Finding and creating adventures in everyday life.

1 Comment

Make It Monday – Wire Wrapped Bead Necklace

You know when you are expecting something in the post and that just seems to make it take forever? So much anticipation!

As a Christmas present for myself and my sister, I signed up for Whimseybox. Whimseybox is a monthly subscription box that comes with everything you need to complete a craft project. And they’re cool craft projects – modern and hip. We both got a year-long subscription and our first box arrived at the end of January. You have no idea what’s coming so there’s a lot of excitement when your box arrives and you open it and see what’s inside. My sister and I actually opened ours together over the phone. January 2014 171

The January Whimseybox was a wire wrapped bead necklace. The packaging was lovely and it was fun to open. January 2014 172 January 2014 174

They truly include everything you need to complete the project. Beads, two pairs of pliers, head pins, fasteners and the necklace. January 2014 175

The printed instructions were excellent. They actually have video instructions as well, but the printed instructions were so clear that I didn’t need to access the videos. January 2014 173

It took me a few tries, but I got the hang of the wire wrapping and it was fun. I liked that I could customize how I put the beads on the chain – the pattern. January 2014 208 January 2014 210

The whole project took me about an hour and half. I love that the box is complete with everything you need to be crafty. No excuses!January 2014 218 January 2014 216

The completed necklace is pretty and I really like it. I’m also pleased that I have a new skill – wire wrapped beads!January 2014 177 February 2014 087 February 2014 085

Now I can’t wait to see what’s in the February box.

Leave a comment

Make it Monday – Photo to Canvas Transfer

My friend A’Leah over at A Chic Twist, recently hosted a Pinterest Party. It was so fun. She offered two crafts and provided all the supplies and instruction, attendees just paid for however many of each craft they wanted to make. The two options were a mason jar pump dispenser and a photo to canvas transfer. I opted to do two of the photo to canvas transfers.January 2014 144 January 2014 143

Our fearless leader, A'Leah, guiding us through the process and being silly so that I could take a photo.

Our fearless leader, A’Leah, guiding us through the process and being silly so that I could take a photo.

Before the party I copied two photos onto paper using my ink jet printer. The canvases were 8×10. The first step was to trim the photos down to the appropriate size – I did a rough tear because I didn’t want to have a smooth edge.January 2014 155

The next step was to put a generous coat of gel medium onto the canvas as evenly as possible and then lay the photo face-side down onto the gel medium. Then you start from the middle and, with your fingers, smooth outward, pressing the photo into the canvas to ensure that there are no bubbles. January 2014 154

January 2014 157 January 2014 159After that it was a matter of waiting for the gel medium to dry which of course meant lovely drinks and treats and chatting. It still took a bit longer than we wanted for it to dry so we used a blow dryer to speed up the process. Once the gel medium is completely dry, you take a paint brush dipped in water and brush it over the paper – you can either do a small bit at a time or coat the whole canvas. I chose to do a small section at a time. Then you start rubbing gently at the paper with your fingers. It was like magic! So much fun as the top layer of the paper started to come away and reveal the brighter colors of the lower layer.January 2014 160 January 2014 162 January 2014 164 January 2014 163 January 2014 166

After you have taken away all the paper that you want to and the canvas has dried once again, you can add another layer of gel medium to seal the deal.

I was so pleased with the results. I chose to do one photo with lots of color and one photo that was mostly black and white. You get a lovely rustic, aged feel to the canvas and photo.

Additional points:
If you choose to do text, make sure that you print a mirror image as the photo will transfer as a mirror image onto the canvas.
Different types of paper and different types of ink will give you different results. It’s fun to experiment.
It’s good to share crafting time with friends. Lots of time to talk and catch up while feeling super productive and creative at the same time. Thanks A’Leah!


Make It Monday – Post-Christmas Wrap Up

I wanted to share a few things that I’ve made over the last couple of months – mostly things that were made  in preparation for Christmas.

I didn’t do as many handmade gifts for Christmas this year as I usually like to, but I enjoyed making the few things that I did. As always, I hope to be more prepared this coming year and start making things sooner. We shall see.

Anytime I get craft supplies out, my boys want to join in and start creating. In November I did a big craft clear out and got rid of heaps of stuff that wasn’t being used and organized the rest. All of my crafting supplies are stored in the garage since I don’t have a craft room. While I was organizing, the boys saw my jewelry making supplies and were asking repeatedly to make jewelry with me. So one evening while Colin was out, we set to it. It is so fun creating with my boys – I love to see what they come up with.

IMG_20131107_201535 IMG_20131107_200734

I also made a new crop of my repurposed vintage earring rings. My church has an annual Christmas Tea and Boutique and I make rings to sell at the boutique. I love making these rings. The designs are so beautiful and interesting.

IMG_20131125_195316 IMG_20131125_195254 IMG_20131125_195200

For Jude’s first grade teacher, I had Jude making a drawing with a note and then I traced it on to fabric and then embroidered it for her. I think it’s a fun, simple and meaningful gift.


For my sons and my nephew, I created silhouettes along with the meanings of their names and then printed onto book pages. I framed them and I love how they turned out.

December 2013 047 December 2013 045 December 2013 044

I did another printing on book pages project for some friends. They are fox fans so I printed a simple fox onto a book page and then hand painted it with watercolors. Then I wrote their name in calligraphy.

December 2013 043

That’s my post-Christmas creation round-up. Here’s to a creative and more handmade 2014!

Leave a comment

Make it Monday – Grown Up Correspondence Kit

I said I would post some pictures of my own correspondence kit when I got it put together. I had so much fun gathering cards, paper, fancy pens, stamps and other supplies. This was all stuff I had at home, I didn’t go out and buy anything, but I wasn’t utilizing it because it was all scattered in different places around the house. Now it’s all easy to hand and I can write as inspiration strikes.

May 2013 273 May 2013 274 May 2013 275 May 2013 276 May 2013 277 May 2013 278 May 2013 280 (3)

Looking forward to getting some snail mail into the post!

Leave a comment

Make it Monday – Tooth Box

Jude is so excited. He finally has a loose tooth. It’s not very loose, but it’s not in there so solid anymore either.

I’ve been thinking for a while about what we would use for him to put his teeth in when he lost them and wanted to exchange them for cash. I definitely wanted a container or a pillow so that the teeth wouldn’t get lost under the pillow. I remember my own tooth pillow clearly. It was a small, circular pillow – pink gingham on one side and green gingham on the other. It had eyelet lace around the edge and a little pocket for the tooth. I’m pretty sure my Mom or a relative made it for me – I’ll have to check with her. I always got a silver dollar in exchange for my teeth – I actually still have most of those silver dollars. We haven’t decided what the tooth exchange rate will be yet for our kids.

So I had this idea for a little box. I basically knew what I wanted, but wasn’t sure it would work until I just started into it.

I began with a metal mint box, spray painted it red – Jude’s favorite color.

May 2013 280May 2013 283

I found a fabric remnant that I had lying around and set out to make a little cushion. I traced the shape of the box onto the back of the fabric and cut it out.

As I was making it, I had the bright idea to add a pocket for the tooth to go in so it won’t rattle around. This will be helpful in the middle of the night I am sure. I simply made one side longer than the other and made a fold in the fabric. I pinned it together with the right side of the fabric facing inward.

May 2013 287May 2013 288

I also cut out some batting to make it cushiony.

May 2013 290May 2013 291

I stitched around the edges leaving one side unstitched, turned it right side out and stuffed it with the batting. I did a stitch along the open side. I thought about hand stitching this edge and making it super neat, but I wasn’t patient enough and just did a machine stitch.

May 2013 292

I wanted a way to keep track of when Jude lost his teeth as well so I made up a sheet that has his name on it and a tooth chart with places to fill in the dates that he loses his teeth. My first thought was to glue the cushion to the bottom of the box, but as I was going along, I liked the idea of the cushion being removable and being able to store the chart underneath.

May 2013 296May 2013 299May 2013 300

May 2013 304May 2013 307

To personalize it, I used a stencil and put a big “J” on the lid. I just used a Sharpie pen to color it in, but you could use paint, add stickers or embellishments.

May 2013 301

I am super excited about this project. I am so happy it came out how I envisioned it.  Jude loves his box and is excited to use it for the first time. I’ll definitely be making one for Zane too, but I thought we’d try Jude’s out for a while first and see if I need to make any changes to the design.

1 Comment

Make It Monday – Correspondence Kits

I love the idea of my boys being letter and card writers. It’s not easy in these instant, electronic days. I love giving and receiving snail mail, but I sure don’t make the time for it like I’d like to. I want to help to instill gratitude in the boys as well and not only gratitude, but expressing gratitude. So we work at writing thank you cards for things the boys receive – it takes us a while sometimes, but we get there eventually. I also like them to send things to their relatives overseas and in other cities.

Like I said, it’s not always easy to make the time, but I figure let’s make it as easy as possible when inspiration strikes and when it’s time for a thank you. So I came up with the idea of a Correspondence Kit for each boy.   I purchased a small plastic container with a handle for each of them. I printed out their initials on label paper and added it to the outside.

May 2013 273

To stock the kits, I’ve kept a look out for monogram stationery that suited them, along with monogram stamps. I included writing paper, envelopes, blank notecards and, of course, plenty of thank you cards. I added a pen and some stickers. We have lots of art and craft supplies available to add to the mix as the boys get inspired.

May 2013 274May 2013 276May 2013 277May 2013 275

I had a lot of fun with this super simple project and I’m inspired to make one for myself. I have heaps of notecards and writing supplies, but I want to get them all together in one simple kit so that I, too, can correspond at the drop of a hat! I’ll be sure to post photos when I get my kit together!

Leave a comment

Make It Monday – Colored Pasta

This is a super fun, super easy DIY. My kids love it. (So do I!)

We keep jars of colored pasta on hand at home for when crafty inspiration strikes. The boys use it to make necklaces and pictures.

The process is so easy.

What you need:

  • Dry pasta – any shape or size. Tubes are good for making jewelry.
  • Rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer.
  • Food coloring.
  • Paper towels
  • Cookie sheets.
  • Ziplock bags.

All you need to do is add some dry pasta to a ziplock bag along with a few squirts or splashes of either rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer and several drops of food coloring. Seal the bag and agitate enough to get color on all the pasta. You can blend colors, add more or less for deeper or lighter color.

March 2013 033March 2013 035

Next, tip the pasta out on cookie sheets covered in paper towels and allow to dry.

March 2013 038

That’s it, you’re done. Ready for crafting fun.

This process also works great for dry, white rice. I did a bunch of colors in rice and kept it in a sealed tub when my boys were younger, it was great for sensory play (for kids and adults, alike!)

Leave a comment

Make It Monday – Embroidery On the Go

I like to keep my hands busy if I’m watching tv or just hanging out with the boys, but if it’s not easy and to hand at the moment, it’s hard to get motivated.

What I’ve been doing lately is to prep several embroidery designs so that they are ready to go when the mood strikes.

February 2013 336

I keep an eye out for free embroidery patterns online – there are heaps! Lots of great vintage designs. I have them organised on my computer by subject. I also design my own patterns on the computer or hand draw them. For phrases, I just find fonts that I like and use them in the phrase or quote.

I mostly use vintage sheets as my fabric, but I also use white flour sack towels, felt and regular fabric.

February 2013 334

I decide what size hoop I am going to use, size the design correctly on the computer, print it and then use carbon paper to copy the design onto fabric.

Then I put the fabric into a hoop, grab some thread and a needle and I’m ready to go.

February 2013 337

I keep a few supplies in a bag – scissors, thread, needle. I have a hoop with me in my (gigantic) bag with me most of the time so I’ll be ready when I have a few minutes of down time. It’s surprising how many stitches you can get done in five minutes.

Here are a few of my recently completed projects.

February 2013 333

Here are those same projects, and Chess.

February 2013 331

I have three ambitious projects that I will be embarking on soon. Maps of the United States, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Phew! Lots of little details!

February 2013 335


Make It Monday – Embroidery Hoops & Vintage Sheets

I have been having a jolly little time experimenting with sewing on vintage sheets. I love the patterns of vintage sheets & they are so soft. I’ve been scouring local thrift stores for vintage sheets for a while now, using them to make fort kits mostly, but I also knew that I would use the fabric for future projects. With the price of new fabric these days, vintage sheets are an inexpensive way to get great patterns and cloth for craft projects.

I’ve also been doing some metal stamping, which is great fun & I’m looking for more projects to use it in.

Here’s some of my latest…

I love that these are things that I can take along with me and sew when I am out and about. I can also use other crafty bits and pieces in these creations and every hoop I create will be unique. I play with the pattern of the sheets sometimes and other times I kind of ignore it and just use it as background.

I am also so excited that my four-year old son has taken to embroidery as well. He calls it “threading” and he’s very freestyle, though sometimes he sets out to make a “real” thing.

I haven’t finished the backs of his creations yet, but I wanted to share some of his work.

I have been thinking for a long time now of opening up my own little online shop for vintage & crafting. I will also sell local without a shop. I have so many wonderful vintage things that need to find a good home and I’m keen to sell some of my crafty things as well. Still working on logistics and creating stock, but it is fun to dream and plan. I’ll keep you apprised of developments.

1 Comment

Make It Monday – Christmas Confidential

Prepare yourself for lots of images! I made heaps of presents for Christmas this year. I got loads of ideas off of Pinterest & tried to add my own twist where possible. I really enjoyed making more things this year. Our whole family actually made gifts – it was so fun to see the effort, time & thought that went into the homemade gifts.

I have been making fort kits for a while and giving them as gifts to the boy’s friends. I hadn’t made a kit for my boys yet though, so they got one for Christmas. I also made one for my nephew Jesse. The wonderful thing is that my sister made a kit for my boys & her son as well, so we now have a double kit! It’s been super handy as well, because my boys like to cover the entire living room with sheets. We’ve had so much fun with this gift – forts & a stage are regular additions to playtime. I am really pleased with the grommets that I added at six points around the sheets – they are great for tying up to whatever might be around. I used thrifted sheets & supplies from the dollar store which makes it a super affordable gift with heaps of creative possibilities.

I made some rings using ring blanks & vintage clip on earrings. I love the idea of repurposing vintage clip on earrings – they don’t get much use as earrings, but they are so beautiful. I have heaps of ideas for other uses for these earrings & quite a collection of them from my thrifting adventures. I plan on making things for my shop that I am planning on starting this year.

Anytime Art Jar – super easy to put together & heaps of fun for the kids.

I made a key-inspired wind chime for my Dad. I also made a crate of fire starters for his outdoor fire pit. There are several different scents: pine cone, cinnamon, sage, and rosemary. I used pinecones with dried herbs wrapped in newspaper.

I made homemade reed diffusers for some of my family.

I made a couple of picture/plaques for my Mom & Dad. I tried my hand at wood burning – harder than I thought it would be, but super fun & I’m inspired to try some new things.

I made a vintage brooch bouquet for my Mom. I thought it turned out so pretty.

I also found a lot of tiny, vintage charms on eBay for a steal & made a charm bracelet for my Mom – she loves blue, windmills & flowers so I thought it was appropriate. My sister & I also found a matching windmill ring in a local thrift store – love those special finds!

This last one is a gift that my sister made for my youngest son that I thought was so cool. It’s a bunch of roads made out of old jeans. She put it all in a handmade bag & added some cars. He loves it!

I’d love to hear about your homemade gifts! I’m excited for another year of creative inspiration & making gifts.