Wednesday, June 13, 2012

{Sock Monkey Tutorial}

Sometimes I make myself crazy.  Okay, a lot.  I don't know how my husband puts up with me.  I try to load my plate much too full and it ends in minor disaster.  Well, that's why this year--this year of "homemade Christmas"--I am starting now.  I'm making rag dolls for my girls and sock monkeys for my boys.  Today's project? Sock monkeys.  I know I could buy them, but I don't think those kind come with love included.  I want my kids to have heirloom toys and quilts that I made for them.  Things I put my heart and soul into.  Maybe they won't appreciate them now, but hopefully when someday they pull out a much-loved monkey, doll, quilt, etc, they'll realize that their mother's hands created this just for them and realize how special they are to me.  Before I start crying over my grown kids, here's how I made the monkeys. 

You will need:

A pair of socks (This monkey was made with the extra large size, and makes a 21" monkey)
Fabric marker
Needle and coordinating thread
2 black buttons
I looked all over online and the cheapest place I found the 'original' socks were HERE.  The socks actually come with sock monkey directions printed on the back of the label.  But in case you are more of a visual person, like me, you'll appreciate a more step by step illustration.  Cue pictures.

Turn the socks inside out.  I used a fabric marker to draw my sewing and cutting lines.
LEFT SOCK: arms on top, heel mouth, tail on lower left and ears on lower right.
RIGHT SOCK:  monkey body, legs are on the lower part. (Leave a hole between the legs--you will turn it right side out and stuff it through the crotch)

I sewed on all of the lines before I cut anything apart.  I actually sewed my seams twice because my boys are a little rough and tumble.  Trying to save myself repair work now.

These are the socks sewn on the lines and cut apart. 

Turn the pieces right side out.

Stuff the monkey. I used regular polyester fiberfill.

Then sew the monkey together.  This is the most time-consuming part. I started with the crotch, because I didn't want it to fray. With the detached (arms, mouth, tail, ears) parts, you have to simultaneously hold the part on, turn the raw edge of the sock under, and whip stitch it together.  I knotted my thread and sewed a couple loops into the body to secure it before I started stitching.

A note about the eyes:  I did a loop into the body to secure the thread before I sewed the buttons on, then loosely sewed the buttons on, pulled it tight when I was finished, and then came out behind the ear to knot.  If you know a better way, please share!!

Just test driving the monkey. Won't it look cute on their beds?

One down, one to go!!

Monday, June 11, 2012

{Easy Father's Day Card}

In case you haven't already made your Father's Day card (surely not you?), I thought I'd share my simple card idea.  All you need is a few coordinating papers and about 5 minutes.  The card is quarter-sheet size (so slice a reg 8.5x11 in half and fold it).  I made a little template of a tie, cut three out, and glue sticked the whole thing together!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Summer To Do list

Last night over dinner we compiled a list of things we wanted to do this summer.  Whenever summer finally decides to show up, of course.  I tried my best not to edit.


  • Go to Australia
  • Get a boomerang in Australia
  • go to Jump planet
  • go to Walmart to use my gift card
  • play baseball in Hawaii
  • build a castle
  • build a tree house
  • buy a bigger house with a bigger yard and bigger trees, then build a tree house
  • go to Canada
  • go to the splash pad and bring our dog
  • get a dog, first
  • go to the King Tut exhibit (we will do that one)
  • walk dogs
  • learn how to draw Mickey Mouse (now, where could we go to do that one...)
  • eat fish and chips in Seattle
  • Space Needle
  • Seattle Ducks
  • buy a police car (craigslist, perhaps?)
  • buy strawberry gum
  • popcorn (that was what Sweetie said when we asked her opinion)

Should be a fantastic summer.
What fun stuff are YOU doing this summer?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Buddy's Cat in the Hat party

Happy 4th Birthday to my little Buddy!!  What a fun 4 years it's been with this kiddo.  We celebrated in Seussy style.

Favor bags:  sidewalk chalk, bubbles, spikey blue ball that looks like a 'Thing' to me (Target), Dr. Seuss alphabet stickers (Michaels), balls and kazoos (Target).  They also got pinwheels and goldfish crackers.

The bunting was easy to make.  Two yards of polka dot fabric and 4 pkg extra wide, double fold white bias tape.  I'll post a tutorial soon.

Woke the birthday boy up with a donut in bed. (Okay, he was already starting to get dressed for the day, so we had him climb back in bed, shirtless, and pretend to be asleep).  It was a highlight of the day for him.

Kid table with a goldfish (swimming), some goldfish (Pepperidge Farm), and striped tablecloth (ordered a 100 yd roll from Oriental Trading Co).

Made cleanup easy on myself with striped paper straws (, plastic deli baskets and liners (Joann Fabrics)

Cat in the Hat pops made from a slice of one jumbo marshmallow, three regular big marshmallow, and strips of strawberry fruit by the foot.  Strung them on skewers and had an instant treat!

Love that responsible little goldfish in the book, so we had goldfish all over.  Here are little bags (Target) with handmade labels (paper from Michaels).

Pinwheels (a kit from Michaels) doubled as decoration and favors.

I found a picture of the fish online, printed it out and taped it to a real goldfish bowl with tissue paper 'water'.

The hat on the table is from the "What's in the Cat's Hat?"
 game and doubled as centerpiece and party game.

His 'cake' was a bunch of Thing-y cupcakes (used the star tip and buttercream frosting).  Cut out the cupcake flags and wrappers on my cricut.

Cute little party goers.

Daddy ran the photo booth.

We had a basket of costumes and accessories that they could use for props.

The food was easy and no-fuss.  Buddy picked chicken nuggets, strawberries, carrot sticks, chocolate milk, cupcakes and ice cream cones. 

Make a wish, Love!

The party was at lunchtime, and after afternoon naps, we took dinner to a beach.  We played frisbee and made sand castles and just PLAYED, then headed back home for family present opening.  We gave him a Razor scooter with light up wheels, and as he cruised around the cul de sac, he threw his head back and yelled "The is the BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!!!"  That right there makes everything worth it. :)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Bits and Pieces

After a lengthy blogcation, I'm back.  Here's a snippet of what we've been up to.

Kissing our reflections on the back door.  I am told someday I will miss all the finger (lip) prints around my house.  We will wait and see.

Some beach fun with good friends over Spring Break.  It looks all sunny and we tried to pretend it was warm by wearing capris and flip flops.

Buddy and his bff.  They walk around and talk like little people and I imagine the conversation to go something like "So, did you make anything cool with legos lately?"  "No, I've been more into nerf guns.  Oh, but I did have some goldfish for a snack the other day."  "Cool."

Can. not. get enough of this child.  If you ask her to do something, she says 'sure' but it sounds like 'sir', and it's the cutest thing you've ever heard.  She also has a giggle that's guaranteed to make you smile.

We are into ninjas lately.  That has nothing to do with this picture, but I thought it was worth a mention.

We took a fun chocolate factory tour.  It was great, except that the samples were the size of chocolate chips.  I had bigger expectations.

After the chocolate tour, we got ice cream (yeah, I was all kinds of wild and crazy.  And also to make up for the tiny samples.  Both of them.).  We stopped at the temple to walk around the beautiful grounds.

Then we stopped at Daddy's fancy office to say hi and give him some surprise chocolate.

We pushed a giant ball of granite around at the science center.  Same old-same old.

Went to a 3-D IMAX movie about dinosaurs.

Went on a hot date with my boyfriend.  We took a Savor Seattle tour at Pike Place Market (aka we walked around eating food for two hours).  Seriously, what could be better?

Just another random picture of my favorite 23 month old.  Might I add that Girlie has a matching dress.  One of the joys of my life is dressing my kids in coordinating clothes.

Then we went to Utah to watch these beautiful people get hitched.  Ahhhh....

Los padres.  How I adore them.  Aren't they cute??

My, what handsome boys!

She's pausing to smell the flowers.  She gets that from me.

Possibly one of my favorite pictures ever.  All of us, coordinating clothes, in front of the temple on a beautiful day.  Doesn't get much better than that.

Passed out on the way home.  Not me, no.  J's tummy hurt, so I ended up having to drive almost ALL THE WAY HOME, WHICH TOOK US ALMOST 16 VERY. PAINFUL. HOURS. It will be a long time before I go to Utah again.

If we lived there, we'd be home.  Someday.

Mother's Day celebration at school.  I am a mother.   Go ahead, celebrate me.

Fun hike with my cousin Adam and his family.  They just moved to the area.  Lucky us.

And lucky me, because I get to spend all day, every day with this cutie.  She melts my heart.  Every. single. day.

Yes, they're all mine.

Mr. T in the "Circus Alphabet" musical.  Atta boy.

It's also been birthday party central around here.  It seems that when I planned my kids, I thought "What a nice time of year to have a baby" and not "Wow, that's going to be three birthday parties in four weeks."  Slight miscalculation on my part.  Pictures to follow.  In case you didn't get enough here.