Category Archives: crafty stuff

Grampy’s clock…

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Grampy’s clock…

So many projects lately, just too tired to write about them! But I’m going to try… now that our renovation is so so close to being done, I will share lots of pics of our transformation! 

I found this clock in one of my upstairs closets that we had to empty for the renovation, and I just couldn’t get rid of it. My grandfather made furniture… lots of furniture over the years. He also loved making clocks. In our house we didn’t say grandfather clock, we said Grampy’s clock. Lol. Anyways, since my grandfather passed away a few years ago, and I am sentimental about things people made, I just couldn’t get rid of it. Anyone that knew him would know that he wouldn’t have been thrilled to see one of his clocks painted… he was more of a natural wood, stain guy… anyways, I know he wouldn’t be cheering that I am painting his clock, but now instead of sitting in a closet, his clock now is hung in my family room. 🙂 

So, this is what Grampy’s clock looked like. After being moved from closet to closet and house to house, it was in a few pieces. 

This is what it is supposed to look like:

I started by taking out the screws that connected the faceplate, to the clock (btw I am totally making up words like faceplate… I have no idea what clock parts are called, so my apologies if there are any clock makers around) 


Then I took off the clock hands carefully. 


And unscrewed another nut that held the faceplate on.

Here’s a tip. Get a Tupperware container for screws and pieces. After renovating we have so many screws left over that I am sure we will never figure out where they go… but as I am working on projects like this, I always toss all of the bits and pieces into a container so I don’t misplace them… it makes putting it back together a whole lot easier. 

Once I took the face of the clock off, there were four more screws to take off. I thought it would be easier to paint if I could access the back and front. 


The clock movements were attached to the back of this board.


Once I had everything apart, it was time to start painting. I painted around the glass, but When I am painting, I never worry about getting paint on the glass. 

Because if you wait until the paint is dry, it will just scrape off with a razor blade. Much easier than taping! 


I wanted to create an antiqued look, so I used some sand paper to roughen up the corners and edges. 


And all that was left to do was put it back together! Here is what the finished clock looks like now.

And here is where it is hanging in my house….
I don’t know if my Grampy would have loved the result as much as I do, but I am very pleased with the result. It looks great hung up now, and makes a whole lot more sense to me than being stuck in a closet somewhere.

I’m looking forward to sharing some of my other summer projects! Just wait until I show you our master bathroom now!!

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Inside campfire!

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Inside campfire!

I made this for the kids at my school the last couple weeks of the year. Many of our students have never been camping, so I thought this would be a fun activity to do in the library. I have seen various campfires on Pinterest, and I have always wanted to make one! So, here goes…

Before I start my step by step instructions, here is a glimpse of the finished project….

I have seen these made out of felt before, but I decided to use polar fleece material because it is brightly coloured, durable, stretchy, and even better, I have a whole pile of it laying around!

I cut out a red flame shape out of the red to start.

Then I cut out slightly smaller flames out of orange and yellow. I sewed around the perimeter of the yellow and orange flames with my sewing machine.

And clipped around my stitching to clean it up.

Then, I cut out an identical plain red flame, using the first one as a template. And I stitched around the edges of the flames, and flipped it right side out. 

Here is what the flame looks like with the edges trimmed down.
The final step to finish the flames was to add stuffing, cut out an oval for the bottom, and stitch the perimeter closed. Oh I almost forgot… repeat everything so far three times. I made the flames three sided. 🙂 

Now for the logs…I forgot to take a pic of sewing the logs, but basically, I just cut out two rectangles and sewed one side together to make tubes.

Then, I cut out two circles out of a beige colour, and used embroidery floss to stitch a wood grain into the ends.


Then I used a blanket stitch to attach the ends to the tube logs I sewed earlier.


After stitching the end on one side of the log, I stuffed the log with stuffing and repeated the process on the other side to stitch the log closed. All together I ended up making four logs. I tried stacking everything, and it just didn’t stack right using three logs.

Then, I pinned everything together. I just put a single stitch to hold the the three flames together, in a triangle shape,  and I pinned the logs to the flames. I stitched them all together by hand. 

It took a little bit of fiddling to get everything to sit right.

Here is a close up of how I used an invisible stitch to put everything together.
It was a great little project that took me a couple weeks, because I just worked on it after the kids went to bed while we were watching tv. 

As for the finished project….The kids really enjoyed it. I set everything up (more pictures below) and the kindergartens were very excited about camping. After playing for a while, we decided we needed to do some cooking, so we got out some tinker toys and made marshmallows to roast.

I also brought in a folding chair, and tent… as you can see, it was a pretty popular activity. 

The tent was a real hit too! 

Here is what my set up looked like before a hundred kindergarten kids got to it! 


Next time, I will bring in a few more chairs, and maybe sew some s’mores too! 

As it is summer holidays, I’m going to do my best to post a few of the projects I have done the last few months. I have a bit of a backlog of projects to share right now 🙂 We are also on our second renovation this year, so I’d love to share some pictures of the finished rooms too! 

Cool new Blog!!

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I wanted to share with you this new blog I just happened to come across..(ok, ok, it’s a blog my 13 year old son has started writing) but he has only written a few posts about things that interest him. But, putting all my proud mom feelings aside, it’s pretty cool. I have already learned a few things! 

garagefactx blog

So please click on the link, read, comment, like, and even follow his blog. (I told him with my celebrity blogger status, I could increase his traffic!! Lol ) He currently has 45 views already and 3 followers. 

Here is what his homepage looks like, he even designed the logo at the top! 

Easy upcycled photo display

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Easy upcycled photo display

When we first moved into our house, Sam was about 3. Her room was painted a light purple, so I stuck up some decals, and bought a new quilt. Quick and easy. Here is a not so great photo.

When we finally got around to redecorating it, she wanted a pink and black cupcake theme. So we painted a wall black, I made her a quilt, and we made all pink and black accessories. Not quite so quick or easy, but I was really happy with the results. 

Now she is in grade 7, we decided it was time for an update, so she picked a new paint colour, and comforter. We have taken a while to get going on the rest, but I thought I would share the project we finished this weekend. 

We started with an old frame. This frame has had many lives! I bought it at a garage sale when John and I first moved in together, then I repainted the canvas. At one point I used the frame on our kitchen wall for calendar ant artwork. Here is what the front looked like..

But, Sam is not into the antiqued look, she liked the rustic look of the back of the frame.


So we bought some fairy lights from Ikea, and some wooden clothes pegs from the dollar store. 

We took apart the clothes pegs, and coloured them red with a Sharpie marker. Note: this was a little messy, so we wore plastic gloves. 

Then I measured across the length of the mirror and added six screws, about eight inches apart. And, as you can sort of see in the photos, I used a silver thread to tie the lights in a loop around the screw before I tightened the screws.


Then, I flipped over the frame and used my handy glue gun to glue down all of the extra cords to the back of the frame. I also glued the battery packs to the side of the frame so the switched can be turned off and on.

I drilled holes in the inner frames and used those holes to screw and anchor them into the wall.

Here is the finished project after we printed out a bunch of photos and attached all of the clothes pegs. 

We were really happy with the finished product. She can change the pictures when she wants too. It didn’t take a lot of time to do, but makes a big difference in the look of her room. 

My You Tube Debut! 

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My You Tube Debut! 

A friend of mine that is in advertising has been telling me that I should be making You Tube videos… (Thanks Mandip!) Blogs are out, and vlogs are in. Apparently kids today don’t want to read anymore, they just want to watch videos…can you imagine??  But, seriously, not surprising. And, I do have to admit that there is something cool about watching a craft project or recipe happen in a minute. 

Anyways, I thought I would give it a shot. So, here is my first attempt at a video… I had Dylan help me with the editing and technology part, and Sam did the voice over.

Here is the link to my Artzcool You Tube channel! 

Sequin Eggs Video

It is a video of one of my Easter craft projects. I have a couple more Easter projects to share… Hopefully I’ll get them posted by the summer. Lol.

These eggs are made the same way I have made Christmas ornaments, using sequins, beads, and straight pins. When I saw the styrofoam eggs in the dollar store, I thought eggs would be just as cute as ornaments. 

Mini sweet stuff

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Mini sweet stuff

Sam had a few kids from her class over this weekend to work on a French presentation. They found all of these ideas, so I can’t take any of the credit…I just supervised (and financed) the process. But, the ideas that they came up with were cool, so I thought I would share 🙂 Also, the fact that they are all in grade 6, and did everything by themselves was pretty cool too!

They made 28 of each treat, enough for everyone in their class. They made hotdogs out of twinkles and granola bars, hamburgers out of vanilla cupcakes and brownies, tacos from icing and vanilla Oreos, and drinks from jello.

 Here is just a sampling of what they made. Thank goodness I had 10 extra sushi trays washed and ready to go! Once again my “hoarding” pays off! (I have to make a point to justify to John why I save random things like every sushi container we use) 

  
  To make the mini tacos, they started with vanilla Oreo cookies. They separated the top and bottom of the Oreos, then used a serrated knife to saw the cookies in halves. They left the icing in, but next time, I think I would remove the icing…I can’t believe I am saying this, but they were a little too sweet. Also, for this case, it was probably better that the icing stayed in the cookies, and was shared with their 28 classmates, rather than being eaten by the four kids in my kitchen if it was removed…

  They folded each half together…
And then the plan was to pipe some chocolate icing into each one like this…

   But my piping bag popped! Oops!

   So we went to plan B, and we used a knife to carefully spread the icing on.
  And then used green candy coated chocolate chips, yellow sprinkles, and red coloured sugar to sprinkle on top…  As you can see, I removed the white icing in the one I was holding in the above picture. They were adorable! What a great idea! I think any wafer or light coloured cookie would work. 
 Next on their list was hot dogs. To make these, you need red icing, twinkles, and a chocolate bar, the kids used chocolate dipped granola bars.

  

 
We cut the twinkles in half, not quite all of the way through. Then they stuffed them with a granola bar…

   
 And added a line of red icing for ketchup… 

  Here are the ones the kids made… 

They also made cupcakes out of  vanilla cupcakes. The cupcakes ended up being a lot title lopsided, so I trimmed them off and we flipped them upside down. They cut two-bite brownies in half for the meat, and added red and green icing for pickles and relish. 

We cut the cupcakes in half, then put the brownie in the middle, and added the red and green icing.

    
   The cupcakes would have probably looked a little more realistic if we were able to use them right side up… But I thanked they turned out well.
They had their presentation today, and Sam seemed to think that it went really well, and the kids in her class loved the snacks (which wasn’t a surprise considering the sugar content!) Lol! I’d give them an A! Great work guys!

Burlap Ruffled Tablecloth 

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Ok, so my apologies for not being very consistent in sharing lately. I have a whole bunch of things to share! I will start with my burlap tablecloth because I was pretty happy with the way it turned out.

When I was doing the craft sale circuit before the holiday, I decided that I needed a nicer covering for the fold out tables that are normally used. So I did a little research, and I love the look of burlap and lace together. So, I bought a plain old roll of burlap from Home Depot for about $10. And I dug out an old queen sized sheet I had saved especially for a project like this! I love it when my hoarding tendencies pay off! 

Anyways, I started by piecing together the sheet so it fit around the table. I decided it was better if it went right to the ground to cover up the mess of boxes I am usually storing underneath. As you can see, I just pieced it together without really worrying what it was going to look like because it isn’t actually going to show.   

Then I cut a piece of burlap to fit the top, with about 3 inches extra on each side.

I also cut the remainder of the burlap into strips about 8 inches wide.
  

I don’t normally pin before I sew, but when I am working on a large scale and sewing a 6 foot seam, it makes a lot more sense to pin. So I stated at the top, and basically pinched and pined a little gather every six inches or so to make the Ruffles.   

I roughly measured at this point to see that I had enough burlap to make three layers of Ruffles to reach the ground. Then I sewed right on top all the way around. With a material like burlap, I figured there was no need to hide the seams. The stitch lines are barely visible on the burlap.
  

I was going to leave the edges raw, but I ended up turning them up, and adding a little ruffled lace around each edge. The photo below show me adding the lace without turning the burlap edge up, but I ended up deciding that it would be a lot more durable, and wouldn’t fray as much if I turned it under.
The table ended up taking three rows of ruffles. Things I would do differently… I would sew the Ruffles from the bottom to the top, that way I could space them out better. I would also add the lace trim before attaching it to the table cloth, this  would have been much easier to work with.

Here is the finished product!  I might have to sew in a little weight at the front to stop it from slipping. Because I only added the Ruffles to three sides, it is a little front heavy. Not a big deal when my stuff is on the table, but slips a little when the table is empty.  

One of the cool things about being a little crafty is that my friends are always sending me ideas! The day I was sewing this, my friend Marlee sent me this link for a burlap tree skirt. I think I might just have to make one before next Christmas.. Too bad I used all of the burlap! 

  

Here is not such a great photo of the table cloth in action at my last craft sale. Thanks again for helping Sam!  

Maybe by Easter I will get around to posting a couple of my Valentine’s Day projects! 

Have a great Sunday night.

My dream bed… Finally

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My dream bed… Finally

Ok, I know I haven’t posted in a while. I have a whole line up of projects to share! I am really happy with the way my bed turned out, so I decided to start by sharing how I finished my new bed. There are lots of steps, so I tried to keep the words short and share lots more pictures. 

Since we moved into our house five years ago, the bed in our spare room has been on the floor with a headboard propped up behind it… I know, what have I been doing with all of my time, right? It is one of the last rooms in the house we haven’t touched. Anyways, I have been looking for a bed with storage for years, and here is the one I settled on..

 

Unfortunately, the $3000 price didn’t work for me. But, I wanted a bed with storage, AND a tufted headboard, which instantly made it a really difficult and expensive item to find. So instead I bought this cheap laminate bed for $250.

  

What I liked about the cheap bed was all of the storage. Here is what it looks like after I put it together. It fits all of my summer clothes! But… Still not quite like the one I wanted. 
   

The first step in the transformation was to actually add a headboard and footboard. I measured the width of the bed, and went off to Home Depot. I wanted the head board to be 60″ high, but I ended up settling on 48″ because that was the width the 3/4″ particle board sheets are sold in, and plus I figured out that a 60″ sheet wouldn’t fit in my car. So I had the wood cut at the store. The piece for the headboard was 62″ x 48″, and  the footboard was 62″ x 35″. 

   

I pre drilled the holes then used 1 1/4″ screws to attach the headboard and footboard to the frame.

  

I added a few screws from each side.  

So far so good. But then there was the issue of the joint showing, as you can see below.  Also, the headboards I was looking at were a lot thicker. 
  

So for the footboard, I found some scraps of trim to use to frame around the edges and make them thicker. The great part is that the corners and joins didn’t have to line up perfectly because it is going to be covered anyways.  

I used my nail gun to attach the trim to the front and back of the footboard.

And, I used scraps of particle board for the front of the headboard. I figure I wanted the padding to be a little more on the headboard.    
 

Now for the fun part! The upholstering! Btw, I am well aware that sometimes my definition of fun does not match everyone else’s! 

Here is the close up of the fabric I picked. I bought 8 meters at $8.00 per meter at Fabricland. 

I started by ripping apart a few old pillows I had laying around. The cost of cotton batting is pretty expensive, so once again, my inability to throw old things out paid off! I’m not quite sure why I wasn’t able to throw out our old, flat pillows when we buy new ones, but every time I use something I have saved, it just reinforces my hoarding habits. It saved money, plus is much more environmentally friendly. 
  

I used my staple gun to hold everything in place, and added a layer of cotton batting on the top to smooth everything out.  

I stapled the fabric on the back of the headboard, and stretched it not too tight because I knew I was going to need a little extra room for the tufting. I finished the corners by tucking the extra fabric under.
  

And, stapled all the way around to hold everything down.  
  

This is what it looked like ….
  Here is the most amazing idea… I looked at the cost of covered buttons, and they are close to $1.00 each, plus you have to cover them! So that option was out. Buying silver buttons was another option, but it meant that I would have to pre drill holes in the particle board and use a big upholstery needle the thread each one through, after I had added the padding and fabric. That didn’t sound like fun. So I went to Home Depot (yes again) and bought a pack of 100 washers, and 100 3/4″ screws for about $3 per pack.  

This is one of those rare times that I do measure. Every 6 inches I measured, and drew a dot with a pencil. Once I had measured everything, I used my drill to screw in all of the screws and washers.
    
       I started to work from one end, but then thought it might be better if I evenly stretched the fabric, so I started randomly adding the screws.

  

Tada! The whole headboard tufted in not too long, for only $6! Then, to add a little bling, and cover up the screw heads, using my glue gun, I added a little stick on gem from the dollar store. I am so happy with the way the tufting turned out!  
  

Next step was to add the nail heads. They are the one thing I splurged on. A pack of 25 costs $3.50 at Fabricland. I figure I need a few hundred. I added a twill tape to cover up the seams, and added a nail head every inch and a half. I actually measured this too, if the nails aren’t even, it would show.  
    
  

I will just gloss over the next few steps, but if you want details or pics, please email me, I am happy to share! I covered the rest of the frame of the bed, the footboard, and upholstered each of the drawers, with a little but of padding and tufting.  

  

Here is a finished drawer.  

And… Here is the finished bed!! Well, it’s almost finished… I haven’t finished the drawers on the other side, and I need to add a lot more nail heads, but here is the almost finished bed!!  
    
 

The total cost of everything, including the bed frame, fabric, other materials, and the nail heads I haven’t bought yet, was about $600. Much better than $3000!

The problem with making one thing nice is that you realize what else needs to be done… Now I have to finish the quilt I started in the summer, and the room needs painting! Another day… 

Have a great family day long weekend, and happy Valentine’s Day! 

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!