Mar 31, 2011

$ 1.20 + treats = CUTE!

Ok, so  Amy over at The Idea Room made this super cute Easter basket.  She went all out and actually sewed the basket part.  A little too much work for me, especially since sewing is not something I do well.  Plus the cost was more than I wanted to spend too.  The idea though was fantastic so I tucked it away for a future day.

This week is spring break for my twins and we've been looking for fun and easy projects to fill our time.  That's when I remembered Amy's great idea and decided to tweak it to fit our budget, time, and craft level - (no sewing = happy me and easy for the kids).  

We hit the Dollar Tree for the stuffed animals.  Yup, $1 each - shocker I know, that's just how the Dollar store works :)  And, I also found the little plastic bowls there too.  5 of them in a pack, so .20 cents each.  Score!

So, here's what we did...

We started by cutting a circle out of the center of the bunny.  I feel kind of bad about this, especially since the little bunny just sat there and smiled the whole time.  He was a good sport!

Next we pushed the batting into the other parts of the bunny, like his head, 
arms and legs.

Then we hot glued some ribbon to the sides of the plastic bowl and then glued the bowl into the center of the hole that we had cut and cleared out.  Just add a bead of glue all along the rim of the bowl and then slowly work the fabric/fur up to the edge of the bowl.

When it's all glued in place, you'll have something that looks like the photo above.

Then all you need to do is fill it with a treat and give away.  Honestly, it's sad that the treats cost more than the craft.  In the end it's worth it because my kiddos are happy and we made something fun that only cost $1.20 + treats!

I think the lamb is my favorite.  He is so cute!


Mar 22, 2011

Marshmallow Fondant

A friend of mine was trying to make a Leaning Tower of Pisa cake for her sons birthday and while we were chatting about how to frost the cake I remembered how much I love to use Marshmallow fondant. 

Have you heard of it? 

It's the most awesome thing!  It's easy to make, it taste way better than regular fondant, and you can use it, in some ways, like you'd use play dough.  Get your kids involved - they'll LOVE IT!!!

Last year my church was having a fund raiser for the girls to earn money for girls camp.  They decided to have a silent auction of baked goods at a church dinner.  It was awesome.  They encouraged the girls to do the baking but anybody could bring in items.  So my daughter and I whipped up some cakes and lots of Marshmallow Fondant and we had a great time decorating.

This is Priscilla.  She was made by my daughter - isn't she awesome?  Priscilla took home the highest bid of the night.  My daughter was thrilled and it was great that all the money went towards a good cause.

So, my point..... have you ever made, and played, with Marshmallow Fondant?  No?!  Then you should.

It takes only three main ingredients.

Powder Sugar

I don't have pictures of the actual steps but there are two really great tutorials already waiting for you, check out the Cake Journal or Cake Central for some awesome step-by-step instructions.

Have fun decorating!

(Note: I made the purses above for a RS event using Marshmallow Fondant as well - you can do so much with the stuff.  It's awesome!)

Mar 20, 2011

I'm just a little girl with great big plans...

This song has been in my head and in my heart for the last three days.  Today was a particularly hard day in regards to some assignments I've been given and after an afternoon of non-stop tears, I turned this on and my mood changed almost instantly. 

I love that music can do that! 

So, as the song says, "all failure is fleeting, I trust it always has it's meaning."

Here's to tomorrow being a brand new day!  A new day to carry on with my great big plans.

Mar 18, 2011

Flower Tutorial #2

The Ribbon Rosette

Here is the second tutorial for the flowers I've been making lately.  I actually started making rolled rosettes a few months ago, they are also popular in blogland.  When I first started I started with frayed fabric strips and I did the two strips just like the instructions showed.  However, over time, I've been perfecting the process and I like this way the best.  Using ribbon is awesome and easy!

Here's how:

Pick a ribbon color and size you love.  Pretty much any size will work but I usually go with a half inch and I've found that I like satin over grosgrain.  Just a personal preference though.


Next cut a strip somewhere between 15 inches and 20 inches long. Then tie a knot on one end.


Hold the knot in one hand and start twisting the ribbon with the other hand.


Next, while keeping the ribbon twisted, add a little bit of hot glue to the side of the knot, then wrap the twisted ribbon over and secure it to the dab of glue.  Repeat those steps until your rosette is the size you prefer.

When you are done twisting and gluing, you just need to take the last part of your ribbon and add some glue to the back of the rosette and glue the end piece down.

Next you can adhere a small piece of fabric onto the back, this will cover the glue and give you something to attach a clip too.

And there you have it, a very simple rolled rosette.  Again, there seems to be a lot of different techniques to making these.  A quick internet search will yield many options.  All that I've seen are pretty close, just some little tweaks here or there in the step process.

Regardless of how you make them, there are quite a few things you can do with these rosettes, I've kind of gone crazy with them.  Besides hair accessories, I made a Welcome Sign, a ring, and I've decorated a bag with them.  Hmmm, what I can make next?

Mar 16, 2011

Flower Tutorial #1

My apologies that my blog has been a little sleepy lately.  March typically is not my crafty month. I'm not sure why.  It could be that I don't really get into St. Patty's or that it is spring break and the kiddos are home or maybe it's just the nice weather and I'm much more inclined to be outside than behind a glue gun.  There are other reasons too.... Anyway, it doesn't matter the reason, we all have our ebbs and flows.

Recently I was asked to help with a service project for my church.  We made flowers and head wraps for cancer patients.  These flowers are not an original idea, they are EVERY WHERE in blogland.  However, I have had a few people ask for the details on how I put mine together so I figured one more tutorial wouldn't hurt.

So here it is...

1- Start by cutting out 3 to 5 circles from a synthetic fabric (something that will melt like satin)  You want them to be different sizes.  I usually start by cutting my largest circle first and then cutting the next one a little smaller.  Then the next one smaller than that, and so on.

NOTE:  Keep in my mind that your circles DO NOT need to be perfectly shaped.  You could make a pattern if you want, but I didn't.  I just cut free-hand.  They won't burn perfect anyway, so no need to stress about perfect circles

2- (Not Shown in pictures)  Next you need to take your circles and very carefully melt your edges.  You can do this by holding the edge of your fabric NEAR - not in, the edge of lit candle.  The heat from the flame will melt your fabric. As it melts, slowly turn your fabric circle so that the whole circle will eventually have melted edges. This will also seal the fabric so it won't fray.  You'll notice that as the edges melt, the fabric will also start to curl inward which will make it look like a flower petal.  Also, do this is a safe area.  I put my candle right in my kitchen sink so it was not near anything flammable, plus I had water close buy if needed.

Here are the circles after the edges have been melted.

3- Next I added a little felt circle to the back of the very largest petal.  Technically you could skip this step but if you are going to add a pin or a hair clip, you'll want to do this as it will give some strength to your flower and the clip/pin will hold in place better.  (If won't flop around as much when you wear it)

So, take your largest petal and turn it over.  Place your felt circle in the center and sew it in place.  I'm not a great sewer so I just did a quick stitch.  (If you have a fear of needles, you could skip the sewing and just glue it in place.)  Also, make sure your thread is fairly long.  You'll need the extra thread for the next steps.

4- Now that your felt circle is in place, stack your other petal layers in place and bring needle up through the center of all the layers.  Now start sewing in your bead centers.  The best way to anchor your beads tightly is to run the needle back down through all the layers and then come back up for the next bead.  I usually like to add three beads but you can add as many as you'd like.  After you've added all your beads, just run the needle back down to the back of the flower and tie a knot.

5- And last but not least, attach your clip or pin and you're done!  You can sew the pin in place or use hot glue.

Easy enough right?  They make great hair accessories or even cute pins to attach to clothing.

Tomorrow I'll share the other styles that we had on display.

Mar 11, 2011

The Beary Best

My creative efforts have been shifted this week. I've had to put my crafty creations on hold and focus on creatively planning a youth event that is coming up. Event planning is fun but there really is a stress relief in playing with paper, ribbons, and paint and I'm in need of a crafty fix.

Until that can happen though, I wanted to share one of my "beary" favorite projects from pre-blog times. And before I go any further, you need to know I AM NOT A SEWER. However, I did pull off making these bears and I've made about 20 of them in different sizes for gifts over the last 12 years. (I kind of went crazy)

The first one I ever made was for my oldest daughter when she was just 18 months. The bear was SOOO huge compared to her little toddler body. I loved watching her try to carry it around. She loved that bear! It was our reading bear. She and I would sit between the bears legs, lean up against it's body, and read books. Such a great memory.

(It's not the best photo but you can see her giving her bear a big love - awww!)

Years later, her twin sisters saw pictures of her bear and wanted one too.  This is the cool part ... while I was Walmart one day, I noticed they were clearing out a bunch of winter blankets for $3.  They were brown and super soft and PERFECT for bears.  So, I dug out my pattern, set to work and made them each their own bear.

They love their bears and still have theirs.  They sleep with them.  Use them for floor pillows.  For fort walls and to watch tv in.  And, truth be told, I've used them a few times too.  There is something so comforting snuggling up in a stuff animal of that size... even when you are 37.  Seriously, they make Sunday naps on the living room floor so much more enjoyable.

So, here's the deal.  Lots and lots of stores are clearing out their winter items right now.  If you see blankets for the cheap - BUY THEM.  Then make your kiddos a bear.  They will think you are the best mom ever!

And right about now you are thinking "but what about the pattern?".  I found mine 13 years ago in a craft store in Roy, UT.  However, thanks to this lovely thing called the internet, you can buy yours without even leaving your house.  Sweet!  I was thrilled to find that this lady still has patterns and even some other styles too.  So fun.   So, here is the magical link, and no - I'm not getting paid, I just wanted to share something that has been a huge hit in our house.  (Judi Lynn Designs

Anyway, I hope you all have a BEARY great weekend.  Thanks for following my blog, I'll be back with new creations soon.  (And, if you are LDS and have any great ideas for youth conference PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE send them my way!)


Mar 6, 2011

Place Mat Pillow


First off, this is not my idea.  I saw it somewhere in blogland a few years ago.  I loved it though, it was such a great, frugal, creative, and easy (I'm all about easy) idea that I tucked it away in the corner of my mind. I knew I'd use it eventually.

Lately, I've been making changes to our living room.  I'm trying to add more color and do it in a budget friendly way.  I'm cheap - there I said it - and dropping $20+ on a throw pillow doesn't appeal to me, however, making my own for about $5 is right up my alley.  So, when I saw this place mat at Target and it matched my colors, I snagged it.

It's cute, right?!  Here's what I did to make it into a pillow ...

1- You need a fabric place mat that has two pieces sewn together.  You can usually tell because it will have a seam all the way around it and the seam will be very close to the edge.  

2- Unpick a small portion of the seam on the place mat.  I chose to unpick an area on what would become the bottom of my pillow.

3- Once you've unpicked enough to get your hand inside, add the batting.  Be sure not to get it clumpy.  You want to add your batting in loose pieces and fill it enough that it's firm but not over filled.

4- Once you've got your batting added, simply hand sew the opening closed.

And there you have, a very simple throw pillow.  So easy!

It cost me about $5 and I made it in about 15 minutes.  Awesome!