Sunday, October 31, 2010

Whimsical Golden Acorns

I don't think you can improve on nature, but I love using natural materials in a whimsical way {i.e. pompom acorns}

I smiled when I saw this post on painted acorns at Modge Podge Rocks and I fell in love with these wooden gilded acorns at Design Sponge (who needs Tiffany?), so I decided to spray paint our acorn bottom stash gold.  We have collected so many acorn pieces, but have found very few in-tact acorns so the idea behind this project would be to glue the bottoms to any caps which might fit.  

I placed the acorn bottoms on straight pins stuck into foam and borrowed some gold spray paint from a my pal (thanks!). I sprayed them in a cardboard box to keep everything contained.  I didn't prime the acorns first, but applied 3 coats.

With an artist brush, I added some MiniWax stain to the acorn tops as they were starting to look a little, um, dried out at best - grotty at worse.
After the bottoms and caps were dry, I glued the mismatched pieces together with a dab of hot glue. 

The variety in the top photo are ones Lily collected in New Hampshire and they are my favourite. I think they would look really nice as a Thanksgiving place setting.  As you can see below, the variety we find in central Toronto variety are much longer.

Have a wonderful week and don't forget to check out all the great inspiration at these great spots
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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Crayons: Pumpkin & Leaves

Posting is a little light this week.   I am working on some larger projects - trying to bust through the stash during the wee hours - and I hope to have something to report {which is more than a seam} soon.  I don't know about you, but I always feel so sluggish at the end of the October. I can barely get up in the morning and it's not just because I-have-two-kids-who-have-difficulty-sleeping-independently.  It's so dark in the morning.

Before I sign off, I want to share this project. My pal was inspired by Homemade by Jill's DIY Crayons using candy molds and she made some little pumpkin and leaf crayons for her little guy to take to school (cut all that sugar with a little wax).  She was able to find pumpkin and leaf candy molds at a baking supply store.
She picked up a dollar store pot, but recommends getting one that has a pour tip to lessen the mess. One of the other problems with this project is that it is very smelly. If anyone knows how to lessen the smell, we would love to know!  Is moving the production outside the only option?

In addition to the stove top candy mold technique, there are so many different ideas out there for making crayons.  Here are some I have bookmarked over the past year or so.  {If you want to add any, let me know in the comments!}

(Tin Can double boiler) Make Rainbow Crayons by Say Yes to Hoboken using film canisters or empty pill bottles
(Oven) Crayon cakes at Two Chicks and a Hen Vanilla scented in a shallow muffin tin
(Oven) race car crayons using a pretzel mold at MommyTeacher123
(Double boiler) race car crayons and candy mold at Zakka Life
(Oven) Numeric birthday crayons with a silicone mold over at Treasure for Tots
(Oven) Dinosaur Crayons using a silicone mold at Treasure for Tots
(Oven) Crayon cars using a car cake tin pan and heart crayons using a silicone at Craft Apple

Have a wonderful weekend,

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cupcake Aprons

Last week, our office was having its annual charitable craft/bake sale and the organizers requested donations.

My pal and I both had cupcakes on the mind and decided to donate aprons {with cupcake on them}.  She located these Etty tea towels at Ikea and inspired by I have to Say's dishtowel apron tutorial transformed them into really nice aprons with chocolate brown bias tape. 

She didn't even realize that Ikea actually has a coordinating apron because it was sold out at her location!  I think her version is so cute. They were gone in 20 minutes!!  Below is Ikea's version.
The half apron (bottom right) was my donation together with an embellished sugar sack towel (not shown). I used Prudent Baby's fat quarter apron tutorial and Kauffman's Sweet Tooth fabric with chambray ric rac.  {In case you are interested in trying one, Prudent Baby is having a little contest using the tutorial so you can get busy!}

P.S. These are really economical and efficient gifts so I thought I would share it in case you are thinking {handmade} and ahead to the holidays. 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Dollar Store Captain Feather Sword Costume or What to wear to a Wiggles Show

Ahoy there me hearties!!

Admission: Our family loves the Wiggles and we always have a fun time at the show.  We generally bring a big a huge cardboard sign (which did not say "my mummy loves Captain Feather Sword" that was a different family), roses for Dorothy and cardboard bones for Wags.  Admission: We also like to dress up.  This year, I dressed up like Captain Feather Sword and the girls were Dorothy.

I used a dollar store polyester felt Christmas Tree skirt and transformed it into a pirate cape by adding yellow felt embellishments to the front.  On my boots, I added yellow foam squares as buckles. This was my favourite touch, I spotted this cheap & cheerful idea on Simple as That.   The look was completed with a dollar store pirate hat (I added a purple feather which doesn't show up in any of the photos) and an eye patch.   Spent no more than $5 in total. 

The girls' costumes are from Tys Toy Box and were on final clearance for $7 each. They wear them all the time and at that price I couldn't justify making one.

Here are few highlights.  Caught Jeff sleeping again.
It was a wonderful time and memories were made, even if Old Dan Tucker wasn't on the playlist.

Wishing you a great week!
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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pumpkin & Gourd Matching Game

 Miss Lily really loves gourds. She brought one for show and share last week so I was delighted when AJ told me about this game that she put together for her class.
  •  go to the market (or if you are lucky your pumpkin patch) and pick out real gourds and mini pumpkins (more variety and textures the better)
  • take colour photos of each gourd individually  (you will see AJ took her photos on a bamboo placemat)
  • print photos on 4 X 6
  • laminate
  • children match the real gourds and pumpkins to the corresponding photos

 Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

October: Quilt for the Cure

I recently posted about how I was working on a challenging-for-me project. The project is finished. 

If you are about my "vintage" you are probably at an age where someone you know has been affected by breast cancer.  It really hit home for me last year, when one of my closest friends was diagnosed.  Our families had shared a house for a few years, oh so many dinners, Mr. KJ & I were there when their youngest was born, I have her serger on temporary loan (still gotta learn to use it), I couldn't believe it.  You can read about her journey to recovery here.  

Around the same time that I heard about her diagnosis, another good friend was wondering what to do with her run for the cure t-shirts.  She has been participating in the run for 13 years in the memory of her mother who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997.  She has collected numerous run t-shirts - some even include her race time.  She wanted to keep these shirts and I offered to make her a t-shirt quilt.  I really didn't know anything about t-shirt quilts - or quilting for that matter. 

She selected 9 shirts to feature and she picked Patty Young for Michael Miller's Andalucia in Petal for the main fabric and I added a pink ribbon fabric which was also used for the binding.  There is cotton batting and the backing of the quilt is minky. Yes, chocolate brown minky.  It's from Minky is, ummm, difficult to work with. I will leave it at that and 3 stitch rippers later.

Each shirt is cut into a 12 inch square and interfaced with a wonderful fusible facing which keeps the shirts soft.   I then went for a modern and wonky brick pattern.  The finished quilt is a 49 inch square.

In finishing this project, I really appreciated this post by Nikki over at In Stitches; the How to Finish a Quilt Guide over at Cluck Cluck Sew; and a recent Quilting Arts' article on modern piecing.

My friend is really pleased with the finished quilt and we all look forward to a time to when we no longer have to run for a cure,

Be sure to check out all the great projects and ideas at
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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Autumnal Ode to Ali Edwards: Leaf Punch Collage

Ali Edwards' butterfly collage {she also featured a Valentine's version here and I am certain there are all sorts of variations out there - maybe even this one!} is partly responsible for my addiction to craft blogs and surely responsible for my growing collection of Martha Stewart punches (remember always use your Michael's 40%-off coupon!). 

Over the weekend, Lily and I were messing around with the leaf punch because she wanted to make some leaf confetti to bring to school and I wanted some confetti to decorate for an upcoming craft/bake sale.   With the extra, I put a leaf collage together.

I used a 9X9 Ikea shadow box and two stacked glue dots for each punched leaf.  All the leaves are punched from recycled greeting cards or consumer packaging (including my favourite cereal, can you spot it?!.
I never get tired of leaves, they are better than candlelight.

Have a great week,

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Covered Bridges

Over Thanksgiving weekend, I had a chance to see another covered bridge.  This one is in Warner, New Hampshire.  Covered bridges in the autumn are beautiful.
I have been taking photos of covered bridges since 1997 when I visited the Bridges of Madison County in Iowa.  Here are a few of my favourites.
Hogback Bridge, Madison County, Iowa built 1884
My dad on the Ottauquechee River Bridge in Quechee, Vermont, near the Simon Pearce Glass Factory
I love red covered bridges best. Sadly, I can't recall the name of this one. In 2003, I dragged my cousin - visiting from Norway - to see about dozen in the Vermont and New Hampshire.

Cornish-Windsor Bridge
Longest covered bridge in  the United States, Windsor Vermont
Although none of the photographs are particularly spectacular on their own, I really enjoy taking photos of a single subject.  It's a nice way to document several vacations which took place at different times.   I also like to take photos of street markets and lighthouses.

Do you take photos of certain subjects? 

Enjoy the weekend,

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Itsy Bitsy Spider

In our house, we love spiders anytime of the year (I mean not necessarily real ones inside), but spiders generally.  For Miss Lily, all spiders are named Charlotte and all spiders are good.  So, I was very interested in this marbling project that my sister AJ and my nephew recently tried.  It makes a really neat web. 

AJ spotted the idea over at Prekinders, and you can find very very brief instructions here .  Not having any marbles on hand, she used an acorn which worked very well.
This project is also a good reminder that it's a good idea to keep old baking tins.  They are ideal for a number of craft projects. 

Wishing you a lovely weekend!

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