Sunday, May 26, 2013

Front Tooth

Well, I didn't complete ANY of the crafts I started this week! Between a few home renovation jobs that needed doing, and the fact that my children now have more active social lives than I do, things were rather busy.

We did have a little excitement when RB's front tooth, which has been poking out something terrible for a good two weeks, finally dropped out on its own. While I'm sad that I'll never see that little baby-toothed grin again, I have to admit, the jack-o-lantern look kind of suits him:


Wishing all my friends south of the border a wonderful LONG weekend. And as for the rest of us, it's back to the grind tomorrow, so enjoy your Sunday!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Crafty Week

This week I got extra crafty and completed two quick and easy projects! Sadly, I was nowhere near as productive in the area of housework...

First up, my little hanging tooth pillow:


RB lost a tooth this week, and the idea of trying to get a toonie* under his pillow was just too exhausting. The Captain is away and my patience is at a premium, so I've decided that from now on the tooth fairy can visit our dining room instead.

I used some leftover felt scraps and a simple technique similar to this one, except I cut my pieces tooth-shaped and added a ribbon on top so it can be hung on a doorknob if necessary. There's a pocket for teeth and money on the back that I naturally forgot to photograph. It was a 15-minute project (tops), and now no one will learn the traumatic truth about the tooth fairy by waking up one night to find me swearing as I dig around under their pillows looking for lost teeth.

My second project was a spur-of-the-moment attempt at using up some fabric I've had lying around for ages. My mom gave me some stretchy white eyelet stuff last year, and I happened to have a smaller piece of solid white jersey leftover from a previous project, so I thought I'd attempt a maxi skirt for summer. I'm never mad for sewing with stretch knits, but for some odd reason, this one came off without a hitch--and in a mere 30 minutes or so start-to finish. My stars were obviously aligned this week! Here's how the skirt turned out:

Sorry for the dreadful photo--the eyelet pattern is hard to see up top. 

There are a million tutorials out there for making stretchy skirts without a pattern, and I used a method much like this one (minus the hem--truly, I am as lazy as they come), made 2 skirts and then attached them together at the top when it was time to put in the elastic. Like every project I complete, this was so easy-peasy, I could've just gotten one of the dogs to do it. As an added bonus, I happened to run across a shorter, but similar, version of it being sold at Old Navy later in the day. So apparently, this frumpy, middle-aged mom is right on-trend!

Happy long weekend, everyone!


*For my non-Canadian friends, a toonie is a $2 coin. Prices have really skyrocketed since I was a kid...

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!


Not sure where this one originated, but it spoke to me! Happy Mother's Day, everyone!

Friday, May 10, 2013

BR-Inspired Budget Necklace


So, after promising you photo tutorials of all my projects, I pulled out my camera and proceeded to take pictures of everything I was doing with fabric, paint, beads, paper, and whatnot. Through this process, I learned something very important about myself:

I AM TERRIBLE AT TUTORIALS!

Luckily for me, there's this great thing called the internet, where everyone-and-his-mother has created a photo or video tutorial of anything you could ever want to try. Looking to connect two soup cans with string so you can stay in touch with your next-door neighbour? There's a tutorial for that! Want to turn your cat's hair into a sweater for your husband? There's a tutorial for that! Need to rebuild your car's engine using only old plumbing supplies and a roll of electrical tape? There's a tutorial for that!

Okay, I have no idea if these specific tutorials exist, but a Google search does tell me there are a LOT of tutorials out there. So I'm going to reword my promise. When I post pictures of my latest craft project, I'm also going to post a link to the best photo or video tutorial I can find of that craft. This way, you can be shown how it's done by someone who knows how to work a video camera, instead of watching an out-of-focus video of me covering something in fabric, swearing when I spill the glue, and walking off to yell at the dog halfway through the project. My life is not exactly tutorial-friendly.

Which brings us to this week's craft project.

For years I have been making my own costume jewellery. People seem to be hugely impressed by this. And when someone raves at the unbelievable news that I made this necklace or that pair of earrings all by myself, I smile modestly and thank them, and I let them think I did something amazing. But the shameful truth is that I did not actually do anything amazing at all. Wire-and-bead jewellery is about the easiest, simplest craft a person can do. Once you get the hang of fiddling with the small parts, you have yourself a skill that provides almost instant gratification. 

I recently came across a Banana Republic ad featuring this necklace:



Online, the materials used for this necklace were described as follows: “Base metal setting, goldtone hardware, acrylic stones.” In short, this is regular old costume jewellery made of base metal findings and plastic beads. The price tag: $55. Too rich for this cheapskate.

So off to my craft room I went and dug out some bits and pieces. This is the necklace I came up with:

Like I said, my photo skills could use a little work...

My necklace is made with base metal findings and glass and shell beads. It's not identical to the original, but I achieved a very similar look with what I had on hand, and the quality is comparable. My cost: $4.88. A savings of over $50, for about 30 minutes' work. If this doesn't convince you that beading is a worthwhile hobby, nothing will!

If you'd like to give jewellery-making a try, have a look at this video tutorial, which will show you everything you need to know to make your own beaded necklace:


Happy beading!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Look What I Did!

After seeing Debra's gorgeous new blog header, I was struck with the extremely rare urge to learn something  tech-related. So after a little googling, I came across this great site where I fiddled around and learned to make my own free blog header. Using this excellent tutorial, it was very easy, and now I feel like a computer pro. Which I am most definitely not.

And this is why no housework has happened at my place this morning.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

This One Never Gets Old...



May the Fourth be with you!

Have a great weekend, and a happy Cinco de Mayo to one and all!