Bubbles, Wands, and Magic That Sticks

Last weekend, my four year-old asked if we could make an evil potion. I said what any mom would…

diy bubble wand

“Sure! How about a bubble potion that turns people into frogs!” (An idea I stole from that one episode of Bubble Guppies we have on our DVR.) She thought it was a marvelous idea!

After a quick trip to the market to get corn syrup we made bubble potion and bubble wands. It was sooooooo much fun!

 

Bubble Potion Recipe:

  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/4 cup of dish soap
  • 1/8 cup of corn syrup (this is the ingredient that turns people into frogs)

Bubble Wand Materials:

  • Craft pipe cleaners
  • Beads

Super simple and super fun activity, but here’s what they don’t say on Pinterest that I would have liked to have known:

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1. Corn syrup bubble potion is super sticky and makes for sticky hands and bodies.
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2. Pipe cleaner bubble wands, although the most beautiful in the land, require some practice and patience to make a big bubble.
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3. Super big plastic bubble wands + This bubble potion = Giant Fun Bubbles

Pro Tip: Fill up the paddling pool and have your kids splash all the sticky bubble goo off of themselves after they’ve had their fill of bubbles. Easy peasy!

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Blog Note: No people were harmed in the making of this bubble potion. Except for this person who stumbled through a rather large cluster of bubbles and found himself turned into a frog. Bubble Potion Success! MUAHAHAHAHAA!!!

Summer is For Stitches

Poison Ivy isn’t the only thing I’ve gotten into this summer! I’ve also been sewing my heart out! (See what I’ve been working on at gillianstitches)

But I haven’t been cooped up in the studio! No… I’m out in the backyard, on the deck while the girls splash in the paddling pool, long car rides across 5 states, at the breakfast table, even in bed watching Netflix! This summer, I have taken sewing away from the machine and to… well, everywhere else!

English Paper Piecing

I’m working on a giant English Paper Piecing (EPP) project. For those who don’t know it is a technique of sewing quilts by hand using paper backing to stabilize your fabric and thus making your fabric easier to piece together.

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From this…

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To this…

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Taking papers out..

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Ta Da! One 12″ quilt block done!

Hand Embroidery

We took a long car trip across 5 states and 1100 miles with our two kids under 5 years-old. They had Netflix downloads, my husband had the wheel, and I had hand embroidery (I had the best deal of everyone).

Since I was cooped up in a car, I decided to stitch up some nature with these garden boxes. It was so fun to stitch and when I didn’t know what to do with an empty box, I took suggestions on Instagram! Stuck in a car collaborating with other creatives — it was heaven!

garden box hand embroidery

Do you like to get your craft on in the summer? What do you like to do? Tell me in the comments below!

Want To Stitch With Me?

Have you ever wanted to pick up a portable craft like embroidery or EPP to keep your hands busy while you schlep the little ones here and there? Let’s make a little crafty mom club! I’d love to help you get started! First, follow me on Instagram @gillianstitches and send me a message letting me know that you want to stitch with me!

The Answer To That Question You Want to Ask Me…

Moms, fellow-handmakers, family members tend to have the same question for me… How do I get it all done? The mom-ing of two girls (4 and 2 years-old) and the making and running my business. The answer is a two-parter.

Working from home with pen&thimble
Sewing with my first in my lap

Part One: I don’t. I don’t even try. You know how you vacuum every week? Mop a few times a week? Make those adorable plates for lunch with food art? I don’t do that. I do enough to keep the house clean and free of bugs. Beyond that, I’m okay with the odd dust bunny or smudge on the wall. I’m the queen of doing what my husband would consider two loads of laundry in one. Dump it all in. Press the buttons. Sew. Make snacks. Fold. Haha! One and done! Easy peasy!

Part Two: With a two-year old in my lap. I do it all with her in my lap. I eat breakfast with her in my lap. I work with her in my lap. (BTW, She says “hiiieeee”. She’s sitting on my lap right now as I write this.) I eat lunch with her in my lap. She takes a nap–you guessed it — in my lap! I fold those huge loads of laundry while she’s in my lap (or in the basket). 🙂 I eat dinner with her in my lap.

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Pre-Nap Snack In My Lap

Haha! While that is no exaggeration, she does leave my lap sometimes. When that happens, I grab a quick run on the treadmill, cut and iron fabric, or run around with her! It’s a good life guys. I’m super grateful that I get to stay home with my girls and play with them, listen to their stories and songs, console them, and design and sew my heart out.

It is never lost on me that I get to enjoy my two passions every day– mom-ing and making!

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Smurfs in the studio

How do YOU get it all done? What does “getting it all done” mean to you? Tell me below in the comments or come over to the pen&thimble Facebook page to discuss!

Mom working from home

That Hole In Your Shirt… Show it Off!

Have you heard of Mend It May? I hadn’t until I stumbled upon My Make And Mend Life last year. It totally opened my eyes to how wasteful I am.

I was always taught that a hole in a garment was a reason to throw it away. But I’m learning about the value and beauty in restoring items.

  • Toe sticking out of a sock? Darn it! (As in mend it. Haha!)
  • Shirts with hole? Patch that up!
  • Crack in the laundry bin? That’s why duct tape was invented!

If you want to make a statement while you mend, try some simple embroidery to highlight a hole in your shirt and bring attention to the value and beauty in restoring clothes rather than pitching them! Here’s how I did just that…

Materials:

  • Cute shirt with hole in it
  • Piece of fabric (I used leftover jean fabric from cutoffs I made)
  • Embroidery hoop
  • Embroidery floss
  • Crewel needle

Stitches:

  • Satin Stitch – to reinforce the edges of the hole and prevent future fraying
  • Running stitch – to reinforce the jean patch and highlight the mend
  • But you can do anything you want!

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What do you have that can use some mending? Let me know and I can help you figure out how to mend it. I’ve started a board on Pinterest called Mend and Restore just for mending garments and restoring items.

Follow the board and send me a message and I’ll add you as a collaborator and you can add pins related to the items you want to revive! Let’s work together and produce less waste!

PS. Speaking of making less waste, have you checked out our CLOTH NAPKINS? They’re the perfect size for tucking into your lunch bag or bento box! Use, wash, and reuse! Plus, I just added some cool new ones– mermaids, superheroes, and astronauts, oh my! Check them out here: SHOP CLOTH NAPKINS