Saturday, May 22, 2010

Quick and Easy Flower Hairclips

I came up with some simple flower hairclips/pins for my sister's Stagette party a few weeks ago. I wanted all the girls to wear something so people would know we were all together, but didn't want to spend the money on t-shirts. So I bought big hot pink flowers from the dollar store and went to work!
All you need is:
  •  flowers
  • hairclips or pins or both
  • sticky gems
  •  glue gun & glue sticks

Look for flowers with a bunch of petal layers for best results!
First I took the plastic parts (stems and centers) off the flowers till I was left with just the big petals. Each of my flowers had about 6 petal pieces ranging from large to small, and I put each deconsturcted flower aside seperatly so as not to mix up the petals.

Once all the plastic was off I just went to town with the glue gun! I ran a bead of glue around the hole in the center (where the plastic stems was) of each petal as I layered them back together.

Once all the petal layers are glued back together add a sticky gem to the center and set aside to harden. I think buttons or smaller flowers would make cute centers too! I found with all the layers of fabric flowers it took the glue a good 5 mins to cool and harden.
Once they were hardened I glued hairclips (I used snap clips just because thats all I could find, but any style hairclips would work) or pins to the back and called them done! Just a note- with the snap clips I only glued the larger end to the very center of the flowers so the rest was free to flex as it clipped. I totally forgot to take a picture of the backs, sorry!
And , voila! Cute and easy flowery hairclips! 
and pins!

I would post a picture of them in action at the stagette but I couldn't find one that wouldn't embarass my sister if she ever came across it! I'll save those for the wedding slideshow :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Happy (late!) Mothers Day to me!

When my husband asked me what I wanted for Mothers Day the first thing that popped into my mind was FABRIC! I live in a smallish city, and besides a few expensive quilting stores with a very limited selection, the only fabric store is a (very small) Fabricland. Now while I have found some fun fabric there it tends to be pricey, and I never seem to find exactly what I went there for. Ideally I would drive 3 hours to my old hometown and visit my favourite hole in the wall store (Skyline Fabrics in northeast Calgary) but with 2 kids, dogs, and veggie planting season I can't see that happening. So I begged my husband to buy me fabric online as my Mothers Day gift. No shopping for him, I get exactly what I want, it all works out!

Well today I came home from taking my boy to preschool to find my parcel waiting!! Yay!  I of course grabbed my camera to document my first online fabric experience!

I ordered from Fabric Depot in the states.

And here are the beauties!
Clearly some of these will be used for kids stuff. But I really want to make a cute summer top out of the black with rainbow stars cotton.
Here's one more look!
So pretty! I love fabric! I was like a kid in a candy store opening the package!
And you know what? My sweet husband still surprised me with another gift on Mothers Day! I had been out of town that weekend for my sister's bridal shower, and my awesome husband went out and braved the mall with the kids to find me this beautiful locket!

Isn't it pretty? That's a real shamrock in there! Perfect to put pictures of my two March babies in! I love it!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Car play mat - done!

Here's the little car play mat I just finally finished for my sweet boy! I've seen these all over blog land lately but I didn't actually follow any tutorials, I put my own spin on it. For one thing I made mine alot bigger than most of the car rolls that I've come across. And then I added the interactive element.
Axel loves parking lots. So much so that after watching him park his cars along the couch arms, the tv stand,  and the table( really anywhere that he could line them up) I took an old frozen pizza box from my recycling pile and drew lines on it to make a parking lot. And he still plays with that old pizza box 6 months later. I'm not sure why I spend money on toys....
But I digress. I knew I needed a parking lot on this play mat. So the playmat ended up alot bigger. I started with a remnant of green cotton (that sorta looks like grass!) which happened to be about 17" by 20", so that dictated my size. I put 6 large (3.5") pockets across the bottom, big enough for trucks to fit in.
My favourite part is this apple tree.

Wait a minute.....

Yep. Those are removable velcro accessories. Flowers, apples, bushes and a toadstool.
I may have gotten a little carried away.....
I handstiched these out of eco-felt. Then used fabric glue to add velcro to the back. I started off sewing the velcro on by hand but I decided I really hate sewing velcro :)
And then it folds in thirds, with vecro accessories either still attached or in a pocket.
And then wraps up into a cute little package to take on the go!

I can't wait to see the look on Axel's face when he opens this! This is joining the pony farm (from my last post) as little suprises to keep my punks happy during my sisters wedding ceremony this summer! My husband and I will both be standing up in the wedding party so I will have these play mats waiting up on the front pew for the kids once they finish their walk down the aisle as ring bearer and flower girl!

Linking to:


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pony Farm!

I been a total crafting slacker lately! You see, my sister is getting married this July, and not only is my entire family in the wedding party, but I am in charge of planning both the bridal shower and stagette. Its been taking up pretty much all my free time. I've been making decorations, planning games, creating flower corsages, buying gag gifts, and trying to make it the best day of my sisters life. At least until its trumped by her over the top outrageously expensive wedding.

I've been reading my favourite crafty blogs and dreaming about all the amazing things I'll be able to make someday. And then I came across this post on Smashed Peas and Carrots about a pony roll up farm. And I knew I had to make one for my little Raven. I've decided to make Axel a car roll up (they seem to be everywhere in blog land these days) and put both away for a special surprise at the wedding this summer. Hopefully it will keep the punks busy for awhile while I shed a tear, make some toasts, and watch my big sister enjoy her special day!

So here it is- my version of the Pony Farm Roll! I deviated from the tutorial for most of the farm decorations just because I was lazy and free handed it. And I didn't have enough felt to make a 6 pony barn, so I just did 4. Which turned out okay since I could only find 3 little ponies in Raven's toy box.

The outside, folded.

The outside opened up. Its a little wrinkled from being folded up overnight, so the stiching looks all wonky but it isn't really. I guess I should have ironed it again before taking pictures. Oops.

The inside. Feel free to ignore the dog hairs on the felt....

Thanks so much Smashed Peas and Carrots for the great tutorial! I think Raven is going to love this!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Salt and Pepper move in

In my last post I mentioned that my sweet Grampa-in-law recently downsized from his house of 40 odd years to a retirement condo. And we ended up with his salt and pepper shaker collection. All 400+ sets. That's alot of salt and pepper shakers (7 large boxes full in fact). I am not a collector of anything really, except maybe dust bunnies under my bed (sorry mom), dvd's and fabric/craft supplies, but since they get used and replaced on a regular basis I don't think it counts as a collection. Mr Darkside on the other hand can definetly be labeled as a collector. He has glass display cases housing hundreds of action figures. He has boxes and boxes of lego sets waiting for a cabinet in which to properly display them. He has collectable knives (safely locked away from the kidlets). And yet somehow it became my job to sort thru and set up the s&p collection.
Actually when we aquired these boxes I shoved them away in our basement guest room fully intending for them to sit there for a few months. And then I realised we were expecting company and I had to clear the room out. So I started to dreaded job of sorting. And you know what? I started to enjoy it! It was kind of like opening presents at Christmas! Like discovering crazy new things in every paper wrapped package.

Here's a look at some of the salt and pepper madness. Their new home in our guest room;
Some of my favs: pink elephants
Creepy '70s cats with googly eyes
An assortment of colorful fish
Angry lettuces...
A whole shelf full of veggies
Some funny ones that made me giggle
an assortment of little people
and the wild west shelf
And with all these shakers you may be wondering- did I take any for daily use in my kitchen? Why, yes, yes I did. I chose this lovely simple green set that matches my kitchen wall color perfectly. I love this green!
I jam packed that big cabinet full of the most unique and interesting shakers in the collection. I still have 3 more boxes of clear glass, coloured glass, and wooden shakers that didn't fit. Going through those is a whole other post!

** Sorry for the terribly lighted pictures taken on my basement air hockey table. I didn't feel like making multiple trips up the stairs carrying breakables**

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


A few weeks ago my grampa-in-law moved from his house of 40 or so years to a retirement condo. Going through the treasures (and layers of dust) in his house was quite a chore, and all of us grandkids and great grandkids ended up with boxes of neat old things to take home. I ended up with 6 big boxes full of his salt and pepper shaker collection, but thats a post in itself!
While packing up my sister-in-law discovered a bunch of old ties headed for the dumpster. She saved them, washed them and came up with the brilliant idea to make snakes out of them for all the great grandkids to have a fun momento from their great grampa. So this sunday, after our weekly lunch at the in-laws, the kids played with their cousins and I sat down and made some snakes.

My son picked out an orange tie with a crazy '70s pattern. I'm not surprised. Orange appears to be his favourite color. This year the majority of his preschool artwork has been orange, orange, and more orange. He rarely voluntarily chooses an alternate color. Sometimes he takes a leap and colours with pink. But not often. Its a wonder all our orange crayons aren't worn down to nubs yet.

This was my first try and I followed my sister in laws directions and glued on googly eyes and a red felt tongue. 

My daughter picked out a ratty, nasty, stained, but oh-so-soft purple tie. I tried to talk her out of it but she was determined. Of course she also wouldn't give the tie up for me to work on it, so I made her brothers snake first while she ran around wearing the nasty tie like a beauty pageant sash. And then she fell asleep. So I picked out a tie in better shape with a funky blue and white pattern and hot pink lining. And I sewed on the tongue and button eyes because my sweet 2 year old is rough on her toys.
The kids really like them, they pull them around them house, beat each other up with them, and wear them like scarves.

And there you have it. This is a totally easy project and I think older kids (maybe 6+) could make these mostly on their own except for the hand sewing the liner closed.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

My personal March Madness

My kids are 2 years apart and their birthdays are 8 days apart, with St Patrick's Day smack in the middle. And our house was party central last weekend. I'm guessing this is the last year that we will be able to have combined birthday parties, and definetly the last year that our house will host, it's just not big enough for a herd of preschoolers. But as chaotic as it was, it was also alot of fun! We had 2 parties, seperating friends and family because of our lack of space and hosted about 23 people each day. Here's a peek inside the chaos:

We went with a pirate theme with a little bit of fairy princess thrown in for the girls. A pirate wall poster to colour as guests arrived. Bean bag toss game, covered in blue paper and added pirate ships (found online and printed) and drawn on waves to become "Fire the Cannons". The kids loved it! I think this is a keeper for future parties!

Of course pirates wouldn't be pirates without plenty of tattoos which were supplyed at our "Get Inked" station! A week later and my kidlets are still sporting full sleeves of fairies, flowers, cars and shamrocks!

And of course- a picture clue treasure hunt! Thought up, and brought to life entirely by my amazing husband! He took pictures of the hiding spots around the house, alternating upstairs and downstairs to tire the kids out! And he came up with awesome rhyming clues to accompany them! The last one was my favourite so I'll share it with you!

The treasure ye seek is
so close now I say
its hidden where no pirate
would go anyday
where people get clean
scrub a dub dub
go upstairs
and look in the tub!

And what was the treasure you're thinking?
Why LOOT BAGS of course! Filled with eye patches and clip on earings , bubbles, snakes, curly straws, and bouncy eye balls for the boys. And fairy sticker books, bracelets/necklaces, bubbles, sparkly bounce balls, curly straws and gel pens for the girls.
And no party is complete without cake! Or cupcakes in this case! Each with its own pirate flag!

On to party #2 the next day! The kids were oh so thrilled as you can tell! It was Raven's birthday, my little princess is 2!!
My mother-in-law made Axel an AMAZING pirate ship cake! And I turned out a mediocre fairy cake. (hey I was tired from the previous day's festivities, and the mad dash to clean up in between, give me a break!)
Happy birthday fairy princess!
Happy birthday my little man Axel!
The kids favourite gifts- scooters! (don't worry, we plan on buying helmets right away! Since then it has snowed, putting and end to any further scootering for awhile!)
Planning these parties has kept me from crafting for awhile. I did manage to turn out 17 superman/batman emblems for a friend who is planning a 4 year old superhero birthday at the end of the month, but I forgot to take a picture of them in my haste to get them in the mail. I also made a baby superhero cape for the same party, but I seem to have misplaced the pictures of it being modeled by an oversize purple monkey. Also I think my sewing machine needs a tune up, its been running rough lately, breaking threads, not winding bobbins properly and annoying me to no end! I'm hoping to get it fixed (or get a new one) soon so I can get back to crafting! I have a ton of summer projects I want to make for Raven!