Thursday, November 30, 2017

Time to start counting down again!

              December 1st is almost here and the holiday countdown has begun. Last year I posted this little Christmas countdown and everyone really seemed to like it. I figured I would bring it back this year. Advent calendars are a fun way to keep track of the days you have left until Christmas. I remember, as a kid, moving the little star from day to day and getting more and more excited as it got closer to the big day.


                The one that I have created here takes the form of the Nordic Christmas Calendar and starts counting on December 1st and ends with Christmas day. The materials used will depend on how you want your calendar to look. They can be made of painted wood, fabric, paper, and more. As always there is no wrong answer. Here I have chosen to go the fabric route and make good use out of my random scraps of trim and batting. If you are not comfortable with a sewing machine, you can use a fabric glue. I do not recommend letting the little ones construct this one. They will enjoy supervising and decorating the little tree though, I am sure.

You will need:

What to do:

1.       Draw your tree pattern and cut it out of your green felt. I folded my felt in half to make sure both sides are the same when cutting. Sewing them together around the edge with extra batting left over from a quilt I’m working on giving it some stability as well as a little depth with some simple quilting.

2. You will want to write the numbers from 1 to 25 on the 2’’ squares with the puffy paint and allow to dry completely.

3. Cutting ornament shapes from smaller scraps of felt, we placed them on the tree and topstitched them down. Again, you can glue them in place if you do not want to sew.  Less is more at this point since you will be adding the date pockets on top of these guys. once the numbers are dry, you can place them on the tree to test your layout.

4.  Attach your trim. I used hot glue for this since I used sequins and wanted them to lay on top and not press into the tree.

5.  Finalize position of the date pocket and attach them to the tree at the sides and bottom. I top stitched them but glue can be used here as well.

6. Twist together red and white pipe cleaners, fold in half and twist again. Bend into candy cane shape.

7. Attach ribbon to the top of the tree and to the candy cane. The ribbon needs to be long enough to reach all pockets easily. Add a loop of ribbon to top as a hanger.

8. Tuck candy cane into the pocket to mark the days and enjoy for years to come.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Salt Dough Hand Turkeys

We did this last year with Ella and it was so cute. I figured that I would bring it back. It would be fun to do a new one this year since she has grown so much. We may get to play in dough again soon.

What you will need:

  •          Salt dough
  •          Your little one’s hand
  •          Paint
  •          Clay tools (these can vary depending on what embellishments you want to do)
  •          Oven
Start out with mixing up your salt dough. Combine 1 cup salt with 2 cups all-purpose flour. Knead in a cup of warm water and work until dough is smooth.

Flatten dough to be about half an inch thick and help your little one press their hand into the desired spot. You can also use tools that would normally be used with polymer or air dry clay to embellish your piece. Here I have used letter stamps to add the wording. Anything you decorate with at this point must be able to go into the oven.  

      Bake your piece for 45 minutes at 325F. For thicker pieces, you may need to let it bake a little longer. You will want to check your turkey every little bit to make sure that it is not warping. Let it cool completely.  Decorate your turkey and enjoy.

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Monday, November 13, 2017

Afternoon Hiking Trip

                This past weekend we decided to take a little road trip and look at the fall colors. The weather was great and as we were driving, I noticed the sign for the Natural Bridge. It’s a little park that was built around a sandstone natural bridge. We had both seen the sign a million times on other trips and neither of us had ever visited.

                We really did not have a plan for our drive so we went to take a look. It was really neat. Ian had grabbed Ella’s little backpack so she got to go on her first hike. She had so much fun. The trail was nice and easy. It just wrapped around to the other side of the bridge but it still counts.

                They also have a little cabin set up as a museum with things from the 1800’s, including a still that the shiners used. It was original to the property. The bridge itself was really pretty, I thought. They don’t let you walk on it. Everything is really steep. So if you fell, you probably wouldn’t stop for a while.

                I am so glad that Ella had fun. Ian and I have always enjoyed the outdoors and now we can take the little one on all our favorite trails. Obviously, we will start out easy and the rule will be only hiking trails that we are ok with carrying her.

                Trips like this are great. You can have a lot of fun just traveling around your area. There are so many state parks and neat things to see here in Arkansas and I’m sure other states are the same. It is nice to get out and explore. 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Make Your Own Unique Pincushion

                I had last Saturday to myself so I figured I would take some time to shop my favorite flea markets. As always, I look for anything sewing related or things that can be upcycled. This cute little rocking horse was one of my favorite finds. It’s a little vintage planter and was made by Haeger Pottery. My thought was that it could be a really cute and unique pincushion. Here is how I upcycled this little ceramic horse into a useful and decorative pincushion.

                This little horse was spotless when I bought it so no need to clean it out. I chose a fat quarter from my stash. I really liked the red with the walnut glaze. I used the lid from my button tin to mark a 9” circle. To make the cushion, I gathered the edges and drew them into the center.

                For the stuffing, there are a few options. I used super fine steel wool so that the cushion sharpens the pins. You can also stuff it with poly-fil or tiny scraps of fabric. The inside of the planter is pretty deep so I did end up using small scraps, left over from making the unicorns, to fill in the open space under the steel wool.

                Once the stuffing was in, I closed the opening and tied off the thread. The cushion fit snuggly in the planter, which was great since I didn’t want to use glue on the inside. I am really happy with the way it turned out. You can do this with any little vessel. I will be doing this same process with a little wooden shoe I found, once I choose a matching fabric. The paint on the shoe needs to be touched up a bit, as well. So, I may save that one for after the holidays.

 Happy crafting everyone!

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