Playing with Fire

My kids have a small obsession with camping. I do not. Camping isn’t my thing. Going to the cottage or cabin is more my speed. I am a big fan of my bed, running water, electricity and flush toilets. Walls and doors are not overrated in my opinion. I like a lot of protection from mother nature and a piece of cloth between me and the elements isn’t quite enough.

I do however love my kids and I love that they use there imaginations when they play. One of their favourite things to play is camping. Sometimes this involves a couch fort, a ball tent or their teepee. Years ago I made the boys a teepee to play in and it now has a few miles on it. They have been roasting marshmallows on chop sticks over a red pillow with every camping adventure and I though that it was time to make them a campfire.

My timing could have been a little better because I finished it at midnight on Christmas Eve. I am guilty of running to the craft store on Christmas Eve to get supplies. Even among all of the store bought gifts that they received for Christmas this is what they were up to after Christmas dinner. My oldest opted for marshmallows for dessert in lieu of pecan pie so that he could try out the new camp fire.

On the tenth day of Christmas…

Here is my post from the tenth day of Christmas last year. Funny enough my model was wearing the same jammies this morning although they are getting a little small.

On the tenth day of Christmas Elf shoes

I should really make myself a pair because I don’t know about you but just about this time each year I feel a bit like Santa’s little helper.

elf 2

On the sixth day of Christmas… Star Wars

As luck would have it the sixth day of Christmas is also the release of the new Star Wars movie. I was talking with my mom the other day when she mentioned that if I needed something for the 6th day of Christmas she had a few projects. My mom sent me the picture below of the Star Wars finger puppets she had just finished making for my 6 year old who is obsessed with Star Wars. Grandma has magical crafting skills and amazing timing.

She also made a set of Paw Patrol finger puppets for my 3 year old. She really nailed it with these for the kids. Who would have guessed that crafting, Star Wars and Paw Patrol could have been combined?

On the fourth day of Christmas

On the fourth day of Christmas four little monkeys came to play. I made a batch of these last year to give as gifts, and these little guys stayed to live with us. There are four of us and four monkeys so they kids play family with them. Because I made them all a little different they fight over who has stripes and who has dots.

Here is the full post with instructions to make your own.

monkey 3

DIY Teacher’s Gifts

I can’t believe the school year is over, maybe it’s because we got a late start due to a strike, or maybe it’s because this was my oldest’s first year of school. Either way it’s over and summer is officially here. Along with the graduation cupcakes, and the vacationing bear cupcakes I also made some teacher’s gifts. Last year I made watermelon tea towels with some lovely ladies, but this year it was a last minute race to get the presents done on time.

The cost of this gift is in no way related to the thanks I have for S’s amazing teachers this year. I am hoping that the thought and effort outweighs the $1.25 that I spent. Honestly if I didn’t tell you that I spent $1.25 you would never know. Being that I have a overflowing closet of crafting supplies I didn’t need to buy paint, but even if I had needed to the total cost of this project would still be less than $5.00. If you happen to have a pile of kids, celery, and a dollar store near by this might be right up your alley.

Supplies

  • scarf – $1.25 at the dollar store
  • Craft paint – $1.00 per colour (dollar store or craft store)
  • textile medium – $2.50 at a craft store
  • paint brush
  • Celery – if you eat celery then you probably already have what you need
  • paper towels

Instructions

1. wash and iron the scarves

celery rose 1

2. Lay the scarf out on a flat surface, and place paper towels under it so that you don’t ruin the table or get the scarf stuck to it

celery rose 2

3. Chop the end off of a bunch of celery, and cut one stalk in half for the leaves

4. Mix the paint and textile medium as per the bottle instructions

5. Paint the end of the celery bunch and stamp it onto the scarf

celery rose 5

6. Repeat step 5 until you have a desired pattern

celery rose 6

7. Paint the end of the celery stalks to make the green leaves, and stamp onto the scarf

celery rose 7

8. Repeat step 7 until all of the roses have leaves

celery rose 8

10. Once the scarf it dry iron it to set the colours

Being that the project cost me so little I made one for me too. I don’t usually take selfies, so I could use a little practice. But you can see how the scarf looks when finished, and I really don’t think you could guess that it cost me $1.25 to make.

celery rose scarf

King of the Castle

king of the castleWhenever I get out crafting supplies one of my kids asks what I am making. When I told my oldest that I was making crowns to give as birthday presents for a couple of upcoming parties, he requested one. I had a crown pattern drawn with stars on it and when I showed him he requested more points and to change the stars to diamonds. So this project was designed by my oldest and sewn by me. He is my biggest critic, greatest source of inspiration and the king of the castle. At least one of the kings of the castle, my youngest is challenging him at every step. No one around here wants to be the dirty rascal.

My youngest is yelling to the neighbourhood “I’m the king of the castle you are the dirty rascal”. He is also sporting his superhero cape and his love shirt.

If you are interested in making a crown here is a pattern. If you are interested in buying one here is a link to my Etsy store.

A Mustachioed Snake

Snake 5There are two people in my house that love to wear socks, and there are two of us that don’t. My husband and oldest son are the sock wearers. They seem to go through socks so quickly. I am not a fan of socks, and only put them on with sneakers, or in the winter. The rest of time I am barefoot, as is my youngest. I rarely wear out a pair of socks, usually the elastic goes before I wear holes in them. This is not the case for our resident sock wearers, they are constantly wearing through socks. I have been saving them because it seems such a waste to throw them out.

I am also an avid recycler. Pants, shirts, doorsmilk jugs, new socks and now even the holey old socks in our house gotten a new lease on life. Meet our newest house guest, “Sunday” the sock snake. He is constructed of mainly of my husband, and eldest son’s holey socks. He is named Sunday because one of the pairs of socks said Sunday on the bottom, so I though that it was fitting. He is also the only snake that I know that has a mustache, or many mustaches.

If you are interested in giving your old socks a new lease on life, check out this tutorial from Grosgrain. I made a couple of alterations to the tutorial with the main one being using quilting batting instead of stuffing. I learned when making sock monkeys that it’s really hard to get the socks stuffed with out having big lumps, so for the snake I used batting. Here are some pictures of my battle with the batting. It was a full body workout to get Sunday stuffed. Now I will need to make a second one because I still have a pile of holey socks.

All I want for Christmas…

I know that it’s nowhere near Christmas I’m just getting caught up on a few items on my to do list. This is a project that we (my husband and I) have been working on for a long time. Starting with the day that I first saw our current house 4 years ago. When I first saw what would be Logan’s room before Logan was even an idea I knew that the space would be perfect for a built-in bunk bed. But first we needed to get the house, get pregnant, and have the baby. When Logan was born we put the crib in the “nook” and I patiently waited until he was old enough to make the transition into a big bed which happened this fall. I wanted to build this about as much as a five-year old boy would want it. In September we went to Great Wolf Lodge and the boys spent their first night in a bunk bed.

That sparked Sasha to ask for a bunk bed for Christmas. After explaining that Santa doesn’t have room in his sleigh for a bunk bed, Stanko and I decided that it was time to build one in the “nook” in Logan’s room. We finished building it right before Christmas and Sasha promptly moved into Logan’s room. It took me the last 4 months to get it painted, hang the pictures, hem the drapes, and make more pillows.

I love that we have enough space so that the kids can be sleep together, apart, in the same room or in different rooms. If one of them is sick we can separate them into their own rooms, yet most of the time they opt to sleep together in Logan’s double bed. Sasha’s room goes unoccupied almost all of the time so it’s fair game for visitors.

My kids are my inspiration for most of my projects. The following items can be found in Logan’s room.

Here is the before…

before

During…

After…

If you are looking for me I will be napping in the bottom bunk with the drapes closed.

Seeing Stars

Star 1For those that know I have a brain tumor, don’t worry the stars are completely unrelated to my medical state. But I do have a tiny obsession with stars. There is something about the odd number of points and graphic nature that draws me to them. Plus real stars are so shiny, and who doesn’t love a little bling.

Often I get started on one project that morphs into one or more others. This one started with a bunk bed and turned into tea towels and pillows. How does that even happen? All I can say is that my mind is a complicated place.

Printing fabric is super easy if you haven’t ever attempted it.

For this project I used:

  • Canvas drop cloth for the pillows – left over from another project purchased at a big box store
  • Flour sack tea towels – left over from the watermelon tea towel project
  • A rubber stamp – Michael’s
  • Acrylic paint – Craft Smart from Michael’s in Blue Jean, Navy Blue, Shamrock and Lush Foliage
  • Fabric Medium – Craft Smart brand from Michael’s
  • Paint brush
  • Yogurt container lid
  • A six-year-old helper (optional)

star 6

Instructions:

For the tea towels or canvas yardage (pillows) the instructions are exactly the same. I like to involve the kids when I make things especially when what I am making is for them. My six-year-old helper decided where the next star was to go by putting his finger on the fabric and then I would stamp the next star in his desired location.

  1. Iron the fabric (optional)
  2. Mix the paint with the fabric medium as per the bottle (the fabric medium waters down the paint which allows it to be absorbed by the fabric a little better and doesn’t make it crusty when it dries)
  3. Paint the mixture directly onto the stamp, and stamp the fabric
  4. Once you have completed stamping the fabric let it dry
  5. Iron to set the colours on the appropriate heat setting for the type of fabric you used

Felt Easter Baskets

A couple of weekends ago I was supposed to have my crafty moms over to make Easter baskets but I had just received some rather shocking news. But I was pretty determined to make the Easter baskets anyway. So here they are just in time for Easter. These are my take on a masculine Easter basket for my little boys. I used yarn scraps for the filling because my littlest love tore apart all of the snowball pom poms that I made earlier in the week, and it seemed like a pretty good use of his mess.

Instructions and pattern for the baskets are below. Click here for the bunny pattern.

We also decorated the eggs this morning which is a tradition carried on my by husband from his childhood. We were down one egg because Logan stole it from the table and bit into it shell and all.

Materials:

  • Three/four sheets of felt 9″x 12″ – cut one sheet in half for the inside, cut one sheet in half for the outside, cut a circle for inside, cut a circle for bottom, cut
  • One larger sheet of felt 23″ long or longer (paisley) – optional if you only want one seam on the outside
  • 2″ wide Ribbon or felt at least 14″ long
  • 3 plastic canvas sheets 10.5″ x 13.5″ – to give the basket structure
  • two skeins embroidery floss
  • needle
  • basket filler (yarn scraps)

Instructions:

  1. Cut all of the materials as per below images – note 2 felt circles are required but not shown. Ribbon is cut and folded in half to cover mesh handle.
  2. Sew the two mesh sides together, then sew on the bottom with embroidery floss. Safety pins work well to hold the bottom and sides together while sewing.

3. Sew the handle cover sides together with either felt or ribbon using a blanket stitch. Attach the handle to the basket with a straight stitch.

4. Sew the 2 pieces of inner lining together, and then sew the bottom on.

inner lining

5. Sew the outer lining together, and then sew the bottom on.

outer lining

6. With the inner lining inside the basket and the outer lining outside the mesh basket, sew the inner felt lining to the outer felt with a blanket stitch (around the handle I used XXXXX’s).  Fill the basket with yarn scraps, or easter basket grass.

Happy Easter.