Sewing, Homeschooling and Craziness

Archive for January, 2013

Scientists and Inventors

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We are going to start adding some inventors and scientists studies into our science lessons and I thought I would share some of the things we will be using. :) This will probably be a looooong list…. LOL




From our personal library

DK Eyewitness Books: Invention

DK Eyewitness Invention


DK Eyewitness Books: Great Scientists

DK Eyewitness Great Scientists   (I don’t have this one yet.)


Women Inventors series by Jean F. Blashfield



MacMillan Profiles: Scientists & Inventors (1 Vol.)

MacMillan Profiles Scientists and Inventors



Inventors (Library of Congress)

Inventors – A Library of Congress Book 


Eureka!: Great Inventions and How They Happened

Eureka! Great Inventions and How They Happened 




Kindle Books – most free


Stories of Great Inventors Fulton, Whitney, Morse, Cooper, Edison


Stories of Great Inventors


Stories of Invention, Told by Inventors and their Friends

Stories of Invention, Told by Inventors and Their Friends 



Book 5: The Extra-Ordinary Scientist (Fassa Tails)

The Extra-Ordinary Scientist  – This was free. Keep checking back.

If you are looking for a specific inventor or scientist just search the Kindle store to see what is available.



 Printables –


Inventors and Inventions – Homeschool Share  – always free

Inventions worksheets – School Express – always free

Inventors Notebooking Pages – Unit Studies and Notebooking – free

Scientists Notebooking Pages – Notebooking Fairy  – free

Famous People Notebooking Pages – Activity Village – you will have to scroll through to find the ones you want – free

Inventors and Inventions Notebooking – The First Grade Parade 

Great Inventors Notebooking – Currclick – $10

The Great Inventors Lapbook – Currclick – $13

Inventor’s Daily Digest Magazine Activity Fun – Currclick – 50 cents


Online Resources and Activities –

Inventors Resources – The Home School Mom 

Play Dough Inventor’s Workshop – The Imagination Tree

DIY Young Inventor’s Kit – Desert Wind

Science and Technology Biographies 

Reverse Engineering – The Homeschool Scientist

Biographies for Kids – Garden of Praise

Scientists Lesson Plans




If you are wanting to learn about a specific scientist or inventor then you should Google, Google and Google! LOL Also, don’t forget to search SquidooPinterest, and Homeschool Share!



Thomas Edison’s Birthday is next month!

Thomas Edison: Young Inventor (Childhood of Famous Americans Series)

Thomas A. Edison – Childhood of Famous Americans – This is a large series! We have several of them and they are all great!



Who Was Thomas Alva Edison? (Who Was...? (PB))

Who Was Thomas Alva Edison?

This is part of a big series of books. We have several of them and they are wonderful!



Inventing the Future: A Photobiography of Thomas Alva Edison

Inventing the Future – A Photobiography of Thomas Alva Edison



Thomas Edison : The Great American Inventor (A Short Biography for Children)

Thomas Edison The Great American Inventor

This title was free for Kindle. Keep checking back. Also, there is a whole series of  books and they usually have one or two free all the time.


Thomas Alva Edison Curriculum

Thomas Edison Project Pack – In the Hands of a Child – on sale for $6







Learning About the Presidents

Here are some of the resources that we use in our Presidents studies.

I keep a binder with all the printouts in it that we have done so far.


The Everything Kids’ Presidents Book 

The Little Giant Book of American Presidents

The Little Giant Book of American Presidents

Presidents (Eyewitness Books)

DK Eyewitness Presidents

Sometimes a certain president will have LOTS of book about them. Here are a few series that are very helpful.

Who Was Abraham Lincoln?

The Who Was Series 

. . . If You Grew Up with George Washington

If You Grew Up With ……..

George Washington: Young Leader (Childhood of Famous Americans)

Childhood of Famous Americans Series

George Washington (Heroes of America)

Heroes of America Series

American Presidents Coloring Book (Dover History Coloring Book)

American Presidents Coloring Book




US Presidents Coloring Pages 

President’s Day Activities

Lapbook – Homeschool Share

Presidents Notebooking Pages

Crayola Presidents Coloring Pages

Presidents Lapbook – Squidoo

President Notebooking – Notebooking Fairy

Printable Presidents Game – 30 Handmade Days



Online Resources

The Homeschool Mom – Presidents of the United States

Info Please – U.S. Presidents

People & Places of the US – A to Z Kids Stuff

President’s Day Andy Warhol Style – Toddler Approved 

American Presidents

Slide Show and Bio of Presidents 

Teaching Kids about the Presidents – Learnist








I hope this helps!!! :)






Pleats Be My Valentine Tutorial

Pleats Be My Valentine



Once again, there seems to be a couple of steps missing in my pictures. I have been getting caught up in it and forgetting to take the pictures! SORRY!! But I can still walk you through those steps. ;)



What I Used –

1 yard of red poly blend knit – very light

1 1/2 yards of pink knit – thicker

1 yard of red jumbo rickrack


Headband –

1 group of fake roses from the Dollar Tree

1 stretchy headband from the Dollar Tree (sold in a group of 3)

hot glue gun



Pleats Be My Valentine 100

I took a tank that fits Cailey well and used it as my cutting guide. I wanted the top to have a very high waist so I let the top hang WAY off of the folded fabric.

Be sure to cut all the pieces on the fold!



Pleats Be My Valentine 101

Cut 2 front bodice pieces and 2 back bodice pieces.  (This shows 1 of each.)




Pleats Be My Valentine 103


To cut the sleeves, place one of your bodice pieces on the folded fabric with the shoulder lined up with the fold. Then cut at a widening angle. This will create sleeves that get wider as it goes down the arm.

I cut them to hit just below the elbow, not quite 3/4 length.



The next part to cut is the part from the bodice down. I apparently forgot to take a picture of this part, but it’s very easy. You want it to be 2 times the total width of the waist and the length can be as long or as short as you like.  You just cut a large rectangle at those measurements.


Pleats Be My Valentine 106


To cut the leggings I used a pair of pants that fit Cailey well. I wanted them cut straight instead of flared, so I let the side of the pants hang off the fabric at the fold.  I cut them the same length as the pants, no seam allowance. Also, instead of cutting around and leaving a seam allowance, I cut right at the guide. This gives them a leggings fit instead of like a yoga pant.


For the pleats I cut 10 pieces of the red knit, 5″ wide and the length was the total width of the fabric from selvage to selvage.  Make sense? You are going to sew the pieces together at one end until you have 5 VERY long pieces to pleat.  ;)




Now, on to the sewing!




Pleats Be My Valentine 109

Pin and sew the 2 front bodice pieces together at the areas outlined, making sure to leave the bottom open. Turn right side out and press.

Do the same to the back bodice pieces (shown).



Pleats Be My Valentine 111


Sew the front bodice piece to the back bodice piece at the areas that are outlined.

Turn right side out and press.




Pleats Be My Valentine 112 Pleats Be My Valentine 113



Here’s a little hint… Sew the jumbo rickrack on BEFORE you sew the sleeves together….. LOL

I didn’t decide to add the rickrack until the sleeves were already done….

Anyway, pin the rickrack to the bottom of the sleeve and sew on with a straight stitch.

THEN pin the edge of the sleeve and sew the seam. ;)

Open up the seam and press.




Pleats be my Valentine 114



Turn the bodice inside out and then leaving the sleeve right side out, slide it into the arm hole. Pin and sew the seam.




Pleats be my Valentine 117



Now, take one of your 5 LOOOOONG strips and start pleating. Fold, press, pin. Fold, press, pin…. FOREVER!!!! No, just kidding. It only FEEL like forever. ;) LOL



Pleats be my Valentine 120


To add the pleated strips to the bottom of the bodice you will pin the first set of pleats to the bottom of the fabric. Not the VERY bottom, though. Leave the the pleated strip hanging over the edge by 2 inches. Then sew across the top.

Keep adding the pleated strips until you reach the top, leaving each section hanging over the next by about 2 inches.

Depending on how long or short you want this part to be, you made need more or less of the pleated strips.



To add this part to the top of the bodice you will run a gathering stitch across the top (just under where you attached the last row of pleats). Then adjust the gathers to fit the bottom of the top bodice section.

Turn the top bodice inside out and slide it over the top of the pleated section. Pin in place where the bottom of the top of the bodice meets the top of the pleated section. Sew in place just below the line of gathers.

Now, turn the whole thing inside out and sew the side seam.



For the leggings I am going to refer you to the tunic and leggings tutorial I did about a month ago. The ONLY difference between the two sets are –

Before adding the rickrack to the bottom, turn under by 1 1/2″ and press. Then pin the rickrack to the front and sew on with a straight stitch. This hems and adds the rickrack at the same time.

The rest of it is the same! :)



Pleats Be My Valentine 5


For the headband, I just pulled 3 roses and 3 sets of leaves off of the Dollar Store roses. Then I slide the leaves over the bottom of the roses and hot glued everything straight onto the stretchy headband. :)




Pleats Be My Valentine 1



She’s holding the rest of the roses. LOL




Pleats Be My Valentine 3




Let me know what you think, please!!

If you have ANY questions at all just click the Contact Me button at the top of the page and send me an e-mail! :)





Pleats Be My Valentine

Pleats Be My Valentine


SHEW!! Here it is!! FINALLY finished. 5 rows of pleats, people… 5 ROWS!!! LOL But it was worth it. ;) The top has great movement! I love it!



Pleats Be My Valentine 3






Pleats Be My Valentine 1





Pleats Be My Valentine 5


I made the headband from Dollar Tree supplies. ;) I took the roses off and hot glued them to the band. VERY simple!!!!


I was going to post this tomorrow but I want to hurry up and put it in the Project Run & Play Link Up for the sew along! LOL  The theme for this week is Valentine’s Day.


I will be posting the tutorial for the top either tomorrow or Wednesday! :D





It’s Monday










Yep, it’s Monday. Again. BLECK!!!!!!


I am hard at work on my Valentine’s Day look for Project Run & Play.  Usually I would have my look finished and up on the blog yesterday. Umm… not happening…. LOL It is taking me a little a longer than expected, probably because I took so much time for reading the past couple of days. I was just soooooo tired. I have been running at full steam for weeks now and I think it caught with me.  Anyway, the chronic fatigue from the fibro kicked in and I took a couple of days off.


The Winter Blogathon 2013 was very cool. I learned a couple of things. I backed up my blog and added descriptions to my categories, although I couldn’t get them all to take. :/ One of the things I wanted to try never came up. That was a bummer.


I read an entire book this weekend. I hadn’t done that in quite a while. It was The Third Option by Vince Flynn. It was very good, full of espionage! ;) But I found out after reading half of it that I was lacking some back story that came out in another book (not a part of the Mitch Rapp storyline) AND that there are now 2 prequals!!! WHAT??? I HATE THAT!!!!! ***grumble, grumble, grumble***


In our homeschool this week we will be continuing our coral reef and Aztecs, Incas and Mayans studies and starting on the England country study.


I hope to have my Valentine’s Day look finished today and up on the blog tomorrow! Wish me luck!!! 5 rows of pleats… I MUST be crazy…. LOL




Winter Blogathon 2013

Biannual Blogathon Bash

Want to be a better blogger? Want to learn some things you may not know? Then this challenge is for YOU! ;)

I am a day late in posting about this BUT that’s OK! It lasts 72 hours but really only asks that you devote at least 24 hours to it.

There are mini challenges to complete and prizes you can sign up to win!

Check it all out here – Biannual Blogathon Blast 

A lot of the mini challenges are things that I have already done/do but that’s OK! There are a few that I still need to work on or get better at.  There’s ALWAYS room for improvement!!!

Here are a few of the mini challenges that I am interested in –

Optimizing Photos for SEO @ Going Crazy!! Wanna Go??

How to Back Up Your Blog @ Geek With Style

Google+ (Google Plus) Guide for Bloggers @ Biannual Blogathon Bash – I am “on” Google+ but I very rarely use it.

Blogger’s Guide to LinkedIn @ Biannual Blogathon Bash

Cleaning Up Your Back End @ Makobi Scribe

For the full list make sure you click – Biannual Blogathon Blast 


Don’t blog yet but you’ve been considering it? Check it all out and get a head start!

I hope you join in and have fun!




England – Country Study

Next week we will begin our study of England! :) Not the UK, just England. We will study the others by themselves. ;)

Here is a list of resources that we plan on using.



Little Passports – I just LOOOOOVE these kits!!!  They also have a states version that I have been meaning to sign up for.







Maps to Color and Learn - Europe

Maps to Color & Learn – Europe



The Eyewitness Atlas of the World



The Kingfisher Young People's Atlas of the World

The Kingfisher Young People’s Atlas of the World



A Child's History of England

A Child’s History of England – Free for Kindle!



A Little Princess [with Biographical Introduction]

A Little Princess – 99 cents for Kindle



Castle (DK Eyewitness Books)

DK Eyewitness Castle



A Picture Book of Florence Nightingale (Picture Book Biography)

A Picture Book of Florence Nightingale


Simon & Barklee in England

Simon and Barklee in England


This is London

This Is London 



Madeline in London

Madeline in London



The Worldwide Adventures of Winston and Churchill: Book One, Europe

The Worldwide Adventures of Winston and Churchill – Book 1 – Europe



Printables – (lapbooks, unit studies, notebooking, paper crafts, maps, coloring pages, etc.)

Amanda Bennett Passport United Kingdom – although we will just be using the portion specific for England – On sale for $5 right now!

England Country Study Lapbook from Homeschool Share 

DLTK-Kids – paper crafts, coloring pages, worksheets, craft ideas

National Geographic Kids 

Activity Village – British Wildlife and London Theme

Squidoo Choose a Country lens

England Picture Activity Cards – $3




Online Resources

YouTube – Castles 

Kids Ask Questions About England

TIME for Kids – All About England

Project Britain

Frenchfrog’s Little English Pond




Using papier mache for map making from – Angelic Scalliwags

Activity Village – crafts

Making Friends



I hope this gives you a good starting point for learning about England!! :)



Sweet 16 and Super 17

My babies are growing up on me!!! WAH!!!!! Can we make this stop?? Can we freeze time, please?????


Today Deanna turns Sweet 16 and Saturday Joshua turns Super 17 (yes, I made that up….).

Here is a little bit of a photo journey. I hope you enjoy it. (And I am going to try putting these in chronological order. ;))


sweet 16 super 17 5


Joshua’s baby picture.



Sweet 16 super 17 10



Sweet 16 Super 17 1



Sweet 16 Super 17 7



sweet 16 super 17 2




Sweet 16  super 17 6




Sweet 16 Super 17 3




Sweet 16 Super 17 4




Sweet 16 Super 17 8




Sweet 16 Super 17 9



I have to admit that it has been hard to get decent pictures of the older kids these past few years. :(


HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOSHUA AND DEANNA!!!! I love you both so much!!!!







DinoROAR Tutorial Part 2

DinoROAR 1


Today we do the raglan tee and vest!! YAY!! In case you missed it, the shorts were yesterday’s tutorial. ;)

What I Used

About 1/2 yard of plain blue knit

About 1/4 yard of the olive green knit

About 1/2 yard of the dino print

About 1/2 yard of blue cotton for the lining



dinoroar tut 2 010


I took one of Colin’s shirts and folded the sleeves back to give me the wider angle of a raglan sleeve.



dinoroar tut 2 012

Then I cut the neck. Both the back and the front of the shirt are exactly the same.

If you have ever made a peasant blouse this is VERY close!!! ;)

It looks like I forgot to take a picture of how to cut the sleeves. I am SOOO sorry!! Fibro fog strikes again!!

It’s really easy to do. Just fold over your fabric for the sleeves and place the shirt part over it. Be sure to cut the angle of the sleeve in and a curve around the top part for the neck.



dinoroar tut 2 014


I found a picture of a dinosaur claw and printed it out to use as sort of a template for the applique.

Then I pinned the heck out of it! LOL Next, just zigzag all around the edges.



dinoroars tut 2 018


Weird… the olive green looks brown… EWWW!!!

Anyway, pin the sleeve to the shirt, right sides together and sew the one side.



dinoroar tut 3 004


Now attach the sleeves to the back of the shirt in the same way, right sides together.



dinoroar tut 3 009


Pin up the sides of the shirt all the way from the bottom to the end of the sleeve and sew it all up.



dinoroar tut 3 013


Now cut the neck!  I cut the piece 5 ” wide and long enough to go around the neck with a little left over.

Fold the piece in half and press.



dinoroar tut 3 014


Pin the neck to the… ummm.. neck…. right sides together, and sew!

When you get the back, just pinch the ends and sew them together.




DinoROAR 4


I also hemmed the bottom of the shirt but no pics…. Just fold over by 1″ and sew!




dinoroar tut 3 017


I decided to make a pattern piece for the vest so that all the pieces would be exactly the same.

All I did was trace a shirt that was folded in half and then added in the curve at the bottom and deepened the neck.



dinoroar tut 3 021


You are going to have 6 pieces. 2 left sides, 1 main and 1 lining. 2 right sides, 1 main and 1 lining. 2 back pieces, 1 main and 1 lining.

Just follow the directions that I wrote on the pattern piece. ;)



dinoroar tut 3 023


Pin the lining pieces to the main pieces, right sides together and sew them up, leaving the bottoms and the shoulders open.



dinoroar tut 3 028


Turn the pieces right side out and press.

Then pin the front pieces to the back, right sides together and sew up the sides and the shoulders.



dinoroar tut 3 030


Fold the bottom lining and bottom main in by about 1/2″ and press. Top stitch closed.



DinoROAR 2

You are ALLLLL DONE!!!

I thought about adding pockets, buttons and different things to the vest but in the end I liked it much better just the way it is. ;)


I hope that this was easy to follow and I apologize for the pictures I forgot to take. Sometimes I just so deeply involved in what I am doing I forget to stop and document it! LOL


As always, if you have ANY questions AT ALL just click the Contact Me button at the top of the page and send me an email or just ask me in the comments section! :D




DinoROAR Tutorial Part 1

DinoROAR 1


I decided to break this up into 2 posts since there is A LOT involved. Part 1 will be the shorts and Part 2 will the raglan tee and vest.

Now, there are a few things I would change about the shorts and I will be sure to tell you exactly what they are and help you avoid the same mistakes I did. ;)


For the shorts I used –

About 1 yard of stretchy denim

Small pieces of dino print

Small pieces of blue cotton for lining

1″ elastic



DinoRoar Tut 002


These are the front parts of the shorts. The red circles show where I cut for the faux fly and the green circles show where I cut the pockets. Now, when I do this again I will be sure to cut the pockets bigger and lower!!! I think it would have looked MUCH better.

Now, I seem to have misplaced the pics of the back legs…. But you cut them normally, without the pockets and faux fly extension.



DinoRoar Tut 007


To cut the back parts of the pocket pieces, use the pocket cut out and make sure your pieces will be wider and much longer than the pocket cutout. ;)



DinoRoar Tut 009


Now for the front part of the pocket. First, use the back of the pocket and cut the front part the exact same. Then take the piece of denim that you cut out to form the pocket on the shorts, place it over the front part of the pocket  and cut that part out.



DinoRoar Tut 012


Take the front pocket piece and pin it to the right side of the shorts. Now, sew them together just at the part that is pinned.

Turn the pocket part in and press.



DinoRoars Tut 014


Pin the back part of the pocket to the front side and only sew the parts you see pinned.



DinoROAR tut 016

Pin the front of the pants leg to the back with right sides together. Sew up the seam.



DinoRoar tut 020


Cut your back pockets, turn in about 1/4″, press and then another 1/4″. Pin three sides to the back of the shorts and sew on!

I would also have made the back pockets a bit bigger and put them lower. ;)



DinoRoar tut 023


Now, sew a finishing stitch across the bottoms of the legs, fold over about 2 1/2″ and press. DO NOT SEW YET!!!



DinoRoar tut 024


Pin up the inseam from the bottom of the leg to the start of the crotch curve.  Sew the seam.



DinoRoar Tut 033


Fold the cuff half way on the outside of the legs and top stitch into place.



DinoRoar Tut 025


Turn one leg right side out and one leg inside out. Slide the right side out down into the inside out. Pin all the way around and sew them together, making sure to follow the curve of the faux fly.



DinoRoar Tut 029


Turn the shorts right side out and tuck the faux fly part in. Now, top stitch from the top and around the curve at the bottom.



DinoRoar Tut 2 002


Sew a finishing stitch across the top of the shorts. Fold and press over by 1 1/2″. Sew the elastic casing making sure to leave an opening to insert the elastic through.


DinoRoar Tut 2 003


Pin one end of the elastic and insert it through the casing.

Sew the ends of the elastic together using a zigzag stitch. Then sew the casing closed!



DinoROAR 3

You are all DONE!!!

Make sure to press every seam and every stitch that you sew! It helps to set them. ;)


Be sure to come back tomorrow for the raglan tee and vest tutorials!! :D


I hope you have found this helpful! If you have ANY questions AT ALL feel free to use the Contact Me button at the top of the page to shoot me an email!





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