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.