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1  Birdhouses in Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects by Sunbala on: February 22, 2014 08:35:51 AM
Becca-red has a fabulous tutorial on crafster about making bird houses out of milk cartons.
So we followed her instructions  . . .
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=431460.0#axzz2u4LVopzy



Totally fun project!
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2  Pink Atlas sewing machine foot pedal? in Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions by Sunbala on: February 09, 2014 03:30:16 PM
I purchased a sewing table at a thrift store and found a pink atlas sewing machine inside it. It is missing the foot pedal and I can't find where a petal would plug in. Does anyone have one of these and know where the foot pedal should attach? Anyone know where to get parts?

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3  Pillow case to Christmas Dress for Bebe. in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by Sunbala on: December 23, 2013 12:52:13 PM
My little one insisted that Bebe have a Christmas dress. Bebe is too small to wear hand-me-downs and the store-bought dress that would fit her is too expensive.


Bebe's new Christmas dress.

 I had been looking for a use for an old friend -- a piece of material that began its life as a bed sheet sometime in the 1980's, was reincarnated into a pillowcase for a body pillow and a Christmas tree skirt, and was now too ragged even to become a dish towel.

 
The pllowcase in its ragged glory.


Bebe's small size allowed me to cut from the parts of the cloth that were still good. I did not use a pattern-- the idea was to produce the dress before my child got bored with the project. She held down the sewing machine petal and did some of the basing stitches. Bebe was carried triumphantly (upside-down) through the grocery in her new dress as soon as we were done.
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4  Guess what these tree ornaments are in Winter Holidays by Sunbala on: December 21, 2013 12:08:15 PM

These tree ornaments are a solution to my family's dilemma of too many _____.

Can you guess what they are?






Closer view . . .





Still not sure?



Hint: 100% organic.





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5  What to do with 8X10 in. hand marbled paper? in What the heck can I do with THIS? by Sunbala on: October 06, 2013 02:40:17 PM
I went to the Knoxville Turkish Cultural center today for a festival and made this really cool marbled paper there. It is only 8 by 10 inches and I want to do something special with it. Any ideas?


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6  Glitter Pumpkins in Halloween Decor and Parties by Sunbala on: October 06, 2013 12:12:22 PM
The combination of a 3 year old, glitter, and decoupaging medium can only be reasonably described as lethal. So we have no progress pictures.
Here are our glitter pumpkins. The 3-D one is a gourd that we grew last year and found well dried-out in the garage this fall. The 2-D pumpkin was purchased for a dollar at a craft store. This is a good outdoor project.

In case you are wondering, decoupaging medium does eventually come out of hair.
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7  Dancing Skeletons/Floating Skull: Don't have that, Use this. in Halloween Decor and Parties by Sunbala on: September 29, 2013 06:49:03 PM
My 3 year-old fell in love with a few projects that she and I looked at in the Halloween additions of some favorite magazines. She is in the NO-Mommy-Make-It-Like-the-Pictue! phase, so that's what we tried to do, but we were lacking some of the materials and it is hard to get the time to go specialty shopping and do the project. So here is our if-you-don't-have-that-use-this-addition-of-paper-skeleton-crafting.


This first thing she liked was the dancing skeleton- loose arms and legs, dangles from a string, etc.  The one we used was based on clip-art from a certain domestic diva's Webpage. The pattern called for brads, but we had no brads. We did however have a lot of small buttons accumulated from years of family purchases of shirts and sweaters that came with spare buttons. We used the buttons to attach the arms and legs much like you might do for a rag doll teddy bear.

The attachment points on the body and extremities were reinforced with tape and then buttons were sewn on the front and back of each point, sandwiching the moving paper parts in between. To make sure the arms and legs would move well, I passed the thread back and forth through a single hole in the paper at each attachment point.




A surprising number of things can go wrong in this process (see above that I have forgotten to attach the arm under the button- he he) and it is too much for a 3 year old to wait through. However the end result was good and sturdy.

Front

Back


The next project was a floating skull wreath -again based on clip-art from another Home and Out-doorsy kind of magazine. We did go to a craft store to get most of the materials for this one. There was only one melt-down over a plastic dinosaur craft kit that the cruel parent would not purchase.

The instructions called for a scrap of upholstery fabric for the bow- something not carried by the craft store. Wide gauge ribbon would do, but it was $15.99 per roll-a non-starter. However the store carried a selection of $2.99 novelty halloween scarves- Perfect!

The idea for this wreath was to cut black and white felt into 100 1/2 inch wide by 10 inch long strips. We were instructed to wrap the strips around a straw wreath form, pinning each one in place with a straight pin. See picture below. One Hundred 1/2 in strips with a 3-year-old? Forget about it!
We used 50 1 inch wide strips. The 3-year-old pinned about 3 felt strips herself- not bad. She also helped "organize" the strips in a good pile next to our work space.



The instructions called for bamboo skewers to support the skull clip art, sturdy but difficult to achieve the floating aspect for the skull as seen in the magazine. Also, we did not have any bamboo skewers. So we just used thin thread to stitch and X across the back of the wreath. We taped the skull to its vertex. We got very convincing "floating" out of it.


Anyway thanks for reading. Hope your halloween is full of dancing and floating.
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8  Murder in the Garden: With a Happy Ending. in Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects by Sunbala on: August 19, 2013 10:54:16 AM


We came upon a crime scene in the local University's formal Garden.


Oh! No! Gnomicide!

But wait .  .  .


Perhaps this was only attempted murder!

Oh! No! The hot glue drys too fast!





Pieces are missing. Bubble Wrap to the rescue!



Eweeee!

What's wrong with my head?!

Um. Nothing .  .  . Your brains are sho .. errr your hat is so last summer.

My what is what?

Nevermind. We'll make it work.

Huh

Crochet hook to the rescue!!

Work fast you only have one episode of a certain mouse's clubhouse to finish.




That looks just like my old hat!

No it doesn't. It has a (fast movements with hook and thread) flower. See?



All is well again. The hat was sealed with a water proofing spray. The gnome will be reinstalled in the public garden as soon as all the glue is dry.
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9  Fairy Garden Housing Boom in Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects by Sunbala on: June 09, 2013 07:55:05 PM
The UT Gardens had a workshop in March about building Fairy Gardens. We were not able to attend the workshop but my toddler has had the pleasure of finding the example Fairy Gardens form the workshop tucked all over the Garden. So far we have discovered three! If you are wondering, a fairy garden is a diminutive landscape, often in a flower pot, which includes a small residence for fairies.

Ispired by these examples, my daughter wanted to increase the fairy real estate in the grater Knoxville Area and she was very bent on doing it quickly after the first time we noticed the Fairy Gardens at UT.

So upon arrival home we threw this together: The recycled Fairy Garden (for the eco-concious fairy).


98.9% Post consumer materials!

We used a planter that was made from an old tire and painted purple with spare house paint-- I cleaned the paint roller we used to paint our back door by rolling it on the finished tire planter- fabulous and easy results from paint that would have been discarded otherwise. Making the planter, which we did about 5 years ago,  is another story--It required cutting the top rim off a tier and then flipping the tier inside out, which will be a quick process for you if you routinely wrestle alligators. We already had snap dragons and a mini pine tree growing in the planter. Alexandria found some shells from vacations past  and stones from our drive way to make the path and yard ornaments. The house is made from a small disposable purple plastic flower pot and a large shell. We used a sharpie pen to draw on the windows and flourishes on the house and I cut a door in it with garden sheers. This residence is already occupied and it was on the market for less than 2 hours!

With results like these it was clear that Knoxville was due for a fairly housing boom. So we decided to go into mass production-- we scheduled a Fairy Garden Party to occur on the anniversary  of Alex's birth and have invited several little builders ages (0.5 to 7).

These fairy houses are modular homes made out of little unfinished bird houses which my husband spent several weekends sawing doors in with a tiny hand saw.  We will provide paint, stickers, shells, glue and ribbons for the little builders to finish them with. Then each little builder can install the fairy house at his/home garden.



Sudden Valley

Alex and I built a model home to help advertise the Development. We painted it red and white like a Mario mushroom. We bought succulents from the famers market and put it all together in a little rock pot with some fancy stones and wine bottle corks. I used a smashed-up pine cone and rocks at the bottom of my pot to cover the drainage hole without clogging it. We also found some doll house fences to make the small lot size less noticeable. (There will be a community pool rather than each house having its own!)


Here it is all assembled. It is going to be the center-peace (yes "peace") for the Birthday table and then it will be moved to its permanent residence next to one of our roses.


The Seawind Unit.

The little builders were very enthusiastic and creative. One very blond builder did end up with a perfectly punk rock streak of blue tempera in the front of his hair. So all went as well as it could have!




Surely no fairy house is complete without a blue glow in the dark Spider.

You can follow the chaos that is ~10 toddlers painting fairy houses on my blog at
http://alexandriasgarden.blogspot.com/2013/06/fairy-gardens.html.
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10  How to grow a Sunflower House in Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects by Sunbala on: May 25, 2013 01:34:50 PM
Materials
Sunny section of yard 4X4 feet
Shovel
20 Sunflower seeds (Giant variety)
20 Heavenly Blue morning glory seeds (or other color)
Patience from whomever mows your yard
Garden twine



In a sunny part of your yard, use a shovel to scrape the outline of a 4X4 square, leaving a 2 foot opening of unscraped earth in the center of one side of the square--this will be the door. The channel should be about 6 inches wide. Evenly plant Sunflower seeds and morning glory seeds around the square. When the sunflowers are large enough (about 50-80 days) and/or the morning glories have grow up to the top of the sunflowers, use garden twine to string a few zigzags across the square at the top of the sun flowers. This will give the morning glories something to grow across to form the roof. This is a great project for your kids to help you with! My toddler was eager to push the seeds in the ground and water them. She was excited when they sprouted and we can't wait for her to move in.  Wink


After two months of growth the Sunflowers are taller than my 3 year old. I have to loosen the morning glories that grow out on the sunflower's leaves to keep the leaves from being stunted.

WORD OF WARNING: If you have a wonderful caring spouse who tends your garden when you are too busy, warn him that the morning glories are NOT weeds which need to be removed from the sunflowers. Bless his heart!

You can follow the updated pictures as the house grows on our blog:
http://alexandriasgarden.blogspot.com/2013/05/how-to-build-sunflower-house.html
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