Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas catch up and new year planning

I'm hoping you all had a lovely Christmas. That your Santa was good to you and you made many memories with your loved ones. We had a great time in our home. So great that Christmas night my dear hubby and I both came down with a bit of a cold.....but thanks to my in laws and my sister we were able to get much needed rest the day after and are ready to plan for the new year.

Crazy for me to think another year is already starting!!!! Anyone else find it crazy too? Perhaps you are ready for it to come, in some ways I am surely am.

Well, as the year comes forward....I do want you know I have some fun plans in store for the blog, including some fun links, tutorials, and some fun giveaways!!!!

So, if you aren't already a follower of the blog, click on the sidebar, become a follower and keep in the loop! You might just find you enjoy following with me on the ride for 2011 :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Reindeer Food

My son came home from school last week with a little bag of dust.....when I inquired about it I learned it was Reindeer Food.


So today, just to make sure we had enough to lead the reindeer to our house we made some more, and this time, my little man insisted we add blue glitter so Santa will be sure to know which house is his.

The first batch was for all the reindeer, this special mix is just for Rudolph, in case you were wondering :)

Step what reindeer need to eat....oatmeal, cinnamon, glitter, (you can add brown sugar but it's not necessary.)

Step 2: add oatmeal to a baggie, be sure to do it over a pan or sink....little hands can make a big mess!

Step 3- Add glitter so the reindeer can see it in the dark....our favorite color in this house is blue!
Step 4- Add a lot of cinnamon to make sure it smells good and is sweet.....
Step 5- have mommy close up the bag and shake it really well so everything mixes nicely.

Now make sure you sprinkle it on your yard before bedtime tomorrow night so the reindeer know to stop at your house and let Santa deliver the presents!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Gift Card Cozy

This post tutorial is holiday themed, but can seriously be done all year long for any gift card giving.....

My sister in law and brother in law wanted gift cards this year for our Santa gift swap. While we like getting people what they ask for, I hate just sticking a gift card in a card or bag because they seem so cold that I raided my scrap stash and made a few gift card cozies. Nothing fancy, just a way to wrap the card up a little without spending more cash and adding a personal touch.

If you want to make some of your own here's my method of madness.....
 Took a scrap of fabric that was 6" wide by 8" long and folded it in half lengthwise with right sides facing together then added a lightweight interfacing to both sides.
I stitched along two sides leaving an opening on one end....turned it right side out and folded in the open edge.
I did a zig-zag stitch along the top and folded the tube as shown so it is not quite in half. You can just stitch the side seams closed with a zig-zag/straight stitch or if you wanted to add a decoration on it this would be the time....
 I took a strip of ribbon and folded creases in it as I ran it through the sewing machine, then just lay it on top of where you want it, stitch it into place and sew up your side seams. 

Add a gift card and you're all done! Happy gift giving!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Holiday Card Holder

I have received a lot of picture Christmas cards this year, and my poor fridge can't hold them all, so they took residence on my bar top.

Here was my before.....

So after seeing this post on a blog...I decided to do something. I don't have a piano or a fireplace mantel in my home, but with the help of 3M wall hooks and my barren front wall I can now see them displayed.
I did under estimate how many cards I had and would fit, so I had to add some ribbon to the top of my banner to finish posting them up.

Here's how I did mine.....
Took some holiday scrapbook paper, craft glue and wood clothespins. Cut out strips of paper and glued them to the clothespins then let them dry. I then used an Exacto-knife to trim off the excess and added a small jeweled dot onto the top for decoration. Then I posted the wall hooks on the wall. Knotted the ribbon on each side and hung up my cards.

No more clutter on the counter and I get to see the faces and lives of the people I love as I walk past that part of my house every day!

Teacher gift idea

I know this post is a little late for giving to a teacher this holiday season, but thought I would post it anyways. Always something you can make in advance and give during Teacher Appreciation Week. Or use the gift idea for someone else this holiday season.

I took a plain front small notebook (mine was cardboard, not plastic) and applied some craft glue to the front of the notebook. Then I added the scrapbook paper to the front and trimmed around the edges to clean it up. Using my Cricut, I cut out the letters for my son's teacher and glued them to the front.

Pair it with a nice pen and it makes a cute little set. Also made some of these for birthday presents for friends.

Who doesn't love a personalized present?

Personalized snack bags

I got a new embroidery card for my sewing machine a while ago, but with the crazy schedule and the exhaustion that comes with pregnancy and chasing after my three year old, I haven't had a lot of time to devote to learning the in's and out's of how it works and all the quirks.

Now with my Christmas vacation, I have been enjoying some crafting time and learning how to use it. So when a friend wanted some snack bags made for her 3 little girls I had another excuse to use it. Especially since she wanted all three bags the same but with their initial on it to let each girl know which one was hers.

The picture makes the letter look darker than the polka dots, but the thread color is brown, just looks really dark with it all together.

I do think it adds a nice little touch....but my girlfriend got super lucky with these, as I do think I will charge more for the added touch as it eats up a lot of thread and more time than before. But still way cute!

Do think there will be some happy girls eating snacks and looking adorable!

Bowling Boys

If you aren't a subscriber to Family Fun magazine and you have small children in your home, you should definitely look into a subscription. It's such a fantastic magazine with a lot of fun projects, ideas, cooking tips and such.

That's where I discovered the Bowling Boys idea.

I made these little guys for my son, and while they were intended to be a Christmas stocking stuffer...he got them a little early because once I finished making them he saw them and loved them.

I picked up the wood pieces at my local Michaels and used left over ribbon from my stash with some craft glue and a Sharpie. The best bouncy ball was from my Old Navy store in the jumbo $.25 trap they have. Super easy to whip up and a cute little addition this holiday season!

JOY Jars

I always tend to have a last minute Christmas present that I need to make or get and am clean out of ideas. Anyone else? I love to give handmade gifts but sometimes I run short of ideas.

So last week when I went to my mommy group Christmas gift exchange I loved this idea and totally went home to make some of my own! Many thanks to Melissa for this great present!!!!

 These little jars certainly brought some joy to my day and week as I made them for friends and family.

Psst.....If any of you see this in your Christmas present bag you'll know where my inspiration came from.

Take some glass jars and decorative rocks and fill your jars a couple inches deep.

Then using a Cricut and some scrapbook paper...I used scraps from previous projects, make a background 3x5 card and round the edges and cut out your letters for JOY.....

You can also do different holiday cards so you just have to change out the cards from one holiday to the next.... Hearts for Valentines Day, 3 ring clovers for St. Patrick's Day, MOM for Mother's Day, EGG for Easter, DAD for Father's Day, USA for Fourth of July, BOO for Halloween, or just put 3 pictures on paper to keep in the jars while you wait between the seasons.

I love these holiday settings because they can become functional all year without having to redo much in your home.

Making crayon fun!

For some of my Christmas presents I made my nieces an art smock and wanted to add something else with a personal/crafty touch. Rather than buy new crayons, I raided my crayon stash at work (I'm a full time teacher, so there were plenty of broken crayons in my classroom.) and had the kids peel off the paper for me. I took some silicone ice cube/baking trays from the local dollar store (and some borrowed from a friend) and made my own homemade crayons!

Note: This project did get a bit messy with crayon bits all over my kitchen floor and under my nails, so be prepared to clean up.

I baked mine for about 25 minutes about 200 degrees.

1- Peel crayons, break into small pieces and sort into colors. Or you can mix up the colors if you like.

2- Employ small children to help you break them- oh, so much fun!- and then sort them. Talk about a learning game.....productive and entertaining for mom and kids!

3- Lay out your trays on top of a cookie sheet or flat baking surface so it easier to remove. 

4- Let your crayons cool in the pans and harden. then carefully pop them out.

5- Sort them out into little plastic baggies and you've got a great little gift!  

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Fireman tee shirt

My little man loves firetrucks, firefighters and all such I redid a plain red shirt and decorated it just for my little fireman want to be.

I found the tee on clearance at Target, but little man isn't a fan of plain shirts. It had a pocket on the front of it, which I removed with my seam ripper. I used some June Taylor transfer paper and ran it through the printer with this little decoration then cut it out and ironed it on top of where the pocket had been. Big hit with my boy!

Now if only my warm Florida weather would return so he could wear it!

Wubbzy Art smock

I've got a sweet little girl that is a dear friend of ours up in the cold region of Minnesota. So I wanted to make sure to send her a Christmas gift she could use in the nice heated indoors. Being that I know her and her mama are both crafty ladies I decided on making her an art smock, chalk mat and then a little zippered tote with art supplies to use. And yes, there is a lot of Wow, Wow Wubbzy fabric involved in this gift set!

Here's another art smock I used for a previous birthday present....I see a few more being made before the Christmas holiday!

Pillowcase Dress Duo

I've made a little girl dress in the past, but this past weekend I worked on a matching set of dresses for some adorable cuties and their Christmas outfits. 

Maybe because it's Florida, but we're not always in full Christmas attire this time of year, so the mama went for a fun flirty pattern they could use year round with our weather. Love the versatility of these little dresses. 

I also enjoyed the flowers that I added to the dresses, felt like a nice little touch.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Fabric Baskets!!!!

LOVE these little baskets! After scouring all over Etsy and planning on buying one from a shop, I scored an awesome pattern from Nestings. After searching through some fabric and a quick late night trip to Wal Mart for some craft fuse here are a few samples I have of the little fabric baskets.

These Cars ones below are going to be for my little man at Christmas time. I have a few sets of Matchbox/Hot Wheels cars that I've already purchased for him and I'm going to toss them in here with tissue paper for under the tree.

This little one was my sample with handles. Still not sure which way I like it better. The basket is a little small for the handles, so I am afraid it looks a little funny. But at the same time, I might use it as a gift holder for small toys or treats, in which case little kids might enjoy the handles. 

I have already started planning the big baskets and will post photos of those once I get them made.

Let me know what you think about the baskets....and handles or no handles.... :)

It's here...long over due

So after a huge, terrible, frustrating, infuriating ordeal with my local sewing store (from which I did purchase my sewing machine a couple years ago) I finally was able to track down an embroidery card that is compatible with my machine so I can add names, monograms, and personalized touches to my projects!!!! YEAH!

After sewing some projects together today, I went ahead and set everything up to transfer my machine from sewing into embroidery station and give this thing a go. I get it all ready and lo and behold my embroidery hoop for the machine is m.i.a.! Seriously, after all this time, I can't find the hoop! I know I have it somewhere, but it's not in any of the places it should be :(

So frustrating. Oh well, I suppose it will just be something I have to go purchase tomorrow. Grrr. to the local sewing store. Grrr... to me misplacing my hoop.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

Well I couldn't resist the holiday shirt opportunity and since I've gotten past the yucky part of pregnancy, I thought I would come back to life with my sewing machine, so I made MJD a little shirt for our visit to the Pumpkin Festival yesterday. 
Not exactly a super fantastic picture of the shirt, but one of the best I had. It does read "BOO" on it and the little man was the one who picked out the fabric for it. 

Hope you had a fun and safe Halloween!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Spicing things up

So there's a new banner on the blog, and on the store. Wanted to spice things up a bit and have a little change. What do you think?

Been a while....more than a while....

So I finally got back to blogging. Don't take it personally, my family blog has been bleak too. So here's why. I was suffering through the first trimester of my second pregnancy!!!

Yes, this crafty mama is expecting her next one to the crew!!! Maybe it's because last time I was pregnant I didn't have a crazy man toddler to chase after so perhaps that is part of the reason I felt better. But this baby has been kicking my butt, plus the fact that I found out I was pregnant right when I went back to work and the busyness of work plus pregnancy was not too easy.

Nevertheless......the rough patch is over! Praise God. I finally am starting to feel a little more normal. And I am contemplating returning to my sewing machine and crafting. Yes, my poor machine has been lonely the last couple months.

Be on the lookout....Holiday projects are on the way!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Chalk Mat Fun

I have had a batch of chalk cloth in my cabinet for months!!!!! I have had an idea in my head for as long too, but have been too nervous to actually commit to cutting and sewing up the chalk cloth, in case I did something and screwed up the fabric.

But after searching different chalk cloth items, inserting a strong needle into my machine, and bringing out my awesome pinking shears, here's the final product...........

On the go chalk mat!

Here's how I made mine :) Adapt as you see fit. 

1- Cut 2 pieces of fabric & interfacing to be 13.5" wide and 10" long. Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabrics.
2- Cut 1 piece of chalk cloth to be 11" wide and 8.5" long. Use pinking shears and trim around each edge to make the zig zag pattern.
3- Take the chalk cloth and pin it to the right side of one piece of fabric. Be careful, because the chalk cloth will leave the pin hole marks. (See step 4 before stitching!)
4- Before you stitch all the way around the chalk cloth, you will need to take a 2" piece of elastic (3/4 width) and fold it in half, then tuck it into the left side of the chalk cloth (between the chalk cloth and fabric), about half way between the top and bottom to hold the piece of chalk in the mat. I used a 1/4 seam allowance for my stitching.

5- Now take the two pieces of fabric and place them right sides together and pin in place. Take a large elastic band and slide it between the fabric so that only a little bit of the edge is visible. Stitch along the edges, leaving about a 4" opening in the top. Use a 1/2 SA.
6- Snip corners when finished sewing, turn right side out, tuck in the exposed opening and iron flat. Then top stitch around the length of the mat to hide the opening as well as secure the elastic band in place for frequent use. (Iron only on the side of fabric that does not have chalk cloth on it!)

Decorate with a special note, add a piece of chalk, roll it up and give to someone sweet to play with!

I see a lot of these being made in my future for Christmas stocking stuffers!!!!! Might even make these for my next craft fair.

By the way, I bought the chalk cloth from The Fabric Farm and you can pick up a chalk marker on Etsy by searching "Chalk Pen" in supplies.

I purchased 1/2 yard of chalk fabric and it made 8 chalk mats.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Budget Book

I've got a coupon organizer, got my coupon sites I visit all the time, got my shopping list and notebook, and now we've moved into the "cash only" system. (No worries, we don't actually have a lot of cash, this is just to keep me focused on my grocery priority and to avoid Target as much. So you won't be able to steal a lot of money from me if you take my envelopes.)

Well, of course, I wanted one of these nifty little budget books for our cash so I didn't actually have to use plain white envelopes.  Blah! But since I shouldn't be spending any $$$ on one, I found a plastic one in my stash of stuff, and did some serious Googling to find someone online who would show me how they are decorated with fabric. Hence how I came upon the tutorial.

Here's my finished product! (Don't look too closely, it's my first and the stitching isn't too terribly straight. Thank God for brown on brown!)

This little goober was not as easy as it seemed. I've been wanting to figure this one out for a while, but never had the initiative. Figured it was glued on or something. Never dawned on me that the fabric really was stitched on. Thank heavens I had a heavy duty needle, a lot of desire, and an willing to forgive the crooked stitching. Another plus to the project.... the portfolio was only $1 and the fabric was in my scrap stack.

Some other cool links for making coupon organizers, clutches, etc. 

Friday, July 30, 2010

Traveling with a Toddler Part 3: Car Track

I know these blog posts on the subject are a little spaced out, bear with me. Today's toy for traveling and/or use in restaurants is perfect for any little boy (or girl) who loves those little race cars!

Take and Travel Car Garage and Track:

For this project I don't have the step by step photos, but the directions are pretty simple. I modified it from Creation Corner's carrier to make it more friendly for my little man and our needs.

This project requires- 3/8 yard for the front and back (2 pieces of 14.25"x11")
                                 - 1/8 yard for the pocket (8"x11" then folded to make it 4"x11")
                                 - 1 piece of interfacing 14.25"x11" fused to the back of one of the body pieces
                                 - 1 piece of black felt cut to make an oval race track about 9" wide
                                 - 1 elastic band
                                 - 3 small Hot Wheels/Matchbox cars
  • Cut your pocket fabric.
  • Cut your body front and back pieces. Fuse the interfacing to one piece on the wrong side of the fabric. 
  • Take that piece of fabric with interfacing on it and pin the pocket to the bottom edge of the fabric. 
  • Using a chalk pen, measure .5" and draw a line, then over 3.5" draw a line, over 3.5" draw a line, over 3.5" draw a line, then it should be .5" to the edge. 
  • Using the 3.5" lines as a guide, stitch a straight seam on the chalk lines to make 3 individual pockets for the little race cars.
  • Take the felt race track and pin it to the top of the fabric then using black thread stitch around the outer and inner sides of the track to keep it in place. 
  • Put both body pieces of fabric with right sides together and pin in place, insert an elastic band between the fabrics where the pocket is so that the band is hidden and only a little bit of edge is sticking out, pin it in place
  • Use 1/4" SA and stitch all around the edges leaving an opening about 2-3" for turning. 
  • Snip your corners, turn right side out, press with hot iron to remove wrinkles, top stitch around perimeter to close up opening and reinforce everything. 
  • Fill with small cars and give to a little one to enjoy!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Making your flip flops!!!

I finally wore my BLING flip flops to our morning mommy play date at the mall today. The ladies loved them!!! So here's how to make your own!!!

  • 1 pair of plastic flip flops. Picked mine up cheap at Old Navy.
  • Black thread and needle
  • 2 Jeweled buckles. I ordered mine from Etsy, but a friend finally found some in Michaels (if you find them and buy them there, be sure to use of their 40% coupons.)
  • 2 pieces of 1" wide ribbon cut to be 12" long
  • Scissors
  • Lighter
Step 1: Slide a long piece of thread into your needle and tie a knot at the end, then at the top of your flip flop use the end of the thread to go around the thong of the flip flop and make a knot. Then place your buckle on top of the show so the bar of the buckle is in the middle of the thong.
(You can see in the picture I am holding up the edge of where I tied a knot.)

Step 2: Using the needle and thread you want to wind it up and down through the thong and the buckle so that the thread goes above and under the bar of the buckle and secures the buckle to the middle of the thong part.

(I know these photos aren't great... it's hard to get pictures of black thread on black shoes.) Make sure your buckle is securely fastened to the plastic part of the shoe.

Step 3: Cut the needle off of the thread and use the free edge of the thread to go back up to the slack of the knot you made in step 1 and tie the two ends together to make it knot tightly. Snip the loose ends and go to your ribbon.

Step 4: Take one piece of ribbon and create a flat bow by folding the ribbon in the middle, then taking that middle part and folding it down.  You can see the fold at the top will be the center of the ribbon bow. Take your needle and thread again and sew the back section together to hold the bow in place. You don't want to sew the top piece of the ribbon down otherwise you will see the stitches through the buckle. Repeat this for both ribbon pieces.
Step 5: You now slide the ribbon under and through the buckle that is attached to the shoe.
Once the ribbon is in place and you're happy with it, cut the edges down to where you like them. I cut them at an angle. Take a lighter and careful sear the edges of the ribbon so they don't fray. Be careful not to burn your shoes!!!!

Now paint your toes a pretty color, and adorn your feet with lovely flip flops for the summer festivities!!!!

You can also interchange the ribbons to match outfits by sliding these out and slipping in new ones :) Talk about versatility!!!