Huggable shirt Pillow!

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Someone posted these pillows online a while ago, and the first thing that popped into my head was, “I can make that!” What a great idea!  But, then again, that’s what I think about most things I see… I just never get around to making a lot of them lol. 

I actually did make this pillow over the summer, but I’m going to try to catch up on some of my projects I have been meaning to share. I am behind quite a bit on projects I have done, but haven’t written about yet. I have some great recipes, and projects to share… I also redecorated my front room over the holidays… Wait until you see my new craft room! 

Back to my post… Here are the pillows that I saw…

  

   
After my dad passed away, I asked my mom to save some of his favourite shirts for me. I have used them to make each of my brothers’ kids a baby quilt… That is five quilts now… I’m a little worried that I am running out of scraps. If there are any more babies in the family, I might be in trouble! 

 I did however save one of my dad’s favourite shirts for a special project, his jean shirt.  

I started by just folding it to see what size pillow I could make. I used a pillow form as a guide for the size. You could either make the pillow to the size of a pillow form or existing pillow, or you could just stuff it with cotton batting.

Then I cut off the arms at the shoulder seams.   

I folded the shirt, and cut across the top, right at the seam at the back.  

And I trimmed the sides so they were straight. Now, when I say straight, I didn’t actually use a ruler, sometimes our hardwood floor is a good guide to cut a straight line…   

One I had the outline cut, and somewhat square looking, I took a scrap of white fabric, and used my fancy lettering stitch on my sewing machine, to sew the below quote. Then, I pressed the seams in, and I sewed around the perimeter of the quote to attach it to the shirt.  

I turned both sides of the pillow around so the wrong sides were facing in, and I pinned around the edges.  

Next, I sewed all around the entire perimeter, leaving about a centimetre seam allowance, and clipped the corners. I didn’t even have to leave an opening because of the buttons at the front. To stuff it, all I had to do was undo the buttons, and slip in the pillow form.
  

And here is the final product!   

I thought it turned out well. I still have the scraps such as the side seams, collar and arms… I never know when im going to come across another fantastic idea that I know I can make! I promise, I will share it with you if and when I do. :) 

Have a great night! 

Brown sugar fudge

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Brown sugar fudge

I’m always looking for an excuse to make something sweet, and luckily this time of year, there is always a great excuse! I will share with you some of the chocolates I have been making, but tonight I am more excited about this new recipe I found for Brown Sugar Fudge. Here is the link for the original recipe…the author of the blog calls is Brown Sugar Candy. Doesn’t matter what you call it… It is delicious! 

Brown Sugar Candy link
  

You need butter, brown sugar, evaporated milk, vanilla extract, and icing sugar. Come on, how can that not be delicious… Right?

  Start by melting 3/4 of a cup of butter, and mix in 3 cups of brown sugar, and a can of evaporated milk.  

  Stir until everything has been dissolved.And, bring to a boil.  The above picture shows what it looks like before boiling, and the picture below shows what it looks like after simmering for 5 minutes. I stirred for most of the time it was boiling. Then, take it off the heat and add a teaspoon of vanilla, and stir it in, then add a pound of icing sugar, and mix well.  

I tried to mix it by hand, but it was all lumpy, so I ended up using my hand mixer.      

Then I poured it into a 9×13 pan. I lined the pan with parchment paper, and let the parchment hang over the edges so it would come out easier.  

I left it in the fridge for a few hours, then took it out and sliced it into small squares.  

You can see a little in the picture that is was a little moist at first. So what I did was put it back in the fridge uncovered for a day, it dried out, and became a little crusty on the outside, just like fudge should be! If you have a sweet tooth, or sweet cravings, this recipe is definitely for you! It is sweet, creamy, and tastes just like brown sugar! I have made a few different types of fudge over the years, and this might even be my favourite!
 

Today!

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If anyone has nothing to do today… I’m selling my crafty stuff! You can come and see me at…

The Women’s Christmas Show

105 Gibson Drive Markham, Ontario (Warden, just north of Steeles)

On Saturday, December 12, 2015 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Admission Free Come and meet over 35 vendors of particular interest to women. Lots of last minute Christmas shopping ideas and opportunity to network. As well, a chance to learn about and donate to the Yellow Brick House, a shelter for abused women and children.

I’ll let you know how it goes! I’m sure I will have some pictures to share!

Scrabble Ornaments

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Scrabble Ornaments

 This is a quick and easy project… My favourite kind! All you need is some scrap fabric, a glue gun, some thin ribbon and some old wooden scrabble tiles.

I had this gold leather fabric left over from my daughter Sam’s Halloween costume, which worked perfectly, but any kind of fabric would work.

I started by trying to figure out what words I could make from the letters I had… Kind of like a real scrabble game! I also used some “words” like Xmas and OMG, although according to my daughter, I shouldn’t be able to use them because they are not real words… But, my glue gun, my rules! 
  

I started by gluing a loop of ribbon onto the back of one of the tiles.  

Then, I glued each of the letters on the wrong side of the leather…
  

Then I cut around the tiles, being careful to cut neatly, and to not cut the loop off.
I decided to add a little drop of glue in between each letter so they wouldn’t bend backwards.  

Here is what it looks like from the back. Because I cut so close to the tiles, you can’t even see the fabric on the front, which is why I let the gold side show on the back.  
Here are the ones that I made… All ready for the holidays!  
 

I ended up using almost two whole sets of letters… I knew I could put those garage sale purchases last summer to good use! 

Did I mention that I sold my stuff at a craft sale a few weeks ago with a friend? She talked me into it, and I did my second sale today…(thanks Julie!) I’m not making enough money to quit my job yet.. I am selling the Scrabble ornaments for $4.00 each, so I am going to have to sell quite a few before I make retirement plans, but I am contributing to supporting my crafting habit! Today, along with the Scrabble ornaments, I sold couple other kinds of ornaments and t-shirt scarves. Here is what my set up looked like today… Notice I had some help!   

And, below is my set up with my friend, Julie. She makes really cool arm-knitted infinity scarves, along with apple sauce and chilli sauce. At this sale, I also sold chocolate bark, but I didn’t sell the chocolate today because today’s sale didn’t allow food so I am going to keep the chocolate for Christmas presents… 

I’m not sure what kind of crafty stuff I will have to add for the next sale… Never know what will pop into my head in the next couple weeks…lol. I’ll keep you posted though.

Thanks for reading!

 

For All of My Teaching Friends

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Hi! 

I have been getting a lot of requests for this, so I am editing the post to update the information and links. 

I have been teaching for a number of years… Won’t tell you how many, but I have done many sets of report cards. In the past, I always knew exactly what I wanted to say, but spent hours trying to write it in appropriate and parent friendly language. So, I spent a few hours compiling all of the comments I had accumulated and came up with a massive bank of ways to politely tell parents that either a) their kid is amazing and works hard, or b) their kid is useless, and does absolutely nothing. 

The comments are organized into six categories; Responsibility, Organization, Independent work, Collaboration, Initiative, and Self-Regulation. I have organized comments in each of the six areas in four levels, Needs Improvement, Satisfactory, Good, and Excellent. I have also included Next Steps, or ways to improve for each of the six areas. So, all you have to do is copy and pate the sentences you want into your report cards. 

I have listed my comments for $6.99 on Teachers Pay Teachers… Feel free to check out my other listings too… :) 
Link to teachers pay teachers

How to dress up as an Art Gallery! 

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How to dress up as an Art Gallery! 

My daughter decided that she wanted to dress up in matching costumes with her best friend, which sounds great, right? After some debating, they decided that her friend was going to be an artist, and she was going to be a gallery… What? A gallery?  What happened to a doggies or clowns! 

So, I do what I always do when confronted with a crafting dilemma… Or any dilemma for that matter… Google it! Or if that doesn’t work, try Pinterest. (Sometimes in the reverse order) but the only ideas I could find were costumes that were actual paintings, which were really cool, like the one below, but not what she had envisioned.

 
She didn’t want to be just one piece of art, she wanted to be the whole gallery! So, we started at fabric land and bought some gold leather-like fabric that we thought would work well to make picture frames.   
We cut out a bunch of frames in various sizes. Then, we cut some white rectangles to go inside of the frames. We ended up using some white leather scraps, and sharpies. She took the white squares into school and had a few of her friends design the pieces of art. Then we glued the artwork inside the frames. Here is what they looked like laid out on our kitchen floor.

 
And here is what Sam looked like laid out on our kitchen floor. Lol.  We used the same gold leather to cut out letters spelling “art gallery” and we wanted the make sure they were spaced out evenly so we put a dab of hot glue on each letter to hold them in place.

  

We also tacked down all of the artwork with a drop of hot glue. We wanted to make sure they were all appropriately placed, which was why we did it when she was wearing it as opposed to just laying it on the floor.

We did exactly the same thing to the pants.    

Then we decided that the back needed something, so we cut out and added some more letters.
  

She took off the shirt and pants and we glued around each frame and letter.

This is what she looked like on her way out to go trick-or-treating. We added a couple frames on her cheeks with face paint.  

And here is her and Dylan… 
 

I think it turned out well. The hardest part was coming up with the idea! But, she was happy, and that is the most important part. Im upset that I forgot to take a picture of her and her friend together in their costumes! I don’t know if you can tell by the looks on their faces, but they really weren’t that excited about making their friends wait for them to go trick-or-treating until I took a few photos…just wait until I tell them that I want a photo with Santa again this year! 

I know this post is a little late, but better late than never right? I’m just thinking of it as being really early for next year!  It has been a crazy couple of months, and I have lots of posts to catch up on! 

Say Thank You With a Pumpkin!

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Say Thank You With a Pumpkin!

Wow, I can’t believe that it is the middle of October already! Time to post about some fall and Halloween projects!

It has been a crazy September and October with a lot going on, and I just haven’t had time to post lately. This project was a rushed one, and probably not the prettiest thing I have ever made. But we needed a gesture to show the nurses at St. Michaels Hospital that we appreciated their work… 

I stopped by Michaels Craft Store on the way home and picked up a couple fake pumpkins, some plant picks, and a bunch of candy. 

 

Here is a close up of the plant picks… I have never used them before, but they made things a lot easier. They were basically a thick tooth pick with a wire attached.  
  I started by drilling a bunch of holes in the pumpkin  

Then, I started with the bottom holes, and added a couple rows of lollipops.  

Then, I used a piece of tape to attach the plant picks to the Kit Kat bars….  

And continued working my way up the pumpkin…  

Adding Coffee Crisp, Aero, some Rockets, and finally Smarties. I also filled up a few of the bald or empty spots using some black curling ribbon, which you can kind of see in the picture.  

Then I drilled a few more holes on the bottom row and added some decorative leaves…  

Because it was a thank you to the nurses and doctors on the cardiac unit, I used this card as an inspiration and instead of saying “I love you with my whole heart” I wrote “we thank you with all of our hearts”   

Like I said, I wouldn’t say it was my prettiest gift ever, but it was easy enough that I would do again… I might just try to colour coordinate the treats more… Or use fruit, or even all the same toe of candy…

Anyways I better get going… Still haven’t decorated the outside of the house for Halloween yet! 

Wine cork Angels 

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Wine cork Angels 

For some unexplained reason, I have saved the cork from every bottle of wine I have drank for the last couple of years… I’m not gonna tell you how many corks I have accumulated, but let’s just say it’s time to do some crafting! I found a few ideas for cork Christmas trees and wreaths on Pinterest, but I was just looking for something to do while I am sitting on the couch watching tv. So when I came across these cork Angels, I thought they were really cute.  

First step was to get a hole through the cork. I just used a bbq skewer with a pointed end, it poked right through without much difficulty. 

I then threaded a wire through the hole. I decided to use copper wire for this project, but obviously, any wire would work.  
I threaded on the head next. I have no idea where I got these little heads from, but they worked perfectly. If you can’t find any, you could easily draw a face on a plain bead using a sharpie. Before I cut the wire, i looped the top and twisted the end…  

Then, I cut the other end of the wire…  And twisted a few loops to hold it in place.Then, to make the wings, I wrapped the wire around my fingers four times, left a bit extra, and cut it off.  I pinched the wire in the center and used the excess to wrap around the middle.  Then spread out the loops in sort of a fan.  

And I poked the lose ends in the cork. 

That’s it! Very simple and rustic, but pretty cute! I think I might go back with a glue gun and add a little glue to hold the head so it is facing the right direction, and hold the wings in place.  

  So, I made a bunch…. What do you call a group of Angels? A pack? A flock? Anyways, I’m thinking I might add them to a wine bottle for Christmas gifts….

  

Look at these other ideas I found… I better crack open another bottle so I can keep up….

   
    

Medal and ribbon display!

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Medal and ribbon display!

My next project this summer has been my son’s room… He has been asking me do do it all summer, so I finally caved. He wanted a sports theme, and was really interested in picking his own paint colour, so I took him to Home Depot, and check out the paint colour her picked!     

When we first moved into the house, he was about 6, and he decided that he really wanted a Van Gogh mural on his wall…. Ok, fine, I’ll admit it was totally my idea… But he did really like it! Here is what his room looked like before we painted…. (By painting I mean, sanding, priming, sanding again, then painting two more coats of the green! That Starry Night was quite a few layers of thick paint!) 

 I even painted a lot of the swirls with glow in the dark paint, so it looked even cooler with the lights off. I’m going to miss my Van Gogh, but totally understand his wanting to change it :( 

So, his request for a sports room wasn’t really a surprise. He has played on summer and winter soccer teams since he was 4, he has played baseball for the past 4 or 5 years, and he is now playing rep basketball. Put this together with school track and field, school basketball, and other school events, he has accumulated a few trophies, ribbons, and medals over the years. So after painting, we thought we would start with a way to display all of his awards. 

I started by buying a couple cheap curtain rods, and I found these curtain clips (I used the same type of clips for the diningroom curtains). I’ll show you a close up later…   

Here are some of his ribbons….

  

To hang the ribbons, we started by punching a hole in each ribbon. We tried it without the hole, and it worked, but they looked much flatter with the hole.  

Then, to open the clips, we just squeeze them open, and threaded them on the curtain rod.  

I bought enough hoops that we did all of the ribbons he had, plus we even have some left over for future ribbons…  I used the mounting hardware that came with the curtain rods, the hang up the rods….just two screws on each side…  

Then, we hung the rod and straightened out the ribbons.  And we hung a second curtain rod for his medals…    We were really happy with the little display. We put up shelves beside to display his trophies too…

  
The thing I like about this display is that there is room to grow. We can keep adding ribbons, trophies, and medals as the years pass by. 

Now that we have found a great way to display his accomplishments, our next project  is to make some artwork for the walls…we still need to tone down the green a little! 

Btw, I thought I would share this too… Before we painted and moved his furniture, we used this app to see what it would look like. It actually saved us some time and energy because we could move around the furniture and then see what it would look like in the 3D view. The app is called interior design… 

This is the before….

  

And the after…

Wish I could show you the 360 view!  

We adjusted the virtual furniture so it was approximately the same size as his real furniture, and we tried a few different arrangements before we found one we liked. Much easier than moving the real stuff!

Easy Peasy lace curtains

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Easy Peasy lace curtains

As part of my summer diningroom makeover project, I needed some quick and easy curtains to finish it up. Our diningroom had shutters, so the purpose of the curtains was purely decorative. I wanted something antique and delicate looking, so I was excited when I found this lace at Fabricland…

  

I also bought these curtain rods, and clips which were both on sale.   

The rods and rings were just what I wanted, and for the right price, so I bought them, but the problem was that I wanted them to be silver, so I gave them a really quick sand wih some very fine sandpaper, broke out the silver spraypaint, and started spraying. 

To evenly coat the rings with the spray paint, I clipped them onto a roll of newspaper so I could spray one side, then flip them all over at once.  

And I gave the rods a quick coat of silver too.  The rings I bought open when you squeeze them, so I just had to sew a quick seam to turn under the top an bottom of the curtains, then clip them on! (I liked these so much I bought some more for another project… Will keep you posted)   I didn’t even measure, I just folded the fabric a few times and clipped the rings on the folds.   Then, I screwed in the brackets that came with the rods, hung them on, and popped them into place. Easiest curtains I have ever made… And cute too! 

Here they are, done and hung!   
   

As you can see, I tied them back, and my plan is to add a little hook on the wall to hold them back. I’ve added hooks to my list for the next time I am at Home Depot.

The last two little things I need to do to the diningroom is add the curtain hooks, and  I still have to attach the drawer pulls to the buffet…. But the good news is, the chairs are all done!