Archive for the ‘crafts’ Category
Thursday, April 4th, 2013
practice cake, take 2
Yes, I practiced decorating a mug. The kids each got their own hunk of marzipan to fool around with. Can you see Galen in the background in that last picture? You can almost hear him thinking, “come on Women! Enough with the pictures, bring on the cake!”
This time (for a good laugh and a peek at last time click here) things went much, much better. I decided that the wisest course would be to abandon the fondant entirely and go a different way. I’m really quite pleased with how it turned out.
Only one little problem…after about 20 minutes or so the icing started slowly slipping off the cake. I think the chocolate coating underneath may be too slick? I did forget to brush it with something sticky first to help it adhere. Any fabulous cake decorating gurus out there with ideas on how to prevent this from happening in the future?
Wednesday, March 27th, 2013
you would like an explanation for the craziness of my last post? There is a reasonable one, I swear. Did anyone figure it out?
First a little story. Steve and I have been planning to have a wedding since, well since we got married, but didn’t actually have a wedding…I remember us being in jeans and stopping in somewhere to sign some papers, on our way to somewhere else and not much more. Two years ago we picked a time frame (this May). Last year an actual date. I started making myself a gown. Then when I got ill this past autumn into winter, everything got put on hold. When I started getting better we decided to go on with our plans, with a couple of alterations. For example, I decided to be easy on myself and order a gown rather then making one. I finally decided on and ordered one back in February. And it was just last week, with less then two months to go, that I found out that my custom dress was not actually coming. I haven’t been able to find a suitable replacement, and so, I’m back to making my own…in a much more stressful situation then it would have been if I had just decided to stick with that plan all along. Such is life.
For something like this you really need to get the fit just so. The catch being that it’s very difficult to fit something to yourself.
Hence the need for a personalized dress form.
(did I just hear a collective “OOOOooooohh!”?)
The basic idea:
put on an old tee shirt
have someone wrap several layers of duct tape around you
carefully cut it up the back
tape it back together and stuff it
More detailed instructions can be found here.
Monday, February 4th, 2013
birthday books and a giveaway
~click on the pictures to enlarge them~
I’m starting a new tradition; in addition to birthday sweaters, there will now be birthday books. Just simple little photo books showing the year that’s past from the child in question’s point of view. Their baseball games, dance classes, choir performances, horseback riding lessons, school work, hobbies, projects, collections, etc, all bound up together in a little book of snapshots representing that year of their life. I think they will be well loved. Above are a couple of pages that I’ve created for Galen, of his 6th birthday celebration, in preparation for his 7th birthday at the end of this month (note: I did leave some of the journaling off these pages as it was of a personal nature).
I’ve used a lot of different scrap booking products over the years. From the good old-fashioned paper and pen kind to photo book products from many of the major retailers. When I had an opportunity to review My Memories scrap booking software, I decided to give it a try with this project in mind. I’m still experimenting and learning all about the program, but I can say there are a lot of options with this software. So much more then anywhere else I’ve tried. I know everyone has their own style and preferences, for me I often find the challenge is in being able to create pages that are basic enough to suit my own minimalist, photo-journalistic style. I don’t like a lot of extras. I want clear large pictures and not much else. Not a problem! As you can see I did play around a bit with a few backgrounds and some other stuff, just to see. And of course I had to try the ric rac. I mean, it’s ric rac…. If, however, you happen to like all of the bells and whistles, well, holy cow, feel free to spend a year or two browsing through all of the options, some free and some for a small fee. Those are all of the add-ons to customize your style. The basic software comes with many, many options to begin with (enough to last me a lifetime). And it’s not just about photo books…you can create calendars, cards, all kinds of multimedia stuff that I haven’t even begun to delve into. I’ve just discovered a whole collection of youtube videos on how to use some of these features and I’m looking forward to creating all kinds of interesting projects.
One of my goals with the birthday books was to capture some of the little details of that particular year. The things they will look at years from now and say, “Oh yeah! Do you remember the year I made all kinds of paper dolls?” or “the year I wove like, 40 potholders”. I want pictures of favorite books and toys, all the small things that change so rapidly as a child grows and are easy to forget, but so much more pleasant to remember. The pages below are pictures of Galen’s room in our old house, complete with peeks into work and treasure baskets.
These are the kinds of things that I think he will look back fondly on and be happy to remember.
So now, on to the giveaway! One lucky reader will receive a copy of the full My Memories Suite software package. To enter please go check out the My Memories site and leave me a comment on this post. The winner will be announced Monday morning (2/11).
As a special to everyone here, My Memories is offering a $10 discount off the purchase of the My Memories Suite Scrapbook software and a $10 coupon for the My Memories store. To redeem your coupon just enter the code: STMMMS99407
Friday, February 1st, 2013
made by little hands
Just a bit of random holiday and birthday crafting. These were Màiri Rose’s Christmas gifts to Steve and I…
I think mine may be my favorite gift ever. I gave her burlap in a small embroidery hoop and a yarn needle threaded with yarn and just let her go to town. When she deemed them done, I used an inch wide strip of fabric wrapped around the outer hoop to make the frame, with a bit more fabric through the top to hang it by. She’s currently working on a larger version for her bedroom. I think I better find a good source for wooden embroidery hoops and quick!
And here is the yarn from her dyeing adventures. The blue/purple/green/white combo is sock yarn for Elijah who will be knitting his first pair of socks this year. The color combination reminds me so much of a tie-dye shirt that Steve used to own. The shades of red and purple is another sock yarn, for Iain, who having made very basic socks in the past, wants to try his hand at something fancier. And the brightly colored bulky is for our newest little knitter, for a project yet to be determined. All of them are from Knit Picks Dye Your Own Yarns. The sock yarn is especially soft. Everything was dyed using a combination of Kool-Aid and food coloring.
And these are the containers that Màiri and Galen both decorated for Iain for his birthday.
We thought he could use a spiffy new way to store his art supplies.
Friday, December 21st, 2012
1 & 2 There are paper snowflakes everywhere
3 why yes, that is a horseflake
4 & 5 gift making
6 & 7 and wrapping
8 late night knitting with coconut sugar cookies
9 sending off their first order
10 the kids had stamps out while I was addressing Christmas cards so I added some sweet little blue birds to the back of the envelopes
11 & 12 Golden Goose and Fairy trees seen while out and about.
15 late night knitting with orange
16 nativity by Iain
17 the enchanting Winter in White by Robert Sabuda
18 making music (why yes, those are more snowflakes on the floor behind him)
20 & 21 we made Swedish straw stars
22 & 23 while she made an empty yarn cone into a Christmas tree
24 We made a whole mobile of ballerina snowflakes. They twirl and drift about gracefully and it’s like just before intermission at the Nutcracker. template here
Monday, December 10th, 2012
Both here and at home. A new banner, new color scheme, things moving about, still quite a lot of tweaking to be done here. Furniture is shifting all over the house, yet again, and I’m trying to set up another temporary crafting spot to help me through all of the last minute holiday/birthday crafting. Elijah’s cacti collection is thriving in it’s new spot on my weaving bench. Things are still being set up. There are no less then 3 quilts in progress here right now. I hung the decorative plates that my Mother-in-law sent. My kitchen window sill is getting a wee bit crowded. Every time I turn around someone is setting another something there to root. Remember our celery from back in October? Look how big it’s gotten now! And the one from the following week…and the one from the week after that…
Saturday, December 8th, 2012
The Enchanted Toy Shop Grand Opening!
As part of their school work this year, Iain and Elijah have been charged with the task of starting their own business. What better way to learn business math and a multitude of other things as well? I guess it shouldn’t come as a big surprise to anyone that children from this house would decide that the best way to go about this would be by making things.
The two of them have teamed up and their new Etsy shop, The Enchanted Toy Shop, is now open!
They have many (many) more things to go out there, but I am slow at getting the listings together.
They have decided that 20% of their profits will go to charity (proud, proud mama here). The charity of choice for the month of December is our local food pantry which boasts the amazing statistic of having 97% of every dollar donated going directly towards food for people in need.
Check back often as more listings will be added soon. And feel free to contact me here or them there with custom requests.