crafting

Anna’s Mail Slot

Posted by on Feb 8, 2012 | Comments Off on Anna’s Mail Slot

My daughter, Anna, loves two things:  art and mail.  She’s a very creative little soul, and she likes nothing more than the thought of sending one of her creations to someone far away, whether it’s a friend in town or her cousin, Paul, in Kansas.

We were getting to the point where I needed to have a system for her because she would give me a piece of paper and tell me it needed to be mailed to (insert name here).  I’d set it down, and then days later she’d ask if I sent the paper, and I’d have no idea which one she meant.  So I whipped up this little mail slot and stuck it on the side of her art station, which I’ll talk about more later.  I love it because it works AND it doesn’t take up a lot of space.  Would a little mailbox be cuter?  Yes.  Would it get lost, in the way, trampled and tripped on, too?  Yes.

Now, when she has something to send, she gets to stick it in her mail slot, and I can ask her who it’s supposed to go to when I get mail ready to send.  You’ll see in the photo on the right she’s stuck in a special drawing for someone. :)

I’d like to say this is a tutorial, but I came up with it so fast that I didn’t take totally detailed pictures.  The light is very wonky, too- it was too hot to have the kitchen shades up (in January!) so the light is very yellow.  Better to have weird lighting than no lighting at all…

You will need:

  • three sheets of 12×12 scrapbook paper (ignore my four sheets there- I had one extra).  I went with traditional red, white, and blue to mimic our postal service, but you could make them whatever color you like.  (I really wanted to find some air mail paper but had no luck.)
  • You could easily do this with glue or a glue stick, but I found zips adhesive strips to be super fast and less messy in this case.
  • I also used adhesive squares.
  • Some decorative letters are also nice, but not necessary.

Take the paper that you are going to use as the front of the slot and cut it in half diagonally as shown below.  I used a ruler to eyeball it because it won’t fit in my paper cutter.  Do NOT paste them together yet.

With your trim color, cut yourself five (not four as shown below- see?  Horrible tutorial!) 1-inch strips, and fold them in half.  Crease them so that they are folded very precisely.

If you’re using a glue stick you’ll take the diagonal edge of one of your triangles- the edge that will go where the mail will enter the slot.  This will be the covered-up edge, so you don’t need to cover the whole edge.  I would probably apply the glue to the white strip (nice and thick) and then press down. Let dry, flip it over, and glue the other side of the white strip down.

For the zips, you can see I cut a length just a bit shorter than the white and then pressed it down.  Turn over, repeat.

Either way, trim the extra off after it’s set.

This is what you end up with:

Now you can adhere the blue/front pieces together at the bottom.

Put your red/back piece behind the blue/front pieces that are now glued together.  Use your remaining white strips to trim the bottom and sides.  You will have to trim here and there to make it all flush at the corners.  This is where the zips came in super handy, but if you don’t have them, I’m sure glue will work fine.  Just be sure to use a heavy-duty glue in case your kid wants to send lots of mail. :)

Stick some letters on if you want/have them,  and you’re done!  Anna loves having this, and it has taken one more thing off the counter.

Do you want some fun mail?  I have about a bazillion pieces of art I could send you….

 

Today I’m sharing on:

HookingupwithHoH

Read More

Jane’s Family Rules

Posted by on Jan 26, 2012 | 2 comments

Yesterday I introduced you to my wonderful friend, Jane.  Jane’s birthday is in May.  It is now January.  Why does that matter?  Well, it was in May that I told Jane that I’d make her a set of family rules for her home.  And just this past weekend I finally actually gave them to her!  Granted, I did have a baby in July, and Jane did have to come up with the rules (a fun, but daunting task).  Here they are in all of their Mod Podged glory (and please note:  I REALLY need/want a new camera- ours is getting tired):

What I loved about this project, aside from the fact that I got to make this for someone I care about so much, was that I knew Jane would want something slightly different than my family rules.  I welcomed the challenge.  The one I made for our family is definitely my style- loud, colorful…a bit busy.  They fit me and my family to a ‘T.’  And with the color scheme in our kitchen, they work.  I love how they *pop* off the wall and people notice them when they come over for the first time.  Jane has different decor than we do (she has a smokin’ 80s kitchen while ours is still smack-dab in the swanky 70s) and has always liked certain colors.  I wanted to make her Family Rules “look like her,” and to go with her family and her home.  I think I did a good job.  She seems to like them, anyway.  I need to get over to her house and take a picture because all of these photos are in my home.

I’ve actually made another set to send to a church auction (post forthcoming) and have realized:  I LOVE making these things.  A lot.  So get ready for some giveaways and some fun because I think I may have found at least one path to my creative life- we’ll see!

Read More

Felt Obsession

Posted by on Jan 3, 2012 | Comments Off on Felt Obsession

This project was a little toooo fun for me.  And for my mom.

Did you play with these when you were little?  If you’re a child of the mid- to late-70s, you may have.  They are flat, sort of like a glorified paper doll/Flat Stanley.

They are called “Twigs and Wigs” dolls, and after a little research I found that they are not made anymore, so I have officially dubbed them “cool retro dolls.”  We had 3, perhaps because I am one of three {awesome} girls.  My sisters and I wore them out!  They came with felt clothes that were uber-easy to put on and take off, which is one reason we loved them so much.  After a visit last winter where Anna played with the old, tired clothes, my mom and I decided to give them a new wardrobe and then give them to Anna at Christmas.  We started during my parents’ visit in late-September, but I finished them up just before we left for Christmas.  Before I go on, check it out- they even had a patent number and everything- aren’t they official?

Felt is addictive.  Not as addictive as Pinterest, but pretty addictive.  It’s so easy to work with, sews nicely, and just feels yummy under your fingers.  We used the old hair-do’s and clothes to make templates, but then I tried to add some new flare to the clothes.  The following pictures are not everything we made, but a nice sampling:

(not so happy with the hat, but Anna loves it)

(the rainbow shirt is my favorite)

Here a few dolls dressed and ready for action:

To keep everything together I also made a little bag with a divider in it so she can put them all away when she’s done (in theory, of course).

She’s played with them several times since Christmas- she loves them.

(Side note:  can anyone tell me when the “I can’t smile for the camera” phase ends?  And yes, that’s my arm tickling her, trying to get her to smile a natural smile…)

Linking up to:

Today’s Creative Blog

Todays Creative Blog

Ta-Da Tuesday @ Mommy By Day, Crafter By Night

 

Hookin’ Up with HoH!

HookingupwithHoH

 

Fingerprints on the Fridge

Read More

Christmas Week: Disney Reveal

Posted by on Dec 16, 2011 | Comments Off on Christmas Week: Disney Reveal

Michael and I decided to take the kids to Disneyland!  We’ll take them in January while the crowds are thinner.  While they will get some gifts this year (okay, I’ve had a hard time holding back, but they aren’t getting anything huge), we are failing trying to keep things simple.  I wanted to have something to give them when we tell them we are taking them to the Happiest Place on Earth because none of them have been yet, and we are really, really excited to take them.

I rounded up some supplies, including some Disney paper I found at Michael’s Crafts.  I also downloaded the Waltograph font from Dafont.com.

I typed up a message to the kids from Mickey and got to cutting and pasting.

I am so pleased with how it turned out!

Here’s the cover:

Don’t you just love a good, layered sticker?

And here’s the inside:

(sorry it’s so blurry)

This is my favorite part- the message from Mickey underneath the black.  Anna loves Minnie right now, so I had to include her, too. :)

I’m not sure what we’ll do with it after-the-fact other than put it in a keepsake box, but it sure is cute.  Would you like a tutorial?  I was thinking this might be something to sell or share the process of how I made it, though it really is self-explanatory.  If you’re interested in either, please leave a comment and let me know!

And so, dear readers, I leave you until after the holidays.  We are excited to see family and friends for the holidays, and this mommy needs a break from technology for a while.  I’ll be planning lots of posts for the new year, including a closet update, fun with felt, and more!

Happy Holidays to you and yours, and may you have a safe and fun New Year!  See you in 2012!

Read More

Christmas Week: Some Decorations {and a FAIL}

Posted by on Dec 15, 2011 | 1 comment

Today I thought I’d share with you a few random things I am loving.  I will also show you a Crafting Crazy fail.  Woo hoo!

Let’s start with the cute stuff.

Have you seen these at Target?

 If you missed them this year, and you have a pre-K kid, be sure to get them next year.  I snatched some up and somehow got them home without Anna seeing them.  Everyone once in a while over the last few weeks when I need to keep her occupied, I have pulled out one of these.  Next year I will grab every single one- at $2 each, they are a deal.  They really work fine motor skills, but are also fun.  And the pictures make it easy for the kids- they just refer to it to see what to do.  Here’s Anna’s handiwork:

We also did snowmen and penguins.  They are super cute.  Anna insists that they be together on the tree so they don’t get lonely.  Cuteness.

Do you have any favorite Christmas decorations?  I asked Michael what his favorite was, and he told me this story of a paper mache nativity scene that he loved growing up because you could take the gifts out of the three wise men’s hands and put them back.  You had to be there, but it was super funny.

My aunt sent me this little guy several years ago and I still look forward to finding him a spot every year.  This year he’s on our shelf in the kitchen.  I love that his little legs dangle, all the buttons…

…but I especially love his little painted face.  So cute!

And just in case you think my house is spotless or perfect, check out what’s keeping him company.  This shelf is almost always a mess.

And here we are at the Craft Fail. Get ready to laugh…

So, Anna loves crafts.  She loves to draw.  She loves to make stuff.  It’s hard to keep up with her sometimes.  I bought her these fuzz balls for her birthday.  Her birthday is in May.  Whoops.  I’ve been putting her off since then because I wasn’t really sure what to do with the fuzz balls.  I decided to give this a shot, and while I think the concept could work, I need to rethink my supplies and technique a huge tad.  Not a wee tad- a HUGE tad.

Here’s how it went:

Gather fuzz balls and a four-year-old.  Be sure you shove your hand in a basket full of fuzz balls- it’s so nice!  (Heh.)  No really, they are soooo soft.

As you can see above, I had Anna find all the green, red and white ones.  There were a lot.

 

Below you can see our progress.  We selected the largest styrofoam tree form- probably my biggest mistake.  I painted the glue on and then Anna would stick them on.  We set it on wax paper to keep the glue off the table, and I was hoping once all was dry it would just peel off.

 

Here’s the problem:  we ran out of Christmas colors.  So instead of a cute, fuzzy Christmas tree we have a psychedelic fuzz ball mess.  I also need to look into getting one size.  This thing is a nightmare to look at.  I kind of want to cry looking at it.  The real kicker, though, is that Anna LOVES it.  I don’t have the heart to get rid of it.  I’m tempted to take all the fuzz balls off and start over.  Who knows.  At least Anna likes it.  :)

 

 

Tomorrow I have one more thing to share before the holidays and then I’m taking a 2-week break from blogland.  Can’t wait to come back with more fun stuff!

 

Read More

Christmas Week! An Easy Wreath

Posted by on Dec 12, 2011 | 1 comment

I hereby declare this Christmas Week and Crafting Crazy.  Woo hoo!  I am not going to post anything revolutionary.  My crafts and thoughts will be simple.  I like to keep it simple during the holidays because it’s hard to get everything done in terms of gifts, cards, and more- why throw in a totally-involved project to add to the stress?

So project #1:  an easy wreath.  This really happened by accident.  I was shopping with my 3 kids at Michael’s.  Anna, my 4-year-old, said, “Mommy!  Sparkle balls!”  Done.  We found a fake wreath just the right size for our door for $6.  Two little packets of various styrofoam balls of silver, white and red, and we were set to go.

 

It was super easy and Anna loves it.  Anna would hand me a ball, and I just used my hot-glue gun to stick them in place.  I’m also very proud to say that I did NOT burn myself this time.  I almost did, but I didn’t.

 

I do plan on making some of those fancy yarn wreaths after the new year- you know, the ones that are flying all over Pinterest.  But for now, our sparkle balls will do just fine. :-)

Read More