Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Rainbow cupcakes

Well, baseball is off and running! Quite literally really. We are a little village, and so our village and 2 others combine to form one baseball league. So we play and practice in all different villages. Each week is in a different village. So it's quite a run to most games.

Today is my day to bring our little sluggers some baseball snacks for after the game.

Initially I wanted something healthy and wonderful for their depleted bodies after a hard game, but my son out voted me. (Did I mention he's 7?) He wanted cupcakes and gatorade. Well, he won. So here is what I made for the cupcakes.

Here's the inside.

I omitted the yellow, and sort of regret it. But they're still cute. They also sort of match my son's personality. Oh, did I forget to show you his latest look?

Yes, that's a red mohawk! It's his annual haircut, but we upped it with a bit of red this year.

Also, I forgot to post my returned tea towel. I think it still needs something up in the left corner. So I'll have to think about that a bit.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Older Kids Craft Projects?

Here is a pot my Liam made for our gerbil Yar to play in. I need to get the glaze specs from the teacher first, but he's super excited. You can't see it, but there is a little hole for the gerbil to run in and out of.

I have never really had a hard time coming up with crafts for my kids to do. Lately they are getting older (ok, not lately, they've always been getting older, however, I'm just starting to come to terms with it.)
Now, though, they are wanting to do more crafts that involve older stuff and more independence. Crocheting is something that they enjoy, but when they haven't picked it up in awhile I have to be right there talking them through it.
They love to embroider, but 2 of the 3 need me to re thread their needles every few minutes (I am going to get some of those self threading needles if I could just remember next time I go to the store.)
They use the sewing machine, but again, I still pretty much need to be right there. My oldest is the biggest lead foot when it comes to sewing (I really hope that isn't a premonition of the future car driving......)
They want something where mom doesn't have to be there. And honestly I do too. So often they pick during supper making time to want to craft. They have lots of free time then... I do not.
I absolutely love BellaDia's website The Crafty Crow and we have made some of the things on there, and have a few plans for others. But those are mainly for younger kids. As are most websites like that, that I find.
Does anyone know of one for older kids?
Right now the boys are hard at work on Tim's Father's day present. If it works out, it's going to be awesome! They just need to get done writing a bit faster I'm afraid. Otherwise the book won't be published on time. (Yes, I know that's a tease, but I can't give more away, my husband does sometimes read this.)
But summer is coming soon, and I don't want to run out of totally fun stuff for them to do. I also don't think I can handle more origami! Some of the things we already have planned for this summer are;

  • tie dying (it's tradition)
  • the boys are making a quilt for one of the grandmas

  • freezer paper stenciling

  • painting rocks (we're in the process of a little rock area in the front, so they want to paint rocks to put in it.)

  • Making stepping stones

  • Friendship bracelets

  • Perler beads

  • ??

Just to remind you (if you don't normally read this especially, my boys are 7, 9, and 11)

Any suggestions on crafts or sites to visit would be greatly appreciated!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Another Square finished

I have another quilt square finished.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Quilt Square Swap

I am participating in a quilt square swap on craftster. The details of this swap are we send our fabrics out to 12 different people. They do the same. Every person makes one square for each participant out of their own fabrics, so we'll have a cohesive quilt when it's finished. I sent some blues, whites, and reds, and a little mixed color fabrics. I am hoping to make a picnic blanket with mine. Here are some of the squares I have finished already.

mimw- this is for a man

critterpants- I really like the simplicity of this square.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


They are so wonderful, and so under appreciated. With DI ending, I received some lovely cards and even a very unexpected gift. They just lifted my heart, and made all of the times, I was exhausted and came home grumbling go away, and I'm now excited about next year again.
This in turn got me realizing that school's end is coming upon us at an alarming rate. Every year we always get/make something for the boys' teachers and include a note/card stating our appreciation. Usually the boys come up with the idea, well this year they haven't had any wonderful brain storms yet, but I thought I would compile a list of things we've done in the past for teachers, teacher aids, Sunday school teachers, coaches, etc... I thought maybe it would help some of you that may be in a similar situation.
As always the more you know about the teacher the more personal you can make these gifts. Also, if it's supplies you want to purchase, ask the teacher, she/he may have a wishlist.

  • Gift Certificates- The old tried and true. You can get anything from a nice dinner out to school supplies, I know many people do Starbucks (we may be one of the few places on Earth without a Starbucks near us.) One of my favorites is a Gift Certificate for Haagen Dazs Ice Cream. They are $4 plus shipping and they can go get a container of yummy ice cream.
  • Personalized Pen/Pencil/Post-Its/Stamp- These are really wonderful for the teachers and they can always use more of them. For pencils I usually go through oriental trading company. They also make nice gifts for kids. Teacher's love them because if a child borrows a pencil, they know who to return it to. Post-Its I get through here because I don't have to order in a huge bulk. They also have rubber stamps.
  • Sharpies- In my house Sharpies make the world go round. I have never spoken to a teacher who couldn't use more sharpies!
  • Plant/Flowers- If someone gardens or loves plants, a nice potted plant is wonderful. If they don't garden, I think even some men enjoy getting a bouquet of flowers on occasion! Your child could paint/decorate the vase/pot to make it more personalized.
  • Donate a book/CD/Game to the class- Usually we do this around Christmas, so that our children can also enjoy them and see them being used, but at the end of the year would also be a nice addition.
  • Scrapbook/project book- If you are great with scrap booking or you took lots of pictures while helping out in class make a nice little scrapbook (at home or online published) for the teacher with captions as to what everything is. Also, one particular teacher in my sons' school always writes a book to be submitted into a contest every year. We have gotten runner up both years that my 2 oldest were in her class. I took the story and got it published into 2 real hard cover books. One for her to keep at home, and one for her classroom. She loved it so much!
  • Notebook holder- I made these for Christmas this year. I have also seen patterns for them. I winged mine, but this is a lovely looking pattern by Pink Chalk Studios. Your child can pick out the fabric that their teacher will like.
  • Ice Cream Ball- My sons would never forgive me if I didn't mention this one. My sons had teachers who loved to go camping with their families. And this is one of our favorite things, so they thought their teachers would love them too. We got notes during the summer from BOTH of them saying how much fun they had making icecream. They knew that those were definitely winner gifts!
  • Throw Pillow- We made these last year by embroidering a picture the child had drawn of them with their teacher. They picked out fabric and helped sew the whole thing together. These were a huge hit.
  • Baked Treats- Who doesn't love something homemade and sweet!?! Cake in a jar is what my boys are making grandmas for mother's day, but these would be great for teacher gifts too, especially male teachers! But bars, cookies, sweetbreads, etc... would all be wonderfully received. We made delicious banana bread one year and gave it to all of the teacher's aides and secretary, etc... They loved it!
  • Travel Kleenex/Tissue Holder- I have made these for family, but they would go over well teachers too I would think. There is a lovely tutorial here.
  • Pencil or cosmetic case- Filled with things or empty, who can't use a zip pouch? They are easy enough for older kids to make, younger may need some help, even the youngest child can pick out fabric. There are many tutorials online here are just a few 1, 2, 3, 4 all a little different, but all quite easy. Personalize as little or as much as you want.
  • Grocery tote- With everyone trying to be more green/ecofriendly my kids really like to give as gifts filled grocery totes. But they wouldn't have to be filled. A grocery tote is quite wonderful. There are tutorials to make them. Here is a whole list of different grocery tote tutorials. Or you can purchase them. Some of my favorites to purchase are ACME Workhorse and Envirosax because of how small they fold up.
  • Waterbottle- This is near and dear to me. It sickens me as to how many water bottles are gone through. I carry my trusty SIGG bottles with me everywhere I go. There are SIGG and Klean Kanteen, I like both. Others may like different brands, but these are my personal favorites.

Well, that's all I have for now, I'd love to hear any of your wonderful ideas. To me even if you get nothing (which is absolutely ok!) I think it is very important that a hand written note from the parents, and from the student thanking the teacher be sent to school.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Swaps and more sickies

Ok, first sickies. This has been a rough winter with sickies here.Tim and I have seemed to have gotten the worst of it. I think I may have had a nasty allergic reaction, but exactly to what we aren't sure. I swelled up like a balloon and had a hard time breathing. Things are looking better now, but I really still don't feel like myself yet.

On a much more positive note. I have been finishing up swaps. I mentioned a gnome swap earlier, well, Canadian post has come through, and it was received. Here's my not so great quality pic that I quick snapped before sending it.

It's an embroidered gnome corduroy messenger bag that I made for my male swap partner. I got the image from a David the Gnome coloring page that I modified a bit. I also carved him a rubber stamp, and I made him a shrinky dink bookmark. Those are all pictured. The one item I made that isn't pictured is a zip pouch. I completely forgot to snap a pic of it. But it's coordinating corduroy.

I also finished up my lunchbox swap from Oh Fransson. My partner hasn't received (that I know of) yet, but it's a blind swap, so she won't know it's hers anyway. So I may as well post it right!

Made with Oh Fransson's Vintage Pillow case pattern out of Moda's Swell fabric and a satin bow. I used Insulbrite batting. I made my own place mat and a little napkin tucked in the pocket. I am quite happy with how it turned out.