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!