Posts Tagged ‘crafts’

Happy, Mama!

Happy Mama’s Day is too much for Sesame to say so she shortens it to “Happy, Mama!”  Mike and she even wrote Happy Mama down our front steps and sidewalk with sidewalk chalk.  So cute.

I wanted to make something nice for my mom and actually found the time to do it.  I thought I had it done and in the mail in time but I was wrong.  Sadly she didn’t get it in time to open it on Mother’s Day but now that she has it, I can post it here.

I saw little mini scrapbooks at Michaels and had a “hey, I could make that!” moment.  I cut the pages out of an old cereal box then covered them with small pieces of scrapbook paper that I found at work.  The whole book is smaller than an index card.  I cut the pages to be different widths and cut pretty designs into the edges.  I love this picture on the front.  It’s my mom and little baby me.

moms book

would have liked to put a picture of my grandma with my mom when she was younger, so that it could be chronological, but this is one of the only pictures I have of them together.  This picture was the last one taken of my grandma.  I miss her.  The picture on the right is my mom with my 2 day old brother.  I was a month shy of 2, almost exactly the age Sesame is now.

moms bookpage 1

I’m lacking in photos from my childhood (lots exist but none are in my possession) so I jumped ahead to some big milestones- my brother’s high school graduation, my wedding and newborn Sesame.

Copy of moms bokpage 2

Then comes a picture of my mom with little Sesame and an accordion-folded mother’s day message.

moms book page 3

Mike helped me pick out this picture.  It’s my mom with her 2 kids and granddaughter.  I think it’s a cute picture for the back page.

moms book backIt’s pretty, it cost nothing, I got to use stuff from the recycle bin and I made it in one evening.  Perfect!

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Felt Orange Slices

felt orangesI’ve been making a ton of felt food to give to little Sesame for Easter.  She loves playing with her toy kitchen but she doesn’t have any food to play with!  That needs to change.  There are lots of great pictures and some free patterns for felt food on the internet (as well as a ton of awesome patterns you can buy.)  I’ll share all the resources I used, and show you all the cute food I’ve made, once I get it all finished.  For now, I have a tutorial for you so you can make felt orange slices too.

Most of the time that I’ve working with felt, it’s the recycled sweater kind but for this project, I used regular craft felt.


orange and white felt

white embroidery floss

orange thread


felt orange supplesThis picture shows the pieces I used to make 3 orange slices.  You only need one piece of each to make one slice.  The shapes are pretty simple so I don’t think you really need a pattern.  The white circles are 7 cm in diameter and the orange circles are 6 cm.  (I like the metric system and it’s more accurate so there you go.)  The orange peel pieces are 9 cm point to point and the width is 2.5 cm at the widest point.

felt orange circles

Sew the orange circle to the top of the white circle.  Don’t worry if it’s a little uneven, or not perfectly centered.  This is fruit you’re making so a little wonkiness adds realism.

felt orange stitching

I separated the white embroidery thread in half and used 3 strands.  All six strands looked too bulky to me but you can decide for yourself.  Sew 3 straight lines across the orange piece as shown.

felt orange side seam

Fold the piece in half as shown so that the white lines form the orange’s sections.  Hold the peel piece in place and begin sewing it down.  I started sewing it towards the end of one side, as shown, because that allowed me to leave a good spot open for stuffing it later.

felt orange corner

When you get to the point of the peel piece, fold the circle piece down and keep on sewing.
felt orange whipstitch

I sewed the pieces together using a simple whipstitch.  Easy-peasy!

felt orange opening

leave an opening and fill with your stuffing of choice.  You can use poly-fill, fabric scraps, or my material of choice- tiny pieces of felted sweaters left over from making my etsy items.  Make sure you get the stuffing all the way in the little pointy corners, then finish stitching it closed.

felt orange slices

Enjoy your soft, fuzzy oranges!

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Doll ring sling

Doll ring slingSesame is more and more interested in playing with her dolls lately so I whipped up a super simple ring sling for her to use.  I chose a ring sling so that she won’t outgrow it any time soon and I hardly had to do any measuring.  Unlike the clothes I make for, she loved it immediately!  So far she’s carried around 2 of her dolls, a teddy bear and a little stuffed puppy (not at the same time) and she’s getting pretty good at putting them in the sling herself.

This only took me about 1/2 hour to make and I’ve written up my instructions below so you can make one for your favorite little person. I used velcro to attach the fabric to the rings so that if she pulls hard enough, or get it stuck on her, it’s easy to get it off.  She’s still pretty little and having a closed loop of fabric around her neck would make me nervous.


1 piece of fabric about 20 inches by 45 inches (add a few inches if you’ll be turning under the edges and seaming)

2 metal rings, 1.5-2 inches in diameter

A couple inches of velcro

**Please note that this sling is only meant to hold a doll, never a real baby!  I know you’re smart but I feel like I have to say that anyway.  The rings I used came from a hardware store, but you could find some at a craft store.  Slings for real babies use specially tested rings and have really secure stitching to make sure it’s safe.  This sling has none of that.**

Doll ring sling

Finish the edges on all sides.  I used my serger (the 1st time I’ve used it without any frustration, thank you very much!) to do a simple rolled hem.  Of course, you could could turn under the edges and seam as well, but then you’d want to start with a slightly larger piece of fabric.

Doll ring slingDoll ring sling

Gather one short edge to make it smaller.  I did 2 accordian folds that meet in the center as you can see in the picture, then pinned it into place.

Doll ring sling

Cut your velcro pieces and pin into place.  My pieces are about 3 inches long and the strips are 2.5-3 inches apart.  I sewed 4 lines across this edge, catching each of the long edges of velcro in the seams.

Doll ring sling

Thread the end with velcro through both rings and attach the velcro. The picture shows the 2 seams that show on the right side of the sling.

Doll ring sling

Fold the other end in half horizontally and thread through the rings.

That’s all there is to it!
Doll ring sling

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Casey snowflakeI love making paper snowflakes and was excited to learn a fancy new (to me) technique from a co-worker 2 Christmases ago.  She and I made so many snowflakes that year (while we should have been working) that I actually got sore spots on my thumb and finger from the scissors!

These snowflakes have words in them!  I like making them with names but you can insert whatever word(s) you’d like.  Last year I made a name snowflake for everyone in my family.  It was fun to watch them discover that their name was actually making up the snowflake.  Do you see my name in the snowflake above?  Here, I’ll help you out.

Casey snowflake detail

This was the original triangle of folded paper that I cut.  The Y is a little wonky but you get the idea.  Mike snowflake

This was one I made for Mike. His turned out a little boring. (Sorry, Mike!) The great thing about these snowflakes is that you can make a dozen with the same name and they will look totally different every time!

Want to make one yourself?  I’ll make one with you and share some tips.
You start with a square of paper folded up into a triangle. That part is easy.   I like to round out the end, but you don’t have to.
Now draw your message on the triangle. I find a pencil and good eraser to be very helpful. Some people think it’s cheating to draw out a snowflake pattern but you really have to when you make one with letters.
Some tips:
Place the bottom edge of your word on the side of the triangle that’s one big fold. It’ll make your snowflake much more stable when you’re cutting it out.
Your letters need to touch each other! This is super important! If your letters don’t touch, your snowflake will just be a bunch of loose pieces.
Similarly, your design needs to go from the bottom edge up to the top edge, at least in a couple of places. This is where fun filler shapes come in. Try adding stars, trees, hearts or whatever you think fits.
Cut along your lines, working from the outside towards the tip, and from top to bottom. The tip and the bottom edge give your triangle stability so do those areas last if you can.
DSC04516DSC04517DSC04519If you have little areas inside of letters, like on my O, you can use an exacto knife, or just cut through the letter. That’s what I do.

Unfold carefully and see what you made!


Often I’m surprised by how it turns out.  Like on this one, the holly leaf at the center doesn’t look like holly in the unfolded snowflake.  It looks like a flower.  Also, the straight line of the J gives the snowflake a square border.  If I had curved the J, it would look a lot different.

You can also make then with the word starting at the center point, though my former coworker would say that it’s backwards.  Here’s a backwards one.  Edit: It’s my daughter’s name and I don’t usually share it on this here blog.  It’s an uncommon name with an unusual spelling. I also was a little tired so I just did a triangle for the A and didn’t cut out the centers of the R or e.  There you have it!

Now go make your own!  Happy Christmas Eve !

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My newest favorite thing

Is Twitter!  Oh, Twitter, how much do I love thee.  Here’s the thing readers.  I’m on Facebook but I just don’t really get it.  There are too many things going on -groups and games and I’m supposed to write on someone’s wall?!- and all I ever really logged on for was to see if anyone had any new updates.  I love the little glimpses into people’s lives and reading . . . is cleaning her closet today and . . . loves the drizzly weather make me happy.  I admit it, I’m a voyeur.  On Twitter I get that stuff and nothing else!  It’s a fabulous thing and I feel more connected to people.  Finally a networking site that I love.  (I was starting to feel a little old, being confused by the new-fangled sites and all, but I’m hip and trendy- really!) Anyway, join Twitter if you haven’t and you can follow me there!
Check out the cute shirt I sewed for her.  I had the fabric in the closet and a few seams and one strip of elastic later this is what I got!  She cried the first time I put it on her but I think she really does like it.  Maybe the tears were out of happiness?  I love the fabric because it reminds me of happy little single celled organisms floating around.  Yeah, I’m nerdy like that.

I’m so close to having 100 sales in my etsy shop!  I was hoping for 100 by Christmas but at this rate I’ll easliy surpass that.  Good thing, ’cause I’m making no money at my job.

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Well folks, I’ve started working full time and I’m almost at the end of week 2.  It’s really hard.  After 8 months of not working and 4 months of working part time, it’s been a difficult adjustment and I miss my little sesame  a ton.  I’m tired and cranky and sesame and I have been sick for almost a week now and it sucks to go to work and not stay home and take care of my little one.  I do like my job, though.

This is the first week of summer camp and so far I’ve had to send home a violent kid, send home a sick kid, deal with some crazy parents, talk to 2 kids who pushed each other into the creek, spend 30 minutes coaxing a sad kid out from under a bench, one of my instructors missed a plane connection and couldn’t make it to the very 1st day of camp, I had a volunteer assistant counselor be a no-show on the first day and a different instructor had to leave at noon today so I needed to fill in.  Being a camp director is hard!  Did I just say that I liked my job?! I’ve also gotten tons of hugs, been gifted several god’s eyes (I mean owl’s eyes), witnessed kids getting excited to learn about the life cycle of salmon, had parents say they wished they’d signed their kid up for more than one week because they like it so much, and I’ve learned a ton of new silly songs from my awesome staff.

embroideryI embroidered a beautiful design for Sairshe’s birthday and I really want to show it to you.  I showed you this picture of a section of it earlier.  I want to make a pillowcase out of it.  I bought a great organic cotton pillow just the right size from this etsy seller and Sairshe snuggled on the floor with it when I took it out of the box.  I went to Bolt and bought some great Amy Butler fabric that coordinates with the embroidery.  And then . . . Sairshe lost my embroidery.  She carried it around and I last remember seeing in on the floor near Mike’s guitar case but that was a few weeks ago and I haven’t seen it since!  It has to be somewhere and I hope I find it soon.  Darn baby!

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Paper Valentines

lovebirdsI’ve been a little obsessed with cutting paper designs the last few days. This is not a good activity around my house these days because of a certain tiny person’s ongoing obsession with eating paper. I’ve been trying to scoop up all my little bits of paper before she gets to them, which is especially difficult now that our vacuum cleaner is broken. I really need to just put the scissors away.

heart on fire

When I was a kid, my favorite Valentines were those with lacy doilies glued to the front. That’s not quite my style now but I do love pretty paper designs. I’ve been cutting my own lacy designs and I’ve made templates for two of my favorites to share with you. One is a sweet Lovebird design and the other is a fiery Flaming Heart.

The templates are in a PDF that can be downloaded HERE!

Happy Valentine-making. I hope you like them!

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