*** Important Update**** I have split this blog into two. I am keeping this site for all the Kozy Carrier related information and updates, and I started a new blog for all the other stuff (family stuff, thoughts on parenting, birth, natural living, crafts, recipes etc). I have imported all the relevant posts from this blog over there. So come check it out www.entergentlyblog.blogspot.com

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Crayon Cozies

Getting around to posting more Christmas gifts.
I got the idea for these cute little things from the blog Skip to my Lou.  She has a really easy to follow tutorial there so check it out!!  I made them as Christmas gifts for the nieces and Piper.  They thought they were so cool!

I changed things up a bit.  I was using scraps of fabric that I had lying around (many old Kozy scraps that were too small to use for Kozy stuff).  I made mine taller because I wanted it to work for my favorite crayons. . . those twistable ones (they rock!!).  Plus I wanted it to be able to be used with colored pencils etc.  So mine is about 7-8" tall and the pockets are like 3-4" tall (so they would fit regular crayons too).

I also figured that the kids wouldn't be able to tie a ribbon to close it.  So I used elastic instead and the kids can easily wrap it around after it is rolled up.  I made the elastic 3" on each side, so I cut 7" and have about 6" of it sticking out.

I also didn't add any interfacing because I was using heavier bottom weight fabrics . . . mostly canvas.  You may want to use interfacing if you are using quilting cottons, but with heavier fabrics it isn't needed.

Here they are all opened up so you can see the contrasting fabric, how I am using my elastic and how they hold the crayons!

They were pretty easy to sew, and since I used all fabric scraps, they were free!!  Not too bad!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Kozy Commercial

Ok our little sister Karla (the one who just got married) did this Kozy Commercial for us a while ago.   I have been meaning to put it up and we finally put it on the site so I figured it was a good time to blog about it.

She did this video all on her own, with her friends and some of the cool new prints we have (which she also picked out).

Karla is just so uber cool!!  I mean I like to think I am 'hip' (ok does using the word 'hip' make me a dork? LOL, I am a geek at times) but I pale in comparison to her coolness!!  I jest not.  I am not going to get into it all but you can check out her websites (or google her . . . Karla Jean Davis)
Smart and Sexy Films
Golgotha (the full length movie she did)
Karlas Flickr
Karla on IMDB

Anyway, she and some of her friends got together and made this commercial. Well she shot it and edited it and everything . . . I think they even did the music.

Keep in mind that they had NO ONE there helping them with the Kozys, with proper carries or how to wear or tie, and though Karla has used them with my kids, she is not a mom or 'babywearer'.  So some of the shots are questionable but for the most part, they did a great job.  Wonderful shots of some sweet babies and moms . . . .

I love it . . . I mean it just makes me SO happy everytime I watch it!!!

Kozy Carriers from Karla Jean Davis on Vimeo.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

3 Christmas greeting from the kids!!

Well I had this scheduled to post on Christmas day but for some reason it didn't. So I am posting it now (late).

The kids wanted to wish everyone a wonderful Christmas and a great holiday season!!

Merry Christmas from my elves

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Who can resist a disco

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Yee-Haw . . . Merry Christmas

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Homemade Felt Coasters

The kids made cute lighted jars as Christmas gifts this year, but I saw this idea for making felt coasters in the Family Fun magazine and I really wanted to try those too.

The article called for a roll of cork and self stick felt.  Well I didn't find either.  So I used these cork tiles that I found at Walmart in the office section and we used regular felt squares (super cheap at JoAnns or Walmart) and I used a hot glue gun to glue them on.  Though they weren't hard to make, it would have definitely been easier to use self stick felt.

I did most of the gluing (hot glue is called HOT glue for a reason) but I did let Xian glue some.  I also did most of the cutting of the felt because you kind of have to be precise.  I let Piper put the pieces of felt on the cork but for Arah and Ever mostly I just let them pick out the colors (we tried to use colors to match the decor of the family we were giving them to) and the order of the felt pieces as I placed them on the hot glue and then they patted them down.

 We did 4, 4x4" coasters per family, and to make the wavy lines you have to cut 4 pieces of felt (I made the pieces a little larger than 4x4" each) stacked on top of each other . . . then you can mix and match the colors on each piece of cork and the lines match up because they were all cut the same.  I did wavy lines on the first few but then got tired of them and just did straight lines (of varying lengths) on the others (it was just easier).   Then some I cut into circles using the top of a cup as a guide.

I really liked how they turned out!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Lighted Christmas Jars

OK now that our family Christmas party is over I can post about some of these!

I saw these really cute decorated Halloween jars after Halloween.
I was so bummed that I had missed my chance to make them, but I figured that hey, we could just do Christmas jars instead!! 

I really thought the kids would enjoy making them, so we made some for us and then we decided to give them as gifts to family.

I keep most of my glass jars, and it works best with jars that don't have raised writing on the sides (like Mason jars do).  The natural peanut butter jars, pickle jars etc work great.  Different sizes are cool too so even smaller jars like jars you can get mushrooms in or stuff like that are cool, even baby food jars may work if you put little tea lights inside. 

I used tissue paper like in the link above, well, except for the black, that was a streamer (note, the streamers are NOT as sturdy as the tissue paper and rip VERY easily).  And you can get some cool printed Christmas type tissue paper too. 

So as in the link above.  I used Mod Podge (which you can get at any craft store, or even Walmart) painted it on the jars and then laid the tissue paper on in strips (some we did horizontal, some verticle).  Then we went back over it with another coat of modge podge and while it was wet the kids added their own decorations.

The older kids could do the whole thing themselves, for the younger 2 I helped with the glue and/or the strips.  With some I just cut a bunch of squares of paper and let them just stick them where they wanted.   They even added glitter to one.  We used those little shaped hole punches to make shapes to add, and they drew pictures that we cut out and glued on there. They turned out REALLY cute and the kids enjoyed making them (though it was a bit messy and time consuming).

After you are finished, don't forget to do a final layer of Modge Podge

In the end we had a reindeer and snowman jar, a pokemon and Kirby jar and a fish jar.  Then some other random christmas themed jars to give away as gifts.  I decoupaged their name and age and date on a piece of paper on the bottom.

You can put Christmas lights inside them like I did, or they also look really nice with a candle inside too.  A friend says they have little battery operated tea lights at the dollar store, those would work really well.

They are perfect for a window sill and make great handmade gifts!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Homemade Crayon Rounds

Aren't these cute?  I LOVE them! 
I am making Crayon Rolls (or Crayon Cozies, for holding crayons) for my nieces as Christmas gifts (I'll post pictures of those later), but the younger one (age 2) is a bit young, so I was looking for an alternative to give her.  These crayon rounds are the perfect size for her (and Ever).  Of course were she still putting things in her mouth, I would have to reconsider (these look almost good enough to eat, LOL!

Melting and remaking crayons is pretty easy and the kids really enjoy it too.  You can do it any number of ways . . . melt on the stove and pour into molds, melt and pour into a shallow pan and cut with cookie cutters as it hardens (or letting them sit there till they harden, then pop the crayon out of the cutters) or melting in the oven.

I decided to melt them in the oven because I wanted to do multiple colors, and if you melt on the stove and pour into moulds you have to do 1 color at a time (way too time consuming for me).

I saw a site online a while back where they recommended using mini muffin tins and even mixing some colors together (can't recall the site off hand). So that is what I decided to do.

 I can always count on Piper to pitch in and help out.  Actually Arah helped me too.

I pulled out all my old crayon pieces (I keep all the crayons the kids get when eating out too) and we worked at pulling the paper off of them (soaking them in water sometimes helps the paper come off easier).

Then we broke them into like 1/4-1/2 inch pieces and filled the cups to near the top.

I alternated colors.  I did shades of blue, green, red, pink, purple, brown.  And then I mixed yellow and oranges, green and purple and black, grey and white.

I set the oven to 250 and it took about 10 min for them to melt.
I did a 2nd batch a few days later and with that one I had just finished baking cookies at 340 so I shut the oven off, put the crayons inside (with the door cracked opened) and they melted nicely that way too.


After melting I shut the oven off, opened the oven door and didn't touch them till they started to solidify (I didn't want to risk mixing the colors by moving them too much).  But it only took a few minutes for them to get hard enough.  Then I let them sit on the counter for a while till they hardened all the way and they slid right out of the pan.  You can put them in the freezer for a few minutes to speed things up but don't leave them in too long or they can crack (ask me how I know, LOL).

As you can see in the top picture, the top edges are a bit pointy so I took a potato peeler to them to round it out more so that they were easier to color with.

Since the other kids are getting crayon holders I plan to make little drawstring bags to hold these (after my 2nd batch I ended up with 10 crayons for each kid).

Making these was a bit messy, but pretty easy and not super time consuming (especially if you have the kids helping).  I will definitely be making more in the future!

Like I said, they look good enough to eat . . . so keep that in mind :0)

I am making quite a few things this year and the kids are too.  So I'll try to post pictures of everything when I can.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Our family Thanksgiving

I finally got the family pictures from my dad!!  Here is the whole Davis (my maiden name of course) clan!!
Well, minus Karla and James as they couldn't get the time off to come up to VA this year (after having just taken 2 wks off for their honeymoon).

Left to Right
Chris (Kristi's husband), Esther (Kim's daughter), Gingie (my mom), Kristi and Jackson, Papa (my dad), Kim and Shiloh, her husband John and next to him G.G. (my grandma) Kim's kids Sarah, Selah and John Wilson, me and Thrace, Charlie, and in front of him Xian, Piper, Arah and Ever, Rodney (Kathi's husband) Roman and Shaefer, and Kathi holding Charlotte.  Oh and lets not forget the dogs.  Kristi's dog Banjo, Ptolemy and Kathi's dog Polly.  We are missing Kims and mom's dogs.

We had a great time as usual!  Lots of great food (I wish I had gotten a picture of the spread, we have amazing food!!)
I was hoping to get some pictures of our family but Thrace was sick.  He was miserable all day (his 6mo birthday) and was in the Kozy the whole day.  He has had a cold off and on for a couple weeks but I guess it caught up with him.  He had a fever and was just very unhappy. I was often without hands even though he was being worn (I had to have my hand on his back or rocking him or letting him nurse or suck my finger or something).  I finally did get to eat dinner, wearing him, eating one handed after everyone had finished, LOL!! Now that I think back, since having kids, like 1/2 of my Thanksgiving dinners have been eaten while wearing a baby!! (wouldn't have it any other way!)  
Anyway, I didn't get to take the pictures I wanted and the ones I did get didn't turn out so well. 
This is our family picture.

It was the one semi-decent one where he wasn't nursing (nursing was the only way he was happy).

I was able to get a shot of him not crying

But that was one of the few times during the day that he was content, and it only lasted a few minutes . . . poor guy.

He was much better the next day when we had Thanksgiving with Charlies family.
Now THIS is the baby I know!!!

Mmmm, I could eat him up!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Pilgram Hats and a Turkey Cake

So I am finally getting around to posting about Thanksgiving.  I know I had mastitis a couple days before TG but I was determined to make this Turkey cake I saw over at the Family Fun website.
I made my 2 butter cakes in bowls (they were the light meat) and a spice cake in a bread pan (the dark meat, and it overflowed all over my oven UGH).  I also made 2 pecan pies.  Then I packed it all up to take on the trip to Lynchburg (just 3 hrs away).  It took us 7 hrs to get everything packed and in the car (so much more work with 5 kids and a dog to take with you).  Then at my in-laws house we (that being me, Charlie and my mother in law) assembled the cake.  Here is how it turned out.

The icing kind of melted a bit on the way to my sister Kim's house where we had Thanksgiving dinner (it was another 45 min or so drive)  But I think it turned out great!! 

I put the 2 bowls together to form the body (after doing some repair work and shaping). Then I carved 1 leg out of the spice cake and Charlie did the other and we skewered them to the body.  I decided to put the legs directly on the plate instead of trying to attach them to my turkey mid body like they show in the instructions. That was Charlies idea and he was right, they never would have held up.  Charlies mom makes cakes for people, so she was very intrigued by the whole thing.  She used her coloring stuff to mix up the frosting color, then she frosted it for me (as I was sewing a dog coat for Ptolemy because it was getting cold out).  I cut the extra cake scraps into squares to make the stuffing and Charlie decorated it with the oranges and cranberries!
Everyone got a kick out of it!!

We also made these cute Pilgram hats

 The idea was to make them with the kids but they were too interested in watching the new Ben 10 Alien Swarm movie (my sister Karla actually worked on the set of the movie).  We have been waiting for it to come out for like 9mo so they were pretty excited about it.  I did get Piper to help some though.
It was super easy.  Dip large marshmallows in melted chocolate chips.  Place them on fudge stripe cookies (upside down) and then mix up some yellow frosting to make the hat buckles!
All the kids loved them . . . next time I am going to have to make more!

The spread