Category Archives: crafty stuff

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. 

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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!
 

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!

 

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!