Friday, December 30, 2011

what? it's over

just like that...

But wait...let me just rewind a bit...

We had a wonderful Christmas. When Santa asked Alfredo what he wanted he said "I trust can just pick out something you think I'll like." Seriously.

We arrived at Santa's workshop just as he was taking a break to feed the reindeer. What to do at a crowded mall for 45 minutes to pass the time? We went to build-a-bear and made Erik, the penguin from Happy Feet 2. Except Alfredo named him Rojo. And dressed him up in a red power rangers suit. Just picture that fluffy guy shoved into a tight red body suit. (the penguin, not Santa!)

We're spending our mornings snuggled up in our pajamas until we can barely stand it, waging wars between dinosaurs and power rangers with some spy cars thrown in for good measure. Just now I overheard him whispering, one dinosaur to another, "Stand still now while I punch you in the face"...where does he get this stuff? I'm quite sure those are 10 words I've never uttered together. 

Hope you're having as much fun with all your new Christmas toys!

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 23, 2011

felt "paper" dolls

Here's what I'm finishing up about last minute! But I've actually been working on these, off and on (more off than on lately) since before Thanksgiving.

The idea is to make a paper doll from felt...the clothes just stick to the felt (the same way as a felt storyboard)

I used a Sizzix die for the paper doll, which made the job so easy! I embroidered a little face on each little girl and colored their cheeks with a bit of crayon.

I'm making 5 sets of these felt dolls for the little girls on our list...they'll each have a few changes of clothing, shoes, hairstyles. The hairstyles and dresses/shoes are separate dies. I found the dresses and shoes die on Etsy (the die has since been retired)

My friend Pam lent me the retired die to cut a cowboy hat and boots.

I glued each felt doll to a mattboard cutout of the same to give a bit of stability.

I'm going to package each set in a cigar box. If I have time, I'll make a little suitcase for each, using Eileen Hull's suitcase Sizzix die. But I'd better get back to work! Where are those elves when you need them?

Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

pocket warmers!

Here's another gift I'm working on...pocket warmers! They are little pillows that you warm in the microwave and then pop in your coat pocket.

I did a little bit of research and decided to fill them with buckwheat seeds (not hulls). Here's an excellent source (They even shipped my order overnight to make sure I had it in time. I had purchased hulls from another source before I found out that they are not a good filler for an item to be microwaved. ) A cheaper alternative would be to fill them with deer corn (which is easy to find this time a year...Walmart has 40 lb bags for under $5) but they give off a slight popcorn smell when warmed in the microwave. Buckwheat has a mild odor...I scented mine with a few drops of geranium oil. Whatever you do, don't add dry herbs or lavendar. I did that with my first ones and they (and the whole house) smelled burnt right away.

I made the pocket warmers from sleeves of felted wool sweaters. Whatever you use, be sure to use a natural fiber material. Anything with a polyester content (including some felt) will melt and possibly ignite.

I cut a heart shape from another sweater and sewed it on.

I sewed the bottom of the cuff and then filled it with about 1/4 cup of buckwheat. Then I sewed it shut.
Please be very sure to label your gift with instructions to heat in microwave for just 1 minute. Just to be sure, I tested each pair in the microwave for 2 minutes. It's good to do that for two be sure of the safety (maybe you don't know the content of the sweater you felted) and to kill any insect eggs that might be in the buckwheat seeds. The pocket warmers should be warm but not hot to the touch.

If it's too late for you to make these for Christmas this year, wouldn't they make great Valentine gifts?

Here are some sites of interest that I found while researching: (Really great safety stuff!)  (especially the comments!) (yikes! Martha had a pocket warmer project a few years ago using stone pie weights...they got so hot that the pocket warmers ignited! The project and all references to it were removed from the site.

Monday, December 19, 2011

candy sleigh!

When I saw this project on pinterest, I dropped everything and went out and bought all the candy I needed to make them...

Isn't it adorable? You can find the complete instructions here but you basically just hot glue all the candy in place...

I made 24 of them in no time flat...

And now I have 24 sweet little gifts for Alfredo's Little Gym teachers, the receptionist at church, friends who drop by...

My friends' children are going to stop by this week to make some too...I think they make super gifts for kids to make and give. (You can use hot glue the candy canes and kit kat together for the younger kids and then just use regular glue or even glue dots for the candy stack!)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

donut snowmen!

Tomorrow is Alfredo's class Christmas party. Inspired by this and this and this and this, we just made these super cute snowmen...

Two small powdered donuts stacked in a clear plastic cup, with a bit of frosting between to make them more secure for transporting.

Orange tic-tac nose. Black decorator frosting for eyes...I used the tip of the tube to make indentations and then filled it with the frosting.

The hat was made from apple or peach rings topped with a gumdrop (with a bit of frosting between).

To assemble: Put a little frosting in the bottom of a cup, pop one donut down. Put a little frosting on that donut. Decorate a face on the side of another donut and stack it on top. Pop the hat on and your done. A scarf would be so sweet...maybe made of licorice rope?

One little boy in the class has a food allergy so we made his out of marshmallows...

Isn't he cute too?

Friday, December 16, 2011

so sweet

Yesterday, Alfredo's class decorated gingerbread houses! It was so much fun. And just look how adorable his house is! Can you stand it? I think it's so funny that he used a Swedish fish for the front door.

A few moms got together the day before to construct the houses from special gingerbread flavored graham crackers. That way, the houses were all set up and sturdy for all the candy decorations they used. And boy, did they use a lot of candy. (but even more candy went into their tummies!)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

for life's little emergencies...

For the mommies on my gift list, I'm making little emergency kits. Initially, I thought I'd put them in something an Altoids tin. (like this and this and this) But I kept adding stuff and it soon outgrew the tin.

So I piled all the things together and measured and found a hinged acrylic box for about $1/each (but I had to buy 75). I probably could've found something cheaper but I really liked the idea of being able to see through the container.

I made the label using one of Pam's fun borders from her doodle bundle. The label says "no's little emergencies kit.  "When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life you have a thousand reasons to smile." (a quote I found on Pinterest)

Here's what's inside...

  • tissues
  • dental flosser
  • candy
  • cough drop
  • matches
  • tiny scissors
  • shout stain wipes
  • nail file
  • 2 bandaids
  • birthday candles
  • wet wipes
  • sewing kit with needles, thread & button
  • q-tips
  • rubber bands
  • paper clips
  • bobby pins
  • ponytail holder
  • a small stack of papers
  • pencil
  • post-its
  • sunscreen
  • handwarmers
  • advil
  • chapstick
  • birthday card
  • pepto bismal
  • emergency chocolate
  • tiny wooden forks
  • dental pick
  • facial oil blotting papers (repackaged in glassine envelope-not shown)
  • a deodorant towelette (not shown)
  • a cocktail umbrella (just for fun)
Now I'm off to make about 20 of these!

If you wanted to make a tiny version, I think it would be pretty easy. You'd have to cut out the big packages and repackage stuff. Look at this one repackaged in a plastic cassette case. If you still have plastic cassette cases hanging around, that would be a great way to recycle them. And one really great hint she had was that a match could be lit using the emory board.

Or you know what? You could just buy a little emergency kit here...they did all the work for you. :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

a little Christmas

Can you tell what I've been working on?

I'll show you more...hopefully later today.

Are you enjoying your Christmas season?

Friday, December 9, 2011

wish list 2011

Santa Baby...
put a present under the tree...
for me....

All you have to do, Santa, is click and buy.
(& Since I made it so easy for you, maybe I should get everything on my list...wink )

I've heard great things about it!

and this...

it seems like a miracle...

Isn't this just lovely?
embroidered entirely by hand...

I feel warm just looking at it...

so pretty

oh my stars, that's beautiful....



to keep me warm

so cute

I think I would wear it every single jingle day

And mama needs a new pair of shoes...

Flats to be exact...take your pick, Santa

I'm a sucker for pretty shoe lining...

in bordeaux...
 or black (or both!)

And I really, really love these...
(They are handmade, for goodness sake!
As in one single sweet cobbler all the way in blessed England making this sweet pair of shoes...for me....)

Mama needs a bag too...

in red leather...

or printed velvet (swoon!)

There's nothing in the world lovelier than a fresh new pair of pajamas at the end of the day...

And I like bee's knees.

Goodness, can anything be cuter?

p.s. thank you.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Knitting Contrissmas

As part of her Knitting Contrissmas, Tina (aka Knitting Contessa) interviewed me on her blog. You can read it here. (& be sure to enter the contest to win a hard copy of Christmas 2011 Inspired Ideas!)

This is day 7 of her Christmas sharing sure to check out all the other interviews, giveaways and stay tuned to her blog for more goodies to come!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Snowman Ornament

Matthew Mead and I had so much fun exchanging projects for our magazines (such a great idea!) that we decided to exchange ornaments as well. Last week, we shared tutorials for how to make the ornaments with you...

Be sure to check out Matthew's blog for my complete tutorial to make this sweet snowman ornament!