Relief Print Valentine’s
Rhys and I decided to do something a little more creative and original for his valentine’s cards. He wanted something to do with robots and I didn’t want to have to draw 25 cards by hand. Our solution? Print making! I went with a relief print because the supplies are things that I already had lying around the house and it’s easy to involve a 5-year-old.
First you’re going to get some sort of dense styrofoam. Meat trays work the best for this.
Cut out a flat section the size you want your painted area to be. I also cut little squares to let Ammie do heart shaped prints.
Next, you will want to come up with a design. Keep in mind that it can’t be too detailed and it will end-up being a mirror image (so don’t write a whole phrase only to realize all of your words are backwards because you were too eager to think it through).
Trace your image onto the tray. For this I lay my design on top of the tray and trace it while pressing really hard into it. The idea is to make the groove quite deep so paint will stay out. Go back over and trace with a ball point pen, pressing hard again.
Let your child roll paint onto the print.
Flip over and press down.
Ta Da! You’re left with a cute way to make 24 cards quickly! On the back of the cards we wrote “Beep Bop Boop – I Love You!”
Obviously this isn’t limited to making cards. It would be fun to make a bunch of little prints (sun, trees, flowers, birds, clouds) for your child to create a whole scene.
James is gone fishing all weekend so the kids and I decided to bus it to Polo Park to meet my mother for coffee. She just so happened to have a present for Amelia from my Nana, ‘Tinkerbelle and the Great Fairy Rescue’. When we got home we were all a bit on the hungry/cranky side so I put on the movie and we ate our lunch while trying to zone out. It was a horribly cute movie and I highly recommend that the next time you have a date with your favorite little girl(s) you surprise them with this movie.
Anyways, after the movie was done Rhys, being the crafty little man that he is, wanted to make himself a fairy house. He got out his supplies and asked me if I wanted to join in on the house-making fun. I don’t care how busy I think I am….I ALWAYS have time to make a fairy house!
So we made our cute little houses by taking two sheets of paper, folding one in half (lengthwise) and attaching the ends together – making it a cylinder. Take your other sheet and roll it into a cone for the roof. Place the cone on top of the cylinder and you’ve got yourself a little house. I highly recommend decorating your house before you do any taping, much easier!
Rhys went and got Ammie’s fairies so that the houses would be useful.
Except the most awful thing happened…
dragon’s showed up! Well, actually, the most awful thing was that one fairy was caught off guard.
But that’s OK, apparently fairies have nine lives (or something) because after she was eaten she just got up and flew away!
So now you can watch Tinkerbelle with your favorite little girl AND make her a fairy house! How fun!
Back To School Party – Erskine Academy
We are finally finding some sort of routine of getting Rhys to and from school and Amelia is starting to understand the changes. I’ve barely been able to get onto the computer this past week but now that things are slowly becoming normal I’ll hopefully get back to posting more often.
With Rhys’ birthday right on the day that he started Kindergarten I thought that a Back-To-School theme would only be natural. On top of being a fun theme to put together it was ridiculously easy to find or come up with different ways to incorporate the theme into the party. Just add yellow to everything and it pretty much fits right in. Yellow plates, napkins, cups, balloon’s, name tags and grab bags. I also set-up Rhys’ chalkboard upstairs and put out a few books to make it school-ish.
The most obvious thing was to make brown bag lunches for the kids. These went over fairly well with a juice box, crackers and a granola bar in each. The parents then made their own children sandwiches (since I didn’t know what children wanted).
The second thing was to make grab bags with school supplies. These included pencils, crayons, a little note pad, a few stickers and some candy.
The most important part was the cake…as it usual is when it comes to a theme birthday party. I decided to go with a vanilla cupcake topped with a chalkboard (a cookie with piped icing), an apple (a red skittle with a bit of green icing) and some chalk (a tic tac). These were a huge hit and they held-up really well. I also used the crayon containers as vases; just add rocks and stick in some flowers!
We decided to play ‘Pin The Rhys On The School Bus’ which was fun to watch.
And then we set-up all of the little kiddie chairs and I read them a Magic School bus (Rhys’ favorite) book about how plants make their own food.
It was a lot of work to put everything together but I’m so happy I did it. Rhys was thrilled with his party and having all of his close friends over to share the day with him. James and I bought him the Life DVD’s as a birthday gift, further adding to the school theme. He can’t get enough of science and natural history films. He sits and watches Planet Earth and Daily Planet all by himself! His mom #2 (my friend Jen) took him to the IMAX to see Hubble3D for his birthday and he thought it was just the coolest thing.
Anyways, everything turned out so well for this party it’s gonna be hard to not go with the school theme every year!
THE Party Dress
I’m so excited to share this dress with you. I worked on it all last week and put the finishing touches on it just in time for the party. It actually didn’t take very long from start to finish, I just decided to break-up my sewing time since James was gone on a fishing trip. I ended-up using the pattern that I had made for the trial dress which saved a lot of time but I made some minor adjustments because I wanted this dress to be a bit different…a bit classier. So here it is:
I decided to add a bit of a ruffle to the tops of the sleeves to give them a bit more height (which you can really see in this picture) and I pleated the skirt instead of gathering it all the way around. I had never done pleats before and I think they look adorable with the whole design of this dress. I also added the little ruffle-bib detail with the red buttons. Ammie didn’t want them at first but I made it anyways and I think that it suits the dress.
I also happened to make Rhys a matching bow tie. He was so pumped but he told me that it should be bigger. Hmmm, going for the clown look are we?
Anyways, I’m really glad that I decided to step outside my comfort zone for this dress. I fee like I can tackle a whole bunch of things now…maybe one in my size?
PIONEER GIRL: A dress and a pinafore
Last year I made a really cute bubble dress for Amelia to wear to her 2nd birthday party. I think that it was the first piece of clothing I’d made actually. This year I decided to make her another dress but I wanted to step-it-up a notch. I got out all of my sewing goodies and fabric and starting coming up with what I wanted it to look like. But then I had a thought…In my head the dress had sleeves! I’ve never done sleeves before. So I put away the nice fabric and got out the scrap fabric and started making a trial dress. This is that trial dress….
I’m actually in shock that I made Amelia a dress with sleeves and it actually fits and works. I’ve seen a few tutorials that tackled the whole sleeve issue so I had an idea in my head how it should go, but you never know if it’s going to work until you’ve cut, pinned, sewn, and tried-on. I sketched my own design, took Ammie’s measurements, made a pattern out of some paper and went for it. I made a pattern just in case it actually worked so then I’d save myself a step or two when I tackled the pretty party dress. Good thing I did because it all came together quite nicely. There’s one or two things that I’ll adjust for the next dress (because it’s not exactly what I have in mind) but shoot, it’s close enough!
Once she had the dress on I remembered a tutorial I’d glanced at a little while ago for sewing a girls pinafore (old-school apron). Since I had everything out I just kept sewing. So Amelia got a dress and a pinafore all in one day. Lucky girl. She really likes it especially since the pocket on the front of the pinafore was her idea.
The pinafore is basically a rectangle with straps and either buttons or a tie. Very simple. Very straight forward.
This is the dress without the pinafore. It’s got an itty bitty pocket on the front. The flowery fabric was a thrifted pillow case so the skirt portion was super quick since the hem was already finished for me. So all-in-all the dress consisted of 5 pieces of fabric (plus some bias tape I made).
The perfect dress for frolicking around the yard in. The perfect pinafore for keeping ice cream drips off of the perfect dress.
I didn’t use a pattern or a tutorial for either of these dresses and I didn’t take pictures as I was sewing (I was too focused) so I can’t really help you out if you’re wanting to make your own versions. But there are lot’s of instructions out there for similar projects. Happy Crafting!
Oven Wax Rocks – Crafting With Kids
I saw this idea a few days ago and couldn’t wait to see if it actually worked.
While we were out at Camp Morton I collected a number of flat white rocks hoping to turn them into garden markers. I was originally intending to just use paint and then a sealer on them but then saw this brilliant idea:
Oven Wax Rocks!
Turn your oven on to 350, put your rocks on a cookie sheet, let them get all nice and warm for about 15 minutes in the oven, carefully take them out (with an oven mitt) and go to town painting them with crayons! Amazing and loads of fun. The heat from the rocks melts the wax and it works so well! Obviously you can’t get too detailed because crayons are so big but it was a lot of fun. Both of the kids were able to do this craft with little instruction and now we have beautiful garden markers and rock art!
Bib Necklace: Spring Fling
I’ve been feeling rather blah and uncreative for the past few weeks so what better way to bust-out of the boredom than making myself a colourful bib necklace. What’s a bib necklace you ask? Well read-on and find out or just Google it…and then read-on.
I started by raiding my fabric stash looking for a fairly heavyweight fabric that would serve as the base to build my necklace upon. I just-so-happened to have a bright orange fabric that was perfect for the job. One of the harder parts of the project was deciding what shape of bib to go with. You can pretty much pick any shape or let the shape take form as you build your necklace, anything goes with these things. I’ve seen some pretty wacky/large bib’s out there but it seems that the bigger the better with this style. Anyways, I went with a small simple bib for my first try and then cut out two pieces to sew together a bit later on.
I cut out my shape (which I don’t really have a picture of by itself) and put that aside. Then I rummaged through my fabric’s once more looking for materials to make into different flowers. Once I had those I grabbed a bunch of beads as well as my buttons. It took me about two hours to make all of the different pieces that I wanted on my necklace. I made some layered flowers, some yo-yo’s, some twisty-goo’s (I just made that name up…can you tell?) and some fabric covered button’s.
Then I started playing around with placement on top of my base fabric. This took a little while but I finally decided what I liked and then took a picture of it so that I would remember where everything went. Keep in mind that all of your pieces will end-up being a bit closer together since you lose about a half-inch when you sew the two bib pieces together. When I decided what look I liked I pinned all of the flowers and buttons onto my base bib, as well as ribbon to tie it, and then actually tried it on to see if the placement was any good. Things always look different when you try them on…
The next steps were simple; sew the two pieces of your bib together adding in ribbon long enough to tie around your neck, arrange and pin all of your flowers and things onto the bib, put about three stitches in each flower (I used an upholstery thread to make sure things would stay-put), pull out your pins, put on your bib and give yourself a pat on the back! At least that’s what I did. I’m pretty excited that it came out looking so pretty, I’ve been eying these necklaces for quite some time and I’m glad that I finally tackled it. Now that I know how easy (albeit time consuming…it took about 4 hours) it is I will be on the lookout for more ideas and inspiration. I saw that Stella and Dot sell these for a large chunk of money (about $150 or more)…I used scraps. Gotta love that. And here it is, my beautiful Spring Fling Bib!
Hope you all give it a try! Happy Crafting!
Paper Bag Bowls
I found a really cool tutorial from One Pretty Thing on making bowls out of shredded paper bags. The tutorial took a ‘birds nest’ approach and since ours didn’t turn out at all like a bird’s nest (and not that we tried too hard) I figured I wouldn’t link over there and instead just make my own little tutorial 🙂
Back in my ‘Soule Mama’ days (I don’t read her blog anymore because it makes me feel like a horrible mother because I don’t/can’t do all she does) I came across a wonderful idea for a nature table. It’s essentially a ‘found objects’ area for your child to keep their outdoor treasures and even display for the whole family to see. I really liked the idea behind this but having a small house makes it hard to have a whole table dedicated to nature. When I saw this idea for making your own bowls I instantly knew what we were going to use them for…so now they are called our Nature Bowls.
Pretty, hey? Rhys is a little too OCPD for the chaotic way in which you apply all of the paper to the bowl, but with a little help both him and Ammie had fun with the paper, yarn and glue.
For these bowls you’ll need:
- any sized bowl from around the house
- plastic wrap
- glue and water
- shredded paper bags
- any other paper/string/yarn bits you want to use
Cover your bowl completely with plastic wrap (I would do a few layers if I were you) and set down on a protective surface. Mix, in a separate bowl, half glue and half water. Dunk bits of paper in your glue and go to town covering the bowl. Remember that whatever you put down first on the bowl is what you’ll see inside when you flip it over. You can be pretty creative with it.
Once you are done let it dry for about an hour and then go back over the entire bowl (with a paint brush) using just glue, not the glue mix. This will help your bowl stay put.
Let dry for 24 hours and then carefully remove your beautiful, unique bowl! The kids got a kick out of seeing their creations turn into bowls and they both love the idea of having a special place for things like rocks, leaves, feathers, twigs, acorns and pine cones.
Enjoy and Happy Crafting!
This morning Rhys wanted to make some mobile’s to hang in his room. I had already finished all of the cleaning I was hoping to get done so I hauled out all of the craft boxes and got him set up. My mobile took 5 minutes to make, and since Rhys still needed step-by-step instructions for what to do with his, I decided to actually do the birdcage paper craft. I’ve been wanting to do this one for a few months now but the thought of pulling out all of my supplies and carting them upstairs has deterred me. Until now.
I didn’t follow the tutorial exactly, I just went on what I remembered seeing in the pictures. I think I would change a few things about it next time, but I like the overall look of it. I made one for Rhys to hang in his room and he just loves it. Pretty cute if you ask me!
I enjoy Valentine’s day quite a bit. I don’t usually go overboard decorating my house and buying everything with hearts on it, but I do enjoy making some cookies, sending some love, and wearing a bit of red. I came across a tutorial for woven pendants a few days ago and thought that it would make a beautiful Valentine’s Day necklace…and it does! I’m so happy with how they turned out that I made a second red one this morning and I just can’t see myself stopping anytime soon. They are quick to make and once you’ve done the knot a few times it’s just like breathing, you don’t even need to think about it.
I apologize for not posting on my Everything Nice page lately. I’ve been so busy doing my artwork that I haven’t really been very crafty! I am hoping to make Amelia a little Valentine’s outfit, so maybe I’ll have some more projects going up soon. Anyways, I hope all your projects are coming along nicely and HAPPY CRAFTING!
15 Minute Morning Project : Mail Sorter
I’m never quite sure what to do with all the mail that we bring into our home. Do I leave it by the front door to await sorting? Do I put it on the office desk so James will find it? Should I put it by my phone so that I remember to phone that company? I never know. I haven’t found a system that works…until now! I stumbled upon a tutorial for sewing your very own mail sorter (which had actually never EVER occurred to me to do). In keeping with my ‘become a tidier person in 2010’ theme glanced through the instructions and then got started. I didn’t actually follow the tutorial word for word and instead of 4 pockets I only made 3, but it’s close enough to the other one that I should link over there. I also didn’t like the idea of stitching the cardstock labels right on the fabric so I sewed on buttons to hang the labels for the different pockets. I like my way a bit better because then I can switch things up a bit if need be.
The organizer is hanging right at the back door so that when James walks in or when I head downstairs to the computer we can grab the mail to file it…or whatever else people actually do with mail.
I also wanted to mention that I did my very first reverse applique. I made a Taggie Blankie for the lovely Francine Belle and decided to change things up a bit. I put the ribbons on just two sides of the blankie and appliqued a word. It took me awhile because I really didn’t want to mess anything up but I love how it turned out. And who doesn’t adore grey and pink together??
That’s all for today. Happy Crafting!
Perfect Afternoon Project: Sewing Machine Dust Cover
I made this dust cover for my sister a few weeks ago. I’d been wanting to make one for some time but just hadn’t gotten around to it because of the Christmas rush. I like the idea of having a cover for Prunella to keep the dust off and little toddler hands away. The tutorial for this is straight forward and the cover sews up quite quickly. I have all the pieces cut and ready to get stitched up for mine but I think that I’m going to make the thing in the pink fabric (it’s a bit more sturdy) and make the pocket the contrasting colour, maybe even add some applique. My sister suggested an opening for the handle which is a great idea…I’ll try to add that as well. I’ll post a picture of mine when it’s all finished. Sorry for the bad quality of the picture, my sewing room doesn’t have the best lighting.
Anyways, Happy Monday and Happy Crafting!
James and I try to make a number of handmade gifts each year. I enjoy the challenge of finding the right project or thinking up a good idea for as many members of our family as possible. I’m not at all opposed to buying gifts from a store, but I personally feel better giving gifts that I’ve made myself. Here are a few that we made this year:
I had a lightbulb moment with these nesting dolls. I’ve seen them sewn a few different ways but they never actually nest, which is what gives a nesting doll all it’s charm. So the lightbulb went on and I grabbed all of my sewing equipment and made these cute girls. The baby goes into the middle one (which is a puppet) and the middle one goes into the mama. Rhys and Ammie couldn’t get enough of these dolls…I may just have to make some more. I really enjoyed this project for two reasons: 1) it was totally from scratch 2) I tackled a number of things that I’ve never done before. A very rewarding project for me. They totally look homemade but that’s just how I like it. Both of my nieces got them for Christmas.
Coffee Cup Cozy ! You can go here and find the tutorial and PDF if you’d like to make some of these for yourself or someone you love. I gave these to a few people this year but I’m definitely going to be making more. It’s a great project if you have some scraps and random buttons to use up.
It’s not the best picture of the gift but James made our nephew Caden a viking sword. It’s pretty sweet. You can tell my brother’s diggin’ it in the picture.
James made some crazy business card holders for his co-workers that I don’t have a picture of. I’ll send the camera along with him one day and get him to take a few…you seriously have to see them. Amazing.
I have two honourable mentions. My sister made Caden an incredible Indian costume and she made her friend a beautiful apron…I just have to show you.
(those brown things on the floor beside him are pretend pelts. she even thought of the fur trade! she also made him a teepee for his birthday on Jan. 1st…the kid is set.)
She machine embroidered this! I’m in awe. Aren’t you in awe? I have no idea why the two of us haven’t opened up an Etsy store yet.
Anyways, that’s all for today. Happy Crafting!
15 Minute Morning Project: Cheesy Christmas Sweater
(Or 15 Minute Project while your kids watch old Christmas videos on YouTube)
This past Saturday night James and I bundled the kids up and took the family to a Cheesy Christmas Sweater Party at our friends Delbert and Christina’s new house. Everyone was supposed to wear…you guess it, a cheesy christmas sweater! Earlier in the week we took everyone to Value Village to find the perfect outfits for the event which proved to be rather difficult considering there were AT LEAST 4 other couples there looking for the exact same thing! It was also difficult to find a cheesy CHRISTMAS themed sweater for James and Amelia, apparently giants and pint-sized people don’t have these gaudy garments. Actually, I think that kids don’t really have the cheesy sweaters until they hit 11 or 12 because before that they’re all pretty cute. Anyways, I couldn’t find one for Amelia and sure as heck wasn’t paying 8 bucks for a nice one (sidenote: why has value village gotten so expensive!??! i can buy brand new clothes from Joe or Jacob Outlet for just a few dollars more!), so I ended up buying a cheap kids XL christmas turtleneck sweater. I decided to re-fashion it into a dress thinking that it was still going to look horrid and she’d wear it as a one-time-thing, but it’s actually really cute! I’m not doing to tutorial on how to do this because it’s just THAT easy.
(The red dress that I’m using for the template is one that I made for Ammie from one of James old sweaters)
And there you go! A really cute romp-around Christmas dress! I’ve done this a couple of times with different larger items and it works really well. It’s a great way to practise the 3 R’s: Re-fashion, Re-Purpose, and Up-cycle (that last one isn’t an R in case you didn’t notice)! Anyways, I hope you like it and feel inspired to do something similar. HAPPY CRAFTING!
I’m very excited about my latest project for two reasons: 1) It’s a Christmas craft and 2) It’s our first EVER Advent Calendar! I don’t remember having Advent calendars growing up, maybe those dollar store one’s once every decade, so I’ve never given it much thought until now. The calendars seemed to me to just be an excuss to find another way to bring chocolate into the holiday season, not that I’m opposed to that, it just didn’t have much meaning to me. With that said, I like LOVE traditions and this year I’ve been thinking about not just Christmas day but the whole Advent season and how we can focus on it in our home. I’ve also been seeing some beautiful calendars on one of the craft blogs that I read and have wanted to try my hand at making one. I would have enjoyed sewing or quilting a calendar but, alas, my thoughts turned to the Advent season a little too late for that (it would make a good Jan/Feb project though!). So with my new determination to bring this tradition into our home I scoured the internet for a quick DIY Advent Calendar and I found one! You can go here and find the tutorial to make it if you like, or you can just longingly look at mine and wish you had kick-ass origami skills like I do! haha.
When I got all of my supplies set up to start working on the calendar I thought that I was settling in for the long haul but surprisingly this project only took about and hour and a half, start to finish. I was really impressed. The origami is easy as it only has five folds to it so even if you’ve never done anything like this, you’ll be able to figure it out in no time. I also should note that I didn’t use origami paper, but instead opted to cut scrapbook paper into quarters and use those.
Each pouch is stuffed with two chocolates and a daily advent devotional. In Sunday School last week Rhys was given the packet of printed devotionals to take home with him so I simply cut them out, rolled them up and tied a ribbon around them. The tree was also made by Rhys (I’m sure he had help) in Sunday School and just happened to be perfect for all of our Advent pouches.
The kids are really excited about this calendar because it gives them some tangible way of counting down until Christmas (I’m convinced it has nothing to do with the pouches being filled with treats). As soon as we put up our tree Rhys thought the next day was Christmas so this will help him understand a bit more.
Hope you like it and HAPPY CRAFTING!
ALPHABET FRIDGE MAGNETS
I just wanted to quickly share a great project with you that I made for my niece’s first birthday. You can find the tutorial and free PDF printout right here, it’s simple to follow instructions make this a straight forward craft but I must warn you…it’s NOT a 15 Minute Morning Project! The cutting, sewing, cutting, magnet stuffing, and magnet-sticking-to-your-sewing-machine-and-scissors takes quite a long time. It’s a process for sure but I think the end product is worth it. Just look at how cute the patchwork alphabet is! I think that if I do this project again it won’t be for the fridge, those pesky little magnets where such a hassle! Anyways, they would make a great gift for a special little toddler in your life. Enjoy.
15 MINUTE MORNING PROJECT : STICKER BOOK
I’ve made a few of these sticker books in the past and I always love how they turn out. Rhys and Ammie both got new ones to take with them on the airplane because their other ones filled up so fast. These books make great little gifts when filled with some stickers in the sticker holder and personalized with the child’s name. Anyways, these aren’t the best instructions but the project is so fast and straight forward, I have faith that you’ll take one look at the pictures and be able to whip on up with your eyes closed. Honestly, if you have all the supplies kickin’ around this project shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes. Enjoy crafting, I have to go and bake cake 🙂
Embellish as needed or older children (like Rhys) can just colour the front page and write their name if they wish.
15 MINUTE MORNING PROJECT : Capelet
Okay, this project took about half-an-hour but it was still super quick. I love when you don’t have to invest tons of time in a project but you get really cute results. I’ll just send you over to this website because that’s where my inspiration came from (I strongly suggest that you look through her blog while you’re over there…I wish I were that creative!) , although I didn’t follow the tutorial and I did modify the design a tidbit. Amelia thinks that she’s a superhero in the capelet and that’s okay with me, she’s more inclined to wear it for long periods of time because of it 🙂 The only thing that I would do differently next time (or maybe later on) is line it with a warm fabric so it’s more winter-wearable. I hope you like it!
(I think that I have a fur muff kickin’ around somewhere…that would look awesome with this!)
Christmas Wrapper Wreath – Crafting With Kids
I don’t know about you guys, but each year when the weather starts to cool down I start getting excited for the sight of mountains of Mandarin Orange boxes at our grocery store. I love these little bundles of goodness. Actually, I think that God had toddlers in mind when he created this fruit…so easy. I usually unpack all of the fruit from the box when I get home and make a quick centerpiece out of the colourful oranges. Healthy and beautiful, but then I’m left with all of these little green wrappers. Well, I took one look at the box and knew exactly what to do! Rhys and I sat down to make a Christmas Wrapper Wreath.
Round objects to trace circles
Ribbon or string to hang
1. Take a piece of white or coloured cardstock and trace out a large circle using a bowl or round object. Trace a smaller circle in the middle to make a wreath shape.
2. Cut out wreath
3. Pour white glue onto a plate. Scrunch up one piece of cut wrapper around the base of the pencil and dip into glue.
4. Press wrapper onto cut out wreath.
Repeat steps 3 & 4 until wreath is covered in wrappers.
The nice thing about this craft is that I showed Rhys how to do one and he was able to finish the whole wreath by himself. Very straight forward.
Since WordPress allowed me to have multiple pages in one blog I may as well have a separate craft portion to this whole shin-dig so those of you who hate don’t care for crafts can skip over it.
I can’t post my latest creation because it is a birthday gift for my niece (she’s gonna flip out…even though she’s only one, she’ll still flip out). But I can, however, post a picture of a dress that I made for Amelia little while ago. This was my second attempt at making clothing of any kind and I’m really happy with how it turned out. I didn’t use a pattern at all and I decided last-minute to cross the straps in the back. Viola! I’m a designer. Ha.