Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy Holidays

Happy holidays from us to you! May 2015 be a year filled with great happiness and good health! We wish you the best in 2015!

I participated in Yarnigras ornament swap again this year. I received 5 beautiful handmade ornaments that were added to my mini tree. I think I'm going to need a bigger mini tree!  

Here are the ornaments from this year. I love hanging all of my handmade ornaments each year! My tree is a combination of ornaments I've made and handmade ornaments from the swaps Val hosts at yarnigras swapper spot.

This year I created wire trees for the ornament swap. I made an extra one for my mom too(the one pictured is her's.)

 I aslo made reindeer from paperclay and wire.  I had them all painted and the pom pom noses on before I realized out that I had forgotten to add ears. I couldn't figure out how to add ears after the fact so this is a deaf little deer.

Guess who got her own sewing machine for Christmas?  She made a cape and Dennis, the pet rock from the book Danger is Everywhere.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Halloween Goodies and Zombies

My girl loves her holidays, so at the end of September, she started requesting that we pull out the Halloween decorations. We pulled everything out to start getting the house decorated.  To our surprise, Kerry sent us a Halloween package to get us into the Halloween spirit.  She sent this great Halloween bag that she made from a tee shirt.

 Kerry also sent these amazing bride and groom zombie cookies. We celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary the day before they arrived so we thought this was a great treat. Thanks Kerry!

Here are some more of the zombie cookies. Not only are the creatively awesome in a bloody zombie kind of way, they were delicious too!

I participated in the zombie challenge over at Yarnigras Swapper Spot, so Val sent me a package of Halloween goodies!  Thanks Val! I can't wait to try the homemade blueberry jam on my toast tomorrow morning.

For the zombie challenge I decided that I wanted to try my hand at paperclay. I've wanted to use paperclay for a couple of years now but have been nervous about trying it.  I procrastinated on this zombie project because I afraid to use the paperclay. I had a picture in my head for a couple of years now but wasn't sure I could create it. I really shouldn't have been so worried. The paperclay was awesome and easy to use. I covered a styrofoam ball and an oval to create the body. I used wire, aluminum foil and masking tape to create the arms and wings.

It took a few days to fully dry, but here's my finished project.  It's a zom-bee! 
This project works out to be a two-fer. It was for the zombie challenge and it's my Crafty Freaks project for this week.  

I added my zom-bee to the zombie horde, which is currently housed on the fireplace mantle. I'll move the zombie horde back to my bookshelves after Halloween. It's one big happy zombie family!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Doggy Fun for the Whole Family

Have you seen this doggy treat container? I've seen it in the grocery store several times but just kept walking because it was $8 for this little jar of treats. Ridiculous, right?! This weekend I found it at my local Sam's Club in a package for $3. The package had the piggy treat jar and two bags of treats to refill the little pig.  I felt like I was getting an amazing deal. Three dollars for the treats alone is a steal but what I didn't know was that this little piggy would provide entertainment for the whole family.

You push the pig's nose in, put a treat on it and wait. The pig's nose pops out and makes the treat fly. Chunky loves to play fetch, so fetching flying treats is right up his alley.  Actually, we all love to watch the treats fly and see Chunky chase them down.  Here's Chunky waiting for me to load up the pig's nose. The package does have a warning about not giving your dog too many treats, I thought that was silly but now that we've played with it I see why they put the warning on it. It's doggy fun for us all!  The girl wants to keep the pig container once we use up all the treats.  I think Chunky would be sad to see it retired.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Crafty Freaks Project #6 Flying Squirrel

I finished project # 6 for Crafty Freaks(#52weeksforcraftyfreaks).  I made a flying squirrel using this tutorial I found over at The Wild Olive.  Abby Glassenberg is the pattern designer. The tutorial is easy to follow and the squirrel they made turned out really cute. I wanted to create a flying squirrel to go with the kit I made for the story Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watts. I read this book to my preschoolers in October so when I saw this free pattern the other day, I knew I wanted to try making it. Scaredy squirrel is brown so I used a fuzzy tan fleece I had on hand. This type of fleece was a lot stretchier than I expected so it was a bit hard to work with. In the end I think his head ended up a bit too small but that was my fault, since the fabric wasn't cooperating with me.  I have some regular gray fleece that would probably work better. I also messed up his feet a bit, but again my fault because I was taking shortcuts. I added a toothy smile too but since I've been in zombie mode I may have made it a little to toothy so he looks a bit more like a scary squirrel not Scaredy Squirrel. I think he'd make a great dog toy, but since Chunky had to have an expensive surgery after eating a stuffed aardvark last spring he no longer gets fabric toys. I did mysteriously lose two felt squirrel feet after I cut them out. I'm not pointing fingers but Chunky does sit under my chair while I sew, so he may have had a quick little fabric snack.

Actually this little squirrel is growing on me. He is compact enough to fit into my Scaredy Squirrel kit.  I guess I need to attach him to the parachute in the kit to see if he looks scary parachuting down to the floor. My daughter has already claimed him if I decide he's too scary to for my preschoolers. Note: With my daughter's help we just tested it out I don't think he'll scare my preschoolers. After further testing we believe he won't even need a parachute because he really does fly.

A few years back I covered an old first aid kit with white duck tape to create Scaredy Squirrel's emergency kit. I included some of the props from the book in the emergency kit.

Here's the inside of the kit which includes Scaredy Squirrel's top secret emergency plan, a can of sardines, a net, rubber gloves, antibacterial soap, a band aid, bug repellent, calamine for poison ivy and an emergency parachute.

Since I decided to keep my little flying squirrel, my daughter decided she needed to create one too. She cut out the pattern pieces herself and together we sewed everything together to create this little blue squirrel. As we were making it, I kept thinking about turning it into a bat. After we finished the blue squirrel I modified the pattern and attempted to create a flying bat.  This is the prototype, the pictures are a little dark but I think you get the idea. I tried to make the arms look a bit more like wings. Like the squirrel, he will fly across the room and would be great for a Halloween game or just some batty fun around the house. My daughter pointed out that if it was made in brown, it could even be used for the story Stellaluna. Can you tell she's a teacher's kid? 

With Halloween just around the corner we may need to whip up a few more of these to give to the nieces and nephews for Halloween. We have another one cut out for my daughter to sew, afterall every blue flying squirrel needs a flying bat friend!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sally Zombie

My daughter was outside playing in the neighborhood this morning, so I was in my craft room sewing. She came running in the house accompanied by children from the neighborhood yelling "Your zombie is here!"  It makes me wonder if my mail carrier and the neighborhood children think I'm a crazy lady. It's okay, I don't care my zombie package arrived!

You have to love it when a zombie decorated package arrives in your kitchen!

Everything was nicely wrapped. The kids oooed and ahhhed as I pulled out all of the items my partner Sarah sent.  She spoiled me!

Here's the whole zombie package; a Nightmare Before Christmas notebook, a zombie house filled with mini candy bars, zombie brain putty, zombie stickers, a sewing kit, ribbon, skull-shaped orange nail polish, a candycorn apron, a make your own zombie cell phone kit for my daughter(she's thrilled with it!) and an amazing Sally doll!

Just look at this doll . . . she's amazing!  Sarah made her from paperclay. I love the detail that went into her patchwork dress. Sally's even holding a jar of Deadly Night Shade. This was Sarah's first try at a paperclay zombie. Sarah you did an amazing job, thank you!!!!

Here's the zombie package booty along with a couple of neighborhood zombies :) 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Zombie Making Time

As fall arrives so does zombie making time. Really anytime is a good time for making zombies, but in the fall Val hosts a zombie doll swap. This year the theme was animated zombies. I thought I was all set but it turns out my animated zombie movie watching was not up to par. I started out re-watching ParaNorman and Scooby-Doo Zombie Island. Then I moved on to watching The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Corpse Bride and Frankenweenie for the first time. I love Sparky from Frankenweenie!

My partner is a fan of spooky Halloween decorations and creepy zombies.  I made this eyeball wreath for my partner using a feather boa, ping pong balls, googly eyes and Styrofoam balls. Creating a creepy zombie was a challenge for me; I like cute zombies. I procrastinated because I didn't even know where to start. In the end I settled on Oogie Boogie from The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Oogie Boogie is made with felt, fleece and burlap. He has a recessed mouth and a pocket on his stomach. I filled these spaces with crocheted intestines, a bouncy eyeball, bugs and stretchy worms. I added a couple of gashes for good measure and sent him off to my partner.  I hope she likes him, of course she could always bloody him up a bit if he's not creepy enough for her.

Here are the goodies I included in the package; ribbon, zombie caution tape, a zombie house box, a grow a zombie,  eyeball feather wreath and zombie playing cards.
I think I'll join the zombie challenge posted over a Yarnigras Swapper Spot. The challenge is to create something zombie themed for yourself.  I think this would qualify for my Crafty Freaks Challenge too. Now I just have to decide what to make for myself, oh the zombie filled possibilities.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Zentagle Tape Dispenser Fun

 I wanted a fun tape dispenser for my desk at school. I searched in stores and online during my back to school shopping but couldn't find anything. I wanted something that was easy to use with one hand and decorative at the same time. I already have several boring black Scotch tape dispensers like this one so an idea struck me; why not decorate the dispensers I have.

I sat down to watch a movie armed with a silver Sharpie and zentangled my boring tape dispenser. This is what I ended up with.

Then I used a bronze sharpie on another one of my black tape dispensers. I plan to use this dispenser on my desk at home. I did discover one thing while working on the second one. The second dispenser had a smooth black line around the middle, so it was hard to get the Sharpie to stay on that part.  I think over time the design will fade on that smooth area.  The Sharpie adheres well to the rest of the dispenser's matte finish so if I decorate another dispenser I would leave that smooth edge plain or better yet draw on a dispenser that doesn't have a smooth finish on it.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Crafty Freak Project Catch Up

I joined the Crafty Freaks group on Pinterest this summer. I've been busy creating but I've been bad about posting my creations so now it's catch up time.  This summer I wanted to learn how to do something new so I decided to try drawing using my computer.  For my Crafty Freaks Project #3 I created this set of cupcakes to use in my classroom as a birthday display.

 I was happy with how they turned out, so I printed and laminated them. Then I realized that the pink cupcakes didn't match the colors my classroom. I didn't want to change the whole color scheme in my classroom, so I remade them in black with white polka dots to match my red & black polka dot theme.  I love, love, love them!  They look perfect in my classroom; plus polka dots just make me happy.

I created several different colored cupcake birthday displays and put them in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. I do still have a laminated set of the pink cupcakes so if you could use them for your classroom leave a comment. 

Crafty Freaks Project #4 was a bookshelf re-do. I had this bookshelf in my classroom. We don't have a lot in the way of storage in my classroom so the fabric on this shelf hides the materials that we don't want the preschoolers to have. 

We decided the shelf needed a little make over so I made two red curtains that can tie up to give the children access to the materials or we can untie the curtains and cover the shelves to limit access to materials.  I added some red metal storage buckets I bought at Target a few years back to add some extra storage.

Crafty freaks Project #5 is a set of colored ribbons for my classroom. I'm a special ed preschool teacher so I love creating things I can use in my classroom to teach and reinforce skills. I found two sets of wooden drapery rings at a consignment shop this summer.  I cut then tied four foot strands of ribbon onto the rings.  I made 2 rings of each color and a set of six rainbow ribbons. We're going to have lots of fun with these.

There you have it my Crafty Freaks catch up session. Now I have to decide what my next Crafty Freaks project will be. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Crafty Freaks Project # 2

It's summertime but I'm always thinking about new things to make or use with my preschoolers. I went thrifting the other day to find some new toys for my classroom.  I didn't have a lot of luck but I did find a play set of bowling pins and bowling balls.  For my second Crafty Freaks project I created a drawstring bag for a play bowling set I found at a local thrift store.  I used some striped duck cloth and recycled wool bits to create a bag to store the bowling pins in.  It was a quick project but I'm happy with how it turned out. Now I just need to make a paper template to include in the bag so the kids can set up the bowling pins independently.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Crafty Freaks Project #1

Today is the due date for the first Crafty Freaks Project (due date being a loosely used term as there are really no rules or due dates for the Crafty Freaks.)  The goal behind Crafty Freaks is to get out there and create for the enjoyment of it. I love the idea of creating just to create with no guilt if you miss a project or really mess up on a project.  I'm excited about participating.

Here's my first project for Crafty Freaks; it's a centerpiece for my dining room table. I found the idea from this pin on Pinterest. I love that this project used materials from my house and yard. I used a quart size mason jar, hot glue, sticks, jute rope and flowers from my yard. It took longer than I thought to glue it all together. I thought it would be a 15 minute project it took more like an hour.  I love how it turned out and I didn't get any serious glue gun burns so that made me happy. Best of all I have this lovely centerpiece on my table. You can check out what some of the other Crafty Freaks are making by visiting the Crafty Freaks board on  Pinterest  or ( click here.)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Crafty Freaks

I'm a craft freak and I know it!  If you love to craft and are looking for a project to expand your creativity or give yourself the permission to craft for the love of it, check out this post over at Little Minx. Little Minx is hosting the Crafty Freaks project. The idea is to create, try something new and experiment to your crafty heart's content. It's a chance to create a new project every two weeks then share what you've accomplished(or even share an epic fail.) After all, sometimes I learn the most about crafting when I make mistake. I know that I may not be able to create something new every two weeks, especially when the school year starts again, but I'm going to try to create as often as I can. This summer, my crafting partner and I are planning to try some new projects.

 In fact we just made these cute little unicorn horn headbands from felt.  We made these for our first summer craft project using a tutorial and pattern that we found over at Tikkido. The girls wanted to add ears to theirs.I love how they turned out!

Monday, June 30, 2014

A Girl on the Run

With the chaos at the end of the school year, I neglected to post pictures of a big accomplishment. My girl was part of Girls on The Run this year. She spent the spring training for a 5K.

Here she is with her buddy getting ready for the race.

 This was taken right before the finish line.

It was a very hot afternoon but she did it, she completed her first 5K and earned a medal for her efforts. We are so proud of her!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Wool, Doodles and a Gift

I've already started creating this summer.  One of the things I love about summertime is that I have lots of time to craft and create. My first project this summer was to create a birthday gift for my friend Kerry. Kerry has a soft spot for elephants so I couldn't resist making one from recycled wool.  I created this little elephant using this pattern I found on Pinterest.  He was hand stitched with love.

I also zentangled a mini bird house and a photo box to serve as a gift box. The gnomes are little pot hangers. I couldn't resist them, they are so cute. Kerry has a little fairy garden so I knew she could use a few gnomes to decorate it.

After shipping Kerry's elephant I decided to try making another one. I wanted it to be smaller and to have it's trunk up.  I drew a new pattern to create a little elephant. This was the final result; I think he's very cute. Since I regularly craft in jags I have a hankering to make a few more wool softies. Maybe I'll even make a whole herd of wool elephants. Of course what will I do with them all, my bookshelves are quickly filling with little wool creations.