Says me with crying little boy in cart as we push our way out of Fred Meyer.

Oh, Fred Meyer.  Why do you torture my son so and force me to publicly look like a bad mommy.
Anyone from the Pacific Northwest will sing the praises of Fred Meyer, a basic superstore where you can nab organic food in one section, some Converse shoes in another and pick up a new sofa lounge while you are at it.  Often cheaper and cleaner than Walmart, without the exposing yourself to people of Walmart. (Please click for long time scariness!!)

It is also one of the main stores that carry:

Pillow Pets™.

If you have not heard of them already, it’s a pillow, it’s a pet.  It’s a Pillow Pet.™  Basically a soft stuffed animal shaped like a pillow.  I know, brilliant, right?  It’s not like he’s seen it on television.  I guess it is my fault for teaching the boy how to read words.  He is obsessed with this Pillow Pet thing even though he has never laid a hand on it.  “We go to Fred Meyer and buy a Pillow Pet” is often what comes out of his mouth upon waking up in the morning.

The other people in the store are like “Come on lady, it’s only a stuffed animal.”  And at only $20 bucks it’s not like it will put us out or anything.   I just don’t like them.  Please don’t be offended if you own one.  I understand they are suuuuuuper soft and comfy.  But he’s only 3 and he already demands that we must buy Legos from the internet, I can’t give in to every wide eyed want that catches his fancy.  My solution?  Focus on another obsession:

Nintendo DS.

Ah, Nintendo DS.  Another thing that we don’t own but is often shared with the boy by older kids who are looking for a way to get a 3 year old off their back.

So here’s the Kirby pillow:

Yeah, I know I made a pink pillow for my boy.  What can I do, the damn thing’s pink!  And fabric came to about $5 bucks so it was a cost effective solution for never having Pillow Pets™ mentioned again.

I still go to great lengths to avoid the Pillow Pet isle every time we go to Fred Meyer, though.

Does it ever stop raining?

January 7, 2011

That may be what I ask myself with a new move to rainy PDX.

In celebration of that, I have been meaning to post a new year’s tutorial and giveaway.

Stop dreaming of rain mobiles priced $25 and up!  And make one yourself.

If you don’t want to make one (take’s less than an hour depending on your speed) then throw your hat in for the the giveaway of this one.

Here goes:

Make a cloud image on white felt and cut out:

Hand stitch (or machine sew) to another uncut piece of white felt:

Leave a bit at the end to stuff with fluff, make sure you push into the poofs for extra fluffy cloud!

Sew up and cut out your cloud:

Start cutting out raindrops for 3 – 6 or however many you like.  You will sew 2  raindrop cutouts together:

I’ve picked rainbow colours here with matching thread but you can you use greys and blues like this one here.

After drops are stitched, use coloured thread to attach to bottom of cloud.  Use white thread to attach for hanging  and you are ready for action!

Guaranteed to brighten your day rain or shine!  Total cost of supplies is under $3.

Also these instructions can be modified to make yourself any mobile you like be it balloons, stars, animals or any other similar to one you have already hearted on etsy.

Please leave a comment to win this little happy cloud by Monday January 24th and thank you in advance for reading.

I really want to share craft with everyone and it shouldn’t have to be time consuming (I know you all have real lives!) nor should it break your wallet.  Those $20 – $30 etsy purchases really do add up people.  Save your cash for food or your kids college fund for god’s sake!

Sending all the best wishes to everyone for a rich and crafty 2011!

….. .  .   .    .     .

And the winner of the mobile is:

85 – Karen Chartier!

Thanks so much everyone.

Cause I’ve got tons of it.    Want some?  Let me know.

I can’t explain what it is about it.
You really can make anything out of it.

xmas lights:

crazy eyed bunny hats a la NormaW style:

fireplace tv ornament with real twigs (idea swiped from somewhere, I can’t remember where, sorry):

And what do you do when your blog friend that you’ve never met transforms your family into Fisher Price People stamps?

Well, you do the same to hers using, yep, felt!  And make them into People ornaments.

If only I had her craftsmanship.  Thank you Tracy!  You’re the bestest!

Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday.  I think Christmas crafting is over for me, now it’s on to cooking.  Who’s idea was it to have guests?  Oh wait, that was me too.

Next year, I am starting on the Advent Calendar early, like June.  Cause this just ain’t cutting it anymore:

“Look mama, Shrek hands!”

This was after scrubbing.

Happy 2011!  Here it comes.

it’s the magic number

December 9, 2010

Ah, another year around the sun.  Another crown and cupcakes.

Our birthdays here are intimate gatherings.  We have yet to do the party at the pizza joint playland, or the home trashing with 10 kids running around.  Plus, a December birthday means no outdoor picnics or pool parties.  Maybe an indoor pool party. Hmm, must call local pool.

I like to send out handmade thank you cards to family with new birthday pictures and I fell in love with rainbowroom’s felt rainbow card.  Only at $7 bucks each (I needed 20,)  the idea of over $140 for a mailing (from the UK no less) forced me to pull out the sewing machine again.

This years request for a crown came along with one for a super hero cape.  I came across all these cool tuts for capes but settled with my own lazy version of a basic rectangle with snaps sewn in the corners.  It’s a little bunchy at the neck but no one seems to mind.  And hey, it’s reversible!

“Ok, What do you want on your crown this year?”
“I want i stink crown.”
“You want a crown that’s smelly??”

For those of you that don’t know “I Stink”:

It’s a book about a talking garbage truck.  This year I was hoping maybe he’d pick one of those cool Very Hungry Caterpillar crowns, maybe Dr. Seuss.
Nope, it’s a garbage truck for my little birthday baby.  Ok.

It worked out.

And local gourmet cupcakes (quickly slaughtered) topped off the evening with little 3 candles from Dollar Tree.

A birthday card from a relative came with a $10 bill for the boy, with which he proudly proclaimed “Goodwill books, here I come!”

Goodwill?  Aww, he’s a chip right off his ol’ mom’s cheap thrifty block.
I couldn’t be more proud.

the dead has arisen

October 26, 2010

The dead meaning me, the non-crafter.

It’s just like me too to disappear all summer (and fall) then have to bust out a costume before Halloween.

We’ve all seen the commercial on tv, where the mom is piecing together a box with one of those stick-up lights to make her son a Iron Man costume.
That will be me.
“But Maahhhmmm, Why can’t we just get a costume from Target like everyone else!!”
That will be my kid.

I can’t be a show off mommy without some kind of handmade garb.  So here’s my whip up of a slightly bulky Cat in the Hat costume.   And thanks to the PBS revival, the boy actually agreed to want to be him for Halloween.

I even contemplated making a trick or treat bag in the shape of a fish bowl with a felt goldfish on it.  But that would be pushing it too far.   Luckily we snagged The Cat In The Hat bag ages ago from Target.

Before you start imagining some laborious creation on my part, please note that the body was pieced together from a pattern of footie pajamas.

After several (3) attempts to make a tie & white belly out of various materials, I settled for the black outlined stitched versions, thinking it would give it a more cartoony look.  If I would have thought of that first, I would have completed this costume weeks ago!

Also note that there are no fasteners or zippers to attach the costume together.  This is where I praise the ingenuity of safety pins – every lazy crafters dream.  I did think of hot glue, but then the whole going to the potty thing would have been impossible.  Safety pins it is, cause all I really wanted was for it to function for a moving toddler which it does:

And this time, it didn’t bust a hole in the crotch!

Must give mad props to DANA – MADE, whose tip of glueing pipe cleaners inside the hat prevents it from flopping over.  Brilliant.

And damn, those bats from Country Living really do make a huge difference in the house!

Have a Happy Halloween and lots of fun!

Moms across craft blogland are right.  Those plastic snack bags need to go.  They certainly are not child friendly either.

And those cloth snack bags are all over etsy but my sewing machine can at least stitch a straight line, so it’s about time I utilized it to actually make an everyday necessity.

I would have gotten a more cutesy fabric, but then again I have a boy.  And although he’s only 2, he’s gonna get bigger and I can already hear him tell me the sparkly bits are just not gonna cut it anymore.  So I opted for your classic lines and colour pattern for the bags.

And you never know, the husband might want to use one too.

Part 1: Measure.

Mine is big enough for an actual sandwich about 7 inches long.  So the total length was 16 inches leaving one inch on each end of the fabric for a fold over to stitch the velcro on to.   Leave about a 1/4 inch on the side for extra width to trim after you sew together.

Part 2:  Sew on velcro pieces, then fold and stitch.

A little bit of glue stick helps keep the velcro in place for sewing.

Part 3:  Fold together the fabric and sew.

Part 4: Turn out, stuff with snackies and you’re ready to go!

I know you really didn’t need a tutorial.  But if you did, there isn’t any reason why we all can’t have cool handmade stuff.

Now if only I could get blog sponsors and a craft book deal (yeah right,) I could quit my day job and have someone else support my craft habit.

And hey, maybe I still can get a book deal.  Although I doubt it would be about crafting.  And even if it was, I would probably tell you not to buy the book and just wait until it comes to your local library.

But then what kind of capitalist profiteer would I be?

Well, at least I cloth diaper.

And the celery sticks were strictly for display but the boy actually took one out of the bag and ate it!  Results not typical.

I check etsy.  Everyday, every couple of hours, sometimes more if I am online.  They change the front page so much, I don’t want to miss the cool stuff.

I adore handmade.  And I understand that time and craft have been put into it.  But, once I get a craft item in my hands, I have often had wondered why I paid so much, and sometimes not much at all, for someone else’s handmade work. Especially when I could have made it myself.  We all have gone to craft fairs and handmade markets and seen really wicked items.  But, even if sometimes that item is only $5, I may pass on it.   Cause in the end, it’s just some item that anyone can make really.

Now, I don’t want to steal people’s stuff.  There is some really really original stuff.  Then there is stuff that is only a few steps up from a child’s craft project.  The do-it-yourselfers like me get flack all the time for doing it ourselves, like we are not supporting handmade.  I just don’t think that I should empty my wallet for the benefit of supporting someone else’s handmade.  What about your own?

With that, I have recreated the child’s craft of mod podging paper to glass.

You can obtain a glass votive candle holder from your local dollar store, although this one was the 1/2 price colour sale at Goodwill making it 50 cents.

My 10 years of playing classical flute in school orchestras has provided me with stacks of sheet music.  But you can print your own out from the internet.

Now go and fill your evening with light and music.

Without PayPal and shipping costs.