On-Our-Shelves Sunday: Mason Jar Nation book review AND a Giveaway winner

On our shelves this week is a book we reviewed!

Mason jar Nation book review

Mason Jar Nation

*affiliate link*

by Joann Moser

I had the pleasure of reviewing this interesting craft book. Firstly, I love mason jars. We actually use all different sizes of these as our drinking glasses, already. I find their weight and texture to be perfect for all our beverage needs. Plus, I really don’t like drinking out of plastic.

The book begins with a history of mason jars and their evolution. It then covers different techniques to alter them (cutting the glass, and punching holes in the lids, etc). Then it has 50 projects using the jars.

Mason jar Nation book review

I have only tried this one, so far, but it is such a great idea!

Mason jar Nation book review

You glue a super strong magnet to the lid, and use it to organize your small metal tools (such as pins, paperclips, etc). You can use the inside to hold anything you want, as well. If they aren’t metal, it works much better .

  Mason jar Nation book review

It works for any size jar you have, too!

Mason jar Nation book review

I can’t wait to try out some of the other projects, including making a bird feeder!

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::Even though I received a copy of this book to review, as always, all opinions are mine mine mine::

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Also, I am happy to announce the winner of the Field Research Cargo shorts chosen by the random number generator is:

Maria Sews

Congratulations, Maria! I will be emailing you today. A big THANK YOU to everyone who entered! I wish I had a pair to give each of you.

Field Research Cargo pants ready for an adventure

Remember the first pair of cargo pants I made? Well, since those ended up being a muslin, I made another pair of the Field Research Cargo pants, only this time in a size 9/10. And you know what? They are perfect!

Field Research Cargo Pants with zip off legs. Pattern by Scientific Seamtress, and sewn by Falafel and the Bee

I used much crazier fabric this time. I have been working on using just what I have in my stash, if I can, lately. I don’t remember where I got this stretch denim from, but I am in love with it.

Field Research Cargo Pants with zip off legs. Pattern by Scientific Seamtress, and sewn by Falafel and the Bee

Let’s take a closer look, shall we? Field Research Cargo Pants with zip off legs. Pattern by Scientific Seamtress, and sewn by Falafel and the Bee

My Falafel chose the “coordinating” (I use that word lightly) banana fabric, for the pocket lining and the waistband facing (that only she can see).

Field Research Cargo Pants with zip off legs. Pattern by Scientific Seamtress, and sewn by Falafel and the Bee

I turned the stretch crazy denim to the other side for all the pockets. And my girl also chose the “Caution” buttons for the back pockets. We have been saving them for the perfect project. She said, and I quote Watch out! That’s my butt!”.

Field Research Cargo Pants with zip off legs. Pattern by Scientific Seamtress, and sewn by Falafel and the Bee

I did something a little differently for the bottoms of the pants. I added elastic as per my girl’s request. She didn’t want any critters to be able to crawl up her pant legs while she was on her camping trip. It seemed like a perfectly reasonable request. So I happily obliged. I really love how just that small change really enhances the overall look! PS- so do fuzzy striped socks, right?

Field Research Cargo Pants with zip off legs. Pattern by Scientific Seamtress, and sewn by Falafel and the Bee

One really fun part of this pattern is the zip off legs! I had never even dreamed I could do this before this pattern. And it wasn’t all that scary once I dove in.

Field Research Cargo Pants with zip off legs. Pattern by Scientific Seamtress, and sewn by Falafel and the Bee

Unziiiiiiiip!

Field Research Cargo Pants with zip off legs. Pattern by Scientific Seamtress, and sewn by Falafel and the Bee

We only unzipped one, because of course, the temps have dropped again, and it was so cold she had goosebumps on her legs. But you get the idea. They go on and come off really easily!

Field Research Cargo Pants with zip off legs. Pattern by Scientific Seamtress, and sewn by Falafel and the Bee

These are such cool pants!!

Field Research Cargo Pants with zip off legs. Pattern by Scientific Seamtress, and sewn by Falafel and the Bee

I had her field test them.

Field Research Cargo Pants with zip off legs. Pattern by Scientific Seamtress, and sewn by Falafel and the Bee

They passed with flying colors.

Field Research Cargo Pants with zip off legs. Pattern by Scientific Seamtress, and sewn by Falafel and the Bee

Field Research Cargo Pants with zip off legs. Pattern by Scientific Seamtress, and sewn by Falafel and the Bee

Field Research Cargo Pants with zip off legs. Pattern by Scientific Seamtress, and sewn by Falafel and the Bee

I am super happy that I made these for my girl. Not a quick sew by any means, but completely worth it. She is one step closer to being ready for the trip. Now if only I were!

Melanie Knit dress review

Melanie Knit Dress pattern review by Falafel and the Bee

The Melanie Knit Dress by Modkid

When Courtney asked me to sew up one of the awesome Modkid patterns, I didn’t hesitate to choose this fun knit dress. It is a PDF pattern that covers sizes 2T- 10. I sewed up a 7 for my girl, and it fits perfectly as a tunic.

Melanie Knit Dress pattern review by Falafel and the Bee

My very active girl absolutely requires clothing that she can move in, and being a tween, she prefers them to also be stylish. This pattern fits both those bills nicely.

Melanie Knit Dress pattern review by Falafel and the Bee

The only changes I made to this fun and simple pattern, was I added another small pocket on one side, and a strap with two loops on the other. Falafel loves pockets, so I thought it would be fun to add few more. You know… so I can pick more rocks out of the washing machine.

Melanie Knit Dress pattern review by Falafel and the Bee

I also added bias tape to the neckline instead of hemming. The great thing about this pattern is getting to choose how to finish the seams. It is very flexible that way.

Melanie Knit Dress pattern review by Falafel and the Bee

Let’s talk about that fabric! Those are Patty Young exclusive knits for Riley Blake Designs and they are like buttah! When I work with knits, I like using quality fabric. It makes all the difference. And these here are quality, baby! I also know that my child will not wear through these so easily, and I love that.

Melanie Knit Dress pattern review by Falafel and the Bee

Not like she doesn’t try, though.

Melanie Knit Dress pattern review by Falafel and the Bee

Like all Modid patterns, my most favorite part is being able to print and assemble each pattern piece as a freestanding piece, instead of taping all of the them together into a massive sheet. It is the little things, really. They all fit on my kitchen island counter, where I cut out all my patterns. Makes things so much more pleasant.

Melanie Knit Dress pattern review by Falafel and the Bee

It only took me one day to sew up (and would have been even quicker if I didn’t sew, and then do a faux overlock stitch on every seam). It honestly took longer to take the photos.

Melanie Knit Dress pattern review by Falafel and the Bee

Hmmmmm. I wonder why?

Melanie Knit Dress pattern review by Falafel and the Bee

So to sum up, this is a fun, easy, stylish, comfy pattern, that I will be sewing more of.

Melanie Knit Dress pattern review by Falafel and the Bee

Do you like sewing with knits?

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PS- Although I was provided with the pattern and the fabric, as always, all opinions are mine, mine, mine!

 

On-Our-Shelves Sunday: Craft Book Review

On our shelves this week is a craft book review!

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Paper + Tape: Craft & Create

by Marisa Edghill

*affiliate link*

This book is full of paper crafts, and most use washi tape. My Falafel happened to go on a washi tape binge last week, and used up all four rolls I had, so we improvised. I got out the blue painter’s tape (I have no idea why we have an entire roll of this since I never tape when I paint- ha!) and some card stock, and we made one of our favorite projects from the book.

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Paper Pyramid Pouches

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She made this orange one all by herself.

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Using the recommended materials (origami paper and washi tape) make them much cuter, but I think ours are just as sweet. And I love that they still worked, even though we used what we had.

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There are so many projects in this book! Everything from Paper Puppets to Washi Tape and Paper Beads. My 10 year old was so into this one, even though the crafts are geared toward adults. We did the pouch project together, and once we did one, she made a whole army of them on her own. Luckily, she stuffed them and gave them as gifts.

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If you like working with paper, this book is a fun addition to any paper craft library.

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::Even though I received this book to review, as always all my opinions are mine, mine, mine::

Amaryllis dress

Today I am bringing home the Amaryllis dress I posted about over at Melly Sews for Blank Slate Patterns(affiliate links).

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Can I just tell you, I LOVE THIS PATTERN??!!

Of all the Blank Slate patterns I have sewn up, it is my favorite. And that is saying something. You can see others I have sewn here, here, here, here, and here. And that is not even all of them!

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Firstly, it is reversible!! Essentially, this means two dresses in one. How awesome is that?!

Amaryllis Dress by Blank Slate Patterns sewn by Falafel and the Bee

BTW: please excuse my daughter’s pinky finger. It was broken, but we unwrapped it for the photos, and it just stuck out like that.

Amaryllis Dress by Blank Slate Patterns sewn by Falafel and the Bee

The fabric I used is from the Birch Organics Mod Basics 3 collection. The Navy is called Firefly Dots Dusk, and the mustard colored one is called Wink Marigold. Dreamy fabric to go with this dreamy pattern.

Amaryllis Dress by Blank Slate Patterns sewn by Falafel and the Bee

The pattern goes from18m-size 8. I hope one day Melissa will make this in MY size. But for now, you can make one for your little girl to twirl in. And twirl she will! The dress has great twirl-ability.

Amaryllis Dress by Blank Slate Patterns sewn by Falafel and the Bee

The back closes with a button, so no zips to install or even buttonholes!

Amaryllis Dress by Blank Slate Patterns sewn by Falafel and the Bee

The whole dress goes on like a secured wrap dress. There really is no danger of being exposed. This one has you covered.

Amaryllis Dress by Blank Slate Patterns sewn by Falafel and the Bee

The only difficult thing is choosing which side to wear.

Amaryllis Dress by Blank Slate Patterns sewn by Falafel and the Bee

The one time consuming (but completely worth it) component to this pattern is hemming the circle skirt portion of the dress. I just followed the instructions, and went slowly. It came out beautifully. No wrinkles or anything! I was impressed.

Amaryllis Dress by Blank Slate Patterns sewn by Falafel and the Bee

I did not deviate from this pattern because there wasn’t anything I would do differently!

Thank you, Melissa. I cannot wait to sew up another.

On-Our-Shelves Sunday: Book review

On our shelves today is a magic book for my book review!

101 Magic Tricks book review by Falafel and the Bee

101 Magic Tricks

Any time, Any place

by Bryan Miles

affiliate link

My youngest LOVES doing magic tricks. Maybe it is the age. I remember loving them too, when I was 10. I handed her this book, and she was instantly hooked.

101 Magic Tricks book review by Falafel and the Bee

It is written very clearly with wonderful step-by-step photographs that even my tween can navigate by herself. In fact, she didn’t want me to read it and learn her magician secrets!

101 Magic Tricks book review by Falafel and the Bee

There are tricks using cards and coins, but also paper napkins, balloons, rubber bands, and oh so much more. She really had a blast with it, and even asked to keep it. When I said she could, you would have thought it was Christmas.

101 Magic Tricks book review by Falafel and the Bee

Pick a card, any card!

101 Magic Tricks book review by Falafel and the Bee

Was this the one you chose?

101 Magic Tricks book review by Falafel and the Bee

This is a fantastic fun book that teaches you a few secrets of the trade. Not just for kids, but mine sure loves it. I am sure we will be guessing which hand, and picking many cards in the future.

*Disclaimer: Even though I did receive the book for review, as always, all my opinions are mine, mine, mine!

Easy Kid Recycling Project

Today I have a fun and super practical craft for you, and the best part? All you need is two things for this easy kid recycling project.

Easy Kid Recycling Project

We buy bandages that come in these oval shaped containers, and not all places recycle #5 plastics yet, so I have been hoarding keeping them until I came up with a project. The Care To Recycle® program has spurred me to get them out and make something with my kids. We decorated the containers, and then came up with many practical uses for them. For me, that is key to keeping something around. It has to have a place or purpose!

To decorate your own, you will need:

Easy Kid Recycling Project

A Band-Aid container and washi tape. Scissors are optional (the washi tape rips fairly easily).

Easy Kid Recycling Project

Start with ripping (or cutting) strips of tape and laying them across the middle of the container lid.

Easy Kid Recycling Project

Since our tape was pretty transparent, we did a few layers. That’s it! The great thing about using the tape, is that it is removable. My initial thought was to decoupage them (as I am known to do), which works, but it doesn’t come off so easily if you would like to change it up, or even recycle the container (if you find somewhere that does take them). With this tape, you can change the design as many times as you want, and even take it off completely when you are done with it.

Easy Kid Recycling Project

Now for the fun part. Filling it!!

Easy Kid Recycling Project

My daughter’s dolls had a lot of fun in these portable doll beds!

Easy Kid Recycling Project

You can also make an emergency kit for someone going off to college, or a new driver!

Easy Kid Recycling Project

Of course, you can also make a box decorating kit for someone else to make.

Easy Kid Recycling Project

Some other ideas we had:

  • medical kit
  • portable sewing kit
  • treasure box
  • jewelry box
  • gift box
  • notions organizer
  • party favor box
  • hair tie/ ribbon holder
  • pencil box
  • Mother’s Day gift box
  • car activity box
  • miniature doll house
  • toy bathtub
  • glasses case
  • toiletry holder for traveling
  • bank/ money box

Easy Kid Recycling Project

Here are some tidbits of info for you provided by Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies :

 Parents are an emerging bright spot when it comes to extending in-home recycling habits to the bathroom.

  • A 2016 consumer survey on in-home recycling habits, conducted in partnership with Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc., shows that 60% of parents would be more likely to discuss recycling with their children if it was an activity they could do together and they had more creative, engaging ways to explain the impact of recycling.
  • The study also revealed that:
    • One-third of regular recyclers (34%) admit that it never even occurred to them to recycle in the bathroom!
    • The largest obstacle when it comes to recycling personal care products in the bathroom is a lack of tools and resources; only one in five recyclers have a recycling bin in their bathroom.

 Care To Recycle® seeks to break down barriers commonly associated with recycling in the bathroom by showing that recycling in the bathroom can be easy and fun!

  • Everything from shampoo and mouthwash bottles to soap and bandage boxes can be recycled. To better understand which bathroom products can and cannot be recycled, visit www.caretorecycle.com.
  • The more you know about what’s recyclable, the more likely you are to do it. For tips and tools to become a better recycler, visit www.caretorecycle.com.

Easy Kid Recycling Project

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Chalk on the Wild side review with Valentine Chalk printable PDF

I was given Chalk on the Wild Side to review (*affiliate link*), so the first thing I did was hand it over to my youngest! I knew she would be the perfect judge of what this book had to offer.  I told her to look in it to see if there was anything she wanted to make.

Chalk on the Wild Side Review with free printable PDF

Um, yes. EVERYTHING.

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

Chalk on the Wild Side Review

We settled on a few projects to start with. The first we made was the multi-colored chalk. It turned out to be perfect to use for Falafel’s classroom valentines! I came up with a free PDF printable for those of you who want to do the same.

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

The chalk was super easy to whip up, and the only thing we didn’t already have in the house was plaster of paris.

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

We packaged them individually in these tiny cello bags, and stapled the tent card on the top.

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

The directions in the book are very clear with great photos. Our 10 year old had no problem following them. We did it together, but let her lead. That makes all the difference, sometimes.

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

There are more than 25 different projects to make and multiple recipes to follow. My child was ecstatic reading the possibilities.

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

Her classroom doesn’t allow sweets to be passed out with the Valentines, so this is a perfect alternative!

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

The next project we tried out was the chalk dough.

Chalk on the Wild Side Book review: making chalk dough

This one was also right up my girl’s alley. She LOVES getting her hands into it!  Messy?? Then YES.

Chalk on the Wild Side Book review: making chalk dough

She got to make this one all by herself, and she was beyond thrilled.

Chalk on the Wild Side Book review: making chalk dough

Even though it was not warm out, she played outside with this stuff for a good long time. It is crumbly, but if you press it together, it sticks.

Chalk on the Wild Side Book review: making chalk dough

The projects in here are not just for Summertime! There are some indoor chalk projects, bathtub chalk, as well as some that you can even use in the snow.

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

This book is definitely one that we will keep as a boredom buster and a reference. A great addition to our crafty library.

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

*Even though I recieved a copy of this book in exchange for a review, all opinions are mine, mine, mine.

Making Books with Kids review

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I had the pleasure of reviewing this book: Making Books with Kids (*affiliate link*), recently.

My youngest (who is 10) and I picked out a few types of books to make, and played around with them.

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The instructions are written clearly, and the books are easy enough for my daughter to make on her own. There are even pages to cut out to make pop-up books, which she can’t wait to try.

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I was interested in doing a stitched binding book (of course) and I chose to use all recycled materials, which was a creative choice on my part.

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We have a special book of Fairy Tales that I rip up and use for crafts (like these and these), and thought they would make a great art book…or two.

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I folded each page in half with the folded crease facing the edge, so paints and markers would be less likely to bleed through to the back.

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My girl had so much fun painting and drawing on these. So did I.

For the covers, I used old paper bags we had.

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These books were quick and easy to whip up, and we only needed a few tools! A bone folder is helpful, scissors (or paper cutter), awl, needle and embroidery thread.

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We used a permanent marker and watercolors, but you really can embellish with anything, depending how thick your paper is.

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This book is one we have gladly added to our personal library as it will be sure to get lots of use! I love the verstility of these crafts and that it inspired us to sit down and create. Anything that does that is a big thumbs up in my book.

*I did recieve a free copy of this book to review, but as always all opinions are mine, mine, mine*