Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A Little Bit of Happiness

I love polka dots! To me polka dots equal a little bit of happiness. When I see polka dots I can't help but smile.  :)  Black with white or red with white polka dots are my favorite but I like all polka dots. A few weeks ago, I was visiting my mom when she handed me a bag and said this just looked like you. I opened it to find a polka dot tea pot and matching butter dish. I LOVE them! I have them on my counter and it makes me smile when I walk by.

See . . . polka dots equal happiness!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Fruits and Vegetables

I spent last weekend creating felt fruits and vegetables for school. I created farm stand visuals this summer but when I was gathering my materials to bring to school realized I needed more fruits and vegetables for my farm stand.  Play fruits and veggies can be expensive so I found some felt food tutorials and went to work creating. I created pears, apples, bananas, oranges, tomatoes, broccoli, carrots, corn and pumpkins. It took me a long time but I was so happy with the results. I brought my finished felt foods and farm stand visuals to school on Wednesday. My paraprofessionals helped me build our farm stand. I was so pleased, it turned out just like I envisioned. The best part was the reaction from the students, they loved it! One of my three year olds exclaimed, "This is amazing!" That totally made the hours of sewing, turning and stuffing worth it. The farm stand visuals are in my TPT shop here.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

New Artwork

Look who started middle school this year!

My girl loves to draw, doodle and create. She amazes me with her talent! This is a drawing of her new sneakers. 

We visited a diner that has coffee mug drawings on napkins displayed around the whole place. This is what my daughter created. I love her creativity and her ability to show a story in her art work.

This year she's in middle school so she is taking Spanish for the first time. She loves it and it's coming out in her art. Here's a Spanish speaking kangaroo wearing springy shoes and jumping on a trampoline. I love the worm in the apple on the tree.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Zombie Dolls

It's October so that means it's time for zombie dolls. This year the theme for Val's zombie doll swap was primitive zombies. See what everyone made here. (Seriously go look - Kerry made an awesome creepy zombie.) My partner has young children and likes cute zombies not scary ones. This is my style so I knew exactly what I wanted to make this year. Then I was sick with a cold for a week so I didn't get started on my creation. My original idea was going to require more time so I went back to the drawing board and created something different. Do you ever have a time when your creative mojo disappears and you can't create what you want? I had to fight this little zombie into existence. 

A bit of zombie soup, anyone?  I tea stained my whole zombie instead of tea staining the fabric before I started creating. It looked so funny!

Actually I fought with two zombies. I used my machine to freeform stitch on colored wounds and a heart. Once I finished I hated him, so I threw him aside and made a new zombie with a combination of machine stitched and painted wounds. The hardest part was dressing a wonky looking little zombie. I’ve determined that I’m not a seamstress. If ever there is a zombie apocalypse and I have to make our clothing, my family will be the one wearing the wonky clothes. Actually I’m pretty sure we’d look like zombies if I had to make our clothing.

In the end I created a pair of jeans and a tee shirt for the zombie. Then I chopped them up a bit to show off the wounds. I named him Robbie and sent him on the way to my partner iara. He arrived safely at his new home this week.

After finishing the zombie for my partner I went back to the first one I’d thrown aside and tried to salvage him. I made the same clothes for him. They look like a set of brothers, Robby and Ricky. I’m not sure what their story is. The silver linings part of me thinks they were just cute little zombies that were adopted because “Zombies are people too.” Of course if you’re a cynic you might think they were zombie activists, protesting for zombie rights, who met a bad ending. I think I’ll stick with the silver lining version.
Now that Ricky’s been hanging out at my house for a week he’s grown on me and I’ve decided to add him to my zombie horde. I think it’s time to set up the zombie horde on the mantle again.  :)

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Conceding Defeat!

Do you remember when I posted about my furniture refinishing challenge?  I posted it here. I bought this buffet at a thrift store for $40 with the intention of refinishing it myself.

My husband didn't think I could do it and I was sure I could. My husband challenged me to refinish this piece all by myself. I accepted the challenge and got right to work sanding it all down. Then I got nervous about trying to stain it myself. I was afraid I'd ruin it, so I didn't touch it for a year and a half. My husband and daughter complained that it was taking up room in the garage. This month my husband stained it and applied polyurethane for me.

The buffet fits perfectly in our dining room. Here's the finished project and my concession of defeat. "You were right honey, and I was wrong. I didn't finish it all by my self." And just for good measure "Honey, you are way better at refinishing furniture than I am. Thank you for finishing this piece, it looks great!"
I'd like to say this defeat will mean I won't drag home any additional pieces of furniture, but I know that's not true. Instead I'll say, next time I drag home an awesome piece of furniture let's work on it together.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

I Have Great Friends!

I got home from school today to find happy mail. My friend Kerry sent me this happy package.

I love polkadots so this package made my day.

 Then I opened the package to find 5 aprons that Kerry had sewn. She gave them to me to use in my preschool classroom. I'm so excited, they are already packed in my bag to take to school tomorrow.

Kerry also made the most amazing cloth notebook for me. Guess what? (squeals of happiness) It's got a red and white polkadot fabric on the inside.  I just love it!!!!! I can't wait to start filling it with notes. Once I fill the notebook, the cover is removable so I can move it to another notebook and start again.

Here's a belated look at the birthday goodies Kerry sent me. A zombie pearler bead coaster, an altered notepad and pen, a sewing thread catcher and pincushion(this is my constant companion when I'm sewing) and this amazing little zombie.

Don't you just love this little prim zombie?!  I'm totally in LOVE with him!! He makes me smile everytime I see him. Kerry is a crafting genious! Not only do I have great friends, I have super talented, crafty friends that make my day!  Thanks Kerry!!! You are too kind to me!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

New Tutorial: Plastic Lined Car Trash Bag

A few years ago I started seeing DIY car garbage bags or as I call them carbage bags popping up on blogs. I knew I needed to make some. As a mom my car seems to fill up with straw wrappers and trash so a carbage bag is a must. I've made a few over the years but I found that the fabric got wet or yucky after awhile. I thought there had to be a better way to make carbage bags, then I discovered a roll of black plastic sheeting in the paint aisle at Home Depot. I started sewing a layer of the black plastic sheeting into the carbage bag and the problem was solved.
Last week I was showing some friends how to make plastic lined carbage bags. I decided to write out directions so I created a quick tutorial. It takes me about 15 minutes to make a carbage bag so they're quick and easy to make. Here's a link for the tutorial.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Busy crafting

 This month the craft along theme over at Yarnigras Swapper Spot is independence or in other words, doing something you've wanted to do. My list of projects that I want to do is massive and my collection of projects I have started but have not completed . . . well that is way to long to talk about! Since it's summer my craft room and I have been spending some time together getting reaquainted. I seem to forget how much I enjoy time spent in my craft room until I start crafting again. Now I'm back in my craft room creating and finishing up some projects. Just look at what I've made.

 A few years ago I went to a workshop in Boston, one of the other workshop participants had an amazing scarf made from neckties. I loved it! I found the designer through a little research online but at $70 the scarves were too expensive for me. (I should have bought one, I looked them up again today, they're $150 now.) Granted they are unique and beautiful creations but I just couldn't bring myself to buy one for that price so I found a couple scarves at a thrift shop and thought I'd see what I could create.

Creating necktie scarves was harder than I thought it would be. I created the black one but I wasn't totally happy with it. I had pinned together a second necktie scarf but gave up on it after I didn't like the first. I stuck them in a drawer, pins and all, and forgot about them. I pulled the yellow and blue one out of my craft stash earlier this week determined to pull all of the pins out of it. On a whim I decided to take a few minutes to sew it together before removing the pins. I also re-finished the end of the black tie that I didn't like. Here's the finished product. They're nothing like the amazing creations the orignial designer makes but I like how they turned out and I completed an unfinished project that sat in a drawer for two years. . . yay for me!

I also pulled out a stitchery that I had finished a couple of years but hadn't done anything with. I loved the stitchery but couldn't decide what to do with it so it sat forgotten for years. Not any more, using some scrap fabric I sewed it into a little pillow.  Another unfinished project done.  :)  I feel so accomplished!

This is my favorite bag pattern, it's reversible. I have several of these bags and often give them as gifts. I even use one as my school bag, it's the perfect size. I decided to cut out a few of these bags using fabrics from my stash. I finished this one and another one this week and I have a crafting date with a friend next week to sew up the rest.

Lastly, I made a carbage bag for my neighbor. As moms, we always end up with trash and wrappers in the car when we're transporting kids around, so a carbabge bag is a necessity. I started lining these with some black plastic sheeting I found at Home Depot. It works perfectly to keep the fabric from getting wet or stained from the trash.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Summer Fun

Summer vacation is a great time for school teachers. It's a time to recharge, create and just enjoy some time at home. Every summer since my daughter was little we've created a summer fun list. It's the list of the fun things we want to do over summer vacation. Years ago we created one list for the two of us but a few years ago we started creating our own lists. Here's my 2015 summer fun list. I make my list pretty generic because it's meant to be fun. I've printed it out so I can check off items as I complete them but it's not a have to do list, so there's no guilt if things don't get checked off.
Now it's time to have some summer fun! Yay for summer!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Long Time No Craft

I recently entered a graduate program to get ELL certified. I'm still teaching full time and started taking taking my first graduate course in January. It's been a long time since I've taken a graduate course and to be honest I've never taken one during the school year while I'm still teaching. I've mostly completed courses during the summer. It's a lot of reading and a lot of work but it's very interesting.

The toughest part is that my graduate course now takes up the time I used for crafting and reading for pleasure.  I'm a teacher so I read all the time however, I've always enjoyed reading just for pure entertainment and enjoyment. I love a good science fiction teen read, but it feels like I've haven't read a good book in forever. Instead I'm reading professional books and articles on language acquisition. Interesting stuff but it requires brain power and isn't reading for pleasure. This week I'm on winter break so I've decided to complete a craft or two and I'll be reading a book just for the pure enjoyment of reading. I've participated in the Goodreads book challenge for the last three years and have read 25 books each year. I'm participating again this year but I lowered my goal for this year. I hope to read 15 books in 2015. So far I've read three, but the good new is I have a couple picked out to start reading this week.

I participated in the February craft along over at Yarnigras Swapper Spot.  I created a zombie flower drink cozy using recycled wool coats and the cuff from a wool sweater. I know the point of this month's challenge was to create a coffee cozy to keep your hands warm. I love a good hot chocolate like anyone else, but I'm tired of winter and snow!! We've had over six feet of snow since January first. I just want to think spring, warm days and unsweetened ice tea. My zombie flower was created with these warm spring thoughts in mind. Maybe now that the first undead flower has bloomed, spring will finally come! Alas, wishful thinking!

I also bought some small clothespins and created these little spacemen.  I just used wooden clothespins, a thin Sharpie and twistable colored pencils to create these little guys but it feels great to be crafting again. I teach the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum to my four and five year olds at school. We're working on writing within the lines and spacing our letters. I thought these spacemen might help a few of the kids but I didn't want to leave anyone out so I made enough for the whole class. Maybe I'll get to sneak in another project before my break is over.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Snow, Snow, Snow!

We live in New England, where it snows every winter. As New Englanders we are use to cold, snowy conditions. Winter started out fairly mild this year, in fact we had a green Christmas. Then January came and with it came the snow. We have been burried under 80+ inches of snow during the last two months. We can't really complain because we choose to live in New England and snow is part of living here, however I'm ready for a break from snow.

Check out these icicles on the house. They were bigger, but they melted quite a bit today.

This is the gate to the pool. Just beyond the fence you can see all of the snow on the roof of the gazebo. You can't even tell where the pool is for all of the snow in the backyard. Honestly, I've forgotten what my backyard looks like without three feet of snow covering it. With all this snow you can see why I'm looking forward to spring arriving. So think happy spring thoughts!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Sweet Chunky

Being a pet owner isn't always easy; let's face it pets can be expensive. Of course, sweet moments like this make it worth every cent. Here's Chinky riding in the car with his girl, they are so sweet together! 

I love this picture. Sun bathing in the temperature controlled house is Chunky's favorite pasttime. He will follow the sun around the house, sleeping in the sun all afternoon. He actually gets a reverse tan from all the sun bathing. Since he's black to start with, his chest and belly turn brown from laying in the sun.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Crafty Freak Project Catch Up . . . Again!

To start the year off right I wanted to get caught up on my Crafty Freaks projects. I've been crafting, I just haven't been posting the pictures. I'd like to think that I'll do a better job posting pictures in the new year, but honestly I probably won't. That means there will be a few more Crafty Freak Project catch up posts to look forward to in 2015.
Here's what I've been creating:

More wire tree ornaments for the handmade ornament swap over at Yarnigras swapper spot.

A burlap wreath for my sister.

A red glittery ribbon wreath for my front door. 

Painted mason jar mugs filled with hot cocoa packets for my co-workers.

Handpainted treat jars for the paraprofessionals in my classroom.

I also painted six new stemless wine glasses for myself but neglected to take pictures of those. I just filled them with wine and tried them out instead. :) 

Now that I'm caught up again, I hope I can ring in the new year with some new crafty projects. Crafting is good for the soul!