Featured · Reviews · Sponsored Post

Just for Kids: Crayola Virtual Design Pro Review

Crayola

A little departure from the usual crafty sewing posts to share this cool little thing we got in the mail recently. Long ago I was a contributor to hdydi.com, which is a blog for and by twin moms. I ended up on a list at Crayola and they sent these kits out to bloggers with kids. Here’s our little review. Full disclosure, I was not paid for my review, though Crayola did send a box with two different products for us. We received the Crayola Color Alive Star Wars Virtual Design Pro and Crayola Frozen Color Alive. (Affiliate links.)

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First of all, this kid would love ANYTHING Star Wars. I know, I have tested it. Soup? Yep. Cereal? Also Yep. Waxy mediocre Valentine chocolate hearts in a Storm Trooper tin? You Betcha! So of course as soon as he saw this he was ecstatic.

He set to work right away coloring and designing his ships. The general idea is you can color the ships and scan them into an app, which transfers your design and you can fly your vehicle through different levels.

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The Star Wars kit came with both markers and colored pencils, and I was happy to see the books had nice thick paper so markers didn’t bleed though to the back.

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When you’re done coloring, you scan your design into the Virtual Design App, which is a free download for iOS and Android devices. I really wish it worked on the boys’ Kindles, since I would love if I didn’t have to hand over my phone for them to play.

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Once scanned, you can see the details of your coloring, wrapped onto the ship you colored. My only real complaint about the whole process is in the scanning. You have to line up all four corners, there are squares you have to match and every time we got three of four and the fourth was tricky, and took a while and I think just dumb luck. I tried different lighting and flattening out the book and I didn’t notice much of a difference. I do know the kids couldn’t do it themselves, we had to help.

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You can see how cool the ships look in the game. The boys loved playing it and designing ships. If it were on their device instead of mine I think they would play with it all the time.

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The other thing in the box was the Frozen Color Alive set, which they weren’t as into as the Star Wars. I decided to try it out myself. I maybe should have picked a picture with more color, since while Olaf is cute, he’s pretty white. I wasn’t sure what to expect, so I colored the castle and snowflakes, but they don’t really do anything for the app. You can see how my Olaf came to life. He was kind of weird though, he seemed to give me the stink eye at one point, or maybe it was my imagination. I think my kids would have been more interested in this one if they were into the characters more. They like Frozen OK, but aren’t huge fans like they are of Star Wars.

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Overall, I think both of the products are cool and I would definitely recommend them to people with kids. They add another level of fun to coloring and my boys liked experimenting with how things would look when they were scanned into the app. If they could use their Kindle Fire instead of my iPhone or iPad, that would be even better!

Thank you to Crayola for including our family!

Featured · Holidays · Projects · Tutorials

Easy Snowman Tote: 12 Days of Christmas Blogger Challenge

Snowman-Tote

Way back when it was still warm out and the sun didn’t set at 4:30, I was invited to participate in Sew McCool’s 12-Days of Christmas Blogger Challenge. I had big plans to finally finish the advent calendar I have been “going to make this year” for the past three Christmas seasons. This post is not about the advent calendar I made. Yet again, I didn’t get it made. Instead I did a cute craft with my kids. This was crazy easy, relatively inexpensive and turned out adorable. These would be so cute as teacher gifts, grandparents or even to use as gift bags.

For this project you will need:

  • Plain White tote bag. (I bought a blank one at a craft store but you can find about a bajillion tutorials on Pinterest if you would like to make your own.)
  • Scrap of Orange Felt or Fleece
  • Random Assortment of Black Buttons
  • Some sort of super strong adhesive. (or a sewing machine or needle and thread if you’d rather stitch the face on.)
  • Two Scraps of holiday fabric, cut about 2 inches x the width of the bag. Fleece would work well, I used woven cotton and pinking shears on the edges.
  • Small helpers (Optional.)

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I am not a kids-crafting blogger. Or a kids-crafting expert. Or even a regular kids-crafting participant. I tend to lock myself away for my crafting and sewing projects, it is my time away from my kids. Lately, though, they have been begging to help, keep picking out fabric they want made into various things, and are becoming more curious about my sewing projects. This project is definitely one that requires close supervision due to the glue. You could use a regular child-safe glue stick and then stitch the items where the kids placed them, but I just let them arrange things then made them sit back and did the gluing myself. If your kids are older they might be OK but I definitely advise adult supervision with this project.

The first step was arranging the face. I let them try different arrangements, and they actually worked together to decide where the buttons should go and what direction the nose should point. There was some discussion that the snowman should have a mad face, but I convinced them that he should be happy.

 

Once they had the buttons and nose placed, I glued them down. The adhesive I bought said industrial strength, and should hold well without additional stitching, but if I were going to make several of these I might just stitch the buttons and nose on. The “scarf” was the last part and we just glued the ends of each side of the bag. Once it was dry I tied it in a knot in the middle.

 

And that’s it. Simple and cute. My total cost was under $6, and that included the glue, which you could easily do several bags with one tube. The kids loved making the face and asked if they could make another one.

 

Thank you to Deanna at SewMcCool for inviting me to participate and definitely check out all the other projects in the challenge.

12 Days of Christmas Holiday Blogger Challenge with sewmccool.com large

Don’t forget to visit all of the bloggers who are creating tutorials for the Sew McCool 12 Days of Christmas challenge! Voting will begin on www.sewmccool.com on December 13 and go through 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern time on December 20. The blogger with the most votes will win $100 – just in time for Christmas!

December 1

Ren @ The Inspired Wren * Stephanie @ Swoodson Says * Alicia @ Felt With Love Designs

December 2

Natalie @ Sew Outnumbered *Deby @ So-Sew-Easy * Ajaire @ Call Ajaire

December 3

Amy @ Friends Stitched Together * Maris @ Sew Maris * Gemia @ Phat Quarters

December 4

Amy @ How I Make Stuff * Michelle @ Falafel and the Bee

December 5

Beth @ Beth Jarrett * Jen @ Just Joshin

December 6

Lauren @ Molly and Mama * Krista @ Bee Quilted Beauties

December 7

Vicky @ Vicky Myers Creations * Deb @ Sprouting Jube Jube

December 8

Addie @ Addie K * Michelle @ Not My Tree

December 9

Ula @ Lulu & Celeste * Sara @ Made By Sara * Chelsea @ GYCT Designs

December 10

Nichole @ Bluebird & the Boy * Darcy @ Ginger House Designs * Shelly @ Coral & Co.

December 11

Amy @ Britches ‘n Bloomers * Kelly @ Kelly J Designs

December 12

Maegen @ Mae and K * Jess @ Gracious Threads * Jone @ Knot Sew Normal

Pattern Test · Projects

Pattern Test: Denali Jacket from GYCT

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In addition to testing a top for myself this week, I also got to test a kid’s jacket pattern from Get Your Crap Together. The Denali Jacket  (affiliate link.) is a unisex pattern that has options for boys and girls, color blocking and two different hoods.  I made the size 6 for my boys, so it will be a little big and they can wear it layered. I only finished one so far, the other kid is begging for his ASAP.

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I color-blocked the back as well as the front (the pattern only calls for the front) so I could use a remnant of the Batman fleece. A half yard is just a little too short to do the size 5 or 6 in one solid piece. Using the solid fleece for the sleeves, hood, yokes made the project really affordable since the solid is much cheaper than the character fleece. I used thrift-store means t-shirts for the hood lining and facing, they are sometimes on sale for as little as $1 each and make great accent knits.

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This is a great lightweight jacket for fall or spring, and is thin enough my kids can wear it in their car seats without loosening the harness. Perfect for those little fleece remnant bin scraps.

You can get the pattern from Craftsy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Etsy · Holidays

Decking the Halls with Custom Aprons

I am chipping away at a pretty long to-do list, happy to say these custom order Christmas Aprons shipped out yesterday. I love these little Gingerbread Men and Women, they will be so cute come Christmas Cookie time for all the littlest helpers. I added them to my Etsy Shop and will be accepting custom orders from now until the holiday ordering deadline in December. How fun would a Ginderbread House party be with all your kids’ playmates in custom aprons?

Kids Holiday Gingerbread Apron | Just-Joshin.com

Kids Holiday Gingerbread Apron | Just-Joshin.com

Kids Holiday Gingerbread Apron | Just-Joshin.com

Kids Holiday Gingerbread Apron | Just-Joshin.com

Projects · Sew Alongs · Theme Week

Kids Clothes Week: Boys Board Shorts

The first project I finished up this Kids Clothes Week is this adorable outfit for the first day of preschool. This was made by request, the customer even picked out this fabric. (Which I LOVE!) I used the Long Beach Board Shorts pattern from Terra’s Treasures, which is a super easy pattern and looks so nice with the piping accent. I love the panel on the back to use two different fabrics on shorts. I skipped the drawstring option, instead went with regular elastic. 

I love making custom shorts to go with embroidered tees. Especially for boys, it really makes for fun outfits.

One Kids Clothes Week project done!

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kid's clothes week

Projects · Sew Alongs · Theme Week

Kids Clothes Week

kid's clothes week

I read about Kids Clothes Week a long time ago and keep meaning to actually sign up and do it. I have a million and one things to do this week, so why not add another! Essentially it boils down to sewing an hour a day for your kids. Every day for a week. I figure I can do that. I already have quite a few projects lined up for my duo: a surprise project I have been working on I can’t wait to share next month, a few fun things for back to school, and I have even started prepping for the onset of winter with a bunch of flannel for new, warm pajamas. 

Today I finished cutting this pile into what will become super-secret-awesome-my-kids-won’t-stop-begging-me-to-finish project.

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Tomorrow we have a busy morning with activities and a playdate, but I committed to this hour a day working on stuff for my kids, so I am going to stick to it. (I did spend about 4 hours today working on stuff for other people’s kids, by the way.)

Kids Clothes Week is underway, but you can jump in anytime! There is plenty of motivation to get something cute, handmade sewn for your kiddos.

Announcements · Holidays

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas?

Custom Christmas Pajamas by Just Joshin

I am taking preorders for Christmas Pajamas in the month of June. I realize it is just finally summer and some of us had snow less than two weeks ago. (Mother Nature clearly lost her mind!) I intend to enjoy this summer and warm weather, right after I plan what my kids will be wearing on Christmas morning. I offered these pajamas last year and got great feedback from customers. They are thick, soft, and so adorable! My boys enjoyed wearing them to the Santa train, a party at school and many many nights since Christmas. They are so cute in Christmas morning pictures, too! In addition to the kid’s PJs offered last year, sizes 6M to 12Y, they have added Adult sizes, Doll PJs, and Infant gowns for size 0-3M. Colors are Red/White, Green/White and Red/Green. Adult PJs are only available in the Red/Green combo. (Please see sizing charts below for both kids and adult sizing.)
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Prices (Includes custom embroidery/appliqué design of your choice.)

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(Order 4 or more sets and you will get the discount price for all 4 items.)

 
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  • Orders due by June 30, 2014
  • Deposit of 50% due at time of purchase via paypal. (You are free to pay the full amount and estimated shipping costs instead.)
  • Balance (and shipping) will be due November 1, 2014
  • You chose your design
  • Pajamas will be shipped to you by December 1, 2014 so you have time for Christmas card photos, visits with Santa, and all the fun December family activities.
Here are samples of last year’s pajamas, and this year’s offerings. Please contact me if you have any questions or would like to place an order.
 
justjoshincreations at gmail dot com.

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These UNISEX pjs are made using premium 95% cotton and 5% spandex providing a soft comfortable feel that holds any decoration nicely. They are available in three different colors which are red with white, green with white and red with green. They are sold and priced as sets which include one top and one matching bottom

Custom Christmas Pajamas for the Whole Family

Custom Christmas Pajamas for the Whole Family

Custom Christmas Pajamas for the Whole Family

Custom Christmas Pajamas for the Whole Family

Custom Christmas Pajamas for the Whole Family

Custom Christmas Pajamas for the Whole Family

Sizing Info:
The pjs are available in sizes 6M-12Y and a size chart is provided below with the exact specificationsOur Size Chart is measured in inchesThe length is for the length of the shirtThe waist is measured from hip to hipCompliant with all CPSC regulations for snug fitting sleepwear

Kids Pajama SizingUnisex Adult Pajama Sizing