Friday, April 24, 2015

X is for Xray

Ok, this is really a stretch but what can you do with an Xray. Fortunately, we have a couple that lend themselves to a crafty use.

On May 1, 2014, my child broke his leg warming up for a league game. It was a long recovery as he was sidelined for about 5 months. Some physical therapy was required but he was back playing in October.
Back on the mound, pitching. 

We laugh at some idioms but in this case the phrase "tough break" comes to mind. For him, it is a play on words but we now use it when he complains about something. It really means that it is a bit of bad luck. 

I have the Xrays from the first set the doctor took after it was set. They decided not to do surgery to see if the chip would mold itself back to the bone. 

So, next Christmas, the boy will be getting a piece of new wall art. Since this is make ahead, I can't show it on the wall but can share the picture. He never reads my stuff so I know it's safe to post. This will be a subtle (or maybe not so subtle) reminder to play it safe and not complain about the small stuff. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

S is for Shrinky Dinks

I needed two gifts for Christmas in a hurry and I was looking for ideas. While I was rumaging through my craft stash, I found the Shrinky Dink paper that I had put away. Terrific idea I thought. So I found letters online and cut them out. I colored pretty flowers on the corners and took them into the kitchen. I pulled out the toaster over and turned it on. After it had warmed up, I put my pretty letters in and watched as they curled into tiny balls that would not straighten out.

Rats! I was running out of time. I decided that I would do 3x5 rectangles to see how they would do. I found two saying for the teen girls and copied them onto the paper. Rushing back to the kitchen, I preheated the toaster oven again and started the process. This was a little better. One did not quite straighten out but it was good enough for a gift. The other one was a lot better.
I had punched holes in them and was pleased the key rings actually fit. The girls loved them.

This is not the first time I have written about this craft. I have a Shrinky Dink page where there is a lot more information. I also found out how to use materials in your home to make your own shrinky paper. What a surprise, I found it on Pinterest.

Friday, April 3, 2015

C is for Clothespin Candle Holder

For Christmas, I was looking for an easy, quick, cheap craft for two of my neighbors.

This is the picture from the website Duitang where I first saw this idea (Pinterest, of course). There is writing I don't understand but there are also pictures which makes it so much easier.

While I was shopping, I bought two cans of tuna. I even got them on sale which was even better. We made sandwiches so I had my first empty can. 

I found clothespins at the dollar store and two candles. The candles are not like the ones in the sample picture. These are the little jars with tops. It took no time to place the clothespin and add the candle. 

The candle holder in the sample photo was not decorated and I thought it looked a little plain. I had some ribbon and flowers left over from my last project so I decided to embellish these. My neighbors and they loved them.  

I'm now out of tuna cans. I can see consuming a lot more tuna in the future. These will make great gifts for other occasions and can be decorated for each celebration. 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

B is for Button Flowers

I do a lot of crafts with buttons. I have a page devoted to the cross I made for my
Quilt guild secret sister called Crafting with Buttons. While I have made most of the items I show there, I haven't made the Button Flower.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A is for the April Challenge

I almost decided not to do this challenge until I realized if I actually had to make all these things, my Christmas shopping for next year would be a whole lot less. In our family, we try to make everything ourselves so this is a huge step up on our family Christmas gifts for 2015. We all like handcrafted items and appreciate the ones made for us.

I debated what to do for the letter "A". There are so many choices so I narrowed it down to the one that

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Valentine Cards for "In-Be-Tweens"

The perfect Valentine's Day craft for tweens. 

Valentine's Day for tweens is fraught with uncertainty. They are slightly too old to buy packaged Valentines to give to their classmates and yet, still want to be involved. They are slightly too young to have a real relationship with the opposite sex but find themselves attracted to a few. They do not want to miss out on the holiday but this is an awkward age where there is not much for them. We discovered this card idea on the Martha Stewart website and it not only solves their issues, it allows more creativity. 
The Martha Stewart website has more than 40 homemade Valentine cards. Some, like the one featured here are super simple and there are some really good ones that take a bit more time. We picked this one because our child had a short attention span and this allowed him to create several before he got bored with them and moved on. The fact they can be personalized is a big draw. 
Simple Supplies
This is an easy craft that does not require an expensive trip to the store. Wrapping paper works well for these cards but construction paper works too. To close the envelope, heart stickers are a nice touch but any sticker will do. If you don't have stickers, scotch tape works just as well. You can use colored pencils or markers but even they are not necessary. A pen or pencil also works. The point is that your tween can create them any way they want. After all, it comes from the heart. 
Cut out the heart
This is the easy part. The heart pattern came from a website that is no longer active but just type in heart pattern. You can find any size you desire. We decided to use a piece of pink paper but the possibilities are endless. Trace the pattern and cut out the heart. 

Fold in the sides

There is a learning curve here. The fold should be just to the outer side of the center of the top curve of the heart. Make sure that the sides are parallel. After a few tries, it becomes easier.

Fold the top down

The top should be folded just about the middle. It if is folded too far down, the tab will not cover.

With that done, the tab to close the envelope is the last fold.

We didn't have stickers so it is not finished. We found a sealing wax kit on Amazon but we decided to use a candle and make our own. Although I didn't photograph it, it's just plain fun. In case you want a sealing kit, the one we liked is below.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Kid's play stove, The beginning AKA Part 1

Sunday, December 14, 2014 is when I discovered this adorable stove on Facebook. My post on that date included Dawanda the German website where the stove was posted. It is sort of like Etsy. I knew I couldn't order from them because chair sizes vary so I decided to create my own. 

This is the picture from their site. 

I knew I wanted to make one but was faced with several issues.

1. I don't have any small children to make it for. I recruited a family with two small girls who could use such a stove. They are two and four years old. First problem solved.

2. The stove needs to be based on the size of the chair. The mother of the two small girls is in the process of getting me the diminutions.

3. What is it made of and what do I need to purchase? This seems pretty straight forward. There are three sides, a top, a back splash and the back piece. The back appears to be one long piece that almost reaches the floor. It has a tie to keep it on the chair but the sides do not seem to be attached as in the picture, the right side is longer than the chair back portion.

I am a competent seamstress. What that means is that I can sew fairly straight seams. Fortunately, this is all that's required. I am also fairly good at applique so I know I can do the burners. What I am finding a little difficult is what materials to use. 

Here's what I have determined so far. Since this is for little girls who are not careful with this kind of stuff, it needs to be durable.  

From the pictures it seems like the white cloth may be bar cloths. They take repeated washing and are pretty sturdy. I will need to go to my local Smart&Final and check out what they have. They are generally good sized so I may luck out and find some I can use without seaming. That depends on the dimensions of the chair. The material might also be flour sack clothes so I am on a mission to touch all the fabric until I find the right one. Looks like I also need seam binding.

There are some great rubber like scrubbers out there that will work for the burners. However, they would need to be soft and not rough. These are little girls. 

The knobs on the stove look like pom-poms that one would make for a quilt. That is not going to work with my little girls so I am searching for another solution. I may just applique a fabric circle. 

I think I have a fairly good handle on what I need to look for. Can't wait for the holidays to be over so I can start of this! Any suggestions?