Firetruck Themed Birthdayparty

As I promised last week I’m  back with more details on our son’s firetruck themed birthday party. His birthday celebration went on almost one week long because it was celebrated once in the kindergarten, once in our Hungarian play group and finally once at home where he invited his kindergarten friends. Let me tell you that this was the very first time our child had his own party because previously we either celebrated with relatives or we just took him to the zoo.
I heard from a friend that she lets her kid invite as many friends as how old her kid turns to. For example my son turned five, so we let him invite five friends, although he ended up only with four. If he wants to invite less friends, then it is even better for us, parents! But in general I find this rule  great!
I found a couple of nice looking invitations online and I let our son choose the one he liked. This is what we ended up with:

wp_20160828_22_27_44_proI made them myself, it took me a couple of evenings, even though I needed only four pieces. But this is something one can do while watching tv, so I didn’t mind.

tuzoltos-001I also made four party favors bag: sewed the bags from a simple beige cotton fabric and added a firetruck and the kids’ name with a fabric marker. I thought with the names on it they would be special for the kids.

dsc_3899I also painted a card board for a photo booth and most of the kids loved it (not everybody but it was fine by me). I used acrylic paint and an old box for this project. It took me about 3-4 hours to complete it but it was worth it. Even a few parent wanted to have a picture just for fun!

dsc_4082When the kids were arriving to the party, I sat them down to color firetruck related coloring pages. They had so much fun doing this, that they actually colored for a half an hour! Then we made our own exhibition of their pictures!

tuzoltosI cut out a few flames and taped them by the doors for decoration.

dsc_3931I even prepared a couple of games for the boys, so the party wouldn’t get too crazy and they ‘d have things to do. One of the games was target shooting with water guns in the bathroom. Once again, the flames were cut out of paper, three of them were glued together then hot glued onto a cup. I put a baby bathtub upside down in the big bathtub and built the “fire tower” on top of that. Then I closed the bathroom with “safety zone bands” (or whatever they are called), put a bowl of water and a couple of water guns by the door and the game was set up.

dsc_4049They absolutely loved this game! Each of the kids could shoot the flames once (then we rebuilt the flame-tower) and at the end all of them at once! Unfortunately our bathroom is very small, so I wasn’t able to take good picture of the kids while playing. But believe me, this game was a huge success!

dsc_4087The other big hit was the fire hose/helmet cake. Once again I let our son choose his favorite cake design from a couple of options and then a talented friend of ours made the cake for us. I think she did a great job, don’t you agree?
Although the preparation for this party took a lot of effort and time, I really enjoyed the process and I would definitely do it again. Probably I will have to do that anyway since the kids are still little and they have many birthdays to come.

Firetruck Birthday T-Shirt

My son turned five this week and as you already know by now he is crazy about fireman and firetrucks and all that. On Sunday a local church organized a big party outdoors and they even got a firetruck for the kids (and everybody else) to check out, so we absolutely had to visit them. My son enjoyed this visit so much! He had questions and he learned a lot. Actually we did, too! The firemen were really nice and at the end of the day they even let a couple of kids try out one of the hose’ of the firetruck. And of course my son was one of the kids who had the chance! It was really cool!
This is how we started the one week long birthday celebration.

Some of you might remember that in the past years I made a few birthday T-Shirt for kids. If not, here are a couple of pictures as reminders for you:
IMGP8584

IMGP8475

IMGP7893

Well, this year I wanted to carry on this tradition and I had to make one with a firetruck. But this time instead of using applique I wanted to try out fabric paint. I printed out a firetruck and cut it out as a stencil. I used little pieces of tape, rolled each piece up and used it to fix my stencil onto the fabric.

DSC_3977Then I pulled out my fabric paint and realized that I only had pink paint instead of red. Well, I thought that this firetruck can not be pink, no way! What else can I do then? Then I remembered that a couple of weeks ago I bought textil/fabric markers, so I used those instead. Not ideal, I know, but it was a good alternative.

DSC_3980At least it was easy to use and there was no mess to clean up afterwards.

Polok-001After I finished it up, I had to iron it and then the project was done. To be honest I haven’t washed the T-Shirt yet but after ironing the ink shouldn’t fade, so I’m crossing my fingers.
My son really like the T-Shirt and he will be using it a lot, I think!
dsc_3909I liked that this project was very easy, even kids could do it and decorate their T-shirts or tote bags or whatever they’d like. No mess and it could be done in 15 minutes.
More firetruck related posts are coming next week! Stay tuned!

Cell Phone Case With Tutorial

dsc_3923

You guys probably remember that a couple of weeks ago we celebrated my birthday. As it happens I asked my Husband for a new cell phone as a present because I needed one and I just hate useless presents… Anyway I got one smart phone and I am still getting used to it. Unfortunately I am not very talented when it comes to gadgets but my Husband is and he usually helps me very patiently. So, thanks to him for that!
Funny thing though, when he gave me the box and I opened it, he said: “now you have to sew a nice case for it because I didn’t dare to buy one for you!” And those were my exact thoughts, too!😀
Last weekend I searched for some inspiration and I found this iPhone case. It has everything what I desire: a button with a loop and a small pocket. But I didn’t like very much the fabric and I wanted to use some of my blue prints and perhaps to funk it up a little with a bright polka dot green fabric. It sounded crazy at first but then I found the matching fabrics in my stash and started right away!
So here are the steps:

Step nr 1: I prepared the pocket and the loops: one for the button and one for the buckle:

DSC_3897Step nr 2: I cut out the body of the phone case twice. (Since every phone varies in size, you’ll have to figure out the right size for your phone if you want to make a case like this.) Added interfacing on one. Cut the batting as well.
DSC_3900

Step nr 3: I folded up the bottom of the pocket and sewed onto one of the green fabrics right in the middle.

DSC_3901Step nr 4: I folded the pocket into the right position and pinned it down. I also pinned the loop for the button on and the loop with the buckle on.

Phone Case-001Step nr 5: Then I layered the other green fabric onto the whole thing (right sides facing each other!) and pinned all layers together. Pay attention when you do this, this is a little tricky!

DSC_3910Step nr 6: Sew around the edges with small seam allowance and leave a 3-4cm wide hole in your seam. This is where you’ll turn the whole thing inside out.

Phone Case-002I added an extra seam at the loops to secure them even more. Then I cut off the corners.

Step nr 7: Turn it over and with some spray fabric adhesive add the layer of batting. DSC_3916Step nr 8: Turn it inside out and very carefully poke the corners. Now press it and hand-stitch the hole.

DSC_3918It looks quiet good at this point and it’s almost done!
Step nr 9: Fold it in half and sew together the sides as close to the edge as possible. If you want you can even hand-stitch at this point. Maybe add some decorative stitching if you prefer.

Step nr 10: Add the button. I had some trouble of choosing the right button: these were my three options:

Phone Case

After much consideration I choose the beige button although I was leaning towards the green button but then I didn’t like the fact that the color of the button and the fabric didn’t match perfectly. The withe one was just too big, so I landed on the beige button.

dsc_3922

I am pretty happy with my new cell phone and its case. I like how it turned out and I love the way I was able to use the traditional Hungarian blue print fabric again and it is not at all boring old “souveniery”. phone-case-003

I find the blue print quiet funky paired with the green polka dots. And it is also practical: there is room for the ear plugs in the pocket. What do you think?

dsc_3932

Pull String Backpack

My (almost) five years old son is totally crazy about firefighters. A couple of weeks ago one of his kindergarten friends invited him over for a play date but when I talked with his father, he proposed something very special for the kids: if it was ok with me, he would take the kids to a fire station on the play date. My answer was: “Can I come, too?” Of course he could take the kids and my son was really excited when he heard and was counting the days! (As it turns out the other dad used to be a paramedic at that fire station, that’s how he was able to arrange this for the kids.)
The kids went and my son is talking about it ever since. So you get the picture how crazy he is about firetrucks and all that.

Hatizsak-006

One week ago when we went to that fabric market, I also got him a great fabric with firetrucks print. And so far I made a pull string backpack for my son which was a very quick project: it only took my an hour to finish it, since I had everything at hand.

DSC_3880
The bag fits him perfectly and he loves it. He already tested it yesterday and no complaints.

DSC_3886

But I have a big piece (about 80cm) left from that fabric and don’t know yet what to do with it. If any of you have a suggestion, please let my know in a comment!

DSC_3885

What do think of this pull string backpack? I think it is perfect for the little one’s gym class or for swimming etc.

Jersey: an other milestone

During my sewing adventures I have tried out a couple of things but I stayed afraid of working with jersey. Until now because last weekend there was a huge fabric market in town and I was able to buy some lovely fabric including jersey with a boyish pattern.Check out what I got:DSC_3961The blue and green prints with ancores are yet a mystery because I don’t know what am I going to do with them but I just loved their color and I will let inspiration come to me whenever. The fabric with the firetruck will of course be a bag for my older son who is absolutely in love with firetrucks and firefighters. The floral prints are for me but again, I will have to wait for the inspiration. The stash on the right will eventually be a messenger bag for my Husband and the jersey in the middle was meant to be T-shirts for the boys.

DSC_3964

DSC_3968

So I had to just suck it up, do the research and try it and after all, it did go better then I expected it would. I had some difficulties choosing the right stitch though but I figured it out.

DSC_3962Here are a couple of closer pictures of the sleeve and the neck line.

I know these T-shirts aren’t genial or something new on the horizon of dressmaking but it was a big step for me and I might just try an other jersey project because this one went so well!

 

Birthday Game

Hi Everyone!
Sorry for the quiet weeks on the blog, we took a long vacation back in Hungary which was really great although I had very little time to truly relax. Which is ok because after we got back home, our little boy has started the kindergarten and after a couple of weeks now he stays about five hours there every day and I can catch my breath now.

But before we went on vacation, my About page got renewed including a new picture of me. Did you notice?

I would also like to invite all of you to visit my Facebook page where I like to share picture of my creating process, sometimes an article or a video, or if you’d like we could just chat.
I am very grateful to all of my readers: those who have been following me for years and those who just started! You guys keep me motivated, especially your comments and likes! Yesterday evening I came up with an idea and since today is my birthday, I would like to thank you all with a little game! Yes, on my birthday you’ll receive a present! A few weeks back I went through my stash and sorted out a few fabrics that I will probably never use and I came across this really beautiful blue-white print which I purchased in IKEA a long time ago. It was a big piece but in a funny shape, so I cut it up into squares:

DSC_3024

To be exact, 17 big squares (20x20cm) and 29 small ones (5x5cm). It would probably make a lovely baby quilt. (Just an idea…)DSC_3022

If you would like to win these, all you have to do is to be a follower of this blog and comment below that you want to participate in the game and you’re in! If you want to, you can share this post but it is totally up to you. I just want to thank those who have been with me along this sewing adventure!
You can sign up during the weekend and I will do the drawing and announce the winner next Monday. Have a great weekend!

Hiking Backpack

Do you remember when a couple of weeks ago I showed you my son’s new backpack which I made from an old pair of jeans and a skirt? If not, here is a picture as a reminder:

DSC_2691

When my brother-in-law saw this backpack he liked it so much that he asked me if I could make him a similar one. My eyes went wild open because I’ve never even considered making backpacks for adults. They are so complicated and I only have a very basic sewing machine… but he had his 40th birthday coming up and since I had no idea what to give him as a present, I said yes. I thought I would figure it out somehow and I actually did.

It took me almost two months to gather everything for this project and to make it. My seam ripper was used a lot because of my mistakes and because my brother-in-law had so specific request that I had to be very precise.

HatizsakFor me the most difficult part was that first I had to make all the details like straps, pockets etc. and only then could I start assembling the whole backpack. I prefer it when I am able to see progress from right the beginning but this project taught me to be more patient. And at the end it was all worth it!

DSC_3278

Let me tell you a bit more of the requests made by my brother-in-law and the details of this bag. On the sides there are huge pockets for large water bottles and the camera lenses.

DSC_3279

On the front there is an other pocket for the hiking maps they use and elastic on the sides for the hiking stick or tripod they sometimes use for the camera. I also had to make the strap with the rings in it for the buckle.

Hatizsak-001

I was asked to make not just the shoulder straps but also side straps. For that I got the measurements from an existing backpack.

Hatizsak-003

I added the 8mm rings on top and a string to close the backpack. There is a pocket for a tablet in the inside of the backpack with the initial of my brother-in-law’s name. It was a surprise for him and he loves it!🙂

Hatizsak-002

The backpack was made from 100% cotton fabrics, only the shoulder and side straps contain artificial materials.
I asked my brother-in-law to send me a couple of pictures of them using the backpack and here they are:

IMG_4030He says that he uses it not just for hiking but also every day to go to work and he loves it. I am very glad for that! And not just for that but according to him many people asked him where did he get the backpack because they also want to have one! I thought if more people would be interested I might make a pattern for the backpack. Would any of you be interested? If yes, please, leave me a comment below and I consider it!😉

Hatizsak-005As I said, I only have a basic sewing machine and I was very surprised that with the right needle I was able to complete this project without any help even though there were two spots on top where I had to sew together six layers of fabric!

IMG_4034This backpack was a real challenge for me, I learned a lot from it and I am very proud of myself for completing it! Quiet a milestone in my sewing adventures!

 

 

Bread Bag

It seems like lately I’ve been making only bags because this time I would like to share the story of our “new” bread bag.
When we moved to the US for a couple of years we were not really satisfied with the quality of bread which we could buy in an avarage store so we searched for a local bakery in Detroit, called Avalon. The good new is that they are still in business and they make amazing breads! Only back then we were tight on budget and couldn’t afford to buy their bread on a daily basis. So my Husband started to bake bread at home. He found a great recipe which we used for months but unfortunately that delicious bread didn’t stay fresh very long.

DSC_3558
Then we moved to Germany which is the land of bakeries: you would probably find a bakery at every corner and the variety of bread is just amazing! But Germans do prefer whole wheat bread and it is sometimes difficult to find that (unhealthy) white bread what we got used to as kids. So after a couple of years searching for our favorite bread in the ocean of German bakeries we are now back to baking our own bread but this time my Husband requested a bread baking machine. It is awesome and we both love it!

DSC_3506After we found the way to bake that perfect bread with our new gadget, I thought it was time to make a proper bread bag but then I remembered that we already have one somewhere in the closet! And not just any kind of bread bag: it was made and used by my late Grandmother who passed away fifteen years ago. Which also means that this nice white bag was a bit outdated and in need of an upgrade but there was no way I would just replace it!

Kenyereszsak
I came up with a very simple design for which I choose a lovely Hungarian (hand dyed) blue print fabric (again) and a couple ribbons. A few hours later our old/new bread bag was ready to be used. I also added a new cotton string with the same blue print fabric at the end of it.

DSC_3564

I like very much how this small project turned out and now we can not just use it for our delicious bread but I do have one more thing to remember my Grandmother by.

DIY Sweater to Skirt Refashion

When I was pregnant with our second son I bought myself a very lovely and comfortable knit skirt. It was my very first knit skirt and I absolutely love it! And I am still able to wear it after the pregnancy which is a great advantage! Look, here I am wearing it with my belly:

DSC_0154

I feel like this was ages ago…
Anyway, what I want to say is that I like to wear knit skirts nowadays very much: they are comfortable and look always good!
The other thing about me is that I try to sort out my wardrobe on a regular basis, especially when I go shopping for new clothes, I try to get rid of about as much old clothes as much new ones come in. As I was doing that a couple of weeks ago, I came across a sweater which I bought about eight years ago when I lived in the US and it has a sentimental value to me because of that. Plus I love its colors and the stripes but unfortunately it was a bit too big for me even when I bought it.

DSC_2678

So I wanted to keep the sweater but there was really no rational reason for that. I thought I would give it to my sister (she would’ve loved it for sure!) but then I found a great idea somewhere on Pinterest. I could convert the sweater to a skirt! Why haven’t I think of that?

DSC_3485

So I did. It wasn’t a complicated project, I just cut off the sleeves and the top, added an elastic band to the waist and the skirt was done.

Outfits

I also made a neck warmer out of one sleeve by adding a button to it. And voila! I have a great outfit now which I already wore twice and I love it! What do you think? Do you have clothes that you don’t want to throw away for some reason but you are unable to actually wear it? Or have you made a similar makeover? I would love to hear your stories in the comments below!

DSC_3501

Plus, did you notice the good quality of the pictures this time? They were made by my (almost!) five year old son! I am so proud of him, he definitely got some talent!

DSC_3505

Kitchen Backsplash Makeover

When we moved into our new apartment about ten months ago I was shocked when the landlord said that the backslapsh in the kitchen is in acceptable condition and it doesn’t need to be replaced. In fact I was so much shocked that no word came out of my mouth and when a couple of minutes later I tried to argue with the guy, I already lost the battle.

DSC_3155
So we moved in but I decided on our first day that these tiles need some kind of a repair. First I tried to cover them with white adhesive but it wasn’t sturdy enough. After much consideration and a lot of research on the internet I decided that I will try painting the backsplash. It was unfortunately not a cheap solution but we were not allowed to replace the old tiles. Even if we were, the new kitchen cabinets were installed right away as we moved in and it wasn’t possible anymore.

DSC_3186
I had a couple of trips to local stores and finally decided to buy the primer, the paint, the brushes etc. But I was still so scared that I will screw up the whole project that all the supplies stayed in the wardrobe for a couple of months, until I had the courage one day and I finally started to clean the backsplash and the next day I continued and tried to fill up the little screw holes. I think the repairing of the holes could’ve been done better but again, this was a DIY job, I’m not a pro. At all.

DSC_3158

The third day the primer was up and there was no going back. I always painted late in the evening, when the kids were already in bed, so excuse the quality of the pictures.

DSC_3185
The forth day I painted the first layer, and the fifth day the second coat went on.

Csempefestes 2016
I think the whole kitchen looks a LOT better then before but if I am being honest the result is far from perfection. When the painting was done, we finally were able to install a lamp above the sink and the light of it is so strong that it reveals all the mistakes on the surface. Of course, one can only see those if actually standing and cooking there (who is most of the time me) which is fine by me. I call it “rustic white”.

Csempefestes 2016-001
So this is my backsplash makeover and after all I am satisfied with the end-result. I can most definitely live with this  kitchen for a couple more years. But if you ask me if I would do it again, my answer would be: “Um, not so sure…” I think it is a great temporary fix but in a more permanent home I would rather have perfect tiles on the wall.

DSC_3275

DUDERÖ Lamp Makeover

It was about six years ago when we first moved to Germany and we had to furnish our first apartment because here you only get the empty walls when you are renting. There are no light fixtures and in most cases you even have to bring your own kitchen cabinets and in some cases you have to install your own floors. The reason for this is that in most areas there are fewer apartments then potential tenants and it means the landlords dictate and create the conditions and if you disagree, they will easily find someone else instead of you.
My point is that at the beginning of our journey in Germany we had little money and we didn’t plan to stay here as long as we actually did, so we purchased a lot of cheap furnishing, including our DUDERÖ floor lamp from IKEA. I think the price was about ten euros and we kind of liked the design of it but unfortunately the lampshade was made out of paper and as kid Nr1. started to crawl it was game over for the lamp. However I did manage to save the top of the lampshade: I cut it shorter, added a blue lace to the bottom and used the lamp beside my old sewing desk. After some time this lampshade started to give up as well and I had to think about its future.

Duderö Fonott lampa

We liked the first lamp but there was no way I could re-create the original design and I didn’t want to either spend money on it or just throw it away. I don’t remember how exactly but I came up with the idea of weaving a basket-kind-of-lampshade from the branches of a willow tree.
When I was about eight years old I took a couple of weaving lessons but other then that I had no clue how to start this project. I looked up tutorial videos and the most important thing that I learned is that those branches must be wet otherwise they will brake during weaving. Ok, I could not order the basket willows that pros use, so I went with my kids and cut a handful branches from a willow tree near the kindergarten, went home and used them till they were still fresh. This was my first batch:

DSC_0138I used the two metal rings which came originally with the lampshade and then I just tried a few things and let the project lead me. I really had no clue what I was doing but it didn’t stop me. Even my Husband gave me doubtful looks which made me even more determined: “I must make something nice out of this!”

DSC_0139I started on top and then slowly moved down with the weaving.

DSC_0160

Yeah, at this point I also thought that this project was a complete disaster and if so, why should I give up? Why not try and make it a little further.

DSC_0161With some tape I attached the other ring to the stand: this is where the future lampshade should have its bottom.

DSC_0162

I weaved the side-willows to the bottom-ring and suddenly I started to have hope again! Look how cool it actually looked at this point:

DSC_0167And I already ran out of willow, so I had to take an other round at the tree. And an other, and an other…. But eventually the new lampshade was done and I am very proud of it!

DSC_0662Doesn’t it look awesome? Of course, you can tell it is made by an amateur but who cares? I love it. Even my Husband finds it great especially because it kind of looks like a bee hive and he is in love with bees.
The lamp did move with us and found its new place beside our hammock and blanket basket in the living room.

DSC_3459

Travel Bags For Your Underwear

A couple months ago we had a four-day-long trip in a national park South of Aachen. Because it was such a short trip, we only took a very large suitcase with us and I packed into that for the four of us. Besides that we took a couple of backpacks but the point is that all of our clothes were in that one suitcase. Yes, it was big enough  but the smaller items like panties and socks got lost all the time and I had to go through the whole suitcase to find a sock every single morning. It was a bit annoying and it made me thinking: how could I minimize the mess? This was when I came up with the idea of personalized bag for the underwear. Each of us should have one bag, maybe even with some kind of name tag on it and it would be a lot easier to find what we are looking for.
In a month or so we will be traveling again and I wanted to take action before that and yesterday the bags were finished! Let me show you what I came up with!

DSC_3395

With two boys and a Husband in the family you can probably guess which bag is mine. The largest! And not just because my name is on it but also because I’ve got bras and a few more delicate pieces to store in that travel bag.

DSC_3398

The name tags were made by cross stitching which is one of my favorite techniques. I learned cross stitching in elementary school and I love it ever since.

DSC_3400

I also added a soft cotton inner linen and a draw string to close the bags.

DSC_3397

We are now a little more prepared for our next trip and each time we travel we get better. It is stressful enough to travel with kids, let it be a long road trip or a flight, it doesn’t matter. Your nerves will be put to a test anyway and these little tricks might help you to survive.

Summer Outfit For The Boys

Just like last summer, we have the same problem with the boys’ wardrobe all over again: they’ve got jeans and shorts but somehow the weather is always somewhere in between… It was time for me to take action and sew at least one pair of light summer pants for them. Here are a couple of pictures of them:

DSC_3341These were the two similar fabrics that I bought for the boys months ago. I paired them up with a great brown fabric and used their existing pants as template.

DSC_3347

For the little one I did not add pockets but he got a cute bucket hat instead.

DSC_3369

On the other hand my older son got pockets but no new hat this year since the one from last year still fits his head.

DSC_3365

Aren’t they just cute?

DSC_3353

And here is one more picture. Summer, we are really ready now!

DSC_3366

My Happy Place

I thought I would show you my craft corner where all the magic happens. Are you curious?
When we last year moved to a slightly bigger apartment I was very happy because finally I was able to store all my sewing and craft supply in one place. Previously I had a huge bag in the bedroom, a couple of boxes in the kids’ room etc. But now I have a whole corner in the living room! I know it is still not a studio, not even a separate “office” or “craft room” but I am very pleased and it is truly my happy place! Come and have a look!

DSC_3138

This is all: a sewing table, a shelf and an other shelf which used to be the kitchen island in our previous kitchen. Now it functions as my fabric storage. I hand sewed the curtains when my sewing machine was broken. I think they are absolutely necessary because this craft corner is in the living room, so it has to stay organized and the curtains help me hide the mess I make…

DSC_3140I also have small boxes and drawers for buttons, zippers, velcro, needles etc. I love them, they are always at hand and I  can reach them from the sewing table.

DSC_3141I have a small garbage can on the right end of the table, little more hanging storage (originally planters but I found them more useful if I keep ribbons and other small sewing supplies in them). The info-board has two purposes: one is to hold all the important phone numbers visible at all times (like doctors, babysitter etc.), the other is to keep my ideas, lists, calendar.

I also have a ironing board stored behind our book case that I can set up any time I need it, there is enough space for it next to the couch.

DSC_3142A cutting board, the iron and a tray have their place on the “island”. I always store the fabrics and other little pieces, notes of the running project on the tray. But when the project is huge, it takes over the whole shelf and sometimes even the couch next to it…

DSC_3146I find the wall lamp absolutely necessary above the sewing desk because the windows are behind me when I am sewing but I love the fact that this lamp looks actually awesome. Great design!

 

DSC_3145

The little painting is a reproduction of a grandiose work of art in the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA): The Nut Gatherers (1882) by William Adolphe Bouguereau. I used to go to that museum every week when we lived in Detroit and this was my all time favorite painting there. I can’t say why but I just love it. Maybe because it is so peaceful. Anyway, it makes my happy place just complete and perfect.

DSC_3147
Please, show me how your creative space looks like!

Wool skirt

The time has come and my little one will start the kindergarten in August which also means that I have to start searching for a job. In the spirit of the new beginning I decided to update my wardrobe a little bit because in the last five years I only wore jeans and casual outfits (except for some special occasions of course). I really needed at least a couple of nicer outfits for interviews and such, so I went shopping but I returned a little disappointed. I found a few pieces that I absolutely love but I wished there was something more for my taste and budget. Isn’t this always the case: the budget and taste never fits? Anyway, I decided to start making those desired clothes, at least try because as you know I have never taken sewing lessons of any kind and I have very little idea about tailoring and sewing clothes that actually fit!
Then I found this wonderful and elegant skirt on the Vogue’s website:

Martin_Grant_06_1366You can find the original picture here.
This was my inspiration for my skirt. I choose a slightly darker gray, wool fabric, looked up a few sewing instructions for similar skirts. I even added pockets and a belt. And this was the first time I used a zipper foot on my sewing machine. It came with the sewing machine when I bought it about six years ago but I had no clue what it was for. Can you believe it? The zipper turned out much better then I expected but there is still room for some improvement. The model (me) and the quality of the picture is unfortunately not as good as it is in Vogue but the skirt is pretty close, isn’t it?

DSC_3126

When I started this project it was still April and I thought I must be crazy to sew a wool skirt when summer is around the corner but when the skirt was actually finished, the temperature dropped to 5 Celsius degree and I didn’t feel so bad after all. And summer is never that great in Aachen and fall will eventually come, so no more worries about that!

DSC_3127Here is a closer picture of the bow. I absolutely love it, so cute!

DSC_3125I might sew a red belt, as well because I often wear red T-shirts, shoes and tops and they would go very well with this dark grey skirt, don’t you think?

DSC_3124This is my favorite picture: details of the pocket.
Well, I am pretty satisfied with the end-result of my first serious outfit. I know it is not a complicated pattern but I had to start somewhere, right?

DSC_3122Here is one more picture with a blue belt and top. Not so elegant but still lovely in my opinion. I will definitely try the red variation!

And I have to thank to my Husband for the pictures! What are you thought on this skirt? What was your first serious outfit project?

UPDATE: I did try out the skirt with red accessories and a red jacket and I loved it! I got carried away a little and tried a yellow version, as well. Which one is your favorite? Let me know in a comment!😉

DSC_3151DSC_3149

 

Travel Binder for the Kids

My very old post about traveling with toddlers seems to be a big hit and it made me realize that it might be a good idea to share an other travel tip with you. Our son is about four and a half years old now and we were recently having a longer road trip with him again. Before the trip I started to collect ideas for his age: what should I prepare for him this time? I needed something age appropriate for him (and we were able to use the old tricks with his little brother from my previous post). After much consideration I made my son a TRAVEL BINDER!
This travel binder was full with stuff that he enjoys now but I think something very similar would work for older kids, as well.

DSC_2727Firs of all, I let him choose the binder itself and he instantly got excited about the hole thing and was looking forward the trip.

DSC_2728

As you can see on the picture above, I added a plastic pouch to keep the pencils etc. together with the binder. I just cut two holes with scissors and it was good to go. It worked out very well throughout the road trip.

DSC_2729

Beside the pencils I bought two non-permanent markers for this binder because I thought he could use those on the plastic and solve the mazes and other worksheets with them without taking each sheet out. He even tried it but his hand ended up all dirty from the ink, so he rather took out the pages from the plastic and worked on the paper itself.

The very first page in the binder was a map of our route. I even marked the three places where we would stop and stay overnight. My idea was that he won’t be asking all the time how far we are but he still managed it although to be honest he asked this question a lot less, so my plan worked. And he also enjoyed drawing on the map: he added a couple of large islands to Europe and some ships in the sea.

DSC_2733

Next I printed out some coloring pages. Most of them were knight and castle related, or Easter related, since we were traveling to see our relatives for Easter.

DSC_2730Then I printed out a couple of mazes which he enjoys lately a lot.

DSC_2731His other favorite worksheets are the ones where he has to find the (5-10) differences on the pictures. Great stuff for a 4/5 years old kid! You can find those online, as well and just print them out.

DSC_2732I also added a few pages with pictures of family members to doodle on them. Although I showed him how doodles work prior to our trip, he didn’t bother to try it on the trip. Maybe in a couple of years it will be more fun for him.

DSC_2736What he loved most were simply stickers. This one never gets old, I guess.

 

DSC_2738

I stored the stickers in a buttoned folder at the end of the binder. I added this folder by punching two holes into it with the normal paper puncher.

DSC_2734I also added two worksheets: one where he had to check the vehicles if he saw one on the road (tracks, helicopter, fire truck, bus, etc); the other one was a color match game, but the same method.

DSC_2737We also had some fun with scratch off pages that I found in our local dollar store.

The last thing in the binder was an other folder to keep the plain white papers in and it also doubled as a tiny desk for drawing.

DSC_2740Look, he drew himself on the top of the walnut tree! He was climbing that tree during our stay at the Grandparents’ every single day!

DSC_2741We spent about 4-6 hours in the car twice, and after the vacation two whole days in a row on the way back. I think our son enjoyed the travel binder very much, maybe a bit less then I hoped but I am convinced that it was a good idea and we definitely enjoyed some quiet time in the front seats. We are traveling this week again and although it will be just a short, two hours road trip, we’ll bring the binder again and try to finish it all!
I hope you like this idea and find it inspirational. Please, let me know how do you occupy your kids on a road trip! I would love to hear more tips!

 

Pot or Casserole Carrier

This sewing project was made for my Grandma’s 80th birthday a couple of weeks ago and as I promised, here I am with the details and pictures of it. My uncle lives with my Grandma and he gave me the diameters of the plastic box which my Grandma uses to carry cakes and other sweets to parties. This box has no handles on it and this is why I thought a carrier for it should be a good present to her birthday. And with my uncle’s help it could even be a surprise for my Grandma.

But this also meant that I did not have the box while making the carrier, so I used a similar sized cardboard box in the process as my template. The inspiration was this beautiful green casserole carrier with wooden spoon handles but of course I had to make my own pattern after the measurements I received.

DSC_2116First I sprayed together the layers for quilting. I was only able to sew strait lines because my sewing machine can’t have free motion quilting foot (it’s a basic household model). Very unfortunate… Anyway, I managed to quilt it like this:

DSC_2128I left out the middle panel because after sewing together the two pieces I wanted to quilt them together. They became later the bottom of the cake box carrier. But before that I added a blue bias tape to the edges. Did you notice that the fabric patterns are the same but in two different color?

DSC_2133Then I realized that the hole thing was brighter then my wooden spoons, so I had to get the seam ripper and make some adjustments.

DSC_2136Finally it looked ok and the size was right.

DSC_2138I had to hand-stitch the loops because my poor sewing machine couldn’t handle so many layers but they look fine even from the inside:DSC_2245I finished the loops for the wooden spoons, then quilted the two pieces together as I mentioned before.

DSC_2238This is how it turned out from both sides:

DSC_2243Take a look at it from the right side:

DSC_2249

The finishing step was to add the velcro and voila!

DSC_2242

Please, note that the box on the pictures is slightly bigger that the actual plastic box and the carrier in reality fits just perfectly! (Sorry, no pictures though…)

DSC_2240What are your thoughts on this cake/pot carrier?

DSC_2239I liked this project because it wasn’t too difficult, it looks lovely with its cheerful colors and not at last, it is practical. I hate things with no purpose but this one will hopefully help my Grandma for many more years to carry her delicious cakes!

My First (Toddler) Backpack

A couple of weeks ago I was sewing something and my toddler son came to sit beside me. He found a piece of ribbon on my sewing desk: it was the Hungarian tricolor. Red, white and green. It’s like the Italian flag but the other way around. We started to chat about it and somehow we came up with the idea to make a new backpack for him and put the ribbon onto it.
A few days later I started the project and I told my son that I will use two fabric: dad’s old, worn out green jeans and my old scouting skirt. I wanted to to turn the skirt into something meaningful because I wore it for so long and it meant a lot to me but unfortunately it didn’t fit me anymore. And making a backpack for my son seemed like the right idea.

I searched on Pinterest for a tutorial because I had never made a backpack before and I found this great description. I made some adjustments to it but basically I followed her instructions. Check out how the backpack turned out:

DSC_2691I love the pockets on both sides because we always carry little bottles with us. Very practical!

DSC_2692The top is closed by a rubber band.

DSC_2696I also added some velcro and a sliding “tube” to the rubber band.

DSC_2698It turned out so well, that when my brother-in-law saw it he ordered a bigger one for himself and since his 40th birthday was coming up and I had no idea what to get him as a present, I said yes. Now I am currently working on his backpack although he had some very special requests and I am scared how it will turn out but I try to stay positive and do my best! I promise to keep you updated!

Birthday Present for Great-Grandma

Before we visited our relatives in March again, I was thinking about getting lovely personalpresents for both great grandmother in our families since they were celebrating their birthdays in a few weeks apart. My Grandma was turning 80 and I made a cake box holder for her which I will present to you very soon in an other post but first check out what we made for my Husband’s Grandmother! She turned 86 and she is still a fit and amazing woman!

DSC_2424This is a small tray made out of bamboo and we added my son’s family drawing by burning it onto the try. My son is 4,5 years old now and he made this beautiful picture short after the carnival, this is why dad (left) is dressed as an Indian, next to him you can check out me as a princess with a crown, then he drew himself and finally the little brother in the brand new stroller. As a mother I absolutely adore this picture because this was the first time he drew all four of us! I love it!

I traced the drawing from paper onto the wood with the help of a carbon paper:

DSC_2312Then I started to burn the bamboo tray along the lines:

DSC_2319

Grandma loved this present and I wish her many more years to come!

DSC_2423
The great thing about this technique is that you can transport any kind of picture or text onto wood and the possibilities to make a personal present are this way really endless! And buying a wood burner does not cost more then a couple of bucks and it is worth it!

 

Easter Game!

My dear Readers!
I would like to invite you to a spring game! I made a small striped tablecloth and four mugrugs in very bright colors and the good new is that you can win this set by visiting my facebook page and sharing any of my posts. Just chose one that is closest to your heart, share it and you enter the game.

Here is the direct link to the FB Page.

My goal is to reach 100 page likes and as soon as I do that, I will do the drawing and one lucky person can win this set:

DSC_2321The tablecloth is ca 50x90cm and the mugrugs are about 19cm.

DSC_2323This is how they look from front:

DSC_2325And here is the back side:

DSC_2326I hope you like it!
We are going on a longer trip again, so see you back in April! Until then I wish you all a very happy Easter!🙂

DSC_2327

Where to find Hungarian Blue Print

A few weeks ago one of my dear readers asked me if it is possible to buy Hungarian blue print fabric online. I’m sorry that it take me so long to answer this question but I am also glad that I waited so long, because I found a newly added video on the web-shop’s page as I was searching today!
There is an online store in the UK where it is possible to buy the blue prints and the good new is that they ship world wide! Here it is:
http://www.kekfestocotton.co.uk/index.php

And check out the video that I found on their website:

The video is actually from 2012, from the Huston Quilt Festival where a Hungarian quilter lady explains very well why is quilting a new thing in Hungary. And those quilts, which are presented on the festival, are absolutely amazing and I will most definitely try to look up those ladies and learn from their work! Wow! I am truly amazed because their work is very similar to what I have in mind, only they are so much more advanced in their techniques. A long way to go for me but I am happy that I found my quilter soulmates!

DIY Dragon Costume

The idea, to make a dragon costume for our one year old son, came from his big brother (4,5). He was going to be a knight for carnival and I guess he needed a dragon that he could defeat. But at the same time he got a new book about a dragon who is called “Süsü” in Hungarian. He is the main character of a puppet show, very famous in Hungary and everybody loves Süsü.

His story goes like this:

He lives in dragonland with his parents who are the king and queen there. The dragons in dragonland are dangerous and mean creatures except Süsü: he is kind and loving. One time he event tries to cure the wounded enemy of his father and because of that he is forced to leave dragonland. After leaving, he is chasing butterflies and searching for his favorite food (wild pears) and meats a prince. They become very good friends and their exciting and sweet adventure goes on.

Here is the intro of the puppet show:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07MZjctmv7A

So after all, we decided to make a costume for our son nr2. just like Süsü. Check out how I made it!

Last year I made a few very cute bonnet hats and I wanted to combine that pattern with a sweater and make a hoody. So I started this project with the hood and added the dragon-ears to the seam.

DSC_1825Cutting out the parts: I added a 3cm wide collar, so I could attach the hood later to the sweater.

DSC_1831When I turned the hood inside out, it looked like this:

DSC_1838As you can see, I sewed one more seam on the right side with a 1cm seam allowance to make the hood look even more beautiful.

Then I made the head of the dragon separately and I attached it later to the hood by hand-stitching.

DSC_1835These two green pieces were cut out for  the head and the white ones for the teeth. (For which I used felt)

DSC_1839Then I used some white cotton fabric, batting and unused bobbins to make the eyes of the dragon:

DSC_1865Finished them up with black felt and more green fleece around the eyes and finally attached them to the head like this:

DSC_1866When the eyes were done, I hand-stitched again the nose and some yellow felt to make his hear:

DSC_1867When its face was done, I pinned together the two green fleece right sides facing together with the teeth and sewed them together but not completely:

DSC_1868I left a hole on the back of the head so I could turn it inside out and to add the filling:

DSC_1874After stuffing the head with the filling, I closed the seams on the back once again by hand-stitching it. As the head of Süsü was done, I only needed to attach it to the hood! But first I made the sweater. For that I used one of his existing hoody as pattern. I added a short zipper on front and a couple of yellow and green dots on the back and sides:

DSC_2014Adding those dots was pretty time-consuming but it was worth the effort at the end! There was one more thing missing: the wings! I had beautiful dark green felt left from my advent calendar project and I was glad to use it again! I added those yellow seams to make the wings look like the original ones and they turned out to be very beautiful!

DSC_2016The hoody was done so I added the head of the dragon on top of the hood:

DSC_2194And here is the back:

DSC_2192I was already very happy with what I had done but I did not stop here because I made matching pants and even a dragon tail which had a belt with velcro on it:

DSC_2195And when this one week project was done, I realized that my son is going to wear it only for a couple of hours but if you take a look at him, you’ll most likely agree with me when I say: It was totally worth it!

DSC_2054

DSC_2057He was so cute in this dragon costume! When he first tried it on, he started to chase his tail like a dog, it was hilarious…

And here is one more picture with his dad, the king:

12640239_10153606491094039_4302972045753212050_o

Thanks for the picture to kissadri!

What do you think? Do you celebrate carnival in your country or do you rather dress up for Halloween? What was you favorite costume so far? Mine were definitely these!

 

DIY Knight Costume

Carnival season is already over but I promised you to show how our diy costumes turned out. Today I’m going to share pictures and a step-by-step description of my older son’s knight costume.
As some of you might remember, last year he was totally crazy about firefighters, so I had to make him a firefighter costume. This year was more about knights and his wish was of course a knight costume. But he can be quiet picky sometimes and he usually knows exactly what he wants, so I sat down with him one day at the computer to check out costumes online and to gather ideas. Finally I made a drawing of a knight looking how he imagined it and he even wanted to color the picture. While we were searching, he had the idea, that his little brother could be a dragon, my husband the king and I could be the princess. “All right then, let’s make four costume instead of just one…”-that was my first thought.

Anyway, I said yes and the next step was to buy all the fabric we needed. I think I did not spend more then 50€ for all four costumes which I consider a good price. Although I spent hours (if not days) making them all and at the end my mother sent me two old dresses of mine for my princess costume because I didn’t have the time to make a new dress.
Back to the knight costume. I started with a cotton long sleeved T-Shirt: I added some shiny fabric to the sleeves to make it look like an armor.

DSC_1792

I made the pattern for it using the same T-Shirt: I cut out the fabric 2cm bigger on all sides in order to have enough room for the seams. The T-Shirt looked like this:

DSC_1795For the next step I was going to make the knight’s vest or top. I was using a plain grey cotton fabric and this is how I made the armholes and the neckline:

DSC_1798I cut out the hole for the head and neck.

DSC_1801Then I cut out the armholes and a 3cm wide piece in the same shape (twice, for both sides).

DSC_1804I sewed those on, facing the right sides, turned inside out and added one more seam which is visible on the right side. Finally I made a bias for the neckline.

DSC_1807Then I made a cardboard sample for the red bottom line and cut out four pieces from a plane red cotton fabric.

DSC_1810I took two of them and sewed together along the edges. Then turned it inside out and made one more seam on the right side, as well.

DSC_1815I repeated this step with the other two pieces, then press ironed both.

As the next step, I sewed them onto the bottom of the vest, sewed together the sides and I added one more golden ribbon to it, to make it look even more beautiful. So far the T-Shirt and the vest were done.

DSC_1816

For the “neck-protecting piece” (does anyone know what’s it called?) I used the same silver fabric that I used for the sleeves and a white jersey for the inside. This is how I made the pattern:

DSC_1818I made two of them, then sewed them together on one side and used velcro on the other side.

DSC_1819Using one of his pants as a pattern, I made a new pair from an other shiny silver fabric:

DSC_1821I used rubber band for the waist, made the pants a bit longer and added the same golden ribbon to the bottom.

And with this, my job was actually done because I made a cool knight cape for him last year which he wanted to wear with this costume, he had a plastic helmet (his dad bought it for him last summer), and of course he already had a shield (also made by me using cardboard) and a belt.

DSC_1858I think he looks total bad-ass in his costume, very cool.

DSC_1856Here is a closer picture of the belt with the sword-holder:

DSC_1862One more thing: did you notice the castle in the background? When we moved in my son got a loft bed which he loves! The bed is quiet big and there is lot of space underneath for playing or for toy-storage. After moving in we had lots of empty boxes and I used some of them to make a castle under his bed. The walls run on two sides, I added a few windows and the gate is made out of duck-tape. If you are interested in the details how I made it, please leave a comment.

I had enough left over fabric to make a similar vest for the king (my husband) and using yellow felt and a little velcro he also got his crown! Here we are with the little dragon: me in the blond wig and my proud king! (The description of the little one’s dragon costume is coming soon!)

12628440_10153606492274039_425936819598706097_o(Thanks for the picture kissadri!)

But back to the knight costume, what do you think? Do you celebrate carnival or dress up at Halloween? And do you prefer to buy or make your own costume? I think I would always make my/our costumes because the whole process from the idea to finishing it gives me great pleasure, perhaps as much as wearing it.

My first mini-quilt

I had the idea to make a recipe book for my sister for Christmas but since my sewing machine was almost three weeks long at the repair shop, there was no chance that this project will be done in time. So I told my sister that she is not getting any present this Christmas and to be honest, she was ok with it. She didn’t mind it at all but it bothered me and I couldn’t let it go.

I got back my sewing machine in mid January and started to make our carnival costumes right away. They took me weeks to finish them all, but they were ready just in time! (A post about them is coming soon by the way!)

Today is Ash-Wednesday and guess what? My sister’s Christmas present is finally finished! I know it’s ridiculous but she isn’t expecting anything from me right now and in about two weeks we are flying back home and I can give her her present at last!

DSC_2117

For her recipe book I chose a small (A/5) sized binder and I made a cover for it but I also added a mini quilt on the front side.

DSC_2119

My inspiration for this mini quilt was one of my older baby quilts (check it out here) and I know my sister loves fabric with small floral prints, so I added this cute frame to it. I like how the light blue color appears in the dark red. I think it definitely matches the colors of the mini quilt!

DSC_2118

I also added a button to the side: in a shape of a flower, too.

DSC_2120

And finally pockets on the insides.
I don’t know if my sister will use this as a recipe book or something else but I do hope she will like it.

IKEA-Hacks in the hallway

It has been already six months since we moved in to our new apartment and a couple of things are still unfinished but one thing is done: our entry way/ hallway! I am very happy about that and also proud of it because everything works well in this room.

DSC_2038
What we absolutely love about the hallway that it is not in the middle of the apartment as it was in our previous place. We can take off the shoes and I don’t have to worry about our crawling baby playing with the dirty shoes or crawling through the mud on the floor. Although the entry way is still not completely out of the way and he sometimes does find the shoes very fascinating but luckily it doesn’t happen very often. So that’s already a big improvement for us.

IKEA hack

The other thing is that we needed a lot more space for our coats and we got it: I made two coat racks for us using IKEA shelf consoles (EKBY VALTER), some laths from the local “Home Depot” (Bauhaus/OBI) and a couple of hooks, also from IKEA (SVARTSJÖN). The smaller version now serves the kids and the bigger one is ours and for our guests. I also decorated the bigger coat rack by burning three flowers onto it following old traditional embroidery patterns from Hungary. Just a little touch of our background.

DSC_2030

The kids also got a bench. I actually wanted to buy a tiny bench for them but then we realized that we had this great hanging wardrobe from our previous apartment which we didn’t want to use anymore, so we just took that and put it on the floor. It’s also from IKEA and called GREVBÄCK.

The standing shelf is also from IKEA, called MOLGER and is originally a part of a bathroom series. The mirror is an older piece from IKEA, which they don’t sell anymore. You might wonder if we are crazy about IKEA or what is the reason for us to buy so many furniture from that store. Well, in Aachen there are other furniture stores, some of them offer a better quality and a lot higher price, others offer lower prices but also lower quality. There is nothing else in between. Those who know IKEA products, can tell, that most of their furniture are functional and last for 5-10 years. If you don’t plan to use them longer, then you’ll most likely be satisfied. Plus we also love assembling furniture!DSC_2033

I was searching for a good place in our home that we could use as art display for the kids, so I hang a string on the wall for a kids art gallery and we love it ever since.

IKEA hack-001

There was a huge built-in-wardrobe in the hallway as we moved in. We could to decide if wanted to keep it or have it removed but we kept it, although it looks very outdated and it is as old, as the building (about thirty years old) but as I said, it is huge and can hide so many thing like the vacuum cleaner, suitcases and more.

DSC_2039

An old chair also landed in the hallway. Originally I decorated it for the nursery but there was no need for it there anymore and it is perfect for putting on the shoes.
Hallelujah! Our entry way is done: looks nice and functions well.
How you deal with the muddy shoes if you live in an apartment and can’t leave them outside? I would be glad to hear your ideas!

Confession

I have a confession to make to you, my dear Readers…

I often search on Pinterest for inspiration or read other blogs but sometimes I get the feeling that those writes have it all figured out and everything seems to be perfect in their lives. Well, it is certainly not in my life and I do believe that everybody has their own struggles and makes mistakes, they just chose not to share that part of their lives publicly. I get that and some part of me agrees with that because why would I share my everyday struggles if this blog isn’t about that? This blog tries to be the opposite of that: inspiration and (hopefully) good ideas to make our lives a bit happier.

But I also believe if a project fails, I have to share that, too because my failure can help others to grow, as well. Not just me.

Anyway, do you remember about my idea for advent? I was trying to write letters and reconnect old, good friends throughout advent: each day a friend. But this project failed because I was able to write only four letters instead of 24. This wouldn’t be a problem if I hadn’t write about my plans on this blog because nobody would know about it. But I fear that some of my friends might had been expecting letters from me and they might feel left out now.

Still, this problem might exist only in my head but I apologize if I did hurt someone’s feelings.

Binder in Frog Cover

When my sewing machine broke down before Christmas, I was working on a project for my son’s kindergarten teachers: a binder cover. It was supposed to be a Christmas present but then I wasn’t able to finish it before the holidays. I got back my sewing machine about a week ago and I had to finish this project right away, so I could give this late present to the teachers asap.

The truth is that I bought the fabric maybe a year ago: when I saw the frog themed pattern on it I thought of my son’s group right away because it’s called the frog group! I bought a smaller piece from the fabric and then waited for the inspiration which came shortly before Christmas.

DSC_1779

I needed:

  • a back piece: white fabric
  • the front piece: the fabric with the frogs and a blue stripe in the middle
  • two white and two blue piece for the ears of the binder cover
  • two blue and two frog patterned fabric for the pockets

DSC_1782

When the project was done the binder cover and the binder looked like this:

DSC_1785

Not a complicated project but has it’s own tricks: for example how to hide the seams. If you are interested in the step-by-step tutorial check out my previous binder cover here!

Mappaboritok

I gave it to the kindergarten teachers last week and they liked it very much. One of them came to me today and said that they will use it in the group as a photo album for the kids. They were looking for an album with a sturdy cover so the kids can use it and hopefully it won’t be ruined as quickly.

DIY Elf Hat

At the beginning of December, when I still had my sewing machine working, I made two matching elf hats for my sons. I used a fleece blanket from Ikea and an old jersey T-Shirt for the inside of the hats. I find it very strange that you can buy 1,7m long fleece blankets for 3-4 euros but at the fabric store they cost 5-8 euros per meter.

DSC_1712
I already made a similar hat for my older son last year, but to refresh my memory on how to do it, I visited this tutorial. Of course I had to make my own patterns because of the size difference.

Xmas__20151204_118
For our (almost one year old!) baby boy I had to adjust the bottom, so we can close the hat under his chin with velcro instead of tying laces.
When the hats were finished, my older boy asked me to sew laces on because his ears were still cold in the hat. So I added those later.

Manosapkak-001
Not to forget it, I also made scarves for the boys from the same fleece blanket.
They look very sweet wearing the hats.

Manosapkak

Getting organized in the new year

As the new year arrived and many people around me were talking about new years resolutions, I took a little time and looked back to 2015: what were my resolutions last year? I had to be honest with myself and admit that I am pretty bad with deadlines lately. When I was a college student it was not a problem, I was usually prepared in time for the exams and with the essays. But ever since we have kids, it’s getting worse and I don’t blame the kids, don’t get me wrong. I know it’s not their fault, it’s obviously mine. There is more of course that needs to be done in our every day life but I have to grow with the challenge.

The worst part was the household, no doubt about that. My husband had the idea maybe months or even a year ago that we should make a cleaning schedule and just follow that. To be honest, I hated the idea first because it did not make sense to me. Why would I for example clean the bathroom every Tuesday if it only gets dirty during the weekend and not vacuum the carpet when it’s dirty, but wait until Friday? Right? Nope. I was wrong and he was right (this time). Last year, when we were still living in our old apartment, I started a two-week cleaning schedule just to give it a try. Then I slowly started to realize that this could work. Maybe not in the first run but in the long term because if everything is cleaned regularly, then the apartment will be actually clean.

But I could not follow someone else’ schedule from Pinterest, I had to make my own. Do you want to know why and how I did it?

DSC_1747

Four steps to make your own cleaning schedule:

  1. Well, first I had to decide how much time I have to do household chores each day. I am a stay at home mom right now with a one year old kid who only naps 40 minutes long. Although he sleeps two times a day, I don’t think that it will take much longer before he changes to one nap time. This gives me about half an hour every day to deal with the household if I want to do it without him.
  2. I made a list of all things that needs to be done on a regular basis. For example: vacuuming the rooms, cleaning the bathroom, mopping the floor, watering the plants, ironing etc. Everybody can make their own list, it always depends on the size of your home.
  3. Then I broke down the list into tasks that can be done in a half an hour. Some take a bit longer, maybe 45 minutes, others take only ten minutes.
  4. Finally I made a two-week planner and paired up the chores with the weekdays: first a longer task on Monday because I am usually full of energy on Mondays and more can be done; then a very short one on Tuesday; a longer one on Wednesday again; and a short one on Thursdays, as well. Fridays I do the weekly shopping, so we have enough food for the weekend, when everybody is home and we don’t have to waste our time with shopping. The second week is build on the same idea but with different tasks.

And here we go: the two-week cleaning schedule is done! I only have to stick to it…

This schedule does not include cooking and doing the laundry (and folding the clothes) because I do the laundry every other day and I cook as I need to. Sometimes I have leftover from the day before, so I don’t have to cook every day.

Why is a cleaning schedule a good thing, you might ask. First of all, it keeps me from loosing my mind and helps me stay focused at the same time. We don’t have a very big apartment, I could clean it in one day and be done for the whole week. But I am not able to manage that anymore with a toddler around. If you have two hours free, or just ten minutes every day then make your schedule accordingly! I did not want to have tasks longer then thirty minutes, because that would not allow me to be with my child, play with him, go outside, cook, get other things done (read or study) or just get creative and sew!

The other good thing about this schedule is that if something unexpected comes up and I get behind, then I will start the cleaning again just one chore at a time, then in a week or maybe two, I am back on track. I don’t have to worry about a million things that need to be done, or which one I should start with! No, just do one at a time.
Also the weekends are left free, so if something is really necessary, then we can work on it together then.

DSC_1709

There is also space on my calendar for other things, like birthdays, events, sport etc. But sorry, I won’t give you a free printable calendar, instead I encourage you ta grab a pencil and a piece of paper and make it yourself! I think it’s much more fun and you’ll appreciate it even more!

Do you already have a cleaning schedule or a special calendar that helps you stay organized? Please, share it with us in a comment!

 

Merry Christmas!

Hello Everyone!
I would like to wish you all a very happy Christmas and a blessed new year!
In the holiday spirit I would also like to share my last three projects with you. As you know, my sewing machine is not working right now but I still had three projects to finish before Christmas arrived.

One of them was a nativity scene picture made out of scrap book papers:

nativity scene

The other one was a very simple felt ornament for my Grandma. I used a smaller version from last year as a template which I made for my son for the advent’s calendar.

christmas ornament

The third project was pine cone owl ornaments made from felt. I found the instructions here but instead of the feet I added a bow on top of each, so I can hang them on the Christmas tree.

owl ornament

Aren’t they cute? Here is one more picture of them:

owl ornamentSee you next year!

When disaster occours…

This time I am not talking about flood or volcano eruption although I admit those are real catastrophic events. But in a sewers life it is most certainly a disaster when her sewing machine breaks and unfortunately this is exactly what happened to me. Of course it happens a few days before Christmas when I was about to get four more projects done…

DSC_1472

My little precious thing started skipping stitches a few weeks back, then I went through several check lists: what to check, where to try to solve the problem but nothing seemed to help. Yesterday I tried even more thing which eventually lead to the end of my story: the sewing machine even started to break the thread and I can’t find the problem. Believe me, I tried. Even my husband tried. There is nothing else left to do but to take it to the repair shop which would be an other time of the year all right but before Christmas? It’s not going to be easy and it’s most likely not going to be repaired before Christmas. I am devastated.

Top Knot Jersey Hat

As Christmas is getting closer and closer, I had to realize that I am very much behind with presents this year. To be honest I don’t care much because I don’t want to get quickly something for my loved ones just so I can give something. No, I don’t think that would show my love and appreciation for them. Instead I will concentrate on the kids first. There are four kids in our family: we have two boys and my brother has two girls (4 and 6). All four of them have everything they need and some more. Yes, we are blessed. But still it’s Christmas and they are kids, so I made the girls matching hats and scarves. Both are made from the same jersey fabric but slightly different.

Jersey Sapkak

One is a little smaller of course, has the flower on the other side and the stripes run the other way. For the top knot hat I found the tutorial here but had to make my own pattern for the right size. I looked up how to make those adorable flowers and then twisted the petals and attached them with one more stitch, so they will look even better.

I hope the girls will like the hats and scarves and also that they will fit.

The girls also love crafting, so they will also receive snowflake ballerinas. Wait, what? Yes, I found those via Pinterest of course, and will draw one for each girl, so they can cut them out and hang them wherever they want. They will hopefully look something like this by the time I am done:

Instructions and picture in English here.

Just an idea

When I prepared the advent calendar for my son, I was thinking that I should do something for myself, as well. But not getting chocolate every day (I do it anyways and not just in advent…), instead something that actually means something to me. Than I came up with the idea: lets make a list of 24 friends and send them letters. Sounds wired, right? Let me explain.

DSC_1396

We have been living abroad ever since we got married in 2007. I consider it as a long time especially because we only planed to have an adventure for one year. These years passed by and we were not able to keep in touch with all of our friends. Not just from Hungary but we also lost contact with the new friends, too when they moved away or we did. This is not entirely a bad thing. What I mean is that you don’t need to keep in touch with every one but you must appreciate your good friends who stood by you when you needed them. And moving to a foreign country shows you exactly who are your true friends. Many of them will probably think that you are the one who moved, you shall make the effort to keep in touch. But I disagree. It takes two. For me it was hard to realize that many of my friends didn’t even care to send an email once in a while, they just didn’t care about me as much as I thought they would.

But what can you do? You take a deep breath and move on: appreciate your real friends!
And this advent I am trying to do that by making the time and effort and sending them a decent letter instead of making an empty new year’s resolution or just signing a Christmas card. I might not finish my list before Christmas but I don’t think that it matters. Just make the effort and show your appreciation and love!

Have a blessed Advent!

DSC_0824

Do you remember my posts about the advent calendar from last year? If not, you can check them out here. I created that calendar for my three years old son who is now one year older of course. Last year he decorated the tree at once, maybe played with the ornaments a couple of times but I think he is appreciating it even more this year because he puts up the ornaments one by one, each morning just one. He is at the age where he tries to understand the meaning of “yesterday”, “tomorrow”, “next week” and “at Christmas” and probably this is why he gets it more.  And he didn’t recognize it from last year which is also great.

The other thing that I made as a present last year was a nativity themed applique:

IMGP8946

If you are looking for a similar project, you can find my tutorial right here. I might make an other but bigger one this year with the three wise man, animals, angel etc. At least that’s the plan…

Have a blessed Advent!

 

DIY Wine Tote

Last week I promised you a post about the wine bottle tote bag that I created for our little craft fair. The idea of making something like this came from a costumer last year who said that he adores my products but he is an elderly man who has also bigger grandchildren, so he just couldn’t use any of them. True. My products were made almost entirely for babies and smaller kids and of course I can not please everybody.
But I knew that this year the costumers will be at least 60% the same as last year (meaning elderly people) so I had to come up with a few ideas for them, as well. Then I came across this great idea on pinterest and when I went to Hungary in the summer I already knew that I want to use my new blue print fabrics for this bottle tote.

Bortaska

For the first tote I only used a blue print fabric and nothing else.

To the second one I added a white strip of fabric and a blue zigzag ribbon.
My favorite was the third one where I used a plane blue print fabric (without any prints) and a funky yellow cotton fabric. I just loved the contrast of the colors! Finally I added the flower using applique technique (by hand). This one is the closest to my heart. And you know what? You won’t believe it: the same costumer from last year came back and bought it! I was happier to sell that one single item then all the others combined!

Bortaska1

But of course I made a couple more. One with beautiful leaves and one a bit more “christmasy”.

DSC_0809

I hope you find them nice and maybe get inspired and make one for yourself or someone for Christmas. It is really not a difficult project, it can be done under an hour. Just don’t forget to buy a good bottle of wine, too!

Invitation

My dear Readers,
I would like to invite you all and especially those who live near Aachen to our up-coming craft fair (Adventsstimmung und Hobby-Handwerkermarkt) at the Hungarian-German Friendship Club!
It will take place on the weekend: on November 28th and 29th, between 11am and 6pm.
The location is Giselastr. 5. 52066 Aachen-Burtscheid

There will be delicious Hungarian cakes and other sweets along with coffee, you can also try really good and original Goulash soup. Yum!

Seven crafters (including me) will present their creations for the guests and they can buy and take home anything they might fell in love with.
Also on Sunday, after lunch there will be live music: a cellist and a violinist will give a short Christmas concert. So if you are interested, please come and enjoy this weekend with us! I would be very happy to get to know some of you!
I know, many of you live too far away to come but don’t worry, I will come back next week with lots of pictures, so you won’t feel left out!

DSC_0559

This was my table last year. This time it will be a bit different, I have a few new things for our guests!

DSC_0561

And these amazing christmas tree decorations were made by a dear friend. Aren’t they amazing?

 

Once again: Hungarian Blue Print

You might remember a post that I wrote about a year ago, it was about the Hungarian blue print fabric and a couple of sewing projects made of blue print. I love this fabric. I love it because it is absolutely high quality and great to work with. I love the look of it. I love its colors: the white and blue but in many variations. I love it because it always reminds me of Hungary and my cultural background and heritage. I love it because I remember that my great-grandmother used to wear clothes made out of this fabric. Very traditional looking clothes. Actually I still have one of her outfits which is at least sixty years old if not more and for some reason I try to preserve it as long as I can. And I inherited old blue print fabric from her, as well and I used it to make a lovely skirt out of and I still wear it occasionally.
But I think sometimes this fabric is underrated. If you’ve ever been to Hungary, you might have seen this blue print in souvenirs shops. They would probably offer you some horrible looking apron, maybe a table cloth, a pillow or a girl’s skirt. I mean those are adorable but come on people, use your fantasy! We can do even better!

This is why I often wonder why don’t people use it for other, much more up-to-date projects? I have a long-term project in mind: I would like to make a huge quilt from blue print for our bed but I didn’t have the time to start yet. Hopefully I can report back on that in couple of months. Until then here are a few sewing ideas that I made for our up-coming craft fair in Aachen.
U-Heft

My first project was this notebook cover. I sewed a couple of small pieces of different blue print together, then attached the white stripes, then I continued to make the cover as described in a previous post of mine. I love how it turned out.

Then I made lots of fabric angels for the craft fair just like last year. After all, it’s going to be a Christmas fair and last year people loved it.

DSC_0828

Here are a few with red fabric:

DSC_0826

A couple made with floral prints:

DSC_0830

A few more including my favorite with the yellow fabric:

DSC_0831

Aren’t they just cute?

DSC_0836

I saved the best for last: wine tote bags. I will post the tutorial and more in an other post but for now just enjoy how great they look in the blue print fabric!

Bortaska

Using the yellow fabric and a plain blue print I created a bright, fun and modern wine tote. Even though I added a traditional flower mostly used in embroidery, it still looks very fresh and hip to me. Don’t you agree?

Bortaska1

DIY Firefighter Costume

DSC_1286

Halloween is around the corner, so I thought why not share my son’s latest costume with you. As I mentioned before we don’t celebrate Halloween but we do have carnival in the city where we live and we dress up in costumes but at the beginning of the year, not in October. This firefighter costume was made in February for my son and he wore it not just in the Kindergarten but on the city’s carnival and at home for many-many times. He still plays with it!

If you are looking for a cheep solution for your child’s costume and you are willing to work on it a little bit, then this is definitely something for you! Not to mention that I made this costume because all the new ones are made from polyester and my son is allergic to that fabric and I wanted him to wear something made from cotton.
Karneval+Jelmezek2
I bought the helmet, the mask and the ax but I made pretty much everything else.
I took one of his T-Shirts as a template and sewed a similar top in red. Then I taped the lines on the arms of the top with a yellow tape.
I used the same yellow tape to make his pants.
Then I took an old belt of mine, punched a few more holes onto it to fit his size. I sewed on a few hooks and even added a carabiner.
What you can see on his shoulder is a spare hose from our washing machine.
His fire extinguisher is actually made from a coke bottle with a spray top and covered with red and black tape. He can even use this and spray water with it.
And voila! Wasn’t that hard, was it?

Baby Boy Outfit

As I mentioned this before we are about to move. It’s a big change in our life and a lot of work. We have been packing for a couple of weeks now and at the end of this month we are definitely moving to the other side of the town. We decided to find an other apartment because we wanted to be closer to work and kindergarten and didn’t want to spend so much time anymore getting there.

DSC_0584

 

Many things are already in boxes including my sewing machine and crafting supplies. It was very hard for me to pack them but I try to keep in mind that it’s only for a short time. And of course ever since I am full with ideas that must wait…

We also try to have fun with the kids while packing.

DSC_0388

But before packing all my craft-supplies into boxes I had a “last project”, a very sweet little project: a cute outfit for our baby’s baptism. After moving we are going to spend about one week in the new place, then we are heading to Hungary for a long vacation with friends and mostly family. And while we are there, our little baby boy will have his baptism, just like his older brother had at this age.
I thought that I would like to him to have a special, kind of elegant but also cute outfit for this occasion. But he will be seven month old, so those typical white baby outfits were out of question. Especially because he is a gigantic baby…

So I went to Pinterest to search for ideas and I came across this cardigan-onesie which I fall in love with. I checked out a couple of tutorial and finally fallowed this one and Voila! This is how our version looks like:

DSC_0675

I wanted to keep it white but with a little punch of blue. The outfit is a bit too big for him right now but as quick as he grows it will definitely fit to him in a month. I also made a pair of shorts for him from the same fabric as the bow-tie.

Kardigan-body

He discovered the bow-tie right away and of course took it off. I might have to sew that on.

DSC_0703

But I am pretty proud of my work and satisfied with his look: he is very handsome, isn’t he?

I wish you all a very nice summer and see you again sometimes in September!

Sailor outfit for summer

A couple of weeks ago I went trough my son’s wardrobe to see if he has enough summer outfits. Shorts: check. T-Shirts: check. Shorts for swimming: check. But then I had to realize that we live in Aachen. There is no real summer here, at least not every year and certainly not for three months… But we do have some days when the weather is nice enough to be outside, enjoy the sunshine, have an ice-cream or go hiking. But that requires a different kind of summer outfit: maybe a light but long pair of pants with long-arm T-Shirts. Pants. My son had only jeans and other warmer pants. This is how I came up with the idea of sewing him long but summery pants.

We are preparing our home for moving which means I don’t really have time to go downtown and shop for new summer outfits for the kids and myself. But luckily the fabric store is not far from our home.

When I went to buy fabric for this project I was a bit disappointed again: you can always find tons of printed fabrics for girls but for boys? There were maybe two or three to choose from. And it’s always like this, no matter where you are searching for fabric.

Anyway, I found this lovely blue cotton fabric with anchors on it and I made a bucket hat and a pair of pants out of it.

Karneval+Jelmezek3

I added pockets and ham using a green scrap-fabric and voila! I was never the kind who would sew outfits but times and needs change, I guess. My son loves both the hat and the pants. He calls it the “pirate hat”.

Of course by the time I was done sewing, the weather had changed and we were back to jackets and jeans… but today the sun is shining again and there is hope!

Baskets

Our little baby boy has turned three months old last weekend and things are finally getting normal again around the house. Also my husband spent last month at home on parental leave which was really helpful for me and great for all of us. With his help I was able to start jogging. I was never a big fan of jogging but I felt like I have to do something to keep my body in shape after the second baby and this seemed the easiest solution. So I went jogging two times a week for a month and still try to keep this new habit of mine.
Anyway, the last time I went jogging on Thursday I found great treasures thrown away on the streets. In Germany you can find amazing things on the streets. There is a garbage truck that comes every few weeks and picks up old furnishings that people don’t need anymore. So you just put your junk on the streets the night before and the next morning it’s gone. They do not have garage sales but if you go around your neighborhood or even the city, you can find great treasures. I often see students carrying couches by hand or other stuff. And it is not all junk! Really, sometimes things are in great condition!

Like those baskets that I found when I was jogging. It happened like a cartoon: I was jogging by a big pile (rattan sofa, baskets and a lot more), I noticed those baskets, was jogging backwards, picked the little basket up and continued jogging. Like nothing happened. Just kept it casual…🙂 Except I looked ridiculous on the way home jogging with a basket. Anyway,  I told my husband about my findings and he went back later with his bike to pick up the bigger basket.

This is how we ended up with these:

DSC_1851

My older son helped me cleaning them both. The smaller one was a bit dirtier, so I decided to sew a linen for it. This is how I made it:
DSC_1853
I put the basket on my fabric and cut out a circle about the same size as the bottom.
Folded the circle in four, measured the radius and calculated the circumference (105cm) . I also measured the side of the basket and added about 10cm to it (45cm).

DSC_1855
With those I was able to cut the side piece: circumference for the longer side and the height of the side for the shorter side (105x45cm).

DSC_1856I made a cut in the middle (ca. 10-12cm) for the handle of the basket.
Folded it (I did the same on both sides), pinned it and stitched it.

DSC_1858

Then I folded the upper and longer edge of the fabric, as well and sewed it together. It was a big fold, about 2cm wide.

DSC_1859As the next step, I pinned the circle in the middle of the side fabric. Marked at one-forth and pinned together accordingly.

DSC_1862It looked like this, then sewed together:

DSC_1863

 

DSC_1864
As the final step I sewed the side seam and it was almost done.

DSC_1866

With the help of a safety pin I added a nice green ribbon

DSC_1867

and this is how it looks now:
KosarakNot bad, right? Now we have an exceptional laundry basket for our baby boy. Yes, we decided to use it as a laundry basket. Why not? It’s beautiful and costs almost nothing!
This is one of the few things that I love about Germany: free treasures on the streets!

 

The other basket was in way better shape but the top of it was unfortunately broken. I cleaned the hole thing. My husband found an article about cleaning and updating these kind of baskets and rattan furniture. So you have to give it a good clean with a paste made of salt and warm water. Then rinse it (I did it in the shower), let it dry on the air, then rub it with oil. We used the oil what we bought from IKEA for our wooden cutting board and it worked just fine.

DSC_1852
First I didn’t want to, but then I did repair the top of the large basket by hand-sewing with bast (raffia) and now it stands in our living room and we keep our blankets in it. I love it because it helps us keep the living room more organized. My husband loves it because it brings him back sweet childhood memories. And it didn’t go to waste! Win-win-win!
Kosarak1

 

Bonnet hats

Do you remember when I last year participated in a local street festival in Aachen called Lothringair? Well, it’s going to be organized this year again and I applied to have a booth for the second time. To be honest, I might change my mind about it this year because I am still negotiating on the price (which is three times more that it was in the previous year!) but I am already preparing new products: summer bonnet hats for little girls!
Bonnet Hats1
I am in love with these. It’s too bad that I don’t have a daughter (yet). But I will definitely make two for my brother’s daughters this summer!
Bonnet HatsWhat do you think?

Baby Co-Sleeper

As we were getting ready for the new baby in the family, we decided to get him a new bed. The first reason for that was that our three-years-old son still sleeps in his crib which we changed into a small bed. We did not want to bother him with a new bed at the same time when his little brother was arriving into the family. And also because he would love to have a bunker bed with his little brother but of course he will have to wait for that a bit longer, and then they can share the kids’ room and the bed.
Until then the baby is staying with us in the master bedroom. My oldest stayed with us for five weeks and then we moved him to his own room and I was the one of course who got up many times in the night and went out to the nursery. But this is no longer an option for us: the baby is staying in our room, so we decided to try out a co-sleeper bed with him. My hopes are quiet high: I don’t want to get out of the bed and pick him out of his crib each time but we still want him to be safe. This is why we were looking for a co-sleeper bed. In Germany those beds start around 100€ if you get it second hand but the prize for a new one is around twice as much.
What I did was go online and search for a DIY option when I came across this post. I followed the links in it and with the great help of my husband and my son we created this amazing co-sleeper for our baby:

DSC_0853

We attached the co-sleeper to our bed to make secure. We will also purchase this thing from IKEA, cut it to the right size and put it between the two mattress, so there is absolutely no gap between the two bed. And voila! Costs of this project: bed (IKEA-SNIGLAR) 35€, mattress (IKEA-VYSSA SNOSA) 20€, mattress divider (IKEA-SIGGERUD) 8€. TOTAL COST: 63€.
Plus this bed is 120cm long, longer then the usual co-sleepers, so it will last longer and we can put back the side if we wanted any time.

In the corner of the master bedroom there is a small chest of drawers and a changing table. It is tiny and won’t be functional longer then two-three months but for us that is fine because we plan to move to a slightly bigger apartment in a couple of months and we want to use an other (bigger) changing table in the new place anyway.

DSC_0851As I said: have big hopes for this co-sleeper but I promise to share later how did it actually work out for us.

UPDATE: Our son was born on 25th of January and ever since he has been sleeping with us in his co-sleeper. So far I can say only good things about it: it is very confortable for us, especially for me! I don’t have to get out of the bed to feed him and I don’t even have to bend over to get him out of the crib (and then put him back). And this is a big plus considering that he is a gigantic baby (only 5 weeks old and already 5,2kg)! I would just slide him close to me, then brestfeed him and finally put him back to the crib. I absolutely love this co-sleeper!

DSC_1378
Although there is one thing that I find a bit difficult: getting into and out of the bed. I mean for me. But it’s a small prize I have to pay for beeng ablo to be so lazy with night time feedings. Actually it is so much comfortable that sometimes I feed him and fell asleep so fast, that in the morning I can’t tell my husband how many times did I feed our baby or when was the last feeding time. This co-sleeper thing really allows you to be a lazy and a good parent at the same time! Do you need more than that?

 

Bike Wall Clock

DSC_0844

My brother is a huge fan of bikes: he was a bike messenger about ten years ago and ever since he only travels by bike. He lives in the capital of Hungary (Budapest) which is a big city with 2 million people living there. The Danube-river divides the city into two parts: the West side is very hilly (has an amazing royal castle on top), the East side on the other hand is quiet flat. My brother lives on that side but it doesn’t stop him from biking anywhere he wants: on the weekends he would for example ride out of town to the mountains if he is in the mood for that.

It’s something that I respect in him very much but for example my parents don’t get it. Although he should wear a helmet which he doesn’t…
Anyway, my brother had his birthday recently and I made him a “Bike Wall Clock”. The original idea came from the fair trade shop where I worked this year (Weltladen Aachen): they had a great wall clock made from a bicycle’s gear. It looks very special but was a bit too expensive for my taste (and pocket), so I was inspired and made this instead:

DSC_0842

First I went to the local “dollar store” and bought a wall clock that was good material for make-over. Then I covered it with a piece of paper. For that I used regular paper-glue.
Then I printed out the bicycles in two pieces (I found the print online and made some adjustments to it using picasa). I also choose and printed out the numbers.
DSC_0827

After that I applied those with regular paper glue and also added a little black circle in the middle to cover up the edge of the white paper below.

As the next step, I cut out a few cm bigger circle of foil to cover up the whole clock. This is why I used only regular paper glue before, because I knew that the foil will hold every piece on its place very well.

DSC_0831

As you can see, I cut out a little hole in the middle and cut the back side into two parts: this is necessary in order to be able to peel off the back side of the foil. But I did this step very carefully and I did not cut into the foil. So I peeled off the back side in two pieces and got rid of the bubbles from underneath with the help of a ruler.

DSC_0833

When the foil was finally on the clock, I cut into it all around and then turned the edges backwards.

BalioraAnd voila! The bike wall clock was done!

DSC_0840To be honest I do have one concern with this project: I wonder how well will the foil hold when it gets hot in the summer and the sun shines directly to the wall clock a lot. We’ll see…

 

New Year- New Start

Many people make new year’s resolutions, so did I last year. Mine was to try to post on this blog every week. I did not tell about it to anyone because usually when I do, things don’t work out as well as I would like to. Well, I did not achieve that goal but I think I did pretty well considering that writing a blog was completely new for me. Let me boar you with a little bit of statistics. Here is a list of my posts in 2014:

  • -January: 4
  • -February: 5
  • -March: 5
  • -April: 1
  • -May: 5
  • -June: 4
  • -July: 2
  • -August: 0
  • -September: 3
  • -October: 3
  • -November: 4
  • -December: 4

TOTAL: 40 If you take a quick look you can immediately tell that we went on vacation in August and this is something that I have to figure out and do better this year if I want to improve my blog’s stats… But the total of 40 is actually not that bad. The three most popular posts were:

  • Nr. 1: Tipps on travelling with toddlers (6440 views thanks to pinterest)
  • Nr.2: Hungarian Blue Print for Christmas (180 views)
  • Nr. 3: IKEA hack (135 views)

Which post was your favorite? I tried but can not decide which project was my favorite because each of them brings up different memories… Besides the dry statistics I would also like to mention that I changed the design of the blog and I still like the look of it. The “FabRita” or “Rita’s Design” is also on facebook and on pinterest, so there are more possible ways to keep track of my ideas and crafting activity. I would like to thank everybody who signed up to follow this blog, it means a lot to me! I have 33 readers now: some of you I know personally, some of you through comments and mails, some of you stay silent but I am very thankful to all of you! I also got a Liebster Award from a fellow blog writer and I was very surprised and honored. Thank you very much! I will try to post and share my thoughts on that a.s.a.p. The question now is that what about 2015? Well, I would definitely continue sharing my ideas but I can not guarantee that I will post as oft as I did in 2014. Why? Many of you already know why: because in 1-2 weeks we are having a baby and he will take up most of my time. At least in the first couple of months. But I love this blog and like the way of how I can connect with you, dear Readers through creativity, so I promise to write as much as I can. 10815098_10152698369024039_2128385037_o

Photo by kissadri

Last year in August I got a great camera from my husband as a B-Day present and I am reading up on baby-photography, so be prepared for some experimental baby-photos in the near future!

After Christmas…

Well, here we go: the holidays are kind of over now and I still owe you, my dear Readers a post about the Advent Calendar and other Christmas stuff. There is no excuse, I am terribly lazy with writing these days but keep in mind: there is always a next advent and Christmas when you can actually use some of these ideas!

As I wrote it in a previous post, I decided to finish the small ornaments for the advent calendar as we go and so I did. But to be honest, I was a bit disappointed because my three-years-old son lost interest in decorating his tree after about two weeks. He might enjoy it more next year. At least I hope he does.

Here are the ornaments: all 24 of them! As you can see 22 of them is hand-stitched felt. The first one is also self-made but I used air-dry clay. The last one was a present from a friend who makes the most amazing Christmas ornaments from stuff that she finds in nature (and with the help of a hot glue gun).

DSC_0819

My favorites are the little house, the snowman and the holy family. The drum and the penguin was kind of made for my husband who for some reason always wanted to have a penguin ornament and plays the drum.

The base with the tree looked like this:
DSC_0821

I attached the curtain robe to the door with tape and added wasi tape on the edges around. It was necessary to keep it from falling off but also looked much nicer with the red frame on the white door.

And finally the tree with all the ornaments:
DSC_0824

Do you like the it? If you want to make something similar for next Christmas keep in mind: it takes a lot of time but looks so beautiful at the end!

 

Our other holiday project was to make a fake fireplace. I am not kidding. My husband and I both love fireplaces but unfortunately don’t have one. However we did have a pallet in the garden that we no longer used and I had the idea to make a fake fireplace out of it. My husband wasn’t a big fan of this idea but he helped me anyway because he knew it was important to me. (Best husband, ever!) We used other pieces of wood, not just the ones from the pallet and a left-over fabric for the back. Wood and lights were also already on hand in the household, so the total investment wasn’t more then 6-7€ and a couple of evenings working together.

DSC_0756

I’m really happy how it turned out: made our tiny living room very cozy and we also had place for those Christmas-cards. We set up our tree next to it and even my husband loved it at the end.

DSC_0753

And our little son was playing camp-fire in it: he was grilling toy food on the fake fire… Is it really cute or just weird?

DSC_0743

Anyway, it’s all packed up in our basement since yesterday and we are getting ready our apartment and ourselves for the new baby’s arrival now.

Holiday Wishes

I would like to thank you all for following me this year! I do hope that I inspired lots of people and lots of projects! Keep crafting!
I wish you all the best for the up-coming holidays, no stress if possible, lot of hot-chocolate to keep you warm and MERRY CHRISTMAS TO EVERYONE!

9 honap Samuval3

Crochet bag

My Mother retired this year. My husband and I are very happy for her, she deserves it very much. In this spirit we were thinking about signing her up for a course of some kind, to help her to find a new hobby so she wouldn’t go crazy being home all the time. But of course this is something that you can not decide for an other person, it might not work or she wouldn’t like it at all. So this plan was put on hold for a while then a couple of weeks ago she mentioned me that a long-long time ago she learned how to crochet and she would like to continue. Or better to say: pick it up again and start it over. I saw the perfect opportunity when she said this: help her set up for crocheting! I asked a good friend of mine to help me with his plan because I have no idea about crocheting and she is an expert in it. So she told me where to buy the yarns and which size of needles are most commonly used. She also recommended me a great book but unfortunately I still have trouble buying it online. This is why I asked my sister to buy that book in Hungary (my Mom only speaks Hungarian) and give my mother on Christmas eve for me.

Beside the needles, yarn and book I made a crochet-bag for her just to make the set complete. Earlier,  I found  a great bag for knitters on pinterest and I figured I could make something similar for the crochet-supplies.

DSC_0736

The bag is quiet big, so she will be able to drag her current projects with her any time and anywhere. The bag has two handles: one short and one long: she can pull the longer one through the smaller one and wear the bag on her shoulder or hang it on a hook and get it out of the way.

Horgolo-taska

From the inside the bag has a pocket with a magnetic-button:

DSC_0733

I also made small pockets for the needles. I ordered two sets and still waiting for the second-one to arrive this is why half of the pockets are empty. But you can still see how great they look!

DSC_0734

I also added two “loops” on the side/bottom of the bag to keep the yarns even more organized if it is possible.

DSC_0735Well, this is it. I would love to hear what you think of this bag! Especially from those of you who actually crochet (or knit). I hope that my Mom will love this bag, find it useful and she will really try to pick up crocheting again.

 

I pimped my car…

It’s probably not a very “christmasy” thing to talk about but I promised in a previous post so here it is. When we were planning our big trip to France this year I was thinking about how to get our car even more comfortable for a long road-trip and I figured out a couple of things.
First I renewed the cardboard arm-support thing that I made two years ago because it was a bit worn out. Taped extra support onto the top (it was also a bit lower than the perfect size, so I definitely had to make it slightly higher) and sewed a new cover. It also has a small pocket on the side for my cell-phone because I drop it sometimes and can’t find it for hours… The old cover was actually in excellent condition but I didn’t have more of that fabric and I wanted to match it with the new add-ons. DSC_0724

Then I burned a new CD which we do every year before starting a long road trip. I know: nowadays burning a CD is very old-fashioned but this works in our ten-years old car and we are fine with it. For all the CDs we collected over the years I sewed a very practical and also great-looking CD holder. I followed this tutorial for that.  This CD holder turned out very well and we love it! Easy to reach the CDs without opening the glove compartment and putting the whole family in danger. I can only recommend it!

Autos cuccok

My other favorite thing is the trash-bag which hangs over the transmission handle. I found somewhere a tip how to make a bag water-tight from the insidewhich makes the trashbag washable. You have to melt a few layers of plastic bags together by covering them with a thin paper and ironing them until they melt.

IMGP0470

Then just use this plastic-sheet as a fabric. I have used this car-trash-bag since summer almost every day when I pick up my son from the kindergarten and it is so amazing I couldn’t live without anymore!

IMGP0562

Beside these things I also made a bigger bag to hang over the front seat and keep food in it for the long road trip but it wasn’t as successful as I hoped. It turned out a bit too big and without a cooler system it is just not  practical enough. At least not for food. But if you have a child on board who still wears diapers, then I would recommend to make something like this to keep diapers, wipes and extra cloths in it for an easy reach. We were always looking for the diaper bag when we stopped to change the baby, somehow it always hid somewhere… Or maybe use the bag for toys, raincoats etc.

Advent Calendar Part 3.

As I mentioned in the last post, I still try to catch up with many things in my life including the advent calendar for my son. I decided to continue making the small ornaments from felt and fill the pockets up as soon as I can. I know it’s very lame but I do have an advantage this year: my son can only count up to five and so far he did not notice that a few pocket is actually empty…

When Advent started about a week ago I managed to get done 17 ornaments. I took these pictures on the first day:

Adventi Naptar4

Since then I was able to make a couple more and now only four is missing. The good thing is that my days seem to be calmer and now I have a bit more time. So hopefully the whole project will be done in a few days and I can share the details with you!
Until then check out “sewchat’s” calendar on this link who was able to finish her beautiful calendar just in time for Advent and kept my spirit up by sending me supporting messages! Thanks again!