Wednesday, December 31, 2008


T2 and I made a hasty NYE craft today - a shiny noise maker. She won't be staying up until mid night but we'll celebrate with her earlier in the evening - T1 will see the New Year in with us, a movie and a big bowl of popcorn!

It's so quick to make and doesn't need too many materials.

You'll need: dowel/wooden spoon/pencil
Aluminum foil
curling ribbon
bells if you have them (if not - it can just be a NYE 'wand')
small piece of cardboard
Chenille stems if you have them.

We wrapped foil around the dowel,
Drew a star on cardboard (I used a cookie cutter as a template) and roughly folded foil aaround it and squished it into shape.
While T2 coloured on the star with markers, I threaded bells onto a couple of chenille stems and wound them around the dowel (could be threaded on ribbon if no stems)
Then I cut several lengths of curling ribbon and tied them to the top of the dowel.
Finally I added the star - this can be easily attach by hot glue/staple/tape

You may also need a couple of these

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Glue, glue and even more glue

I had collage goodies ready, a bowl of glue, glue spreader and paper all ready for T2. I let her do whatever she wanted to do with it. The result was definitely gluey and may take until next year to dry but she totally loved searching through the collage box until she found what she was looking for.

Letting go...

I like my craft cupboard to be organized so I can easily find what I'm looking for. As part of my post-Santa reorganizing, I set to work on the playroom cupboards to make room for new toys. I didn't stop there and decided to take out all the collage goodies and make sure everything was back in the correct bag/envelope so they would no longer over flow out of the designated container. Once everything was back in it's place, I started thinking about how, were I a child, I'd probably prefer rummaging through a box of wispy, sparkly treasures than simply pulling out a package. Here's where I felt an overwhelming desire to let go of the Kate Gosselin in me and I took the box out, opened all the packages, dumped out all the pom poms, foam shapes, feathers etc in to the box, plunged my hands in and tossed them like a salad. It was strangely liberating!

Monday, December 29, 2008


Now I can breathe - no more gift shopping/wrapping/delivering.

As one year draws to a close and another dawns, we'll be planning a year of buying less, making more and using what we have. Simplifying this part of our life will hopefully balance the chaos of a probable house move/school change for T1/start of Kindergarten for T2 and Huds the dog probably leaving us to train as a dog guide (unless he gets chosen for the breeding program - he's one of 4 that's being considered).

My head has been spinning with ideas of things I want to try to make - so much so, it's keeping me awake at night. Waiting for sleep is about the only chance I get to really think without distractions and ideas come flooding in.

My relaxation time has been consumed by loom knitting/ I am so 'hooked' (lol). I've made many hats and now I'm working on a blanket. It's so easy and the result is much more even than when I knit with needles.

The kids are thrilled with their new toys and the homemade gifts I made seemed well received so all is good.

Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays

I'm having computer problems. Check back with me next week and hopefully they will be solved!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


It's hard to feel jolly when the sewing machine malfunctions halfway through a project aaaaaargh

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It's all about the glitter...

At this time of year a craft isn't complete without glitter. It's a rare thing to reach December 25 without glitter being spread throughout the house via fingers or feet (this year we can add doggy paws to the list) and this year is no exception.

Today T2 and I made glitter ornaments for our tree. I cut out an upper case 'T' from cardboard. T2 smothered it in glue and a sprinkle heap of glitter. We repeated this with a triangle and a circle and once she, the table, the floor and surrounded area were suitably sparkling - she was ready to move onto something else leaving me to deglitter and remind myself that soon the glitter can go away again until it's time to do it all again next December!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Busy, busy, busy....

Like most people, I am crazy busy right now - finishing projects, shopping, planning and suffering from brain over load. Within the craziness, I have been trying to find opportunities for fun and relaxation. My latest discovery is circular loom knitting. I can knit but not very well - I have a problem with tension which results in uneven knitting and that causes tension and frustration for me too! With the circular loom - I can knit a baby hat in less than an hour and it looks pretty even too. This will be a great activity for me when I sit for a while - it's portable too so perfect for anywhere pretty much! I think I'll make a bunch of tiny baby hats. When T2 was born, we were offered a basket of hand knitted hats to choose one from rather than the usual jersey type. It was nice knowing that someone had crafted it for a new life. I'd like to donate some too - how nice to think it might be the very first piece of clothing a new baby will wear.

T2 and I had fun today making hanging snow flakes and a snow flake ornament. I found the hanging snow flake craft somewhere online but my computer keeps freezing and I didn't bookmark the site so I can't remember who to credit for the idea. It was the simplest craft ever and it looks really cute (pics to follow).

I've been finishing up some home made gifts and getting them ready to deliver - several tutus, hair clips, head bands and I'm almost finished a landscape board for my little friend J's train track to be built on. He had a train table but it was too small so he'll now have a 3'x4' board to play on and it can slide under his bed when he's done with it. I just have to seal it with a clear coat and it will be done!

Next I need to make T2 a stocking because T1 has a large one and until now T2 has had a small one but now she's 3 - I'm sure she'll notice and let us know how unfair it is so I will be sewing that tonight. Lastly, inspired by my friend Crisa - I'm going to (try to) make us matching PJ pants and add motifs to shirts so we can all have homemade holiday jammies to wear on December 24. I am not at all experienced at sewing so this could be interesting!

I've been having computer problems -being able to type this much without it crashing, is pretty amazing!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Through the eyes of a 3 year old or two.....

...I am an amazing artist. I'm totally not but I am able to colour inside the lines quite neatly and therefore T2 and her friend watched me colour as if I were some kind of artistic genius. It's nice to be admired - even if only for a minute or two!!!

There's nothing quite like.....

....being 3, dressing up and twirling with a friend. The pictures might be blurry (they were moving very fast!!) but I love them all the same.


Winter is here - snow is on the ground - I love it. I always dread winter but when it arrives I mostly like it. I don't enjoy the puddles made by boots, the icy sidewalk or the windchill but crisp snowy days I love. I like the way snow makes everything look so bright but I don't enjoy the dark mornings and having to leave my comfy warm bed to start the day. Snow sculptures, snow angels, door wreaths and lights wound through the trees make everything look magical, dark evenings make me want to snuggle under a blanket and go to bed early with a good book.

Today I decided that T and I would make some icicles like these. I didn't use ornament hangers - instead I knotted a loop of ribbon and hid the knot among the foil with the loop poking out the top. We scrunched the foil and glued and glittered and they came out really cute in a 3 year old smushed kind of way. I took pictures but they didn't come out great. You'll just have to use your imagination. Anyway - it's simple to do and doesn't take long. The end results = sparkly and shiny - what more could you ask for?

Monday, December 8, 2008

I've been busy getting ready for the holidays. Tonight I completed another gift. I wanted to make my little friend G a tutu - which I did, but I felt it needed something more so I made a hair clip and a head piece to go with it. I hope she likes them!


T1 and I finally completed the puzzle. T1 put in the last piece!

Saturday, December 6, 2008


Tired of finding miniature animals all over the floor, I told T2 that she needed to pick them up and put them in the box or I would suck them up with vacuum and they would be gone. Her response "No Mommy, the elephant won't fit -but if it does, it is strong and it will swipe the vacuum away with it's trunk"

T2 -1

Friday, December 5, 2008

Hand Holiday tree

We haven't quite finished this project as nap time snuck up on us but we'll finish it later this afternoon. All you need are tissue paper, cardboard/sturdy paper, glue, pencil, scissors and a small hand to draw around.
Draw around child's hand on cardboard and cut it out to use as a template. Fold green tissue paper so you have several layers - draw around the template on the top layer and cut through all the layers to give you many tissue paper hands.

Next - cut out a tree shape out of paper.

Glue the hands in rows, starting at the bottom and overlapping the rows until you get to the top. You can add glitter if you dare!

Holiday ornament.

Today T2 and I made ornaments for our tree.

Using a cookie cutter as a template I cut out a tree (any seasonal shape would look great) and then cut out the middle to leave a tree frame.

I cute out 2 pieces of contact paper approximately the shape of the tree. We sprinkled holiday confetti and then glitter on the contact paper (yay no glitter clean up as it all stuck!!). I stuck the second piece of contact paper on top to seal all the pretties inside. Next I glued the sandwiched contact paper to the back of the frame and trimmed the contact paper to make it neat. Lastly I punched a hole and threaded a ribbon for hanging. These would look cute as sun catchers too!

They look so cute on the tree with the lights shining through!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A very unproductive day

...what more is there to say?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Another gift completed

I just made T2 a no sew tutu - it was so easy!
I couldn't ask T2 to model it because
A) she was in bed sleeping
B) She mustn't see it until December 25.
With no one else to use except Huds the dog - which seemed inappropriate because he's a dog and a male dog at that - I couldn't model it myself because it probably wouldn't even fit one of my thighs so I found the next best thing......

If T2 doesn't love it then I can always use it to pretty up my paper towel rolls!

A handful of sticks = fun fun fun

This afternoon T2 and I needed to collect T1 from the school bus stop. It's a dark chilly day and the bus stop is on a stretch of road that feels like a wind tunnel. I always leave way earlier than I need to because...well, that's just me! Recently T2 and I have killed some time (and kept moving to keep warm) walking along a little trail which has become (in T2's mind) a forest with a river (a trickling stream - sometimes it's not even trickly!). Lately the 'river' has been quite rapid and when it goes over the 'water fall' (a 6" slant of rocks) it creates quite a whooshing sound which excites T2 greatly.
Today we gathered some small sticks and pine cones and T2 delighted in tossing them into the water and watching them float along like boats. It was lots of fun and before we knew it - it was bus time.

When I should have been cleaning bathrooms...

I couldn't stand the disaster of the hair clip box a second longer. Problem solved!

Plaster tree completed...

Felt board so far....

I have been wanting to make T2 a felt board for a while - I figured with 'Giftmas' coming that now would be a great time.
I already had a picture frame that I had no use for. I cut a sheet of felt (the stiff kind worked well) to fit the inside of the frame and hot glued it into place. G is cutting a piece of board for me tonight to fit in the back and support the felt but he hasn't done that yet. I'll staple it in place.

I tried cutting out some 'castle' pieces and have to make a princess and some other characters tonight. Luckily T2 does not have high standards!!

When you grow up...

When T1 was about 3, I asked him what he would like to be when he grew up.
His answer " I wanna be yellow"

Today I asked T2 the same question
Her answer "I wanna be a structure"

Whatever happened to usual teacher or police officer???

Blog header

Thank you so much Teefee for my awesome new header - Love it!!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Ssssh - don't tell T2

I'm going to make a felt board for her - going to pick up supplies tonight and make it tomorrow. I can't wait : )

I'm all set - have big pieces of felt, assorted smaller sheets of felt, spray adhesive, a picture frame and a piece of board.

My plan for initial play pieces is a castle theme - I'm excited!

Handprint wreath.

Our next project today was to make a handprint wreath.

I paper plate (or a plate sized circle) with the middle cut out

Paint - green




A little hand.

Make many hand prints on a regular craft paper with green paint.
When dry - cut around handprints.
Glue handprints around edge of plate - overlapping a little.
Add a bow, some glitter, red dotted holly berries if you'd like.

Display somewhere where all your holiday visitors can admire it!

My camera battery died so no pictures of the work in progress (shame - painty preschooler hands are so CUTE!). Will add a picture of the finished wreath later today.

Cleaner version
Instead of making painty handprints - draw a round a little hand on green paper and cut out many of them and glue around the plate.


Now it's officially December - it's time to crank up the festive tunes and get into the sprit of the season.

Today T2 and I made a mini plaster tree which we will paint and glitter when it has set.

1c Plaster of Paris

0.5c water

I baggy (ziploc or any clear bag will do)

measure and dump in the plaster and water and seal the bag closed.

Manipulate the goo until it begins to firm (I did this part) then as it firms squish it about until it is hard (T2 did this part). Keeping the sculpture in the bag - make a firm base by plopping it on a hard surface a few times (like you'd dunk a tea bag) so the sculpture remains intact but the bottom is flat. Open the bag and air dry. I took mine out and put it on a plate. When it's dry - paint it, add some glitter (some felt on the base will help prevent scratches on furniture). Display proudly!

Pics of completed sculpture to follow

Sunday, November 30, 2008

One of the many reasons I love this time of year....

I love seeing all these books that have been packed away all year with the decorations.

Connecting with T1

T1 is almost 9 - he loves transportation, science and technology - he's mechanically minded. We get along great - he's an awesome kid but we don't have much in common. I'm the one who can comfort him the best, can eventually get him to talk about something that's bothering him and the one he'll snuggle with. His interests are his Dad and Grandpa's interests. I'm happy to listen to him chat about stuff he likes but I have little to offer on those subjects. Totally by accident I found something we both like to do and can do together..... jigsaw puzzles.
I started to do one the other day - I don't think I've ever worked on a puzzle other than kid ones and I found it surprisingly relaxing and enjoyable. I spend a little time and there and have it set up on the dining room table so whoever walks by can pause and add a piece if they wish. I was sitting at the table last weekend and T1 came over and was watching over my shoulder, then he pulled up a chair and before we knew it we were hanging out trying to complete a puzzle that is pretty hard with lots of sky and ocean. Now he'll sit and I'll join him or he'll hunt me down in the house and announce proudly that he has added a piece or two. It's nice to just hang out with no screen or gadgets and do something so simple while feeling so together.

Organized chaos

I can't work on projects tidily. This was once my dining room table....


I've been working on a couple mini gift projects.
I tried making a crayon holder for my little friend K.

My little friend G will be getting a cookie baking set - felt cookie dough & dough cut outs, cookie cutter, rolling pin, apron, oven mitt and 'baked' and decorated cookies with a cookie tray. I hope she likes it - sewing is not my strong point!!


Here are a couple of things we made last year...

I bought some candles in glass containers and we glitter glued on the glass.

We painted little flower pots and pine cones. When the paint was dry we added glitter glue to the pine cones.

O' Christmas Tree....

We usually wait until December 1 to trim our tree but figured it made more sense to do it on the weekend than a school night so here's T2's.

Here's mine - G needs to add the star for me.

.....and so it begins

Today we made a start with some holiday wrapping paper - using florist paper (large sheets of unprinted newspaper - I have a florist friend who passes loads to me that would usually be used to wrap travelling flowers - love freebies!!) I found some seasonal ink stamps and T2 got busy with those.

Next we tried some new rollers I picked up at the educational store. I might try to make some of my own eventually but I have too many things on the go right now.

T2 enjoyed rolling them so much that I had a hard time getting a picture.....

The rollers worked really well - I think they would work in play-doh too. When the creations are dry - they will be used to wrap gifts - I think they'll look extra special under the tree.

Spreading the cheer

I decided to make up a rhyme and print some snowman cards and get a giftless scret santa type thing going on in my street. We don't have many houses so it shouldn't be hard - I'm hoping everyone will participate. This is what the cards will say.....

'Tis the season
Snow is in the air.
It's time to show neighbours
How much you care.

Place this card in your window,
Display it with pride
For neighbours to see
As they pass by outside.

The remaining cards....
Well, here's what you do
Secretly deliver
To street name homes x 2

Let's spread some good will
And soon it will show
With a snowman card
In every window.

All street name families
Soon will know too
Their neighbours care about them
As we care about you.

Seasons Greetings.

We'll divide the cards (which I will print - enough for every house) into 8 bags - with one card attached to the front each bag. We'll get things started by delivering to 8 houses spread throughout the street and each of those families can take out their card and deliver the remaining cards to 2 homes who are not displaying a card in their window.

It should be interesting.

Friday, November 28, 2008

It's time...

...for Holiday Crafts. I love it that glitter is acceptable on anything at this time of year - shame that means glitter on floors, furniture, walls and pets! I am finishing up my list of crafts to do with T2 throughout December (T1 does not care much for crafts). This weekend I'll gather the necessary supplies and Sunday we'll start - yay - can't wait!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

'Fairy Palace'

Today, T2 asked if she could make a picture of a Fairy Palace. I cut out assorted palace-y shapes and she got busy with a vision and some glue...

This is her finished palace. I think this is the first time she has used collage to create something she has in her head.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What do you need for a Teddy Bear's Picnic?

T2 has a Teddy Bear's Picnic at school on Thursday and needs to take a bear with her. She's already selected her 'talkie bear' and wants me to record a message for him to say to her friends. Just as I was about to go to bed tonight, I remembered a bag of furry fabric I had in the basement and had an uncontrollable urge to make her a bear shirt to wear. I have practically zero sewing skills but I couldn't resist trying......
I've made the bear face and tomorrow will sew it to a shirt - I'm interested to see how it turns out. I figure if T2 recognizes it as a bear then that's all that counts!

I made a template by drawing around a bowl and 2 cups! (Not my choice of cereal for my kids - Daddy got sucked into buying it)

I cut it out of fur fabric, found some googly eyes, a cord from a pair of pants (I heat sealed the ends to avoid fraying) and a button for a nose. I made a bow and sewed that on. I glued the eyes and sewed on the nose and mouth.

I decided to glue the face onto the shirt with fabric glue. T2 is thrilled with it and can't wait to wear it tomorrow!