Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Guest with a Picnic Pick-Me-Up

Do you read The Rowdy Stroudy's - All That Is Sweet in Life?  If not, what the heck's wrong with you?  If so, well, you know why I just asked that.  Carrie Stroud writes (beautifully I might add) about her family, memories, struggles and life in general.  She also has some amazing photography.  Ooo, and she hosts some amazing parties.  AND she is here today with a guest post!!

We all have days that are rough, and it can be so hard to figure out what to do for a loved one to help them feel better.  Sometimes words don't suffice, and since it is still picnic season, I thought how great it would be to incorporate that fun into a gift to cheer someone up! 
Left secretly on a doorstep with a balloon attached and a sign saying "Pick Me Up!  A picnic for a day that may not be going your way." will surely make someone smile.
I wanted to give a picnic basket with no items that needed returned to me, so I had to plan for that.  I am all about thrifty finds, so I went to the thrift store and bought some low dollar items to put my version of a picnic basket together. You can't always find a traditional picnic basket, so I figured that a large one with a handle would still work well.  I also found some cute canisters-- you know --the tins you get at Christmas etc. and have no idea what to do with and so you send them to the thrift store!?  Well, bring them back home, girlfriend!  I found some cute vintage non-holiday ones and it made the idea of putting food in tupperwear a thing of the past.  I also bought a vintage sheet that works great as a blanket since it compacts well and quilts are definitely not something you want to give away.
It was also really surprising when I began to put it all together because I didn't mean for it to color coordinate so well.  But the oranges and reds work perfectly as we end the Summer and head into Autumn.
basket $1.99
vintage tins $.99 each
old glass canning jar $1.99
vintage sheet $2.99
plastic eating baskets $.99 each
red checkered napkins $1.99 each
red and white bakers twine (in my craft stash)
When it comes to the food, I wanted to give items that required minimal silverware and clean-up. You can really go with homemade goodies if you have the time time, but for me, I needed a quick and cheap meal to go! In this case, all that needed supplied by them was a bottle opener (if necessary) and knife.
orange cream soda
dry sausage
cheese slices
meyer lemon wafers
mini peanut butter cups

Now all you need is someone to cheer up! 
But... uhm...honestly, I am seriously considering claiming my own sad day and gifting these goodies to myself;)    

 She's brilliant, right?  I don't need to tell you what I love about this tutorial, because what's NOT to love???  The colors, the vintage goodness, the crafty homey vibe, the twine, the charm, the THOUGHTFULNESS!  Next time someone I know has a downer I'm breaking out this idea!  Thanks Carrie!


*Be sure to check just below for all the fun parties I link to!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I had absolutely nothing to do with the following before and after - aside from a split second decision to walk in and sit in the chair...

I've been feeling shlumpy.

And do you wonder why?  I go through these strange phases wherein I attempt to "grow my hair out" even though I know I don't look right with long hair, nor do I enjoy long hair.  I wish I did.  Really.  I wish I could have that smooth, silky, soft, sexy long hair thing.  But I don't.  I have a large bush.  And when it gets to the point I was currently at, I feel frumpy and boring.  I mean that pony tail?  That's not fun.

But this?  I feel like this is fun.  And yes, it IS longer on one side than the other.  And YES, that IS intentional.

And so I give you a cheap makeover I had nothing to do with but love nonetheless.  It might be my favorite in a while.  

The conversation when I walked in went like this:
hair person: So what are you looking for today?
me: I really don't know.  It's just really sad now.  I like it shorter in the back...
hair person: Well... anything more specific?
me: Um... shorter.  And dramatic.  And more fun.
hair person: that's it?
me: yep.
her: I love you.

And I love her.

My mom says it makes me look younger.  I could kiss her.  Perhaps this might be a good time to tell you that I turn 30 in two weeks?

Perhaps this is also a good time to tell you that I'm taking this week off?  You know, just in case any of you worry and send the cops over to check on me...  I plan on relaxing and having fun in the weeks leading up to my birthday.  Plus I need to get ready for bug and K - I've got big plans for our preschool enrichment activities.  More on that later.  PLUS mr's parents are coming for a visit (yea!) which means I'll be scrubbing.  Everything.  So, maybe there won't be any "relaxing" and "fun."  I'll be back soon!  

*Be sure to check just below for all the fun parties I link to!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A glue gun project: the thrilling conclusion

I had one more page to decorate.  It had to be good.  Bathroom?  Nah, that was just asking of all kinds of inappropriateness.  Living room?  Bor-ing.  Play room?  It was a possibility, but all I could think of was a large toy box filled with toys to take out and put on shelves or play with.  It didn't seem QUITE interesting enough, but I felt it was headed in the right direction...

So I decided to take it outside.  No, I mean MAKE the page outside.  No.  Wait.  I mean create the outdoors on the page.  Yes.  That's right.

I cut out a green piece that was flat on one side and bumpy on the other - a hill - and glued it to one page.  On the other page I cut a long strip of green and cut fringe in one edge for grass.  I glued the bottom part down and left the fringe unglued.  I also cut a few trunk shapes out of brown and glued those down across the two pages.  On the side with the hill, I glued ruffly blue ribbon in strips.  I left the middle part of the bottom two strips unglued to form a little pocket.  The only other fixed element is a swing I made out of cording and elastic.

After all the fixed elements were glued down, I cut out remove-able pieces to play around with.  Raindrops, clouds, different colored leaves, sun, flowered trim, etc.  I glued velcro to the backs.

Now she can pick the weather and seasons:
Which is all well and good, but what's our dolly to DO here?  How about swing?

Huh.  I just realized she's still naked.  No, we don't usually go to the park naked.

Or she could swim:

I made a large pocket on the back of the book with two black rectangles for some of the more bulky pieces.  That way the book isn't quite so huge when closed.

I like that the clouds can double as drifts of snow.

bug likes that, apparently, the roses can double as apples.

He also told me that the flowers smelled "great." Which is why he made the dolly smell them.

I think he enjoys this book more than mini does.  He has played with it during church on a number of occasions now...

You see how cool hot glue can be?

*Be sure to check just below for all the fun parties I link to!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A glue gun post: Continued.

So, we've constructed the book.  We've decorated the outside.  We've designed and glued the first page - the bedroom.  It's time to move on to the middle page.  The second most important room of the house (of course the one in which you are able to steal a few blessed moments of peace, quiet and sleep is the MOST important) - is... the kitchen of course!  Unfortunately, I don't have pictures of all the items placed in my kitchen/dining room combo, but they are all super easy to make with simple shapes, so I'm sure you'll get the idea.

First off, the microwave.  Because I thought encouraging stove use was too dangerous.  

You'll need two same sizes rectangles of same color felt.  A smaller white rectangle.  An extra small white rectangle.  Skinny strips of gray.  A wooden skewer.  11 brads.

Glue the first big rectangle to the book page.  Poke the brads through the other same sized rectangle and secure them on the backside.  Arrange them so they look like microwave buttons, the orange one is the power button, see?  Glue this rectangle to the first, but only glue over the back of the brads.  Leave the other side of the rectangle free of glue.  Glue the white rectangle to the front next to the brads.  Glue the tiny white rectangle above the brads, like the clock display.  Cut the skewer to just under the height of the microwave.  Wrap it in gray felt strips secured with glue.  Glue this handle to the side of the microwave opposite the brads.

Now open the microwave and glue some velcro to the backside of the door.  Done!

Make some teeny tiny felt food.  Nothing too fancy.  But everything has to be at least two layers thick for sturdiness.  Oh, and that pink and purple thing is supposed to be a sippy cup.  

Glue little pieces of velcro to the back of each piece of food.

And they, of course, need to be stored in something.  How about a fridge?  Cut a large rectangle and glue half of it to the page and fold the other half over.  Cut across this top layer to separate the fridge and freezer.  Glue two rectangles on top for sturdiness.  Wrap some bits of wooden skewers in gray felt and glue them to the side of the fridge for handles.

Open it up.  Glue velcro to the backside of the door on the edge.  Glue little strips of gray felt across the inside of the fridge for shelves.

And place your food.  I realize that with this assortment, the microwave is essentially useless.  Unless you like warm bananas.

And our dolly needs something to sit in to eat.  The high chair is NOT a rectangle, and I have no idea how to explain the shapes, so I'll just show you:

There are two dark brown shapes.  One for the back legs and chair backs.  One for the seat and front legs.  Then, I cut two pieces of black elastic.  I looped an end of one of the pieces over the middle of the other and secured the loop with glue.  Then I glued this "T" shape to the chair on the ends of the elastic pieces.  Now, ms. Dolly just slides right in!

And yes, she's eating naked.  That's what's it's like around here.  I don't want anyone staining their clothes.  And by anyone, I mean mini.  And the doll.  The rest of us wear clothes.  I mean, jeez, we're not nudists!

Next to the high chair there's half a table.  I couldn't afford a whole one.  Bahdum-ching!  Kidding.  I could only fit half on.  Obviously.

And let your cutie go to town!  Oooo, nanas!

Even bug got in on the fun.  Here he microwaved an ice cream cone before feeding it to mini mini.  Yes, we may need to have a discussion about proper microwave use...

And all the work is worth it to hear her make slurpy noises as she gives her doll something to drink.  

And I didn't even have to tell her it was supposed to be a sippy cup.  

Last page coming tomorrow!

*Be sure to check just below for all the fun parties I link to!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Do all Kims love glue guns?

A little while ago I was a guest over at Sew Can Do for her Craftshare 2011 series.  I was pretty excited.  She asked me to share a glue gun project.  And you know I love my glue gun. Almost as much as Kimbo.

I wanted to show you something kind of original to do with your glue gun, and as I brainstormed I thought of something I've been meaning to make for my daughter - who's 20 months.  You've seen oodles of handmade quiet books all over craft blogland, I'm sure, and I've always wanted to make one for my kids - like my mom made for me.  But I'm intimidated by all of the applique and sewing and interfacing and sewing together.

And what about all those people out there who are crafty but not so much sew-y?  There have to be some of you out there, right?

Well, here you go!  A completely no-sew, all GLUE GUN quiet book variation for you and your little bug.  

Just a separate note, since my daughter is still a little young, I decided to use velcro for most of the pieces instead of all kinds of zipper and ties and buttons.  It will still keep her busy and she won't get frustrated (does anyone else have a 20 month old who refuses help with EVERYTHING??) BUT you could definitely add more fasteners like snaps and hooks and such if you'd like to.

Ok.  So, you will need:
1.  An old picture book with a hard cover
2.  Pieces of cardboard *
3.  Felt in an array of colors
     (you'll need one sheet of felt for each side of each page in the SAME color)
4.  Some batting
5.  Scissors
6.  A ruler
7.  A sharpie
8.  Hot glue gun (of course)
9.  WIDE grosgrain ribbon 
10. White acrylic craft paint
Not pictured:
Needle and thread 
Some jump rings
Key chain hooks
White and black velcro - just the pokey rough side

* about the cardboard - before you do anything, you'll want to figure out how many pages you need.  You will only be using the hard front and back covers from the picture book and you will need cardboard pieces for each other page you want in your quiet book.  How many different pages you make is entirely up to you, but used two pieces of cardboard.

First off, you'll want to sketch out how you'd like the pages to look.  That way, you can get an idea of scale and size, not to mention how to place everything so it's all accessible.  Do NOT make fun of my sketches.  At least not to my face.  That down there is supposed to be a bedroom.

Measure your cover.

Cut your cardboard pages to the same length and about 1 inch narrower.

Rip the pages out of the book.  That's why you want it to be an old one.  Any Disney lovers out there who want to yell at me right now?  Maybe you should go to a thrift store for a book...

Now, decide what color you'd like the background of all of your pages.  If you choose a dark color, the next step will be a bit different.  Darker colors will probably cover up the pictures and words without problem, but if you use a light color like I did, you'll want to paint the covers first.

Paint the entire front cover.  Lay our your piece of white felt over the paint - don't wait for it to dry because as it dries it will act kind of like a glue and help hold the felt on.  Then, spread hot glue along the edges of the felt and press them over the edges of the book. 

I was pretty lucky that the book I chose was almost exactly the same size as a single sheet of felt, so I didn't need to do any measuring and cutting.  But if your book is smaller or larger, you may need to make some adjustments.

Once you are done painting and putting felt on the outside of the covers, you'll want to glue felt over the inside of the felt covers as well.  Then, cut two skinny strips of white felt and use your hot glue to adhere them to the binding on the outside and inside.
see how you can see the front cover through the felt?  When the paint dried, you couldn't really see it anymore, although two coats probably would have been even better.
 Now, you'll want to cover all of your hot glued seams.  Open your covers up and lay them face up.  Measure all around the perimeter and cut ribbon to that length.  Then, hot glue the ribbon all around the perimeter of the covers so that half of the ribbon is glued on to the front and half of the ribbon is hanging off the edges.  When you get to a corner, fold your ribbon at an angle and hot glue it down.  Then, simply continue all around the covers.

Now, take your two pieces of cardboard and cover them with felt, front and back.  I used the same process as I did with the covers - paint, wrap the felt, glue the edges, and press them together.  So, total I used 8 sheets of felt for the pages. 

Next, you'll cut a strip of felt the same color as the pages.  Make it the same length as the pages and about 4 inches wide.  Now, you will glue the two pages to this strip leaving about two inches of the felt in between.  See where that arrow is?  That's the gap in the middle.  The strip is glued to the pages on the back.  Then, take your pages and wrap ribbon all around the perimeter, just as you did with the covers.  Once you are done, spread glue all over the back of the strip of felt between the two pages and press this down into the binding of your covers.  (That's the second picture).

Now you'll make your spine.  Measure all around the binding and cut a piece of ribbon that size plus a couple of inches.  Then use hot glue to adhere it all along the inside and outside spine of the book.  Start at the inside top, glue it all down the inside, wrap it around the outer edge, hot glue it up the outside back of the spine, then around the top edge of the book ending where you began.  At the inside top of the spine, tuck your ribbon under and glue just the end, so there is a little loop of ribbon.

Now you need to make the doll that goes inside the book.  This doll should be a miniature version of your child, so make the eye and hair color reflect that.  I simply googled "person outline" and printed it out at the right size for my book.  I used this as a template to draw around on my felt.  

So, using the felt color you need for your child, simply trace around your template with a sharpie. (Just a note, although I don't specify this throughout the tutorial, all of the felt pieces are either traced or simply sketched out with sharpie first before cutting them out of the felt.)

Make sure to cut out two pieces - a front and back.

Next cut out all the pieces for the dolls face, hair and little knickers.  Plus any other accessories you think she needs.  Remember that everything besides the face will need a front and back.  (Unless your child has eyes in the back of her head.  Which is generally only a symptom of motherhood).

Glue the front pieces on to a piece of person-shaped felt.  Also, glue the back of the knickers on the other piece of person-shaped felt.  BUT don't glue the back of the hair on yet.

Now, draw a line of hot glue all around the inside of the front piece, leaving about two inches UNGLUED.

And push the front piece against the back piece, insides together.  Like so.  Notice the gap where there was no glue.

Now you can use some of your batting to stuff her.  Mine was pretty darn small, so getting into all those little nooks was no easy feat. I guess patience is the best tip I can give you here.  Once she's all stuffed, just draw a line of glue along the gap and stick her together.

(You'll notice in this picture that I glued the back of her hair on too soon...)  Measure out about 18 inches of ribbon or ric-rac, what have you, and glue it to the back of her head.

Glue the back piece of hair over the top of the ric-rac.

And you've got a ribbon doll!  Wait.  What?

Well, now you'll take that ric-rac and tie it in a knot into the loop of ribbon on the inside of the spine.  That doll isn't going anywhere!

Now you'll add the finishing touches to the outside of your book.  

It's bound to get pretty "puffy" on the inside when you start adding things to do, so you'll need a way to keep it shut up nice and tight.  Take two small rectangles of felt.  Put one on top of the other and place a button on top.  Hand sew the button on.  (I swear that's the only sewing you'll do)  Then glue in between the edges of the two felt rectangles.  Hot glue the bottom of the felt and button sandwich and stick it on to the front edge of the book in the middle.  Then, take a bit of ribbon or ric-rac, glue the two ends into a loop, hot glue the loop to the back edge of the book, across from the button.  Cover the hot glue-y mess with a small rectangle of felt.  

Closure!  By the way, you'll want to make sure there's a lot of give in the ric-rac because it's not stretchy and you'll need some room for the stuff inside.  OR, you could just use elastic... 

Cut a pocket shape out of felt that's large enough to fit your doll.  I decorated mine so it kind of matched the button.  Hot glue around the curve and leave the top open.  Glue it to the front of the book.  You can decorate the rest any way you want.  I chose to write my daughter's name in ric-rac above the pocket.  Now your doll has a place to hang out while she's waiting to be played with.

Now we'll move inside the book.  Remember when I showed you that awful sketch up there?  It was a bedroom, right?  I made a few adjustments as I went (for instance, I couldn't comfortably fit the dresser in, so I left it out).  But the rest of this tutorial will show you how to make an interactive closet, window, bed, and clock.

For the closet, you'll need two brown rectangles, four small tan rectangles, a super skinny long black rectangle, a small black circle, and several key chain hook thingys.  For the outside of the closet, just hot glue the tan rectangles on one of the brown ones, and add the circle for the door knob.  For the inside, slide the key chain hooks onto the skinny black rectangle and hot glue them in place so there's a bit of space between each.  Then hot glue that whole thing onto the other brown rectangle towards the top.  Hangers!

Glue the inside rectangle to the book page where you want it.  Then run some glue down the edge of the outside rectangle and adhere it to the edge of the other rectangle.

Glue a small piece of black velcro - the rough pokey side - onto the inside of the door of the closet.

Now you've got a closet the opens and closes with hangers inside and a latch to keep it closed.

Which means, you need some clothes to put in the closet.  You can make some super simple outfits for your doll by cutting two rectangles, one just a little wider than the other.  Then, cut the wider one straight across just off-center.  Glue a skinny strip of velcro (the rough side) to one side.  Then, shape the smaller rectangle into a shirt or dress - v neck, scoop neck, arm holes, whatever.  Glue along the side seams and shoulder seams and stick the two rectangles together.

You can make a ton of different clothes using this method and decorate them however you'd like.  I made a little ruffle out of ribbon for the purple dress, ric-rac along the orange dress, a big button (that actually works) for a vest, a piece of ruffly ribbon for a skirt, and pom pons to decorate the pajamas.

When you're done with the clothes, just hand sew some little jump rings to the back on top (whoops.  OK, now THAT'S the last of the sewing, promise.)  And clip the jump rings onto the hooks in the closet.

Every bedroom needs a window.  To let the sun in in the morning and to wish on stars at night.  So.  You will need a square of black and one of blue, four long skinny rectangles of brown, a white crescent and several white star shapes, a green bumpy shape, a yellow quarter circle, four bow shapes, and four curtain panel shapes.  Layer and hot glue the pieces as shown below to make a day window and a night window:

Glue the day window down onto the book page where you want it.  Then, glue the night window JUST at the top edge OVER the day window.  Glue a small piece of velcro to the book page above the windows.

Now you can start the day with the night window rolled up and secured with velcro and roll the night window down when it's time for bed.

Speaking of bed... you need to make one.  Where will your doll sleep otherwise?  First, construct the bed shape and glue it to the book page where you want it.  My initial shape is an oval for a rug under the bed, then two brown pieces that look like really wide, squat h's for the head and foot boards, and a cream colored rectangle for the mattress glued in between. Next, make the pillow - just two rounded rectangles, glued around three edges and stuck together, then stuffed with some batting and glued up tight.  Then glue some velcro to the back of the pillow.  Cut out a rounded blanket shape and glue on edge to the side of the bed.  Now you can roll it up out of the way, or tuck your doll in.  I decorated the pillow and mattress with pom-pons and the blanket with ric-rac.

To finish it off, I made a clock so you'll always know what time it is.  I simply glued a circle of felt to a circle of card stock for stability, then cut two rectangles for hands and used a brad to connect it all.  The little notches are drawn on with a sharpie.

Now, this is only the first page, but really you could stop there if you wanted.  

See, she's already thrilled!  Especially with that little stuffed teddy bear I added...

BUT, there are two other full pages of FUN!  A dining room and outdoors!  You'll have to visit my blog for the rest of the tutorials, though.
Just a peek...
And since I promised the rest of the quiet book pages over on my guest post, I suppose I should share those with you as well.  ASAP.

*Be sure to check just below for all the fun parties I link to!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...