Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Some random projects: crochet baby cardigan, ruffle scarf and vinyl snowflakes

Pin It

Here are a few projects that I've done recently:

A little crochet cardigan for our baby girl for this spring:

Trying to decide if I like it better with or without the flower. 
For a bigger child, I would just attach a pin and make it so that I could take it off, but don't want to do that for a baby...

I love how fast it came together...

* * *

For myself, I made this ruffled scarf:

Using elastic in the back, I shirred it. 
In the picture below you can see the elastic on the back side.
So easy, just sew straight lines with elastic instead of regular thread on your bobbin.

There may be more of these in my future...

* * *

And this is something I did a while ago already:

I made vinyl snowflakes with the Silhouette Cameo.
They looked almost out of place with the weather we had for the last couple months,
but last week, it finally started to look right:

Love the intricate design of the snowflakes.

And decided they'll stay a little longer, even though the snow is gone again.

Who knows, the snow might be back?!

Pin It

Monday, January 23, 2012

You are a-MAZE-ing: free Valentine Printable note cards

Pin It

This year, we are making these Valentines:

Miniature heart-shaped mazes, attached to a card with the text
"You are a-MAZE-ing"

I didn't come up with the idea myself, I saw it here.

When I happened to see little heart-shaped mazes at the Dollar Tree, I just had to have them :)

Fortunately, my daughter liked the idea, too...

I made little cards to go with them in Word.
We printed them on textured card stock.

We used adhesive tape to attach the hearts to the little card.

We rounded the corners with a corner punch, and added the adhesive. 
In the picture below you can see a strip of adhesive if you look well...
The hearts can simply be put on it, the mazes stay in place, but can be taken off without glue sticking on the back of them.

Simple and cute...

It took me some time to figure out how to line them all up so that all cards would be exactly the same size (I am kinda compulsive that way, they just all HAVE to be exactly the same). 
I decided to share the document in case someone out there wants to use it, too.

Click on the following link to download the free PDF document
FREE "You are a-MAZE-ing" DOWNLOAD

Nine small cards print on a 8.5 by 11 size sheet.
Make sure you change the print settings in Adobe Reader where it says "Page Scaling" to "None".

The backs can be personalized. (Before the hearts are attached.)

The small cards could also be glued to a bigger sized card.

Pin It

I linked up to Sugar Bee Crafts

Pin It

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Heart Tree Tutorial

Pin It

It's no secret that I love quick, cheap and easy projects.
Here is another one.

It adds some instant color to our living room and is perfect for Valentine's day.

I took some pictures as I was making it...

Ready to make your own?

First, I cut a bunch of hearts out of cardstock with my Silhouette Cameo. I love how easy it is, just let the machine do its job...

No need to use a machine, though, you could cut them by hand, too. There are so many options: you could use cardstock, scrapbook papers, gift wrap, fabric, you could glitter it up with glitter glue, etc. If you like the lace look, you could cut heart shapes out of lace doilies for example. 

Other supplies you will need:

* Branches, look for ones with lots of little side branches 
* A vase or pot to put your branches in
* A stabilizer (to stick the branches in, you could use floral foam, or even newspapers would do)
* Thread to hang the hearts with
*Something to cover up the stabilizer (I used red yarn, you could use moss, raffia, Easter grass etc.)

Put the stabilizer in your pot.

Arrange the branches

Cover up the ugly stuff...

Attach strings to hearts. I punched holes in the ones that didn't have an opening of some kind, you could use a needle or pushpin to create a hole if needed. Pull the string through, and tie the ends.

Lots of them...

Put them in your tree.

And find a spot to display your heart tree!

Pin It

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

About birds and green pigs...

Pin It

Today we made these birds and pigs, to create our own game.

My girls were SO excited to make this, and I was surprised how patiently they made their pom poms. 

It was a super simple project!

I had already seen it on some blog a while back, when my kids weren't infected by the bird-bug yet.

So today, while my oldest had to stay home from school with a bad cold, this seemed the perfect craft to tackle.

I had all materials on hand, just some yarn, felt, googly eyes and cups.
The kids did good making the pom poms, and I handled the hot glue gun to glue it all together.
At first I had them make the pom poms with a single strand of yarn, but I found out it was quicker and easier to just "fold" the yarn so that they wrapped their disks with four strands at once.

And after we were done creating, they could start playing.

This made for some happy little girls!

I linked up to It's our long story.

Pin It

Friday, January 6, 2012

Be.YOU.tiful - Valentine's day printable

Pin It

Inspired by the idea on this blog, I wanted to do something with this neat word play, so I made this little printable.

Think it contains a great message for our kids, or another loved one...

Use it as a card, for your scrapbooks, home decor, etc.

Would also work great as a Valentine...

Pin It

Monday, January 2, 2012

Two choices...

Pin It

Someone shared the following story with me, and it was so touching, that I just have to share.
The important question the writer asks is: would you have made the same choice? 
The context might be different, but all of us could be in a similar position one day...

I believe this is also a good story to share with your kids, if they're old enough to understand.

Two choices: An Anonymous Email (worth sharing)

What would you do?  You make the choice.  Don't look for a punch line, there isn't one.  The question is: Would you have made the same choice?

At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that will never be forgotten by all who attended.  After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question: 'When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does, is done with perfection.  Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do.  He cannot understand things as other children do.  Where is the natural order of things in my son?'  The audience was stilled by the query.

The father continued.  'I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.'

Then he told the following story:

Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball.  Shay asked, 'Do you think they'll let me play?'  I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father I also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.

I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play.  The boy looked around for guidance and said, "We're losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning.  I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning.'

Shay struggled over to the team's bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt.  I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart.  The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three.  In the top of the ninth inning,Shay put on a glove and played in the right field.  Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands.   In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again.  Now with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be the next at bat. 

At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game? 

Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat.  Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball.  However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay's life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact.

The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed.  The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay.  As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.

The game would now be over.  The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman.  Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game.  Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman's head, out of reach of all team mates.  Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, 'Shay, run to first! Run to first!'  Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base.  He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled. 

Everyone yelled, 'Run to second, run to second!'  Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base.  By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball.  The smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be a hero for his team.  He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman's head.  Shay ran towards third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases towards home.

All were screaming, 'Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay!'  Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, 'Run to third! Shay run to third!' 

As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, 'Shay, run home!  Run home!'  Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team.

'That day,' said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, 'the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world.'  Shay didn't make it to another summer.  He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy and coming home and seeing his mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!

A footnote to this story:  We all send thousands of jokes through the email without a second thought, but when it comes to sending messages about life choices, people hesitate.  The crude, vulgar and often obscene pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion about decency is too often suppressed in our schools and workplaces.  If you would consider forwarding emails such as this one, you would probably sort out the people in your address book who aren't the 'appropriate' ones to receive this type of message. 

The person who sent this email to me believes we all can make a difference.  We all have thousands of opportunities every single day to help realize the 'natural order of things.'  So many seemingly trivial interactions between two people present us with a choice: Do we pass along a little spark of love and humanity or do we pass up those opportunities and leave the world a little bit colder in the process?  A wise man once said every society is judged by how it treats its least fortunate amongst them.

Pin It