the hardest part about blogging…

Posted On November 21, 2010

Filed under Home Decor, Projects, ribbon, wood

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…No, it’s actually not knowing that my two loyal readers are my mom and sister and that the only reason they check the blog is because the second I post things I immediately call them up and tell them to do it.  No, as I was saying, the hardest part about blogging is coming up with good titles for my projects.  I’m not too clever.  I’m sure I would be able to come up with some good ones if I waited a while and thought about it.  But I can’t help myself; once I finish something I rush to take pictures to add to the blog.  So here is my new, nameless project.

I was thinking of calling it a wreath-bow-plaque-thingy, but I didn’t think that was catchy enough. 

So a quick run down of what I did…I got a small plaque from Joann’s…I belive it is 7×5.  I also picked up that small wooded wreath and the ribbon (with all the ribbon I have, I never seem to have what I need).  I spray painted the plaque white, used sand paper to slightly distress the edges.  I then hot glued the ribbon and wreath on.  Made the bow and hot glued that on as well.  I like it!  It looks like a present.  Perfect for the holiday season!

And, as always, and extreme close up.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog…And I actually know the title already: Crafting with mom!

Christmas books for the baby

Posted On November 21, 2010

Filed under books, Christmas

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I know what you’re thinking…Christmas books already?  Of course!  Okay, I wasn’t planning on giving these to my 14 month old yet, but I couldn’t help myself.  He loves them…especially this one:

It has flaps that lift and that made him crack up…I suppose my yelling “surprise!” every time he lifted each flap might also have added to the delight.

Next he liked this one. 

It had different textures he could feel inside.  He especially liked the rough texture of the christmas tree.

This one is sure to be his favorite, probably next year and for the next few years to come. 

Not only does it say “underwear” but it also hints that Santa has to go…you know go to the bathroom.  That’s a recipe for a few laughs from a toddler. 

Any other recommendations for other good Christmas books for little ones?  As far as I’m concerned, you can never have enough books!

faux twine pumpkin

Posted On November 5, 2010

Filed under halloween, Home Decor, thanksgiving

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Since I started this blog, I’ve been trying to try out some of the crafty things I’ve come across on my internet travels so I can post about them.  About a month ago I came across Floral Wire Pumpkins for $1.  A project that seemed easy and was cheap is right up my alley so I decided to give it a try.  As I looked through the floral section of Joann’s, I came across different floral wires as well as wire that was covered in twine.  It was somewhere in the neighborhood of $3.  (I should probably start paying more attention to these things).  I like how it looked like twine and not wire, so I decided to spend the extra buck or two to get it.   

Here’s where I learned (relearned) a few important lessons.  1. Don’t craft when you’re tired.  2. Don’t craft when you’re frustrated.  3.  If you’re tired or frustrated walk away and go back to your project later.  I thought I could sit on my couch and make this craft last night after a full day of work and an evening of babysitting my sister’s two kids and chasing after my own ball of energy.  Bad idea.  This morning, however, I found a few minutes before work and was able to make this in about 10 minutes without all the frustration. 

I wound the wire around a wine bottle. 

This is where I had trouble last night.  The wire wouldn’t stay.  This morning I decided to use a rubber band to hold the end into place.  Easy solution.

I then slid if off and held one side of it together.

I used one end of the wired twine to wrap around the middle to hold it into place.  Above you’ll see where I started to do that.  I just kept wrapping it around and pulling through the middle.

 Then I fanned out the wire to give the overall round shape. 

Last, I took the other end of the wire and wrapped it tightly around a pen to give it spiral curls. 

Remove the pen and enjoy!

on to thanksgiving

Halloween is over.  My little tiger had a fun day and so did I.  Check him out above hugging one of our dogs; he was so excited to see the dogs in their costumes. 

Now that halloween is over, it’s time to start getting ready for Thanksgiving.  Before we know it, it will be time to decorate for Christmas…but I’m getting a little ahead of myself here.

I picked up this frame tonight at Target and used the cricuit and some scrapbook paper that I had to fill it; I’m not sure how I feel about it…one second I like it, the next I think I want to redo it.  I think I’ll sleep on it.  Either way, I see a trip to the craft store in my immediate future.

one last boo…

I started this over a week ago, but got side tracked when the baby and I both got sick.  Now that we’re better I had time to finish, even though I finished it today–halloween!  But it’s never too late, right?  Right. 

I picked up wooden “BOO” letters from Joann’s craft store as well as halloween themed scrapbook paper and black paint. 

First I painted the letters black.  I painted the sides, a small bit in the front since the letters had a beveled front edge, and the backs.  Even though you don’t see the backs, I painted them because I can picture my dad telling me his mother would say something like, “you wear underwear even though people don’t see that.”

Now if you make something like this, please please please, don’t be like me…be patient and wait until the paint completely dries before the next step.  I couldn’t control myself and put on the mod podge on the front before the paint was dry so if you look closely, especially on the orange O, you can see black paint smeared on the front of the paper.  Because I didn’t want to start over, I convinced myself that it looked okay and gave it a certain effect that worked.  Note to self: next time let dry overnight.

I picked out the decorative paper that I wanted to use and roughly traced out the letters then cut them out.  It doesn’t have to be perfect.  Then I applied mod podge to the letter fronts and put the decorative paper on.  Using a credit card, I smoothed out the paper and let dry. 

You’ll notice that I didn’t cut out the openings in the B.  After the mod podge dried I used my razor and cut them out.  You can do it either way and next time I’ll probably just cut it out before hand but I was worried the holes wouldn’t be centered.  Once dry I applied more mod podge to the top of the paper.  Let sit overnight to dry completely.  I used a sanding block to distress the edges a little; I also hit the side of the paper, which is why it’s okay if your paper is not perfect as you cut it out.

I wasn’t sure how to display the letters, but then I came across this post where the letters are tied together and hanging, so that’s what I did.  I used ribbon to tie the letters together to hang. 

Above is the back and below is the front.

Here is the finished product.

halloween paper garland

Posted On October 23, 2010

Filed under halloween, paper crafting, Projects, ribbon

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I’ve been getting in the spirit of halloween the past few weeks; making decorations always does that to me.  Most of the things I’ve made ended up on the mantle above the fireplace. 

While I liked the way it looked, I thought it needed something.  I pulled out my halloween scrapbook paper and some ribbon, used the cricut and xyron sticker maker and about 20 minutes later, it was done.

And now the mantle looks complete.

along came a spider

Posted On October 22, 2010

Filed under halloween, paper crafting, Projects, Wall Art

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Looking to make more halloween decorations for less money, I was fortunate to come across this project.  With the exception of the frame, which was in the neighborhood of 3 to 4 dollars from Joann’s, it was free because I had all the other supplies on hand. 

The original project was one that you could just download, print out and frame, but I like to do things the hard way, so I used scrapbook paper, the cricut, and a spider punch.  I also pulled out a few pieces of ribbon that I had on hand before I was able to pick one.

After cutting out the letters with the cricut and cutting out the spider, I used my sticker maker to make the letters and spider into stickers, secured them to the page and here you go…a quick, cheap halloween decoration.  It would also work in a nursery rhyme themed room. 

You may notice that in some pictures there is a dot over the I in spider and some there is not.  I didn’t realize I had neglected to include it until I started posting pictures here so I quickly added it, but didn’t bother to retake all the pictures. 

If you’re looking for a quick easy project, this is a good option.  You also may want to try the halloween button wreath, little mummies, and quick halloween pic.  I’m really starting to get in the spirit of halloween!

little mummies

Posted On October 22, 2010

Filed under halloween, Projects

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Perusing the craft blogs, as usual, I came across a really fun looking project.  It appeared to be quick and easy, and with a one man stunt show (aka my almost 14 month old) running around, quick and easy is about all I can handle.   

I got two different size pieces of styrofoam from the craft store, along with a fat quarter of white fabric, though my inspiration was made with cardboard boxes from food products and an old sheet.

Here’s the fabric.  Notice I didn’t even iron it.

That last picture is a sneak peek at what I did next.  I used the scissors to cut small slits of different widths in the fabric and ripped them apart.  I love ripping fabric because I can never cut straight and fabric always rips in a straight line. 

I then used a hot glue gun to secure the end of the fabric strip to my styrofoam and then began to wrap it around.  I secured the end with glue and then repeated the process until I’ve covered the whole thing.  Then I glued on the googlie eyes (PS, how do you spell googlie?).  And it’s done. 

I love it! 

Here it is with my halloween button wreath and a quick halloween pic.

There was some extra strips of fabric left over…so I did some easy and free childproofing.

quick halloween pic

Posted On October 22, 2010

Filed under halloween, paper crafting, Projects, Wall Art

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I bought a frame at the local Home Goods store and needed something to put in it.  I had a blank spot above the fireplace so I put a piece of fabric in it and that was fine for the time being.  See…okay for a short period of time.

With Halloween coming up, I thought I needed to update it.  I was able to use supplies that I already had on hand.

Two bat punches.

My medium and small circle punch. 

And less than five minutes later, viola! 

Here’s a close up.

And here’s what my mantle now looks like.

What’s else is there, you ask?  My Halloween Button Wreath and little mummies…stay tuned for the mummies post.

School Days

Posted On October 19, 2010

Filed under school

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Some days I love my job; other days I do not love my job.  Today I do not love it, but yesterday I did.  Yesterday a student gave me a heart necklace that he made.  He cut the heart out of construction paper and treaded some string through it so I could wear it.  So cute.  Here it is.

Here are some other things my students gave me yesterday. 

Two silly banz, a lucky penny and not pictured is a picture from summer vacation. 

I also got this in my mailbox this afternoon…

I think it’s from the student who invited me over yesterday.  He told me that he was going to have his mom call me and maybe I could come over and we could draw and write stuff together at his house.  When I changed the subject he said, “excuse me, you still haven’t told me if you would come over and if you do we can maybe carve pumpkins because we bought pumpkins and there is an extra one that you can have.”  So cute. 

In other work news, I’m still working on getting the kids folders together.  For some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to create an alphabet chart and a frequently used words list and glue them to the front and back of each folder; in addition, print out small signs that said “still working” and “finished” for inside the folder.  And on top of that, laminate each folder while it’s open and cut a slit where the pocket is so they can still use it.  They are coming out great but it is a lot of work.  Did I mention that I see about 300 kids?  That’s a ton of work!

Here’s the pile of them as I’m trying to cut them out after they’ve all been lamintated.  This is only a small piece of it.

Here’s the front, the alphabet chart I made.

Here’s the back, the list of common words the kids use in their writing.

And here’s the middle. 

While the folders are taking me forever, I finally did get something accomplished that’s been on my list since the start of school.  In September I was given Reading Strategy signs that all teachers were supposed to hang in their classrooms.  The problem is that I don’t have a classroom; I move all my stuff around by cart.  I decided that if I was ever going to use these I’d have to think of a way to hang them from one of my carts.  How to do that was the question.

Here are all the signs:

I bought large metal eyelets from the craft store and decided they would be perfect. 

I traced the inside of the smallest part, cut a hole, and put the barrel through the hole. 

The back piece went on and my darling husband volunteered (kind of) to use the hammer and secure the fasteners.

Although it looks like he’s about to bang his finger, don’t worry…he did not. 

And they’re done.

Here they are hanging on one of my carts.  Perfect to come with me wherever I go!

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