Sunday, January 31, 2010

Art Easel Hack

We were lucky enough to inherit a wonderful wooden art easel from our neighbors. The now teenage twin girls next door clearly loved this easel and it was fun to find that it was originally made in St. Paul, MN. One side is a chalkboard and the other side is a white board as most have. Ronan made a lot of use of the chalkboard but I felt that giving even a white board marker to a toddler is asking for trouble. So, we decided to make the white board a felt board. I cut a piece of neutral colored felt a little bit larger than the size of the board. Blake unscrewed the board and then put the felt on top and screwed it back in. It works great!!

Here I took some basic shapes and added foam letters and numbers (they had adhesive backs) on top of the felt. They stick very well and then it brings another dimension into the felt designs.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Celebrating the Boy

Browsing my Google Reader on the down-low today at work... I was so excited to see that "Made By Rae" is dedicating the entire month of February to Boy related craft projects! I agree that it is a lot easier to make crafty things and clothes for girls, so I can't wait to see what tutorials and projects they come up with for boys! Weeee!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Kimono Tutorial Review

Habitual Kimono Tutorial -

I came upon this tutorial and I loved the simplicity of it!! I decided to try and make a flannel one for Ronan. Since it is about 10 degrees on average right now, I adjusted the measurements to make it a long sleeved garment. That wasn't too hard, but I think I might have miscalculated a tiny bit since the neck opening is pretty wide. When he wears a t-shirt underneath, it is not an issue at all.

But other than that, this is a fantastic pattern, and once you have the measurements figured out and a pattern made for it, it would be a cinch to sew up in an afternoon. I highly recommend it! I might try to make some cotton ones for my nieces in Texas. My mom also saw it and said if you made it a little bit longer, and with Terry cloth fabric it would make a great robe or swim suit cover!

The most important thing is that he seems to really like wearing it! Up until now, I never really had to worry about his opinion, but these days it is definitely a win when I can make something he likes.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Indoor Games

Along with my friend Pumpkin Girl, we too have been trying to find activites to play indoors during these long winter months. I came across this fishing game through, a site that I get weekly emails from and find quite useful.

The fishing game is simple. You need

Yard Stick
Magnet - one you can tie a string around
Paper Clips

Tie a string around the yard stick and then a magnet on the end where a hook would go on a fishing pole. Then you cut out all kinds of crazy fish shapes from the paper and line them with paper clips. You now have a pole and fish! Your toddler can use the fishing pole to try and catch the fish by their paper clips. I remember this game from when I was little and was really excited to try it with Ronán. He loved it too, though mostly I think he liked swinging a big yard stick around. Once he got the hang of it, he was able to get some fish and really had fun. For an older child you could put some obstacles in there, to make it more challenging, like if they had to stand behind a certain line or from behind cushions. Other parents on the website recommended not limiting it to fish and then you could do all kinds of animals, or cut out pictures from magazines and then ask them to "find the sheep" or "find the tractor".

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Penguin Pants

This year I was able to finally finish up a WIP that I started in 2008 to give Blake for Christmas. I used the SewFast So Easy pattern for lounge pants called "Unisex Drawstring Pants" I had originally planned to do these for Christmas 2008, but only got as far as cutting out the pattern and fabric. I had purchased an amount of fabric juuuuuust shy of what I needed and wasn't sure how to put it all together. So I let it sit on the shelf for a year. After gaining a year's worth of wisdom or maybe it was carelessness, I decided to skip the pockets and drawstring that the pattern called for. I did a basic elastic waist and sewed up the area where pockets were supposed to be. Blake seems to like them, and they fit well. But I think he would have preferred having pockets. As a woman, our flannel pants rarely have pockets so I didn't think it would matter too much. He got a lot of wear out of them on Christmas this year though!

The fabric was a flannel pattern that features penguins that are standing so close together that it looks like an abstract design. But I know that Blake likes black and grey color combos so I went with it and hoped they wouldn't be mistaken for Zubaz!

Sunday, January 10, 2010


A Little Bit About Us...

My husband Blake and I (Kristen) met many years ago when we both worked at a Ritz Camera store just out of college. We clicked right away but ended up going our separate ways for about 7 years. Then, through the magic of the internet we found one another once again. It didn't take long for us to get engaged and start this thing called "The Himsl Hunter Family". Our exclusive membership of 2 grew to 3 in 2008 with the addition of our son Ronán and now that he is a toddler, our little family as found our groove.

Blake is a freelance illustrator. He paints, sketches, draws and photographs. His current passion is using Adobe Creative Suite to bring his illustrations into the computer world.

I am a crafter at heart and my main focus is sewing. I would consider myself an intermediate sewer. I've taken a lot of classes, worked on a lot of different types of projects and have been been an avid sewer now for over 10 years. But I'm not an expert an any one kind of sewing project.

This blog is here as an outlet for our family to showcase what we're working on, provide free downloads and tutorials, sewing pattern or book reviews and general musings on all things crafty!

We sincerely welcome you and hope that you enjoy what we have to offer. Stop by any time!

~ Kristen, Blake & Ronán