Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Crafting with my kids: Borax Crystals

My dad is a physicist, so growing up our projects always had some sort of science-bent to them. I recall as a kindergarten student, I brought some sugar crystals I had made for show and share.  Those crystals took weeks to mature in a dark cupboard.

How did I not know about the near instant gratification of borax crystals, or for that matter the wonderful crafting properties of borax ? {see this borax slime over at the Scott School via U-Create with Kids}.

I am not big into New Year Eve celebrations or New Years crafting.  I like a 10 pm bedtime (unless I am heavily involved in a complicated sewing project) and I have been known to fall asleep at New Years Eve's parties.  That being said these little 2011 crystals were easy to do.  Lily just shaped some pipe cleaners into 2011 and we followed the instructions (less the food colouring) at Martha Stewart Kids (although there are a ton of tutorials out there).

The next morning we had these

they really look like icicles.

See you in 2011 and I wish you a happy and healthy celebration (however that may be!).

This post is linked to Red Ted Art's Blog.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Scarf Refashion: Rapunzel's Hair

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and many memories were made!  I am still in a turkey fog. My 2 year old developed a fever on Christmas Eve and was feverish and lethargic all Christmas Day.  I am hoping she is on the mend, it's been a rough couple of nights - you know the sort where you just lie in bed holding your child all night.

I thought I would post this little gift I made for Miss Lily.  Her grandparents are taking her to see Tangled as a Christmas present and she is very excited. For a long time, she has wanted a long yellow wig especially since she tried out this one my BFF created out of tulle.
For my version, I used a second hand fleece scarf donated by a friend. I am not sure if this has been done before, but this is how I did it and it's one of those projects that doesn't take too much explanation and even less time.
Forgot to mention the obvious, above - braid those 3 equal strips!
So here is the view from the back

and here is the view from the front - "tugging" the hair

She is so pleased and that's why I sew.

Be sure to check out all the great projects at

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas

I was going to post about a few projects today, but I changed my mind.  

I scrambled from the day job to the daycare to pick up the kids and Miss Lily, who was one of the last to be picked up, promptly informed me that tomorrow was the night before Christmas.  Of course, she was right.  We got home, made homemade pizza and got out the nativity set and played. 

{Kristen Duke's guest post on the Idea Room really helped me get started on these bokeh shots.}
Vintage set I found second hand a few years ago

Olive wood ornament from KJ's trip to Bethlehem
After dinner, we got out some carrots and cranberries and made an ice wreath for the reindeer.  I may not have a chance to post a photo before it is nibbled, but I suspect it will look something like this one from last year - only Miss Lily insisted that we add carrots.

Merry Christmas my friends!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Crafting with my kids: Lump of Coal Ornament

My 5 year old is obsessed with lumps of coal.  She has an ongoing joke with one of her teachers about lumps of coal and wanted to "make a lump of coal" as a gift.  This is what we came up with.  I don't know if this has been done before, we just used what we had on hand (and there was no coal involved.)

I recovered some Styrofoam from our bin.
We glued them together to form a coal-like shape.
Miss Lily painted the shape black.

Glue some pretty ribbon and add a covered pin.  Hang your ornament.

Have a lovely day and check out all the great projects at

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Covered Bridge Potato Chip Gift Bag

If you are Canadian, you probably encountered Covered Bridge potato chips. They are a "kettle style" potato chip which comes in a burlap bag from New Brunswick -  home of the longest covered bridge (and regular readers will know that I love covered bridges).

It makes me really sad to think that some people (and of course none of you dear readers) would throw out the burlap bag after enjoying the potato chips.   These bags can be reused and in the spirit of Sew Mama Sew's green grocery bag challenge, my pal has re-purposed the Covered Bridge Bag into a reusable Christmas gift bag using navy cotton with a star print.

Perfect for wrapping a hostess gift.

The dimensions of this particular burlap bag is 12  x 9 inches, so your lining will be a little smaller (for a basic tutorial on lining a bag use this the second tutorial here). She made the straps 12 inches in length.

The blooming holidays gift tag is by the long thread, found here.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Ye Olde Christmas Card Reveal and Mini Album

So, here it is - our 2010 Christmas Card.  Someone refused to wear shoes, fortunately it's cropped out with much thanks to Conveying You Designs.

I made a couple of mini-albums for the grandparents using Pattycake Manner's tutorial which was recently posted on Nesty.  I just changed the size to accommodate my photos.  This is the mini-album that I gave my dad.

I stamped veneer with a stamp I found at Sweet Grass Stamp's Etsy Shop.

I am not very advanced at scrapbooking technique, but I am really pleased with the way this project turned out. 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Crafting with Kids: Egg Carton Jingle Bells

This is an old one but a good one and perfect if you are looking for a quick activity for the little ones who are home from school.  The simplicity of these sweet little bells make it a keeper.

My sister made these bells with her kindergarten class this past week.  They used their little bells to sing Jingle Bells.

An egg carton
Gold and silver glitter
Pipe cleaners,
white glue and
tiny jingle bells that can be threaded onto the pipe cleaner.

How the kids did it

1. Cut egg carton apart

2. Paint cartons red or green

3. punch a hole in the top of the carton

4. insert pipe cleaner and attach bell inside of carton

5. apply white glue

6. sprinkle on glitter

7. let dry

Now it's time to ring in the holidays,

Friday, December 17, 2010

Crafting with Kids: Handprint Ornament

If you make only one ornament with your kids, I think this is the one. 

If you have a newborn, it would also be cute and completely doable for baby's first Christmas.
If you google "hand print snowman ornament" you will see lots of different methods. I used this tutorial by Confessions of a Homeschooler.  For Lily's ornament, above, we used a clear plastic ornament from Michaels and then put  some glitter inside.

For Evangeline Hope's ornament, below, we used a large velvet unbreakable ornament (from Canadian Tire's Debbie Travis collection) which had sufficient space for both hands, her full name and the date.  I used my Scribbler 3D paint for the name.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sewing Projects Using Festive Fabrics

I wanted to share a few more projects that my friends and I have made using festive fabric.   [I posted about AJ's Christmas bake sale bunting here and lining a rice bag with festive fabric here].
This is my Christmas apron and is responsible for my addiction to festive fabric.  The fabric is Aunt Gracie Ties One On. (Pattern: Amy Butler's Domestic Goddess Half Apron)

I made this apron for Lily's teacher using Michael Miller's Little Flakes for the border, ties and waistband.  The apron is A Feathered Nest's quick and easy apron.

I added a little God Jul ribbon to the waistband to make a tea towel holder a la Amy.
I had only one yard of Hello Kitty Christmas fabric and two girls. I pieced it together with a green polka dot to make two Hello Kitty Christmas Tunics (I modified the Mani Mina pattern I posted about here). 

I am not crazy about how they turned out, but the girls love them.

My pal created some wedge place mats for her round table using pre-quilted festive fabric and a little bias tape.  The shape is based on these place mats.
Lots of tissue holders have been made for caregivers.  I used the J Casa Handmade tutorial which was recently featured over at Sew Mama Sew.
I modified the tutorial by adding a little piece of hardware to the tissue holders so that they clipped to a purse strap, your dog's collar, or whatever.
AJ has been on this band wagon as well (Skip to My Lou's tutorial)

So that's my festive fabric recap.  What are you doing with festive fabric? If you need more inspiration, Gwenny Penny has been using one festive fabric in five ways.  Here is the link to the most recent project.

I hope you are having a great week. Check out all the projects at
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make it wear it