Quotes as Wall Art

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We are in the midst of packing for our move to the sunny Okanagan at the end of the month.  So, I REALLY should not be crafting right now!  That said, I’m sure we’ll be even busier on the other end, and I really want Kay’s room decor to be ready for our arrival.  Right now, she is into all things Disney princess.  And while I’m willing to work with a general princessy theme, I also want her surroundings to reflect her other interests, such as reading, science, and exploration.  This is where Dr. Seuss comes in.  The man was a genius, in my opinion.  His quotes, while whimsically worded for young children, are also very inspirational, and remain relevant for us through to adulthood.  Below are a few of my favourites, taken from the book “Oh, the places you’ll go!”

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Here’s how I completed this project:

1.  Create a word document of your favourite quotes, experimenting with different fonts and text colours.

2.  Search free clip art images that highlight your quotes.

3.  Print- I went to Staples and the job cost less than $1.50.

4.  Choose your frames.  Mine are 11 x 14.  $3 each at the dollar store.  I used acrylic paint to add a pop of colour to the mattings.

5.  Viola!  A quick and easy DIY that can be done for around $10.

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DIY baby shower gifts

One of my close friends recently gave birth to a bouncing baby boy.  This friend also happens to be an amazingly talented seamstress, who always gives very thoughtful handmade gifts whenever there is a birthday or new baby in our group.  So, I wanted to make sure I welcomed her little one with something unique and crafty.  I also wanted to jump on board with the shower’s pirate theme.

 

Project One: Framed Alphabet Print 

1.  Create a document in Microsoft Word.

2.  Type out the alphabet in your choice of colour and font.

3.  Choose a contrasting colour for the first letter of baby’s name and bottom line of text.

4.  Search Google for free clip art images.

5.  Print document.  I took mine to Staples to get higher quality ink and paper.

6.  Complete the project with a 8 x 10 or 8 1/2 x 11 frame.

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Project Two: Baby’s First Initial Wall Hanging

1.  Purchase a large wooden initial at Michaels, Walmart etc.

2.  Wrap outside edges with ribbon, securing with Elmer’s glue.

3.  Add themed embellishments and/or paint the surface of the letter.

4.  Write baby’s birth info. using a Sharpie marker.

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I had so much fun making these for baby Ezekiel, and I like that these are keepsake gifts for Mom and Dad, even after he has outgrown having them on display in his room.

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DIY Child’s Artwork Display

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Several days each week, my daughter brings a new artistic creation home from daycare.  I praise her efforts and genuinely admire each masterpiece, but just recently, I realized that I rarely display her artwork.  Our fridge is not magnetic, so this quick and easy display solution will not work in our home.  So, after a major “mommy guilt” moment, and a brief  perusal of Pinterest, I was inspired to create a mini “art gallery” in our home.

First, I stopped at a local thrift store and picked up a large framed print for $4.99.  The before picture is below (sort of).  I forgot to take a picture at the very beginning of my project, so it does not show the original colour of the ugly wood frame.  I used some black acrylic paint and wiped it with a rag while wet, to create an updated espresso brown finish.

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Next, I opened up the frame, covered the print with fabric and a strip of ribbon, and secured on the back with duct tape. Sorry random boy with clay vessel, but you don’t  quite complement the décor in our home;)  Then, I simply popped the covered print back into the frame, which I should mention did not have glass in front.  Finally, I added a couple of wooden clothespins to the ribbon.

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I added a recent piece of art, and viola!  Not only do I feel that K’s artwork is finally getting the recognition it deserves, but she was super proud that it was displayed for all to see!  The clothespins allow for quick changes and move easily across the ribbon to adjust for different sized pictures.  For a home with multiple children, I think it would look great to have a row of matching frames hung in a hallway or on a large wall.  Project completion time = less than one hour.

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Toddler Nap Mat

napIf my recent posts about shopping and exercise have left you wondering, “What happened to the crafting and sewing?!” look no further. I’m still at it;) Last night, I finally finished a travel nap mat for my daughter. I started it months ago, first aiming to complete it in time for Christmas, then later for her birthday. It wasn’t that it was a difficult or overly time-consuming project, but simply that I lost interest and/or got distracted by other projects when I was about 3/4 finished.

The nap mat features an attached blanket and built in pillow, so you don’t have to worry about losing them. The mat rolls and buttons up for easy travel, and has a strap to carry it on your shoulder. Surprise surprise, I chose a purple unicorn fabric;) The body of the mat has a piece of 1″ foam inserted inside, and the pillow is made nice and “poufy” with polyfil stuffing.

When I completed the project, Kay was already asleep for the night. Fortuitously, she woke a short time later and was calling for me. It was like she knew I had made something for her, and she wanted to see it right away! She loved it so much that she went to sleep in her new nap mat on her bedroom floor:)

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If you would like to try this project for yourself, you can find the tutorial I used here:
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=221179.0#axzz2TTQ9OuuM

Happy napping everyone!

Project for the Crafting-Impaired: Photo and Art Display

Here is a fun little project that I knocked off in less than an hour. Bonus- it cost about $5 to make!

Instructions:

1. Purchase a piece of scrap baseboard from your local hardware store.

2. Paint it with your favourite acrylic paint or leave it white as is. After painting, I also added glitter.

3. Evenly space your clothes pins and attach with wood glue. I used bedazzled clothes pins that I found at Michaels for $2 a pack, but you could paint or glitter regular wood ones.

4. Add interest to the baseboard with buttons, gems, or wooden cut outs. I used craft supplies that I already had handy.

5. Let dry!

6. Nail or screw onto wall. Make sure to use a level.

7. Add favourite photos or kids’ artwork and enjoy!

Note:
There are many variations of this project on Pinterest. I have seen it used as a stocking hanger at Christmas or in a laundry room to hold mismatched socks until they are found. It could also be handy in a home office or kitchen for shopping and to-do lists.

LOVE this bag!

Fellow sewing friends, you simply must make this bag! Non-sewing friends, you simply must have someone make it for you! The Letty bag is a pattern created by Robin Gallagher of “Robin’s Quilts etc.” It is fairly large and uber-versatile- think diaper bag, work or gym bag, or just a larger size purse for those who like to carry around everything but the kitchen sink;)

The bag features six medium-sized interior pockets plus a smaller cell phone pocket. On the outside are two large (back and front) pockets accented by butttons. The grommet styling allows you to carry the purse with two straps on your shoulder, or pull into one longer strap to carry as a crossbody bag when you need both hands free. Genius! Gets both my mommy and working woman seal of approval. I love how variations in fabric can totally change the style and “feel” of the bag.

I consider my self to be a beginner-intermediate sewer and it takes me about four or five hours to complete this bag. My super-advanced sewing friend can whip one up in about two hours. Check out the Letty bags I have made so far:

Letty bag- books

Letty bag- Kim

Letty bag- pink

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Interior view:

Letty bag interior view