Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Christmas 2013-1 Hope you are having a wonderful Christmas!

     With Love,

The Kain Family

Friday, December 20, 2013

Sweater to Slipper Refashion

It seems that most of my projects these days are necessity projects. Today’s project is no exception.

Yesterday I debuted our new space (sewing space for Mama, and play space for the boys). Since our new space is in the basement, the floors tend to be cold (a bonus in the summer, but gives you shivers during a Michigan winter). Another problem with the floors….when in a sewing frenzy, Mama tends to drop pins. I’m getting better, but I still do not to risk one of my little guys stepping on one.

I had a solution.


Toddler Slippers Refashioned from SweaterMy husband had chucked a wool sweater into the donate box. I quickly pulled it out knowing I could do something with it, it was wool. Unfortunately I don’t have a before picture because I cut into the sweater pre-blogging days.

Sweater Refashioned to SlippersI used this tutorial and template from Leafy Treetop Spot. The slippers in the tutorial are made with fleece. I have plenty of fleece, but I was envisioning something warmer and a little bit sturdier.

The outside upper slipper, and inside sole are cut from the felted sweater.

Slippers From Sweater and Blue JeansThe bottoms are made from Blue Jean Buttercup leftovers.

Sweater to SlippersI used some red fleece left from the boys’ Halloween costume to line the slipper uppers. The Velcro is also from my stash (which is why it doesn’t match).

Slippers from Wool Sweater

I made size 10/11. They are quite big on the boys right now, but they’ll grow into them. The tutorial is very easy to follow, and would make wonderful last minute Christmas gifts.

Do you dive for wool sweaters? If so, what are your favorite wool projects? That sweater barely touched the donation pile before I snagged it up. It seems like wool sweaters are a little harder to thrift these days.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

My New Haven

Things have been productive around here. Well, maybe not whole house productive, but craft/sewing space productive.

It all started when I posted my 4 Simple Goals. Remember the state of the basement and my sewing space? Hmm, well take a moment and click back to that post because I am too embarrassed to post those pictures twice.

Sadly, it took me less than an hour to get both spaces back in tip-top shape. (And for the record, I am not talking about shoving everything to the side so I could take a blog picture. I mean everything in its place and a place for everything!)

A couple shots of the clean basement:

Clean Basement.1

Why yes, there are a few more appliances. We were given a “new to us” refrigerator and dryer. The old fridge is for our overflow, and hubby plans on fixing the dryer.

Clean Basement 2

Spacious enough for some toddler exercise! After cleaning the basement, I brought in the boys’ tricycles. Now they love doing laundry!

Lets check out my space. Drum roll please…. (just kidding, please don’t expect anything spectacular.)

Clean Sewing Space

Now before you scoff at my pride and joy, I fully understand that this is not anything to share with Martha (as in Stewart), pin to Pinterest under great spaces, or post to BHG fan page. But this is what I have to work with, and it works wonderfully for me.

Want to see my favorite part?

Let me give you a little back story first: Hubby came down and looked at our newly clean basement. He was impressed. Yet, he was a little concerned that I wouldn’t be able to use my space often, you know since I am the Mama of two and a half year old twin boys. Who.Destroy.Everything.

So he took action.

Boy's Corner in Sewing Space

We had an old television in the basement that just got shoved from corner to corner. It had not been turned on in at least ten years, and I may have occasionally begged my husband to take it out with the garbage.

Boy am I glad he didn’t take it to the road! He set up the television and a DVD player in the corner opposite my sewing table. I brought the art easel down, and a basket of toys. The boys can watch a movie, play, or create while Mama sews them up a new wardrobe. Win-win!

Including the Boys in Mama's Sewing Space

The chair was a more recent addition. We had to move it to put up the Christmas tree,and if the boys have anything to say about it; the chair is staying!

What challenges did/do you face with toddlers? I personally love this stage so much, all of the learning and imagination these little guys display. But sometimes it seems impossible to get anything done. This stage really helps us to stretch our parental creativity (like including a space for them in my space.)

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

31 by 31 Update, Halfway There!

This semester is coming to an end. I have to take the final exam on Monday, and then I get a bit of a reprieve. My 31 by 31 goals have been set on the backburner during this semester, so I thought it might be a good time to update them and make plans to bump a few out while on break. I only have six months left….

*For those of you perplexed right now, my 31 by 31 list is a list of things I would like to do before my thirty-first birthday. Nothing earth shattering, just a little list of fun things to accomplish.


1. Paint, and decorate dining room. *I think I am focusing on the office and eat-in part of the kitchen this year. I picked out colors, and bought paint already.
2. Build a display shelf for hubby’s decoys. *Have some ideas.
3. Finish piano project.
4. Build a piece of furniture.
5. Plant garden. Can/preserve. *Garden is planted and looking great! I picked and froze berries in July. Made some refrigerator pickles. Froze zucchini and peppers. My father-in-law canned tomatoes for us.
6. Put together 31 meal binder.
7. Potty train boys. *What a job! 8. Go on a family vacation. *Not going to happen this summer, possibly during Christmas or spring break.
9. Make a new chore chart. *Been using last year’s, need to complete new one!
10. Mail Christmas cards. *Um, not going to happen this year.
11. Have Christmas shopping done by Thanksgiving. *Not this year.
12. Have 12 date nights (at least one a month). *We did good up until September. We need a date night desperately!
13. Go on a mini-vacation with hubby.
14. Go to a Tiger game.
15. Read 12 books. *I have been reading, need to document my reads.
16. Start nursing clinical. *One more test, and first semester is done!
17. Get a 100 bowling average. (Don’t laugh! I have been working on this for five years now.) *My average has been over 100 for the last two months! (It has been dropping the last few weeks though.)
18. Whittle down debt. *Just paid off small credit card last week. Technically this isn’t whittling down debt though, because of the student loans we are accumulating.
19. C.N.A Recertification, start working part time.
20. Sell crafts (somehow; etsy/farmer’s market/craft fair). *Opened Theresa’s To-Dos on etsy in August. Need to spend some time in shop.  I also have been selling crocheted hats via word of mouth.
21. Clean out and organize garage.
22. Find a system for paper. Tackle paper clutter. *Seriously, I think I am going to go shred happy pretty soon!
23. Go through cookbooks.
24. Organize photos.
25. Work on blog organization.
26. Sew everyday for 31 days, only using stash.
27. Crochet a hat a day for 31 days. *I tried this one in August, and only made it halfway through (that was the same month we potty trained the boys).
28. Make a quilt.
29. Work on one photography skill a month. *I totally forgot about this goal. I had better make myself a list…
30. Complete 31 pins. *So, I have been trying some of the projects/recipes I have pinned, just haven’t taken pictures or blogged about them. I’ll catch up, its not like I have a shortage of pins or anything.
31. Do 31 refashions. *12 done, 19 to go. I have quite a few ideas. (Some started already!)

Whew! I’m exhausted just reading this list. This month I am going to print my list so I have a visual to keep me focused.

Do you have any grand plans and to-dos? We are heading into the new year, the time for resolutions.

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Few Completed Christmas Gifts

Is it already a week into December? My, how time flies when you are drowning in schoolwork. There is less than two weeks left in this semester, then life around here may go back to normal for a few weeks.

One of my 31 by 31 goals was to have Christmas shopping done before Thanksgiving. That didn’t happen. I know a lot of people love shopping this time of year, but I despise it. I hate the crowds, the disgruntled store employees (no they are not all disgruntled, but it seems there is at least one), the rude shoppers, all of it. I would just rather stay out of the stores this time of year.

So instead of facing the holiday crowds, I have been busy trying to sneak in a few moments here and there making a few Christmas gifts. I thought I should share them with you guys, since they are all quick and easy this year.

Today is the crochet segment.

I highly recommend the Crochet Hipster Hat by Lorene of Cre8tion Crochet. This hat is a super cute and equally fast project. (I made two hats last night!)

Crochet Hipster Hat

I made the first one exactly as the pattern is written, bow and all. I used Red Heart Super Saver Yarn in Oatmeal, and a size I hook. I love that the stitch looks detailed, yet is so simple once you get the hang of it.

Crochet Hipster With Brim

This second hat is a request from my step-daughter….made last May. Oops! At least now I have a handmade Christmas gift for her. ;)

She had requested an orange hat with a brim. We went to a few different stores looking for yarn, and she choose Lily Sugar’n’Cream cotton in Hot Orange. Let me tell you, this stuff is magic for dishcloths. Horrendous for hats. I had crocheted and frogged three different hats from three different patterns before finding success.

This hat is also a Crocheted Hipster hat, with a twist.

I used a size J hook, and worked the pattern through the eighth row. Then I crocheted the brim from Lorene’s Newsboy Slouch pattern. *For more info, see my project page on Ravelry, or leave a comment below.

crocheted teal earwarmer with flower

Next up is from Frayed Knot Crochet Patterns, Easiest Head Wrap EVER!!!

If you haven’t noticed, I am all about easy this year. And this pattern did not disappoint. I used Red Heart Soft yarn in Turquoise, and a size H hook.

The neighbor girls have been hinting about ear warmers, so I know I will be making a few more of these before Christmas.

What handmade gifts are you making this year? Please share any links! I will do all I can to avoid the Christmas crowds.