Thursday, June 21, 2012

Beautiful Things

Hiking with my family doesn't happen often enough.  This last weekend we drove out of town and went exploring a new area.  The hike was challenging although it was only 1 and 1/2 miles up to the top.  We are out of  However, the area we hiked was so stunningly gorgeous it felt more than worth it. 

As you know by now this is a craft blog, and lately I've been really struck with the question, why do I do this?  Why am I compelled to create things?  There are quite a few reasons I can come up with, and I don't want to scare anyone off by sounding a little philosophical here, but I truly believe that the joy I get from creating is a gift from my creator.

The one who created this  

And this

 And this

I am thankful for the gift of creating and even more thankful for the beautiful things in my life that put my creations to shame.  And I am most thankful for the beautiful thing that is being made of my life when what is often in my heart is so, not, beautiful.  

This song has been running through my head today and you will not be sorry if you listen to it :)


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Money in the Bank

My little guy and I were given homework after his last Dr.'s appointment.  Since he is not even a year old you may wonder if my son is freakishly smart.  Although I think he is very smart, we are not memorizing U.S. Presidents or anything that outstanding.  His doctor actually gave us a list of problem-solving activities to do which includes playing "Money in the Bank".  The form suggested cutting a slit in the top of an empty container and giving him juice can tops to put into it.  Booooring, and we don't drink that much juice.  The last time I made him a home-made toy I literally stabbed a couple of holes into a wipes dispenser, and threaded some yarn through the holes.  He loved it!  But this time I wanted to come up with something a little bit cuter...

A rice cereal canister works well.  I saved them knowing that they would be handy for something.  I put together a little tutorial in case you would like to make one too.

Canister with removable lid (any that you have)
Felt (white for the backing) (various colors for the money)
Coordinating thread
Hot glue
Stitch Witchery
Embroidery Needle & Decorative thread (optional)
Cardboard (e.g. cereal box....)
Exact-o knife


Using pieces of string, yarn, or a flexible measuring tape, measure the height as well as the circumference.  Measure the height of the canister with the lid on in order to allow for the lid to close!  Cut a piece of felt to your measurements.  Then cut a piece of fabric slightly larger (I added 1 in. to the height and 1/2 in. to the circumference measurement).

Next, cut a length of stitch witchery the same length as the fabric.  Cut the stitch witchery in half lengthwise.  Center the felt on the wrong side of the fabric.  Place a piece of the stitch witchery along one edge of the felt and fold the fabric over.  Making sure that the fabric is completely covering the stitch witchery, follow the instructions on the stitch witchery package to set the seam.  Repeat with the other side. 

When both edges are finished flip the piece over and iron it flat. 

Cut letters out of your coordinating colored felt.  It helps to cut rectangles that are the basic size you will want your letters to be, and then cut the letters from those rectangles.

Attach the letters with hot glue.  Watch the fingers!

Get creative if you'd like and embroider the letters!

Make a line on the canister where the lid ends.  Then remove the lid.  You will use this line to guide your fabric placement.  If you let your fabric go above the line, your canister will not close (and that would be sad!). 

 Hot glue straight up the side.

Press the left unfinished end of the fabric onto the hot glue.

Use more hot glue on the canister to attach the rest of the fabric.  Turn under the other unfinished end and carefully hot glue it to create a nice finished edge.  I chose to take a few extra minutes to slip stitch the edge as well, since my little guy is very tough on toys.

Using an exact-o knife cut a slot into the lid.

You can't have the bank without coins.  Cut 20 same size circles from a cereal box with some heavy duty scissors.  Make your circles about a half inch in diameter less than the length of the slot to allow room for the felt covering.  To make it go faster I accordion folded the cardboard and cut out several at a time.  Don't worry about being too precise. 

Hot glue a stack of 4 circles together then cut out a rectangle of felt, large enough that it can be doubled over the circles and have plenty of room around it for sewing. 

Using your sewing machine, zig-zag stitch or regular stitch around the edge of the cardboard circles.  Cut off the excess felt.

Make 4 more!

If you want, cut out numbers 1 through 5 and hot glue them to the "coins". 

My son loves his bank and has gotten so fast at putting the coins in I need to make more!  Happy playing!


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Shower Favors - potted flowers

 There are a lot of shower favor ideas out there, but I wanted to share one of my favorites.

My mom and I put these little zinnia pots together for a baby shower I co-hosted.  We found the plants at our local hardware store along with the little pots that you can plant right in the ground.  At the craft store we picked up the ribbon and labels.  Lucky for me, my mom is great at calligraphy and labeled all the tags for me!  (I don't have the best handwriting)  

I am also a fan of little silver tins!  

Ah, beauty!