Posts Tagged ‘kids’

Hump day crafts: Angry birds for the kids

March 7, 2012

Things 1 & 2 are addicted to Angry Birds. If a stranger said he had an iPad with that game on it, they would go anywhere with him. I blame G’ma and her new iPad she got for Christmas. It has a great cover with stand, so the kids frequently get to play on it when they visit.

At home, they don’t get to play so much, since I am not as willing to hand them my small, easily misplace-able iPod. But they still whine for it. So, when I want to get the kids off electronic devices, what do I do? Turn to the internet, of course. Make and Takes came to the rescue with Angry Birds pom poms. Hooray! The kids loved them. They don’t play with them as long as they do on the iPad, but that’s understandable, if disappointing. I guess we are in the 21st century after all, so I better get used to my kids wanting to zombie out in front of screens whenever they can. (Sigh.) As long as I can teach them to stay away from strangers with Angry Birds at least I’ll be doing a little part of my parenting job.

And now, photos from Thing 2’s lo-tech Angry Birds game:

  Setting up the game. He did not want my help or suggestions on how to set up the cups and craft/popsicle sticks.

Direct hit!

Happy crafting!


Hump day crafts: 100 day glasses

March 16, 2011

Last week Thing 1’s kindergarten class celebrated their 100th day of kindergarten. It was a big thing, with a 100 snack, a museum of their collections (of 100 items) and what-not. I would’ve loved to help, but can’t get in to volunteer too much, what with Thing 2 hanging out with me all the time. So, at the last minute, I had an idea to make glasses commemorating the day/number for all of her classmates.

This wasn’t hard to do in SCAL. The hardest part was doing it at 11 p.m. with cricut mats that had lost their sticky. I hate it when that happens. So, I did my shortcut sticky fix, threw some zig 2 way glue on those puppies, and was eventually able to cut out 25 glasses. (I made extras for teachers, volunteers and whomever else Thing 1 happened to give them too.)

When she got home from school, T1&2 decided to decorate theirs with stickers. Here’s the results.

Putting the glasses together in Sure Cuts A Lot to cut on my Cricut wasn’t hard. First, I measured a pair of kids sunglasses to get an idea of eye placement. In SCAL, I placed each number separately, rotated until I was happy with it and welded each of them. Then I used the pen tool to draw an arm (with a very slight curve at the end). It wasn’t perfect, but it looked like glasses. Then I copied, flipped, placed and welded them.  I designed it all to fit across a 12×12 sheet of paper. I think I fit 4 on a sheet. They did end up a little short. They kind of fit on the kids, but I couldn’t keep them on my small head and T2 had a tough time setting them on his ears. To help out, we reinforced and elongated the arms by gluing craft/popsicle sticks on. Perfecto!

If you’re looking to do this on your cutting machine, I’ve uploaded the SCAL2 file over at the SmartBuyGal forum under Paper Crafts:

Happy crafting — even if it’s with your kids!

Hump day crafts: Knitted hats

March 9, 2011

I taught myself to knit a couple of years ago, but kind of put it on hold. I wanted to take a class to unlearn any bad habits, before they took hold too strongly. I finally got that chance a few weeks ago at my  local yarn shop, A Good Yarn Shop (owned by author and knitter Debbie Macomber). I signed up for a hat class, so I could not only get feedback on my basic skills but learn to knit in the round and decrease stitches. From that class came my first hat, given to my mom, and now probably languishing in her closet because it didn’t match her coat. Four more hats have come in quick succession, since hints the instructor gave me in holding the yarn have helped me knit faster. (My new addi turbo needles probably don’t hurt. Love them!)

I’ve found most of the patterns through Ravelry, a great site for knitters, and much too big for me as of yet. On the one hand it makes me feel like a real newbie, reading people’s forum posts, but on the other hand it encourages me with the sheer number of free patterns that I have the skills to make. I’ve even altered patterns, exciting to think that I really am making something one of a kind even being a new knitter. Especially since they turned out okay. Does this sound like an ad to convert you to knitting yet? Well, just wait. I love knitting because I can do it while watching television with my husband (somedays our only time together), or throw together a row or two on a quick break from work or during the kids bath. Most of my other crafts aren’t that portable — space-wise or time-wise.

Enough cheerleading already. I don’t have many photos, but here are some of Thing 1 and 2 modeling their hats:


The grey hat is based on a classic WWII watchcap pattern which I altered the zigzag panels and decreases. (Maybe someday I’ll organize my chicken scratches and post my alterations.) The striped stockinette hat was from Liberty Wool Hat pattern. I followed it exactly, or at least as exactly as I could. You can check out my FOs (that’s Finished Objects) and queue (what I’m thinking about working on next) on Ravelry under joelle14. Maybe someday I’ll graduate to something more complicated, but for now I’m really enjoying hats!

Hump day crafts: Valentine special – Wobble spring valentine and TP roll album

February 15, 2011

This edition of hump day crafts is a day early in honor of Valentine’s day. (It would’ve been up on Valentine’s Day, but we lost power here for nearly 12 hours!)

These valentines were inspired by one of the ladies over at the forums. She had made a motion birthday card and shared a link to this video tutorial on using or making wobble springs. I knew Things 1 and 2 would love that, so I got on it.

Luckily I had everything I needed on hand. Some great graphics (they were freebies for Valentine’s Day!) from the great folks at Lettering Delights, some 28 gauge wire, a 1″circle cutter and some cards. I decided to go with 6×6 inch cards for some extra impact. I used various cardstocks from my stash and a Cuttlebug embossing folder that came in an cut and emboss set (something to do with love, maybe?).

(I took the video after the kids got a hold of the cards, thus the twisted look to them.) I also used the Lettering Delights Monster Love alphabet for the inside sentiment:

I showed them to The Cat and he said they were cool. (That’s saying something, because usually he just nods and hands them back.)

Speaking of The Cat, I made him something special for Valentine’s Day: a mini album! This was my first try at one of these. I’ve been collecting toilet paper rolls for a couple of months trying to decide what would make a good album theme. I finally decided on “10 things I love about you”.

For this album, I tried so many new things: sewing, inking and sanding edges (my new Close to My Heart distressing kit came in handy for this!), aging photos, spritzing Tim Holtz’ distress inks, and (best of all) binding. I got myself the Cinch for Christmas (The Cat was out to sea) and this is the first project I’ve used it on. It’s so much fun, I can’t wait to find time to put together some more books. Here are some photos of my toilet paper roll album with tag inserts:

Happy crafting!

Hump day crafts: Halloween stuff

November 3, 2010

Halloween is just one of those holiday made for crafters, isn’t it? Today I’ll share a few things i did for Halloween, including some things that are really different for me.

First, I’m still loving SCAL. Here’s a bowl I decorated with some vinyl:

Vinyled Halloween bowl

And then there’s my experiment with heat transfer vinyl (HTV) to make Thing 2’s firefighter costume a little more authentic (the reindeer was my practice run):

First heat transfer vinyl

And now for something completely different. Thing 1 was wearing a fairy costume G’ma sewed a few years ago (it finally fit!). To dress it up just a bit we found some Palmer face paint pots (love these!) in our Halloween box and did her up right:

Fairy for Halloween

Isn’t she adorable? I should note that the blue down on her chin is from candy, not paint, since we didn’t get any good photos before we left for trick or treating. And if you’ll indulge me, here’s one of Things 1&2 out trick or treating:

Halloween 2010

As I mentioned, T1’s fairy costume was made by G’ma. T2’s costume was clothes we already had with things added (the above design and reflective tape on the pants). I made their bags last year, and they’re still the perfect size for them, although they tend to fill up quickly. Also, T1’s hair bows I bought from a local mom who sells her wares on Facebook as Dips Dots and Dashes. Lots of inspiration here! I hope I get as much or more done next Halloween.

Happy crafting!

Hump day crafts: Go team!

September 15, 2010

Thing 1 played her first outdoor soccer game last weekend. It probably shouldn’t be that big of a deal, since she’s played a number of sessions in indoor soccer, but it’s still exciting. New coach, new teammates, practices with just them. Plus, she’s the best player on the team (of course!). Go T1!

The girls named their team Great Geckos, in part since their home jerseys are green. Their coach arranged for these cute bucket seats (I think they bought them at Lowe’s and her sister-in-law made the cushions). They were nice, but needed a little bling. So the trusty ol’ Cricut was called into service.

It came home like this: Soccer seat bucket 

And went to the first game like this: Great Geckos bucket

But wait, there’s more! I used the negative space to paint some fabric for a flag, so my son could entertain himself at the games cheering them on. No finished pics, but here’s one in progress: Great Geckos painted flag

Yes, that’s glitter. I figure geckos could use a little bling. I painted this on a piece of sheet (twin size!) leftover from an old project. The stencil (and above decals) were from white contact paper. I used Tulip Soft fabric paint plus a black fabric marker to outline the words. I sewed a channel to slide onto a bamboo stake and used rubber bands to secure. I’d tell you everyone loved it at the game, but we forgot it at home. Oh well. There’s always the next 9 weeks.

I used 3 Cricut cartridges: Life’s a Beach, Sports Mania and Cuttin’ Up in Cricut Design Studio.

Happy crafting!

Hump day crafts: beach bash cupcakes

September 1, 2010

I was busy all last week getting ready for Thing 1’s fifth birthday. It was a Hawaiian Beach Blast, and although the weather didn’t cooperate for swimming, it was sunny enough to play in the sand. And eat beach cupcakes. Here’s what we ate:

They got the nummy nod, so that’s good. Plus they were cute. I love this cricut cartridge – Life’s a Beach. It is too much fun! I got to try a lot of cuts with this project (not all shown here) and they were easier to assemble than I had feared. (So is the Hello Kitty Greetings cartridge I picked up on clearance. Will have to post some of those cards later.)

The picks are some wooden ones I picked up at Joann’s. The background “sun” is from Accent Essentials. Each has a colorful sun center on the back with a 5 (from Life’s a Beach) on it. Did I tell you how much fun these were? And flavor? Strawberry with chocolate and yellow with chocolate with caramel frosting (for the “beach) and blue sugar for the surf. You could always do crushed graham crackers for more of a sand texture, but I just ran out of time.

Happy crafting!

When feminism rears its young, sassy head

March 10, 2010

I have cute kids. I may have mentioned it before (once or twice), but I try not to be a bore about it. Occasionally though, I just have to break out an anecdote, because it tickles me.

Thing 1, my daughter, is 4-1/2 years old, or will be in a few weeks anyway. She’s a fun-loving but moody — and very smart — girl. Just like me in other words. Well, in some ways.

Tonight, the kids were going over rhymes; rhymes about catching, being caught, being missed — it’s a recurrent theme in their play these days. I dredged up “Run, run as fast as you can. You can’t catch me I’m the gingerbread man” from somewhere in my memory. Thing 1 immediately wanted to learn it, but couldn’t quite get it. After a few attempts, I slowly repeated the first half for her.

“Run…run…as fast…as you can”

“You can’t catch me I’m the gingerbread…woman” she finished. A budding feminist. I’m so proud.

A second anecdote, for purely selfish reasons: I’d like to remember some snapshots of the little smart alec. She was having problems going to sleep tonight, and I could hear her moving around upstairs. I went up and found her in bed, with covers obviously just pulled over her head.

“Go to sleep,” I told her.
“I was,” came her far-too-sassy-not-at-all-sleepy reply.
“I love you. Stay in bed.”
“I love you too. And Mom, please don’t wake me up again.”

Sassy feminist. Gotta love her.


July 21, 2008

So, it turns out Thing 1 really was checking up on me. Every night now she asks me what I’m going to do downstairs while she’s sleeping. Usually I give her one to three things on my to-do list: cleaning, relaxing, sewing, whatever. She repeats them back to me, perfectly. Then, the next morning, she asks me if I did each of them. She’s too little to see the dishes in the sink, so I can say yes. After all, in my world when The Cat’s gone getting the dishes to the sink counts as cleaning.

She’s not yet three, but I can’t believe how good her memory is. In fact, I try to avoid playing Memory with her anymore and stick to Candyland. I was tired of getting beat. It was so sad to see my four pairs to her eight game after game. I suppose I could’ve put more pairs out, but somehow I don’t think it would work out in my favor.

The thing is, I used to have a good memory. It’s the mommy thing that killed it. But I feel like I’m being a sore loser when I point out that she’s the reason I lose. Plus, the guilt trips don’t work that well at this age. Maybe in a few years…

I miss my memory, and I’d like it back, but at least I can take comfort in my daughter’s good memory. In fact, I plan on taking more than comfort, I’ll be taking advantage of it soon. I’m going to start giving her my to do list every morning. Then she can remind me what it was I was supposed to be doing. It’s not all bad for her either. I’ll have to get her a cell phone. That’s what every three year old wants, right? I just hope the preschool teachers don’t turn it off. I might forget to pick her up.

You cleaning, Mom?

July 15, 2008

As I leave Thing 1’s room at bedtime, this is how our exchange goes these days:

T1: “Will you leave my door open a crack, Mom?”

Momma: “Yes, dear.”

T1: “Where will you be? Will you be downstairs, Mom?”

Momma: “Yes, honey.”

T1: “What will you be doing? You cleaning, Mom?”

Momma: “Yes, sweetie. Good night.”

I really was planning on it. After all, the movers come in 2 weeks, the Cat is out to sea, and naps and bedtime is the only time I get to go through things without little paws pawing at my clean and dirty piles. But yet, somehow, I come across this:

Don’t ask how. Just know that I got on the internet with the best of intentions to look up something move related. The time I spent looking at this blog, however, was not move related. In fact, it made me want to unpack my sewing machines (ha, as if they’re packed yet!) and work from an inspired place. Her stuff (and her daughter) is beautiful and makes me feel…slow. I couldn’t sew one dress in a weekend, much less three. Plus, my attempt at making a dress for Thing 1 without a pattern didn’t turn out as well as I would’ve liked:

blue dress

blue dress

Not bad, but rather boring. Plus, I was aiming for size 2 and it’s about a size 4 with a 18 month neckhole. We’ll see what happens with it. Perhaps if I keep checking back and being inspired by Kathleen’s blog maybe I’ll learn something. After all, my next dress attempt turned out a little better, even though I started with (and then deviated from) a pattern.

Spring dress

  (It looks better in person. Really.)

Of course, with the move it’s going to be awhile before I get time for that. Maybe I’ll just win some of the dresses she gives away on her blog. I think that’s the best solution. Especially since, for now, I’ve got to get back to cleaning. Because tonight Thing 1 asked me what cleaning I was going to do. I think she might be planning on checking up on me.