Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Santa Ornament

We put up our tree this past weekend and it reminded me that I need to show you the DIY Santa ornament I made last year.  I found the instructions in the 2009 Better Home & Gardens Holiday Craft magazine.  They seriously should have put this sentence in the instructions when I was contemplating making them.  **Warning, this ornament will take DAYS to make.**  I was crazy enough to make 9 of them last year.  What's wrong with me?  There are quite a few steps in making just one and then there is also the drying time for the clay to set up.  The end product is quite cute so I'd have to say it was worth all the effort.  The basic materials that make up the Santa are 2 foam balls (one small one for the head, and a half of a bigger one for the body), toothpicks for his legs, wire for his arms and clay. After I was done forming the Santa ornament, I let it dry for a few days.  Then I painted him and added a piece of fishing line for him to put up on the tree.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Headstand Stool

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving!  We had a great time spending the day with our family.  Here's a really fun stool.  It even has a youtube video showing you how it works.  The stool is made by qed design based out of Germany.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Fish Hat Tutorial

I finally had time to put together the fish hat tutorial for you all.  I think it's a great hat and really you could probably make all kinds of different animals for hats by using this basic hat shape.  All the kids that tried the hat on loved it.  You may need to make it bigger or smaller depending on the child's head size.

1/2 yard Fleece Fabric - main color
1/4 yard Fleece Fabric - accent color
2 " strip of Velcro
Coordinating thread
Fiber fill
Google Eyes

The pattern is available through Scribd.  If you are printing in Adobe Acrobat Reader, please make sure page scaling is set to NONE in the print menu. 

Fish Hat Pattern

Lay out the fabric and cut out the pattern pieces for the hat.

Then cut out the fins, tail, lips on the accent color.

I used the main color on the fins, tail and lips too.  You just need to cut the same pieces out slightly larger than you did on the accent color.  Then you will sandwich it in between the accent color. I'm letting you know ahead of time though that it gets tough to sew through that many layers of fleece.  So you might want to use felt.

Start sewing the tail pieces together.  Do the same with the fins and lips. Stuff the tail and fins with fiber fill.

Next we will start assembling the hat.  Sew 2 of the quadrant pieces together, then sew the other 2 together.

Now place the tail and top fin on the inside with the right sides together.  Pin and sew together.

Flip the hat out and sew the lips to the front.

Sew the fins on the side.  Center middle of fins with side seam and sew.

Sew two pieces of the ear flaps together and turn right side out. Repeat for the other side.

Attach side flaps to sides of the hat.  Center the middle of the flap with the side seam of the hat and sew in place.

Sew fleece lining together.  Leave a 2" gap in the top between where the top fin and back fin are on the hat.  This will allow you to pull it through at the very end.

Pin lining to fish hat with right sides facing each other.  It will look like a ball when you are doing this step.

Sew together.

Turn inside out by pulling through the hole you left in between the tail and top fin.  Whipstich the opening closed. Tack lining to hat.

Cut a 2" piece of velcro or longer depending on size of the child's head.  Attach to flaps.

Glue on the google eyes.  I used hot glue to glue them on.  Now you're done!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Kid's Art Easel

Well, I didn't make it to the next round of SYTYC.  The theme this week is winter and I should count myself lucky that I didn't have to compete this week. I'm not sure I would have been able to come up with a clever winter craft.  In this part of Texas we don't really see much of a winter.  It has been so warm that I'm in shorts today.  But for the readers that actually experience winter you should go check out the the snowman drier that is on there this week.  Fabulous idea!

Here is my last project on SYTYC.  Now I think I need to take a long nap and catch up on my sleep.  This competition wore me out.  As much as I wanted to make it all the way to the end, I have to admit that I'm secretly relieved that I don't have to stress about making a project each week.  I would have been a crazy woman especially with the upcoming holidays and the construction work that will have to be done around my house.  Yikes!  I found out that we will be needing foundation work and it's not just a little, but a huge amount.  And everyone that has come to bid the project keeps saying the same thing, "this is bad".  Not exactly the words I want to hear, but at least their honest. Okay, enough about my house. On to the art easel.

My daughter is very interested in art and anything that has to do with creativity.  I think she has seen me paint enough that she wants to be part of the fun.  I wanted to get her one of the cute wood easels, but they seem so expensive.  When the hardware theme came up I thought this was the perfect time to make an art easel for my daughter.  With some basic carpentry skills you can whip up an art easel too!

With one side of the easel as a dry erase board and the other a chalk board your child will have a blast using this art easel. 

You can find all of the materials at your local hardware store.  Check out the mud pan, it works perfectly for holding chalk and dry erase markers.

I haven't developed a tutorial on this and I always forget to take pictures while I'm doing a project, but I'm sure I could piece something together if anyone is interested in a tutorial for this project.  Let me know if you want me to put one together.  I'm still working on the fish hat tutorial and I should have it up this week.  I didn't take pictures with that project either and made a new one so I could take pictures.  Maybe I can give the fish hat away to one of my readers. 

**The tutorial is now available.  Please click on the picture below.**

Monday, November 22, 2010

Handmade Gift-o-Rama over at Country Chic Cottage

Head on over to The Country Chic Cottage where I'm doing a tutorial on a knitted/felted sunglasses case for Angie's Handmade Gift-o-Rama.  I'm also giving it away to one lucky reader! Here's a little sneak peak of the sunglasses/eyeglasses case.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Whoopie Pies

I was first introduced to this heavenly dessert by my mother in-law.  She is originally from Maine and Whoopie Pies are all the rage up there.  I can't believe I hadn't heard of them sooner.  I see them on every food blog now.  If you haven't tried them, they are absolutely delicious. I just made a batch up this week for a cookie exchange.  Today I'm going to share the recipe with you all.

Whoopie Pies
2 cups of flour
1/2 tsp of salt
1 tsp of vanilla
1 cup of milk
1 cup of sugar
1 & 1/4 tsp of baking powder
6 tbs of shortening
5 tbs of cocoa (heaping)
1 egg
Cream together sugar and shortening.  Add egg, then dry ingredients, milk, vanilla. Mix thoroughly.  Drop by the tablespoon onto a greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

3/4 cup of milk
1/4 tsp of salt
2 tbs flour
Cook on stove top until thick.  Let cool for 15 minutes.
Cream together- 3/4 cup of shortening and 3/4 cup of sugar.  Poor milk mixture in and beat till light and fluffy. Add 1 tsp of vanilla and mix well. Spread filling between 2 pies. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hardware Theme

This week on SYTYC the theme is hardware.  For me this theme is perfect.  I love the hardware store and can't get enough of Home Depot and Lowe's.  Head on over to SYTYC and submit your vote.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Nature Walk Trees

What comes to mind when I think of "natural" materials is any material that I find out in nature.  I opened my front door and proceeded to go on a nature walk.  I picked up branches, pine cones, pine needles, acorns and anything else I thought I could use for my project.  I made use of my branches by making a twig tree.

 I felt like this twig tree needed a couple companions so I created one out of pine cones and the other out of pine needles. Fun, right?  A very simple project that requires very little money to complete.  It also makes use of the materials that are literally falling out of the sky.  They are perfect pieces to display at this time of year with Thanksgiving and Christmas fast approaching. 

They are very easy to make, but I'm warning you that they do require some time.  I'm not going to lie I thought I had carpal tunnel by the time I was finished.  I used foam cones for the base of the trees and started gluing away.  For the twig tree I used small twigs and cut them into small pieces and glued them around the cone and every other row I would insert the twigs into the cone.  Sound easy enough?

The pine cone tree turned out by surprise.  I tore apart several pine cones and then used the pieces and overlapped them on the cone.  You will need to start from the top down.  I started from the bottom and that didn't work out so well.  It started to flair out in the wrong direction.  I started over and went from the top down and it started to flair out again, but I thought it looked pretty cool.  To finish it off I just cut off the rest of the cone and pushed a dowel rod into the foam and made a base for it.  Then wrapped it with wire.
The pine needle tree was very easy, but again time consuming.  Collect pine needles or find gullible children to do this for you.  Then start placing them into the tree.  I used pine cone pieces again for the base to complete the tree.  I really like how they all turned out with each one having a unique look.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Becca Stool

Here is the Becca stool designed by Anthony Marschak.  The stool is made of a natural material, bamboo.  I think it is a gorgeous stool.  To view more pieces designed by Anthony Marschak click here.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The International Quilt Fesitval

 This past weekend my mom and I went to the International Quilt Festival while it was in Houston.  We've been going the past few years and there are always so many wonderful quilts on display.  I took pictures of my favorites and will show them to you in a minute.  Going to these shows always makes me want a new sewing machine and more time to be able to make some of these awesome quilts.  Unfortunately, I doubt a new machine will help with making a better quilt.  It did inspire me to buy some fabulous fabric to make a quilt for my living room.  What is even more wonderful about this package of fabric is that it was all color coordinated for me.  You would think this would be easy for me to pick fabrics since I'm an interior designer, but for some reason putting 10 to 12 different fabrics together can consume my day.  So, I happily picked up a packet of fabric and saved myself a trip to the store and a half a days worth of time.

Now on to the quilts. I really liked the way this one looked.  I wanted to take it home and put it in my living room.  What was cool about this quilt was the pieces of tulle that were used on it.  I noticed quite a few quilts that were using tulle to give the piece texture. 

I couldn't believe this was a quilt.  It looked like a painting on canvas.  Amazing the different techniques they have to make these unbelievable quilts.  These are by no means your grandmother's quilts.

I thought this was a fun quilt.  It looks so happy and a great color combination.

Another amazing quilt that looks like a painting.  Gorgeous!

As you can tell from my favorites they are a bit more modern.  I loved this one with it's vibrant colors and circles.

Another one quilt that I loved and wanted to take home with me.

This was a big quilt and I just loved all the flowers and the design of it. 

This has such a nice design.  It was one of the miniature quilts on display.
 As you can see I'm really drawn to the quilts with the vibrant colors. 

I'm looking forward to going back next year.  I'm hoping to take in the full experience next year and sign up for a class.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Natural Theme

If you head over to SYTYC the theme this week is Natural.  Go look around and see the crafts that can be made with natural materials.  Then pick your favorite one.