Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I'm baaaaccckkkk {is anyone still out there?}....

Well, it's only been 5 months since I updated...LOL Anyone still stop by? If you do, please leave a comment and say hello. :)

Life has been a little crazy this year and I just lacked the time to keep up with the blog. We've made the decision to homeschool this upcoming school year (for a number of reasons) and I'm really excited and nervous about it all at the same time. Summer is almost over and I think I'm about 95% certain on the curriculum we're going to use.

The kids are growing like weeds and I thought I'd just share a few quick and easy boredom buster ideas that we've been doing recently...

I saw this idea in Family Fun a few weeks ago and decided to give it a try. You take a plastic bottle, rinse it out, cut the bottom of it off and secure a small piece of a terry towel or washcloth over the cut end with a rubber band. Then you just get the towel damp and dip the end in a shallow bowl full of dish washing soap...and blow and blow and blow.

It's super easy, fast, free with items you already have and great entertainment. It kept my kids busy for about 45 minutes! See how many bubbles it's producing? (Oh, and my blogging bud Beckie said they did this in the bathtub recently..certainly going to try that soon!)

Here is another quick idea: {Chalk paints} Skip to my Lou did a post about this recently and we decided it would be a great activity for today. Head on over here for the directions on mixing up your own. After lunch, the kids helped me measure the corn starch and added the water and food coloring. It was also a great lesson in mixing colors and kept them occupied until the paints ran out. The kids used an assortment of paint brushes but really seemed to prefer the cheap sponge brushes since they'll soak up so much of the paint. We also brought out the chalk and the kids drew pictures and then painted those. It's going to rain again soon so we'll have a blank canvas again for tomorrow. :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fun with no sew appliques

I've been in a crafting slump the last few weeks. I thought I'd have time to escape to my craft room some this past weekend...but it didn't happen. I did upload some pictures from my camera and realized I hadn't done a post about the no sew appliques yet. So, here we go...

See, I even took a goofy pic of myself in the mirror (which needs to be cleaned by the way) so yall could see my appliqued t-shirt being modeled! :)

I taught the ladies in my MOPS group how to make no sew appliques last month but forgot to take my camera to the meeting (I know, I know...won't let it happen again!) Because of sick kiddos, I've missed both meetings this month and haven't had a chance to snap pics of any of the awesome appliques they made. I did happen to snap a few pics of some items I appliqued at home though. Will yall forgive me?

This is a blurry close up of the applique I'm wearing in the above shot. Recognize the material? It's a scrap left over from this. I used e6000 and applied three rhinestones to the fleur de lis after I'd ironed on the applique. You can see them better in the first shot.

Here is my silly boy modeling his rockin' guitar applique tee. I found the clip art online and resized the image in my word processing software. He loves this shirt! The material is an orange, yellow, red, black and white flame print. My son said it was "so cool!"

You can find directions for making appliques all over the web. Here are two links to get you started here and here. It's really late (or early, depending on how you look at it) and I'm not thinking clearly so I'm more than happy to answer questions in the comments area if needed.

In our MOPS meeting, we created really cute tote bags. I purchased black canvas bags from an ebay seller in bulk and then the ladies made some adorable appliques. Most of the ladies made adorable monograms or layered cute crosses cut from zebra print fabric or other cute coordinating patterns. I promise I'll post some pics of them once I snap some.

If you don't sew down your applique (by hand or by machine) some fraying will occur. I happen to like that look. :) I've also realized you can touch up the appliques with a hot iron if sections seem to lift up. This is great to know if your sewing skills are lacking like mine! I can sew straight lines...but curves are not so pretty! I did make a fleur de lis for a tote bag and practiced sewing on it. It looks terrible! Why did I choose to practice on an applique with so many curves? Is there some secret to sewing small curves? Please tell me there is some super cool secret that I'm not aware of! Otherwise, I guess I'll have to find some time to spend at my machine and figure it out.

Friday, February 20, 2009

{My first feature!}

Wow, I've neglected this poor blog for a few weeks now. Anyone else find February to be a rough month? I don't know about you, but my kids seem to have been fighting back to back illnesses for weeks now! It's beginning to get a little exhausting. Thankfully, we've not had any major illnesses, just lots of little ones back to back to back...which creates monumental loads of laundry, sleepless nights, lots of trips to the doctors office, and LOTS of disinfecting...and little time for crafting!

But, I was just pleasantly surprised when I took a quick break from disinfecting the house and folding the hundredth load of laundry to come check on a few of my favorite blogs to see what I've been missing...and low and behold...I found the desk transformation I did last month featured on Ucreate! What a fun surprise! I had to do a double take to make sure I'd not refreshed my own page. Thanks for featuring my desk Kari! Now, go check out the post and her blog because Kari's got TONS of fun links to tutorials and projects that should keep you busy for hours.

Have a great weekend and hopefully I'll be back in full swing next week. I'm hoping to get some time in for crafts this weekend because I need a craft fix...I'm starting to go through withdrawals!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Cuuuute sewing projects for your little girls...

Before I start, I have to give a big THANK YOU to Kristin over at Grace Violet. Do you remember how I recently mentioned that I NEVER win any of the blog giveaways? Well, that has since changed! :) I bet some of you entered to win the adorable zipper bag she was giving away, but didn't win because I won it! Well over 200 people entered and my number was selected...YEAH! It's adorable and I'm fighting my toddler for the bag (she is already obsessed with shoes and bags) but this one is for me! See, isn't it cute? Thanks again Kristin, I ♥ it!
{photo from Grace Violet}
Okay, so speaking of Kristin at Grace Violet, did you see these adorable summer dresses she made? (Her girls are adorable, too!)
{photo from Grace Violet}
She made them out of the smocked material that Hobby Lobby has right now AND she gives you directions on how to do it. It looks really easy, too! I just need to see if I can get my hands on some of the material before it's all gone. They're adorable! Go on over to her site and check them out!
Also, Julie at Joy's Hope posted a tutorial for these precious tutu t-shirts.
{photo from Joy's Hope}
They are so cuuute and I can't wait to try this out! I'm thinking of folding the tulle in half and filling the top or bottom layer with some fun pompoms, flowers or even confetti.
We have several tutus in this house because my daughter LOVES them. It cracks me up that she likes them so much at such a young age. She'll tell me "pwincess mommy, pwincess" and put on a tutu or two. There has even been many trips to Hobby Lobby with Breanna wearing a tutu...but I don't mind. :)
So, I've got some projects to keep me busy for a few days. What are you working on right now?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Quick Kids Costumes

I know it's not Halloween but I'm doing a post on kids costumes today. My son LOVES to play dress up and I bet a lot of your kids do, too. We also seem to have a few events at school that require them to dress up as their favorite story book character or what they want to be when they grow up.

Last week, the first graders at our school had a Fairy Tale Ball. Connor decided he wanted to be Robin Hood and this is what we came he came up with. {Note: the school sent home a note telling the kids to not dress up in their Halloween costume but to please come up with something creative at home...love that!} Despite the quirky, stiff lipped smile, he was REALLY excited about this costume. Any of your kids smile like this? I know my little brother always did and it drove my mother nuts!

For this costume we used the following:
  • green t-shirt ($2.00 at Hobby Lobby)
  • an old belt
  • 1 large sheet of green craft foam for the hat
  • pipe cleaners for the arrows
  • feathers for the hat and tips of the arrows
  • paper towel tube for the arrow holder (don't know what it's called)
  • sheet of tan felt with pennies inside, twisted shut with a pipe cleaner and looped through the belt to stay in place
  • yarn we already had in the craft closet

I found this fun site that teaches how to make several types of kids hats here (and it's step by step videos...no trying to decipher wierd directions and fold lines!) This is where we found the directions for the Robin Hood hat and used the large craft foam sheet instead of construction paper. Any of the hats on her site would be really cute for a birthday party!

Connor was so proud of his costume, especially since he helped make it. Here is his robot costume from Halloween. Some card board boxes sprayed silver, dryer duct, old shoes sprayed silver and various "things" Connor helped find and make to create his robot costume. The colorful stuff on the front and sides are those glow in the dark bracelets. We hot glued them on just before he walked out the door. It looked really neat once it got dark!

I'm sure we'll be making many more costumes in the future. Thankfully, my son likes being creative as well and we really enjoy making the costumes together. Do you have any favorite costumes you've made with or for your kids? Any great sites where you get ideas from?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

{Craft it Forward}

I promised something fun today, and here it is...It's my first giveaway! {Craft it Forward} isn't your typical giveaway though. Keep reading to figure out how you can win and/or participate.

Here's the rules if you want to win a handmade ♥GIFT♥ from me. Be one of the first 3 bloggers to leave a comment on this post, which entitles you to a handmade item from me. Winners must post this giveaway on your blog, meaning that you will {Craft it Forward} too, creating a handmade gift for the first three bloggers who leave a comment on YOUR post about this giveaway! The gift that you send can be any price range and you have 30 days to make and ship your item(s).

Remember, it’s the spirit and the thought that count! When you receive your gift, please blog about it, sharing appropriate Linky Love! If you are not one of the Top Three to comment on this post, you can still play along. Please start your own {Craft it Forward} chain, and encourage your blogging friends to do the same. Amy Jo at The Little Moments, is participating in this pay it forward endeavor. We just met in the blogosphere this last week so I was too late to take part in her giveaway and thought I'd start my own (and change the time frame...I'm too impatient to wait a year!)

~If you're one of the first 3 commenters, please shoot me an email with your mailing address so I know where to send your goodies! Watch out though, you might find some new stalkers waiting to see when you do your own {Craft it Forward} post so they can be one of the first three lucky commenters on your blog.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

And the academy goes to....

Mandi over at Mandi Shandi's presented me with my first ever blog award this past week! ♥ She was one of my first bloggy friends and I love reading her blog. Please go visit her and tell her hello! I'm sure you'll love her creativity and family...both are awesome! Mandi presented me with this Lemonade Award:
What this award is about...Bloggers who show great attitude and gratitude. (Wow! Thanks again Mandi)
What you have to do...Upon receiving The Lemonade Award, you also pass it on to other bloggers who you think show great attitude and gratitude.
Here are the rules:
1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude!
3. Link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.

In no particular order, my nominees for the Lemonade Award are:
2. Julie @ Joys Hope
3. Missy @ Simply Red
4. Kristin @ Grace Violet
8. Kari @ U Create
9. Mique @ 30 days
I love reading all of the blogs by these women. Even though I've only been blogging a few short months, I've been following several of these women for much longer. Several of these bloggers inspired me to start my own blog and I'm glad I did. I love all their creativity and honesty! Now go visit these women and check out their blogs if you haven't already!

Check back tomorrow...

Nothing fun to share today. We're currently on day number 6 of the stomach bug in our house. Crafts aren't getting done and I'm considering myself lucky just to be keeping up with the laundry this week.

With that said, be sure to check back in tomorrow for something fun! I found a really neat idea on a new blog (well, it was new to me) and I'm taking the idea and have changed it up a little. I think you'll enjoy it! I'll give you all the details tomorrow. *Hint, check early...there is a little reward for the first few commenters on that post.*

Now, I'm off to tend to my son who has the stomach virus and double ear infections. Poor guy. :(

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Fabric covered {Memo/Message/Idea Board}

I was missing one final piece in my little crafty corner...a memo/message/idea board. I had planned on making it Friday, but the stomach bug struck our house and my plans were delayed.

These memo boards are super fast to make and can be made to match any room and decor. There are many different ways to make these...but here is what I did.

I started with a stretched canvas, some fabric, ribbon, decorative brads, staple gun and an exacto knife. I am terrible and rarely measure anything, so I just guess at how much stuff I'll need...sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't and I have to make a second (or third) trip to the craft store. The amount of fabric and ribbon you'll need will depend on the size of your canvas.
There are tons of tutorials online about how to make these so I'll spare you all the steps, but I bet you can figure it out yourself. Besides, the back doesn't have to look nice, no one will see it! I simply stretched the fabric over the front, stapled in the back (folding and trimming bulk at the corners). Then, I laid out the ribbon in a diamond pattern and stapled each ribbon in place on the back also. I used my exacto knife to cut a small slit through the ribbon, fabric and canvas so that I could poke a rhinestone brad through all the layers and hold the ribbon tight to the board. Then I hung it in place and tacked up a few of my ideas and notes for projects I want to make.

Now, I think this little crafty corner is complete! {and my last picture of this space...I promise!}See some of my bead stuff laying on the desk? I was actually in my crafty space making some jewelry last night (but didn't get it all put away because my daughter woke up sick...again). My HUGE goal for 2009 is to FINALLY get serious about turning my hobby into a little extra $$$. I'm considering opening an etsy store but also looking for some craft shows in the DFW area. Anyone know about any spring craft shows in the DFW area?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

More Craft Room Organization Ideas...

This week has been super busy but I wanted to stop and share a few more organizational ideas you can maybe use in your crafty space. These ideas have worked for me...maybe they'll work for you too! This is my little eye candy box. {I know, I have a problem right? This is exciting to me...maybe there is a 12 step program or something for people like me. But come on, if you're reading this blog, you probably have a similar problem too} Anyways, back to my eye candy. I detest all those little packages that the eyelets, brads, rhinestones, etc come in. They're never all alike and they don't stack or store well, so I had to change that. I purchased one of the bead organizers and dumped all my flimsy, unstackable packages for this. :)Now, I can see all my embellishments at once and they fit in my desk drawer. This particular organizer has 24 seperate containers within. I love it (but not as much as I love the new peg board)
Here is another shot of the craft room. I already shared pics of the new peg board and desk {Have I mention yet that I love them? Didn't think so...I love them!} I reorganized some things in the closet to make better use of the space and added a second clear shoe rack to the other closet door. If you don't already use these in your home, I HIGHLY encourage you to get some! I use them on just about every closet or pantry door in our house. I use them for medicine and first aid stuff in the master bathroom. In the front entry way, they sort shoes, gloves, scarves, mittens, bug sprays, leashes, etc. In the kids rooms, they sort small toys and shoes. In my craft room, they sort all my stuff that I use frequently: glues, scissors, punches, markers, colored pencils, etc. I could go on and on about how awesome the cheap clear plastic shoe organizer is!

Well, little miss priss is up from her nap now. We had a busy morning at MOPS and we did a really fun craft today. I can't believe that I forgot my camera! Hopefully, I'll have some really nice friends that will let me take pictures of what they created. I taught our group how to make no-sew fabric appliques today and it seemed to go over really well. I'll post pictures and directions as soon as I can get some pics taken.

Monday, January 19, 2009

{Craft Room Organization Week}

Ready for some updates on all the organization I've been doing in my craft room this last week? Great! That's what I'm going to be sharing this week...lots and lots and lots of pictures of how far that sad little room has transformed over a week. If you need a reminder of how pitiful it was before, just scroll down and look at my last post...you can't miss the wreck/dumping grounds. {Okay, for those of you that are too lazy to scroll down, here is what it looked like "before".} Here is the "AFTER"Better? I certainly think so! This lovely transformation cost less than $50. I moved the table that was covered in a cloth in the previous photo into the kids playroom for crafts and puzzles. Then, I began the search for a desk and chair that would fit into the corner. I found both at a local thrift store for $30.00. Solid desk, but it was in need of some TLC and of course, black spray paint. The chair was the same color as the desk and had an awful green cushion tied on. Two coats of black satin spray paint, mod podge, zebra tissue paper and some new hardware:

Now I LOVE this little desk! {and I'm loving that there is a clean floor to walk on now too!}

Okay, so a few more pics of the peg board now. My wonderful hubby called last week to ask if I wanted a big old frame that his company was getting rid of. YES! I had to spray it black also...but practically free since the Walmart brand of spray paint is less than a dollar a can. :) I took the inside measurements and had the guys at Home Depot cut me a piece of peg board to fit the frame and then my hubby hung it for me. It will be so nice to have most of my tools right in front of me while I'm working!!! Can you tell that I'm excited over this?

It feels so good to get this room organized! I've still got a few more things to do and then I want to paint and redo the bedding in this room...but it will have to wait for right now. I'll be posting lots of other craft room organizing ideas this week so make sure you check back soon!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Making progess {and hair clippies}

Just wanted to give yall proof that I am getting the guest bedroom/craft studio cleaned up and organized. Here is an old spice rack I picked up for a dollar a few months ago. I just cleaned it up, gave it a nice coat of black spray paint and then lightly sanded it along the edges to make it look a little worn. Here are the before and after pics.
Before: Ugly, worn spice rack
After: repurposed and repainted acrylic paint holder
I've also redone a desk for my craft studio but still need to buy some hardware for it. Hopefully I'll get that done this afternoon and post those pics soon.

As I've been cleaning and reorganizing, I stop and make a few fun projects (hmmm...maybe that's why it's taking me a while to get this finished!) Here is what I made for my daughter last night after she went to bed...lots of hair clippies!

I made this bow board about a year ago for her. I took off most of the bows so you could see it. Just a frame that I inserted a piece of card stock (coated with Mod Podge to protect against the humidity in the bathroom) and hot glued ribbon scraps to the backer board before reassembling the frame and hanging. Super quick and would be adorable with fabric instead of the card stock. Like most projects, I just wanted to do it and was too impatient to wait and find the right fabric...besides, there are usually so many bows on the board that you don't really see the card stock or ribbon (so keep that in mind if you make one).

And here she is modeling one of her new bows. Okay, really, I just wanted to show you how cute she was (because you don't really notice the bow unless you're looking for it). Little Miss B was sitting in the front window singing with her snow globe. Yes, I do know it's mid-January but I can't put this away yet. The kids LOVE this silly, cheap, plastic snow globe from CVS. My hubby didn't want to buy it but has since admitted it was probably the kids favorite purchase from Christmas. It's all plastic so the kids can handle it and I don't freak out if they drop it. It's got a little fan inside that blows the fake snow and it sings several different songs that the kids adore. Seriously though...this picture just made my morning. :)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Needing some instant gratification...

So, I've not been blogging much lately because I've been busy cleaning this mess. (Note to self: next time, don't dump everything from half a dozen craft projects on the bed, floor and table and then close the door...it's only going to get worse!)
I made a few New Year's Resolutions and one of them certainly can't happen until this room is organized again and in a functioning manner. More on that to come soon! I purchased a small desk at a thrift store before Thanksgiving but haven't had the time to paint it. I'll post the "before" and "after" once I get it done. I think I'm going to paint it black. I'd like to paint the bed black also and redo the bedding. The bedding is from Pottery Barn (can you even see it under the sea of kids clothes to go in storage, remnants of craft projects and what ever else is on there?) about 6 years ago and while I liked it then, it just doesn't work with what I want to do in this room. This room is the smallest of the bedrooms and serves as a guest room/craft room. I really want this room to be a fun and inspirational place to be. We have done nothing to this room since moving in a year ago and it shows. Since we only have guests a few times a year, this room will really be my craft room with a bed in there. So, what would you do with this room? I've got lots of organizational ideas...just not sure exactly where to go from there. I really like the black and white theme with a few bursts of colored accents. Zebra, Toile, Damask? Which to do? And what accent color? I want this room to be fun and inspire me to get in there are create. Help me out, please, I beg you!!! I want to get this room done! Any ideas or pictures from the web or a blog you care to share?

Now to the instant gratification part... So, while I made a TON of progress in sorting through all that I had dumped in this room over the last month, I decided I needed to make a few quick projects for some instant gratification last night. I promise the room already looks a million times better this morning...still lacking inspiration...but cleaner. In about 15 minutes, I had both of these made and completed. See, instant gratification! The "C" is covered in mod podge and leopard tissue paper. I attached a ribbon to the top and called it done. The little notebook is one of the small composition books. I used spray adhesive to attach the zebra scrapbook paper and then punched a hole on the front and back covers. I used a rhinestone brad for the front cover and attached an eyelet with some black elastic to the back cover...and done! Oh yeah, I applied a coat or two of mod podge to that as well (before the rhinestone and eyelet were added). The zebra notebook is already in my bag with a list of items I need to keep an eye out for and I need to find a place to hang the leopard C. I also came across all kinds of goodies in my craft room but I MUST get it organized first or I don't see this room looking any different a month down the road. Hope someone has some fun inspiration for me!!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

One of my favorite Christmas gifts to give this year...

One of my favorite Christmas gifts to give this Christmas was a tin tea set with homemade felt cookies for my daughter. I saw some adorable sets on etsy, but decided to make some cookies myself and went on a hunt for a cute tin tea set. Here is what she received this year. Isn't it cute?
I found the tin tea set at a local kids toy store and then began the simple process of making felt cookies. I made sugar cookies and chocolate chip cookies. They were so fun to make and I made quite a few extra that we'll use for gifts at upcoming birthday parties this year. I just used the cheap felt that you can buy at any craft store (comes in tons of colors) and traced a lid to a jar for my cookies. I didn't take pictures of the process but I'm sure you can imagine how easy this was and I bet a google search will turn up lots of results if you need help. I didn't use a pattern for my icing layer...just cut until it looked good...and then stitched sprinkles on it. I made a few with beads first and then decided to go with the embroidery floss for the sprinkles until my daughter is a little older and won't try pulling them off. Then I just stitched the icing layer to the top circle and then stitched the two circles together and added a little batting to them before I stitched them closed. If you do a search on etsy or google for felt food, you'll find a ton of ideas. My sisters in law made these sweet cookies for Breanna. There are sugar cookies, an adorable Oreo with cream filling (I should have taken a better picture of it so you could see the filling!) and the cute fortune cookies! I love them and what's even better is that my daughter will be playing with these for years to come. I love that they're hand made and the possibilities are endless.

Have you made any felt food? I think they're all adorable and can't wait to make some more pieces for my kids play kitchen.

Monday, January 5, 2009

I'm still here...and Happy New Year!

Just thought I'd post real quick to let yall know I'm still here! We had a wonderful Christmas and had a great time with friends and family. I hope you all did also! My husband went back to work this morning after a nice long vacation and my son just started back to school today so I'm slowly getting back into our normal routines. I have spent the last 2 days purging our house of clutter and stuff that we don't need anymore and it's such a nice feeling. I've still got to tackle the Christmas tree...love putting it up...hate taking it down!

I have several crafts that I've been working on and can't wait to share with yall. I had some help from my mother-in-law and sister-in-law over Christmas with my first sewing pattern. I got a sewing machine for Christmas last year but have been too scared to really use it. I bought a pattern for a really cute apron and took it with me on our visit to see them and they both helped me tackle it. I LOVE my new apron and I am excited to tackle some new sewing projects now. Before Christmas, I had been working on some window treatments, tassels, jewelry, bookmarks, some really cute wine glass bracelets (wine glass markers that had clasps and a photo charm) amongst many other things...

I'll be back soon with pictures and to catch up on my favorite blogs...but first, I must tackle that Christmas tree!

Happy New Year!