Posts Tagged ‘craft’

  • An Early Valentines Project!

    Date: 2015.01.25 | Category: crafts, parenting | Response: 0

    Ah Pinterest… I have a love hate relationship with it.  There are so many great ideas, but sometimes these ideas get out of hand.  Last year when JT’s kindergarten teacher told us to send in some kind of decorated bag or box to collect Valentines, I handed JT a paper lunch bag and told him to decorate it however he wanted.  Apparently I was the only one who didn’t get the memo that Valentines boxes are A THING now!  So many kids came in with adorable boxes that clearly took a lot of time and energy to create.  This year I started thinking ahead and I saw these darling little boxes made out of tissue boxes on Pinterest.

    Super cute and super easy, right?  So of course, I open up my Pinterest page to show JT and what does he see?  This awesome Ninjago box!  And that was that.

    I mean, I can’t blame him, it is super awesome… but it looked like WAY more work than I was planning on.  Anyway, he was really excited about it, so I reluctantly agreed.  Of course, I don’t happen to have a roll of black paper, but I do have a roll of red wrapping paper… and isn’t a red ninja more Valentine-like anyway?  Thankfully, he agreed and was happy with that plan.  I followed the tutorial on Just a Girl and Her Blog and it really wasn’t so bad.  I found an image of Kai (the red ninja) on google images that JT liked and downloaded it and blew it up to the size I wanted to trace for our box.

    I did the cutting and the outlining and JT did all the coloring with a gold sharpie.  He also added some extra flames, once he grew confident in his coloring!  He drew and cut out the arms freehand, I did the face and mask freehand.  JT also asked for a black belt, and he drew a design on it, once I cut out the strip of paper.

    While this project did take a couple of hours, it was really easy and he and I had a lot of fun planning and implementing our design.  We are both thrilled with how well it came out too!

    Now lets just cross our fingers that this box actually survives the two weeks until Valentines Day!

  • A spot (or four) for our eyeglasses!

    Date: 2014.05.09 | Category: crafts, home improvement | Response: 1

    I got my first pair of glasses about a year and a half ago- 40 is creeping up on me faster than I can believe!  I actually like wearing them, my headaches have decreased… and hey!… I can see!  Unfortunately, my kids have not been gentle with my new glasses- I’ve taken them in at least 3 times for repair because the kids have a way of mangling them.  The last time I brought them in the optician warned me that they would probably break the next time (they can only take so much abuse) and he recommended I go for spring hinges with my next pair.  Chris and I discovered several years ago and he’s gotten several cheap/free pairs of glasses through them, so that’s where I ordered my first pair.  I didn’t invest a ton of money in those- free with $17 shipping- and didn’t want to invest several hundred dollars in my next pair either… so I started researching cheap options again and found  I ordered a pair of everyday glasses and a pair of prescription sunglasses (with the upgraded coating) for $56 shipped!  But now I have two pairs of glasses and I wasn’t sure where to store them.  I had just been keeping them on my bathroom counter, but the kids tend to mess with my stuff and now that there was always a pair sitting there, it was becoming a problem. I was just asking for scratches and more bent hinges.  I did a little etsy and pinterest searching for a good way to store and display them, but couldn’t really find anything like what I was envisioning.  I wanted some way to keep them safe, easily view them, and quickly tuck them in or pull them out as needed.

    Finally, inspiration struck- use a picture frame and some fabric to make a wall mounted spot for them!  I popped into Michaels and found that they were having a huge frame clearance sale.  I wavered between my favorite frame (mirrored) and a more practical option that was deeper and would help protect the glasses (they would be set back rather than sticking out from the frame).  In the end I went for practical… I brought my frame home, popped out the glass, cut up a pair of flannel pjs that had ripped after years of wear, and hot glued a piece of batting under the flannel to the cardboard backing.  I decided to sew pockets into the pouch to help keep the glasses separated- my 8×10 frame could easily hold 3 pair- so I still have room to grow!  I didn’t even have to add that cute contrasting fabric- the jammies already had it.  Yay for easy projects that turn out great!

    I hung it on my wall- and I loved it!!!  A couple of days later Chris casually asked if I would mind making him a couple of frames to hold his glasses.  I asked him how many pair of glasses he wanted to store, so he counted how many he owns… 9 pair!  What?!?  That is so typical of my hubby- he has several pairs that are scratched, out of style, outdated prescriptions- that man holds on to everything!  In the end we decided to make 3 holders for him, and I wouldn’t sew in the dividers so he could maybe fit 4 pair into each frame.  I ran back to Michaels and discovered that they only had two more of the frames I had used for mine.  Oh well, that just meant I would swap mine into the mirrored frame- which I had secretly been kind of wishing I had chosen anyway!  I came home with 3 more frames and set to work- I moved my flannel into the mirrored frame and then made three frames for the hubs.

    Isn’t it so cute?  I’m so glad I ended up with the mirrored frame in the end, it’s much swankier, just like me.  😉

    I love this little “dressing area” in my closet where I keep all of my jewelry and a mirror for last minute adjustments.  The glasses fit in perfectly here!  Now my kids can’t reach them and mess with them.  They are still at risk while they’re actually on my face, but at least no one is grabbing them off the counter anymore.  And isn’t that sign up above the glasses just perfect?  My girlfriends call me “Make it happen Melody” because I tend to get things done.  I love this gift from a friend and I love that I see it every day.

    We hung Chris’ holders out in the hallway- one for sunglasses and two for everyday glasses.  They are right between his closet and the bathroom, so he can easily grab a pair as he’s getting ready in the morning. (sorry, it’s an awful spot to take a picture!)

    I cut up two more pair of flannel jammies for Chris’ holders.  I used the elastic waist band for the shorter front piece and contrasting fabric from the legs for the back piece.  I think they turned out super cute!  And I love how practical they are.  I ended up hotgluing a dot of glue to the bottom of each of Chris’ frames to help hold them level- when you put glasses in or took them out the frames tended to move alot- a nice dab of hot glue between the frame and the wall holds them steady now!

    Feel free to use my idea to make your own… and send me a picture. I’d love to see how they turn out!

  • Christmas recap

    Date: 2013.01.28 | Category: Christmas, crafts | Response: 0

    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 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 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!

  • A Shirt for Kate

    Date: 2011.07.13 | Category: crafts, parenting | Response: 12

    I needed a new shirt for Kate- I had something specific in mind and I searched everywhere.  OK, I only made it to Kohls, Target and Babies R Us, but that was it, I was done looking.  At BRU I found a shirt on the clearance rack that I decided I could make work- it was super cute and would just need a little tweaking.  It already had several types of fonts and stitching, so I hoped my additions would look like they were supposed to be there.

    I found this shirt

    Then I opened up a word document and played with some fonts until I found one that coordinated well with what the shirt already had going on.  I printed it and cut it out and then placed it on the shirt to check the size and the spacing- I ended up reprinting it several times to get it just right.  Then I taped it to the inside of the shirt, held it up to the light and traced the letters.  Once I had the outline for my stitches I used two colors of embroidery floss to sew the word and symbol on the shirt and added a few other details to pull the color through the whole shirt.  I am so happy with how it came out!

    That’s right!  Soon Kate will be a big sister too!  We are thrilled to be expecting baby #3 in late Feb or early March.  Hooray!  And I think this explains my lack of posts lately… back to back vacations, pregnancy exhaustion, and extra work hours.  Whew!

    So, back to the shirt.  Here are a few close ups…

    The shirt already had embroidery- all I added in this shot is the word “Big” and the “&” sign.  Everything else was there.

    On this side I added the little green heart and the purple knots.

    The next challenge was getting both kids to smile for a picture while both shirts were visible and readable.  This proved to be completely beyond our abilities.

    Oh well.  Maybe next time!  If we couldn’t get two kids to smile, how will we ever manage to get three kids to cooperate for a picture???

    Thanks for reading my blog.  It’s fun to share this news with you!

  • 2 more diaper cakes and some burp cloths!

    Date: 2011.06.05 | Category: crafts | Response: 2

    Tis the season- for babies!  Two of the ladies in our Families of Faith group are due the first week of July and we decided to celebrate their little ones by combining our monthly family lunch with a baby shower.  I decided to go with the tried and true- I made each mom a diaper cake and 3 burp cloths.

    One of the babies is a boy- I found sweet little owl flannel for one side and blue dots for the other side of his burp cloths.

    The other baby’s gender will be a surprise.  Joann’s didn’t have much selection of gender neutral snuggle flannel, but I was happy to find these two sophisticated prints- a brown and cream and a brown and seafoam green.  (the colors aren’t coming out super well in the pictures, but I think you can get an idea in the second photo)

    For the diaper cakes I found coordinating ribbon for each set-

    I rolled up the burp cloths and tied them with some leftover ribbon-

    I think everything turned out darling.  Don’t you?

  • Quick Fix

    Date: 2011.06.05 | Category: crafts, saving money | Response: 0

    I wore a cute little flower pin on my shirt today.

    As I was lugging my daughter around church this morning she pulled on said pin and ripped a hole in my t-shirt.  Grrrrr.

    What to do, what to do?  I didn’t want to always have to wear a pin- I don’t have that many and it would limit my color choices.  I thunk for a few moments and then… “Aha!”  All I needed to do was sew on a permanent flower.

    As soon as the kids were down for their naps I dug up an old white t-shirt that had already been cut up for another project.  I cut out four squiggly petal shapes.

    I layered the petals and stitched them on with clear beads and ….


    The hole is hidden, the shirt was saved and now I have a cute little flower that’s still in white so I can continue to wear the shirt with anything!  Hooray!

  • Denim bag #2

    Date: 2011.06.03 | Category: crafts | Response: 1

    I made my second denim bag the other day for my girlfriend’s birthday.  This time I found a cute cargo skirt at Goodwill and some fabulous fabric at Joanns.  I added a garage sale belt and I love the combination!  Since the skirt had a bottom hem I just sewed right along the bottom edge and then created a flat bottom where the hem is.  This bag is much bigger than my first one- it’s more the size of a small tote- with lots of pockets.

    Unfortunately my sewing machine was possessed by an evil spirit during the making of this bag.  I don’t know what was going on, but the whole process took several times longer than it should have and I ended up hand stitching several areas so I could finish it and go to bed.  Of course when I used my machine today it was working fine, so I don’t know what the problem was- although I’m glad it’s resolved itself!

    Here’s my finished bag- didn’t it turn out great?  If I were a better blogger I would have taken a picture of the bottom and of the back.  But I’m not.  Sorry!

  • A New Purse

    Date: 2011.04.21 | Category: crafts | Response: 1

    Tuesday night I went grocery shopping.  While I was checking out I noticed the lady next to me had a cute purse.  I kept eyeballing it.  Surreptitiously, since she didn’t look all that friendly and the man with her looked even less friendly.  But glimpses out of the corner of my eye just weren’t gonna do it.  I needed details.  So I turned and asked her, “Did you make your purse?”  And she lit up- “Yes I did!”  “Do you mind if I get a closer look?” I asked.  “I love it and would like to see how you did it.”  She was happy to show off her creation- showing me how she lined it in such a way as to make it reversible and pointing out a few of it’s details.

    I got home, unloaded the perishables and made a beeline up to my sewing room.  So what if it was 9:30 on a work night… I had a purse to make!

    I had a pair of jeans with a small rip (you can actually see it in the pictures up near one of the belt loops) that I sacrificed for the cause.  I cut off the legs right at the inseam and sewed a line straight across the bottom (I did a straight stitch and then I did a zig zag that went over the edge to help prevent fraying).  Then I rummaged through my fabric stash and came across a two pack of handkerchiefs I had purchased about 6 months ago at the dollar store.  I held one up to check the size and realized I wouldn’t even have to trim it- I was able to just sew up the two sides and had the perfect fit for the lining.  I folded the top of the lining in and sewed it on- I just decided to go with a top stitch to make it easy on myself (and it’s not like I’m selling it- my sewing is terrible, but it’s good enough for me!).

    I had originally planned to use a belt for my strap, but since I had a second handkerchief in a coordinating color I decided to try that first.  I cut it in half, rolled each piece up and tied them together.  Then I just tied each of the ends onto a belt loop!  (I also tried threading the strap through the belt loops thinking it would cinch the bag closed and I could grab the opposite sides for two shorter handles but I wasn’t as happy with that look.)

    As I started playing with it I realized that I actually preferred the purse with the floral side out and the denim side in.  It’s a little dressier that way and it puts the pockets on the inside.  I’m still not thrilled with the way the bag gapes open.  Right now I’m  using a hair band around the button and the opposing belt loop, but I’m still rolling ideas around my brain to see if I can come up with something better.

    For some finishing touches I sewed a piece of grosgrain ribbon over the label (St. John’s Bay doesn’t have the same appeal as a GAP logo might have had) and pinned on a denim flower I made several months ago.

    An hour and $1 later I’m pretty pleased with my new purse… hooray!

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