Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Two Sides of Kiki

 And Spice:
You never really know which side you're going to get!

Advent Calendar Time!

I was putting Finn to bed tonight and it hit me--tomorrow is the first day for the Advent Calendar! Here's ours from last year:
 Cute, but you can barely fit a Hershey Kiss in those little doors. And forget about trying to stuff TWO in there. This year, I knew I needed something bigger. And I've already found a ton of cute things from Target and Michael's dollar racks to fit in it. I decided to go with a shoe organizer. On the cheap, I bought three 8-pocket ones from the Dollar Tree:

Then I cut up some Christmas-themed scrapbook paper for each pocket, added a number, and mod-podged more paper on some clothespins to hold the paper in place. After each day, I'll take the clothespin off and slip the paper into the empty pocket. It will definitely give me some more room to fill this year! Now if the kids will just fall asleep, I can go fill up tomorrow's pocket!
I think we are ready for Christmas!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Frankly My Dear...

I DO give a damn. Have you seen the new Gone With the Wind fabric (and here, and here)? How cool is that? And the above quilt! What I wouldn't give for a bundle to make that with! I still usually rate GWTW as my favorite movie, even though I rarely watch it anymore. But when I was a pre-teen I could spend days watching it over and over, dreaming about how wonderful it must be to be Scarlett and wear all those wonderfully huge hoop dresses. Ahhh... Anyway, I just wanted to share.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Huge Giveaway Event!

Check out all the links on my sidebar to win a Silhouette SD machine. It's an amazing giveaway event!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

O Christmas Tree

I bought a package of coffee filters to make a wreath, but then it struck me that they might string up to make a fine garland! In all, I used about 400 filters for this (less than $5, and a quick craft to do in front of a movie) and I may add a few more. I really wish I was a better photographer so that I could do it justice, but in person, it really is quite stunning.
To make, you need a couple of packages of white coffee filters (or brown, or you can dye them. Wouldn't a red and green one look cute?). Pinch each filter in the middle and then do sort of tri-fold so that it makes a fan shape. Then just string them one by one onto a piece of thread! So simple and the filters are pretty sturdy. My cat hasn't been able to pull the whole thing apart yet, even though she has tried repeatedly.
Merry Christmas!

Quick Applique Process Tutorial

Happy Thanksgiving! I finished up my cooking (my mother is doing the bulk of it this year) and decided to start putting up Christmas decorations before the big feast. I had to finish up my stockings, so I decided to put together a little tutorial on how I applique.

1) Open up your word processor and find a font and size that you like. Make sure and switch the font to "outline" so that you don't waste ink. If your word processor will print in reverse, then do that now--it will save you from having to do step 2. Print.

2) Trace your letters onto double-sided fusible web (I use Steam-a-Seam 2). If you were able to just print your letters backward (my system won't do it), then skip to step 3.

3) Turn your fusible web over and trace the letters backward.

4) Peel off the front paper on your fusible web. You want to put your sticky side onto the WRONG side of the fabric (this is the part I most often have to repeat because I iron it to the right side). If your fabric has no wrong/right side (like my red below) it doesn't matter where you iron it, but I will repeat: IRON FUSIBLE WEB TO THE WRONG SIDE OF YOUR FABRIC.

5) Cut out your letters. Notice that since you ironed to the wrong side, the front of your letters are now facing the right way.

6) Peel off the paper on the back of your letters.

7) Position them however you want.

8) Iron. If this was a shirt or something I would be repeatedly washing, I would run a zig-zag stitch around it as well.

All done!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Pocket Full of Posies

I love these easy little flower pins. I finally got myself up to the craft store (I've been a bit sick all week-end) and bought a quarter-yard each of blue and pink satin ($1.50 altogether!) and had more than enough to make these flowers. Just cut out 4 different sized circles of the satin, singe the edges with a lighter (I eventually lit a candle to dip them in because I was sick of burning my thumb) and secure them with a few knots of embroidery thread through the middle. I've seen it done with beads as well to give it a more decorative effect. I hot-glued hair clips on the back so I can give them as gifts.
It almost feels like spring!

Monday, November 22, 2010


I am DYING to get a Silhouette machine and Tatertots & Jello is now giving one away! Check it out! I've been out of town and sick this week, but I promise to have some new stuff soon!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Girly Christmas Stocking

No, I didn't really name my daughter "Kiki." But it's kind of a funny story. When I was a teenager and my friends and I were being silly, I always told them to call me "Kiki." When I got pregnant with a girl, my husband and I planned on naming her Maeble, but at the very last minute we changed it to McKinley. I went into labor a few hours later, so it was clearly the right choice! McKinley has a very silly and fun personality, so it's sort of like she was that little "Kiki" inside me that was always trying to get out! I think she likes it too--she always tells everyone that that's her name.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Teacher Gift, Part 3

I finished Mrs. Ancik's birthday present, and just in time! I did not feel well yesterday, but I HAD to get some more of that polka dot paper to finish her wish list, so I trucked up to Hobby Lobby with the kids in tow, probably looking more than a little green.
The "Wish List" was another find at Ponytails & Fishscales. I got a tin sign from Hobby Lobby, mod podged cute paper and ribbon on it, and made some apple magnets. Now, whenever she needs some kleenex, copies run, or anything else, she can put it up on the wish list so that one of the parents can help out. I got her a gift card to Barnes & Noble as well, packaged it up, and voila! (those are Kiki's little hands in the picture) Another thing I wanted to make for Mrs. Ancik were these adorable apple cupcakes. I baked the cupcakes, got sick and decided that nobody would want my possible tainted cupcakes (I'm 99% sure it was the fish I ate for lunch, but there was still that 1% of doubt), so I threw them all out. However, I kept one to decorate. They would have been so cute! It's just a white cupcake, white icing, dipped in red sugar, then a tootsie roll for the stem and an icing leaf.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Personalized Kid's Books

I've got to brag for a moment. I have some pretty great in-laws. I know some other people who have horror stories about their in-laws, but mine are usually nothing but helpful. My mother-in-law is a teacher, and you would think she'd be sick of kids by the end of the day, but she is ALWAYS up for hanging with her grandkids. This weekend, she watched the kids a bit (okay, she actually does that EVERY weekend) and they made a super cute craft--personalized kids books. A lot of picture companies make a ton of money on these, but my kids like these just as well!

Great rainy day fun!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Teacher Gift, Part 2

This idea came from Ponytails & Fishscales, another awesome blog. It's a chalkboard initial! However, this is the first time I've ever chalk-boarded something, and I think I should have added another coat. Which of course means that I will be ripping that ribbon off and trying again. But, I figured I would go ahead and show it off anyway!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Teacher Gift, Part 1

I feel like I don't even come up with original ideas anymore, I am WAY too busy trolling the blogs so that I can recreate everyone else's cool crafts. But that's okay. It keeps me busy (although I am coming dangerously close to the edge of burn-out).
Here is a great idea that I saw at eighteen25. It's a teacher emergency supply box. You get one of those plastic craft boxes for around $1 and dress it up with a little scrapbook paper and whatever-else-you-wish: And on the inside you fill the little cubbies with all sorts of supplies a teacher might need (including chocolate!). My hubby joked that what Mrs. Ancik really needs is a taser to chill out my son when he gets too wild, but, well...it wouldn't fit.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I Roared!

One of my favorite blogs is I Am Momma Hear Me Roar! Cheri has so many great ideas. I saw her posts for an upcycled hat and upcycled dress and, once again, I knew I was destined to make them.

Here's Kiki in her adorable new Princess hat:

And her new dress! I love the scrappy look of it. I wanted to use some cool graphic shirts, but I really only had plain ones. I plan on adding some stamps with fabric paint (a la IAMHMR), but that would require me actually taking a shower, getting dressed, getting the kids dressed and then moving my butt up to Walmart to get the paint--something I don't plan on doing for a few more hours.

I made one for Finn as well, and he loved it UNTIL he realized I cut up one of his old shirts to make it. Then he was just really really pissed and tried to throw it away. It wasn't even a shirt that he liked to wear AND it was too small for him now anyway. Dear Boy: I love you, but you have some major control issues. Unfortunately, I know where you get that trait.
Here I am wearing it instead:

Friday, November 5, 2010

Fall Crafts

Acorn wreath. So pretty. So simple. So cheap. 'Nuff said. A Thanksgiving blessings board. I saw a tute for this on another blog, and I hate not to credit it, but I can't remember who's it was. For mine, I bought a cheap frame from Wal-mart (wish I had a prettier one lying around the house that I could have painted), then I put large staples in the back of it and tied hemp twine (from the dollar store!) and ribbon on the staples in strips. I embellished it with some scrapbook paper and chipboard pieces. Lastly, I cut out a ton of leaf shapes with my Sizzix (the kids were able to help with that). Now, every night each of us writes one thing we are thankful for on a leaf and I punch a hole in them and tie them on the ribbon with extra twine. So far, I think Finn has had me write down "Kitty" every night, but who am I to tell him what to be thankful for? (Although I am secretly wishing that he might utter "Mommy" one night)
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