Archive for the ‘crafts’ Category
Hello friends! I know, I know… I’ve fallen off the face of the earth. Frankly, this past year I’ve had to cut WAY back on all non-essentials. And blogging just didn’t make the cut. Now that James is almost a year old I’m hoping I’ll have a little more time for writing. We’ll see.
I decided that today was the day to write a quick post to show you the Christmas ornaments I made this year as well as the card we ended up sending out. I can still blog about Christmas in January, right? Good, because I’m so pleased with both projects! I have to say that it is SO GREAT having Pinterest to turn to- both my ornaments and cards were inspired by pictures I found on Pinterest. It’s so nice to have hundreds of other’s ideas to inspire me and a place to keep them to refer back to later!
For our Christmas card I combined a couple of cute photo ideas into one card. You can see my inspiration here and here. I thought that this pose was so sweet and this was the year to do it, with a baby in the house! It also helped that JT took ownership of it and really wanted to act out the nativity. He can be pretty tricky to capture photos of right now (he loves to turn his back to the camera and give a stinky face) so I tried to get him excited about the photo shoot and let him contribute ideas and be a big helper. We also bribed the big kids with the promise of a candy cane before dinner if they cooperated- I’m not above bribery!
All we did was round up a few brown and tan and blue blankets, wrap them around the kids and set them in front of the tree before we put the ornaments on it. They really enjoyed being Mary and Joseph and seeing James as little baby Jesus. I think that part of it’s charm is it’s simplicity- it gets the idea across without actual costuming. I was thrilled that one of the cardstore.com templates included the phrase O Holy Night with a bible verse- it was the theme I was planning to use and I thought I was going to have to design it myself. Turns out they did all the work for me! (Please excuse the cellphone pics- our camera is on the fritz again and we’ve decided to make due with our phones. It’s hard to complain about not having a working camera when we both enjoy the luxury of new iPhones!)
When it came to the message on the inside of the card I went around and around about what I wanted to say. I try to be real and don’t want people to think that our kids are always sweet and “holy”- we took 40 some pictures and only got the one that I was happy with! Plus I was taking advantage of an awesome deal from cardstore.com- by having them send the cards directly, each card cost less than the price of the stamp, but it also meant that I wouldn’t be hand writing any messages on them this year. So I ended up using one of our funnier outtakes and writing a short message about how most of our pictures weren’t picture perfect.
I am really pleased with how they came out. What do you think?
For my ornaments this year, I had been pinning every idea that I liked for months and months. Nothing really spoke to me until I saw this ornament in late October- I knew instantly that it was the one! I ended up using 4 different fabrics that I had on hand and a variety of trims- no two are alike. Unfortunately, I seem to have given away all of the ornaments with green fabric! I didn’t realize it until I went to take pictures and discovered all of ours are white! (When I make ornaments I always keep one for Chris and I and one for each of the kids. When they grow up and move out each kid will have a nice little collection of ornaments for their new home. I also make one for each of my nephews for the same reason.)
I found the little trees and the salt shakers online and then used fabric and beads and trim I already had. I tried filling them with regular table salt first, but it didn’t have enough sparkle, so I ended up using a mixture of half table salt and half epsom salt. I think they turned out darling!
I ended up making a second batch of ornaments this year. My group of girlfriends loves to celebrate with sprinkles and when I saw this idea I knew I had to make it happen! When I ordered the trees I also ordered a package of clear glass ball ornaments. I already had a big jar of sprinkles, so all I had to do was fill them up, hot glue the tops and tie them with a cute length of ribbon!
I was glad that I made these this year, because the gifts I ordered for the kids’ teachers didn’t come in time. I ended up making four more sprinkle ornaments at the last minute and tucking each one in a pair of Christmas socks for a cute little teacher gift. Of course the gifts I ordered came the next day… so I’m keeping them in reserve for the next time I need a teacher gift!
So there you have roundup of my December creativity. I hope it inspires you!
While wasting time online several months ago, I stumbled upon this idea for adding a guitar patch to holey jeans. I thought it was pure genius, and perfect for my 3 year old who is obsessed with all things music. I pinned the page on Pinterest and then when I came across two pair of jeans with holes in the knees in his laundry I knew it was time. I am not artistic AT ALL and I am so pleased with how these came out! I used her guitar and amp as inspiration for the first pair, then I decided to go crazy and come up with my own pattern to make drums on the second pair. I searched google images for drum sketches, but really ended up coming up with my own design on paper which I then used to freehand the actual patches.
JT opened up the box with these on Christmas morning and he was so thrilled! Of course I couldn’t get him to stand still for a picture for anything- he was literally jumping around with them. I did get a picture of him wearing the drum pants the next day. Please note the glow drum sticks in his hands and the fake smile!
Here are some close ups of the patches-
Sadly, the ironed on edges have already started to come up after only 1 wash, so I’m going to have to stitch all of the edges down to keep them on tight. I was hoping to avoid that since I can’t fit those little legs over the arm of my sewing machine and will have to do it by hand. Ah, the price we pay to keep our kids happy. And looking like a rock star.
I love making handmade ornaments every year for family and friends (and for my tree too!) It’s a tradition that I started years ago thanks to my friend Heidi- I think that means I’ve done it 13 years in a row now! (Hi Heidi!)
This year, thanks to Pinterest I had some great ideas rolling around in my brain. Of course, when I tried to make my first idea it totally flopped. So back to Pinterest I went where I found this cute ornament and this cute ornament. I decided to meld the two ideas into my own creation. I’m allowed creative license, right? I loved how they came together, and I loved that I only had to buy the wooden balls for the heads, I had the felt and yarn on hand. Since I made 24 this year I needed them to be inexpensive and fun to put together. These were perfect. (It doesn’t hurt that since I’ve been pregnant 3 of the past 5 Christmases I seem to have babies on the brain either!)
Aren’t they so sweet? It made me happy to make an ornament this year that honored Jesus on His birthday.
Happy birthday, Jesus!
Last year after our friend Robb died I received an unexpected gift in the mail from one of my good friends in CA.
I literally burst into tears when I opened it. Isn’t it so thoughtful? I knew right away that I wanted to make similar ornaments for Tricia and the other girls who have walked through this year together for this Christmas.
I messaged my friend for directions and was able to put 6 of these together easily. The only problem I encountered was that we don’t have an ink jet printer. After debating how to get Robb’s information on the fabric I finally settled on Sharpie. I don’t think it’s quite as nice as the printed version, but it’s what I had. I am so pleased with how these turned out. It adds a meaningful touch to each of our trees.
Here are the directions that I followed-
Here’s what you’ll need
-Twine or ribbon
-Paper hole punch
-Fabric (Patterned fabric for the heart. Plain fabric the size of a sheet of printer paper)- You can also buy this pre-made it comes in white fabric sheets 8.5 x 11 ready to place in an injet printer. It costs like $10-$15 at Jo anns, but you can usually buy it with a coupon. I just took a scrap piece of plain fabric and applied heat n bond by the yard.
-Ink Jet Printer (DO NOT use a Laser printer)
-Cookie cutter or stencil for the shape you desire
-Pinking shearers or edging scissors
-Heat n Bond Lite (comes by the yard at fabric store for $1.25)
Step 1: Lay out 1 yard Patterned fabric and Heat n bond.
Iron on Heat n bond to the fabric to the non-patterned side.
Step 2: Remove heat n bond backing. Then Iron to another 1 yard of fabric (its like making a grilled cheese sandwich)
The pattern fabric should be facing out on both sides and the heat n bond should be in the middle.
Step 3: Cut out a piece of plain fabric and cut out the same size of Heat n bond lite the size of printer paper. Then Iron
BUT LEAVE THE PAPER BACKING ON. This is how it will feed through the printer and the printer will detect it like a piece of paper.
I suggest making 3-5 of these sheets of paper b/c sometimes it gets jammed or inked in the printer b/c the fabric soaks up loose ink.
Step 4: Personalize. In Word, I use the settings for return address labels. Simply select font, color and center. Put fabric with paper backing on in the printer. Print
Step 5: Cut out the printed labels.
Step 6: Trace and cut out the hearts.
Step 7. Iron on the lables to the hearts.
Step 8: Paper hole punch a heart.
Step 9: Tie ribbon or twine. (I added a dab of hot glue to keep the bow in place)
Thanks Tash- you’re the best.
I went on a jewelry making bender this Christmas. Several months ago I got hooked on glass lampwork beads when I went in to use a groupon at a local bead store. I ended up making myself a Christmas cluster necklace, a bracelet and a pair of earrings. I had enough beads left over to make several extra pair of earrings. So fun!
See the little snowmen and the Santa hat and the other fun details?
This is the set I made for myself. Then I started making extra earrings!
How cute are those little striped “scarves” I made with the peppermint stick beads?
Oh, I love these little hats!
I also bought myself this cute little pendant which I just strung on a chain I already had. So cute, and I can wear it with either side out, depending on my outfit!
So that was my jewelry making this season. I love all of them!
I made 4 capes- one for each of my younger nephews and for my kids. Cutting them out took only a couple of minutes (literally less than 5 minutes), so I decided to embellish them with an emblem and each kid’s initial from the scraps. And of course that is when my sewing machine decided not to work. Oh yes, my brand new, 3 month old, I’ve hardly used it but I love it, new sewing machine. So after a frustrating few hours I decided to iron on the embellishments. (I plan to go back and sew everything in place as soon as my machine is repaired- under warranty, thankfully!)
Ready for the big reveal? I think they turned out so fun!
Here’s an up close look at the detail- I just freehanded everything, so they’re not perfect.
We celebrated an early Christmas yesterday with my brother’s family, so here are a few pictures of the kids with their capes. They were a hit!
Of course it was IMPOSSIBLE to get a picture of all four kids in their capes. Maybe someday… when they are all grown?
Need a cute handmade (and cheap) gift for someone this year? How about a scarf?
My brother recently lost more than 100 pounds (ya, he’s totally awesome). This meant he needed a new wardrobe. Well guess who raided his donation pile before it was picked up? That’s right… me! I grabbed all of his tee shirts that were in good shape and I have several ideas percolating for them. Thanks to Pinterest I have some cool projects that I can make for free with his old shirts.
First up- a ruffled scarf for me! Using this tutorial I cut as many 10 inch circles out of the tee shirt as I could. I got 9 circles from a 2XL shirt. Then I cut each circle into a spiral shape and lightly tugged on the ends to stretch it out. I sewed the lengths end to end (I have 4 on one side and 5 on the other, but it doesn’t matter) and covered the stitching with a little tube of leftover tee shirt.
And that’s it! 1 ruffle scarf in less than half an hour.
I like that it’s extra long for lots of options when wearing it. I played with tying it several ways throughout the day-
And it’s nice and cool to wear, perfect for days that aren’t too cold!
The only thing I can think to add is that this scarf would turn out even better if you started with a tee shirt with lots of stretch. This shirt doesn’t have a lot of spandex or lycra or whatever it is that gives girl’s tees a lot of spring and stretch. It still ruffles nicely, but doesn’t have a lot of bounce. I also think this would be great using two different colored tees- I think I’m going to try one of those next!
So that’s it! Start cutting up those old shirts!
Here’s the deal. I don’t really take myself seriously as a blogger or a cook or a crafter. I just thought this blog would be a fun place to share my adventures, mistakes, successes and progress. So without any idea of what I was doing I started writing about whatever was on my mind. The longer I’ve spent in blogland the more I’ve come to realize that my blog will never be a huge success because I’m not willing to limit myself to just talking about parenting or crafting or cooking. Nor am I willing to take 500 step by step photos of everything I do with a fancy camera and then spend countless hours sorting and editing to put together a detailed tutorial (not that most of my projects would require more than one or two steps anyway!).
Then today I read a post on one of the blogs I follow about how some of her photos and tutorials have been claimed by other bloggers and about how once your image is out there on the internet it’s awfully hard to get the credit you deserve for it if you haven’t watermarked your pictures. I decided that it was a good idea to follow her advice and start watermarking mine. While I doubt anything I do will ever sweep the nation (or more importantly, pinterest!), it would still be nice to know that if someone likes one of my ideas they at least know where it came from.
I followed a link on her blog with instructions of how to add the watermark using picnik- an online photo editor that a lot of bloggers rave about. It was simple to set up a free account and I had added watermarks to my 4 jack o’ lantern pictures post and inserted them into my post in a very short time. It will take me some time to go back and edit all of the photos of my crafts and whatnot, but at least I can start watermarking everything from here on out, right?
So I guess I’ve decided to take my blog more seriously. Of course there was really nowhere to go but up, right?
Years ago (1999? 2000?) some girlfriends and I had a little crafting party and made these cute jack-o-lanterns out of cans. As I was putting them on my mantle this year I thought I’d show them to you in case you’d like to make some of your own. They are super easy to make.
Scrounge up some cans of varying sizes from your recycle bin.
Clean and dry each can and remove any sharp edges from the lid.
Paint each can with pumpkin orange paint and let dry. Paint a face on each can with black paint.
Stick some autumn picks in the top of each one and place them on your mantle. Or make a large set and use them for bowling, or make a pumpkin pyramid, or stuff them with treats for friends and neighbors, or use them to hold your utensils at a party, or…
These have held up surprisingly well considering they’re over 10 years old and I haven’t given them any special care; they have acquired just a few scratches and chips- which I think adds character. I smile every year when I pull them out of the box and it always makes me think of my CA girlies (hey friends!)!
I know I haven’t been blogging much lately, but it’s hard to sum up what I’ve been doing instead. Hmmm… lets see. Raising a 3 year old and an 18 month old. Growing a human being (we just found out that it’s a boy!). Napping as often as possible. Hitting the fall consignment sales and garage sales for bargains. Making more denim purses (apparently I’m taking orders and selling them now!). Making more jewelry. Swapping out Kate’s 12 month wardrobe for her 18 month wardrobe (yes, she’s 19 months!) and finally hauling all of her 6 and 9 month stuff down to the basement. Swapping out my regular wardrobe for my maternity wardrobe. Hanging out with my parents for 2 weeks. Dealing with the stomach bug that worked it’s way through each member of our family. Dealing with the cough/cold that’s still working it’s way through each member of our family. Celebrating my birthday with week long festivities (lunch and pedicures with my sis in law, date night, Rockies/Giants game, family birthday party, party with girl friends). Setting up the new sewing machine I got for my birthday (hooray!). Watching the first 3 seasons of Bones on Netflix (I love this show, but sometimes there are serious plot flaws. Really? Addy? Not to mention it’s pretty gross). Grabbing a free dresser from the side of the road. Grabbing another free dresser from a family at church. Painting both dressers white. Buying 2 bookshelves for $2 each at a garage sale and settling them in the basement closet for more storage. Surfing the blogs and pinterest for inspiration. Experimenting with styling my cute new hair cut.
I don’t have pictures of everything that’s been going on, but here’s what I’ve got…
JT made a “bee costume” and ran around the house buzzing for days!
Silly Kate is reading a book upside down and through her legs!
Pink and red necklace, earrings and bracelet.
Blue and black set, I think it’s my favorite one that I’ve made!
Turquoise (teal? aqua?) The strands are separate so I can wear one or all three!
First purse I’ve tried with anything other than jeans- I like how it turned out!
So I made a second one that way!
I also added these little bows that I made to coordinate.
This bag is made out of toddler jeans- so cute and a great gift for his mom!
Fabric for 3 more bags.
Still looks good a week later!
New sewing machine- it has so many great stitches! I can’t wait to experiment!
It’s a boy!
This dresser will go in Kate’s new room when we get the guest room cleared out. We have crystal knobs that match her desk for it.
This dresser will go in the nursery. I picked it up from the side of the road on garbage day. It had at least 4 (some had more) holes in each drawer for different knob configurations over the years- and no two drawers had the same configuration! I had to fill a lot of holes.
Cute blue and white hardware we picked up at Hobby Lobby (or potty dobby as JT called it!)- the knobs will go on the tall dresser that’s already in the nursery (since I’m stealing the crystal ones for Kate) and the pulls will go on the new dresser. I got the knobs on clearance- hooray!
More storage in the basement for $4! This closet now houses all of my wrapping supplies, birthday and Christmas gifts (I love to buy early), our 2nd crib, and some craft supplies. We’re still in the process of clearing out the yellow room so Kate can move in. These empty shelves won’t stay empty for long!
The storage in the garage that I never showed you. It’s so nice to have all of this vertical storage and get everything off the garage floor! There are a few empty shelves behind the counter top (that STILL hasn’t been installed in the kid’s bathroom) for our Christmas decor- rather than hauling it up from the basement now only to move it back into the house after Thanksgiving we’re just waiting until we are ready to pull it out. Behind the drape we have some of our tools and chemicals (up high and locked!) that we don’t want curious hands to get into.
So that’s been my life lately. I’ve missed you! Thanks for checking in with me now and again.
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