Doo To Doo!

I think everyone who has had kids has done something with the cardboard tube in the middle of toilet paper and paper towel rolls. They are ubiquitous and for some reason children love them. What child has not put one up to his mouth, filled his lungs with air and bugled “Doo to doooo!” I don’t recall having a name for them when I was a kid. I think we just called them “toilet paper rolls” or “paper towel rolls”. Something really creative like that. When my oldest son was about 2 he liked to play with them and it was a big deal when we got to the end of either item so he could get a fresh one. One day, he came up to me and asked for the one I had recently liberated. I didn’t know what he was talking about as I was busy with some task.  I could only tell he wanted something in the general direction of “over there”. He pointed to the tube and and said clearly, “I want the doo to doo.” Forever after after those tubes were known as Doo To Doos by our family.

So, now that I have a grandson who is old enough to enjoy them, I decided to see what was new in the world of Doo To Doos. Of course people are making all sorts of interesting and cool crafts with them, but I wanted to send him one that was fun while still in line with what his Dad played with. After looking at many, many photos I decided on this. Very easy but I think the Duck Tape (hey that’s what they call it) will make it last longer than the original.

I used:

  • a short toilet paper tube for the small one and a paper towel tube for the long one
  • scrap ribbon
  • double sticky tape –you might be able to do without this but it’s easier to hold them in place
  • Duck Tape in whatever pattern/color you like – I thought the owls were cute!






Cut 11 pieces of ribbon (depending on the width of your ribbon you might need one more or less) to varying lengths.  Using double sided tape stick them around one end of the tube so that they will hang down.  You can overlap the last one if you need to to make them fit. 

Starting at the end where you put the ribbon, begin wrapping the Duck Tape around the tube in strips.  The straighter you can stay the better it will look, but after all, it’s a Doo To Doo, don’t stress about it.  When you get to the end, go ahead and put some tape down inside.  It should help it hold up to being blown into, if you know what I mean.

I made a short one and a long one and sent the short one to my Grandson.  Then, when we had a Face Time chat he was quite tickled with the ribbons blowing out the end of mine.  Just a little silly Grandma/Grandson fun.

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!

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!


Anyone who follows my blog surely knows that my very favorite thing is to make something new from something old. I hate to throw away anything that still has life in it and I don’t like to waste things. We live in a throw away society, and I think that’s sad.

The first dog bed was made from a remnant I bought to make a dog bed. I was a little irritated when I started sewing, because there was a hole in the fabric that I had not noticed earlier and I ended up having to make a small bed instead of a larger one, as I had intended. Fortunately one of my sons has a little pekingese that will love it, so it ended up being fine (although I learned my lesson, check out remnants carefully!). That bed was a simple rectangle with several thicknesses of quilt type batting. I simply sewed a top and bottom piece together (inside out) leaving an opening large enough to stuff the batting in, then turn right side, put in the batting and flatten it out, and sew up the opening. I had enough extra fabric to make a little bone shaped toy made basically the same way but stuffed with the type of batting I use for stuffed animals. I put a red box around the toy so you could see it in the picture as it tended to fade into all of those doggie foot prints!

I also got 2 other toys out of it, for my oldest son’s 2 dogs, a simple triangle (not too hard) and a disk (much more difficult –there must be a secret to sewing in a circle–it’s a good thing dogs don’t care that much about perfection!).

Of course, I still needed a bed for my much larger golden retriever, Pauli and I didn’t have another piece of fabric that size. I didn’t want to head to the fabric store (which is quite a hike for me–our local Walmart does not carry fabric anymore, very sad!). BUT I did remember that I had some sheets that I had put away to get rid of but had not gotten around to it. They were flannel but the nap was worn. I pulled out the flat sheet and it was in good condition (no holes) and I thought the red and navy plaid would look pretty ritzy.

I made this one in the same manner as the other. It’s really more of a dog mat. Pauli is not a big fan of the big plush beds, she has never been one to use them, but if there is a towel or a bath mat she WILL lay on that, so I thought she would like one of her own. It took almost no time to whip up (an hour or less) and would have taken less if I had known I could set my machine to sew faster! I figured that out, so big projects like this can now really zip by! 🙂

I also made her a little “plaid man” out of some of the sheet fabric. He’s stuffed with the loose batting like I use on regular stuffed animals, but I put a clean and dried out water bottle inside for a little “crinkle” noise. She is in love with that new toy. 🙂

Then my oldest son and his wife decided that they did indeed need 2 new dog beds for their dogs Angus and Bart. There was still quite a bit of fabric left over from that sheet. You can easily get 2 dog beds (approximately 26×36 inches) from one queen size sheet if you use it for both top and bottom. But I needed more fabric to make both of them, so I started looking through my stash. I found some navy corduroy which was actually an old bedspread I had made for my boys when they were small. I had saved it all these years because the fabric seemed like something I could reuse. And I was right!

I made these both the same way I made the others except that I used the stuffing from 2 large square sham pillows I had but had never used. I’m not sure why I had them, but they have been hanging around in the way for quite some time. I’m glad I found a use for them. Don’t you hate things that are big enough to be in the way but too good to just get rid of? The navy corduroy was a perfect match for the blue in the plaid (complete serendipity). It turns out also that both fabrics are dog hair magnets, but I think that’s probably not such a bad thing. I would rather have my dog bed collecting dog hair than my floor and my rug and…well you get the idea.

These should all be completely washable.

So, there you have it. Inexpensive to free (depending on where you get your batting, if you have to buy that it could get a little more expensive –you might also consider buying inexpensive pillows and use the stuffing from those). Washable. Quick. Easy. They even would make wonderful gifts. And these are good beginner projects for people learning to sew.

And it’s also Handmade Monday, which has moved locations. It’s now at Handmade Harbour.  But if you will click on this Handmade Monday link, you will still get there.  And it’s still full of all of the wonderful people with their wonderful crafts and ideas and beautiful things.  Nothing has really changed except the location.  So, please do yourself a favor and head on over.  🙂

Chalk Up Another Handmade Monday!

Running very late this Handmade Monday!  I actually did spend the weekend relaxing but also made a little something for a special little boy.  It’s an upcycle/recycle project.  I have been wanting to try using that chalkboard paint everyone else has already done a million things with, and I have had a jar of it on my shelf for, well, I don’t know how long.

I had a little clipboard that I used to use for school (for something, I don’t even remember what) that was too cute to get rid of, but I haven’t used it in forever.  I got the idea to paint one side with chalkboard paint and personalize it and give it to my grandson (my son’s stepson who is 8 and I think just the right age to love writing on things with chalk –plus he’s very into sports, I think he could keep score or something with it, but mostly, I just remember thinking writing with chalk was very cool when I was a kid).

It turned out to be really easy to work with.  The hardest part?  Finding chalk!  But I found a nice box that included white and some colors too at Target, after checking the office supply place first.

You can see what I did, with photos at Paint a Chalkboard.  Then you can go and check out Handmade Monday, which I understand is also going to be moving very soon.  But don’t worry, I will be sure to give you a good link when that happens, I wouldn’t leave you high and dry!

Raining and Cats and Dogs

First I’m tired of rain.  I know it has a job to do, but it also brings headaches and too much time indoors.  However, I have managed to make a couple of things, so maybe being confined inside has an upside.

The tutorial is about a sweater cat but I also made her a little friend because there was so much fabric left over.  I seem to be obsessed with these little creatures.  The funny thing is, I get an idea in my head and I just have to get it out, and the only way to do it is to make it.

I’m a little late getting this posted.  I actually have a good excuse, as we went down to get dinner out and the car battery was dead when we were ready to leave.  So, we went and had a coffee while we waited for AAA and by the time we got home it was too late to get started.  The truth is, it was fun sitting outside (under cover of course) watching the rain, playing on our IPads, drinking coffee.  We don’t do that very often, and it felt very, oh, I don’t know, vacationish or something.  But, that’s my excuse.

Anyway, also don’t forget it’s Handmade Monday and you know good and well they have very cool and interesting things to check out, so please go there and see what’s going on.  But before you do that, click on the Sweater Cat and Template and see how you can make one of your own.  And if you do, send me a photo.  I’ll even post it if you give me permission.  Wouldn’t it be fun to have a whole page of them?  🙂

A Horse of a Different Fabric

Another stuffed critter.  I made this little horse for my oldest friend.  We met the first day of 7th grade and have been friends since.  She always was better at any sort of artistic stuff than I, and in fact I made her this horse because I remembered one she made when we were probably in Junior High School.  It also had a yarn tail.  I also made it for her because we used to go ride my horse together, so she can look at this silly little creation and it will remind her of all of those wonderful times we had together.  🙂

Anyway, it’s Handmade Monday and I’ve really been remiss (sick is more like it) but I’m back!  So, after you check out the little Sweater Pony, go on over to Handmade Monday and see what everyone else is doing.  I know they are doing wonderful things!