Monday, February 28, 2011

The Quilt

I have had this project kicking around my house for... almost a year. Yikes. You know those projects that you think will be no sweat and then at some point you pull away and think "holy mother... what have I gotten myself into??"

Well this is what happened to me when I began a Super Mario quilt. Have I ever mentioned that I have NEVER made a quilt? Have I ever mentioned that I'm really only kind of OK with sewing a straight line with my sewing machine... sometimes?

It all began with this adorable blanket from Instructables (via One Pretty Thing). Well there was also a pattern for all the little squares to make the cute 8-bit Super Mario.

Adorable right? I wish I could knit. But I can't... so I thought I would quilt instead!

How hard could it be?

Well... stay tuned.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Stuck on you!

This little piece of handy crafty uselessness was born out of necessity. I am always crafting where I shouldn't be - at the pretty dining room table. So I am always looking for a piece of cardboard, or cereal box or something to rest my glue gun on so it doesn't drip molten hot glue onto my pretty table.

After making this memo board for my friends daughter I had a lonely piece of glass floating around.  I held onto it figuring I would come up with something for it.

Glue gun rest it is. Ew! Look at how grungy my glue gun is! Everyone elses is that way too, right? I've had this baby for 10 years... at least. But look at what she is resting on... ooooh aaaaah... or other noises of wonder. I'm not picky.

So ages ago I had this brilliant idea (which I stole from Young House Love) involving sticking up 12x12 panels of cork to the inside of my cupboards to keep my fridge free of madness. Truly brilliant. But my madness was too much for the poor things. They all came tumbling down, and I had 4 panels of cork. Now what? Well they went in the "I can't throw you out for fear I find a use for you, someday you WILL be awesome" pile (along with the glass from the frame). Then one day they met and became awesome.

I cut out the cork flush to the glass - podged the buggers together and even stuck a little cricut cut out in between.

I guess you could paint the cork, or put pretty paper over it. But, people, it's a rest for your glue gun not a gift for your mother in law. Let's not go crazy here. The only reason I put the little cut out in there was to show off how crazy awesome I am. 

Thanks for popping in today!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

He's got the fever, I've got the cure.

Good lovin'!
I love that song... I makes me tap my feet (at least that is all I will admit to).

So while we were in Florida, soaking up the sun (and SPF 500 for me), swimming in the pool, meeting Mickey Mouse my Little Mister came down with a fever. I know! Who gets sick at Disney? The place is freaking magical!

So we loaded him up on lots of oranges... we were in Florida, and they were delicious.

The boy loves his oranges... but I knew the real cure would be something a little bit more unusual...

The bendy straw. Never underestimate the power of the bendy straw. It even convinced the Big Mister to drink more fluids when he suffering that stomach virus that was going around. The bendy straw may even possess more magic than Disney.

Yes I said it. More magical than Disney. *gasp*

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


After spending the week in sunny Florida with the family I have to say that all I see when I returned was snow. Cold frozen snow.  Not to mention cabin fever!

So what is a girl to do? Bundle up her kid like Ralphie's brother - "I can't put my arms down!" -  and toss him outside to burn off some energy? 

You betcha.

Then pile the snow from the driveway into one big mountain and arm the child with spray bottles filled with water dyed with food coloring?

Why sure.

Kept him busy for hours. I highly recommend saving those old spray bottles for just this purpose.

(I know! Small mister is not wearing mittens! This artist chose to suffer for his work. I can't argue that.)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Dare I say it...Spring?

I realize it's only February. And, looking out my window right now I see endless piles of snow. But, we had a sort of heat wave over the weekend (40 balmy degrees, folks!) and the Cadbury Cream eggs have hit the shelves at my local spring IS coming. Eventually. My house is in that awkward in-between-holidays-phase. Not yet Easter, but I've packed up all the hearts and cupids.
Speaking of hearts, I made this little hanging thing-y for my front window over Valentine's Day...
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Please excuse the glare. Crafts are my thing, not photos. Obviously.

I just cut some little hearts out of fabric, stuffed them, stitched them up and hung them on a ribbon.
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So, I decided to give this little project a whirl again and share it with you guys. This time...I am tackling Easter. The fun thing about this craft is you can really make one for any holiday and use any colors/fabrics you choose. Pumpkins for Halloween? Little trees for Christmas? Shamrocks for that day we all drink green beer? Whatever floats your boat.

All I needed was: fabric (I used a 1/2 yard of each fabric and I had MORE than enough), stuffing, marker or pen, thread and needle (which I forgot to photograph, so sorry) and ribbon. I also used a big plastic needle to thread the ribbon for hanging, but you don't need that. Any long object will do.

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First, I cut my templates. I just used a 4x6" piece of cardstock and cut it into the shape of an egg & the same for the little bunny head.

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Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Then, I traced the little eggs and bunnies onto the fabric & cut them out. I just used my gray Sharpie to trace. My fabric pencil would have probably worked better with less bleeding. Oh well. Lesson learned.

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Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
I cut enough for three eggs and 2 bunnies. Bunnies are harder to I made less of them.

Time to stitch these babies up. I did a simple stitch all the way around the shape leaving about a 1/4" of fabric on the edges. Keep in mind you are going to thread a ribbon through them so you don't want the stitching to be too close together or else you will have one heck of a time getting that ribbon through.

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Let's stuff. These take VERY little stuffing. If you don't want to go out and buy a big ol' bag o' fluff...does your kid have an old, unused stuffed animal laying around that you have been secretly wanting to cut the head off? No? Okay. What about that old throw pillow you keep meaning to put in the yard sale? You could even stuff with Kleenex or tissue. Anything to give them a little puff.
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I stitched them closed. Cute, huh??

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Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Then, I put the ribbon through. Like I said, I used a plastic needle, but you could even tape the end of the ribbon to a skewer or something similar and push it through. Any spare chopsticks laying around? They work too.

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And, there you have it, folks! My little Easter hanging. I did sew some little pearl-like beads onto the bunny's faces. Buttons would be cute too.
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This took me all of about 2 hours to complete. If that. I put it together while watching a movie and my kids were napping. I like to create things that are quick or else I find I lose interest. I also like to make things that can easily be created while I park my rear in front of the TV. Have fun "Thinking Spring"! Amy will be back next week (Yay!) and I have enjoyed sharing a couple of my basic ideas with her faithful followers. Thanks for looking! ~ Kelly

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Guest blogger with the easiest project you will ever create...

Hi everyone!  My name is Kelly.  I am Amy's friend from Minneapolis and she has kindly asked me to step in for her while she is away.  (Thanks, Amy!)

I have her locked in my basement. 

I kid.  I kid. 

But, I swear, she will return soon with many great things for you to enjoy.  In the are stuck with me. 

Here is a pic of Amy's little guy and my little guy from over the summer.  Cute, huh?

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Okay, back to what you came here for...CRAFTS!

I am going to show you the easiest thing you will ever make.  A simple frame & chalkboard paint...

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It can be a very cute addition to your home.  And it has many functional uses.  Like, a reminder to "buy wine" and we all need one of those. 

I had seen a wall of these in a little boutique I frequent.  They wanted $20 (US dollars) for one and I told my friend I could make the same thing for cheaper. And I did.  MUCH cheaper. 

The one I made for my home I spent about $10 on.  I bought a frame on clearance, the chalkboard spray paint with a 40% off coupon and a $1 pack of chalk. 

The one I am about to show you is one I made for my mom for Valentine's Day.  A simple and pretty gift. 

All I needed was the frame, some ribbon, the chalkboard paint and some chalk. 

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Now, before I confuse you with my next photo, like 99% of the frames out there have the glass that just pops out.  All you will be doing for this project is spray-painting the glass.  I like to use old Christmas wrap for my painting workspace.  When I did this the first time, I just elevated my glass on a small cup and sprayed it three times in about 10 hours.  I let it dry for 24 hours.  BUT, because I like a challenge, I happened to buy a frame where the glass was not removable and I had to just tape it off.  It was actually very easy, but I assure you, when you grab your beautiful frame with the pop-out will be 10x's easier for you.  Swear.

What you are looking at is my glass piece with the tape and my trusted old wrapping paper. 

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Now, I have sprayed it...

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Remember, spray 3x's in about 10 hours and let dry for 24 hours.  I live in the frozen tundra so I let mine dry inside.  Thankfully, the chalkboard paint has very little odor. 


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I added the ribbon & the chalk and gave it to my mom...

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Hope you enjoy making yours and much as I did mine.  And, guess what?  You are not done with me.  I have another craft to share this week before I let Amy out of my basement.  Stay tuned for an Easter craft.  A super easy version of something I made for Valentine's Day.  As always, THANKS for looking!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Act 1, Scene 4

You are a lover; borrow Cupid's wings,
And soar with them above a common bound.
Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare

Happy Valentines Day! I hope you are all enjoying today and reminding those you love just how much you appreciate them. Maybe heart shaped pancakes or sandwiches, a favourite meal, a sweet note, or a simple "I love you".  I like the sweetness of this day, especially since I had my son. It turns out the best gestures are the least grand, for me anyhow. 

This wreath is what came of the left over pine cones and feathers from the swan ornaments I made during Christmas. Work with what you have, right?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart

When I was trying to come up with something for Valentines I didn't want to go the pink route so I looked into the craft drawers and decided to come up with something that I already had. I bought two fat rolls of twine ages ago at a surplus store ages ago for maybe $2 or less a roll.  Today I am making another heart... and I am a fan of using the twine to do so. It's kind of country, and that's not usually how I roll, but for Valentines day - what the heck? This is another cheapo project.

I cut some cardboard into a heart shape (traced a cookie cutter... I wanted them to all be the same size)

Then I busted out the good old glue gun and starting from the outer edge of the heart I covered the cardboard with the twine. It takes some time, but then that all depends on how many you make, and how thin the twine is.

You could hang loops on the back to hang them up, or you could glue twine to the backs to create a garland like I ended up doing.

These would make cute gift tags... or valentines if you felt so inclined!

I'm linking up over at:

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Get it? Valentwines... twine? *snicker* Oh I crack me up. Ish.
Right! So this is wicked easy. Supplies are cheap... and you only need a couple things.

Twine (or yarn, or string... ) and some kind of fabric stiffener. I got this stuff by Plaid... called Stiffy. Yes it is really called that. I know, I can't believe it either!  Could you use podge? I don't know... but if you try it, let me know!
So lay out some wax paper over your flyers if you are paranoid that the entire bottle of Stiffy will tip over and ruin your coffee table crafting station. (Oh! woven door mats for a buck?! I bet they would make a good tote... hmm).  Dip the twine into the bottle and as you pull it out remove the excess stiffener with your fingers. Form the twine into a heart (or egg, or shamrock, or initial... hmmm....) shape onto the wax paper - and you can add a little bit more of the solution to it to make sure it, um.. stiffens. (Excuse while I disintegrate into a fit of giggles... it's official I am a 12 year old boy. Stiffy!? *snicker*)  Leave it to dry, it doesn't take long, and you could probably speed it up with the hair dryer. It will stick to the wax paper, just pull it up every now and then so it's not glued right to it.

Then you could string a few together or hang them here and there...  easy and cute.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Congrats to *kc who said 
"A nice grown-up snow day would consist of curling up under a down blanket, watching Sex and the City episodes while drinking hot chocolate spiked with peppermint schnaaps."

Enjoy your shopping over at CSN Stores and be sure to drop me an email so I can send you the giftcard!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Buttons anyone?

There is something to be said about buttons... they are functional...

Via Wikipedia


Via Wikipedia


Via Wikipedia

and digital! I finally figured out how to make a button so if anyone ever wants to link up, there it is on the sidebar. Woot!

And if anyone ever wanted to figure out how to make a button... I had great luck following the step by step guide provided at Oikology 101. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

When the roads are slippery...

Online shopping beckons, and I don't know if you have heard of CSN Stores but they are worth the visit. They have over 200 online stores where you can find just about anything from dollhouses to modern office furniture. I can tell you I personally ordered a play castle and a wooden garage set from CSN Stores a couple of years ago, and I was really happy. The shipping was on time, and right before Christmas that is always a plus! I wasn't hosed for duty or any other things that can happen when you order online... and live in Canada.

So why am I telling you this? Are they paying me to say this? No they are not! They offered me a $25 gift card that I can give away to one lucky reader from Canada or the US. You can use it towards anything in their 200 stores.

To enter the draw all you have to do is comment your favourite thing to do on a "snow day".... if you want to enter again you can follow me, then comment and let me know (unless you already are, then just let me know!)  I'll leave the contest open until Monday February 7th and announce the winner that week.

Happy Shopping! Here are some examples of the great things this place has to offer:

Thomas Paul Laptop Sleeve $50

Naked Decor Happy Soid Hot Dog Pillow $49.95

Bazoongi Kids Rocket Tent $39.99

Pacific Play Tent - Club House $79.95

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sunny days, Oh sunny, sunny, sunny days.

Or a snow storm. Whichever. More likely is the snowstorm, I heard someone say something about 30 centimeters of snow over the next day or so. I should note here, why do they always sound so chipper when they say that? I am left with mixed feelings of confusion and disappointment when they bust out "Lots of Snow!!" in a fashion akin to Bob Barker announcing a new car in the showcase showdown. I'm all "ooh!!!..... wait... did he say snow?"

Of course, I will be one of the silly people at the supermarket today to pack in some supplies.
High on that list is hot chocolate and marshmallows. Followed closely by things like toilet paper... and other boring items. Probably vegetables. *yawn* See? Boring.

In other good news - tomorrow is Wednesday. um.... yay?
But wait.... I have a surprise for you - you loyal readers... and some new ones who might show up to join in the fun... something free.

It's not.... A New Car!!! That much I can assure you.

On that note - if you are about to be socked into your house, and might be lucky enough to get a snow day (cross fingers!) it would be a good time to get your kids valentines out of the way! (Remember when we were kids? We made our own crap? My kid better take notes this year... he's on his own next year).

I got this idea from a blog last year... which one? No idea - and there are similar copies all over blogland... if you made one - add your link in your comment.

It's blow-pop flowers. You just cut out hearts (4 per flower) and poke a hole in the bottom to slide up the lollipop stick. I totally used my Cricut for this business. Cutting out 100 hearts by hand is pretty up there on the "stuff I would rather die before doing" list... It's a long list... I do subscribe to Martha after all.