Tutorial: Robin Hood Costume for Stuffed Bear

Robin Hood Show Bear CostumeTutorial

It been such a long time since I’ve posted anything crafty here.  And even this Robin Hood costume for a small stuffed bear was done way back last May!  But enjoy this tutorial and let me know if you make the costume!

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My kids are involved in Spotlight Youth Theater and they have the option to purchase a Show Bear for each show they are in.  It usually has the costume of the main character.  Last spring they performed Robin Hood, so I made the Robin Hood Show Bears!  Since I was the only one making them (and made 25), I simplified the costume quite a bit.  A lot of this was done with a hot glue gun, but if you have time, sewing it will help it last longer.  :)

 

The Tunic:

1. Cut 2 pieces (same size) for the tunic.

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2.  Sew along the top, leaving an opening in the middle for the head.  Sew along the sides.

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3.  Cut out V’s like you see in the picture below.

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4.  Turn right-side out and sew down the front set of V’s for a collar.

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The Hat:

1. Cut 2 pieces (same size) for the hat.

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2.  Sew along the rounded edge.

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3.  Clip the 2 bottom corners.

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4.  Turn it right-side out and make a tiny cut in one side for the feather to slip through.

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5.  Slide the feather through and hot glue the inside to get it to stay in place.

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The Belt and Quiver Holder:

See these pictures for how they will look.

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1.  I used a sewable pleather type of material.  Cut out the following shapes for each costume.

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Here are the D-Rings I used for the belt.

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Here is the finished belt.

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2.  Slip the D-ring through one side of the belt and hot glue it the belt material down.

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3.  Slide the opposite side of the belt through the ring.

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4. Twist it like you see in the following 2 pictures.

 

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Here’s what the front should look like.

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5. For the quiver, turn the rectangular piece of material around length-wise and hot glue it down.  Hot glue one end closed as well.

 

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6. Then hot glue it onto the sash

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Finishing the Bear Costume:

1. Slide the Tunic onto the bear.

2.  Put the sash and belt on it.

3.  Hot glue the hat onto its head.

4. Optional: Make an arrow out of a pipe cleaner and slide into the quiver.  Tie a ribbon around its leg so you can attach a tag.

 

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Pinterest Challenge- Rag Quilt Potholder sewing kit

I joined another Busy Bag Swap, actually, two of them!  So, I’ll be sharing lots of ideas in the coming weeks.  Here is the activity I included in the Elementary Craft Bag swap: How to sew a Rag Quilt Potholder.  See below for the instructions that were included.  These Rag Quilt kits would also be great to make for Christmas Presents or to include in a travel bag or to keep those hands busy during read-aloud time!

 

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Sew a Rag Quilt Potholder 

**If you decide to reprint these instructions for anyone, please include my website http://ichoosejoy.org    Thanks!

Supplies contained in your kit:  8 pieces of flannel (5” x 5”), 4 pieces of fleece (3” x 3”), spool of thread, needle.

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You supply:  scissors (rag quilt scissors are great for this project), straight pins, washable pencil or marker, ruler

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  1.  Lay your flannel pieces out and decide where you want each color to go–four colors on top and four on the bottom.

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2.  Take the top four pieces of flannel and draw with your washable pencil or marker a square one inch in on all sides and an “x” across the square.

This will be the sewing line.

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3.  Layer the pieces with flannel on the bottom, then fleece square right in the center, and topped with the flannel that has the markings on it.  Pin it.

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4.  Sew together all 3 pieces on the sewing line.  The fleece should be just inside the sewn square, but will be held in place by the “x.”

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5.  After you have 4 pieces sewn, you’ll attach those to each other.  Sew them on the sides first and then the top two pieces to the bottom two pieces.  **For this style you are sewing “backwards” and allowing the seam allowance to show on top.

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6.  Cut each seam allowance in half-inch strips.  Be careful not to cut all the way to the sewing line.

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7.  Wash and dry your potholder so that it will get the “rag quilt” look.

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By the way, this activity was inspired by this pin by Hearts and Trees.

 

Linked to I'm Topsy TurvyThe DIY DreamerFox Hollow Cottage http://www.wisewifesoaps.com/2014/10/diy-friday-102414/

Canning Crock-Pot Apple Butter- A Tutorial

**Jars of this delicious homemade Apple Butter would make an awesome Christmas gift!

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Are you ready to make some yummy apple butter? My husband LOVES it, so I’ve been making lots every fall for the past few years.  Here’s the recipe:

Crock-Pot Apple Butter

20 apples, cored and cut into pieces (keep skins on)
2 cups apple cider (or substitute apple juice or water)
3 cups sugar
2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. ground cloves

Put apples and cider into crock-pot on low for 10 hours.  (I do it overnight.)
In the morning, barely puree in a blender–don’t liquify!  Add it back to the crock-pot and put in the sugar and spices.  Cook on low for 1 more hour.

Now you can simply put it in the refrigerator (it will keep for several weeks).  Or put in freezer containers to freeze.  Or can it; process 10 minutes.  It makes about 5 pint-sized jars (10 of the 8-ounce jelly jars).

Tutorial:

1.  Wash, core, and cut up apples.  Put in large crock-pot with 2 cups of cider, juice, or water.

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2.  Cook on low 10 hours overnight.

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3.  Puree in a blender.

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4.  Put back in to the crock-pot with sugar and spices.  Cook on low one more hour.  Wash jars and rings in dishwasher–use heat dry so they will stay hot until ready to fill.  Get canning pot ready.  Start water to boil about 20 minutes before the apple butter will be done.

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5.  Preheat oven to 200 or 250 degrees to keep jars hot.  Boil water in a pot.  Place the new lids in the pot, turn off the heat, and cover with a lid.
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6.  Fill jars with apple butter leaving about 1/2 to 1/4 inch headspace.  Wipe tops with a paper towel.  Put lids and rings on.  Place back in oven until ready to put all jars into the pot.  (Using the right tools makes canning so much easier!  See below for my suggestions.)

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7.  Place jars on rack in water-bath canning pot.  Lower rack; cover and boil for 10 minutes.  (Make sure there’s about an inch of water above jars after lowering.)

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8.  Remove jars from pot and place on a towel to cool.  Check later to see if the jar sealed by pressing on the lid.  If it pops back up, put in the refrigerator and use first.

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See these links for helpful canning equipment from Walmart:

**Have fun making apple butter and let me know if you make some!

 

Linked to The Common Room, Life in a ShoeSmockity Frocks, and Raising Olives.

 

Fox Hollow Cottage

 

http://teachingmy3.blogspot.com/



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How to Freeze Tomatoes

How To Freeze Tomatoes

 

Have you ever had this happen?  You get a bunch of tomatoes out of your garden or from a friend.  They sit on your counter-top day after day after day.  You finally look at them and say, “I have GOT to do something with those tomatoes before they go bad!”  As recently as 5 years ago I threw bunches of tomatoes out because I just didn’t know what to do with them.  Here’s what I do now:  I freeze them, so I can use them in soups, stews, chili, and sloppy joes during the fall and winter!

Here’s how you do it.

First, you’ll want to blanch the tomatoes in order to peel them easily.  Bring a big soup pot of water to a boil.  Have a separate large bowl of ice cold water near it.  Drop the tomatoes into the boiling water for 30-60 seconds.

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Immediately put them into the ice cold water.  I use a slotted pasta spoon for the transfer.

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After they have cooled off a bit, you can wash the peel right off.

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The next step is to cut up the tomatoes (or you can just freeze them whole if you’re really running low on time).  I use a grooved cutting board to catch all the juice and seeds.  Dice the tomatoes to whatever size you will want to use them later on.  (De-seed if you want to.  I try to get rid of as many seeds as possible, but I definitely don’t get all.)  Put them in freezer bags, push out all the air, and stick in the freezer for later!

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Here is what the baby was doing while I was preparing the tomatoes!

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Bread-Making Tutorial

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For almost 5 years I’ve been baking our everyday sandwich bread.  As I began researching it I realized that I would need to make a commitment to it since the equipment to get started was so expensive.  I had 5 young kids at the time and wasn’t sure–but I decided to make the plunge.  I’m so glad I did!  I’m not much of a cook; alright, I’ll be honest.  I don’t like being in the kitchen more than I have to!  But this is doable!  If I can do it, so can you!

I bought the mixer, grain mill and many supplies from Urban Homemaker (urbanhomemaker.com).  (You can also make the bread by hand and buy wheat flour at the store if you don’t want to get a mixer or mill.)  I get 100 pounds of wheat berries at a time from a food co-op called Country Life Natural Foods.  I also order their 75% protein gluten flour (vital gluten) and Sucanat (sweetener).  I bought two 5-gallon buckets from Home Depot and put gamma lids on them.   The gamma lids (also available from clnf.org) completely seal the buckets so that nothing can get in.  Nutrimills and Mixers can also be found at Amazon.com or Ebay.

Ingredients: oil, Sucanat (could also use honey), dough enhancer (optional–I actually don’t use this anymore), vital gluten, ground flax seed (Bob’s Red Mill), yeast, salt, and wheat berries:


Bosch Mixer and Nutrimill Grain Mill:



Six bread pans to make six loaves at a time.  This lasts us about a week.  (Update:  I bought some pans a little larger, so we now get 5 loaves a week.)

A 5-gallon bucket with gamma lid on:

Here is the recipe for Marilyn’s Famous Whole Wheat Bread Recipe.  I use 2/3 cup Sucanat or honey, 2/3 cup olive oil, 6 cups water, 3 TB of yeast, 2 TB of salt, 2 TB dough enhancer (optional), 6 T of ground flax seed (if you use the golden, the kids won’t notice it’s in there as easily), and 1/2 cup of vital gluten.  One time I ran out of vital gluten, so I left it out to see how the bread would be different.  The bread was very crumbly and wouldn’t hold together when cut.  It was still edible, but the texture is much better with the vital gluten.  My oldest son even said, “Mom, did you forget to put the vital gluten in this?”   I grind about 11 cups of wheat berries, but I’ve never counted exactly how many cups of flour I use.  Sometimes, there is some left over, which I put in a baggie or container in the freezer to use the next week.  Sometimes, I have to grind a little more.  It depends on the humidity, etc.

Step 1:  Set everything out.  I’ve found that it only works for me to bake the bread starting first thing in the morning.  Otherwise, I might have to wait up too long for it to cool so it can be put in bags.  It takes me 2 1/2 hours from start to finish, not including cooling the bread.  But I’m not working the whole time, so we get started on our schoolwork when the bread is rising and baking.

Step 2:  Grind 2 cups of berries in the mill.  While it’s grinding, put Sucanat/honey, oil, dough enhancer, ground flax seed, yeast, and very warm water in the mixer.  Add 2 cups of freshly ground whole wheat flour.  Mix a few seconds and let it sit there for 15 minutes.  This is called sponging.

Step 3:  Put about 9 more cups of wheat berries into the mill to grind.  It takes about 7 minutes to complete.

Step 4:  After the 15 minutes of sponging is up, add salt and vital gluten to the mixer.  (Don’t forget the salt!)   Mix a few seconds.  Add one cup of flour at a time and mix a few seconds.  You’re done adding flour when the dough cleans the sides of the bowl.

Step 5:  “Knead” the dough for 6 minutes–just turn the mixer setting to “1” and set the timer.

Step 6:  Turn the oven on for a couple of minutes to warm it, then turn it off.   Remove the dough hook from the mixing bowl and place mixing bowl in the warmed oven for 30 minutes to an hour.   Instructions usually say to cover the bowl with a damp cloth, but I never do.  (It’s now time to wash the dough hook by hand; if you wait, it’s so hard to clean later on.)  (Wow, I took these pictures 3 1/2 years ago; my oven sure was clean then!)

Step 7:  After 30 minutes, my dough has always started to come out over the sides of the bowl, so it’s time to put into the bread pans.

Step 8:  Pull out dough and put enough into each pan to fill it halfway.  I shape the dough by patting it into a nice oblong loaf-looking-object.  I used to just stuff it in there and try to flatten the top! It looked OK, but I think it rises better now that I shape it.

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Step 9:  Place the 6 (or 5) pans back into the warmed oven (turn back on for a couple of minutes if necessary.)  Set the timer for 30 minutes again.  By that time the dough has always risen to the tops (or a little above the tops) of the pans.

 

Step10:  Turn the oven to 350 degrees and set the timer to 30-35 minutes once more.  My bread has always been perfectly baked by following these instructions.

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Step 11:  If you let the bread cool a bit before cutting, it will slice better (won’t be so doughy).

Step 12:  Cool completely and place in bread bags.  I keep 1 or 2 loaves out and put the rest in the freezer.  Don’t put bread in the refrigerator as that will dry it out.

Step 13:  Enjoy!

Linked to  Fox Hollow Cottage  And http://twelveOeight.blogspot.com