Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Fiskars On The Go Car Activity Mat

Are you looking for a fun gift to make for kids? Look no further, Fiskars Crafts provides a detailed tutorial for an On The Go Car Activity Mat.

With 6 parking spots, these little cars are ready to head off on the greatest adventure your child could imagine.

After a trip around the construction zone...

A trip to the car wash might be in order. You know me, I love adding some personalization, so to Grace's Car Wash we go.

We've got a few more stops so lets head to the gas station. Using the shoe string gas nozzle, we'll 'filler up'. I guarantee the gas prices here are always reasonable.

Then we can either drive past the pond and feed the turtle or...

it might be time to head home. Just find the house with your address and pull on into the driveway.

The best part, they roll up compact enough to store in your car or throw in your diaper bag {because as a mother of a toddler, you never know when you'll need to provide a happy distraction}.

Either as a gift or to make for your own little one, these car mats are adorable. The squares can be personalized in anyway you can imagine and/or are brave enough to attempt. Regardless of how detailed you make your own to go mat, it is sure to provide hours of play.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Library Tote

There is a small part of me, the part I admit is slightly obsessive and insane, that worries one of our checked out library books will get misplaced and will never be found again. So to thwart off the wasted energy I have put into worrying about the well being of said library books, I decided to designate a tote to them.

For this project, I had to head over to JoAnn Fabric to get a few of the supplies, like the ready made tote {I am all about short cuts when it comes to sewing}. They sell a package that includes 3 canvas totes {I used a 40% off coupon so they were roughly $4 for 3 of them}.

Other supplies you'll need:

Brightly colored felt {yes, another felt craft}
Straight pins
Needle and coordinating thread matching your brightly colored felt

Optional library card pocket supplies:
More felt {it's funny, I never tire of saying that}
Some clear plastic {you know, the kind your license is behind in your wallet, they sell it super cheap at most fabric stores}

I printed out R E A D using Berlin Sans FB Demi (I assume it is a basic word font), font size 350, to use as a template for my letters.

I cut the letters out and traced each onto brightly colored felt {using my water solvable pen}.

After cutting out the letters in felt form, pin them to your tote.

I hand sewed my letters down using a running stitch.

Optional Step: Create a pocket for your library card.

I hesitate to even share this step because I am by far a sewing expert but I love the idea of adding our library card to the bag {side note: though I worry about losing our books, I rarely worry about losing our card, at least my neuroses have limits}.

You'll need to make sure the pocket you construct is big enough to hold your card. My pocket, from edge to edge is 5 inches wide by 3 1/2 inches tall. The border of felt around is approximately 3/4ths of an inch.

Using my sewing machine, I sewed the top of my pocket {plastic and felt} to each other. Then, I sewed the other 3 sides onto the canvas bag, sewing both the inside and outside border of felt.

Obviously, with my stumbling how to explanation for my pocket, I am by no means an expert, so if you have questionable skills {like me}, it can still be done...give it a try!

So, there it is, our library tote.

Though intended to hold library books, Grace had other ideas.

I guess when life gives you lemons, put them in a bag and tote them around.

Linked up and big thanks to:

Felt Food Roundup

Friday, February 24, 2012

V is for Veronica

Perhaps a cure for CADD {Crafter Attention Deficit Disorder} is a looming deadline on the horizon.

This weekend, we'll be meeting the newest member of our family, Veronica. So the pressure was on to finish the ABC Sampler I started in January.

Guess what, I did it!

I focused my attention, ignoring all the other crafts calling my name, trying to tempt me to stray from the craft at hand, and I finished.

To thwart off any temptation to keep this sweet sampler for myself, I personalized the V with the baby's name.

I guess this just gives me an excuse to make another one. After all, I actually completed a project so there is a craft void to fill!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

There's No Place Like Home

Dorothy was right, there is no place like home.

From the house you grew up in, to the first house you buy {see picture below} to all the others that follow, memories are created there and chances are a piece of your heart is left behind.

SO, when it came time to sell my first house, I knew I wanted to take part of that house with me. Thanks to Gretchen from Little Homemaker, I was able to do just that. She recreated my house as a 3 dimensional sculpture. Dare I say, she made it look even more adorable in miniature form?

Right down to my digging dog {Baxter}...

No detail was spared.

So, even though I left a piece of my heart at that house, I also took a piece of that house with me as well {in adorable miniature form}.

Maybe you are looking for another way to pay homage to your home, well, My World can create a detailed contour cut block of the front of your house. The back of the block can be just as meaningful with a blank space allowing you to recount important events or memories created at that particular house.

If money is no object, another option is Manhattan Dollhouse. Manhattan Dollhouse can custom build a dollhouse that is an exact replica of your house {from room design to flooring to wall color}. They even offer an option of recreating a single room {how sweet would it be to replicate your child's nursery}. Could you imagine how much fun it would be to see not only the outside of your house duplicated BUT also the all the details from the inside of your house as well?

So, if ever you want to click your ruby red shoes and return home again, you can.

There's no place like home. There's no place like home. There's no place like home.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tooth Fairy Pillows

One of the things I treasure from my childhood is a tooth fairy pillow my mom lovingly made for me. Losing a tooth is a big deal. Having a special pillow paying tribute to this milestone makes it even more special.

So, even though Grace was not {and still is not} ready for a tooth fairy pillow, I knew I wanted to make one for her when the time came. When I came across one of the sweetest tooth fairy pillows made by Fiona Dalton, it inspired me to try and make one of my own.

My second attempt at a tooth fairy pillow was for my nephew. Arg. I went with a pirate theme. I am not even sure now, how I decided on pirate. Maybe it was because I had a bandana on hand? Maybe it was because I wanted to embroider a skull and cross bones? Regardless, it was the one and only pirate I made.

By then, I was hooked. I was inspired to create even more 'tooth' themed pillows. This was around the time Grace was really into Super Why, hence the inspiration for Super Tooth - Plaque fighting hero by day, tooth fairy pillow by night.

Then I ended up making a tooth pillow for a friend's son, who is a HUGE dog lover. It seemed only fitting it should be in honor of the canine tooth {otherwise known as the cuspid tooth or fang tooth}. And that was the birth of the Canine Tooth {clever, right}.

I am {or try to be} modest about my crafts SO when someone commissioned me to make a pink canine tooth, I couldn't believe it {this was the first craft I was paid to make!}. Not sure what a pink tooth says about dental hygiene but still cute, right?

Much like the rest of my crafts {see my Crafter ADD post from yesterday}, even though I had about a dozen 'teeth' cut out ready to turn into pillows, I lost steam for this project until recently. I am now back on the tooth fairy pillow bandwagon. Now to come up with some fresh teeth. Maybe Wisdom tooth?


Crafter A.D.D.

I have recently been {self} diagnosed with a very serious case of Crafter Attention Deficit Disorder (CADD). CADD is the inability to focus all of one's attention on the craft at hand. People who suffer from CADD will have several half finished projects going at any given time. These people may also find themselves distracted thinking of new projects to introduce into the mix EVEN THOUGH they certainly have enough to concentrate on with the incomplete projects needing their attention.

A typical weekend, for someone suffering from CADD would go something like this...

In efforts to progress on my United Scraps of America project, I began to sew down each state. The key word being began. I was able to applique Minnesota, Michigan and Lake Michigan on BUT in the process, we got news that, on my husband's side of the family, a new niece arrived in the family SO...

Instead of running out to buy a sweet baby gift, I decided to work on finishing the ABC Sampler {from Rosie Little Things} I started back in January to give to our newest niece. But with all that close up embroidery work, I needed a break SO...

Then I made one curtain. ONE. How many do I need, you might be asking yourself? Well, I actually need 2. TWO. But I ran out of black material, so I went to Jo-Ann Fabric to buy some additional material.

While at Jo-Ann Fabric, I checked out the red lined merchandise, which was an additional 50% off thanks to their Presidents Day Sale. For under $4 I got a yard and 4 inches {all that was left on the bolt} of fabric I knew would look amazing in my living room. I am now positive this fabric needs to cover one, maybe two, pillows. *Mental note, must find time to make new pillows.

If your weekend sounds something like this, you too may be suffering from CADD.

It's now becoming quite obvious, why at the end of the night, I find myself unable to quiet my mind and sleep...darn you CADD.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Felt Piggy Bank Tutorial

Needle and thread
Spare change

Using the pattern below {or cut out your own little piggy pattern}, cut 2 pig bodies out of the same color felt.

Using only one of the felt pieces of piggy, lay the largest coin you have roughly where you think the slot should be placed. This should help you determine how wide your slot should be. I marked mine with a water soluble pen.

Using a pair of scissors, I cut out the slot {you will only need to cut a slot on one of the 2 pigs you cut out}. With my needle and similar colored thread, I reinforced the slot with a straight stitch.

Grab the remaining felt pig and line it up with the slotted piece you just finished. Using either a straight stitch or a stem stitch, sew both pieces of the piggy together.

Then, find some spare change...

and enjoy.

Rumor has it, she likes him for his money...

Linked up and a big thanks to:

 Felt Food Roundup

Friday, February 17, 2012

The United Scraps of America

As I've already shared, I am heartbroken over Picnic and their eminent closing. I am trying to find solace elsewhere. Though different than Picnic, I am becoming equally smitten with Block Posters. Block Posters is a free site that allows you to upload images and enlarge them {of course, I find this right after I invest in an overhead projector}.

I wasted no time uploading a high resolution image of the United States {found using google image search}. I enlarged it enough that when finished it printed on 5 sheets of 8x11 sheets of paper across and 3 sheets down.

What might you ask do I intend to do with a 3 1/2 feet by 2 feet map of the US? Well, I have been hoping to collaborate on a quilt with the Queen of Quilts {my mom}.

So I laboriously traced the mirror image of each state out on heat and bond.

Then I ironed the heat and bond states onto scraps of fabric...

When the heat and bond is affixed, it makes it easier to make precise cuts.

Some states I cut exact, others I left some excess. I wanted to be able to overlap the states so for a state that was cut with excess, the precisely cut state would lay over the excess of the bordering state.

When I was ready to piece my states together, I pinned the 3 1/2 feet by 2 feet printed pattern behind the white background fabric. I was able to see the location of the states through the fabric and lay them down exactly where they needed to be to maintain the accuracy of scale.

With the exception of Alaska and Hawaii, my United Scraps of America is pieced together.

I had hopes of handing over my part of the collaboration to the Queen of Quilts this weekend BUT she informed me that now I have to sew each state down. I thought about sewing them down with my sewing machine but I want to emphasis the details of the more detailed borders SO it looks like I'll be whip stitching each state by hand.

Can anyone guess what I'll be doing this weekend?
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