Tuesday, August 31, 2010

10 things to do with clipboards

Tuesday, August 31, 2010
I am addicted to making clipboards. I love them. I love choosing the papers, I love how quickly they come together and I love having them around. When I take them to craft shows to sell, people look at them, think they are cute and then say "what would I do with one?"
So, in no particular order, here are 10 of my favorite ways to use clipboards:
1. Use it to hold a gratitude list. This clipboard sits prominently in my kitchen and reminds me to be happy.

2. Use them for chore charts. I give one to each of my children and they cross off their job when it's done. I don't have to remember what I told them, and they know when they can go play.
3. Use them to hold papers. Duh. No really, Dana over at D'lea Designs uses them to hold her kids' school papers, go see her great idea here.

4. Use them to organize. This kind of goes with no. 3, but I use different clipboards to hold papers for different subjects, ideas and things I want kept together.
5. Use them for lists. I keep one on my calendar with a notepad, and keep my menu list for the week on it.
6. Keep invitations and upcoming appointments together. Again, on my calendar, I have one I use to hold wedding announcements, party invites and other dates to remember.
7. Use them to hold pictures. I give them to teenage nieces and add a binder clip to the bottom so they can hold two different pictures at the same time.
8. Use them for a perpetual calendar. I made this one as a demo for a super Saturday class I'll be teaching, but it will probably land on my calendar. Write the date and name of birthdays and anniversary's and any other date that stays the same every year. Again, use a binder clip on the bottom to hold dates of birthdays that aren't necessarily ones you want to have on the permanent calendar (like kid's teachers, etc.)
9. Use them to keep on track. I have one that I use to keep a checklist of all the jobs I need to get done every week/month around the house. It lets me see where I need to head next when I am cleaning.
10. Last, but not least (and certainly not only) I have had this idea rattling around in my head for a while. I am going to put this one in my bathroom and hang it on the wall so I can see it every day. I love the sentiment and look forward to starting my day with it's message. But, when another thought strikes my fancy, I can change it out. But it will look lovely (better than the post-its I usually use) while it's there.
So if I've inspired you to make and use some clipboards, feel free to head over to my tutorial and make some for yourself. (I find the small ones at the dollar store, and the large ones at Wal-mart, but you can also get the small ones at Office Depot).

Get Your Craft On Tuesday

Go get some terrific organization ideas here:
Organize and Decorate Everything

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday, August 27, 2010
I have a calling in church where I teach music to all the children ages 4-11. I love my job and try to make it as fun and interesting as I can.
When I needed a game to play to encourage participation and to help us review the many songs we have been learning, I turned to Stanley the Singing Bee. Stanley loves music and he is especially attracted to these special "song" flowers. When the music is sung really well, Stanley lands on the special flowers- but OOPS, his stinger pops the center of the flower, and we have to find another "song" flower for him!
To make your own Stanley and "song" flower garden, you will need flower shapes, water balloon size balloons (filled with air, not water- although after blowing just a couple of these up, you'll wish you could just use water!), 12" dowels, a container, and Stanley.
After your flowers are made, cut a small hole in the center. Push the tail of the balloon through and tie it around the dowel. This will hold the flower on, but when the balloon pops, the whole thing falls apart- the kids LOVE that. I cut out leaves and numbered them then glued them to the sticks- the numbers correspond with a song or verse that we are reviewing.

I put some Styrofoam into a flower container and then pushed all the dowels into the foam to make the garden. (You could certainly get much fancier than this, but I have found that children don't care and I have other things to watch on tv/do.)
Stanley is a large circle cut out of cardboard and covered with yellow paper and strips of black. He has two large white circle wings and a smaller black circle head. When I glued on the yellow paper, I placed a needle between the cardboard and the paper where his "stinger" should be so he could pop the balloons.
Some rules we have had: Stanley is afraid of loud noises- so if it's not reverent, or the singers shout instead of sing, he'll go away and won't come back out. Stanley really loves the words, so he needs to hear all of the words or he'll get bored and won't land on the flower.
I usually have a teacher or leader play Stanley, so I can focus on leading- and we get a more impartial "judge" to decide if they sang well enough for him to land. The kids love this, I have saved all the pieces and we've already used it a couple of times this year.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Embellished notebooks

Wednesday, August 25, 2010
I love shopping for school supplies. It's a crazy obsession that I have and one that drives my husband crazy. How many unopened boxes of crayons does one woman need anyway?
But as much as I love school supplies, I can't justify spending $1.50 for a notebook, just because it has a design on the cover, when I can pick up a plain one for $.15. So I bought a ton of these notebooks, and told my daughter and niece they could decorate them themselves and that I'd bust out the Cricut and cut whatever they wanted for them. I thought they'd put some flowers, maybe some butterflies or something- WRONG. They wanted full on scenes, backdrops, main characters, supporting cast- the whole works. They amazed me with their creativity and absolutely certainty that this is what they wanted to create. Great work ladies!
I forgot to take pictures during the whole event (there were six other kiddos running around while we worked on these) but these are of my daughter's finished notebook.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Cupcake Stands

Monday, August 23, 2010
I finally had the opportunity to bust out my new cupcake stands and use them for my son's birthday. Mostly I was excited to have some cupcakes to put on them.
This is a tiered look using one tall/small round stand on top of a short/large round stand. I used mini cupcakes on the bottom and I think it looks really cute.
When I took this picture I realized it looked like someone had taken a bite out of it.
So I turned it around and took it again.

This is what they look like from the top. I love how festive they look. It was fun that all the kids got to choose which color they wanted to have their cupcake on.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The big Reveal

Saturday, August 21, 2010
As promised- here are pictures of the chrysanthemum pillow I made. It is a lot of work, but I absolutely love the way it turned out!

It looks great on my couch and matches the yellows in the upholstery and quilt amazingly well.
Here is a detailed view of the petals. When I make this again (and I will make it again- I would love to make it in a silky/ sheer fabric like the pattern calls for and figure out the differences and if it is easier) I will make sure to have more fabric so I don't run out of petals. I had to space them a little further apart than I would have liked and there are places you can see some of the stitching.
Still, all in all it's a lovely pillow and I am very happy with it.

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Little Things (part 2)

Friday, August 20, 2010
We made these cookies for FHE. They are PB&C Sandwich cookies. I got the recipe from Better Homes and Gardens magazine. They are delicious!
In keeping with the spirit of trying to be more gracious and giving, I decided to part with some of these goodies and celebrate the birthdays of two of my lovely friends. I don't know how I ever lived without my large scalloped punch. If you are getting tired of this look, you'll just have to look away- I am not nearly through with it yet.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Chrysanthemum Pillow

Thursday, August 19, 2010
I saw this pillow the other day in a Joann's catalog. You can find the instructions at www.Joann.com/homedec. I thought it was gorgeous, I can't afford to buy one, and I had all this fabric my neighbor gave me from curtains she took down. So what does a crafty girl do? Start cutting fabric.
I decided I wanted mine a little bigger than the one in the instructions, so I cut out two 18" circles. I know that the circumference of a circle is pi times the diameter, but I was feeling lazy and didn't want to bust out the calculator, so I just cut out a bunch of 4" strips until they went all the way around the circle. (probably easier to times the diameter by 2.14) Then I used a bazillion pins to match up the circle to the side seam and sewed them together, leaving an opening for turning and stuffing.
The next step is to make the petals. The instructions don't say how big the make the circles so I used a cereal bowl as my template (I am guessing it's about 5" in diameter- I don't think you need to know the circumference, but now you know how to find out). And I started cutting them out. The pattern says you need 63 circles, but I ran out of fabric and only ended up with 55.
You fold the circles in half- the pattern is WRONG and says to put them wrong sides together- they need to be right sides together. Then stitch around them. I chain stitched them to go faster.
You will end up with a mess like this.
Next you trim the sewn edges 1/4" (I used pinking shears) cut a small slit in the bottom (folded side), turn them right side out, (I used a blunt skewer to push the edges out), press the petals flat, then sew a gathering stitch on the flat side of most of the petals (leave about 20 ungathered). The next part of the fun is to try to hand sew the petals on the pillow. one...at...a...time...........do you remember that there are about 60 petals?......................do you remember how big this pillow is?.....................do you remember that you only have about a 5" opening to put your hand in to try to guide the needle to the right place in the petal?..........................................Do you remember that the pattern said this should all take about 3 - 3 1/2 hours, which we passed about 3 hours ago?............................Do you remember when you could still feel the top of your thumb?.......................No?, me either.........................Reveal to come shortly- after I can feel my thumb again.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Little Things

Wednesday, August 18, 2010
This is how the gift tag looked on my friend's birthday gift. I really think it's little things- a hand made card, a small token of love and friendship- that add grace and fullness to life. I am trying harder to take the time to let people know more often how I feel about them, and what they mean to me. It doesn't take money or huge commitments of time- just smile at someone, give someone a call- right when they come to mind, walk across the street to give a friend a hug. You'll be surprised at what a difference you can make in the lives of others- and the joy you'll find in yours.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Batty felt pillow tutorial

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

So I have seen tons of these beautiful felt pillows out there lately. I especially love the tone on tone ones. I have been thinking about Halloween projects lately- and the two ideas collided in my brain. Make a tone on tone, Halloween felt pillow. I thought it would be fun to have bats, but I didn't know if the black on black would even work. So I figured there was nothing to do but just give it a try.

I got up early and busted out my acrylic felt stash (I have TOO MUCH). And then I made a bat pattern I liked. Then I started cutting out bats. I think I ended up with about 20 or so.

I cut out two squares of felt 15X15 inches and laid out the bats to see how I liked them. I used a ruler to get the top row even, and then the bottom and middle bats positioned on the side row, so I would have a good grid to work from. Then I just eyeballed and placed the rest of the bats. I sewed a triangle in the body of the bats to hold them down, I wanted the wings to be able to "flap". (although it might make you crazy if you are OCD and need everything flat and in place- if that's the case sew down the wings too.)

Then sew the two squares together, leaving an opening for stuffing. Make sure you don't sew any of the bat wings into the side seams, use pins, or just be aware of them as you sew around. Clip the corners of the square and turn right side out.

Stuff with fiber fill and stitch the opening closed.

You are now the proud owner of a frightfully darling bat pillow.

This little bat is flying away. I love adding something quirky, just for fun!

I am over the moon!! I just saw that my project was featured here!!!:

Participating in:


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Monday, August 16, 2010

Kids' Rooms

Monday, August 16, 2010
I have been trying to update the kids' rooms lately. I don't have money to spend, but I sure do have a lot of craft supplies, so I have been trying to figure out what we can do with them to freshen up their spaces.
The boys' room really needed some curtains! I got the basketball fabric donated to me, and the orange fabric is from my sister (THANK YOU!) It has made a huge difference in the temperature in their room- and they are so excited!

This project is because my oldest son was poking around my craft stuff. He saw the guitar design on one of my cricut cartridges (stamped) and he really liked it and wanted to put it on something. I had picked up this magnet board for $2 at a garage sale over a year ago, meaning to put it in his room anyway. So, we busted out the paint and the cricut and voila! a boy's magnet board.

This is a project I made with my friend for a craft night. She found a bunch of free cupboard doors on KSL and brought some over. We painted the edges, put some scrapbook paper in the center (using glue dots) and I decided to use clothes pins as the picture hanging mechanism. My oldest daughter loves it. I would have liked to distress it a little, and maybe add some paper flowers, but she wanted it left just the way it is. Works for me!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Birthday Book

Friday, August 13, 2010
This is another idea I am presenting for the Super Saturday (maybe). It is a birthday (or special occasion) book. There is a tab for each month, followed by a few blank pages. On the first page you can record all the birthdays, anniversary's etc for that month. The blank pages are there for recording gift ideas or suggestions for individuals for that month. The last section of the book is titled "Wishes" and it is for recording the birthday wish of each individual year after year. What a fun treasure to see how each person's wishes change as they age, what was important to them and how they adapt. (you could also include a picture of them on their birthday in this section.
I think it would be a fun tradition to have in my own family.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thursday, August 12, 2010
I was asked to teach a class for a Super Saturday in September. It always makes me nervous, what if no one likes my project? What if nobody picks me? (ahh, the never ending self doubt) So anyway, we decided that offering a kit that included a set of four different cards would be best. One birthday, a baby, a thank you and just a simple note card. Using some ideas I have already done, and modifying others, these are the designs I have so far. (you'll notice I'm still missing the simple note card- working on that one).
This is the baby one. Tell me, does it look like a rattle? And while I'm not entirely sold on the paper selection, I think I really do like the overall design.

This is similar to another card I have done, just changing the main paper. Still one of my favorites!

This is the birthday card before distressing. Do you like it better inked or not? Decisions, decisions.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cupcake Stands (bright!)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010
So, as promised, here are the colorful cupcake stands. I love them! They will match wonderfully the banner and table runner I have in stock and will sure brighten up any birthday. I am just not sure if I should distress them or not? Any suggestions?

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