Monday, 2 April 2012

Bus Puzzle

It is getting to be nearly impossible to get my delightful daughter out the door in time for the bus in the morning. It's not that she can't dress herself, brush her own teeth, eat breakfast and get ready. It's that she's spending all her time playing with toys, making silly faces in the mirror and in general... pissing around. (She's figured out the loophole to getting ready in the morning is that her little brother is enough distraction to keep me two steps behind and therefore out of her hair. She's a smartie, that's for sure.)

So, after my blood pressure went down, around noon, I decided there had to be a way to positively reward her for doing what she's supposed to do, while also not having me being the attention giver (since that's an impossibility at the moment).

Bus Puzzle

Like I said, I used scraps. 

Scraps for the smaller pictures and Bus
1 sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock, folded like a taco and cut in two
Glue (Zip Dry is preferred)


1) Decide what 4 things you want your child to do each morning.  For me, it was 1) get dressed, 2) brush teeth, 3) eat breakfast and 4) get ready for the bus.
2) Draw simple pictures of those objects, cut them out and glue them to one side of the cardstock. Make sure the pictures are approximately the same size as 1/4 of the paper.

3) Draw/cut out a giant school bus (which is the goal for us in the morning-- what's yours?) and glue it to the other side of the puzzle.

4) Cut the pieces into 4.

Re-Ta-Da! :)

Here's hoping she gets up and finds it exciting to flip each card over as she completes a task. Like playing, but much more productive.

Here's hoping. :)

Let me know if you try this and how it works out!

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Lunchbox Gift Card Holders

We're headed to a Christmas party this weekend and for said party we must come with a $10 gift for the gift exchange. I've tried getting stuff in the past, however, my gifts always seem to come home with me (which, for this party, is shameful because you want to have brought the most desired gift).

This year, I decided to bring two gift cards for things I like, instead of hunting and going crazy trying to find something perfect that is also $10. That said, I decided I'd try and jazz up the gift card holder so that, at least, people might want to open the gift, even if I end up bringing home the 'prizes' myself. Ha. But, I'm pretty sure the gift cards I bought are going to be a big hit, AS ARE the gift card holders!
Like my last post, the Felty Melty Pizza, this one is almost entirely made of felt. That means even if you're not into sewing, you can make this super cute gift card holder if you a) get some felt and b) have a glue gun. 

Anything I did with a needle and thread can be done with a hot glue gun. Promise! :)
Lunchbox Gift Card Holders

See the gift card in the jelly?
felt scraps in sandwich topping colours
beige fleece for sandwich bread
parchment paper (for wrapping like Mom used to do)
twine (to hold the paper shut, tape won't stick)

Time: 45 mins
Difficulty: Easy (whether you use a sewing machine or not)

1) Cut your fleece to roughly bread size. Sew together.
2) Cut out your sandwich contents. I made a bologna sandwich and a peanut butter sandwich.
See the gift card in the bologna?
Bologna Sandwich:
Cut the 'meat' twice, and make sure the gift card fits between it.
Sew around the edge leaving room to insert the card afterwards.
Now, cut out toppings like cheese, onion, lettuce etc.
Lettuce-- cut a wobbly circle, create a fold in the middle so it looks puffy and scrunchy like real lettuce.

Peanut Butter Sandwich
Cut a blob for the peanut butter.
Cut out jam/jelly/nutella/marshmallow fluff, twice. Make sure it's bigger than the gift card. Sew three sides and put the gift card inside.

Yep. It's just that simple. Then I wrapped it in some parchment paper, like I remembered getting in my lunchbox as a kiddo. Ta-da.
I'm sure they'll be fighting for my sandwich gift cards this year!

Let me know how yours turns out!

Monday, 21 November 2011

Felty-Melty-Pizza Pie

I always seem to resort to felt when I feel the urge to do a quick craft. Why? Well, for starters, the dang stuff doesn't FRAY! So you can cut it to the shape you want, glue 'er down and voila. No strings, no mess, just pure blissful enjoyment. Are you with me people? Felt's where it's at.

At any rate, this also means I have a ton of felt scraps. I don't know what I was in a past life, but I must've been super wasteful; in this life, all I seem to want to do is to make use of every last square centimeter of anything. My frugality is your fruit, though, so here's my Felty-Melty-Pizza Pie!

                                                            Felty-Melty-Pizza Pie!

Felt scraps in pizza-topping colours
beige material (I used a fleece remnant)
marker (optional)
sewing machine, or needle and thread

Time: 1 hr
Difficulty: Easy to Medium (depending on whether you hand sew or use a sewing machine)

1) Cut out a circle in your fleece. Sew the circle together with the right sides together. Invert. Stitch a line around the outside of the circle and again inside the circle, to mimic the crust.

 If you don't sew, use a beige piece of felt for the base. It won't be as 'fluffy' or 'doughy' as the two layer fleece, but really, it's for playing and using imagination, so who cares, right?

2) Cut out some red felt for the sauce.
3) Get crazy and cut out some toppings!
    Pepperoni-- red circles (Try using a different red than the sauce. My pepperonis are the same colour and it's a little blah.)
    Mushrooms-- cream felt
    Green peppers-- green rectangles
    Pineapple-- cut yellow circles, then quarter those to get the round outside to the triangle
    Sardines--long, brown felty fish shapes
    Ham-- pink fat rectangles
    Italian Sausage-- dark brown circles
    Olives-- The centre hole is tedious but worth it!

Make whatever toppings your family enjoys.  I'd suggest making ones you don't usually get, too. It'll get some great conversations going about likes and dislikes.

4) optional Now that you have toppings, you can take a Sharpie and colour in the under bits on the mushroom, or add eyes on the sardines, or lines on the pineapple-- the world is your oyster. And if you want, you can even add oysters to your pizza toppings-- I had some on a pizza in Italy once.

Store the pizza toppings in the snack-size zipper bags. Roll up the pizza and bring it with you to the airport or on road trips. Kids will amuse themselves for hours taking your order and making a pizza just for you! 

For those of you concerned that I don't seem to have any cheese on the pizza, you are correct. Frankly, I figured if I added a blobby white top, you couldn't see the toppings anyway. As well, the thought of cutting up cheese shreds irritated me, and the thought of cleaning them up as they get scattered around the toy room gave me hives.  But, feel free to make cheese for your pizza; vacuum be ware. 

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Magic Mirror Moments

This craft is not really a craft at all. Well, I mean, it's crafty, but it's not laborious. It doesn't involve several steps or a random assortment of stuff that you probably don't have. There is no adhesive needed, even; like I said, it's almost not a craft at all. Ha. But the impact is so awesome I had to post it, despite the astounding lack of glitter and glue.

You remember when your Mom would write a little love note in your lunch at school and you'd find it and no matter how your day was going, you instantly felt better? Well, this takes the lunch note to a new level, and location.

                                                          Magic Mirror Moments

Materials:  One box of Crayola window CRAYONS.
Don't get the markers. They are difficult to get off the mirror. The window crayons are amazing-- they write nicely, are opaque, and wash off with nothing more than a damp wash cloth.

Time: 6 minutes
Difficulty: So very easy


1) Think of the message you'd like your family members to find.
1.2) Think of a cute graphic to include (optional)
2) Spell check it (no one wants to read something that doesn't make sense).
3) Bust out those window crayons.

I wrote my three messages up high on the mirror to avoid the spatter of water from the faucets. BUT, the problem with that, for us, is it's in our lines of vision. My hubby and I are both tall. I think if the message were placed in the middle of the mirror it would be less obtrusive.

I also included a cute graphic with the message.

Truly, this took all of 5 minutes to write all three messages. It's wonderful to go into the bathroom and read the little notes of kindness and love!

(I was going to only do it in the bathrooms for the kids and my hubby, but it made me pout to know they had love all over their mirrors, so I made one for me, too. It's great!)

You can do this as often as you'd like.

If you get stuck for inspiration, try looking up quotes online ( is a fave). Or, have your kids write them. What a great way to practice printing by writing on the mirror! Oh, and think about who's reading it-- keep the words age appropriate --my daughter is just learning to read, so I made sure the words were about three letters long.

Happy Colouring!

Monday, 7 November 2011

Scrappy Skirt

So I was cleaning out my sewing room.  That is to say, I absolutely, without question, could not push any more projects to the other side of the table-- stuff was falling off at all angles and there still wasn't a square centimeter of work space; it was, in short, necessary beyond words.

But, joy of joys, when I was finished, I found I had a box full of cute fabric scraps!

What to do with those cute fabric scraps? Well, I happen to also have a bin of random elastic bits which lead promptly to:

The Scrappy Skirt


Scissors (if you use pinking shears your cottons won't fray)
waistband elastic
fabric scraps in similar colour families
extra ribbon (optional)

I used 4 different cottons
Approx Time:  1hr
Difficulty: Easy



1) Cut your fabric scraps into 5cm x50cm strips. This, by no means, is "quilting precise" so no worries if a few of your scraps are jagged or a touch short. I think it makes the Scrappy Skirt a little more fun that way.

2) Sew together (or hot glue) the width of elastic for your skirt wearer.  For a size 1-2, I made the elastic about 30cms long, for a 2-4 add 5cms (35cms long), for a 4-6, add another 5 cms and so on.

3)  Create a loop of a fabric strip by folding it in half with the cut ends at the bottom.

4) Put the elastic band over the fabric loop.

5) Tuck the ends through the loop so that the elastic is encased by the fabric strip.  Pull tight.

6) Repeat until the whole elastic band is covered in cute fabric scraps.

I made a pattern using 4 different cotton prints, 3 different ribbons and a sheer scrap in sparkly blue/green left over from a Pashmina I made. I'm telling you, you can't go wrong! This would look adorable all in pink, or blue, or brown or whatever! I like thinner strips, but a thicker one (10cms) would be adorable I'm sure.

What a great family photo prop!  LOVE it!
Do I need to write that you should spot clean any areas that need it-- don't wash this masterpiece. In fact, when it gets grungy, dive back into the scrap box and start new!

Let me know how your Scrappy Skirt turns out!

Photocredit: JDL
Model: Celynne