Making New Treasures

I often think of ideas when I’m trying to fall asleep.  When I have an idea stuck in my head I usually have to make it in order to really get it out of there.  This bunny is one such notion.  He started out with the simple idea of sewing a piece of blanket to a piece of blue jean fabric (both leftovers that were haunting my dining room table) and grew from there.  I admit, I love creating the ideas more than I actually enjoy the process of making them because it’s a little easier.  Often when I actually start the making I discover that my idea doesn’t quite work out as planned.  However, this bunny didn’t give me too much trouble.

He’s not the most beautiful, and I would have to say he’s got character more than elegance.  But I think he’s going to be sturdy and snuggly with no parts to pull off easily for a small child.  And I very much like the idea of making stuffed animals by recycling things that belonged to family members.  Hopefully they will be friends for many years.

Click on over to see my Bunny in Bluejeans.

Five Funny Monkeys


I got a new Scotch Laminator last fall (on sale!) and had never taken it out of the box because I went out of town to visit family and got home and it was Thanksgiving and Christmas and here it is March!  So, I decided to try something with it.  I’ve had an idea in mind for awhile.  I think that even today, with all of the ebooks and computers kids need to have books in their hands and the earlier that happens the better.  But they tend to eat them and tear them.  I know you can buy those cardboard books, but my kids ate those too.

So I had an idea to laminate some garage sale or used bookstore books and it’s been rattling around in my head (like five funny monkeys!) for awhile. So, I decided to go ahead and do it. A journey of discovery!

I discovered that the laminator is a joy to use and very very easy.  I discovered my hole punch needs to be replace and is the opposite of a joy to use.  I discovered this idea is a pretty good one and fun to make (and older children would probably enjoy this with some adult help and supervision and in fact could make their own books for younger siblings/cousins/friends).

I apologize for the photos, I took them with my IPad so they are not my usual quality.  So lets just go and check out how to make a Laminated Book.

Denim Cat


This whole project just fell together by itself without any planning, really.  I was actually just trying to see if my ink stamps would stamp onto denim scraps for something else, but I loved the way the cat looked in that blue ink on the blue denim and I wanted to do something with her.

I thought for awhile and decided to go ahead and cut the piece smaller (and yes, it’s cut not really square on purpose) and sew it to a piece of muslin (or it might be linen, I can’t recall) that I had in my scrap box.  I still wasn’t sure what I was going to make.  Sometimes it’s fun to surprise yourself.  I stitched all the way around using a little zig zag stitch –really fun!  I have to say I’m enjoying how confident I’m getting when using the sewing machine.  I am pretty good at making bobbins and changing thread, both things that used to sometimes put me into tears.  I can also change the feet (altho sometimes I still struggle with that, surely the machine moves on it’s own!)

Anyway, the fabric set her off nicely, but the denim was a little frayed (I forgot to mention I washed the scrap after I the stamping had dried because part of my experiment was to see if the stamp dye was really colorfast.  It was, it faded just slightly, and to a pleasing effect).  But the fabric did fray slightly, so I pulled them a little more until I liked the result.   I also gave her a golden eye with some gold metallic thread I have, using a french knot or a close approximation.

It was then that I decided she would look charming in a frame!

And I have frames.  I don’t know why, but I just have a collection of frames that I plan to use.  I can never get rid of a frame or turn one down if offered.  I looked through them and found one I thought was perfect.  I cut the muslin (or linen) to fit, put it in place with double sticky tape, put the frame back on (it was one of those with those little devilish spikes so my husband had to help me so I didn’t poke holes in my fingers).

And the result, I think, really is charming.  Blue on blue.  She will be off in the mail in a day or two. As the project emerged I also realized who the perfect recipient was.  I know she’s going to a wonderful home.  🙂

Now, time to head to Handmade Monday.  A little late, but I have to see what everyone else has done.  Come on, there are always amazing things!

Homemade is Always More Fun

I know there are wonderful cards out there to buy and some of them are amazing (I love looking through the cards when I have a chance and I always think what a fun job it would be to come up with them –but not have to make them!).  But I have to admit, I also enjoy making them, even tho I always seem to be doing it at the last minute and they are sometimes late.  I like to think the recipients appreciate the work and thought that goes into them (they seem to).  I do get a few home made cards and they always mean a lot to me.  I keep them and I keep thinking one day I’ll make an album to make it easier to enjoy them.  My Dad makes wonderful birthday cards for the family.  I think I have every one he’s sent me through the years.  I always look forward to them.

Anyway, enough chatter.  Here are my Valentine’s Day Cards that I made.  I didn’t make many.  One of these days I will actually be ahead and maybe make up some, but I usually end up making them especially for each person.  Maybe that’s better anyway.   These were fun, although the photos aren’t great.  The lens I used doesn’t auto-focus on my D60 so I had to focus and a few of them were a little out of focus (they looked ok when I took them).  By the time I realized it the cards were in the mail and gone.  Oh well. 🙂

You can see what I did at Valentine’s From This and That.  You still have time to make some before tomorrow.

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.  🙂


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!