Hearts Around the Corner

A little late for Handmade Monday myself, altho everyone should still go check it out. But it’s still not too late to make a last minute Valentine’s gift for someone. I actually made this over the weekend, and should have gotten it up on the blog sooner. However, I didn’t. It’s very simple and I was able to make it completely from things I had in my craft stash. Some of you might not have everything on hand, but I bet many of you do. If not, you might be able to substitute something else.

Now, if you really want to get this done in time for Valentine’s Day I really need to stop talking about it and tell you how to make a Valentine’s Day Frame. Just click the link. :)

Throws Boys Will Like

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I promised a couple of weeks ago to share the Moose Throw I made. I’ve been having a little trouble with my back, which hurts most when I sit and that makes computering (which doesn’t seem to be a word) one of the more difficult things to do. However, I shouldn’t neglect my blog, and so I’m going to share the Moose Throw (which was a BIG hit) and another one I made for another boy this week.

I was going to make one of those tied throws (I’ve seen them called knotted or no-sew throws as well) for my nephew for Christmas. It’s gotten harder to get him something for Christmas as he’s gotten into the teen years and while a gift certificate is always welcome it also seems impersonal. I also wanted to make him something since boys are always a little more difficult to make for and I wanted him to have something from me that he could enjoy. I don’t get to see him very often and I thought it would be nice.

When I went to the fabric store I focused in on some really wonderfully soft fleece, in fact it was called Ultra Cuddle and I can’t disagree with that name at all! It was a little difficult to find a pattern that was appropriate for a teenaged boy, however I fell in love with the moose fabric, especially since my brother and his family recently returned from Alaska! It was even better that they were funny, since the recipient loves humor. I chose a dark fabric for the back that matched. Unfortunately when I went to have it cut the saleswoman asked me if I were planning to make a tied throw. When I said yes she said it would be unsuitable as it would fray and shed badly. But I was so in love with the fabric by now that I decided to sew it instead.

It was a little difficult to deal with (hard to cut straight, hard to sew straight and big and bulky to manage). However, I was still happy with the final result. I simply sewed it with wrong sides together, like you would a pillow, left a small opening, turned it and hand stitched the last little bit. Not only was I happy with the result, my nephew loved it. PLUS my sister in law apparently is thinking of stealing it. I think I know what I’m going to make HER for some future gift giving occasion! This was seriously easy and I have to say, really turned out great.

As for the knotted throw, I made it from a kit I bought. I got a soccer ball pattern because my grandson is an avid soccer player. This was equally easy to make (although I found it tedious to do the cutting). I don’t think the fabric quality was as nice as what I bought for the throw, but by the time it was cut and knotted it seemed just fine. I think you could easily buy fabric and make these up for gifts and raffles and things like that. When you are cutting the fabric the first thing you do is cut the corners of the fabric out (5 inches by 5 inches). I didn’t want to waste those 8 pieces so I pieced mine together and made a pillow with 4 pieces on each side. I didn’t take a photo unfortunately, but I think my grandson will like it.

One other thing I did that I almost forgot to mention.  When I made the Moose Throw I wanted to add something to identify the maker since it was a gift and so often I make things (especially stuffed animals) and give them away and no one will know in the future that they were made by Grandma or Auntie etc.  I am not that good at embroidery and I didn’t think I could hand sign fleece.  However I had bought a stamp that was on sale (YES!  on SALE!) and it allowed one to put whatever message you wanted in the center and then a circle of design (holly I think, it is a Christmas stamp) around it.  I had the bright idea to put a “label” on that.  I tried doing one and then “washing” it under running water and soap.  It seemed to hold up.  So, I stamped a label on a wide piece of white ribbon I had in my stash and sewed it in.  Not a bad idea, altho I think it’s time for me to have some labels made up.  I have some dolls that were made years ago by either my Mom or my Grandmother.  Sadly I knew who made them when I was given them, but at this point I can’t recall who made which one for sure.  I wish they had signed them.

Well, this is really long, thank you if you have hung in there!  Time for Handmade Monday!  I will be popping in there off and on for the next few days as my back allows me to sit at the computer.  :)

 

It’s a New Year!

I guess the first thing I need to do is apologize for not posting more regularly the past several (as in maybe 6 or so) months.  I was out of town for quite a bit of the second half of 2012, helping with my new grandson (oh what a joy!) and then visiting and helping with my 2 step grandchildren (who are older but every bit as much fun).  Then I went and spent some time with my Dad in New Mexico after a few days (not long enough) with my brother and his family.  When I finally got home for good it seems like it was time to prepare for a Thanksgiving visit by my new grandson (he brought his parents along too) and then it was time to get ready for Christmas.

Of course I could have blogged in the meantime but somehow I just got out of the habit –for some reason good habits break far more easily than bad ones.  But, my only New Years Resolution is to get back in the saddle and start blogging again.  I really HAVE  missed it.  It’s not that I haven’t crafted or cooked at all, it’s just that I haven’t done all of the work involved in getting things onto the blog, that is photos and writing.

Now, for today, I will share some of the few Christmas cards I made this year.  Like last year I made them, but I didn’t send out nearly as many.  I got such a late start I used more stickers and stamps than I did before, but I discovered that there are so many beautiful choices that I still liked the way they came out.  You can be really creative and still add your own touches.  And because I was so late getting started most of the items were already on sale!

If you see something you like and have any questions about how I did it, please ask, I will be glad to share.  I’m not going to blog any instructions since they weren’t all that special.  For almost all of them I used prefolded card stock that I already had and sticky dots for most of the gluing (to make things go faster).  I wanted them to go out before Valentines Day!

Now, I’m going to go over to Handmade Harbour  and see what everyone else is up to.  I’ve been away so long, I hope they remember me!  You should go too, I know everyone has been busy.  I really need to check back and see what they were busy with for the holidays, I can’t believe I missed all of that!  See you soon.  I want to share the Moose Blanket I made for my nephew!

I’m Back!

Oh my goodness, I’ve been gone.  I had thought I might blog while out of town but I didn’t.  I am still not really back into the swing of regular life yet, so I’m going to share something I made while I was at my Dad’s house.  I actually made 3 of these, one for each grandchild, but didn’t take photos of the process and in fact only took shots of the last one because I didn’t get it mailed off yet.

First, I had a wonderful 2 months visiting family in Texas and New Mexico.  I got to remember what it was like to take kids to school and activities (oh yes, you do get right back into the swing of that!) and cook for a family etc.  It was hard to leave them but I then went on to visit my Dad and we had a great time eating all of the Mexican food we could hold and I got to meet some family from that area I had never met and see some I had not seen in a long time.  All in all very fun and satisfying.  However, now, back to regular life and my very neglected blog.  :)  I will likely post some of the many MANY photos I took while traveling, too.  But not today.

So, the project is made from the paper mache mash you can find here.  I used that and just free-hand shaped it into Christmas tree shapes.  I cut a little piece of wire, made a loop and stuck it in the paper mache at the top and made sure it was anchored in there.  I also made sure the ends of the wire stuck out to the sides (not out of the paper mache) instead of down as I thought this would make it more secure.  This made a nice sturdy hanger (I put a piece of ribbon but you could use those ornament hangers). Oh, and being made of paper, this ornament is really really light.

You can see the wire loop at the top.

You can see the wire look at the top.

I let them dry at least overnight and then finished drying in the oven (about 200 or so degrees F –I think my Dad’s oven runs a little hot tho –keep an eye so they don’t burn or get too crispy).  They didn’t take long since they were fairly dry after sitting out and being partially dry.  I just wanted them to be thoroughly dried before I painted them.

Then I painted them green.  I had to mix blue and yellow since the green I had bought was dried out!  Yes I took it back but later and yes, they gave me my money back, but I had already painted my trees, so I didn’t need more paint.  The color was great but I was glad I had bought a few colors when I was at the craft store.  Anyway, I put on 2 coats to make sure it had a nice strong color. I did put a coat of Mod Podge over it too, just to give it some protection and shine.

I had bought all of these cute little buttons at Hobby Lobby (we don’t have one here so I really kind of went crazy in there!).  You can see in the picture some of the cute ones they had. I really like the glittery stars. For my Granddaughter’s I had ones that looked like flipflops and I forget some of the others, but they had such a great selection I bought quite a few different sorts.  Some of them had loops on the back and wouldn’t lay flat but I just nipped those off and they worked just fine.  I glued it all on with just regular white glue.  Since they are just ornaments and not toys I think it will hold.

If the holes in the buttons bother you you could find other items to decorate with.

I forgot to take a photo of the back, but I put their names and the year and Christmas and who it’s from on the back too (Sharpie!).  I always did ornaments for my kids and now for my Grandchildren, every year.  This way they will be able to remember when they pull them out (hopefully) every year.

These were SO easy and fun to make.  You could easily make them WITH kids too.

Now, I’m off to check on Handmade Monday, which I have sadly neglected for way too long.  I hope the rest of you will check them out because they have some amazing things and I KNOW they are all making beautiful things for Christmas by now.

And I hope that you all will be back soon, I promise to get right back into my normal routine (and post some fabulous vacation photos).

Oh and recipes!

 

 

 

 

We Didn’t Blow Away!

Isaac didn’t turn into much, and so here I am for Handmade Monday!  I actually made this project on Friday because I had been working getting everything ready all week for Isaac and I wanted to make something easy.  So, I came up with this very simple project that I could wrap up quickly and have something to post.

Things here in South Florida have mostly just been wet and windy, and we only lost electricity at our house for long enough to make the clock have to be reset.  Otherwise, it has not been much of an event.  I have not even gotten any exciting photos.  Of course, it is still raining and blowing while I am typing this, so I suppose it might yet get worse, but I don’t think so.

Please do keep New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Coast in your thoughts and prayers, however, as it is likely that he is going to get stronger as he heads that direction through the week.

Anyway, please go check out my Puffy Heart.  It’s just a simple little thing.  And then of course, go check out Handmade Monday.  I suspect I will be spending a lot of tomorrow there, as it will probably be raining most of the day, and I will be able to enjoy seeing all of the wonderful things everyone is making and forget the weather here!

Get Your Boots Up

It’s Handmade Monday and I didn’t have anything really ready so I decided to share an idea I had awhile back when I was trying to organize my close.  I have a couple of pairs of those scrunchy boots that won’t stand up and are always falling over and in the way.  I don’t have room to store them in boxes so I had an idea when I was going through my closet and getting rid of hangers.  I could use skirt hangers for them!  I’m sure someone else has had this idea, but here is what I did:

I used the stick on hooks and placed them on a little wasted space (according to directions which come with the hooks –very easy to do).  I did two since I had 2 pair of boots to deal with but I could have probably gotten 4 if I had placed some below in another layer.  I just held the first pair against the wall to see where the second hook needed to go.

Then I clipped the boots onto the hanger and hung them up.  Easy!  I think the whole project took me less than 15 minutes.  And it’s nice to have my boots hanging up out of the way and I know that they won’t get damaged or stepped on or forgotten when boot season comes back.  The only real difficulty was getting a good photo, but I think you can see what I did in this series of shots.

On the subject of organizing and those little stick on hooks, I used them on the inside of my pantry door to hang a lot of my little odds and ends like measuring spoons and cups and hot pads.  It saves me a couple of drawers and space is at a premium.  They really are a space saver!

I put them up after I got my cabinets refaced and replaced the louvered doors on the pantry.  It’s so nice to be able to put my hands on my tools!  I think organization makes such a big difference when you’re working on any kind of project.

OK, so I think I’ll head on over to Handmade Monday and see what everyone’s “cooking up” over there.  I know they always have some lovely things and some good ideas.  Just click on the link and go blog hopping.

 

 

Changing Horses Midstream

This post doesn’t have anything to do with horses, but the title is apt.  I was going to Mod Podge the frame as a gift, and didn’t pay enough attention when I bought my materials.  I was disappointed to discover that the glass didn’t come out but was affixed permanently and so I was going to have to work around it.  In addition it wasn’t “glass” but some sort of plastic or acrylic, so it wasn’t going to be as easy to clean without scratching or ruining.  Wonderful!

I’m not going to go into great detail, since I didn’t take photos along the way and most of it was just tedious stuff and things I don’t really like doing.  I had to cover the glass so I could spray paint the wood frame, as I was afraid it would soak too much Mod Podge.   I used the paper that came with the frame and cut it in pieces to fit in the front “glass” areas.  Then I sprayed 2 coats of black paint on the wood and let that dry overnight.  I ended up leaving the paper over the “glass” while I did my Mod Podging because I figured that would be a real mess to get off of the plastic.

After that was dry I let my husband cut the paper out with an Exacto, (I could have done it but he offered and he has s steadier hand).  As it was, the edges weren’t very neat on the inside, so I had to “change horses midstream”.  I hadn’t planned to do anything on the inside of the edges, but they didn’t look very good.  I decided to use hot glue and put some gold piping I had in my stash around them.  Another tedious thing, but it turned out “okay”.  Of course I got hot glue all over the “glass” which was a minor pain to clean off.

Finally done, but I won’t do another one with glass that is not removable.  I’ll check from now on.  BTW I do love the paper I used for this.  It’s actually a Christmas tissue paper I got about 10 years ago and it’s almost all gone.  I love it because it ends up looking very Americana instead of Christmasy.  Oh, and I almost forgot.  I sprinkled a little glitter onto the frame after each coat of Mod Podge and let it dry.  I love the glittery look.

 

And now, on to Handmade Monday!  I’m sure everyone there planned out their crafts better than I did.  Let’s go see.  :)

Glittery Mess

I am very late for Handmade Monday, I made something earlier in the week, and should have just waited and posted it today, but couldn’t wait.  You can see it here. (It’s a musical security blanket for a baby).

Today I did a simple birthday card for a friend who has a birthday coming up. I had done something similar for Thank You cards. They are really easy, altho I’m not all that good at anything that takes really steady hands. All I do is paint glue (either white glue or in this case gel school glue) on my stamp, stamp on my card stock and then sprinkle the glitter over the glue. I let it set and then tap off the excess.
I stamped the sun on some yellow paper and cut that out to glue on and hand wrote the “Happy Birthday” (not my strongest skill set!). It’s pretty amateurish looking but this is an old friend, and I think she’ll like it anyway.
Now, off to Handmade Monday to see what everyone else has been doing.

Foxy Idea

These seem to be really popular but I really wanted to make one musical.  A music box was too heavy, but a music button was just the right thing.  I had plenty of that plaid fabric left over from the fox I made for my grandson, and I like the idea that both of his fox friends will match anyway.  Maybe it’s a trend for him!

Anyway, this was very simple to make, I hope my long winded explanation doesn’t scare you away.  The hardest part was getting the music button in (and it didn’t take long).  I think I made this entire blanket in a couple of hours and I did some other things in between.  It’s now sitting here, waiting to go to the post office so my grandson can enjoy it.  Go check Musical Fox Security Blanket and see how to make one for the child in your life!

A Sharpie Idea!

I ran across this idea while I was baby sitting my Grandson this summer in Texas.  I couldn’t wait to try it out, and I had some gifts to makes, so this seemed like the perfect time.  It’s hard to believe I have missed so many Handmade Mondays, I have missed everyone, and I have missed making things.  But I really enjoyed that little boy, and I miss him now that I am home and he is halfway across the country from me.  I’ve been back a couple of weeks, but it’s so hard to get back into the swing of regular life.

Anyway, I’m not going to rattle on and on, please check here to see the very easy to make  Stamped Sharpie Mugs  and then head over to check out  Handmade Monday  and see what everyone else is up to!  I’m going to do the same.  I hope they are all busy making things, and maybe talking about the Olympics, since most of them live right there!