Friday, February 24, 2012

Hot Glue Friday: St Patty's Day Wreath

TGIF, everyone! The Captain comes home next week so this'll be my last weekend alone with the kids for a while. Hooray!

Just a quick project to share--and it's so idiot-proof you won't even need a tutorial!

Despite not being the least bit Irish, I love a good St Patrick's Day celebration, and I like to start early. So as soon as Valentine's Day was over, I took down my pink wreath and got to work on a green one. Here's what I ended up with:

If you click on this you *should* be able to see a larger view.

This is what I think is known as a rag wreath. It's the kind of wreath we all made in grade school. Bend a wire hanger into a circle and start tying scraps of fabric onto it until you can't see the hanger anymore. I had some beautiful green satin in my stash, so I made strips of that, along with a few lighter green flannel strips for a bit of contrast, and tied knots until I could tie no more. I then crocheted myself a shamrock (cutting one out of felt would be easier and would give exactly the same effect), pinned a brooch I picked up at the thrift store for a buck to the middle of it, and then glued it to a piece of sequin trim I had lying around and attached it to the back of the wreath with hot glue. I finished it off by hot-gluing some chocolate coins I got at the dollar store all around it. Now all I need is some green beer and a t-shirt that says "Kiss Me, I'm Irish!" and I'm ready to party!

My only goal this weekend is to get around and visit all your blogs. Well, that and scoop the cat's litter box. Will I only get one of those jobs done? And if so, who will end up mad at me, you guys, or the cat?

My life is practically a soap opera.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Naked Destruction

I'm so very, very behind here. I had a new craft to share on Friday but life got in the way. Maybe next week. I also have an inbox full of your comments. I'm getting around slowly to visit you all, I promise. Still no tutor here, and I decided last week that it was time to go to Plan B. I enrolled RB in kindergarten for September. Three-quarters of me is thrilled. The rest is terrified.

A quick update:

This is what the thermostat in my bedroom looks like until the Captain can come home and re-attach it properly to the wall. RB is so bored without therapy, he's getting into everything. A couple of weeks back, he managed to not only pull the thermostat off the wall, but he actually disconnected it. We're lucky no one was electrocuted. Other ways he's been keeping himself busy:

  • Peeing in the toilet and then throwing his toys in there to hear the cool splash. 
  • Taking his clothes off and running around naked 40 times a day (very embarrassing when the school bus comes down the driveway and he's waving at it from our huge living room window). 
  • Getting into the kitchen cupboards and finding fun things to sprinkle all over the house. 

On Friday I turned my back for 5 minutes to find RB standing naked in the living room covered in what looked like blood from his chest, dripping all the way down his legs. One heart-attack later I realized he'd gotten into a jar of raspberry jam, which is why despite looking like he was bleeding to death, he also looked incredibly pleased with himself. I'm losing my hair here.

In an attempt to keep from going completely crazy, and since the weather has been so very nice, I've been trying to do outings with my little naked whirlwind. Last week, I took him to Booming Metropolis where we attempted 3 errands: Safeway, Bulk Barn and Dollarama. Safeway was easy due to the carts they have with the little truck on the front. RB loves to drive. No such smooth sailing with the other two. RB is much too big to fit into a regular shopping cart anymore, so we've been practicing walking around our small-town grocery store, which has been going well. I assumed it would be the same at Bulk Barn and the dollar store. Of course it was not.

The Bulk Barn has a million clear bins of snacks and candy. Why on earth would RB not be a little monkey when let loose in a place like that?! I had to hold his hand to keep him from running off while I was trying to scoop tapioca flour and raisins into bags. Needless to say, we left a trail of spills and messes all over the store. Dollarama was no better. RB was already getting tired by this point, and having toys and interesting little bits and pieces all within arms reach did not help matters. Next time, his father is coming with us!

So, I can't decide which is easier. We stay home and he destroys the house. We go out, and the house remains intact but I'm so exhausted by the end of it, I'm seeing double and hearing voices telling me to run for the hills. If we don't get a new tutor, it could go on like this until September!

Gin-and-tonic, anyone?!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Hot Glue Friday: Valentines!

I wanted to tell you guys all about RB's naked day of destruction this week, but as nothing has changed around here (no Captain, no tutor) and it's been a crazy few days, I haven't gotten to it yet. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, I did manage to complete another simple craft which I thought I'd share.

As Firstborn has not yet started complaining about my homemade valentines and asked me to buy him nice, socially acceptable, mass-produced Disney-themed ones from the store, I have continued to make them every year. With his help, of course.

This year, since his classroom teacher is also a music teacher, I went with a theme I thought would be appropriate. And since I've been fighting down the urge to run out and buy more craft supplies, having a mountain of  supplies here already, I looked around the house to see what was available.

For a long while now, my kids have been particularly careless with CD's and DVD's. As a result, we had a pile of scratched-up useless ones that, for one reason or another, didn't end up in the garbage. So I collected up the 19 I needed to be passed around his classroom, painted them with dollar-store black acrylic paint and made up some circular labels in my paint program to go on either side. Firstborn and I affixed the circles with a little glue and a brad in the middle, stuck stickers on one side and a roll of Rockets on the other, and voila!

My apologies for the fuzzy picture. I'm not kidding when I say it's been a bad week!

A music-themed valentine made of some junk I found around the house and a few bits and pieces from my craft pile! This of course leaves us with only one question. Will one third-grader in that class have ever even seen a vinyl record album?

I'm sure the teacher will appreciate it.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Hot Glue Friday!

There is actually no hot glue involved in this post. But I thought I might try occasionally posting a super-easy 5-minute craft every so often. And "Hot Glue Friday" sounded more impressive than "Cut Up An Old T-Shirt Friday".

This craft--for an easy, no-sew infinity scarf--came to my attention courtesy of my youngest sister, who saw someone do it on Rachael Ray. This brings up an important point. I have never in my life completed a craft that I designed from scratch myself. I'm good at figuring out how to do things, but only after someone else has shown me a picture of it. So any craft I share here will come, at least in the idea, from someplace else and I'll try to give credit where it's due. In this case, if you go to the Rachael Ray website and search around, I'm sure you'll find a better set of instructions than you're going to get from me. But here's what I did anyway.

You will need:

An old T-shirt or tank top (the kind with no side seams are best, but use whatever you have on hand)
A pair of sharp scissors

Begin by laying your t-shirt out flat, as I have done here. Prepare yourself mentally to cut into it. Breathe.

Cut straight across the shirt, from armpit to armpit. If your shirt has a logo on the chest, as mine does, make sure to cut below it. Because this is a shirt I got from volunteering, I kept the logo to sew onto a tote bag I have where I stick all my badges and appliques from other volunteer stuff I've done. The rest of the top part of this shirt will be cut up and used to clean the bathroom. Waste not, want not.

Leaving the hemmed edge alone, start cutting both layers of the cut edge to make a fringe. I cut my strips 3" long and 1cm wide. You can cut your fringe all the way across or leave about 4 inches uncut at one end to hang at the back of your neck if you prefer not to have fringe there.

Here is what you will end up with.

And this is what it'll look like when you hang it around your neck.

Not being a huge fan of fringe, I was interested to see if this would work without the step of cutting the strips. All I had to cut up was a smaller tank top:

As you can see, it looks fine without fringe, so feel free to skip that if you're a no-frills type. You may also notice that this scarf is much shorter than the other one. That's because this was a form-fitting tank top. The width of the shirt definitely makes a difference in what kind of scarf you end up with, so that's something to take into consideration. This top also had side seams, so there's a bit of playing around with it to get it to look best once it's on. But no big deal.

And there you have it! No sewing, no skills required, and about 5 minutes of work, if that!

Go forth and be crafty!