Thursday, May 24, 2012

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Hi friends! 

Have any big plans this weekend? 
This is what I've been spending all my time on this week:

Yep! We bought this little beauty a few months ago and we're taking her out for the first time tomorrow!

I've been working on getting this old girl ready to go and ready or not we're off in the morning!

We're looking forward to a fun filled weekend in the mountains!

I grew up camping in tents, so the whole trailer thing is new for me. 
If you've got any great tips for me please share! 

Whatever your plans may be I hope your weekend is filled with happy moments!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Crocheted Golf Club Covers

My husband's birthday is coming up and I'm trying to come up with a gift as cool as last year's!

Crocheted Golf Club Covers!

Golf clubs are expensive, so golf club covers are used to protect those clubs.  However those covers can become expensive, as well. 
My solution was to crochet my own.


I didn't have a pattern, but they're basically small and skinny beanies. 
If you'd like a pattern I'm sure I could come up with one.

After crocheting the golf club cover I embroidered the number across the front.


Hubby loved them and he says that they're the envy of all the golfers across the golf course!

With Father's Day coming up this would be a great gift for Dad! 

Happy Crafting!

*Please click HERE to see where I'll be linking up this week!*

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Happy Last Day of School Ideas!

With the end of the school year fast approaching (ten days left!
I've been thinking about fun ways to make their last day special.

Let's face it, graduating from one grade and moving on to the next is a big milestone for kids. And for moms too!  
I like to try and make it extra special!

Here are some ideas that I've done in the past:

Buckets full of Summer fun! 

I filled dollar store buckets up with bubbles, bubble wands, water balloons, squirt guns, coloring books, crayons, bug catchers, sidewalk chalk, frisbees, jump ropes and sand toys.

You're going to end up buying this stuff anyway, so why not make it a fun present to celebrate the first day of school with?

Seriously, your kids will think a bucket filled with dollar store goodness is the coolest present ever!


Hula Hoops!

As in, "Hooping" you have a great summer!



Bubbles!

"Wishing you Bubbles of fun this summer!"

Fill a bucket with bubbles, give them some wands (or fly swatters) and let them go crazy! 

One year we got a bubble train at Ross. It was hours of fun! 
Hours!




Flip Flops!

This year I'm thinking about stocking up on flip flops and saying, "Happy Last Flippin' Day of School!" or "Happy Flippin' Summer!" 

Who doesn't love flip flops?


These are just simple, silly ideas, but I feel like it's the simple, silly ideas that they'll remember!

What do YOU do to make summer/the last day of school special?

*Please click HERE to see where I'll be linking up this week!*

Monday, May 21, 2012

Teacher Appreciation

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week at my kids' school.

After searching for a great teacher gift (and finding lots I loved) life got busy and I took the easy way out!

We gave each teacher a King size Symphony bar with a little note changing "Symphony" to "Symply" in the phrase "You're Symply the Best!" 



Simple, fun, yummy!

*Please click HERE to see where I'll be linking up this week!*



Friday, May 18, 2012

Social Media Icons!



Yay! I finally added social media buttons to my blog!

It's about blogging time huh?

(heh heh...see what I did there?)

Great big thanks to Jen from Four Marrs and One Venus for walking me through this awesome tutorial.


Big time thank you to Great Fun 4 Kids also!

Check them both out. 
Their blogs are off da hook!

Yep, I said that. 
Because I'm a cool mom.

"There are no rules in the house. I'm not like a regular mom, I'm a cool mom." 
(Name that movie and we can be best friends!)

On a related note, my kids told me that "cool" is now a lame word and I should not say it. Ever.

Anyway, I'm not gonna lie, I'm not good with the technical stuff.
I just want to get on my blog, type a little somethin' somethin', add some pics and be done.

As I grow it seems to be not so simple. 

So, I'm trying to run with it and catch on as I go!
Wish me luck, I need it!

If you're looking to connect with more crafty mischief goodness, please see the cute little buttons in the right hand corner or my blog.

Next on my list? A button, a new header and a new look.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Lovely Lilacs


Thank you Colleen at Mural Maker and More for your "Dipdot Lilac" inspiration! 

My mom just re-did her bedroom in lilacs, so when I saw Colleen's lilac painting I knew it was the perfect present I'd been looking for!


The lilac painting consists mostly of a few simple lines and dots and Colleen walks you through each step in her tutorial.

The only thing that I did different was instead of using the end of the paintbrush to do the dots we used the kids fingerprints


That made it a fun, personalized gift for my kids to give to their grandmas.
And, I can happily report that both grandmas loved their presents! 


Thanks again Colleen! :)

I'm going to have to pull out the paints again and have the kids make one for me too! 

Lilacs have a special place in my heart because my grandma had lilac bushes growing in her front yard. She would trim them and put them in vases inside her home in the spring. 

And she forever smelled of lilac and lavender. 
Lilacs mean happy memories for me.

It's good to smell the lilacs and think of my dear Grandma on Mother's Day. :)


Happy crafting friends!

*Please click HERE to see where I'll be linking up this week!*

Mother's Day and some "Dressed Up" Cards

Hoping you all had a wonderful Mother's Day!

Mine was filled with cuddles and smiles, my favorite kind of day!

I ask my kids to give me the gift of "no fighting" on Mother's Day. 
Sometimes it works.

I woke up to breakfast in bed and these smiling faces.
Aww.....


Handmade cards, flowers and yummy food! 
What more could a mommy ask for?

How about spending it with some of the women I love most in this world?




Late Saturday night I watching this youtube video over and over in an attempt to recreate this darling card from How About Orange.


I'm a very visual person.
I learn by watching and doing, then watching and doing again.
Repeating these steps as necessary.

The first four tries were a mess, but by the fifth origami dress something finally clicked and I "got it"!
The fifth time's the charm, right?


It turned out so cute I had to make one in just about every color!

I thought about adding buttons, ric rac, ribbons and lace to the dresses but I decided that less is more with these sweet little dresses.

I couldn't resist a tiny string of pearls though.



Now, I don't have six mothers or grandmothers to give a card to, which is why I kept the front blank so I can customize it for any occasion.

I apologize for the crappy pics. 

I had to snap a couple right before we left for a Mother's Day BBQ at my mother in law's house (yum!) 
My husband was in the car yelling at me to hurry up!

If you want to look at a pretty one see How About Orange's photo above! :)


I'm thinking these would make fun birthday cards, congratulations notes, bridal shower invites, maybe even attached to a teacher appreciation gift (for the female teachers, of course!)

I'm telling you, you have to make some! 
Seriously!
If I can figure it out so can you! 

Just remember that practice makes perfect!


*Please click HERE to see where I'll be linking up this week!*


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Wishing you a happy, silly, funny, goofy Mother's Day!


Also...
The only thing better than having you for a Mom is my kids having you for a Grandma!
Love you Mom!


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Teacher Gift Ideas

If you've already read my Mother's Day post then you know how on top of things I am right now.

You guessed it, I haven't started Teacher Appreciation gifts either.

I know, I'm terrible.

*sigh*

Luckily I still have a couple weeks before our school celebrates.

Wish me luck!

No really, wish me luck. 

Now if you're like me (and you're probably not) and need some ideas, I'm willing to share.

Last year we gave water bottles and Crystal Lite packets.

This is such a simple gift but the teachers just loved it!

I got the idea at Frills, Fluff and Trucks.

She's got other great teacher ideas there, as well. 


A couple years ago we painted pots with chalkboard paint and the kids wrote, 
"Thank you for helping me GROW" with chalk.

We included chalk and foam handprint "flowers."


When Daisey was in kindergarten I crocheted her teacher a pretty bookmark and gave her a book.


When Daisey was in first grade she insisted on giving her teacher  flowers in a vase made of pencils.

I've seen lots of them around since but at the time I didn't have a tutorial.

So, I hot glued pencils to a plastic vase.



It looks cute, but I think I like this idea better.

Bethany at The Paper Pony used a Crystal Lite container and a rubber band, so you can still use the pencils later. 

Great idea!


A few years ago we made their teachers some upcycled clipboards with scrapbook paper, mod podge and ribbon.

They were a hit!


This year two of my kids' teachers are men. 

So....I'm thinking food?

What's the funnest teacher gift you've ever given?

*Please click HERE to see where I'll be linking up this week!*

Mother's Day Craftiness

I have a confession to make.
Mother's Day is this weekend and I still don't know what I'm giving.

I really wish I could tell you that I started working on presents months ago and that I have them wrapped and ready to go.

Nope, haven't even started.

I'm stumped!

While I occasionally have it all together and plan ahead like a good girl, it's more likely that I'm last minute crafting the day (and night) before!

I'm trying to do better.

For now I'd like to share some Mother's Day gifts that we have given in the past.

Keep in mind that had I known I was going to start a craft blog I would have tried to have taken better pictures!

Last year we gave my mother and my mother in law these fun tea cup topiaries.

I found the tea cups at Ross for $3 each - score!

Pretty much all you do is hot glue styrofoam inside the tea cup, insert a dowel, add a styrofoam ball and cover it with silk flowers. 

I also glued the tea cup to the saucer with E6000 glue.

Simple and expensive, that's my kind of project!

And what's even better is that they both loved it!


The year before we made lavender scented sachets.

You can find the instructions at The Crafty Crow via Wise Craft.

My kids loved making and giving this craft to their grandmas.


I made some fun throw pillows a few years ago. 

They are embroidered with a cute little house and a sweet saying:

"There's no place like home......except Grandma's house."


My mom cried! 
Aww....


Handprint molds are always fun!

Maggie gave me this one a couple of years ago. 

It's one of my treasures. :)


Flowers are always nice.

(Squeeeeeal! Look how cute and little she was!!!)


We've also done memory jars, painted pots, scrapbook pages, handprint flowers and more.

Don't forget the card!

I always let my kids make one for their grandmas but I like to include a handmade card of my own.

This one is an embroidered paper card.

Simple and sweet.


Tell me, what are you giving the mothers in your life this year? 
Seriously....I could use all the help I can get! :)

Happy crafting!

*Please click HERE to see where I'll be linking up this week!*

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Cinco de Mayo


Happy Cinco de Mayo, my friends!
Well...3 days later!
It still counts, right?

What a busy weekend we had! 
I had lots of fun things planned like:

from Family Fun


This fun umbrella wreath at Tip Junkie


Kid friendly Margaritas by Taste Spotting




Fun sombrero cookies at Random Thoughts of a Supermom


Instead we had soccer games, a graduation and a birthday party!

Followed by eating taquitos and  jumping on the trampoline in sombreros!

Yay!



How do YOU celebrate this fun Mexican holiday?

*Click HERE to see where I'm linking up this week!*

Friday, May 4, 2012

Sock Monkey Tutorial



Who's up for some Monkey Business???

If you've ever wondered how to make a sock monkey then today is your day!

I wanted a sock monkey when I was a little girl and I never got one. 
Yes, it's very sad. I was picked on as a child. Feel bad for me.

(Hi Mom - that was called sarcasm!)

No, really I had lots of dolls and stuffed animals that I named and dressed and played with everyday. 
But, I never did get that sock monkey.

Then socks monkeys kind of went away for awhile.
It was very sad.

Imagine my delight when sock monkeys started making a comeback just in time for my own kids!

Unfortunately I couldn't find the "classic looking sock monkeys" that were around when I was young but I kept searching.

About six years ago I was browsing through the store and I  came across some Red Heel socks. 
I snatched up a pair and I decided I'd try my hand at making a classic sock monkey for my son.

After I got home I realized I had no idea how to turn the socks into monkeys!

I was disappointed that I'd opened the package and couldn't return the socks. 
Then I turned the label over and low and behold there were instructions right on the back!

Hooray!


I can proudly say that my sock monkey making was a success!

I've kind of customized the instructions a bit to make it easier for myself. 
Like any craft project, it's a learn as you go thing.

Today I'm going to show you how I make sock monkeys but feel free to refer back to the Red Heel Sock instructions or even make changes yourself.

I like to do everything in steps (cutting, sewing, stuffing, stitching together.)

I hope this makes sense and I apologize in advance for the difference in my photos.
Blame Picnik. I'm still mad at them for leaving.
But, I'm starting to really like PicMonkey!


To get started you'll need the following Supplies-

-1 Pair of Socks 
-Fiberfill
-Strong Sewing thread
-Embroidery thread
-Needle
-Pins
-Buttons 
-Scissors

Like I said, my first sock monkey was made from the classic Red Heel Socks. 

I have since ventured out and made sock monkeys with colorful knee high socks and even little baby monkeys with smaller sized socks. 

Once you get the hang of it you can pretty much use any size of sock you'd like.


Begin by laying out your socks.
You'll need one pair of socks to make one monkey.

One sock will be the body and the legs.
The other sock will become the other body parts (ears, arms, tail, mouth).

Find the middle of your sock. 
You can usually tell by the crease in the sock.
If not, simple fold the sock in half lengthwise and find the middle that way.


After finding the center you'll want to cut a line down the center of the sock.
Stop about 3" from the heel.

You can mark it with a pen or pencil if you'd like. 
But, it's not rocket science, it's ok to just eyeball it.


Now lay out your remaining sock and cut out the rest of your monkey's parts as shown in the picture below.

The end of the toe will be the tail.

The tube of the sock will be the arms.

The heel will be the mouth. 

The sole will be the ears.


Going back to the first sock now. Turn the sock inside out.
Round the edges of the monkey's "feet".


Using strong sewing thread in a coordinating color (I used red so my stitches would be easy to see) sew a simple whip stitch around the edges.

Double up your thread, especially if your monkey is meant for a child, the monkey is sure to be well loved!

Keep your stitches fairly close together.


Yes, you can do this with the sewing machine, but I like to do it by hand.

I like the hand stitched look and call me old fashioned, but there's something special about knowing that's the way our grandmothers used to do it!


Stitch all the way up the monkeys leg, leaving room for the monkey's crotch leaving an opening in the middle.

This is where you'll turn the body right side out and stuff it with fiberfill.


Working the same stitch up the monkey's tail.
Leave the top of the tail open.


Stitch the arms up in the same way you did the legs and tail.


With the outsides facing stitch the ears together, leaving one side open so you can stuff it later.



Lay your monkey pieces out and smile because your monkey is coming together!


At this point you'll want to flip your monkey's legs, tail, arms and ears right side out.

It's easiest to scrunch the parts up like a pair of panthose and flip it over.


After flipping it right side out you can start stuffing your monkey parts with fiberfill.

I usually start with the tail.


Use plenty of stuffing, as it wears down after being played with over time.

Of course you don't want to use too much and rip your stitches open.

I've been known to use a crochet hook to push the stuffing down to the bottom, but be careful not to poke a hole right through the sock.


Stuff the tail until about 1" from the opening and stitch it shut.



You can roll the arms, legs and tail between your hands to get rid of lumps and make them nice and soft.


Repeat with the arms and legs.

Flip the ears right side out.
Add a little stuffing, then fold the sides in and stitch the ears shut.


Moving right along!
You're getting there!


Here comes the fun part! 
Now you can start stitching the monkey parts together.

I like to start by adding the mouth. 
You can figure out where to place the mouth by laying out your monkey like I did in the picture above.

I basically turn the edges in and pin the mouth where I want it to be.
Then I begin sewing it in place, removing the pins as I go.


Sew across the top of them mouth and about halfway across the bottom.


It's a good idea to stitch on a smile or even just a straight line before you add the stuffing.

I use embroidery thread and sew a simple split stitch across the mouth.




You can even add little french knot nostrils!


After stitching on the smile and nostrils you can begin stuffing the mouth.


Add a little stuffing at a time then stitch er' shut.

Aww-doesn't he look happy?


Now it's time for ears!

You can leave them as they are or you can pinch them in half.
I've done it both ways and they're equally cute, it's really up to you.

If you're going with the "pinched method" just fold the ear in half vertically and stitch together.



Then stitch the ears on both sides, right between the mouth and the white part on the head.


Isn't he cute?

Up next - arms!

Stitch them on, just below the mouth.


Yeah, I'm pretty sure one arm is lower than the other. 
I'm not worried about it.
It's a monkey. 

Moving on, it's time to attach your monkey's tail.
Very important!

You want to stitch the tail on right above the red part of the monkey's little bum.
Above, not below.

I did that once and it just didn't look right.
If that doesn't make sense then take a good look at a monkey next time you go to the zoo!


Now all your parts are attached and your monkey is ready to be stuffed.
Fill up the body through the opening between the legs.

Sorry...that really doesn't sound good, but there's no other way to say it!


I like to add a heart in with my stuffing.
Because I'm super cheesy like that.



Once you've got your monkey's body filled with stuffing fold the ends of the opening in, pinch them together and sew them up.



Last but not least, you need to sew on some eyes.

I used buttons, but you can use beads or safety eyes, as well.

If you're making the monkey for a baby the best idea is to use eyes cut out of felt, as the buttons would be a chocking hazard.


And wa-la!
We have a monkey!


He's a cute little guy too!

I think I'll call him Chester.
(Until I give him to my nephew anyway, then he can call him whatever he wants.)


So there you have it!
He's ready ready to go, ready to be cuddled and loved.


Chester is like the bazillionth monkey I've made!
I have pictures of some.
I'll have to share them in another post.

Happy monkey making, my friends!
And if you have any questions, please, please, please don't hesitate to ask!

Have a craft-o-licious day! :)

*Please click HERE to see where I'll be linking up this week!*