Tuesday, December 27, 2011

{Tutorial Tuesday} - Kindle Fire Cover

I ended up making another kindle fire cover and I absolutely love it. I almost can't bear to part with it. I thought I'd share how I made it in case you want to make one for yourself. If crocheting isn't your forte, feel free to custom order one from me.

red heart acrylic yarn
size N crochet hook
2 - 1/2" buttons

* Hold two strands of yarn together throughout.
* After making your first couple of rounds, slip over your kindle fire to make sure it fits. If not, rip it out and adjust your beginning chain accordingly.

1. Loosely chain 11. sc in 2nd chain from hook and in each remaining chain, sc 3 times in first chain.
2. sc in other side of each chain. keep sc in each sc around till you've crocheted about 20 rounds or your project is about 8" tall.
3. To form the flap, sc in 10 stitches then ch 1, turn and sc back across. Repeat until flap is desired length. (I made my flap 3" which was 9 rows for me)
4. Decide where you would like buttons to be and sew in place.
5. Embellish with a flower or design of your choice.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

{Whatever Wednesday} - Handmade for the Holidays

I've been wrapping up handmade presents like crazy all week and I thought I'd better take pictures of a few of them before they head out the door. My goal was to have everything in the mail on Monday. haha! With getting sick again over the weekend and not feeling good this week I haven't got nearly as much accomplished as I'd counted on. I've managed to mail a couple of packages but not many. Tomorrow I'm determined to finish up and get the remaining packages and Christmas cards in the mail.

Just wanted to post pictures of some of the items I've been mailing out. I've made over a dozen of the snap bags in the top photos. (Most of them variations of the ones shown since I've been using my mom's leftover quilt squares to make them). Still have a few more of those to make. Also, made lots of sets of marble mazes. I hope they are a hit with all the kids I'm sending them to. Usually I have a better handle on presents but I guess I've procrastinated a bit too much this year. Once I get all the presents send off in the mail I have a few more presents to finish up for some local family members. After all the Christmas gift giving is done I'll take a bit of a break and then start on all the baby items on my list to make. My to do list grows longer by the day!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

{Tutorial Tuesday} - Christmas Argyle Wreath

When these yarn wreaths starting appearing everywhere a while back I knew I wanted to make one but it took me a while to decide on a color scheme. Since I had tons of green yarn I decided a Christmas wreath would be perfect.

Sorry I don't have step by step pictures but I'll explain what I did and you should be able to follow along without any problems.

Materials needed:
Straw wreath (keep the plastic covering on)
straight pins (with plain silver heads)


1. Start a movie.
2. Pin one end of yarn to the back of the wreath and start wrapping the yarn around the wreath keeping the yarn as close together as possible.
3. Put on another movie.
4. Wrap a second layer of yarn around the wreath filling in any gaps. (Repeat a 3rd time if necessary.)
(I'm not kidding about the movies by the way. It seriously took many hours to wrap the yarn around the wreath. Now I know why people charge so much for them!)
5. Cut your felt into 2 1/2" squares.
6. Place white squares around wreath equally spaced. Pin top and bottoms of squares.
7. Place red squares around wreath overlapping the white squares. Pin top and bottom of red squares.
8. Pin sides of squares where they overlap.
9. Pin end of black yarn onto back of wreath. Wrap yarn around wreath crossing over squares on an angle. Once you get to the end of the squares, go back and cross over squares going the other way to form the pattern.
10. Hang up your wreath and enjoy!

I toyed around with the idea of adding felt flowers to the wreath but didn't want them competing with the argyle pattern. Growing up in the 80s makes me a bit partial to argyle! If you've been thinking about making one of these wreaths I hope these instructions will be useful to you.

Happy Holiday Decorating!

Monday, December 12, 2011

{Money Saving Monday} - My Frugal Adventures

When I lived in AZ one of my favorite hobbies was getting toiletries for "free" from Walgreens and CVS. Unfortunately, now those stores are too far away to shop at regularly so I've had to turn to the internet to get my savings fix. One site that helps me do that is My Frugal Adventures. I know there are countless deal sites out there but this one is my favorite. I like it because the advertising on the site isn't annoying and her posts are simple and to the point. I follow her facebook page and enjoy getting the updates throughout the day. As a result of her notifications, I've gotten lots of free samples, a couple of magazine subscriptions, great deals from amazon and even lots of full size products for free as well. The savings are really varied and a lot of them don't apply to me but when I see something I can't pass up I take advantage of it. I've also gotten lots of free & discounted prints that have come in handy as well. It's fun to go to the post office everyday and see what might be waiting for me. Just today I received a sample of Woolite and 20 Christmas cards that I ordered for just $1.49 shipped. She often posts info. on how to find codes for swagbucks and that is extremely useful to me as well. Since I've actually resorted to {gasp} purchasing toothpaste and mouthwash recently it helps balance things out to be getting other things for free. Samples are there for the taking so I figure I might as well take advantage of the offers and enjoy trying out new products. If you like getting things for free and receiving notifications of great deals I suggest you check out her blog and see what she has to offer.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Favorite Things Friday

For a very long time now I've wanted a pair of doc marten's but being frugal never rounded up enough money to buy a pair. Over the Summer there was a free swap at church where people brought their excess items and other people could take what they needed. It was great. I was able to get some stuff for the baby and some other things that I "needed". Even though I didn't really look for stuff for me I happened to notice a pair of brand new doc marten's. Ends up they were my size and exactly my style. It was totally meant to be. Don't you love it when you find something that is so completely you? They are Mary Janes and have daisies around the front of the shoe. Even though I have way too many shoes 99% of them aren't good for WY. They are summery shoes that were great in CA and AZ but not so much here. And the couple pair of shoes that I wore over the summer ended up completely falling apart and I sadly had to throw them away. I'm enjoying wearing these doc marten's. They keep my feet warm and have good traction for the snow. Thank you to whoever donated them!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

{Thankful Thursday} - Freebies

Today I am thankful for freebies. This afternoon I received my Christmas cards. A couple of months ago I won 100 5x7 postcards from UPrinting in a giveaway hosted by Lil Luna. I was kind of wishing I could've saved them for baby announcements but I had to order by Dec. 31st so I pretty much had to go with Christmas cards. I searched around on the internet for a template that I liked but never found one that was just right.

For a long time now I've been collecting digital scrapbooking elements so I decided to design my own and I love how it turned out. The snowflake background image is from Sprik Space. The "Happy Holidays" is from Shabby Princess, the white ric rac I downloaded from the Persnickety Prints blog and photo frame are from I dunno. (sorry if I find it I'll add it later)

The picture was taken on Labor Day during a long drive we went on somewhere between Red Lodge, MT and Cody, WY. It was actually a really awesome lookout point with an amazing view. Some random person offered to take our picture and this was the result.

Thank you to all the blogs that came together to make my Christmas card happen. Now that I've done my first digi project I'm sure I'll do more.

{drumroll} The winner of last week's giveaway is Jami! Thanks to everyone who has visited my blog this past week.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

{Whatever Wednesday} - I miss Disneyland!

One of the things I miss most about living in Southern California is getting my daily dose of Disneyland. For several years most of my family members and friends had passes and we met up there all the time. It's the perfect place to relax and hang out and catch up. One time I stopped there on my way to work to put together a last minute Halloween costume. Sometimes we met there for an extended lunch to celebrate a birthday or another special occasion. Lots of times we'd meet up on a Saturday morning for a character breakfast. Sometimes I'd stop by myself on my way home from work and do a couple of laps around the park just to get a little exercise and enjoy the magical surroundings. And of course we met up countless times after a long day at work to unwind and forget our cares for a while. How lucky that I could be in the parking lot within 15 minutes of leaving home and get lost in another world. I'll always treasure the many happy memories of all the time I spent there creating treasured experiences with loved ones.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

{Tutorial Tuesday} Felt Marble Mazes

I saw this idea on pinterest a couple of weeks ago and this is my new & improved version of it.

1. Cut two pieces of felt 6" square. (I had a 9" x 12" piece of felt so I just folded it in half and cut the one edge.)

2. Mark 1/2" in on each side for the maze boundary.

3. Mark your maze. These are the two designs I have been using.

4. Sew the inside of your maze. Start with the lines in the middle and work your way towards the outside. Then insert the marble and sew around the outside of the maze. Trim edges with pinking shears. (The first maze I made I used a round marble but I only had one so when I was sewing up the second one my husband suggested that I use a flat floral marble since I had oodles of those. - so use whatever you have on hand. Also - I find that a walking foot works wonders when you are sewing up thick projects like two pieces of felt.)

5. If you want to add a loop to one corner of maze, cut a piece of ribbon or ric rac 3" long, fold in half and sew to one corner. (I melted the ends of my piece of ric rac with a lighter to keep the edges from fraying.)

6. Put your two mazes on a ring and they are ready to play with!

{Be sure to enter the current giveaway!}

Linking here:

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Todays Creative Blog

Monday, December 5, 2011

{Money Saving Monday} - Swagbucks

Don't forget to enter the giveaway!

A year or so ago I started using swagbucks and so far I've earned 15 $5 gift cards to Amazon with them. Not a whole lot but it's always helpful to have a little amazon credit when a good deal comes along. Some random things I've bought are a case of peanut butter, a laminater and an ebook. Now that I have a kindle it'll be even more handy to have amazon credit. But that's not all you can get. You can earn swagbucks by searching, answering the daily poll, taking surveys, playing games, watching videos and much, much more. I've actually not been taking advantage of it to it's full potential. Just this morning I was talking to a cousin of mine who manages to earn about 300 swagbucks a day. I earn around 20 a day so there's so much more I could do with it. Basically I just earn by searching but there are tons more ways to earn bucks that I haven't even explored. Once you have a supply of bucks you can buy items with them or gift cards. 450 of them will get you an amazon gift card. That's the only thing I've gotten so far because that's what seemed most useful to me but you might find something else that suits you. Anyhow, if you spend a lot of time on your computer each day this might be something that could help you earn some free stuff without a lot of effort. If you decide to sign up let me know and I'll do my best to answer questions you might have. Happy earning!

Friday, December 2, 2011

{Favorite Things Friday} - Measuring Cup Glasses

One of my very favorite things that comes in handy nearly everyday is my Measuring Cup Glasses. I found these at The Dollar Tree a couple years ago and instantly fell in love. Not like I needed glasses but I HAD to have them. The store only had 7 so I bought them all and then set out on a quest to find 5 more. Luckily there are lots of Dollar Tree stores in the Phoenix area so after a couple of stops I found enough to make my collection grow to 12. I gave away the glasses we were currently using and replaced them with these beauties. They are even more handy now that we've moved to WY and somehow I still haven't unpacked our Pampered Chef measuring glasses. Even though they just measure to a cup they are handy for making tang in and of course measuring out water or milk for pasta, rice, etc... They are great. My only regret is that I didn't but a couple extra. One accidentally got broken a few months ago so I'm now down to 11. Whenever I get a chance to go to Cody or Billings I check the Dollar Trees there but haven't found them in stock so if you see them at your local store pick one up for me! Thanks!

P.S. I also love them because of their retroness they go well with my collection of fiesta dishes!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thankful Thursdays - Giveaway!

I had an idea yesterday to change my blog up a bit and have a theme for each day. This is what I came up with: Money Saving Mondays, Tutorial Tuesdays, Whatever Wednesdays, Thankful Thursdays and Favorite Things Fridays. So instead of just having random posts of things I make, I can share other thoughts as well. I think this will take the pressure off posting handmade items everyday and make things more interesting. I hope you will agree. (and I hope I will be able to keep it up!)

To start off with for Thankful Thursdays I am thankful for you! All of you who read my blog and are my facebook fans. Sometimes I think that no one is reading but then I end up talking to someone who tells me all about various posts I've made so I know you are out there and I love it when you leave comments! To show my thanks I'm going to have a give-away! There are five ways to enter: (leave a separate comment for each item)

1. Tell me what one of your favorite items is that I've made.

2. Follow my facebook page.

3. Subscribe to me on pinterest.

4. Subscribe to my blog. (see right column)

5. Post about this giveaway on facebook, twitter, blog, etc...

The fabulous prize you could win is...

side 1

side 2

Just finished this up today. It's a little snap bag. (phone not included!) The approx. measurements are 5" tall x 6" wide. Perfect for carrying all your essentials as you're out doing your shopping. Would also make a great stocking stuffer!

I'll announce the winner in next Thursday's post. Good luck!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

A couple times a week I work at the after school program and get to spend time with the Kindergartners. I have between 6 & 12 kids who show up. They are so much fun! After having a snack, the rest of the grades work on their homework but since the Kindergartners go to school all day they don't have any homework so I get to do a craft or activity with them. These are a few of the fun projects we've done lately. I love getting to spend time with these precious kids. Some of them just scribble away but some of them spend the time to make sure they do a good job. We have a great time and they think I'm the best. lol!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Kindle Fire Cover

I put in my pre-order for the Kindle Fire as soon as it was announced. Ever since kindles first came into existence I wanted one but was waiting for a touch screen. (My previous pda spoiled me) It arrived yesterday and I immediately started reading my cousin's book which she published a week or so ago and I was waiting to read. I'd been planing on crocheting a cover for it so I did that this morning. I even added a little pocket to carry earphones. I picked up this yarn at Wal-Mart a couple weeks ago and decided to use it to try to discourage my husband from making off with it. Do you think it will work? lol!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Framed Hello Kitty

I discovered this on a link up party a couple months ago and couldn't resist making it.  As luck would have it I was headed to the big city that day and was able to add the free printable to my picture order and pick up a white frame at the dollar tree.  Somehow I managed to wait until today to hot glue the bow onto the frame (which is off a Christmas present from a year or two ago - hoarding comes in handy yet again!)  I love it!  Go here for your free download.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Give Thanks!

I ended up making 6 of these boards today.  My original plan was to make 12 but I ran out of brown paint. Each board is 10 1/2" long.  I borrowed the stencil from a friend who actually cuts her own stencils.  I discovered once again that I'm not a great stenciler but they turned out ok.  (I get impatient and use too much paint.)  Instead of centering the words I decided to put them slightly to one side so I could add a raffia bow.  I can't decide if I'm going to keep one for myself or give them all away.  Several people have done really nice things for me recently so I'm going to give these to them as a thank you gift and a Thanksgiving decoration.  Perfect!

Monday, October 31, 2011

"Snow" blocks

Saturday we had "Super Saturday" at church and even though I was teaching two classes I managed to actually complete one of the three projects I signed up for.  I was so excited for this project because I actually don't usually decorate with traditional Christmas colors.  Last year the only thing on my tree was snowflakes that I'd crocheted and I used a blue and white tree skirt.  This will match my decor exactly.  I love it!  I'd actually been wanting to make a project like this with different sizes of letter blocks for quite some time.  My friend has a stencil cutter so the letters are actually stenciled on.  So much fun!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fall Headbands

I've been asked several times recently if I've been busy making new products for my craft booth this weekend and the honest answer is "no".  I only signed up for one 6' table and I'm sure I could easily fill 4 tables that size.  I did, however, come across a couple of plain headbands last week buried in my pile of crafting supplies so I added some flowers to those.  {I love the Halloween one.}  I'll pack up my stuff tomorrow morning and if I have time Thurs. evening/Fri. morning I might make a couple of items (like winter headbands) to fill some gaps in product.  The baby items were a big hit before and I still have a bit of flannel so I might make some more burp cloths as well and see how they do.  I'm really looking forward to the craft fair this weekend and hope it's a great success for everyone involved!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Custom Order - Baby Shower Gift

A friend contacted me Saturday and was in need of a baby shower gift but didn't know the gender of the baby.  I sent her a pic. of the gender neutral burp cloths that I had made up and she picked the green/white plaid pair but wanted something else to go with it so I whipped up this jingle bell ball.  I love this cute baby mouse print that coordinates so well with the plaid.  Amazingly, the points lined up pretty well.  I've made a couple of these before but I have to say this is the cutest one yet.  Luckily I have more of this material so I plan on making another one to have on hand for my little bundle of joy when he makes his appearance next Spring.  I'm glad I was able to help my friend out with her handmade gift giving need even though she didn't have time to make a present herself.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Halloween Table Runner

I finally finished this table runner that my mom made for me a year or two ago.  All I had to do was hand stitch the back of the binding but I kept putting it off.  Thursday we drove to Billings so I knew I'd have a couple of hours of riding in the car so I brought this project along and easily had time to finish it.  The fabric is leftover from a quilt top kit that I purchased at the quilt show in Houston many, many years ago.  The line is Aunt Grace reproduction and it's out of print.  This is the booth I bought it from.  I'm so in love with 30s fabrics.  I have a posy quilt that I started ages ago that I need to find and finish and also this Halloween quilt top is somewhere waiting to be finished as well.  I'm pretty sure it's in CA.  What would I do without all my unfinished projects haunting me?  One U.F.O. down, countless more to go!

P.S.  I'm not sure where to find the pattern for this table runner.  My mom and her quilting friends have made tons of them over the last couple of years and I actually have several - one for everyday and a couple different holiday ones as well.  The cool thing about it is that somehow you quilt it as you go so when you're done all you have to do is finish up the binding.  (Sorry I had to take the pictures on the floor.  Of course the kitchen table and coffee table both are currently covered with craft supplies!) 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Countdown to Halloween

Last month one of my favorite bloggers announced that she was going to do a monthly calendar series.  I loved the graphics she used for her September  project and couldn't wait until this month.

Last year I helped a friend make some countdown blocks and I was wishing I had some of my own.  My wish came true when Kiki released her countdown to Halloween artwork.  As you can see from her example she intended it to be made a bit different.  I took the images into gimp and shrunk them down a bit and cropped them square to fit my blocks.  I also cropped the "Countdown to Halloween" image and squished it a bit to be the right size for my project.

After I got my images the right size I took them into libre office and put them on a page and then saved it as a pdf and took it to the local print shop and had them print it out on cardstock for me.  (There's probably an easier way to do this but I did what worked for me!)

To find out what numbers to put on what block I googled "countdown blocks" and came up with this blogpost.  I'm sorry I was in such a hurry to make it that I didn't take the step by step pictures for it but here are the basic instructions:

1.  Download artwork from kiki create website and resize it or make your own artwork.
2.  Cut the wood to size  (my blocks are about 3" square and the base is 3 1/2" x 6 1/2")
3.  Sand wood and paint it black.  (You can just paint the edges of the sides that will be covered with paper.)
4.  After letting the paint dry apply a thin layer of mod podge and apply the paper to each side.
5.  Once the mod podge dries sand the edges of the wood to distress them.
6.  Apply a final layer of mod podge over the entire surface to finish it.

I have to say that this is one of my favorite projects ever!  And it was so easy and turned out super cute.  I really liked not having to layer scrapbook paper and vinyl numbers like most of the countdown blocks I've seen.

Thank you Kiki for sharing your amazing printables!

P.S.  Today she posted a Halloween Pack full of amazing goodies that you can download for just $3.  Be sure to check it out!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Countdown to Christmas

Made this cute project the other day and wanted to share it.  The graphics are all from Pretty Little Studios.  I finally took advantage of having my husband work at a lumberyard and had him cut me a square board from a 2 x 8 (which end up being more like 7").  The background is the gift tag which is a free download.  I opened it up in gimp and added the title.  The red/white polk a dot square is also a free download.  I just layered that onto my image.  You can order the Santa cards and have them shipped to you or purchase them as a download.  I opted to do the latter and printed them out 3" x 4".  Initially I painted the wood black but didn't like it so I repainted it red after it was all done but you can still see some black showing through.  I'll probably just end up making a new one or try touching up the paint again.

Here are the basic instructions:
  1. Cut a 2x8 board into a square and sand the edges smooth.
  2. Design your elements and print them out onto cardstock.
  3. Paint the board red and sand the edges if you'd like a distressed look.
  4. Apply mod podge to the front of the board and adhere the background paper to it.  Allow it to dry and then apply another layer of mod podge on top to seal it.
  5. Glue a tiny clothespin on to hold the countdown playing cards.
  6. Cut out all the cards and you're ready to go!

I'm thinking about adding an envelope onto the back of the board to hold the extra cards while not in use.

Since I don't have a great printer at home, I use the local print shop.  I find it best to have my files in a pdf for easy printing.  After doing whatever design work I need to do with gimp, I create a document in open office and then save it as a pdf.  Probably going about this the long way but that's what my process is.

I can't wait to decorate for Christmas so I can have this on display!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Newborn Baby Church Pants

Since we found out Thursday that we are having a BOY I couldn't wait to make something for him.  I had some grey wool material that I knew would be perfect for little church pants.  I used a free pattern found here to make them.  They sewed up pretty fast.  The last time I sewed anything this small was when I made Cabbage Patch clothes 25-30 years ago.  I can't wait to make some more!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fall Festival

 Last night we had a Fall Festival at church for R.S.  We had the best homemade rolls and soups and desserts.  Several people set up Fall decorating displays around the room.  It was a fun night.  I met a few new people and had a great time.
I gathered up a some Fall themed crafts and included them in my last minute display.
(Ignore the leaning lampshade!)
Since it seemed like it was going to be fancier than normal I volunteered to bring
chair covers and ties.  It added a lot to the atmosphere of the room.
It's nice to have my chair covers again.  They didn't make it on the moving truck but luckily my husband's aunt was able to bring them out recently along with a few other things that we had to leave behind.  Just as a reminder, they are available to rent for wedding receptions and other special occasions.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

{NEW} Crochet Hook & a Dozen Dish Cloths

 Many months ago I was the lucky recipient of this handy little crochet hook from a cousin who lives across the pond.  I was eager to try it out and have been using it for making loads of potholders and dish cloths recently.
A couple trips to Wal-Mart ago I picked up some cotton yarn because I was all out and I missed crocheting dish cloths.  Crazy I know!  I was able to crochet a dozen with just one cone.  As you can kind of see at the top two fit nicely folded in one of those origami boxes that I'm so fond of giving presents in.  So these will turn into 6 lovely presents.  Not sure to give them away for upcoming birthdays or to save them for Christmas.  Guess we'll wait and see.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Paper Pumpkins

Yesterday we went for a walk and ended up at my sister in law's house.  The nieces were wanting to make some sort of craft so we left and raided my craft supplies and then went back to their house for a fun "crafternoon".

One project we made were paper pumpkins.  Right now there are tons of tutorials out there to make your own paper pumpkins.  Here's my version.

Supplies (makes 3 pumpkins)

  • 1 piece of 12 x 12 orange paper
  • 1 piece of 12 x 12 green paper
  • tiny hole punch
  • flower hole punch
  • paper trimmer
  • pair of scissors
  • crochet thread or string
  • large eye needle


Using the paper trimmer cut your orange paper into 1" strips and then cut them in half so they are 6" long.  Next, punch a tiny hole in the end of each strip of paper.


Cut an 8" piece of string and double knot it in one end.  Thread string on needle and through one end of 8 strips of orange paper.


Gently bend strips in half and thread through the other side as well.

Punch two flowers from the green paper and cut a 1/4" strip of paper.  Use scissors to curl paper (like curling ribbon).  Punch a tiny hole in the end of the paper curl and in each of the green flowers (which will be "leaves").  Thread curly vine and leaves on string and double knot again.

Fan out the orange strips of paper,  arrange leaves and vine, trim excess thread and enjoy!

Easy to make a whole mantle full or create a colorful centerpiece.

Linking up here and at the places on my links page.

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