A Little Crafting

I decided to knock out a little craft that I have been hanging on to for about 3 months.  It was supposed to be a teacher appreciation gift, but Kamryn’s teacher was out for 6 weeks for surgery on her hand and it is specific to just her so I couldn’t even give it to one of the substitutes she had during that time.

We found out a couple of weeks ago that Mrs. M be back on the 29th to finish out the year and we’re so excited!  I thought I would make the gift and give it to her as a “Welcome Back!” gift instead.

I ordered two stamps from Pick Your Plum months ago.  One is a “This Book Belongs To Mrs. M…” stamp and the other one says “From The Desk Of Mrs. M…”  Only after I bought the stamps did I come across the idea to putting them in a little personalized box with some ink pads on the crafting blog, Skip To My Lou.

I did my own version – I’m not good with paper crafting so I painted instead.  First I took off all the hardware.  Normally, I would try and paint around it, but it was so small, I knew I would screw it up.Next I painted the box with Spa Blue acrylic paint.I printed out a little card to glue on the top to personalize the box.The ink pad and stamps fit perfectly inside.I also put a coat of Mod Podge on the box to give it a little bit of a sheen.  I forgot how tacky that can be, though.  Oh well.

Also, since I had the glue gun heated up, I fixed my shoe too.We’re going to chalk this day up to productive!

Butterfly Crazies

Today we went to the Safari Park (I will forever call it the Wild Animal Park – I don’t know why they changed it) to see the butterflies.  These butterflies are a pretty big deal.  We got there early on an overcast and cold day and the parking lot was already filling up fast.  We got in and made a beeline for the butterflies.

We were Butterfly Jungle virgins, but there were some seasoned butterfly veterans there.  One lady was decked out in a very colorful butterfly wing type hat and a nice butterfly print button up blouse.  She knew what she was doing because the butterflies were landing all over her.  Apparently the butterflies also liked Ryan’s Ween Poopship Destroyer shirt.

I had promised Kamryn that we would do some kind of butterfly craft when we got home and I got a little bit of inspiration while we were getting drinks at one of the little cafes in the park.  They were selling a butterfly garland that you could hang from the ceiling or on a wall.  It was pretty cool, but it was $15 for what amounted to 5 fake butterflies on a string.  I knew I could make something similar using stuff that I already had at home.

My friend, Natalie, over at Crafting Crazy made some butterflies this week that she found here.  They are made from milk jugs and Sharpies, which I had one jug, but no Sharpies.  Every time I go to buy them, I’m at Michael’s and they are about a billion dollars.  I ordered them off of Amazon today and they’ll be here next week.

For some reason I was thinking that we had made butterflies with wax paper in elementary school so after a quick Google search, I found what I was looking for.  I love it when I find a craft that was originally intended for Kamryn to do and I end up doing the whole thing because it’s not kid friendly.  It involves sharp objects and hot irons.

I started off tracing the butterflies onto the wax paper with a pencil.  I used the templates from the Alphamom post mention above.  I cut around the butterfly – I didn’t cut it out, but cut a square around the butterfly.  I thought it would make it easier to accomplish the next step…filling up the butterfly with crayon shavings.

My camera is on it’s last leg and the autofocus only works when it wants to so I apologize for the blurry photos.  Next put another piece of wax paper on top and get that iron on there!  I used a napkin between my iron and the wax paper.

Yep, it’s a hot mess right now.  It doesn’t take long for it to harden and then you can cut out the butterfly.  You can’t see the lines in the picture, but they are actually fairly easy to see up close.  I used an X-acto knife to cut it out.

See the light colored areas around the edges?  I ironed the butterfly again to squish the wax out of the sides.  It separates a bit when you cut it.  Next I added some beads and pipe cleaners for the antennae and a butterfly was born!

Then, the pièce de résistance, the finished butterfly garland.

The minute I sat down to load all of these photos, Kamryn came out with tears in her eyes and half a butterfly in her hand.  Apparently my butterflies are almost as fragile as the real thing.



Makin’ Stuff Monday

It has been cold and rainy all weekend, but yesterday there was some clearing and I decided we needed to get out…to Ikea!  I could walk around Ikea all day long and it still wouldn’t be long enough.  You either love Ikea or you hate it.  Obviously, I fall into the the love category.  My favorite area is the “as is” room.  Not all Ikeas have them, but if you do have one at your store go and dig through all the crap in the bins.  I ALWAYS find good stuff in there and it’s never more than $3.

Yesterday as I was wandering around the store, I came across a display of pillows, on sale for $.99 each.  I have been wanting to make pillow mats for the kids – basically just pillowcases sewn together with the pillows inside.  This was a perfect find because I can usually find cheap pillows, but they still may be about $3 a piece and I need at least 8 pillows.  Suddenly my little project is starting to add up, but pillows for under $1?  I think I do!

These may not be the best pillows for sleeping, but they are perfect for the mats.

I had some pillowcases at home that I was going to attempt to make some little dresses or nightgowns for Kamryn, but I thought maybe they would be better suited for this project.  However, I made a wonderful discovery at my stop at the “As Is” room on my way out of Ikea.  The pillowcase gods were shining down on me and I found 8 pillowcases in the big bin, two of which have really cute print on them.





I wanted these to be the “head” of the pillow mat and then the other pillowcase could be random.  I sewed all the cases together and here is the end result.  There are two separate mats, but they are laying side by side, per Rory’s request so he could jump all over them.

They are pretty comfortable, but I may sew the pillowcases a little closer together.  Right now the pillows barely fill out the pillowcases and I know that over time they’ll get even flatter.  I think if I sew a few inches off the width of the cases, they mats will be much fluffier for longer.

One other thing was that a few of the pillow cases were significantly longer than the rest, I sewed a new end to those cases so they were all roughly the same size.

This was really easy and good practice for a sewing novice like myself.  The total price for two pillow mats was $12.  Another place to find pillowcases on the cheap are stores like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, etc.  You can usually find some funky prints and decent quality pillowcases for no more than $4 for two cases.

A Little Wednesday Crafting

Kamryn wanted to do some crafts this afternoon and after I shot down her first suggestion of painting, I logged on to my trusty Pinterest account to see what things I had saved on there for a rainy day.  It’s not raining, it’s actually a beautiful day out, but Rory is taking a nap so we’re stuck inside for the time being.

Here’s what we did – slammed shots and tied off (I learn all the lingo from watching Intervention).

I used the shot glass and the syringe to dampen the ink pads that had dried out a little bit.

Of course we didn’t do that.  Drugs are bad…mmmmmkay.  Instead, we made FINGERPRINT PICTURES!!!!  I loved doing this as a child and I think I may have had a book with all the little critters you could make.  I saw this on Pinterest last week and repinned it without hesitation.  Little did I know that the website was all in Chinese.  I don’t need written instruction to figure out how to make the pictures, but my laptop screen is small and it was hard to make out what all the little images were and the only way to get a bigger picture was to log in to the website.  I did one quick Google search and found 123child.com that had a whole post about Fingerprint Fun.

The first thing I noticed was that Kamryn likes to do things her own way.  She’s not a stickler for rules when it comes to creativity.  I don’t like to deviate from the original right out of the gate, but once I get a feel for things, I may let the creative juices flow.  I was a little surprised that it bothered me to watch Kamryn choose her own way to do things that I even asked her why she chose to do it that way.  Her response “That’s how you’re supposed to do it.  You’re doing it wrong.”  That’s my girl!

Here are our finished products.  The ladybug was the one that had me curious about her method and of course, I think her ladybug looks better than mine.

Kamryn's fingerprint picture.

My fingerprint picture.

My only regret is that a couple of our ink pads were permanent ink.

My thumb doesn’t look much different.  Oh well…minor details.

Make It Monday

I stole this title from another blog and I can’t remember which one it is so I apologize to whoever coined that phrase.  It was a cold and rainy day in sunny San Diego today so I wanted to do something inside that involved me sitting on the couch and not having to move much.

I decided we needed to make some friendship bracelets.  Kamryn has gotten two cute little braided bracelets from one of her friends at school and she has been wanting to return the favor.  Iloved making friendship bracelets when I was in grade school.  I also loved making the friendship pins, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t allow kids to hand out sharp objects to one another anymore.

I had a 50% off coupon for Michael’s so off we went to get some embroidery thread to only get distracted by the Sears Store Closing Sale on the way.  The entire store is at least 20% to 40% off and “everything must go!!”.  They had a purple Cadillac Escalade motorized car for kids that was marked down from $350 to $160.  Kamryn was drooling over that car, but then I reminded her that we were going to make friendship bracelets!  Yeah, it didn’t quite get the enthusiastic response that I was hoping for so I bought the car.  I’m kidding – who would do that?

After we got home, I got myself set up on the couch and had Kamryn pick out the colors she wanted in the bracelet.  I thought she would be able to make part of the bracelet, but would get bored after a few rows.  As it turns out, the motor skills aren’t quite there to make hundreds and hundreds of little knots.

Once I got started, it was almost impossible to stop.  I was knottin’ like a mo’ fo’!  Is that a bad thing to say in reference to making a friendship bracelet for my 5 year old daughter to give to her 5 year old friend?  No?  Good.

I used those "T" pins when I made these as a kid, but I didn't have any. These big diaper pins worked awesome.

Rory had to get in on the action, but he didn’t want to make one for any of his little friends, he just wanted one for himself.

Rory representin' the Hawkeyes and sportin' his new bracelet.


Crafting With Kids

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day next week, I thought I would have Kamryn make her Valentine Box this afternoon.  I saw this on Pinterest last week and it was the inspiration I needed.

Cereal Box Valentine Holder from plaidonline.com.

I wasn’t going to duplicate this exact box, but basically, just the idea of a cereal box.  I am horrible of thinking of alternative uses for things.  Anyway, we had just finished a box of Peanut Butter Cheerios.  Did you even know they made these?  I saw a box as well as about 10 other types of Cheerios that I knew nothing about at Target a couple of weeks ago.  They don’t beat Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch, but seriously, I say that like’s it’s even possible that there would be a cereal that could beat Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch.

I’m way off topic.  Like I said, I was going to have Kamryn make her Valentine Box.  I have a tendency to get her really excited about crafting with me only to Nick Burns (Your Company’s Computer Guy, SNL) her out of the way and do it myself.  Rory was snoopin’ around and so I came up with a brilliant idea.  I would make a mini model out of a fruit snack box for Rory and this would let me practice the cutting part.  Do you understand what I just said?  I was making a prototype for my daughter’s Valentine’s Box!  Instead of admitting insanity, I’m going to say that I’m just feeling especially dedicated today.  I had a personal best on my run this morning, I’m making some very involved gyros for dinner tonight and I have finished the laundry for the week.

We started off with our cereal and fruit snack boxes.  I wrapped them in red wrapping paper and then was going to “allow” the kids to decorate them any way they wanted. Instead, it was more like this:

Rory being allowed to do as he pleases with the model. He stabbed it with a pencil multiple times and then covered it in stickers.

Where I found Kamryn....

as I was doing this.

See, I had to pin the corners of the hole that I had cut out of the box so I knew were to cut the “X” through the wrapping paper and fold the pieces back.

And here is the finished product:

I swear on all that is holy that Kamryn did all of the decorating.  She wanted me to hot glue the decorations on so they wouldn’t fall off, but I told her to put them where she wanted first.  You may think I moved them but I didn’t.  She said “You know what this is?  It’s symmetrical.”  Yes, it is, Kamryn, yes it is.

Now to do something about the Cheerios you can see inside the box!


Feb 1st!

Woo-hoo!  I made it through an entire month of posting, bitches!  I think I had 3 or 4 days where I was really at a loss of what to write and ended up B.S.ing my way through….ahhhh college.  I got an “A” in Philosophy in college which means I got an “A” in Bullshitting.  Seriously – isn’t that really what philosophy is?  My apologies to all you philosophy majors – you can go back to your accounting jobs now.

I’m trying to get myself a little more organized lately.  I have a list of pretty important things I need to get done.  Doctor appointments, dentist appointments, car appointments.  Basically a lot of appointments.  I kind of like the idea of getting all of these things done before someone sends me a nasty gram saying my car is going to explode if I don’t get the oil changed.

I want to share what I did this afternoon.  I finished Kamryn’s Valentines for school and her party isn’t for TWO weeks.  I’m pretty excited that these are done, but what tends to happen when I do things early is there ends up being some kind of guideline or rule that comes out after the fact, and my proactivity turns into a mad scramble to fix what I did to accommodate said rule.  I think this is pretty safe since there is no candy included, but who knows.

Total cost for 25 Valentines = $7.70.  I know you can do Valentines for much cheaper, but I think these turned out really cute.

Kamryn's Valentines: Pencil and pads from Target. Pictures printed at Costco.

Bird Nest Necklace

I was thinking all day of what I was going to post about.  I’m only 6 days in to my 365 days of posts and I’m already drawing a blank…not a good sign, but then I remembered something I wanted to post about, but couldn’t.  I had made a necklace for my BFF, Sara, but just sent it this week so I had to make sure she had gotten it before I posted it.  I’m sure that Sara is a loyal follower of my blog and I would never want to spoil the surprise.  (We’ll see when Sara actually gets around to posting a comment – she’s a busy girl).

I’m not a jewelry maker.  I have no tools, I don’t know the lingo and intricate things seem to frustrate me.  However, I saw this necklace online while perusing through Pinterest and I have been wanting to try and make one for months.

I had my doubts, but this was surprisingly easy to make and the only thing you really need besides that supplies for the actual necklace is a needlenose pliers and something to cut wire.  I used a splicer because that is all I could find.  Sarah Ortega’s step by step tutorial is right here.

Here is the one I made:

The colors symbolize the months that her 3 beautiful babies were born.