Tag Archives: red

4 ways to use up the rice left in your pantry when you go grain-free

I’ve recently discovered how much better I feel when I don’t eat grain.  But what to do with all that rice that was left in the pantry?   Glad you asked!  Here are the four uses I’ve found so far…

1.  For the 6mo+ crowd…  Shakers.  Dye rice different colors and put it in clean, dry water/juice/pop bottles.   You might want to superglue the lids on.

 

2.  For the 2+ crowd… I Spy tube.  Dye rice different colors and put it in clean, dry water/juice/pop bottle with beads and other small trinkets.  Again, you might want to superglue the lid on.  If you’re really ambitious, you can lay out all the trinkets and take a picture of them first so your bambina will have a reference card to check off all the bits as she finds them.

 

3.  For the preschooler+ crowd…  Sensory tub.  Dump it in a tub with other fun items such as small cups or measuring spoons.

 

4.  For the kindergarten+ crowd… Practice with letter formation or spelling practice.  Pour some rice out onto a sheet pan and let the bambina use a finger to practice making letters. (Though, I’ve heard this works better with salt or flour – of which you might also have some leftovers in your pantry if you’re going grain-free.)

 

(Since I used up all my rice in the shakers and I Spy tube, I had to smurf some images from other blogs.  Please give them some love for me!)

 

And now, how to dye rice (the easy way)…

Pour some rice into a big bowl.  Squirt some liquid food coloring on it.  Stir it around with a spatula until it’s all coated.  Pour the rice into a flat layer on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.  Stick it in the oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour.  Let it cool.  Done!

I can’t vouch for the colorfastness of this rice if you’re going to be using it for hands-on activities with older bambini, but it works just fine if you’re locking it up in a plastic bottle.

 

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Chompable Mamma-Jewelry

We recently reached a momentous milestone in the bambina’s short life:  6 months old!  That’s half a year!  How did that happen?

She’s been showing more and more signs of teething lately – drooling through multiple shirts a day, chomping hard on her fingers and my own, putting everything within reach into her gummy little mouth, and responding positively to iced pacifiers and clove oil on her gums.  She’s also been more and more grabby (which is only a problem when I don’t want her grabbing anything that’s actually in reach, like my hair, or breakable and probably germy products on a store shelf), so I decided it was time to find something for her to play with and chomp on while I’m holding her.

I found some beautiful necklaces on Etsy that I absolutely love, like this…

And this…

And this…

But in the spirit of homemade, I headed out to my local craft store and found some supplies to make my own. Boy, was that a mistake.  It turns out I am a terrible jewelry designer, especially when it comes to practical necklaces that are baby-mouth safe.   My first two attempts were not even worthy of photographing – they ended up being disassembled to harvest the beads and then the cord got trashed.

Take two.  I ordered two wooden teething rings from Life Circles Necklaces on Etsy, one of which became a necklace when I strung a silk cord through it (the other went  in the bambina’s toy basket).

Too bad she enjoys sucking on the cord more than anything else.  It’s also slightly uncomfortable to have hanging around my neck when she’s not actively playing with it, so I went back to my original plan of knotting some beads onto cord.  Here are the two necklaces I ended up with.

The first one uses cotton cord knotted in a friendship bracelet style with small red and orange glass beads spaced evenly along the cord.

The second one is made of narrow ribbon and blue glass beads, also assembled via the friendship bracelet style of knotting.

(Thank goodness for all of those years of making bracelets at summer camp!)

“But, Jacelyn,” I hear you exclaiming, “you’re letting her chew on glass beads?!”  Yep, I sure am.  But a) she still has no teeth, so technically she’s just gumming them, and b) I double-check them every time I grab a necklace to make sure they’re all still fully intact, and c) I supervise her when she’s playing with them.  And to be perfectly honest, she pretty much spends all her time sucking on the cord or ribbon; any bead-mouthing is just collateral damage.  When she gets to the point that I’m actually worried about her having those beads in her mouth, I’ll make another necklace that’s just knots, possibly embellished with wooden beads.

So, the bottom line…  In the end, it would have been more cost- and time-efficient to order a finished product.  But I enjoyed challenging myself to create something that I would enjoy wearing and that the bambina would enjoy playing with.  And she does enjoy playing with them.  Mostly I wear them when I’m carrying her in a sling or other carrier – they keep her entertained and busy when we’re just standing around, and they distract her from needing to grab at everything else.  Mission accomplished.

Repurpose! Pants to dress and diaper cover

Hey, bambina, how about a new dress and diaper cover for our trip to the beach?

Apparently I owned the winner of the “Least Flattering Pants in the World” Award.  They looked like this.  Even when they were pressed, these linen pants were pretty gnarly.  I mean that in the negative way.  Yep, these pants were not my friend.  Nor were they my figure’s friend.

But they were so soft and lightweight, and just look at the gorgeous texture of the warp and weave!

I couldn’t possibly toss them!  So what could I do?  Harvest the fabric and use them for something else, of course! Harvesting fabric is always the toughest part of a project.  I’m not sure exactly how long they laid around (first on the “Am I really going to wear this again?” shelf in the closest, then in the project basket, then on the kitchen table), just waiting for me to start.  But I’m sure glad I did…

…because look how it turned out!

And the back view…  (Goodness, it’s tough to get a clear photo when holding a squirmy 6 month old!)

I followed this tutorial for the dress (modified it to suit my tastes, of course) and this one for the diaper cover.  I referred to this tutorial a lot for working with the elastic thread.

The brown fabric is from the linen pants, and the red bows are twill tape.

I left the back open for easier on/off, and added three vintage buttons at the top to close it.  I also made it shorter than the tutorial, since the bambina is still a sitter and I didn’t want it to get tangled up under her bum when we’re scooting her around.

Somebody’s excited about her new outfit!

Mobile spirals

Repurpose! Knee-socks into Baby Leg Warmers

Have you got a baby with cold legs?  Have you got some old knee-socks that you’ve practically walked right through?  You could buy some fancy baby leg warmers for upwards of $10 a pop, or you could make your own!  I loved this project partly because I was able to complete the whole thing with photographs in under one nap (45 minutes).

I have been accused of hoarding socks in the past, and I will admit that I tend to keep them way past their prime.  I can’t help it – I love socks.  Funky, colorful, super-soft, warm… socks are pretty awesome.  And now that I’ve found a use for the ones that  somebody says I need to get rid of, vengeance is mine!

Ok, back to the tutorial.  First, track down some old socks.  Holes in the toes?  Heels threadbare?  No problem.  I found these old cuties buried in my sock drawer and thought, “The bambina would love pink and red argyle leg warmers!”  (Yep, they’re Valentine socks.  Quite possibly my favorite variety.)

Find the place where the leg meets the heel.   If your socks have a different color heel than leg, then you’ve got a super easy job!  If not, look for where the stitches change.  In mine, the stitches of the heel were smoother than the leg.

Your goal is to cut across the top of the heel.

Then, go ahead and cut straight across from there.

Flip it inside out.

Roll the cut edge up (or down, depending on how you have the sock laying in front of you) about 1/2 inch.  Then, flip under the cut edge up to the fold.  You’re effectively creating a roll that is about 1/4 inch that encases the cut edge.  (It was much easier to do it this way than to try to fold 1/4 inch and then fold over another 1/4 inch.  But if your sock makes it easier to do it that more traditional way, then more power to you!)  Pin the roll in place.

Grab some elastic thread.  Yep, you really do want elastic thread.  That will help maintain the stretchiness of the sock.  I found this in the elastic section (not the thread section) of my local fabrics and crafts store.

Cut yourself a piece of elastic that’s about four times the width of the sock (enough to wrap around twice without stretching).  Find a big old needle with an eye big enough to fit the elastic thread through.  (I think this was one I bought for tying quilts.)  Make one stitch through the roll and tie off the end, leaving a couple inches tail.  Use a slip stitch to sew the rolled hem down to the leg.  Pull the elastic taut, but don’t stretch it as you go.  Work your way around the sock, then tie the string to the tail you left at the beginning and trim off the extra.

Turn it right side out and you’re done!  Now, go make the other one!

DIY baby leg warmers!

“I love them, Mamma!”

Also useful as detachable sleeves!

Hey, take my picture, too!

New Ways to Spend My Time

The sewing machine has been in the repair shop for two weeks now, and I must admit, I’m going through serious withdrawals.  Especially since Bambina has started taking some really great naps.  So, I’ve had to find some new ways to spend my time.  Here are a few ways I’ve been spending my time lately…

Embroidered Bambina’s monogram onto her baby quilt.

Embroidered a sleeping dragon onto a Onesie for a friend’s new baby (it’s the year of the dragon!).

Made a simple baby doll for that dragon baby.

Made some magnets for the grandmas for Mother’s Day.  (And a couple for myself.)

And a whole lotta this…

Yep, lots of time doing this.

Did I mention I’ve been working on this?

Ok, I admit, what you see in the pictures is actually 18 months worth of knitting.  I’ve actually only put on about 10 stripes in the last two weeks.  This little knit blanket has been sitting in my project basket untouched for probably 8 months.  Every so often I’d pull it out and add a few more rows, but then once the Bambina came along, I kind of got distracted.  Now that she’s got a decent bedtime and I have a few minutes to just sit in the evening, this little puppy might actually get finished and given away!  (When a friend asked me who I was making it for, I said it would be for the next baby who was born after it was finished.  Since that conversation, not only has she had a baby, and I’ve had a baby, but I know of five other babies who have been born to close friends and family.  Blanket still not finished.  I’m just waiting for the right baby, I guess.)

Apron for Craft Hope

Craft Hope project 17 is up and running, and here’s my contribution…

This little half-apron features a purple ruffle around the edges and a small purple pocket with bright red heart.  It was super easy to make – I think I need to make a few more!

Learn more about Craft Hope.

Graphic sleepsacks

Ruby red booties!