Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ikea Gnomes

I really like these gnomes from Ikea's Christmas collection. I added one to our wreath with a little "God Jul" ribbon which I picked up on our Norway adventure.

I also finished our book advent calendar (I just used newspaper, old sheet music and the spool end numbers from Just Something I Made).   The girls are excited about this basket of Christmas books.  I have also resolved that when the books are stored away in January, I will wrap them up then rather than scrambling.

I hope you are having a great week!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Crafting with my kids: Pompom pine cone forest

Pompoms and pine cones rank high on my list of favourite things so I was intrigued when I saw Terri Sullivan of the The Wool Acorn's Fantasy Forest project in BHG's Holiday Crafts magazine.  The project instructions calls for felted balls, wooden spools and glitter, but I wanted to modify it for young kids.

We used tiny craft pompoms and corks (cut in half) for the trunks. 

Here is our fantasy forest, there was even a little snow on the ground for the photo shoot!

It was a great project that both girls enjoyed.  Tip: Look for pine cones with spaces so that the pompoms fit.

Have a great week and check out all the projects at

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Advent Calendar

I have been back and forth whether to sew a family Advent calendar (the type you bring out each year), or make a different one each year.    I ran out time to sew one, so I decided to get crafty. I have always loved Maya Made's 2009 Paper Tube Calendar so I thought it was a good fit since it has been a year full of recycled crafting.

Lily painted the tubes.
The numbers are from Just Something I Made.  I didn't stitch each paper tube, I used a stapler.  It doesn't look as nice as the original, but I can live with it.

The tubes will be filled with all sorts of goodies, including the pieces to a wooden nativity set.

Have a lovely weekend and check out the projects at


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Christmas Ribbon Organizer

If you are visiting from Funky Junk Interiors Link party #64 Welcome!!!

I recently attended a Canadian Living magazine DIY gift wrapping session and there was a very interesting ribbon organizer made from a small drawer.
I didn't have any small drawers, but I did have this wooden box (the sort which are used to gift or regift fine spirits).  My neighbour had no use for it, the box I mean.
I stained the box with MiniWax Colonial

and picked up some iron escutcheons from Lee Valley just like the inspiration.  Essentially, you drill holes and the escutcheons are nailed on with very small finishing nails.

Here is my finished Christmas ribbon holder.
Wishing all my American friends and family a happy and blessed Thanksgiving,

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Thrifty Superhero Party

We were visiting our family in Ottawa this weekend and celebrating my nephew's fourth birthday. He had a wonderful superhero party at the gymnastics club.  There are some very interesting thrifty and crafty ideas that made this party a very special and memorable celebration. 

My sister found a second hand Spiderman valence at Goodwill and used images from the fabric to applique a table cloth (which was a clearance cotton sheet.

She also added "pow" and "zap" to the tablecloth (this idea popped into her head 30 minutes before the party was to start). She really is an expert with heat'n bond and a sewing machine.

The leftover Spiderman valence was used to make a bunting.
AJ also scored a superhero poster (new plastic-wrapped for one dollar) so it made a nice touch too.
A superhero party requires a cape (or 2 or in this case 8).  She made some reversible superhero capes using Puking Pastille's Free Superhero Cape Pattern.  Each guest received a cape and an eye mask.  The fabric for the capes was also found at the Goodwill (2 bolts!). 

The craft for the party was a paper tube Spiderman or Superman (from DLTK's Growing Together)
Mr. KJ (Uncle KJ) provided some entertainment with a medley of the Spiderman and Batman theme songs and the Crash Test Dummies' Superman Song which the guests enjoyed.

It was a very special celebration for a very special boy. 

I loved all of the handmade touches and this party will be remembered for years.  There were a few people who couldn't make it to the party due to distance - Mary Lou, Brian, and Becca - I scrambled to get this post up for you,

Friday, November 19, 2010

Nutcracker Matching Game

There are so many great matching game ideas in blogland (one of my favourite reads, Delicious Ambiguity provides a super round up here).

A matching game using plastic lids (I don't recall where I spotted the use of the lids, but if you know I will put in credit!) has been in my head for a long time.

We collect Nutcrackers. We have all sorts and sizes - even a  large one the size of a small child.  

Miss Lily has a knack for remembering each Nutcracker in our collection and its role in her version of the ballet {which only she knows the script} and around December 1st there is always a lot of panic in our house as concern for a certain lurking Mouse King grows and grows and grows.

I wanted to challenge her by creating a little matching game. This is what I came up with.

Photograph your Nutcracker collection. If you don't collect Nutcrackers, take your child to the shops and photograph the ones on display. I recall that Target has a great variety of novelty Nutcrackers that children find interesting.  I photographed ours against a white backdrop, like this. You will need to print out doubles.

Then I used my Martha Stewart circle cutter (3") to cut the scrapbook paper and the photographs to fit the lids (the scrapbook paper is June Bug Vintage plaid).

I used double-sided tape to stick the scrapbook paper and the photograph to the lid.
Mouse King where are you?

We still have at least 20 more nutcrackers to photograph, but I did not have enough plastic lids (now there's an excuse for more Pringles!). But this is sort of game you can add to year after year so long as you have enough scrapbook paper of the same variety.

If you don't have a thing for Nutcrackers, you could also make an ornament matching game. Either photograph your own ornament collection or take your little one to see the holiday displays and pick our a few unique ornaments to photograph - that would be very fun and could become more complex.

Have a great weekend and check out all the great projects at

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gifts for Babies using Fat Quarters

Posting is a little light this week, but it's not because I don't have projects to report on. I am working on sew many things, it's just a lack of sunlight for good photos (a downside of daylight savings), and the critical "managing a day job and being a mom" aspect to this blog.

I have been working through a few new-to-me patterns.  I hope to have some good photos soon. In the interim, I thought I would share a few more baby related projects.  My pal and I recently went to the Creative Festival which is a wonderful place for sewing, knitting, and scrap booking enthusiasts. I discovered a wonderful somewhat local supplier of Japanese Fabric, Kallisti Quilts.   I bought too many fat quarters of Japanese fabric. I made these little baby shoes using a new-to-me pattern.
I made the mary janes out of a fat quarter of navy little Japanese girl fabric (basics one).  There is still leftover fabric.  The interior is linen. The pattern for the mary janes no. 80 by  I think sew.   All the interior seams are completely covered in linen.

The shoes pictured in the top right are cloth baby shoes  which is a free pattern offered via Michael Miller's blog and designed by Joanna Amour over at Stardust Shoes.  The interior seams are not covered. I used denim for the soles.

I have never sewn baby shoes so I enjoyed trying something new.

While we are talking baby gifts, I wanted to share this one with you as well. My pal tried out Noodlehead's Diaper Pouch  and it turned out wonderful.  The green fabric was a fat quarter from  Heather Bailey's Nicey Jane Collection {Green Dot in Olive} and coordinates wonderful with chambray.

From these projects, I learned that awesome fat quarters are perfect for sewing baby gifts.
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