December 07, 2010

An inexpensive Christmas idea: a scrap book page family tree

I finished another Christmas gift last night for my grandma, a scrap book page family tree with pictures of all of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
A family tree - the colours show up more in real light
I found this idea on the Crafting a Green World Blog I had been wanting to make one of these for a little while but it was not until I found some frames at my local dollar store that I finally got my act together to do this.

To show how inexpensive this was here is a breakdown.

Frame : 2 $
Scape paper: 2$
Circle cutter: already owned
Leaf shapes: 3$ from ebay  (cheaper than buying a punch and I have tones left I could more than I would ever want with all the leaves I got)
Photos: I printed from my own printer it only took 3 4x6 sheets and since my ink is inexpensive ( under 30 for colour and black) the total cost is probably way under 2$

my total out of pocket cost was 7$  and for 2$ each I could make many more before I would need to buy supplies again.( I will be trying to make another few in the next few days.

December 06, 2010

Yesterdays Craftyness

Yesterday the little one and I made nearly 100 apple cinnamon ornaments and 8 jars of S'mores in a jar as gifts. Once they have tags and ribbons I will post each individually with more info.

December 01, 2010

A Christmas elf to report back to Santa

A few years ago,  I saw a book called The Elf on the Shelf and instantly loved the idea, but did not want to pay for something that I could do myself.  This year I went found a tutorial for an elf over at the Make Baby Stuff  blog and then a letter all ready to print off from Santa over a Organized Christmas for the elf to arrive at our house with.

The basic of the idea is that Santa sends an elf to the family to watch over the little ones and report back to Santa on Christmas eve and let him know how naughty or nice the little ones were this holiday season, after reporting on Christmas eve Santa leaves his gifts and takes the elf back to the north pole with him..  The one problem is that the elf is a mischief-maker and likes to roam the house in the evenings and is therefore always found in interesting places every morning... think flower pots, sock drawers, cereal cupboards,  and the little ones must search for him ever morning (if school aged they may roam while the little ones are at school)

a close up of our families elf
a bell may yet be added to his hat

Our Family elf hanging out
and waiting to be found this morning
with his letter from Santa.

November 27, 2010

How to clean a ceramic top stove in under 5 min.

so I grew up with glass ceramic top stoves and it was always a chore to keep it clean.  Now I have a brand new stove that also has a glass ceramic top and while it definitely beats taking the elements apart and mopping up spills that fall underneath it is still hard to get the last little bit of baked on grunge off the element, well the other night I believe I  finally found the trick it is a multi step process but each one is quick and relatively pain less, and the result is a sparkling cook top that looks like new. ( I must admit here while with the rest of my house I avoid store bought cleaners I did use some here)

1. wipe up any lose debris with a damp cloth.
2. whip down the stove top with a kitchen all purpose cleaner (I make my own).
3. apply Cerama-Bryte or other cream stove top cleaner (this one is biodegradable and does not cost much) a little goes a long way!  and rub in with the smooth side of a Vileda  Glass Ceramic Scrunge 
4. let sit for a Min or two then use the rough side to scrub any really baked on stuff.
5.wipe clean with your damp cloth.
6.repeat 3-5 if there are any really bad spots.
7. using a 50% vinegar solution spray and wipe down the stove top to remove any residue and leave it with a nice like new shine!

after doing this procedure for the 1st time I was able to see some of the grey letters on the rings that I had not seen since the stove was brand new.

November 26, 2010

My favourite diaper bag...

So I was over at Craft Gossip before Halloween and saw the cutest little diaper bag made from the babies outgrown overalls and as luck would have it I had a pair sitting at the front door that I loved and was just about to give away so I dragged them down stairs to my machine and pulled up the tutorial over at Sew and Grow  and shortly their after I had a cute little bag made from a pair of my favourite baby overalls.

I love this bag because I attaches to your purse and therefore you only need to throw one bag strap over your shoulder.  it is also great for leaving the little ones at a babysitter, grandma or other spot just unsnap the bag and leave it with them. Finally it can be strapped onto a stroller quickly so you have easy access to the snaks.

the only thing I would do different next time and there will be a next time is use a pair of overalls that are not made from a knit fabric that way it will not bulge so much when stuffed full and hold its shape a little better.

Attached to my purse.

the back of the overalls... the reason I like this pair so much.
Such a cute little monkey.

The inside of the bag.
Enough room for drapers, wipes a bottle and a toy.

A better look at the bottle holder made from the pant leg.

Hanging off the back of the stroller
another great place to use it.
If any of my friends would like to have a bag made form their favorite pair of baby overalls let me know and we can work something out.

November 18, 2010

Gift for Dads Birthday under $2

A little while back I was in need of a gift for my husband from the the girls so after a quick trip to the dollar store, and then with a few supplies from home we made dad a gift that he is proudly displaying on his desk at work.

We picked up a simple wooden frame and then my daughter went to work painting the frame with her favorite colours.

the little artist at work.
After the paint was dry I took a sharpie added a caption to the bottom of the frame,  and then sprayed a coat of clear spray paint on top of the paint job and then printed a picture of the two girls.

Here is the frame on display in Dads office (I forgot to take an after pic)

October 31, 2010

A last minute Halloween Pillowcase Ghost Dress

One Happy Little Ghost.
So the other night I was thinking my eldest daughter needed a Halloween top to wear during the day Saturday as we are having company to visit and she only has one Halloween top and it was already dirty.  I remember having seen a cute top something like this on my many web travels however I can not find the one that inspired me at this time.  So late Thursday I took some white satiny fabric I had laying around and quickly sewed up a pillow case dress/top ( this is my first attempt at this style of dress) and then Friday I made a quick freezer paper stencil and painted a ghost face on the dress ( also a first for me... I have been wanting to try this for a while). I only had acrylic paint no I am not sure how color fast this will be but it will last for the weekend which is all that is important.  I will report later once I have washed it about how well it has held up.

A close up of the paint job

The dress hung up over a black shirt.

October 29, 2010

Halloween Cake Pops

I have been wanting to try my hand at making Cake pops for a while and after seeing some adorable ghost pops at These Peas are Hallow  I knew I had to give it a try,  so I went and referred to the queen of cake pops over at Bakerella and gave the cake pop thing a try.

It was definitely fun, unfortunately I burned my first batch of white chocolate so I did not have many ghost pops but I did get a few other Halloween theme ones done.  I think I made them a little to big, next time I will definitely use a cookie scoop to keep the size even and smaller.  Having said that there will definitely be a next time, they were fun and it is great that they can be made ahead of time, for those events when you dont have much time the day of or day before.

I still need to put them in a better container for display.

the best thing about these is that they can easily be made form boxed cake and icing if you are low on baking supplies you can get the balls made and put in the freezer to set  then all you need in the chocolate melts (you could run out and pick some up while the balls harden up).

Tomorrow I will show you my first attempt at a pillow case dress top all decorated for Halloween.

October 19, 2010

Shannon leans to "knit"

My eldest daughter asked to learn how to knit today while the baby was sleeping so I got out a thick piece of yarn and a P hook. Mostly she is just wrapped the yarn around the crochet hook. But she did get a few stitches done before she just started wrapping the yarn around her hook.

We started of good

But lost patients and just started wrapping.

October 18, 2010

A lunch bag for mom... made in under an hour.

A few weeks ago was my moms Birthday and I wanted to make an extra something for her so I whipped up this lunch bag in about an hour, It is based on this tutorial over at ohfransson. I made it form some heavy material from Ikea instead of vinyl and a pillow case,  I also made a few changes with how the top is attached, along with adding grommets to the top but over all I am very happy with how it turned out and intend on making more perhaps for Christmas presents if anyone would like an explanation of the changes I made to the pattern please ask and I will be happy to document them in my own tutorial.  I also included a few matching cloth napkins to go with the bag, as an added something extra.

Thanks for reading, if you like what you see please leave me a comment or better yet become a follower so you don't miss any of my posts and as always please take min to visit one of my sponsors.

October 08, 2010

Thanksgiving Cranberries

Thanksgiving (or Christmas) 
Cranberry Sauce

Well yesterday was a day for getting things done before the long weekend here in Canada and I started off with making some cranberry sauce.  I like to make enough to last me the year (so canning a few jars is in order).  While I was at it I took a few pictures and figured I would share my recipe since it is really easy and supper nummy, no need to eat sliced cranberry sauce again.

Ingredients needed 

(note directions are for a single batch but I made a double patch so pictures are doubled)

1 Bag 300g fresh or frozen cranberries
1 small orange 
1 Cup Sugar

Zest The orange and place in large pot.

Juice the orange 

*or even better juice half the orange and cut up the other half of the orange into little cranberry size pieces and add with the peel.

( my orange was really soft so I just Juiced the whole thing)

Add water to the orange juice to make 1 C ( I added to 2 cups since i was doubling the recipe)

Add Cranberries, and Juice to the pot with the zest.

Add sugar to the Cranberries and Orange.

Stir and simmer on medium heat...

At this point the baby will inevitably wake up and keep you company for the rest of the process.

When the mixture starts to bubble lower the heat and continue to simmer until the berries pop and the sauce begins to thicken.

Add 1 Tbs brandy once the berries are popped and the sauce begins to thicken.

(Brandy can be omitted if you like)

Continue to simmer until the sauce thickens and you can leave a streak through it with your spoon.

Remove from heat and either place in sterilized jars and process in a hot water bath or place in a bowl and cover and chill to finish thickening and then serve. 

(at home I am the only one that eats the sauce so the little jar is for when we make a turkey for just the 4 of us and have no company coming)

Thank you for reading, I love to hear from people that find my blog so please Let me know If you made this or have any comments questions or suggestions.

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October 04, 2010

Making a "Stain Glass" Window with the little ones... The tutorial

Making a "Stain Glass" window

Start by drawing a picture on a piece of plasticized paper, options are freezer paper mack-tack ( what I used because I had it on hand) or even regular paper covered in plastic wrap,  just use what you have on hand.

Use pencil to draw that way if any of the lines transfer you can erase them from the finished project.

Sorry it is hard to see the lines but my mack-tack had a fairly bold print.

Next make the glue, you could use watered down pvc glue but I jsut make my own:

Mix 1 Cup water  1 tablespoon flour and 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil  keep at a simmer until thickend, cool and you are ready to go.

Also rip up small pieces of tissue paper in the co lours you would like to use for your picture.

Now we start the picture.  place a thin layer of glue on your drawing ( you can see the butterfly better here)  

Next place pieces of tissue down on the glue then apply another thin layer of glue.

( my daughter insisted on starting with white so you can not see it very well in this photo)

This is a messy process but it is hard to make mistakes, the tissue can be pushed a round and bunched up to fit in the lines and going out of he lines is totally allowed as well.

Once all was done i place a sheet of white tissue paper over the entire picture  to cover any holes that may have been left.

After covering the entire picture with a thin layer of glue the white becomes transparent and gives the piece a little more durability I really suggest it.

Finally you need to lay the piece out to dry in a well ventilated area for a day or two then peel it off the backing , trim the edges and it is ready to display.

Here is the butterfly in my daughters bedroom on a sunny day ( the shaded part is from my overhang we dont get much sun in our house.)

I am hoping to make more of these for our patio doors for different seasons/ holidays  Halloween pumpkins, Christmas trees, easter eggs the possibilities are endless.

I must give credit to the children's TV show Mr Maker  although I did add a few steps and personalized it to fit our needs.

September 24, 2010

Making a "stain glass window" with little ones.

Faux Stain Glass Window

My daughter and I made this last week, I took lots of picture and will post a how to soon.

September 22, 2010

What to do with a large peice of fabric ...

Make an extra picnic blanket

We have a picnic blanket that folds into a bag and I use it all the time, however it often gets left in the car when my husband takes it to work and then I am always dragging different blankets out to the yard to lay out for picnic lunches, lounging around on or just plain trying to keep the baby from eating leaves and acorns ( this was the case yesterday). I've had this piece of fabric for a while now (revived from a generous freecycler) and have been planning to make an extra blanket, the fabric is fairly heavy and yet folds up small to keep by our back door or even leave in the bin with our chair pads.  and this week I finally got around to finishing it up.

Here is a quick run-down of how I did it.  I cut the fabric in half (it really was the perfect size and was screaming to be made into a picnic blanket from the start.)  placed the two good sides together and sewed around the edges leaving a hole to turn the blanket right side out.  then I sewed around the edges and closed the hole.  finally to keep the blanket flat  i sewed along the stripes on one side in a zig zag pattern so on one side it follows the stripes and on the other it crosses them.

September 21, 2010

Patch Your Jeans with Flair ... The Tutorial

As promised here  is the tutorial for how I patched my jeans I was inspired by the tutorial over at Make It Do I added a few steps to make the patch hold up a little bit better. With out further ado here it is.

Collect the materials Needed
Pre made patch (purchased from Walmart)
Fabric for appliqué
Cookie cutter to  use as template
Stamp to transfer the pattern
embroidery floss
Not shown
scissors, needle, thimble, embroidery hoop and heat and bond

Pick a cookie cutter that will cover the hole you need to cover.
Place the cookie cutter on an ink pad with light pressure (you do not want to damage the pad)
then press the cutter firmly on the back side of your patch that way if you need to reposition or re stamp to leave a darker mark  it you will not leave a mark that will show on your finished project.

Cut out the shaped patch and also create a small patch to cover the back side of the hole you want to patch  it will help keep the patch from ironing on to the back side of your pant leg!

Trim the lose threads from your hole to help remove any bumps from the patch

Iron the hole flat so that there will be not wrinkles under the patch

Cut out the fabric that you would like to use as an appliqué and iron it onto a small piece of heat and bond,  I covered the piece with parchment paper while ironing to protect the iron.  ( there is a second piece for another project I was patching) be sure to follow the instructions on the heat and bond package.)

Cut out the applies and then iron the patches onto the hole putting the small square inside the jeans with the back side up.

Once the patch has cooled ( be sure to wait or the patch may come unstuck)  place the section in an embroidery hoop and pick out the colours of floss you would like to embellish the patch with.

When Stitching,  be sure to go through all the layers of fabric ( I needed a thimble to get it through all the layers) this will help keep the patch down during wear and wash.
It is hard to see but I did the yellow around the centre, Green around the flower then the orange around the whole patch.

Now this step I think is important to keep the knee from getting a new whole right next to the patch.  turn the leg inside out and place a few pieces from the patch that you cut up to extent the patch beyond what is showing and cover any other areas that are stating to thin,  also to cover the knots of the floss to keep them from coming undone.  Again let it cool before turning back inside right.

While you are waiting for it to cool you could patch a few other pieces of clothing, this is the hem on one of my favourite zip up sweaters that got melted some how,  so I added a little flower over the hole.

I ironed it on using a press cloth and then since it was on an edge used my sewing machine to go around the patch.

and here they are on, I may need to do the other knee soon !

Enjoy, happy crafting and please visit my sponsors.