Getting Creative

I’ve been left at home to ponder, what am I doing with my life?…  DH is away on business, and DD is on spring break and running around with friends.  I jokingly tell my friends, I will soon be out of a job;  23+ years of being a stay-at-home mom.  I probably have mentioned this before, and I will probably be talking about it again and again…  Meanwhile, with Koko and Hiro my steady companions, I have been having some fun doing crafts.  I signed up for yet another little Easter swap at Cozy Blanket.  After I saw this little needle felted applique mold at Tuesday Mornings, I knew just what to make.


We were asked to create 5 items no bigger than the palm of our hand, which Debby over at Cozy blanket would combine to make into a banner.  Here is the extra one I made into an ornament:


And as long as I was in a creative mood, I decided to make something for Saint Patrick’s Day.  I found this pretty lady over at Marges8’s Blog.   I surrounded her in a spray of green from Michael’s.  She has taken up residence in the corner of my kitchen as the rest of the house is already decorated for Easter.


And look at what else I found while rummaging through my craft bins – some air dry clay, I don’t even know how old it is, but it seems to be in good shape still.  My mind is going off again in another creative direction…


A Busy Weekend

The last few weeks have been a bit stressful to say the least.  Youngest child, last college application process… A few more weeks, and we should know where we stand.  I say “we” as this application process is a “family activity”.  As DD has not a clue what she wants to study, we took an opportunity to attend the Society Of Women Engineers Conference last weekend.  She was not too thrilled at the idea initially, but after the first seminar, she was hooked!


We had also signed up for a swimsuit sewing class the next day.  I have never sewn lycra before, so it was very interesting for me.  We chose patterns, traced, cut, and learned how to sew lycra.  Neither DD or I managed to complete our suits during class, so we both have some homework to complete.


I can’t remember the last time I put on a swimsuit… Hmmm, maybe I’m not in such a hurry to finish my suit after all.Sewing2

Canon Creative Park!

Oh my gosh, I am in paper craft heaven!!!  Girls day in Japan is coming up, so I decided to poke around the web for some Girls Day crafts.  Well, lucky for me, I stumbled on Canon Creative Park! If you are into paper craft, scrapbooking, card making, art,  calendars, and just about anything to do creatively with paper, you have to visit Canon Creative Park.   I’m planning on making a Girls Day display.  The display I’m showing is a bit ambitious for me right now, so I will do a simpler one.  They have simple as well as more complex things to make.  You can find projects for any occasion, and interests.  I felt like a chicken without a head trying to decide which project to download and do. Best of all, everything is free to download!  Of course, it is personal use only, and my one advice is, to make sure you download “letter size” (for here in the US) when given a choice.  Here  are some samplings of what they have:

Girls Day Court:

CanonCreativePark1Mother’s Day Card:


Valentine Mobil (Or maybe even Easter!):


A Wedding Couple:CanonCreativePark3a

Easter Bunny:CanonCreativePark4

Graduating Duo – I can make it for DD in June! CanonCreativePark4a

Year Of The Snake – how cool is this!CanonCreativePark5

Ship with sailors – too cute!CanonCreativePark6

Circus toy shadowbox? I think it actually moves:CanonCreativePark6a

Saint Basil’s Cathedral – looks really challenging:CanonCreativePark7

A Halloween Mobil:CanonCreativePark8

Santa Decoration:CanonCreativePark9

This is just a tiny sampling. There a hundreds more to look and choose from. Now get going! – Canon Creative Park.

Stupid Cupid & Sweet Treat Earrings

The first time I ever tried cross stitching, DH was dumbfounded.  He was amazed that anyone could just sit for so long and stitch X’s repeatedly.  That was 25 years ago, and he has learned not to make such off hand remarks regarding my artsy craftsy endeavors.  I still have my Thanksgiving sampler to complete, but when I saw these cute, quick, and free projects over at Brook’s Book Publishing, I just had to make them.  I made Stupid Cupid into an ornament, and the other, into earrings.  The Sweet Treat earrings call out using perforated cross stitch paper, but I didn’t have any, so I just used beige aida cloth.


To complete the earrings, I glued a backing of aida cloth, trimmed, and embellished with swarovski crystals and glitter – everything is better with glitter! 🙂


Brooke’s Book Publishing has some really neat cross stitch patterns to purchase as well as for free – worth checking out.

Having fun with The Toymaker

For whatever reason, my printer wasn’t printing on photo/stock paper, so DH switched printers with me – yay!  So, I decided to have some fun and print out some paper crafts at The Toymaker. I have her paper toy book, and spent last year with her “A Year Of Toys And Joys ” Calendar.  Anyhow,  I printed out a couple of her freebie Valentine crafts, a cute hanging heart basket and elephant delivery.  I also printed out mirror copies of each so I could have it double sided, embellished with satin flowers and ribbon, and got some cute vintage valentine graphics from the Two Crazy Crafters. While I was cutting and pasting, I thought to myself that it would have been a fun activity to do with the kids when they were young. But, then again, my boys were never the “color inside, and cut along the line” types, oh well.  I filled the basket with little flowers, and the elephant with small valentines:



If you want to play with The Toymaker, go to She has tons of fun activities to do.

Valentine Heart Swap Reveal!

Oh, my!  I got a package yesterday which contained the five hearts from the Heart Swap! All five hearts are just amazing! And what makes them so special are that they have each been handmade by very talented and creative ladies. Without further ado, here are the hearts:



A big Thank you! goes out to Debby @ Cozy Blanket for organizing the event.  And, if you’d like to visit the creators of these hearts, here is a list of their blogs:

–  Sandie @ Retro Sandie

– Elizabeth @ Creative Breathing,

– Genie @ Climbing The Digital Mountain

– Pat @ All Is Bright

– Penny @ At Home In English Valley

Felt Licitar Heart Tutorial

I mentioned in an earlier post that I was participating in a Heart swap.  DH is originally from Croatia, and they have the most delightful custom of giving loved ones Licitar hearts.  They are traditionally made of honey dough, but I decided to do a variation on it for the swap, and make them from felt. If you are interested, I have written a tutorial so you can make your own Licitar hearts! Here are the five I made for the swap, and also a photo of a couple of the Licitars I have received:





A more detailed method of using butcher paper for patterns/applique can be found HERE.  And here are  a few more photos of the finished hearts:



Needle Felting… Ouch!

Ok, I decided that as long as I was in the “creative” mode, I was going to try some crafts new to me.  And needle felting is new to me. I purchased the supplies some time back with the best intentions of making something.  Well, I finally sat down and did it.  When I am creating, I like to multitask – knit, hang out with my daughter, yack away; make jewelry, watch a movie… Well, needle felting is NOT an activity that I can take my eyes off of.  During a couple of distracted moments, I jabbed my fingers with those lethal looking needles – and it was painful!  So, with a certain idea in mind, I started making a cat that turned into a teddy bear, and a bunny that did end up a bunny, but you can see that I got bored when I got to his legs, and just wound the wool around… I think this activity takes a bit more patience than I have. Or, I have not developed a passion for it yet, and therefore can only stand to sit there and punch away at wool roving shaping it into something recognizable for only so long.  I think for now, I will put aside the needles…  And here are the results of my efforts (they are cute, but I have no idea what to do with them):



Show And Tell

Thought I’d share a couple of things my daughter made during break (anything to put off doing her homework and last few college apps!).  Here is an adorable retro looking pink kitty with daisy cheeks – I think it is a gift for her grandmother:

ShowAndTell_2She’s also very much into everything Disney.  We found a really cute Disney beading book at a Japanese bookstore, and she made these earrings:


I’m glad she is artsy/crafty.  It’s just another thing we have in common and can spend time doing together.


I must admit, I am getting to the age where I will soon be joining the ranks of the AARP. This being said, I had never heard of a “Thumper” (except for that cute little bunny), until my recently graduated oldest son decided to have a go at making them.  What does one do after 4+ years of private university education and a BSEE ?…  You make an upcycled vintage suitcase boombox! 🙂 Here are the finished products; one for himself and his brother. And the  small  vintage train case will be made into a boombox for his younger sister – hopefully before she goes off to college.


The finished system is really quite amazing.  They just hook up their smartphones, and the sound is awesome! I can’t wait to see what older son will be able to accomplish after earning his Masters 😉

Paint By Numbers Fun

Two years ago, I bought my daughter a paint by numbers kit.  She really enjoyed it then, so this Christmas I bought one for her again, and one for myself.  This is an activity I have not done since I was a little girl – a bit nostalgic.  I found it to be no stress, non-demanding, and almost therapeutic in process.  And I love that deliberate, paint by numbers look.  Better still, it was a parallel activity we did together while sipping our favorite teas, and talking about almost everything.

PaintByNumbers2012_1 PaintByNumbers2012_2 PaintByNumbers2012_3

Handmade Yoga Mat Bags

I used to do yoga on a regular basis, and just recently started back. My daughter even invited me to go with her to her class, which made me very happy.  So, I decided to make some yoga mat bags for her and myself. It was a quick afternoon project. A yard of fabric, thread, and ribbon, and it was done.  Sewing is always fun with a project in mind: