Friday Favorites No. 328

April is nearly over. Can you believe it? That means we're about to get smacked in the head by May, which has always been a crazy month in our house. I used to think it was because the kids had so much going on with the end of the school year, but even after they grew up and moved out it stayed a little nuts. Maybe it's the transition into better weather so there's more to do. If that's the case, I'm in. Bring on the crazy.

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If you have a kid who likes to carry around a little buddy, and all of said buddy's stuff, this backpack from Crazy Little Projects would be a great gift. Just make sure that backpack is comfortable for you to carry as well, because you know you're gonna.

These bag handles from So Sew Easy are pretty, and a great way to use up some fabric scraps.

What I like the most about these kitchen printables from The Happy Housie is that the background on each makes it look a bit like cross-stitch or embroidery, without the long hours of stitching.

I know it hasn't been very long since I featured a peanut butter dessert here, but just look at these stuffed cookies from Delish. Who could say no to those?

You really have to see the whole line of word jewelry from vanessahandmade on Etsy, but the cheerful orange of this one was my favorite.

You can find these, and my previous Friday Favorites, on my Crafty Staci’s Friday Favorites Pinterest board!

DIY Easter Egg Fillers (that aren't candy!)

I'm making my third appearance on Afternoon Live today! No glue gun this time, so my nerves are a little calmer. My advice to anyone demonstrating a craft on live television is don't rely on a tool that has a questionable track record when no one is watching, because it's really going to act up when they are. 

(And here's the video, to prove I survived!)

Speaking of acting up, my topic today is things you can make to fill those kidlets' Easter eggs without adding to the day's sugar rush. I'm not against a few sweets, but we've all seen that flurry of Sunday clothes and plastic grass that happens when the safe jelly bean level has been exceeded. How about some ideas that not only have zero impact on their calm, but can also be fun to make? Here's a sneak peek!

Easter egg fillers you can make that aren't candy from craftystaci.com #eastercrafts #eastereggfillers

Bracelet Kit

Let's start with one that takes nothing but a trip to the craft store (or possibly just your craft room).  This is a good one for either big kids or little, just adjust your contents accordingly.

Gather beads, buttons, charms or any other trinket you can put on a string. Add some sort of twine or cord. Be sure there's some way to hook the ends, either with a macrame style loop and knot or, as I did, a lanyard hook and a key ring.  Another nice addition is a large, blunt needle, just be sure it will fit through the beads.

You can throw everything directly into a plastic egg, but keep in mind they won't know what's inside and won't open it with the care required, so you'll be looking for beads for days. I prefer to put the kit into a small plastic bag and put that inside the egg. 

Mini Paper Airplanes

There are two ways you can package these. Either fold the plane, if it's going to someone that doesn't quite have the dexterity required yet, or just cut out the rectangle and slip that into the egg for a DIY plane.  You can print the ones I used here.

You don't even have to print these. You can cut a 2 1/2 x 2 3/4" rectangle from a magazine or even the right junk mail!

Seeds and Plant Markers

This is another super-easy one, and adjustable to the age and ability level of your recipient. Simply buy a package of seeds and add a popsicle stick or wooden ice cream spoon. You can either pre-decorate the stick as a plant marker, or let the kiddo do it (my personal preference!) I have great memory of a very tall sunflower my own little one grew one Easter.

Homemade Crayons and Printable Coloring Book

My kids used to have a big container of random crayon bits. Anything that was broken or without a wrapper went into it. My daughter actually took it with her when she left home. Those crayon box rejects would be perfect for making your own crayons.

Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Peel the wrappers off the crayons. Since I didn't have the tub anymore, I started with a box of 24, which took me an HOUR to peel. They mean for those things to stay wrapped. Break up the crayons and fill the cavities of a silicone mold. I recommend placing the mold on a cookie sheet, because trying to pull the floppy thing out of the oven when the wax has melted is impossible. Fact.

Bake for about 10 minutes, but keep an eye on it. Remove the crayons from the oven when they're just melted. Cool and pop out of the molds.

You can print the mini coloring book I made here. Try not to make fun of my art. 

You can also make your own - all it takes is a piece of paper and a black pen!

Wood Emoji Eggs

You can find wooden eggs in any craft store, in a variety of sizes. For these, I just painted them yellow with some craft paint, then added the faces with paint pens and a Sharpie.

Another option is to give the kids the bare eggs and some paint and help them create something fun.

Printable Egg Coupons

These might look like a little thing, but they have some big redemption possibilities. No chores for a whole day? A new book? Dinner of your choice? Sign me up. 

You can print out the ones I made here, or these blank eggs so you can write in your own.

Washcloth Bunny

Last but not least, I'm bringing back a little guy I shared in the olden days of the first month of this blog. I added a little tail there that I'm not doing today, so you can check that out there. All you need is a washcloth, a rubber band and a piece of ribbon to get started.

A small egg fits nicely on his back, which would be fun to fill with bath crayons or soap. I like that you can take him apart after the holiday and still use the washcloth. By the way, this idea also works with cloth napkins to decorate your Easter table.

There you are, and not a chocolate bunny or Cadbury egg in sight! I'd love to hear your ideas for filling those Easter eggs while keeping the level of sweets below DEFCON 1.  

Cross your fingers for me today!

Friday Favorites–Leather

Nineteen years ago today, I was in the hospital, ready to bring my little boy into the world.  He wasn’t due for another few days, but my doctor was concerned about his size and wanted to induce me.  When he made his appearance, all 9 pounds and 4 ounces of him, I was thankful I listened to that advice.  He’s no chubby baby anymore, but about six feet tall and all muscle.  He’s also finding some domestic interests, like cooking and leather working, which means there’s a very good chance he’ll be able to survive on his own one of these days.

Leather - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

I’ll start off with the project that most reminded me of my son.  He rescued an ax that was about to be thrown away a few years ago and refurbished it back to usable condition.  I could see him taking it one step further and making it this Leather Mask from Survival Sherpa.

Tucker and I just started watching a new show together last night called Forever.  I won’t go into the whole story, but it centers around an immortal medical examiner.  In a recent episode, he pulled out his autopsy tools, which were in a leather roll and included a bowie knife.  I’m pretty sure that was the point my son decided he was hooked.  Now he can make one for himself, thanks to this Leather Tool Roll tutorial from Caila Made.

Ever since he started working with leather, wallets seem to be his thing.  He’s got two in the works right now, with another one to follow.  Maybe when he’s done with those, I’ll start hinting by showing him this wallet pattern from The Art of Manliness.

Leather Wallet by The Art of Manliness

Our house has a half-basement, with a bedroom at the back that used to be my sewing studio.  My son traded with me a few years ago (yay!) and proceeded to pretty much take over the whole basement.  We literally have a man cave.  Maybe I could get him to organize it a little with this Sling Magazine Rack from Design Sponge.

Sling Magazine Rack by Design Sponge

While we’re getting him to clean up, let’s throw in these Folded Leather Baskets from Between the Lines.

Folded Leather Basket by Between the Lines

This Woven Belt Seat from Saved by Love Creations is definitely a project I could see Tucker doing.  And it would coordinate with all of his other leather items he’ll be making!

Woven Belt Seat by Saved by Love Creations

Nieces and nephews are probably a few years away, but when the time comes these DIY Moccasins for Children from A Beautiful Mess will be on his radar.

DIY Moccasins for Children by A Beautiful Mess

I wonder if I could get him to squeeze in a bracelet for me from some of his scraps?  Any one of these Three DIY Leather Bracelets from Lia Griffith would be okay with me.

Three DIY Leather Bracelets by Lia Griffith

While we’re at it, I probably need a matching necklace.  How about this Dragon Tail Necklace from Michele Made Me?  You know, just so he can improve his skills. 

Dragon Tail Necklace by Michele Made Me

I’ll save these beautiful Leather Flowers from Funny Squirrel for somewhere down the road when he’s looking to challenge himself a bit.  And make Mom very happy.

Leather Flowers by Funny Squirrel

Happy birthday to my boy, starting his last year of being a teenager!

Friday Favorites–My Birthday 2013

Since tomorrow is the day to celebrate my entrance into the world a few years ago, instead of my normal round-up of crafty goodness I’m going to share some stuff I like.  Just because I can.  I get a little princessey on my birthday – just ask my husband. We bought a brand-new Jeep a couple of months ago, which I absolutely love, but I might be willing to give it up for this Wonder Woman Kia Sportage.  The funny thing is, my daughter drives a black Kia Soul with a big Batman symbol on the hood.  How great would those look together in the driveway?

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I had my ears pierced for the first time when I was nine years old, in the bathroom at my house with almost-pointy-enough earrings.  For the next nine years, I wore any earrings I wanted with no issues whatsoever.  I even got a second row of piercings somewhere in there.  The day I turned 18 I went and had a third piercing added to my left ear.  That was the day I developed an allergy to nickel, but only in my ears.  It’s only gotten worse since then, to the point I can now only wear stainless steel earrings.  Fortunately, Etsy seller LaraOwensArt has some beautiful options for me.  And she’s in Florence, Oregon, which is where I spent my honeymoon!

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When we remodeled our kitchen a couple of years ago, we included a double oven and I’m very glad we did.  It’s been really useful, especially for parties.  The one flaw is that there are two ovens, but one control panel with one timer.  I’m always scrambling to find the little timer that gets thrown in the drawer.  This Vintage Streamline Kitchen Timer at ThinkGeek is so pretty I could just leave it out on the counter.

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I only discovered Fiesta dishware a few years ago, but my kitchen cabinets are pretty full of it already.  Since we’re hosting our daughter’s wedding at our house next year, I think some larger serving pieces are in order.  I love this new color, so that might just be my excuse.

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My feet are always cold.  Combine that with track season spent out in the weather watching my son and these Heated Rechargeable Insoles from Bass Pro Shops are almost a necessity.

ThermaCell insoles

I used to always order meat well-done.  I didn’t want to see even a hint of pink.  One day I got brave and ordered seared tuna and realized I’d been completely wrong about myself.    Since then, I’ve also discovered I have a love for sushi and I can almost wield a set of chopsticks without embarrassing myself.  These Rainbow Chopsticks from the MoMA Store would be perfect with my Fiesta dishes.

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I absolutely hate to have to rip out a seam when I’m sewing, but this Seam Ripper with Retractable Blade from Gingher is sexy enough to make it almost bearable.

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I don’t have an official, down-in-writing bucket list, but one of the things I’d like to do before it all comes to a screeching halt is to visit all 50 states.  This USA Scratch Map from Perpetual Kid would be a fun way to keep track.

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I have a tattoo.  I got it for one of my big round birthdays.  In Las Vegas, no less.  While that sounds kind of impulsive on the face of it, I actually spent months in planning.  I drew the design, got one of my artistic sisters to help me clean it up, worked out placement, researched tattoo establishments, spoke to the one I chose on the phone and talked to artists when I got there until I found The One.  I’m pretty wild.  The one thing I didn’t consider beforehand is that with my immune system disease, getting a tattoo was pretty risky, so I won’t be getting any more ink.  However, I still love the style, so I’ll just have to find other places for it besides my skin.  This Flight of Imagination design from Urban Threads (currently in their Freebie section) might find it’s way onto a shirt or bag.

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Apparently I’m never going to get tired of cookie dough.  If my hips didn’t like it so much too, I could probably eat it every day.  I can’t believe the Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook even exists, and I want it.  Badly.

Cookie Dough Lover's Cookbook

I’m off to see what kind of trouble I can get into tomorrow.  Have a fantastic Mother’s Day this weekend!

Stretch Bracelets

When we were at the Straw Market in Nassau in December, my husband and I bought our daughter a bracelet.  It was inexpensive, strung on elastic thread, but pretty and in colors she likes.  I wore it the rest of the day so I wouldn’t lose it.  And maybe a little because I liked it.

We gave it to her when we got home.  The very first time she tried to slide it over her hand it broke.  Luckily, she had already memorized the bead pattern (she’s funny like that), so she wrote it down and stuck it in a paper cup with the beads.  I promised I’d fix it – I just didn’t say when.  Apparently a couple of months was the right amount of time to wait…

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Friday Favorites–St Patrick’s Day

I like green.  It’s not my favorite color, but it’s very high on the list.  My birthstone is emerald.  I live in Oregon, the greenest state there is.  So, why is it every year I find myself searching for something green for St. Patrick’s Day?

It only takes a little bit of green to make yourself pinch-proof and this Green Box Elder Wood Inlay Ring from Etsy seller jewelrybyjohan is the perfect amount.

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This Shamrock Quilt Block from Quilting Works could be using in a festive table runner and would be a fun way to use up some green scraps.

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Remember Push Pops?  My kids loved those things when they were little.  They probably wouldn’t mind graduating to these Irish Cream Push Pops from Hoosier Homemade.

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This Shamrock Wreath from Spare Time Sanity looks fun and easy to make.

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Maybe you’re just looking for a small, simple acknowledgement of the holiday.  Check out these Shamrock Straw Toppers from Martha Stewart.

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Or maybe, since it’s on a Saturday this year, you’re going all out with a party.  Sheek Shindigs has lots of inexpensive ideas for a DIY St. Patrick’s Day Party Table.

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I had never heard of a Leprechaun trap until my daughter made one in kindergarten.  Apparently, they’re sneaky little guys and must be caught.  Family Fun has some clever ways To Catch a Leprechaun.

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This St. Patty’s Day Cake from I Am Baker is gorgeous, and I can imagine it in all kinds of colors for other occasions.

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If you’re looking for just a little bit ‘o green you can take with you, here’s a Luck of the Irish Key Fob from Buttons Galore and More.

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I can’t decide if it would be more fun to serve these Potato Petit Fours from Sprinkle Bakes on St. Patrick’s Day or April Fools.

Sprinklebakes sprinkle bakes potato petit fours

Happy St. Patrick’s Day…don’t get pinched and be safe!

Chain Maille Bracelet–My First Attempt

I am not, by nature, a patient person.  If a craft is taking too long to finish, I’ve been known to stop midway and hide it in a box.  If it makes it that far, it’s unlikely to ever see the light of day again, unless I decide to part it out for something else.  But once in a while, I lose interest but leave it where I can see it every day.  That stuff usually gets done at some point because the one thing that’s greater than my impatience for lengthy crafts is my impatience at staring at something half-finished. I love chain maille jewelry.  I kept looking at it and thinking “It’s a bunch of metal hoops – how hard can it be?”  I finally decided to give it a shot and bought a couple of bags of rings and bracelet closures.  I only used one bag, and not even the entire thing.

chain maille 1

I didn’t buy the instruction book, but instead came home and looked at photos of bracelets online and decided I knew how to do it.  All I needed was a couple of pairs of pliers.

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I used a small, padded quilt pressing mat and some stick pins to hold my work down.

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That, my friends, is where I stopped.  In March.  However, I left it pinned to that board and I’ve been looking at it ever since.  Today was the day to finish.

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I really like the closure.

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My only regret is that it bunches together a bit, rather than keeping its shape when I wear it.  I still like it though, and will wear it anyway.  After all, it did take me three months to make.

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If you know of any good chain maille tutorials out there, send them my way.  I’m ready to try again…with a little guidance from someone who actually knows what they’re doing.

Great big THANK YOU to reader Sarah for sending me this link to Beading Daily, where they just happened to outline how to start a chain maille piece today!

My Birthday 2011

Today is my birthday.  I won’t go into which one this is for me, let’s just say that in high school I danced to most of the songs from Glee.  Anyway, I thought I’d share my little wish list with you again, even though I’m still waiting for my titanium spork from last year. 10.  I’ve had my eye on these framed photos of letters for at least a year.  I’m thinking about trying to photograph my own, but if not I’ll be visiting Uncommon Goods for their version.  The hardest part is figuring out what I want to spell.

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9.  I love to read, even though I don’t have as much time to do it as I’d like.  My favorites are sci-fi, fantasy, mystery and even a little horror.  I’ve wanted to read the Game of Thrones series since they started advertising the new HBO series based on it.  Maybe I’ll just give up sleep.

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8.  Remember when you could actually rest the phone between your ear and shoulder while you were talking on it?  Well, I do.  I miss being able to multi-task while I talk.  Now the phone either slips or I hang up with my cheek.  Retro Bluetooth Handset from ThinkGeek to the rescue.

phone

7.  We were in Seattle a couple of years ago and I saw a typewriter key bracelet in the window of a jewelry store.  I’ve wanted one ever since.  Luckily for me, they can be found on Etsy, like this one from HauteKeys.

typewriter key necklace

6.  Let me start by saying I cannot pull these off.  I don’t have the right shape.  However, we saw a woman wearing these ruffled pants in a capri length at Crafty Wonderland who looked fantastic in them.  The fact that these, from SweetassDesigns on Etsy, are red and black makes them even better.

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5.  I mentioned last year that my best ideas come to me in the shower.  My second-best ideas come right before I fall asleep, creating a need for the I Can’t Sleep Journal from Uncommon Goods.  It would work perfectly with the light-up pen I keep in my nightstand.

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4.  Since I have a couple of different books listed here, I’m going to need something to hold them up.  Enter James the Bookend from the MoMA store.  And his twin, to hold up the other side.

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3.  I work from home, so I don’t actually need to carry my lunch anywhere most of the time.  However, I love these Bright Tiffins from Twine so much, I’m going to find an excuse.  I might use them to carry it out to the back deck.

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2.  A local boutique had some cowboy rain boots last year that I was completely in love with.  I never went and bought them, and I regret that.  I live in Oregon.  If I could ever justify a shoe purchase, it’s rain boots.  Even though the ones I really wanted are no longer available, I think I could bring myself to substitute these from Amazon.

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1.  This is the one thing on this list I can guarantee I will have on my birthday.  I saw it last week when I was working on my cookie post.  I already told my husband and daughter all about it.  The supplies are in the pantry and they are going to make it for me.  This thing is a brownie, cookie dough and cake bit of heaven.  Thank you Cookies and Cups for providing the nirvana that will hold my candles this year.  I’ll be in touch again after I come out of the sugar coma.

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Friday Favorites–Flowers

This won’t be the last time I have a floral theme in my Friday Favorites.  There is nothing better to cut through the gloom of the end of winter than some bright blossoms.  As I look at the snow outside my house and the two kids inside it who have been home more than they’ve been at school lately, thanks to sickness and weather, I’m ready for some springiness. I imagine this Felt Dahlia Flower Brooch from Holidash would take a while to make, but it looks worth it to me.  I love all those petals.

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I thought the technique to make this Chrysants Silk Brooch from Innocentia was interesting.  It makes a pretty, fluffy flower.

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This book is on my wish list.  It’s called Kanzashi in Bloom: 20 Simple Fold-and-Sew Projects to Wear and Give and they, of course, have it on Amazon.   I want it even more since I just found out the author, Diane Gilleland, is from my area.  If you’re not familiar with Kanzashi, it’s the Japanese art of folding fabric squares into flowers.  I can’t wait to try it.  In fact, stay tuned, some of them will probably turn up here soon.

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Kusudama is another Japanese folding art, but it involves making multiples of an origami shape and attaching them together to create a ball.  This Kusudama Tutorial from Folding Trees shows how to make a flower commonly used.  The directions to make the ball itself can be found here.

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These Felt Rosettes from Mrs Priss start out as a swirl and end as a rose.  Two of my favorite things.

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I know these Felt Flowers from Blue Cricket Design look similar to the ones above, and they are made the same way, but I liked the mixture of the two different shades of felt.

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Love, love, love.  I love that they’re roses.  I love the polka dots.  I even love the little drawn leaf in the photo.  Thanks to Calamity Kim for sharing how to make her Fold and Twist Fabric Flowers.  I need some.

Twisted rose

This is another Oregon crafter whose blog I’ve been following for a little while.  Her name is Amanda and she just opened an Etsy store called Ninth Street Notions.  I love these Chrysanthemum and Rose rings she has.  The filigree bands are really pretty.  When I talked to Amanda about featuring her store here, she offered all of you a 25% discount on anything in her store!  Use the code BF643 when you check out.  Thanks Amanda!  One of these babies turns up in red and I’m all over it.

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