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–Curb Appeal

Since we’re throwing a wedding at our home in a couple of weeks(!), we’ve been busy spiffing things up.  My husband just replaced all of our dark, 70’s doors with new pine complete with trim.  We’ve actually watered our yard and plants regularly and my son has been busy weeding and spreading bark dust.  It kinda makes me wish we had a wedding here every couple of years or so.  Don’t tell my husband I said that.  But our house and yard have never looked better.

Curb Appeal - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

I actually have wood ceilings on the front porch and back deck of my house, similar to this Peekaboo Pallet Ceiling from Cape Twenty Seven.  It was one of the first things I loved about the house.

Pallet Ceiling by Cape 27

There are so many words you could use on this Welcome Mat from A Beautiful Mess

Welcome Mat by A Beautiful Mess

There’s just something about giant letters.  I love this Welcome Sign from The Wood Grain Cottage.

Front Porch Welcome Sign by The Wood Grain Cottage

This is a brilliant but simple idea to camouflage the electric box from Love of Family and Home.

Camouflaging the Electrical Box by Love of Family and Home

There are bricks on the front of my house, but somewhere along the way someone decided it would be a good idea to paint them.  I don’t know why, and I wish I could go back and stop them, but it isn’t coming off now.  I thought about painting them, but I wasn’t sure it would work.  After seeing this Faux Brick Walkway from The Painted Home I might reconsider.

Faux Brick Walkway by Painted Home Designs

Shutters are a nice touch to brighten up a house.  Find out how to make your own from The Scrap Shoppe.

DIY Shutters by The Scrap Shoppe

If my garden hose is not immediately visible and accessible at all times, my flowers would never see a drop of water.  This DIY Garden Hose Holder from Love Grows Wild is a pretty way to display it. 

DIY Garden Hose Holder by Love Grows Wild

This garage door update from Garr Den of Love just goes to show the huge difference a little bit of hardware can make.

Garage Door Makeover by Garr Den of Love

Mail theft has been an issue where we live, so we have a big, not very attractive, locking mailbox.  I’d love to have a cute little number like this one from Beneath my Heart.

Mailbox Makeover by Beneath My Heart

I love everything about this Tree Bench from This Old House.

Tree Bench by This Old House

Since you can barely get a cart through Home Depot these days, I know we aren’t the only ones knee-deep in home improvement.  Whatcha been working on?

The Best Time to Celebrate Printable

Last month I showed you a recipe box I had painted and embellished with my new vinyl cutter.  I don’t know if you noticed the color, but it was a turquoise leaning toward green. 

Clear Vinyl Shelf Liner to Tranfer Vinyl - Crafty Staci  13
Clear Vinyl Shelf Liner to Tranfer Vinyl - Crafty Staci 13

It wasn’t a shade I had in my paint arsenal, but one I mixed myself.  I combine paint often to get the color I want, but the problem is that there is always too much of it by the time I’m done.  I don’t want to run out because it’s impossible to replicate exactly, and as I add more paint to get the color I want I end up with a lot.  I hate to waste it, so I usually go find something else to slap it on.  That’s how this frame happened.

The Best Time to Celebrate Printable - Crafty Staci 1
The Best Time to Celebrate Printable - Crafty Staci 1

I started out with this.  Pretty uninspiring and a little beat up, but I kept it because it was wood and I liked the shape.

The Best Time to Celebrate Printable - Crafty Staci 2
The Best Time to Celebrate Printable - Crafty Staci 2

After a couple of coats of paint and a vinyl cut design, I coated it with Mod Podge.  All it needed was something to go inside, so I made this printable.  I love the look of chalkboard, but really hate the chalk dust, so this was perfect.  If you click on the picture below the PDF should open.

The Best Time to Celebrate Printable - Crafty Staci 3
The Best Time to Celebrate Printable - Crafty Staci 3

I’m so glad I hung onto this little frame, and it matches my new recipe box.  It also matches this tray that I had previously painted with chalkboard paint.  And something else before that.  There may even be another layer – I’ve forgotten how many times I’ve repainted this poor thing.

Ampersand Tray - Crafty Staci
Ampersand Tray - Crafty Staci

I didn’t manage to use up all the paint, but decided to quit while I was ahead.  I have three projects I love, and that’s something to celebrate.

The Best Time to Celebrate Printable - Crafty Staci 4
The Best Time to Celebrate Printable - Crafty Staci 4

Cookie Sheet Kitchen Command Center

I mentioned the kitchenware Reuse Design Challenge at Earth911 a a while back.  Well, I won!  My thanks to everyone who voted.  This was the challenge:

Upcycle used/old/worn out cookware (pots, pans, utensils…etc) into something completely different, but useful. We are looking for creative AND practical reuse designs, not simply decorative.

Sounds pretty easy, right? Except all I could think of were projects that were decorative. My sketch sheet is almost hilarious. Draw something, realize it’s only purpose is to look pretty, cross it out.

Luckily, my need for a good project and an actual need collided. My husband and I have started exercising regularly and trying to eat healthier. I find we eat better food if I plan it out in advance, so I wanted a menu board for my kitchen. I saw lots of kitchen command centers out there, but I have lots of windows and very little wall and they were all too big.  This little cookie sheet fits the spot perfectly.

Cookie Sheet Kitchen Command Center - Crafty Staci 0

Cookie Sheet Kitchen Command Center - Crafty Staci 0

To make one of these handy boards, you’ll need a cookie sheet, an empty mint container, a flat-sided pen cup (or a small box), clothespins, a shopping list pad, chalkboard paint, acrylic paint, a silver Sharpie, flat magnets or a magnetic sheet, ribbon or cord to hang it, and, of course, chalk to write on it with. 

Cookie Sheet Kitchen Command Center - Crafty Staci 1

Cookie Sheet Kitchen Command Center - Crafty Staci 1

This is probably the cheapest cookie sheet known to man, but in this case that’s an advantage.  I felt like I could safely hang it on the wall without having to worry about it.  Rough your pan up with some sandpaper to help the paint stick.  I did this on the back, because that’s the side I chose to use.  Do the same with your mint tin and pencil cup, if it’s metal.  Clean everything well.

Cookie Sheet Kitchen Command Center - Crafty Staci 2

Cookie Sheet Kitchen Command Center - Crafty Staci 2

My cookie sheet didn’t have any holes in the ends, so I used a screwdriver, a hammer and a piece of wood to add a couple.  It wasn’t difficult on this thin metal.

Cookie Sheet Kitchen Command Center - Crafty Staci 3

Cookie Sheet Kitchen Command Center - Crafty Staci 3

Spray all three pieces with two or three coats of chalkboard paint.

Cookie Sheet Kitchen Command Center - Crafty Staci 4

Cookie Sheet Kitchen Command Center - Crafty Staci 4

After the paint has dried completely, use a pencil to draw a menu block.  Trace the pencil lines with a silver Sharpie.

Cookie Sheet Kitchen Command Center - Crafty Staci 5

Cookie Sheet Kitchen Command Center - Crafty Staci 5

Add the days of the week, if you’d like them to be permanent. 

Cookie Sheet Kitchen Command Center - Crafty Staci 6

Cookie Sheet Kitchen Command Center - Crafty Staci 6

I printed my own shopping list (which you can download here) and secured them together with a piece of cardboard on the back using padding compound.  I cut a magnetic calendar down to fit the back (don’t tell my insurance agent!) but any flat, sheet-style magnetic will work.  Glue that to the cardboard.

Cookie Sheet Kitchen Command Center - Crafty Staci 7

Cookie Sheet Kitchen Command Center - Crafty Staci 7

Paint the clothespins with the acrylic paint and glue magnets to the back.

Cookie Sheet Kitchen Command Center - Crafty Staci 9

Cookie Sheet Kitchen Command Center - Crafty Staci 9

I also added a few details to the mint tin and pencil cup using the Sharpie and paint.  Glue magnets to the side of the pencil cup and the bottom of the mint tin.

Cookie Sheet Kitchen Command Center - Crafty Staci 10

Cookie Sheet Kitchen Command Center - Crafty Staci 10

String the ribbon through the holes in the cookie sheet and tie for hanging.

Cookie Sheet Kitchen Command Center - Crafty Staci 11

Cookie Sheet Kitchen Command Center - Crafty Staci 11

The day I finished this, I just made up a menu for the photos.  My son walked in while it was hanging and excitedly asked “Are we having Pad Thai for dinner?" which is his favorite.  Since I didn’t even have the ingredients into the house, that wasn’t happening, and he sadly left the kitchen.  I probably owe someone some Pad Thai.

Cookie Sheet Kitchen Command Center - Crafty Staci 12

Cookie Sheet Kitchen Command Center - Crafty Staci 12

Now that I have this little thing, I don’t know what I did without it.  I always know where my shopping list and pens are, and my son could stop coming home and asking me what’s for dinner every night.  That’s if I can ever get him to trust it again.

Glass Block Bookends

They say it’s not about the destination, it’s the journey that matters.  Or something like that.  For me, when it comes to crafting, I think it’s mostly about the destination.  I usually enjoy the process, but there better be a prize at the bottom of that cereal box.  There almost wasn’t this time.

Glass Block Bookends 1
Glass Block Bookends 1

Since it’s about the journey, I’ll fill you in on how this disaster turned into a win.  As part of my living room makeover my husband built new shelves on both sides of our fireplace, along with a massive mantle.  That’s a lot of places to put stuff.  I, however, am not good at figuring out what stuff to put where.  For that reason, I’ve been very slow to fill those shelves.

The one thing I knew for sure I wanted was some books.  Pretty books.  My daughter had recently discovered a leather bound classics series, so I started collecting them.  As you can see from the photo, I’m still working on that, with ordinary hard covers with the jackets removed standing in for now. 

Speaking of standing, even big books fall over, so I set out to make myself some book ends.  I’ve used glass blocks before, like on my Glass Block To-Do List, and I happened to find some that were the perfect size.  I planned to use glass etching cream to add some sort of design.  So I bought this.

Glass Block Bookends 2
Glass Block Bookends 2

Just so you know, despite the fact that it says “Etch windows, glass, mirrors and styrene” on the side, this is NOT glass etching cream.  If you look very closely, it says “etched glass look.”  It’s paint.  Poor packaging and almost no instructions, so I took it back and sought out a different brand that is actually etching cream.  I’m almost over it.

After some brain storming, my son and I came up with the phrases you see on the blocks in the photo.  I printed them out on paper, taped that to some old Contact paper, and spent a couple of hours painstakingly cutting them out with an Exacto knife.

Glass Block Bookends 3
Glass Block Bookends 3

I carefully centered each one onto a block, after keeping track of the center of letters like a and o.  If you’re interested in using these words for a project, you can download the PDF here.

Glass Block Bookends 4
Glass Block Bookends 4

I applied the etching cream according to the instructions and left it on for 60 seconds.

Glass Block Bookends 5
Glass Block Bookends 5

I rinsed it off, removing the stencils as I did.  I set them aside to let them dry and this is what I came back to.

Glass Block Bookends 6
Glass Block Bookends 6

Yes, they are almost blank.  After some foot stomping, I grabbed the etching cream and brushed it on freehand, since my stencils were toast.  I left that on overnight, which turned out like this.

Glass Block Bookends 7
Glass Block Bookends 7

I think the problem is that the etching cream bottle says it doesn’t work on Pyrex (although I’ve seen many comments online to the contrary) and these are probably similar.  Now what?  Put them in the sewing room and ignore them for a couple of weeks, that’s what. 

My next genius idea was to buy a couple of sheets of vinyl and cut out the words with the Exacto knife.  I came to my senses before I even attempted that one.

I moved on to glass paint.  What harm could I do at this point?  I bought a paint pen and followed the outline created by the etching.  They aren’t perfect, but unless you get up close, which isn’t going to happen often, you can’t really tell.

Glass Bookends 8
Glass Bookends 8

These blocks have a plug, which can be removed so you can fill them with something.  I thought of several options, but finally settled on The Black Marbles.  When my husband and I were first married, we bought some clear table lamps.  We thought they’d look great filled with black marbles, so over the course of a few months, we gathered about 40 pounds of them.  We always said if someone broke into the house we were going to throw the lamps at them because those things weighed a TON.  The lamps are long gone, but the marbles made a great black backdrop for the white writing on my bookends and the added weight is actually a plus here.

Glass Bookends 9
Glass Bookends 9

I think I appreciate this project just a little more because the road to get here was long and full of bumps.

Glass Bookends 10
Glass Bookends 10

Maybe that means it really is about the journey…even in crafting.

Glass Block Bookends 11
Glass Block Bookends 11

DIY Chalkboard Paint Pin Test

If you’re visiting my little corner of blogland for the first time, you can find out everything you need to know about me and more here.  It’s pretty riveting stuff.

You had to know, with the popularity of Pinterest, there would soon follow blogs spoofing, analyzing and testing pins.  My favorite right now is Pinstrosity.  There are definitely more bad results than good, but they actually take the time to figure out why it might have failed.  They are currently holding a contest to try out pins from their “To Test” board and write about it.  I happened to find out about this while I was completely alone in the house, always dangerous, so I found a pin and joined the fray.

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I went with the How to Mix Chalkboard Paint in any Color from A Beautiful Mess.  I looked at several others, but I had a few rules for myself.  1.  I was NOT going to the store.  Whatever I made, the supplies had to be in my house already.  2.  There had to be actual directions to follow.  There were a couple of interesting projects, but they were more inspiration than instruction.  3.  It had to be something I might actually use in the end.

Chalkboard paint 00

Now, you might look at the supply list for the paint and think “Unsanded grout, already in your house?  Really?”  Yep.  My husband is a fixer, and the box was sitting right there on a shelf in our garage.  It was meant to be.

Chalkboard paint 1

Brown might not have been my first choice for paint color, but the instructions called for 1/2 cup of paint and my options were pretty limited.  I mixed in a little yellow to lighten it up, but it still looks like brownie batter.  Not bad, but it kinda made my hungry.

chalkboard paint 2

It doesn’t say how many coats of the paint to apply in the directions, but I used three.  I had a LOT of paint, so I figured I’d go heavy.  One was definitely not enough, as I could still see through it, but I probably could have stopped at two.  I had quite a bit of paint left, so this would be enough to paint a pretty large project.

chalkboard paint 3

My biggest issue with this was that there were still lumps of grout in the paint that I didn’t see, even after much stirring.  I’d recommend using a shorter, wider container than I did so it’s easier to tell when all the lumps have disappeared.  There are a few bumps on the project because of it, but overall nothing really that noticeable.

I nearly turned this into a disaster before I was finished. As I’m painting I thought “Hmm, I wonder if I should add a clear coat to protect it at the end.” To my chalkboard paint. Yeah. Follow. The. Directions.

The best part is that I finished painting the tray and realized we had no chalk in the house.  Beautiful.

Technically, I still didn’t leave the house to get supplies.  I got my oldest child to do it for me.  Chalk in hand, I proceeded to slate the surface, as the directions stated, by rubbing the entire thing lightly with chalk.  That’s when I remembered why I probably got rid of every bit of chalk we had – it’s messy.

chalkboard paint 4

It then says to rub lightly to remove the chalk.  This is after rubbing vigorously with a paper towel.

chalkboard paint 5

Do you ever watch Mythbusters?  I feel like this is one of those where they end their myth test with “Plausible.”  The potential for a good project is there, I just don’t feel like I nailed it.  Next time I would choose a lighter paint color and confine the chalkboard to the inside bottom of the tray.  However, the whole point is to be able to make your own chalkboard paint and to that I can say “Confirmed.”

chalkboard paint 6

Thanks to Pinstrosity for letting me spend a little time on their playground!

chalkboard paint 8

Paint Chips from Photos

As I mentioned last week, we’re in the middle of remodeling another room in our house.  When we moved out of our last house, years ago, we had just finished adding onto and updating it too.  Needless to say, we’ve spent a lot of time mulling over paint chips. 

I love color, but that task always stresses me out a little.  It’s a bit like choosing a baby’s name – whatever you pick, you’re stuck with, even if you decide later that Apple is both an odd choice for a child and a bad color for your bathroom.

I happened upon a tool yesterday, which I have absolutely no affiliation with, that’s kind of brilliant.  It’s called Chip It! by Sherwin Williams and it’s almost criminal how fun it is to play with.

Salsa

It’s very simple.  You give it the address of a photo, like the one above from my homemade Salsa post, and it chooses a palette of colors based on what it sees in the picture.  At first, it gives you a smaller group of five chips, like this pic of Lavender Mint Tea.

Tea

But when you hit that little “More Colors” link at the bottom, it expands to up to ten.

Flip Flops

It probably goes without saying, but it’s going to pick up the background in your photo, so the more the colors you’re aiming for fill the frame, the better.

Fabric

You can use photos from pretty much anywhere online – Pinterest, Flickr, blogs.  You can also share your chips, once you’ve saved them to your ChipBook, via Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

Sunset

I apologize in advance for causing you to lose part of your day, but maybe this will inspire you to go paint something.  Somewhere out there, my husband is hoping not.

Friday Favorites–Around the House

When the Christmas decorations are up I don’t notice the little things that I’m unhappy with in our house.  They’re masked by all the lights and tinsel.  But as soon as I put those away, I start the list in my head of potential home-improvement projects for the year.  I think my husband would like for it to stay Christmas year-round.

This week, my Friday Favorites are taking a tour around the house.  I have one project for each room, just in case you don’t already have a list going of your own. 

Front Door – This Pebble Mat from Meli Melo Art might not withstand the wear and tear of being a welcome mat, but it would be pretty next to the entry with a plant on it. 

pebble3

Living Room – If you haven’t already seen this Faux Metal Wall Art from Suzy’s Artsy Crafty Sitcom, you might be a little surprised to find out what they’re made from. 

IMG_0416

Dining Room – Table runners can be pretty simple, and they’re usually rectangular, but this Simple Spring Table Runner from Moda Bake Shop is made from buttoned-together rounds that can also be used as placemats.  Brilliant!

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Kitchen – My KitchenAid mixer is the same color as the one in this photo, so I’m finding it really hard to resist imitating the makeover that Craft Bake Domesticate has given hers.

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Laundry Room – My laundry room is ugly.  It’s one of the spaces that hasn’t seen any updating since 1973, so it could really use something cute, like this Lost Socks Board from Somewhat Simple.

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Bathroom – I love the drapery grommet they used for the opening on this Tissue Box Cover at Sew4Home.

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Bedroom – I have a feeling we’re going to see a lot more of this yellow and grey color combination this year, but with the addition of papaya-orange, as shown in this Garden Fence quilt from Hyacinth Quilt Designs.  I’m ok with that.

DSC_2605

Office – Finding old keyboard keys might be the hardest part of this Keys to my Heart project from Paper, Plate and Plane.

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Kids’ Room – Based on the bumps and bruises my kids used to walk around with, I don’t think you can have too many pillows.  This Paper Airplane Throw Pillow from Craftbits would be a cute addition to a child’s room, as long as you can keep them from throwing it. 

airplanepillow

Garage – Who says you can’t craft for the garage?  These Aluminum Shelves from House to Home would be a great looking organizing tool.

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Personally, I’ve been sick all week, so I’m just looking forward to getting something done in ANY room!

Friday Favorites–Apples

My kids love apples, so I buy them year-round at the grocery store. They’re shipped from far away, exotic places, I’m sure.  When they’re in season around here in the fall though, I buy them with the least amount of travel distance as possible.  There’s just something about a local apple.  They look better, taste better and signal the start of autumn. 

This Apple Vase from Craft is a great project for combining the end-of-summer flowers with the first fall apples.

appleflower_final2 

These Harvest Apples from Bright Ideas would be nearly impossible to eat, but it’s definitely worth a try.

c24_snickers_harvest_apples_l

These Autumn Apple Print Tees from Twig and Toadstool would be fun to make with the kids…maybe with a quick reminder not to take a bite out of their painted apple!

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Another fun kid project, since you already have to clean up paint anyway, are these Apple Placemats from Bloesem Kids.

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All that painting and fruit is going to make everybody hungry.  Try this Peanut Butter Apple Sushi from On a Whimm.

Mar09 1372

If I didn’t work from home, I would have to buy an Apple Cozy from Etsy seller UnravelMe.  I might need one anyway, just to get my apple from the kitchen to my office safely.

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This Apple Applique from Wee Folk Art would be cute on lots of things.  There’s also a bonus Apple Crisp recipe in the post.

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This Apple Journal from the Split Stitch would be a great make-ahead gift to keep on hand for the holidays.  Yes, I said it – the holidays are coming!

apple journal finished

This Apple Thank You stationary from Paperglitter is adorable.  I need to find someone who needs a good thanking.

card

Have a great Labor Day weekend!

Friday Favorites - Fruit

My not-so-little kidlets are home on spring break this week.  They’re old enough to come and go without me, make their own lunch and brush their teeth without being threatened, uh, I mean told, and yet it still seems to affect my ability to get things done when they’re around.  I’m not complaining.  I can see the day on the horizon when they’ve gone away to college and I’m wishing someone would interrupt my typing mid-sentence to ask where we keep the fire extinguisher.

I’ve asked them both during the last couple of weeks if they have any suggestions for a theme for my Friday Favorites.  I won’t give away the boy’s idea, since it was a good one and I’ll be using it soon, but the girl immediately piped up with “Fruit!”  So, with thanks to my daughter for the idea, here’s a fruit salad’s worth of favorites.

This Whimsical Fruit Centerpiece from a Creative Jewish Mom says spring, and boy, do I need something to feel like spring right now.

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I love strawberries.  I ate so many when I was pregnant with my daughter I was afraid she’d come out all red and covered in seeds.  How can you go wrong with strawberries and chocolate?  These Brownie Cookie Shortcakes from Pillsbury are definitely going in the recipe box.

RecipeImage

This felt fruit looks good enough to eat.  The pattern is available from the talented fairyfox on Etsy.

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I love Crafts by Amanda’s take on French Fruit Wall Art.  I think her version is cuter than the original she was inspired by.

fruitfinal3

My kids had sewing cards when they were little, but I never thought to make some myself.  These Fun Fruit Laces from C & T Publishing would be at the top of the list.

Link, 10676, fall09

This isn’t something I’ve ever pictured myself saying, but I want a blueberry pillow.  All of these Recycled Sweater Produce Pillows from Fun in the Making are cute, but that blueberry…got to have.

producepillowbberryo

The combination of fabrics on this Pear Pin Cushion from Sewing in No Mans Land is adorable.  So many possibilities.

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I know technically these Orange Rind Votives  from Beekman were intended for the holiday season, but I can picture them at a summer backyard barbeque.

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Who would have thought I’d find a star fruit craft?  Thanks to Matching Pegs for this Star Fruit Cushion Tutorial!

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And, we’re back to strawberries.  Told you I love them.  I’ve seen these little bags in stores for a couple of years now, but as every good crafter knows, it’s better if you can make them yourself.  Thanks to Ikat Bag for the Strawberry Bag instructions.

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Friday Favorites–Bracelets

I love bracelets.  That’s probably obvious, considering I’ve covered paracord, recycled T-shirt and braided leather versions and included a couple of them in my Quick and Easy Gifts on Friday Favorites .  I don’t usually wear them much this time of year because I’m completely cold-blooded and can’t even think about short sleeves until at least May.  But there are so many cute ones out there, and we need time to get them made, right? 

I love the simplicity of this Button Bracelet from Little Miss Momma.  I could make this without even going to the store.  That’s always a good thing.

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I keep trying to get my daughter to make one of these Soda Can Tab Bracelets like the one shown here from CraftyPanda.  Another user on the message board suggests a product for painting the tabs.  Go look…they did red, my favorite!

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I have to try these Yarn Bangles from Keely’s Korner.  A few basic bangles and some cute yarn and I could have them to match everything I own, including a few scarves.  My kind of jewelry.

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How about a gift of money and jewelry at the same time?  Sounds extravagant, doesn’t it?  This Money Bracelet from Under the Table and Dreaming makes the idea a little more accessible.

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You know I’m a sucker for repurposing old jeans.  This Denim Bracelet from Mich L. in L.A. makes me want to go tear a pair up.

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This is cute.  It just is.  Find the instructions for this Fun Circles Wrist Cuff at Crochet Spot.

I want to try making a Chain Maille Bracelet like this one from Ellifolks.  I just need to get together all those rings.  And I need them to be in colors.  No problem, right?

I love these Fabric Cuff Bracelets from Etsy seller Ponder and Stitch.  Check out the ones with embroidery.  So pretty.

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I’m sure this zipper fad is winding down, but I still like them.  I’ve had my eye on this Zipper Bracelet from Cut Out and Keep for way too long.

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This last bracelet, called Lederschleifenarmband, is from a German blog called Maikitten.  Of course you can translate it, but there’s really no need.  The photos tell the whole story.

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I have a new tutorial I’m excited to share with you next week.  This post might give you a hint as to what it is!

Friday Favorites–Christmas Ornaments

We’re getting our tree this weekend, so I have ornaments on the brain.  I try to add a new one or two each year, but I can never bring myself to get rid of any.  I’m either going to need a bigger tree or a taller ceiling.

When my kids were small, AOL was at it’s peak.  They were sending us a CD once a week, trying to get us to sign up for their service.  I could never bring myself to throw them away, thinking they would be perfect for a future craft project.  We used a few of them over the years, but I really wish I would have seen Helenismos’ Quilted CD Ornaments before I tossed the rest.

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I already made one of these Yarn Stocking Hat ornaments by Craft Elf.  They’re really cute and would be a great kid project.  Just make sure you read all of the directions, instead of trying to finish it without completing all the steps.  I don’t know who would do something like that.

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I. Have. To. Make. This.  We have ornaments representing the interests of everyone in my family, but I don’t think I have any sewing-related ornaments.  I love this Cute as a Button Ornament from Zakka Life.  I need a whole tree of them, in every color of felt I can find.

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This Royal Icing ornament from Food Mayhem looks so delicate, which is kinda what I like about it.  This is a top-of-the-tree ornament, so the kids won’t break it and the dog won’t eat it.

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This is actually a pattern that’s available for purchase from Rosie Little Things.  I can’t even tell you how much I love the red coat.  In fact, I wish it came in my size, complete with the mittens.

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I just like how these Paper Mache ornaments from Blue Cricket Design look.  That simple.  This would be a great way to repurpose old, scratched up ornaments.

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I try not to include something from Martha Stewart in every one of these things, but there’s a reason she became a bajillionaire by making stuff.  This Button Wreath ornament would be another good one to make with the kids and the color options are just about endless.

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I had to include these Mason Jar Lid Ornaments from Fun on a Dime because I remember having something like this on our tree growing up.  I think ours had photos of us in the middle, but I like the idea of using old Christmas cards.

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Anyone who sews has fabric scraps.  Unless you’re making big rectangles.  A few of those scraps and a foam ball and you have this cute fabric ornament from Jody on WhipUp.

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Argyle was popular for a while in the 80’s.  I don’t think I ever let it, or plaid, go.  No, I’m not sitting here in my neon tank, off-one-shoulder Flashdance shirt, zipper-ankle jeans and legwarmers.  You can’t see me, right?  Like everything I just listed, I think argyle is back and I couldn’t be happier.  This Argyle Applique ornament from So September is both current and nostalgic, making it a perfect fit on my tree.

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