabric through, flipping the whole thing right side out.
5. Straighten the seams, making sure to push out the corners on the neck pieces, so they are nice and square, or rounded, if you prefer.

6. Place the fabric in your sewing machine, starting just above the open hole that the fabric was pulled through. Roll the rough edges inside and carefully stitch (slowly to maintain control) the seam closed.
Continue sewing a 1/4" seam all the way around the fabric.

7. Now that you have the nice seam around the whole cape, we will add the velcro tabs. Place the Loop (soft) velcro on top of the right neck piece on the outside fabric of the cape. Sew securely.

8. Next, sew the Hook side on the left neck piece on the inside fabric.

9. They should lay on top of each other like this when finished.

10. Last, carefully apply whole cape to the neck of your favorite Super Hero and watch them fly!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Blog's New Face

This morning's (or should I say, day's) project has been to completely overhaul my blog. I have never been satisfied with the layout or background of my blog - hence the many changes you poor blog readers have had to endure with the frequent changes. I hope to have finally got the layout right.

I have switched to a 3-column layout, with several new links, a NEW E-mail subscription, Facebook and Twitter follow buttons and other fun things to find. I will be adding more tutorials, information on felt food and lots of other goodies as soon as I can.  Keep your eyes peeled for more!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Ants on a Log

Celebrate Summer!! I picked my son up from his last day of Kindergarten today, so we came home and celebrated with his favorite snack - Ants on a Log! We make ours a little non-traditionally, dairy & peanut free. I used Almond Butter, Non-Dairy Cream Cheese (thank heavens for you, Tofutti!), organic raisins, and flax seeds for some additional little nutritional "buggies" on top. They were a hit!
In tribute to his graduation, I thought it would be fun to make a felt version of his treat! Quite a fun little project for the morning. Happy Summer!