How To's & DIY's

Make a Baby Tie from a Man's Tie

June 29, 2012

Folks, the time has come.  I am going to let you in on my greatest secret.  I guard this secret with the dedication of the Last Centurion gaurding the Pandorica.  Though I did teach it at Super Saturday last year. But it isn't like I've ever tweeted it before, or told my Aunt Linda.  Man that lady can talk.

There are probably other tutorials online for how to do this.  I intentionally didn't look because I don't want to know.  I didn't find this on pinterest or learn how to do it on anyone's blog or anything.  I actually figured out how to make these baby ties with my own brain and everything.  And so, without further ado. . .

Start with a full sized Man's tie.  The best way to get your hands on one of those is by closet raiding.  Raid your husband's, your brother's, your dad's.  You could even snatch one from your neighbor, if you are fast enough.  The lengths you will go to to get your hands on what you want are totally up to you.   Also, I find polyester ties work the best.  Mostly because they are machine washable.  I know we aren't the only people in the world who don't get things dry cleaned.  Sure, my hubs can get away with wearing a tie for years without ever cleaning it, but just imagine if he drooled like the baby does.  (Why I feel it is necessary to explain to you the importance of washing a baby's tie is anyone's guess.)  The other reason I prefer polyester is this: I once put a silk tie on a baby.  A charming little red, white, and blue number.  he sucked on it all church long.  By the end of the day  the colors had all bled into a bloody gray. So now you know.  Your actions are your own responsibility.

Enough Gab!

Grab your snazzy 80's tie.  Don't worry that it is a little ratty or stained.  Drape it over one of your dining room room chairs and take a picture

Think to yourself, "Holy Moly, my chairs are dirty!"  Promise yourself that you will wash them later.  And then forget.

Now, lay the men's tie out on the table.  Cut the skinny end about 14 inches from the tip.  This should work for newborns to about 1 year old.  Or cut it 18 inches from the tip for 1 to 3 years old.  Once they get much older than that it doesn't really work anymore.  A man's tie isn't really long enough, and it looks too skinny on your little boy.  From then on, you are on your own.

I didn't want to walk into the next room to get my sewing scissors, so I used these instead:

They're fun.  They make me feel like a giant.

Next, measure 13-14 inches on the remaining tie. A little less for a baby, a little more for a 3 year old.  This will be used as the neck band.  So you can decide if you need more or less length than this.  If your kid has a fat neck, use more. Ya shee?

On this piece you just cut, remove the stitching, which should be pretty easy to do.  If you are lucky, you should just be able to pull one magic thread and have the whole thing come out.  Then remove that piece of mystery fabric from inside.  Cuz you just don't need it.

Throw it at the closest available person while yelling "It's Alive!"

Take the tie piece that is left and fold it in half over the seam that was, pinning it in place.  

Fold the raw edges on the ends in about 1/4 inch and pin those too.  (Good thing I've included pictures of pinning.  That part can get TRICKY.)

If your anal side ever starts to come out and you start thinking that it doesn't look perfect enough, just remember that it is for a baby, and they don't care.

Sew very close to the edge around the whole thing.  Attach some velcro to each end, making sure you do one piece of velcro to the front, and one piece of velcro to the back.  It doesn't actually matter which is the front or the back, just make sure you attach the velcro to opposite sides.  Got it?

Now pick up the main tie piece that has just been sitting over there on the table all this time.  Open up the raw edge and fold it back a little bit so that you can get to that stiff bit of fabric in the middle, and cut off about 1/4 inch of it.  

Then fold all those raw edges of polyester in and pin it and then sew across the edge.

Now put it all together!

THEN Do a couple stitches on the back here 

to keep it all together, and a few more stitches here

to keep the tail end from waving all over the place.    The beauty is, you can take these stitches out and re-tie it to make it longer or shorter as your baby grows, or shrinks.  

And you are finished.  BUT. . .

You've got options!  You could make the process even faster by making the neck band out of elastic.  Cut a length of elastic 14 inches long (1/2 wide elastic works great).  Tie your tie around it in the same way as above.  

Sew the ends together like so:

Or you can sew it so it looks nice.  If you want.  And there you have it.  A baby tie in no time.  And his shirt collar will cover up the elastic so know one ever has to know.

This is my new favorite neck band because it is so hard for a boy to get the tie off.  And the tie can now be used as a weapon when your kid won't be quiet in church.
And there you have it:  BABY TIE!

Your baby will have a Ph.D in Adorableness with this thing round his neck.  But let's not restrict ourselves here.  These don't just have to be for babies. A fashion conscious man might find a tiny tie could really complement his wardrobe. A tiny tie would definitely  make your shoulders look broader.  And accentuate your jawline.  Or maybe you are a clown, but are tired of paying specialty store prices for all your clown attire?  Now you can make your own!  The possibilities truly are limited.

Thanks!  And if you have any questions, just ask!

Geek Stuff

Lord of the Fingers

June 27, 2012

Well, I went ahead and did it.  I opened up an Etsy Shop.  I know.  The desire to conform to societal pressure was just too much for me!

So I up and did it and I have 1 thing for sale!  Woo hoo!

Wanna see?

You can tell what it is, right?

Lord of The Rings Finger Puppets!  I made them for my best friend, and now I guess I'm going to sell them.  Not the puppets themselves. Those take forever to make.  Just the Pattern is for sale so that other people can spend hours making them for themselves. I was thinking about just giving the pattern away for free to all the Lord of the Rings Fans of the world who are in the market for finger puppets, but I also want to make loads and loads of cash, so what's a girl to do?  

I think Sam is my favorite.  Though he is my favorite in the movie too, so I guess it figures.  And Aragorn looks like Professor Snape for some reason.  

So, uh yeah, that's it.  I can't think of anything else to say.   Does anyone want a pattern?   I think I will give my pattern away for free to the first 3 people who ask for it.  Because I have a generous heart.  And after that you can buy the pattern at my store.    I was going to give away the pattern to the first 5 people who asked for it, but what if there are only 5 people in the whole world who are interested in Lord of the Rings Finger Puppets?  

Ok.  Gotta Go.  This is a very exciting day for fingers everywhere!


May Pictures

June 27, 2012

In honor of the movie coming out, we played a little Battleship.  Or rather Richard and I played while the boys had a grand ol' time sticking pegs into holes. 

Look at his concentraty little face!

In May, Harrison started picking out his own clothes.  He was not interested in my suggestions.  And he was totally convinced that this was about the hottest outfit ever.

 He tried to wear it everyday.  On the off days, he wore something like this:

 Why does that picture remind me of David Bowie?

The boys like to play this game where they take turns pretending to be dead, while the other cries over their lifeless body.  

And yes, they liked to play it on the kitchen table.  They were playing so nicely together, how could I say no?

Yep, life is good while you are laying on your brother's head!

That is it!

June 25, 2012

I love Spiderman.  But sometimes he just falls to pieces, you know?


April Pictures

June 18, 2012

Time to catch up again, and I figure I'll just do it a bit at a time.  No need to overload your circuits!

After the Annual April Snow Storm (on 4/5/12), I bundled the boys up and we went out in the snow:

We ran around and made snow angels and ate snow and threw snow and had a freezing good time.  Then we built a snowman.

Ok.  Me.  I built a snow man.  And I did it as fast as I could because they really wanted to knock it down.  You can see Harrison gave up his gloves so that the snowman's hands wouldn't be cold.  Which made the snowman happy

A few days later was warm and sunny so we headed out to Utah Lake.

Here is Richard throwing a rock into the water.  It is the cutest thing.

And that is all for now.  Over and Out!


A Cricket, A Cracket

June 16, 2012

There is a Cricket in my house.  I know this for two reasons: 1) I can hear it happily chirping away in the kitchen, oblivious to the fact that it is daytime, and 2) He almost fell on my head when I walked into the bathroom last night.  What he was doing on the ceiling is unknown, though I suspect Dancing.

They say that crickets are "good luck".  I hope that "luck" kicks in before the chirping drives me mad.  What is it doing anyway?  Trying to pick up on a lady?  Talking to itself?  Is he snoring, or is it completely subconscious and he doesn't even know he is doing it?  Cuz seriously, wouldn't he get tired of it? Or is he crying for help?  Trying desperately to send a message to his crickets in arms beyond enemy lines? Give it up little Cricket!  No one is coming for you!

Speaking of Crickets, did I ever tell you about this one time, in 3rd or 4th grade when there was a cricket outside our classroom at school?  Chirping away with no regard to our reading time, OR to the fact that it was stationed across the hall from the library.  Crickets really are the most inconsiderate of all the insects.  He chirped so loud and long that my teacher finally lead us out into the hall to investigate.  Outside the class room were hung all our backpacks and coats and it was obvious that the chirping was coming from there.

From there it was like finding a needle in a haystack.  If the needle made noise and there were only about  15 pieces of straw in the stack.   I guess there is a reason that the saying doesn't go "It was like finding a cricket in a row of backpacks".

So it didn't take her too long to track that little bug down.  And where do you think it was?  Yep. In MY BACKPACK!

I was mortified.  Seriously, I was so embarrassed.  I don't remember how I reacted.  Probably laughed.  "Ha ha.  Oh, boy.  In my backpack.  That is so funny.  How in the world did a cricket get in my backpack?  Ha ha."  When in reality I was dying in side.  How would I ever live that down?  Till the day I died I would be the girl with the cricket in her backpack.  It was AWFUL.

And I was right.  People still call me Cricket and make chirping sounds when I pass.  Some guys gave me a giant cricket shaped backpack when I graduated from high school. (And whenever I wear it, everybody looks at me with terror in their eyes and says "You have something on your back!")  And every single year on Halloween I am peer pressured into wearing my cricket helmet all day long.

And now that cricket sits in the kitchen, mocking me with his chirpy little song.  Will I ever be free from this nightmare?


The Frosting of Youth

June 02, 2012

I woke up today determined not to eat any sugar.  Later, I made some butter-cream frosting.  Just for fun.  I had some graham crackers and needed something to spread on them.

Then I just took a few pictures and didn't eat a bite.  Because I've got loads and loads of self control.  Like one time, I made a couple batches of cookies and after cooking just a dozen or so, carefully molded the rest into big fat snakes, wrapped them with plastic wrap and then froze them so that I could easily slice off little frozen discs of cookie dough and bake up some cookies in an instant.  I then proceeded to eat all the frozen cookie dough over the course of about 16 hours.  So, yeah.  Self Control.

Every time I make frosting I think of my husband, and what a disappointment I must be to him.  He loves frosting.  He won't eat cake without it.  WILL NOT.  He believes it should be generously applied and abundantly dispersed.  Or something.  But he is also particular about his frosting.  Not just any old frosting will do.    Ever since we got married I've been trying to make frosting just the way he likes it.  I tried every recipe I could find but still they weren't "sweet enough to make him want to barf" which is the number one criteria.  So I kept trying and added more and more sugar until I wanted to barf, but when he told me it wasn't "grainy" enough, I realized that what he wants isn't delicious frosting.  What he wants is to travel back in time.  To a birthday party he went to when he was nine and he ate so much birthday cake with crappy frosting on it that he almost did throw up and had absolutely the best time of his life.

So I can't really recreate that.  No frosting tastes as good as your childhood.  There is no recipe for recapturing your youth.

And that is just gonna have to be ok.  My frosting will never taste like that frosting in his memory.  For which I am grateful. It sounds super gross.  So if making the frosting of my husband's dreams is the one thing I simply cannot do, then I can live with that.    And I'll just have to eat today's bowl of frosting by myself.