Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Crafty Christmas part I

As I have stated in earlier posts, this Christmas was slated to be a crafty one.   I had several ideas of gifts to make for my family and friends and I actually did some of them.  A few of our grand ideas didn't quite turn out as I had envisioned so those had to be scrapped.  However, there were a few projects that I am actually quite proud of.

As many of you probably know, I have an addiction to Pinterest that I'm proud of.  One of the first things I pinned was a gift idea for the inlaws.  I know you have all seen it.  A board painted with clothes pins for photos of the grandkids - you can see the one on Pinterest here.

The hubs went to Lowe's and got a board that I painted with some black latex paint.  Then I tried a tracing technique, also found on Pinterest here, and painted on the words.  I had found the cutest little binder clips at Office Max after Thanksgiving that I hot glued on and printed out some wallet sized pictures of the kids from Walmart.  Here's my final product:

Overall, a pretty simple project that just requires a little time.  The cost was pretty low, all under $10, and if this uncrafty woman can do it, I know you can!

In my next craft blog I will show you another gift I made.

Happy Crafting!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like...

Crafting has had to take a back seat lately due to the holidays and all the commitments that go with it.  However, I have had it in the back of my mind to make a holiday outfit for Z to wear to multiple Christmas events.  On cyber Monday I cruised on over to and found some super cute fabric that was just perfect.  So, I got on the web and visited multiple sites and how-to's to see how I can best put this fabric to use.  I decided on a pillow-case dress because it best seemed to fit my skill level.  I never could find a tutorial that I liked online so I just kind of winged it.  It was, in a word, aggravating.  I am still getting to know my machine and we had many "come to Jesus" moments this week as I worked on the dress.  We had to have it tonight for a school Christmas program and I was literally sewing ribbon on minutes before walking out the door.  Here's my little model, not the best pictures but you get the drift.

She loves her new dress and it looks great with the Christmas Tree bow I made.  It's plenty big so hopefully, after all the blood, sweat and tears, I poured into this dress, she can wear for a couple more years.

I have other crafts that I am going to be tackling, but, they are gifts so the blogging on those will happen after the holidays.

Enjoy the season!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

It's finally happened!

I know you all have been anxiously awaiting this day, and yes folks, it has finally happened...I have a sewing machine!  My mother-in-law apparently has a cache of them in her barn and graciously dug one out for me.  I picked it up on my trip home last weekend and today I set about trying to get to know the machine.  Now, let me assure everyone, I am a complete novice when it comes to sewing.  Yes, I did try once, 20 years ago, to sew, and if you have read my first blog entry you know how that turned out, but I retained nothing from that experience.  Thank goodness for Google and it's powerful search engine, which sent me to numerous videos and tutorials.  By watching a delightful British girl I learned how to thread a bobbin and my machine.  I was set to go!  I practiced on some fabric scraps and, although they were not straight, my seams did stay together. Success!!  So, what was I going to do with this new found skill?  I had pinned a link on Pinterest for a DYI skirt made from an old pair of jeans.  My sweet daughter is very slender and tall so most of the pants she has are too short.  I designated a pair of jeans that fit well around the waist for this craft.  Here's the link to the tutorial.  My try was...well, not the best.  The tutorial is specifically a no-sew craft, using fabric glue instead of a sewing machine, but I went ahead and tried anyway.  Basically, after a few injuries, I was able to complete the skirt, but no, it does not look great.  Thankfully, Z is only 4, and although she considers herself quite stylish, maybe she wont notice my crooked seams.  Perhaps denim wasn't the ideal medium for a first-time sewing project.  Live and learn, right??

I will post a picture of the machine at another date, frankly, I'm too lazy to get up and go take one at the moment. ;-)

Happy crafting and as always, I welcome any suggestions, ideas or comments!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Slowly but Surely...

I have recently been documenting my quest to find cheap ways to decorate my young daughters bedroom.   We had an old wooden wall shelf with pegs gathering dust in the garage so I set about refashioning it to contribute to Z's somewhat barren walls.

Pretty banged up after 2 moves.

I first sanded this down after digging around in my husband's tool box for sandpaper scraps (shh, don't tell him).  I used leftover wall paint to give the shelf a nice neutral color.

I decided after looking at the plainness of the shelf, that I should use this opportunity to try my hand at decoupage.  I even found this on Pinterest and made my own modge podge.

At first I didn't really have a vision, but, after I drug out all of my miscellaneous crafting supplies, I decided on what materials I wanted to add and went from there.  I had some chipboard and cut out a scroll designs for the side out of scrapbook paper.

I also used some fabric scraps I thought were cute and a die cut for the rest of my design.  As an after thought I hot glued some buttons I found in the bottom of my sewing basket as embellishments.

I decided to make this shelf multifunctional by reusing yarn and clothes pins that I actually recieved at Z's baby shower almost 5 years ago (tear).

Displaying some art masterpieces.

It is a big hit already and I haven't even decided what to put on the shelf.  Maybe that's another craft for another day...

Happy Crafting!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Craft, Thy Name is Thrifty!

I am a thrifty gal.  Unfortunately for my thriftiness, I am also uncrafty.   As my previous posts have attested, I am trying to up my craft skills in order to be productive enough that I can save money in some areas.  I would love to get to the point where I can make my daughter a cute dress for school instead of buying one.  I have a long way to go.

I own a pair of shoes that are so comfortable.  I have had them for a guesstimate of four years.  I love these shoes. I wear them often.  These shoes have the holes to prove my love.  Ideally I could afford to buy another pair of navy blue Toms but unfortunately, the budget says no.  Instead of throwing the shoes in the trash I got on Google and searched for a way to salvage my favorite shoes.  I came across this tutorial and quickly made a trip to Hobby Lobby for fabric scraps and E-6000.  This technique looks easy enough that I felt fairly confident tackling this activity.

Here's a picture of my Toms after I stitched up the holes in the toes.  They didn't have any other holes so I chose a simple path and decided to just cover the toes.

I picked out a couple of squares of fabric and fitted it over the toes of the shoe.  After putting that on I dug into my ribbon stash and added some to my shoes.  It's not the best looking and I got half the container of glue on my fingers, but it did the job.  And, the great thing about this craft is, if you grow tired of the look, you can add more fabric.  I may get more adventurous and add some stitching or embellishments later on.

Anyway, here is the finished product.  It was truly easy and pretty quick, even for this unskilled mamma.

Happy Crafting!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

One craft down...

I love our house.  I really do.  We were super fortunate to come across this find.  It's roomy and bright and our landlord allows us to make it our home.  Our last house, in our last town, was still on the market when we rented it and therefor, we were unable to hang anything up on the walls.  I have a lot of walls here and I sure am enjoying getting to unpack my belongings and find a new home for them.  In our living area we have a large wall that needed something substantial to hang on it.  Nothing we had really worked there.  During my daily perusings of the internet I came across this tutorial on how to turn an old frame into a display for several photos.  I thought to myself, "Now here's an easy craft I feel pretty confident in doing."

I sent out the word that I was on the lookout for a large wooden frame in any condition.  My wonderful mother was able to find one at an auction and picked it up for a whopping $2.50.
What $2.50 can get you...

I sanded it down and painted it.  Spray paint would have been easier and faster, but it also costs money and I'm not all for that.  Instead, I used left-over wall paint and gave it a couple of coats.  After it dried I sanded it again to give it a slightly aged look.

I bought some natural jute at Hobby Lobby and used thumb tacks to string it on the frame.  The original tutorial used upholstery tacks and pinned it on the front of the frame but I preferred to do mine on the back.

I had ordered some pictures to hang on the jute but I wasn't sure what size to get.  I opted for 4x6 but next time I may order 5x7.  I didn't want to use full size clothespins and couldn't find the small ones anywhere.  Instead, I used some binder clips that I picked up at the dollar store and found I like the look better than the clothespins.

I may add another line of jute and more pictures or I may order larger sized pictures, I haven't decided yet.  I thought of taking off the hanging line but I actually don't mind that you can see it.  All in all, it was a cheap and easy project and I am loving how it looks on my wall.

P.S. I have 400 feet left of Jute if anyone can suggest crafts that use it. ; -)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Another day, another craft

The other day my husband ripped a giant hole in the seat of his jeans as we were leaving church.  Not wanting to let these jeans go to waste I got online and searched for some crafts that I could make using the denim.  I still do not own a sewing machine, and even if I did I wouldn't know how to work it, so my craft choices were quite limited.  I did, however, come across these and thought I would give it a try.  My go at it didn't look as good or neat but considering my current level of abilities I grade myself on a curve. ;-)

I found one little scrap of purple fabric so I decided to use it but unfortunately I only had enough for one clip.

All and all I am pleased and my daughter loves it.  I will definitely be making more of these in the future.

P.S. If anyone was looking to get me a Christmas gift I could really use a nice, sharp pair of scissors. :-)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

It's been one of those days...

There are many moments during my days of being a stay-at-home mom where I just want to crawl into bed with a bag full of chewy Jolly Ranchers and watch episodes of Charmed.  Unfortunately, I doubt my children would appreciate me telling them to fend for themselves - "get your own food, change your own diaper!"  Yeah, don't think that would go over so well.  Today I woke up tired, with a headache and in an incredibly foul mood.  However, yesterday I made a trip to Hobby Lobby and got supplies for an art project I promised my 4 year old we could do, and could not let her down.  So, after putting mister to bed, I cleared a section of the dining room table and set the supplies out.

I had previously posted about the lack of decor in my daughters room and my quest to remedy it as cheaply as possible.  Today's activity was to make art to hang in her room using paint and canvas which I got on sale, two for $3.99.  Not bad!

During my internet surfing that occupies most evenings while watching post season baseball, I came across a picture that someone had posted of homemade art.  I didn't pin it (for all you pinterest junkies) and therefore was unable to find it again as a reference for todays activity.  So, I just kinda winged it.

I gave my daughter a canvas to do with as she wants and the two of us set about creating a masterpiece. ;-)

She's working so hard.

Showing off her painted feet.  She thought I was a little crazy I have to admit.

Mommy's finished work.  Not great I admit.  The caterpillar was made with missy's fingerprints. She thought that was hilarious.

She decided her picture needed a Caterpillar too.

And her finished product.  It's a flower and a caterpillar. 

All in all, a pretty good way to spend the morning and my horrible mood is somewhat lightened.  I guess painting is therapeutic....

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

In a crafty state of mind...

It's great living here in our new home.  We are able to decorate and hang things on the walls, which is a luxury coming from our old home where we could not.  I had fun decorating baby brother's room and have it just like I want it.  Sister's room, however, has been seriously lacking in the cute decor department.  She has been asking me for weeks when I was going to decorate her room.  "Sure," I'd think, "I'll get right on that."  Only problem is, I don't currently have anything to go in her room.  Everything that she owns is already out and we just do not have the money to buy anything new right now.  So, out of desperation I started perusing the internet, going to such places as Stumbleupon and Pinterest.  I happened to come across the idea to turn shoe box lids into art.  I found many different ways to do this, some using fabric (which I don't have) and others using Mod Podge (which I also don't have).  So I went scavenging around the house and found two small shoe box lids and a cache of scrapbook paper.  I dug around in the craft cabinet until I found an old glue stick that hadn't yet dried up and set to work while brother was napping.

Getting started with my supplies on hand.

Once I decided on my paper I trimmed it to size and wrapped it around the lid, using tape and glue to make sure it stayed put.

Here's the finished product.  I just played around with the paper. I have a heart hole-punch and made the "Z" free hand.

All hung up.  I had intentions of having the big lid lying horizontally but got distracted in my creative efforts, realizing my mistake too late.  Oh, well.

I have also spent a good portion of the afternoon in the garage painting, but those are different crafts for different posts.  Happy crafting my friends!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Two in one day - WOW

Well, after my last blog post this morning I decided to peruse the internet and find a craft that could be done with materials I had on hand.  I decided to try this t-shirt head band with an old t-shirt I had lying around.

I have like 10 of these so it was an easy decision.

I wasn't sure how big I wanted my strips so I cut them about 1 inch wide.  Next time I will do narrower strips.  I also do not own a sewing machine so I had to do the stitching the old fashioned way.

I pinned this to my pants and found the process quite easy and fast.  My weave isn't as neat as the one in the tutorial but I like it.

I glued on the final piece.  It will be an experiment to see how well it stays together.

Pretty pleased with it myself.  My dome is huge so this one is for my daughter.

She likes it.  Then little brother had to have his picture taken too.

He doesn't have enough hair for a headband.  Okay, who wants one? :)


I also made this next one using thinner strips.  I love how you can also clip a bow on it!

Nothing but time...

Sad thing about wanting to be crafty is that you need a little coin to buy the materials.  Sigh.  I have a project I am really wanting to do but until our finances even out a little bit it will have to wait.  Until then, I have spent some time scrapbooking and making bows with my box-o-ribbon that my mother sent me.  Here's some pictures of the bows I have made recently:

There are a couple more that I have made but they have mysteriously disappeared somehow... ;)

This Christmas will be a homemade Christmas for many.  I wont post pictures of those projects though until after the holidays. Don't want to ruin the surprise you know ;).

Happy crafting my friends!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

What's Cooking?

Okay, so I know that this blog is about learning new levels of craftiness, and not about cooking, but lately I've discovered a dish that I can't help but share.

I've recently discovered the joy and seductiveness that is  For those of you that have yet to enjoy what Stumpleupon has to offer, it is a website that takes you on a wonderful tour of the internet based upon what interests you.  My interests happen to include food (obviously) and I am constantly being shown wonderful recipes and blogs about recipes.  Stumbleupon has a wonderful feature that allows you to "favorite" a site that you like and you can revisit it later.  That, my friends, is how I "stumbled" upon (hehe) this delicious recipe.

Soon after arriving at our new home we were gifted with a sack of potatoes.  Now, personally, I always found potatoes to be a little too much work for me to want to cook with them often.  I was not, however, keen on the idea of letting the potatoes go to waste.  The first day I peeled what felt like a million potatoes (and I have the scars to prove it) to prepare for freezing.  Hubs loves potato soup so those will be perfect to pull out of the freezer on a cold day.  The rest went to cooking them however I could fit them in.  We had potatoes for days.  Then I happened upon the recipe I am about to share with you and what did I do the other day? I bought another bag of potatoes so I could make them again. :) is where you can go to see the recipe as I first found it.  This second time I made them I added half an onion that I had on hand.

The first time I made this dish I had left overs.  I heated them up the next night with a little olive oil in a skillet and they were still just as delicious.  Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Friday, August 19, 2011

What a Bargain!

A couple of Saturdays ago I got a phone call from my mom telling me that she was at an Estate sale and there were boxes of ribbon for sale for 25 cents a spool.  I asked her to see if she could make a deal and she got all the boxes for $2.00!  Don't you just love a bargain?  I figured if there was just one useable spool of ribbon in those boxes it was well worth the price.  She sent me a box in the mail which I received yesterday.

There are still some ribbon that she hasn't sent yet because it didn't fit into the box.  It's an interesting mix.  Some will be great for bows and others are ideal for scrapbooking.  There are some that I have no idea what to do with.  Suggestions??  Maybe after I master sewing (snicker) I will put some of them to good use.

We are still unpacking and I am awaiting the arrival of my craft table, so until things get a little more put together in our new house I won't be pursuing any crafting activities.

I painted a wall in our new living room yesterday.  It was a hideous pale green color that even my daughter turned her nose up.  We picked a brown color that complements the color on all the other walls in the house. We also picked up an off-white color to paint the trim and doors.

Here is Z helping mommy paint. You can see some of the old color at the bottom.

The finished product.

Next is a new entertainment center to put on it!

Thursday, July 21, 2011


I am in the process of cleaning, purging and packing for an across state move that we are making next week and came upon a cache of old pictures.  Attached is photographic evidence of the drug store plastic costumes of my childhood that was discussed in a previous post.  I couldn't help but to share!   My sister and I pose in our hopelessly generic costumes. I am the one crying. Apparently I didn't want to dress as...well, who knows what that's supposed to be...
 (sorry the image is blurry - Ah, the times before digital...)

I have recently discovered the joys of Stumbleupon and have bookmarked a number of nifty crafts to try out once we get settled in to our new home.  Until then, adieu!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I've got skills...well, sorta...

Okay, for today's post I would like to share with you some examples of my present state of craftiness. This way the online world will have an idea of how I started out, what I am currently capable of doing, and how much (if any) progress I have made on my quest.

First off - Scrapbooking.  In the first scrapbook I did (my daughter's first year) I mainly relied on stickers (I LOVE stickers).  I didn't really feel comfortable doing any writing freehand because I didn't want there to be any mistakes (which there were anyways).  Then, after a while, and after some deep reflecting on my part, I decided that it wouldn't be a bad thing to have mommy's personal touch on my child's book of memories, mistakes and all.  With this realization, I started leaning towards more journaling and free-hand letters in my daughter's second year scrapbook.  Here are some pictures to show examples:

You will notice the progression of adding the journaling aspect. This is the end of the first year book.  Next is the first page of my daughter's second year book.

In this page I opted to use a stencil instead of stickers for the title.
More from the 2nd year:

Okay, now quickly a look at a few of my bows that I have made.  Somehow a few of the other's have gotten misplaced...don't know how that happens ;)

Okay, there you go.  Feedback, critiques, questions??? Let me hear it!