Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Merry Christmas to All!

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a very crafty New Year!

In the mean time, here are some fun tutorials for last minute fun...if you have the time. I wish I did. I'm busy finishing a last minute scrapbook as a gift! Only 60 pictures to use. Eek!

Felt Bow tutorial (she used paper, you can use felt) at How About Orange, one of my favorite blogs. Jessica usually has a lot of great, free stuff and ideas that are sure to spark the imagination. I love the printables that she posts. Christmas tags are up right now. Yarn Wrapped Christmas tree tutorial from One Pearl Button

We'll see you in January!

Click the upper right column button for information about registering for the great charity crop that is happening at the end of January.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Kid Gifts

Continuing with our theme of Countdown with Crafts, I thought I'd let you know of a great sale at Michael's craft store this week. 1/2 of the front page of their ad was great gifts for kids. My kids love craft kits so I plan on heading over there this week to get them something for their stocking. They also have kids stocking stuffers for $1 and up.

I wanted to show you what I did as a gift for my kids that was super easy and super cheap. I bought these adorable striped hats for my kids at the $1 store... Dollar Tree. I then raided my stash of many felt colors and cut out stars for my sons and their friends....

... and flowers with layered circles in the middle for our little friends that are girls. I used the Sizzix to cut my felt shapes, but you could easily hand cut them with a pattern as well. They girls hat also has a layer of mesh. They are held together with the button in the middle that is sewn on. I used a dab of fabric glue to secure the ends of the flower and stars to the hat. My boys love them and they fight over who gets the blue one... I made them in several colors!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Quick, Festive Neighbor gifts

I am always up for a quick and easy gift for friends and neighbors, so I thought I'd share what I did last year.
I started with some cellophane bags filled with hand dipped chocolate pretzels and homemade Oreo truffles. (Hold on, I'm drooling just thinking about it. Okay. All better.) The bag looked pretty plain until I snipped some twigs off my pine tree and swiped some candy canes from our holiday stash (fresh ones and stale. lol.) It turned out lovely and I spent next to nothing on gift wrapping.
Moral of the story? Go raid your backyard (or your neighbor's-just kidding) for something fun and festive to add to your gift wrapping and you'll have thriftiness, elegance, creativity, and festiveness all rolled into one!
Oh-and in case you have never had an Oreo truffle, here is the simple, simple, mouthwatering recipe:
Oreo Truffles
1 pkg Oreos
1- 8oz pkg softened cream cheese
melting chocolates
Finely crush Oreos. Using a mixer, mix in the cream cheese. Roll into balls and freeze on lined baking sheet for 15 minutes. Melt your chocolates. Dip each Oreo ball into chocolate and lay on wax paper to harden. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Countdown: Baby, it's Cold Outside, but we know you'll go shopping anyway

It is currently 7 degrees Fahrenheit in Utah, but you can warm your friends' and neighbors' hearts each season through thoughtful gifts. In continuing our Countdown with Crafts, here are a few ideas from this week's ads.
  • If you've been crafting in the kitchen and need something to put your goodies in, Michaels had really cute Christmas baskets for 50% off.
  • While I was there I bought acrylic paints for just 69 cents each. My mom has wanted me to paint her a whimsical childhood-related painting for awhile so it's a great thing that they also had artist's back-stapled traditional canvas on sale for 40% off as well!
  • Roberts has all their unfinished wood for 40% off, if you want another place to use acrylic paint.
  • If you make jewelry for others then Jo-Ann has 50% off Jewelry Making bead boards and a buy one, get one 50% off deal on Blue Moon beads (though Roberts has Blue Moon for 30% off)
  • Neighbor gift idea: both Roberts and Michaels has their ornaments 50% off.

    Buy a pack of the large clear glass ones. Funnel in around 1/4 cup of pretty sand and toss in a few tiny seashells. Tie a ribbon and this message at the top. I received this as a gift last year and really love it.

    Now, what did I do with all the great deals this week? I bought Team Licensed Fleece at Jo-Ann for 25% off and made the simple no-sew fleece blanket for my BYU-loving husband. (here's a little tutorial from Project Linus With the little extra that was part of the piece I was buying I also made him a team pillow. He's going to love these and it was pretty simple to do. There's a man-gift for you.

Friday, December 4, 2009

My new obsession!

I don't exactly remember what inspired me to make these... maybe it was that I love patterned paper so much that I want to frame it! Maybe it's that I love owls and this cute owl frame on the Storybook Cartridge for the Cricut. But, one day I came up with this cute frame for my craft room. I put vinyl on the glass and patterned paper inside the frame... I love it!!!
Then I went Black Friday shopping and the Cricut cartridges were on sale at Robert's crafts 4/$100. There were two that I really wanted, but if I was going to get such a good deal, I might as well buy 4. So, I went searching trying to find something I liked and I happened up the "A Child's Year" cartridge and fell in love. It is just full of silhouettes of kids and I love silhouettes. So, I went crazy! I made this frame for my son's teacher as a Christmas gift. I'm participating in another craft boutique tomorrow (or today) and so I thought I'd make a bunch of fun random frames... just because I love them!
If they don't sell, some of these may be up in my Etsy shop soon!!! And I have plans to decorate my kids' playroom with a bunch of these.... stay tuned!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Countdown with Crafts: Oh the Coziness of Yarn

I have long loved the idea of making things with yarn. The idea of making something tangible and 3-dimensional with a string is fascinating to me. I've been crocheting for a long time now and with each project my skills increase. It's a lot of fun, too, for someone who loves to keep their hands busy.

Knitting is something that escapes me, though. Recently, a neighbor offered to teach the basics of knitting. While she helped me learn that it wasn't as hard as I was making it, I can see that I have many hours of practice before me.

Now, I come to our Countdown with Crafting item:

This week at Roberts Crafts (for locations click here) all knitting looms are 30% off.

A knitting loom is a form (circle, long oval, or otherwise) with notched pegs over the entire form. Below is the Knifty Knitter made by Provo Craft. It (or something comparable) is available at most craft stores. You can also find them online. I have this set, also by Provo Craft.Angie introduced me to loom knitting last Christmas. I loved the simplicity of it. The brief instructions are these: Tie the end of your yarn onto the starter peg, wind the yarn around each peg, back to front, until you return to the starter peg. Go around a second time with the same back to front wrapping. Using the hook (the purple item up there) lift the lower strand up and off the peg all the way around the loom. When you return to the starter peg, begin wrapping around again, but just do it once. Then you use the hook again. Repeat, repeat, repeat until you've actually made your own knitted cloth. If this sounds easy to you, it really is! If you aren't terribly handy with crafts, but would like to make something handmade (or like me, you like the look of knit, but are hopeless), then this is for you! I made my children these hats. Suavely modeled by my son is a hat I made for a boutique.

Although I crocheted the scarf around his neck, you can use the knitting loom to make thick, soft scarves.

You can make purses/bags, sweaters, socks and even afghans (with the right loom).

The web is full of ideas and actual instructions (for free!) on how to use the knitting looms to their best advantage.

I would also add that this is great for left-handed folks surrounded by right-handers that can't teach you to knit or crochet because they don't know how to show you the best way for you to use your hands.

What else is on sale this week? YARN!

Roberts Crafts has all yarn (and crochet hooks and knitting needles) at 30% off.

Michaels has Sugar & Cream cotton yarn 4/$5, Merino Wool skeins 2/$7, Loops and Threads Impeccable Yarn 2/$5 and Red Heart Baby Clouds 2/$7

Hobby Lobby has Yarn Bee Whirlygig yarn for $2.99 a skein

JoAnn fabric and craft stores also has good deals on yarn (online and in store)

I know I'll be making my youngest another hat this year. He's growing way too fast.

Have fun!


p.s. If you don't have a Roberts Crafts in your area and you want to buy a knitting loom, don't forget about those 30-50% off coupons that so many craft stores have.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Jubilee of Trees

This past weekend, my family headed to St. George (utah) for the Jubilee of Trees. The Jubilee is my mother-in-law's thing. She has been involved in the Jubilee for Years. She has decorated a tree, wreath, mini tree, and she is in charge of the overall decorations of the Jubilee complete with Castles that you can walk through!
This is my mother-in-law's tree. This picture doesn't do it justice, but she has won People's Choice several years in the past. I'm sure you've seen these fun mod podged metal stars. Who would have thought of putting them on a tree. I loved this tree! And last, but not least.... owls. You know how much I love owls! This was a super cute tree! I will have to make a few of these owls.... I don't know what I'll do with them, but I must make some! Wishing you a Happy Holiday season.... it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Thank you for a wonderful first year. We have loved sharing our crafts and ideas with you and hearing about and seeing yours. We hope you have a great, filling and safe holiday weekend.
Anisa, Cami, and Angie

image courtesy of

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

1 Craft, Three Ways: Wreaths

This is the perfect time of year for wreaths. Deck the halls and all that, right? I found this little grapevine turkey in my storage closet. My mom gave him to me a while back. We were never sure what to do with it. November we're doing wreaths and here's one that needs to be finished. Necessity is the mother of invention. I did have two issues. First, I kinda liked him the way he was. Second, I have a wreath hanger on my door that presented a bit of a challenge. In the end, I decided to go with simplicity and wrapped wired harvest-themed ribbon around each tail feather except the middle one. There I tied a fancy bow. I twisted the streamers from the bow and glued them on each "feather." When I put him on my door, it was hard to see his little poultry head. By Cami's suggestion, I stuffed him with tulle. It was a light tan and still hard to see the turkey's head. I guess I'll be heading back to the craft store to find a darker brown. For now, I'm kinda liking this little guy, though. -Angie
Wreaths was a hard one for me... not that I don't love wreaths... I totally do. But I already have cute wood craft wreaths for every month and I just recently did a square wreath for my class. So, what else could I possibly do? Then I saw these wreaths in Pottery Barn. As always, I love to get my decorating inspiration from Pottery Barn magazines.
So, this is how I made them. I bought embroidery hoops. I took the outside hoop that screws apart and used that for one wreath. And I cut the inside one open and used it for the other wreath... then just taped it back together when I was done. I bought two books at a thrift store... It was kind of hard to rip up a perfectly good book, but, hey, you do what you've got to do for the sake of decorating. I got two books so that I could have two different sizes of pages. I cut slits in the top and bottom of each page and slipped it onto the embroidery hoop. When I was finished, I closed up the embroidery hoop and tied the ribbon to the hoop. I put these in my office.... I'm going for kind of a French county look in there and I thought the books were kind of officey... (my spell check doesn't think that's a word). I plan on leaving them up as an all the year decoration. (truth be told, I like the PB ones a little better, but I think it's the red ribbon that I like. I have purple as an accent color in my office, so I may go on a hunt for some purple ribbon to brighten the look up a little. On a side note... I just found the most awesome website ever. I love wood crafts and I love wood, but I'd love to take it a little further. This woman has step by step instructions with diagrams and pictures and everything of how to build knock off furniture from stores like Pottery Barn and such. I can't wait to get started in a fun project... I've been wanting to make shelves for my boys' rooms.)
My wreath started out with a simple bleached willow wreath purchased at...the dollar store. Seriously! It was just under the size of a dinner plate. I bought a bag of green feathers, sorted them by size and began inserting them, following their natural curve, in between the twigs, using hot glue to secure them. I did the outer circle first, the inside portion. For the final covering of the wreath, I overlaid the feathers til the willow was covered, still using the hot glue to attach them. I tied a few small bows with some pretty American Craft ribbon, also attaching them with hot glue. Inexpensive and unique!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Countdown with Crafts: Ruffles and Ribbon

Continuing our countdown with crafts today, looking at the ads and giving you ideas for what to do with all the great deals out there before the holidays arrive. On SALE this week!!!

At Jo-Ann's:

50% off Holiday Inspirations Christmas Ribbon

At Hobby Lobby:

50% off all holiday ribbon by the roll 50% all ribbon and trim spools

At Michaels:
50% off Celebrate It! Holiday ribbon 30% off Celebrate It! Holiday velvet ribbon

At Roberts Crafts:
35% off all ribbon

So on sale this week and ruffles are hot right now.
I decided to make a tree skirt using both. Yay!
This tree skirt project is a good beginner sewing project. Perfection isn't necessary. Measurements won't need to be exact. The stitching can be erratic. It's going to turn out great!
The ribbon I used is a sheer but textured, wired, white nylon ribbon, 5" wide, with silvery trim border on right and left sides. I also used a 45"x45" piece of inexpensive white muslin for the base of my tree skirt.
Now, a brief tutorial on making a tree skirt shape out of a square piece of paper:
First, take a square piece of cloth (again, mine is 45" x 45") and fold it into a triangle, matching the 'A' points and folding on the dotted line.Next, take the triangle you made, without moving the the cloth anywhere, match up the 'A' points again, folding on the dotted line.Same thing here, 'A's and the fold line.This one is slightly different. Fold as shown and you'll end up with the next image.
The dotted lines are now cutting lines. Cut a rounded line in both places. The upper line represents what will be the outer circle, the lower line will create the hole where the trunk of the tree will fit. You can cut it with a rotary blade or fabric scissors. If this is reminding you of folding paper for snowflakes, it's exactly the same concept.
Open up your cloth and it'll look like this. Cut on this dotted line to create an entry way for your tree trunk. It doesn't matter if the edges look a little uneven because we're going to cover them up.
I took my ribbon and ran a basting stitch (the longest stitch setting on your sewing machine) down the middle of my ribbon. Since I am doing a very lengthy amount of ribbon, I sew a couple of feet, stop, clip my threads and begin sewing half an inch from the stopping spot and repeat.
By holding onto the bobbin thread and gently guiding the ribbon along, the ribbon will begin to gather into ruffles. You need to be gentle so the thread doesn't break. Spread the ruffles along the length of the ribbon (I didn't cut it, just unwound a bit at a time and sewed) and then pin it along the edge of the muslin skirt base. I pinned it using the center line down the ribbon as a guide. I placed that line over the cloth somewhere between 3/4" to 1" away from the edge.
After you get this first layer pinned (the pinning is the worst part), just re-sew along that center line, no need to follow the guides on the machine. I sew it using a slightly wider than straight stitch.
With this volume of cloth, just be careful not to catch extra muslin under the needle and sew where you don't want stitches.
As you can see, the way the ruffles hang over the skirt edge, there is no need for perfectly cut circles with hemmed edges.
You can continue to add more rows of ruffles or keep them just on the edge. I'm really glad I chose the white on white on white as it is very forgiving, but this would work with just about any cotton cloth base and any ribbon that was wide enough to ruffle.
I'm adding more rows, just pinning away...
Other things to do with ribbon, ruffles or both! (all pictures have links to the original pages)
Clothing re-do at My Mama Made ItMore holiday decor Home decorA High-Waisted Corset Skirt (tutorial here)Scrapbooking embellishments!!!
Have fun! -C

Friday, November 13, 2009

Santa's Cookie Tray

Santa Cookie Tray

The other day I found an old frame I had purchased at a thrift store with the intention of making it into some sort of serving tray. With Christmas fast approaching, I thought the perfect idea would be a fun tray to leave Santa's cookies and milk on. (I apologize for the glare on some of these. Rotten time of day to get a good picture.) Supplies needed: 1 thrifted frame (with the glass still in) big enough to hold a small plate of cookies and glass of milk Paint-acrylic or spray Scrap paper in Christmas colors/themes Letter stickers, die cuts, or computer to make title Adhesive Trim, stamps, embellishments as desired First rough up your frame for easier painting. I lucked out that the gold trim on this one was just painted gold. :) Next paint your desired color. I used Ebony from Americana paints (which you can find at Hobby Lobby, Roberts Arts and Crafts, etc.) While that's drying, take the cardboard backing and start piecing together your paper. It was easier for me to think of this part as making one giant Christmas card. When you're doing this, remember to leave yourself a slight margin all the way around to prevent your work from being covered up by the frame. I used only supplies I had on hand and got to revisit a favorite technique-embossing. I didn't have any sparkly ribbon so I found a snowflake stamp in my collection. First stamp the image with Versa Mark ink (a clear pigment ink) then sprinkle with silver embossing powder. Gently tap the board over a scrap paper to remove excess powder and melt the powder with a heat gun. Repeat the process for the stars on top of the Christmas trees. When you're satisfied with the way it looks, pop it into your dried frame. When I was finished, I discovered a pleasant surprise. Not only will this make a darling tray to hold Santa's goodies, but will be a fun decoration to use the other 24 days of December! (I bet you could come up with something fun for a cute Thanksgiving tray, too!)