Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Top 10 Posts of 2014

What a year it has been! It always seems that the year starts out really slowly and speeds up as it reaches its final peak. It's been a busy but great year, and 2015 is shaping up to being an amazing year as well. I've been challenged by some other women bloggers that I'm friends with to post the top ten posts of 2014. So without further ado, here they are!

This was such a fun post to write, as I had been waiting - for what seemed like forever- to be able to show you all what I had made! As much fun as it was to make it and show it to you all, it was even better to watch their faces just light up when they saw it the next morning!

 I wish the weather would have stayed nicer, longer, so we could have done more of these this year. The kids love it and are already planning on more Training sessions! Judging by the hundreds of views, for this post, you guys can't wait to see more of what they learn either!

#8 Main Bathroom Redecorating

This post was really no surprise, that it was in the top ten. I've seen it repinned hundreds of times on Pinterest, and I'm really happy with how it turned out. I have more rooms I'll be working on in 2015, so more ideas and inspiration coming up!

#7 Why I Cover My Hair

This one floored me, to be honest. Hundreds of views for this topic alone! I was just speaking from the heart, but they amount of private messages I've received on Facebook telling me that they think it's admirable really makes me smile!

#6 Family

And yet another one that really floored me. I was just speaking from the heart, sharing what was happening, but with the hundreds of views, and more personal messages on Facebook congratulating me really shocked me!

#5 School Is Back In Session

I'm really glad that people are really interested in what my kids are learning, and that the links I post are helping people! I have more that I'll be sharing in 2015, including links to testing sites and more. And, rest assured, the dinosaurs have only gotten smarter this year, much to the lamentation of my oldest. I was making him do his math (I know, I'm a monster) and he says, "You just want me to be the smartest boy in the whole world!" Oye ve...

#4 August's Room Makeover

I've seen this one repinned many times, and I'm so glad that it has inspired so many of you. I really love how Mopsy's room turned out and can't wait to do more makeovers!

#3 Carpenter Pants for an American Girl Sized Doll

Only a few days old and with thousands of views, this is number three in the countdown. I have a few more pattern ideas up my sleeve, so be watching for those!

#2 Odd Squad Badges

It's really not shocking that this is number 2, especially when the stars of Odd Squad made my Dinosaurs a personal video thanking them for watching the show! I can't tell you how good this made my Dinosaurs feel!

#1 Free Coat Pattern and Hat Pattern

Of all the posts, this was the one I thought would not be on the top! I mean it's only a few days old, but posting it to Facebook and having other crocheters want it really made it explode.

I'm really looking forward to what 2015 holds. I have many more project ideas, including a Mommy and Me segment. Mopsy got a sewing machine for Christmas from my family, and I have tons of age appropriate ideas for her to learn to use it! Thank you for joining me this year as I've grown in my faith, and made some really cool stuff. 2015 will be another awesome year. Until then, please go check out some of my favorite blogs and their Top 10 for 2014 lists!

Until Next Time,

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Free Pattern: Sleeping Bags for American Girl Dolls

The last thing I made was sleeping bags for the dolls. What camping trip would be complete without sleeping bags?

I didn't have a pattern, so I decided to freehand it. First thing I did was take one of the dolls, a yard of fabric, and my yard stick and mark out where things should go. The pattern is 'L' shaped in design, to make a pillow and the sleeping bag. Your dimensions will be:
For the pillow section into the sleeping bag part- 37" long on the long side and 18" long on the short side by 10" wide. Since this is one piece of fabric, you'll need to cut it a bit odd. Hopefully the pictures help you see how to cut it. For the part that folds over it needs to be:
15" long or 24" total in length with the pillow/body part added in and 19" wide. Boy, I hope that makes sense, because it makes sense in my mind!

Longest part is 37" long.

From top of pillow portion to the top of the blanket, or top of the sleeping bag, it 18" long.

Blanket, or cover of the sleeping bag, is 19" long

First sew the sides of the pillow, by flipping the fabric so the right sides are facing. Only sew the two sides, leaving the bottom open.

Hem the fabric that will be the top of the sleeping bag, so there's no raw ends.. Flip the pillow right side out. Next take the sleeping bag portion and turn the fabric so the right sides are facing each other. Sew a line down the side to close the sleeping bag.

Flip the fabric right side out. Stuff pillow with polyfil and sew closed. I used the machine, and yes you can see the seam, but I really didn't care!

This fits the doll so it's a bit long, but the body is snugger. I wanted to make it so their clothing, food, etc could fit in the sleeping bags. You can add ties, so you can tie it closed if you want.

To avoid the, "That's my sleeping bag!" argument, I used Puff Paint and hand painted on the dolls' names and a cute little symbol on the bottom of the bags. This project took me about 15 min, for each sleeping bag, and only took that long because I was trying to keep little eyes out of my craft room! Probably would have taken a lot less time if I had been able to just work!

Until Next Time,

Free Coat Pattern and Hat Pattern for an American Girl Doll

I am so sorry that this didn't get posted on Friday, as I had planned. I came down with some odd 48 hour flu bug and spent all Friday and Saturday sleeping. Not the most productive day, but my body sure needed the sleep! Here's the pattern that I used for the coat. The hat, which is in the pattern, does not fit the dolls, but I'll share what I did to correct the errors I found and make it fit.

American Girl Coat

This pattern, for the coat, was incredibly easy to make. I followed it and found that it not only worked up fast, but was super easy. Some close ups on what I did to make the coats more special.

For Alexsaur's doll, Dolphin, I decided not to do the button holes. He's not quite ready for buttons on small things, and I could see him popping buttons off trying to take the clothes off. So I did snaps. I did button holes on the other two coats though. I also added the trim, which was not written in the pattern. I took a coordinating color (in Dolphin's case bright blue) and trimmed the entire coat, sleeves, and collar in the blue. I also wanted a small pocket for the coat. I just chained 9, and hdc in the 2nd ch from hook through to the end. I repeated two more times, for a total of 3 rows of hdc and left a long tail to sew onto the coat. 

For Josie, Mopsy's doll, I made the coat out of bright pink and did a yellow border and yellow buttons. For Jude, Jackasaurus' doll, it was a camo coat with bright orange border and orange buttons. 

For the hat, I tried doing the pattern that they gave, in the pattern above, but it was way too small! So instead of doing 6 sc in the ring, I did 8 and continued the increases as stated, but making sure to make it so it was for 8 sc instead of 6. The 8 sc made it so that the hat actually fit the dolls' heads better. Six sc just wouldn't squeeze on their heads at all. 

I absolutely love how the hats turned out. For the dinosaur plates I did 4 sc in a magic ring and joined. Then I did 2 sc in each sc for the next row and fastened off, leaving a long end to sew on. I squished the plates together, so they were thick plates, and sewed it on.

For the bunny ears I chained 8 then HDC 2 times in the 2nd loop from the hook. HDC to the last ch and turn the ears sideways. HDC along the back of the chain, making 2 HDC in the last loop. You can continue to do this, to make bigger ears, but I only did it one time. For the inner pink section, I only chained 4 and SC two times in the 2nd loop from the hook, repeating the process for the ears. Leave long tails so you can sew it to the top of the hat.

These were super fun to make and worked up really fast!

Until Next Time,

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Carpenter Pants for an American Girl Sized Doll

Merry Christmas! As promised, here is the pattern for the pants. I tried 4 different patterns, before I just gave up and wrote my own. Most promised they would work for an 18" doll, but they were either too short, or way too tight. I wrote the pattern while making the first set of pants, corrected any errors with the second pair, and then worked off the pattern alone when I made the third pair of pants. I am not 100% sure that it's error proof, which is why I'm giving the pattern away for free, instead of selling it.

*This pattern is the property of Raising4Dinosaurs. You are welcome to sell any finished product, but please link back to me as the creator of the pattern. You may not sell this pattern, or claim it as your own. Thank you very much!*

Carpenter Pants that will Fit an 18" Doll

WW yarn 
 size G-6 hook
Embrodiery Floss
Large sewing needle to sew in loose ends.


Chain 44 Join ch to form ring, do not twist
Row 1: ch 1, sc in each ch around, join to ch 1
Row 2- Ch 2. Dc in in 1st sc ch 1. Skip next st and Dc in 2nd sc. Ch 1. Continue around and slip stitch in chain. This will create thebelt loops
Rows 3- ch 2. Dc in chain space and in each dc and ch around to beginning. Join with ch 2
4 ch 2. HDC in each DC and ch across. Join to ch 2
5-9 Hdc in each hdc. Join to ch 2

First Leg: 
Row 10: ch 2, hdc in same spot as ch 2 and one hdc  in next 20 sts, hdc 2 times in 22nd st., skipping rest of the 22 stitches join to ch 2 

Rows 11-30: ch 2, hdc in each hdc around, join to ch 2.

Row 31: ch 1, sc in each hdc around. join, finish off.

Second Leg:

Row 10: join yarn to first skipped st of row 9. ch 2, hdc 2 times in first stitch and one hdc  in next 20 sts, hdc 2 times in 22nd st.

repeat rows 11-31 of first leg.

Back pockets (make 2)
Ch 6. Hdc in 2nd loop from hook. 5 hdc made ch 2
Row 2 hdc in each hdc ch 2
Row 3 hdc in each hdc. Fasten off and leave a long tail to sew on to pants.

Cargo pockets (make 1)
Ch 7. Hdc in 2nd loop from hook. 6 hdc, ch 2
Row 2 and 3- hdc in each hdc. Ch 2 6 hdc made
Row 4. Hdc in each hdc. Fasten off leaving a long tail to sew on to pants

Hammer Loop (make 1)
Ch 7. Hdc in 2nd ch from hook. Fasten off. Sew to pants, leaving a small loop, so sew the two ends close together on the pants.


Chain 55. HDC in 2nd loop from hook. Fasten off at end of chain. Weave in through belt loops, in and out and sew in place with embroidery thread, making stitches to resemble a belt buckle.

Sew on back pockets, hammer loop, and cargo pocket. Weave in ends. Weave in any loose ends.

Here are some close ups on the pants. I did the same design for all 3 pairs of pants, only changing the color of the belt. Pink for the girl doll and camo green for the other boy doll.

Back of the pants, showing the two back pockets. You can also see the cargo pocket on the side.

Cargo pocket. Left side of the pants.

Front of the pants. I embroidered a 'belt buckle' onto the belt. It served two purposes, to make it look cool and to sew the belt on so it couldn't be taken off the pants!

Hammer loop on the pants.

If you have any issues with this pattern, please add a comment - or message me on Facebook - and I will do my best to answer any questions you have!

Until Next Time,

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Home Made Christmas

This year we wanted to do something different for Christmas. Normally we will spend quite a bit on gifts, and then have to donate of a bunch of toys that they haven't played with for awhile to make room for the new things. This year I wanted to do something different. My children have been blessed by people just giving them toys- all year round. They really didn't need anything for Christmas, and my husband and I just wanted to do something that meant a little more. Don't get me wrong, we still donated a bunch of toys that they haven't played with in over a year, but they still have bedrooms stuffed full of toys and a whole playroom filled to the brim. I wanted to do something that not only came from the heart, but something that they really wanted.

I've blogged before about my dinosaurs' obsession with Survivor Man and Les Stroud. We haven't been able to do much Survivor Kids Training lately, as the weather turned bad fast this year and made going outside on the weekends, with daddy, really hard. They still love to play Survivor Man, and I thought what would be better than to make their 18" dolls into Survivor Kids. Get ready because I made a ton of stuff and even wrote my own crochet patterns which I will be sharing in the days to come.

Presenting the Survivor Kids' Camping Trip!

There's nothing like roasting marshmallows over the fire, while sitting under the Christmas Tree!

Every one needs their rest in their new sleeping bags that I made. Each one has the dolls' name on it.

Every one needs a snack, even the dogs! Every puppy has their own bone, made from polymer clay.

The marshmallow, sticks, and food in lunch box were all made from polymer clay.

Quite the assorted lunch for our hungry campers. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a whole apple, a slice of watermelon, some cheeze its (gluten free of course), a celery stick, a whole carrot, juice box, and a cookie!

Their lunch boxes are old Altoids tins covered with some really cool Duct Tape!

Every doll has their own set of carpenter pants, which I will share the pattern I wrote for them tomorrow, their own jacket, and their own hat. All which I crocheted. Patterns are coming!

Of course, because my children are my dinosaurs, I had to make at least the boy dolls' hats dinosaurs hats!

There's nothing better then sharing good times with friends!

The best part about these gifts is that it literally cost me NOTHING to make them! I had every material on hand!


Now, onto at least how I made some of the items. I'll share how I made the food and lunch boxes. Tomorrow I'll share the pants pattern (which I had to write myself), the next day the hat pattern (another one I wrote myself) and add where I found the coat pattern, and on Sunday I'll share how I made the sleeping bags. I can't write a post on Shabbat, as that would be breaking the Sabbath.

We had a rare day free from all children on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Our wonderful babysitter wanted to take all the kids for the entire day and make things with them. It gave me and my husband the perfect time to make their lunch boxes and work on making the food items. It's kind of hard to make things when you have your kids around the house all day!

First thing we did was get the toothpicks, the knives, and clay ready and just start forming the shapes. For the marshmallows I took a toothpick, covered it in dark brown clay, and put tan colored clay in the middle forming it to look like a marshmallow. I think the marshmallows needed the toothpicks to keep them stable.

Sandwiches were formed with two pieces of tan, that were formed into square shapes. I put a piece of purple clay in the center, the same size as the bread, and placed them together pinching them so they would bake together. For the older kids I cut their sandwiches in half. For Alexsaur's doll I left his sandwich whole.

Apples were my husband's project, and he's the master of perfection when it comes to art. Those apples look amazing! He rolled the red into a ball, and pinched and moved the clay to look like an apple even placing a small green stem on top! He also made the dog bones, the celery, the watermelon pieces, and the juice boxes.

Some tips when working with the clay. It does stick everywhere, so work with the clay on a piece of aluminum foil. Not only will it save clean up time, but you can lift the piece of foil and carefully remove the item, rather then trying to scrape it up, and potentially ruining all your hard work. Also, line the pan with foil, and place paper on top to keep the pieces from sticking. I had to bake the pieces for about 20 minutes longer then the directions said to, as most of ours were pretty thick. Just watch them, so they don't burn. I baked ours in a 325* F oven for about 20 minutes total.

The lunch boxes were just Altoids tins that got covered with Duct tape. You can google how to do it. Super simple and really cute!

I can't wait to see their eyes light up tomorrow morning! I know that they are just going to freak out. 

Until Next Time,

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