Monthly Archives: September 2013

Festive Santa bag


Not that you could tell from reading my blog lately, but I have actually been busy crafting the past few days. I have to be honest, I have been in a bit of a rut, starting school this month. I’ve been a little down, and haven’t felt too motivated to do anything by the time I get home. Working every day is hard! Also, I think I am mourning the end of summer…so I signed the kids and I up for about a dozen different categories at the Markham Fair. It has given me a list of fun ideas to try, with a deadline, so we have had fun making stuff. I just haven’t had time to write about them.
So, here goes…
One of the categories in the fair was to make a festive bag. So, why not get an early start on someone’s Christmas present, and make their festive santa gift bag early?
I started by cutting a bunch of strips of fabric. I cut a thick strip, about 10 inches wide of red fabric, and two more 2 inch strips of red fabric. Then I cut a strip of white fur, about 4 inches wide. I also found a scrap of leather for the belt.

I cut another thin strip of the red fabric to make the belt loops. I turned in the raw edges, sewed them down the middle and cut the strip into five shorter pieces, one for each belt loop.

Then I sewed the five belt loops facing down so that I could just turn them up to create the loop. Sorry, it’s hard to explain…I hope the picture helps.

Then I turned the belt loops up and pinned it to the strip of white fur.

And I sewed the seam, then sewed the next red strip onto the top of the fur. Then I flipped it inside out and sewed down the side seam..

So, when it is turned right side out, this is what it looked like…

Now for the drawstring… I am a lazy sewer, so I am always looking for short cuts, and this way is much easier than having to actually thread the drawstring. Fold a strip of fabric in half with the drawstring in, and sew the drawstring in as you go. Note, before I started sewing, I did turn under the two ends of the red “carrier” strip. I hope these pictures help…



I stitched it in….

Now for the bottom of the bag. I stitched right across the bottom.

Here is my other tip for the day; to make the bag have a little dimension at the bottom, fold over the corners, and sew a seam like this…

This is what it looks like on the outside…

Look at how cute it is with the belt!

I stuffed it with some paper, and it’s good to go! I would take a photo of it under the tree, but considering it’s not even October yet, the photo shoot might have to wait a couple months.

I might add a cute little gift tag to it before the fair..

Fake Cupcakes….reposted!


Since this is one of my most popular posts…and I haven’t been writing a whole lot lately, I thought I would repost this…enjoy!
(This was my third or fourth post ever…)

Whew, Christmas and boxing day are all done, so now I have time for my next big project!
I am starting with my daughters room. She is seven years old, and has decided that she would like a cupcake room, so I have been searching the Internet for the last two weeks looking for everything I can make that is cupcakes. I found quite a few places that were selling fake cupcakes, but it took me some time to figure out how to actually make them! Here is how my daughter and I made these delicious looking cupcakes….

The first step is to make the actual cake part, or base, which is made out of plaster of paris. We started by finding a cute paper muffin cup which matched our decor…black and pink! I used an old muffin pan, and some plastic cups to mix the plaster. We mixed about a cup of plaster at a time, in several batches. I figured this would probably take more time, but be less messy (this considering the “help” I had from my daughter!) The instructions I found said to use two parts of plaster with one part of water, but I ended up using a little more water.


At this point, I started to think that I didn’t want the plaster showing after I iced the cupcakes, so I let the plaster set for about an hour, then mixed up another batch of plaster and mixed it with some brown water based paint. I poured the brown plaster into a baggie, clipped off the corner, ad squeezed out a thin layer of the brown plaster on top of the white, but it turns out that the plaster underneath it didn’t really show anyways, so if I were to do this again, I probably wouldn’t bother with this step…

We then let them dry for two an a half days. If you feel the plaster and it is cold, it is still curing. It is best not to rush it at this stage. Be patient. We put them on top of a vent to dry.
After a couple of days, we were ready to ice! I used an old bowl, a paint stir stick, some tempera or acrylic paint, and an old piping bag and tip, and some drywall patching compound I had left over from the basement.
We mixed the drywall compound or spackle together in a bowl, tried putting it in the piping bag, but it was way too thick. I made a huge mess and had to empty the bag, wash it and remix. I had to add quite of bit of water to make it thin enough to be piped.

I found out the more “icing” you put on, the better the cupcake looks. I tried experimenting with different patterns, but I ended up icing them all in a simple swirl pattern. By the time I finished the twelfth one, I had the hang of it!


Decorating the cupcakes was the most fun step for my daughter. We used small christmas ornaments for the cherries on top and various beads for the sprinkles. I lightly tapped the beads in to make sure they will not fall off. I think they turned out great!



At this point, you could add a loop of wire if you wanted to use them as picture, or place card holders…I think they would be too heavy to hang. Also, after they dry, I am going to spray them with a quick coat of varnish to seal them.
Let me know if you try this idea, I would love to hear your feedback!

Braided Key Necklace


I know I have been lazy about writing lately…and haven’t been posting as often. And I really don’t have a great excuse, other than it’s the first week of school and I have been preoccupied…And, most of my extra time has been spent on boring stuff like sorting library cards and making book bags for the primary kids. Nothing I thought was worthy of blogging. But, I did have to make a new key chain to hold my work and car keys. Anyone who knows me probably know that I am pretty irresponsible with my keys…I loose them all of the time! So wearing my keys around my neck is a solution that works for me!
I started with a bunch of different seed beads I had laying around. Most of them were silver or clear…

I found a few larger clear beads and threaded the beading wire through the beads, around the key chain, then back through the beads again. I used 5 strands.

Then I threaded all of the wires with the beads I had. I used a few extra key rings I had to secure the ends temporarily. I used a crimp, which is a bead you squeeze shut with a pair of pliers, to attach each strand to the key rings. I will just slide the loops off the key rings when I am ready to attach the clasp.

Then take the outside strand on the right hand side and bring it across to the center…

Then, after all of the strands were threaded, and the ends were secured with crimps, I braided each side. To braid five strands, or any other number of strands, you spread out all of your strands…

Then divide them in half…(or in this case 2 on one side and three on another)


Then, take the outside strand on the left side and bring it to the middle…

Keep repeating taking a strand from the outside and bringing it into the middle….

Until all of the strands have been braided. Then I found an old clasp and removed the key rings, and attached the strands to the clasp.

I love it! I hope will make it through the year! I also added my name in letter beads. I am proud to say that I have already lost it once and it was returned to me the next period! OK, maybe I’m not proud I lost it…lol