Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Believe Banner

Although I prefer to work with scrapbook papers, as far as crafts go, since I'm an Independant Creative Memories Consultant, I find the paper banners pretty, but not as likely to last in a decorative manner as long as cloth.  So I made this banner from felt on the back and letters, and then scraps of material for the print and also made my own bias tape to string them together.  I thought aobut ribbon for this, but really found it easy to cut the strips and then press them over to cover the banner top.I think that these will last much longer and could even be washed if needed.  I wouldn't advise drying them in the dryer, or the felt will do some funky things.  This whole thing didn't cost me anything to make because I had them from past projects.  I'm going to add these to the craft show in December.  What do you think?  I need some honest opinions here, because my dh is just saying "that's nice" to humor me.  It's ok, if you don't like - tell me how I could better improve them.  I'll try not to cry and be hurt!
I am linking up to: Creative Cats Friday - Poppies At Play
Frugalicious Friday - Finding Fabulous
Holiday Highlights - The DIY Showoff
Met Monday - Between Naps on the Porch
DIY Day - A Soft Place to Land

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Cute Turkeys by Kids

Everyone has gone hunting this weekend, so I am home alone with the little kids.  My 3- and 5-year-olds were bugging me to "do a craft" today, so I found a great site with tons of craft ideas and came up with this idea (and then I lost it!).   I had all the things to make them on hand, so the cost is zero.  Unfortunately, I would suggest a little older kids to do this, because I had to do all the pipe cleaners.  It was a good lesson on anatomy of a turkey though.  For the directions, go here.

I found the site that was so wonderfully organized!!  It's Childmade: An Idea Place.  You should check it out!

I am linking up to: Holiday Highlights #2 - The DIY Show Off
Met Monday - Between Naps on the Porch

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Be Merry Banner

I may have found a new addiction - paper banners!  It's wonderful to use up some of my papers that have not been used in a while!  It so fun to use the new ones that are out, but I feel guilty when I haven't used up the old yet.  This is solving my problem.  If you are interested in these great papers and stickers - all color coordinating - please check my website hereI think this turned out adorable and may not take it down until Christmas (I'm just not ready to do Christmas inside until Thanksgiving Day!)  Unlike the Give Thanks banner that I did, this one I added sitckers to it and I inked around the circle edges.  I also roughed up the bottom piece of paper with sandpaper.
Let me know what you think!  These are so fun to make.  I have an opportunity to sell some thingsa at a craft fair the first weekend in December.  Does anyone thing this would work?  What would you price them at?

I am linking to: 12 Weeks of Christmas - Red Writing
Transformation Thursday - Shabby Chic Cottage
Creative Cats Friday - Poppies at Play
Room A Month - Shades of Pink

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sconce Redo

I hope that these pictures show you the redo that I did on these Home Interiors Sconces for my new office space.  They have been hanging in my entryway on two sides of the closet door since we built the house six years ago.  I've been sick of them, but had no ideas about what to replace them with.  Well, I still have no idea what to replace them with, but I had a need for them in my office.

 All it took to transform these ugly things into a little bling was a couple of coats of black spray paint (did I say recently that I should own stock in spray paint?).  I haven't fixed the mis-matched candles in the holders, yet, but hey - they make me so much happier in their new home.  That box between is an antique Dr. Pepper wooden box filled with all the glues and things my kids can't have, but I need access too!  I got it at a rummage sale for $2! 

This all hangs over my two sewing machine cabinets on the wall.  I know that it needs something more,  I just haven't decided what yet.  I would love any advice you could give.  Oh, and me sure to page through the rest of the blog for some of the other office redos I have been working on!  Also - check out my new button to the right - it has a sample of my material used for my Roman Shades that I made! Be sure to share my button on your blog, too! I think it's turning out great little-by-little.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Pumpkins in Review

I have been in a Pumpkin phase this year!  I'm not sure why, but I really have been making quite a few pumpkins with all my projects going on.  I thought that I would share the ones we've made, before we are fully into the Christmas phase of crafting.  Ok - so I have been making my Christmas presents in a rush this week, because my brother and his family are going to celebrate on Black Christmas  Friday with my Mom.  I don't want to pay shipping, so I am getting that to her before then, so it costs us less!

Anyway, back to the pumpkins in review.  I thought I would feature my pumpkins here to brag, since I get no feedback from my dh or kids.  In fact, they think I'm a little weird on this!
I had to make one of those wire pumpkins that were featured on a great tutorial here by Shades of Pink.  This was really simple and cost me nothing because I begged my dh to find me some wire at work (he's an auto technician).  He actually found it right away that night!
The next pumpkins were cloth ones that I ran out right away and bought the material for them, but then I didn't make them for a few weeks!  Shame on me! 

I found quite a few tutorials on these, and I am sorry if I don't site the source here, but kind of used all of them in my head as a guide!  What I did was cut out a circle the size of my dinner plates, basted them with dmc floss, put rice down in the bottom for some weigt and then stuffed them with Walmart bags.  A little hot glue to hold both sticks and stems on them.  The two you can see closest are stems from acorn squash that I saved.  The far one (barely visable) has a stick.  I liked both ways, although, I might suggest dressing up the stick with some raffia or something.  The dinner plate size was amazingly small for a pumpkin, but I think they look great on my candle holder that I got at a church sale for $.50!  Not bad, huh?

Next are my favorite - the scrap wood pumpkins!  These scraps I keep bugging off my dh (he keeps trying to throw them away).  I painted them orange with acrylic paint (which was very bright).  I thne took brown paint and dry brushed it on all sides and then wiped it off before it dried.  Glued on my sticks, and put bows with raffia on them.  Oh, this was where I got this one: It's a Daisy Day.

This cute little pumpkin was made by my little 5-year-old pumpkin!  I apolgize the great Mom that came up with this idea, but, it is made completely out of recycled items - so it's free.  For us, it also was educational for our homeschool.  My son is learning to cut in a straight line and coloring too!  Those extra paper scraps that you get from printing coupons, I had saved up and had my little one cut in straight strips.  Then he colored all of the pieces on one side orange.  (They can even have the printing on them, it doesn't matter!)  Then we cut a toilet paper tube to size and glued the strips in each end.  The little piece of cardboard we cut off, he colored green and we tucked and glued that into the top.  He is so proud of this because I used it in the rest of my fall decorations!

The last pumpkin craft that we made can be found here in my potato printing project that we also did for a homeschool project!  Please let me know what you think!  I have been having a great time making all these pumpkins this year!  I am linking to:

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My Holiday Shopping Techniques

Since I have been trying to catch The 12 Weeks of Christmas at Red Writing, I figured that this week, I would actually do a post for this specific challenge.  I have either had a post that worked in the past, or I just viewed all the great ideas.  The challenge this week is to give your Shopping techniques for Christmas.  What a perfect topic for a blog about saving money!
  1. Make a List - I usually do this, and then ask my dh for his input which is not really much.  He likes to humor my lists!  I find this helps to put some of my worries aside that we are forgetting someone.
  2. Brain Storm - This is the really hard one, because we have so many people to give to and so little money to work with.  I usually have things either started or at least planned already, because I really like to give handmade gifts.  I am starting to have second thoughts about that, since this last year, my brother sold my quilted wall hanging and table runners for $.50 at my Mom's garage sale.  I bought them!
  3. Stock Up - Each week, as I am doing my regular sale and coupon shopping, I start to sneak in my purchases.  For example, last year my youngest two were really enjoying dress up, so I went the day after Halloween and bought them some great costumes for under $5 each to give for Christmas.  (By the way, those are the only presents that they still play for hours with today!)  Other ideas may be candles, shampoos, spa things, etc.  If you stock up a little at a time, Christmas doesn't seem so expensive and you can pay for it all in cash!!!
  4. Create - This is where I usually start making gifts for everyone.  I am already in my office up to my eyeballs in this year's gifts because I need to get them to my Mom by Thanksgiving, or I'll have to ship them!  Even if it is putting together a basket of spa items for the whole family, you can consider making a small item.  I already showed you the Potato print cards that we will be tying together with a ribbon for Grandma this year!  Go here to see that project.  I often ask around what people like that they recieved from others, and have quite a few friends that make gifts also.  One of my friends and her kids made homemade root beer for their school project and gave them as gifts.  She said the only bad thing about that was that they had to do it the day or two before Christmas, as it needed to be consumed right away.
  5. Black Friday - I know, this is a crazy day.  We reserve this only for our children's gifts.  We plan out the gifts on Thanksgiving evening together, and then it's our yearly date morning.  We sneak out before the kids awake (we've hired a teen sometimes to come over night) and actually try to get everything we possibly can at Walmart at a price match.  The other stores are 45 minutes from us, so most things we can get here at Walmart.  Anything that is left, by the time we get there, the crowds are down a little, and we just enjoy the day together.  If we get it, great, if not, oh well!  We have even walked into a store and decided our one item was not worth the wait, and walked out and went out for breakfast!  Even though the stores are crazy this day, we can really get the most for our money, but we stick to a budget and we stick to our pre-planned list - no more!
Well, there you have it.  My Shopping Techniques for the season!  I usually come home after our Black Friday Date and lock myself in the bedroom and wrap while my husband and kids get the lights up outside!  I'm usually done by that day completely and I can enjoy the rest of my holiday!  I can't wait to hear what everyone else does.  I am linking up to: 12 Days of Christmas - Red writing

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Give Thanks Garland

After seeing this great Give Thanks garland here at 5.eleven design, I couldn't resist and make my own version of this!  I happen to have a set of fall papers from last year on hand with lots of scraps I was able to use up!  I am so excited that this cost me nothing to make, adds so much to the room, reminds us to be thankful and is pretty too!  Check my website for more papers here.

I may even go back and use some sandpaper on the edges to make it more intersting.  Please click on the picture for a close up version.

I am linking in to: Met Monday - Between Naps on the Porch
Fall Festival - The DIY Show Off
DIY Day - A Soft Place to Land
Transformation Thursday - The Shabby Chic Cottage

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Piggly Wiggly Deals - should I keep it?

I need your vote!  Should I keep the Piggly Wiggly Deals coming?  Please answer on the poll to the right!  You can answer more than once!  This week, unless I get some reaction to the poll and this post, I won't be posting the deals.  The reason I am thinking about discontinuing this column, is that I never get comments for these posts, so I can't tell that there are people really using this.  It takes me an hour or so to get  everything together each week, and if no one is reading this, then I have better things to do with my time - like scrapbook!!

If I have enough votes or comments during the week, I will put the deals up as soon as I am able to.  Thanks for all your input!

Goodwill Pillow Redo

I found this table cloth (it was square) at Goodwill a couple of weeks ago, and immediately knew that it perfectly matched my couches and had the orange that I have been wanting to switch to.  I stood and contemplated it for quite some time, because I felt that it was on the expensive side - $3.99 for second hand.  This is a whole different topic, but have any of you noticed that Goodwill has gotten really expensive lately?  I was looking last weekend for some jeans for my son and found them to be $20-$25 a pair!  I can get them cheaper and  brand new at Wal-mart!  I guess lesson learned, you need to be careful about even the second-hand stores, because they seem to be creeping up in price.  I personally equate them to going to a rummage sale, so tend not to do much shopping at second hand stores unless I really need something and it's the dead of winter!  I get much better prices at rummage sales, so try to stock up all summer for any winter needs.

Back to my tablecloth (sorry for the bunny chaser!) - I felt that when you divided it by 4 it was only a dollar per pillow because I have 4 pillows to redo.
Here are my very sorry couch pillows, that maybe I should just throw away instead of rehab them!  The left one is the the before and the right one is after I stuffed more stuffing into it!  These have taken a beating with my husband and four kids, and have turned flat and droopy.  I'm too cheap to part with them, so I decided to use the ends of my quilting projects (you know, all that batting that you need to cut off to make your quilt fit the batting!) to stuff them back to life.

Because I only had enough of the table cloth to cover one side of the pillows, I decided to use some material I had around the house to cover the back.  It's not my favorite, but it works and actually matches the ribbing on my couch!  I did take the fringe from around the outside of the tablecloth and used that downt he middle for decoration.  How I did that was first I cut the cloth into 4 pieces bigger than each pillow.  I then cut each quarter in half.  The half that didn't have the fringe on it, I hemmed one edge so I could make a pocket to put the pillow through (I am sorry to those of you with the "mistreatments" but this one had to be sewn to stand up to my kids!).  I then put the right sides together, making sure to overlap the fringed half over the hemmend piece.
Here are the results!  I included a photo of the back side too.  It even has a texture to it, but that is what I don't like.  My hands are so dry all the time that they get caught on the material all the time.  The only thing that I am going to have to change is that I need to hand stitch my pocket together, as with everyone laying on these, it is getting pushed open all the time.  I figured that I've never changed the zipper covers on the pillows before in six years, if I need to wash a case here or there, it won't take me long to take the stitches out and re-stitch them.

The moral of the story here is that if you are on a budget, start to look at things in a different way than they are intended.  You might have a curtain panel or two that can be used to cover a pillow, or even make an upholstered headboard with (see my headboard here.)  You may decide to use old door knobs for hooks or any numerous other ways to reuse what you already own.  Use a little creativity and have some fun saving money too!
Let me know what you think!  I'll be linking up to: 2nd Time Around - A Picture is Worth 1000 Words

Monday, November 2, 2009

Potato Printing Cards for gifts!

I homeschool three of my kids right now, so often my day is centered around doing school and a possible project with them here and there.  Somewhere along the way, we have really gotten away from doing any arts and crafts during school, but since I have been having my own craft obsession lately, I thought that would try to incorporate some craft things into their education.
We just started with  a kindergartener again, and have found that he is not easily entertained or kept still for long, but he really gets excited about doing crafts.  We decided to do potato prints one day.  Both my 3- and 5-year-old had a great time doing this project!  In fact, we changed the paint color to make apples too.  We had just had some friends give us some free apples, so we wanted to make an apple thank you card.  I think they turned out so cute!  The left two were made by my 5-year-old and the right one was made by my 3-year-old!

The older two kids were learning about the Chinese and the invention of printing, so it seemed fitting for them to make their own cards also!  They were practicing their Chinese characters and each chose one to print up a set of cards (I was thinking they would be a great Christmas gift for people when tied together with a ribbon!)  This project was more difficult, and took the kids quite some time to get the characters cut out correctly from the potatoes, but they are working at a 7th Grade level now, so that is to be expected.  The character ont he the lower left corner means mountain and the other character means woman.
Please let me know what you think!  I will be linking up to the folowing parties this week: