Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Kids crafts and more...

I'm going to cover two things here -

First - my new favorite reason to love my Gypsy. I finally got a Gypsy for Mother's day this year, after I was spending to much time playing with my demo one for work. (hubby does notice these things). When I did my daughter's birthday party I did A LOT of layering. For the the Snow White and Seven dwarves I used my Design studio, which was great - but I had to move my Cricut down to the computer room and bring all the paper I needed. When I did the rest I was upstairs in my craft room, but for each of the designs, I knew the sizes, but I never knew how much paper I needed. Also I had to load each color individaully for the cut - which can lead to a lot of shifting of mats around along with wasted paper- which gets tiring!

So while playing with layers on my gypsy I realized some thing. If I don't overlap my paper, and cut smaller pieces based on the size I need, I can actually cut 2-5 different colors on one mat!!

Here is a screen shot of some fishes I did for my daughter.
These are off of Everyday Paper Dolls, Sesame Street characters, and Animal Kingdom - the other reason to love the Gypsy, cutting for 3 cartridges at the same time. On the Paper doll cuts, I had to use the real size function - or the fishes would be smaller and harder to figure out.

The next shot is how I laid out the paper on the sheet.
Notice they do not over lap. And notice that the one has a small peice missing out of it - since I know based on the gypsy picture that part wouldn't be used it is fine to be missing the piece.

The next picture is after the Cricut cut.

You can see how much paper was used and I don't feel like I'm throwing away as much paper.

And here is it after removing the excess.

I have been able to do the layers for character on one sheet - just not the base layer. I know I'll be setting a number of these up in my gypsy as I get ready to cut more out for my daughters friend.

The Next part of my love of Cricut and Gypsy come in the form of great kids ideas.

First I found a great idea on Pink and  Green Mama Blog. Ocean in a box 
This was a great idea taking senory boxes to the next level, and I agree with this gal - this would be a great birthday present.

Next I saw an idea on the DIY Dish blog. Making stand up designs for kids to play with. I have since created a couple of ideas for my daughter to play with.

Here is the first part of the ocean in a box. I picked up 2 bags of fish gravel some plants. I then made some cricut shells, fish and castle. Then after seeing the DIY Dish blog idea, I added more things.

Then I created seahorses on popicle actually add something to the piece. It looks like the seashorse are floating in the water, the gravel holds the sticks great.
Then I did some trees.

These I did with popicle sticks and air dry clay. I now see AWESOME ideas for kids projects for school in adding 3-D elements to projects. I also see a "cheap" way to add to sets that kids play with. And I can work on using up some of my scrap paper very easily without having to use my good paper.

THANK you to Pink and green mama blog for a great kids play project, and the DIY dish for adding to my imagination!

frugal fashion push

OK, I love a good deals like any mom. But lately I have to curb my speading. Needless to say I was worried when my long legged kid put her big toe through her two favorite tights. I was hoping to back to late spring with these tights. But one - she wears them EVERY week (and sometimes twice) and her legs are long and one was a 2T-4T and the other 4-6x size (so she was pushing it on the tights). So I was happy to get most of the season.

Well I had seen that the footless tights were coming back and I decided to try and cut the toes out and hem the tights. I was worried that she won't like the look - but she did OK. I was happy to see I wasn't the only mom doing this. U-Creat link to this gal's  footless tights , she took the other kind and added a rose with the cut part to the tights. The way I seamed mine - they ruffled a little more. I get some pictures shortly.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Teacher gift ideas

Well things have been crazy in the this household. in the last month I have been hired as one for the Cricut Demo Army, and have been busy working on that and getting things done around the house.
One of the pluses of working with the Demo Army is I got to play with a Gypsy! I love it!!! If you have a cricut I highly recommend it. I have been using it for making some fun crafts.

For my daughter's teachers I made some fun albums.

So here is my end of the year gift for teachers. A Teach Album.

This was one of those projects that just comes together when you don't think it would. First I choose some old paper that I bought about 2 or 3 years back at Joann's in a paper pack. Well I had enough for one - but wasn't sure about a second. When I looked at Joann's paper thinking I would choose something else - I lucked out! They still carried the papers. Woo Hoo! lucky day for me.

The ablum is easy to do - with your gypsy.
I used three cereal boxes and 3 sheets of each printed paper and about 1 sheet each of the soild papers.
Binder rings and some ribbon.
Glue stick or favorite adhesive.

I used a "notebook" looking page from Gypsy Wanderings and the Letters are from Cake Basic - shadow size (but you can use any alphabet you like and have). The apple of the front was also from Cake Basic

I only have the small Cricut so mat is only 6 inches wide. So all of the images are 5.50 high with the letters being 4.50 wide by 5.35 high. I welded the letter on to the edge of the notebook design. I made sure that the notebook design changed width for every page so the letters would stick out each time.

I first cut the cereal box of the base design (letter and notebook paper welded). Then I cut one printed paper of the same welded design. I then flip the design and cut another paper the same size of the welded design but for the back side of the page. I then set up a mat for the letters, making the letters stand out. So watch what size your actual letter is and key that infomation in when you cut. Also when you cut, watch if there is a pattern to your paper. I had a little trouble remembering this at first.

So when you look at these pages, you will see that the back side of one page matches the front side of another page. I found that if I glue these pages down as I go it gets easier to keep track. If I was thinking I should have inked the designed and used a nail file to clean some cut up.

Here is the "E" page

the "A" page

The "C" page

And the "H" page.

Here are the tags I made for the teacher bags, again using the gypsy. I used the George Cartridge. I welded the shadow circle and shadow flower design at about 5.35 high. I then cut out two of the flower design regular cut. When I put the flower cuts on, I did one matched to the flower shadow base and the other was offset a little and I didn't glue the petals down for the second one. I then added a button in the center. I was amazed how many comments I got just on the tag!

Monday, April 12, 2010

T-shirt to backpack

My daughter gets to attend our local zoo camp this year, and I was looking for an idea for a bag for her. Last year our Zoo offered string packpack for about $5 to the campers.

Here is an idea of what last years looked - I think last year they were black with the zoo logo.

Well I liked them - but I wanted to see what I could come up with. And this is the result.
** I do not know if this is an orginal idea - so I hope I don't step on any toes :) **

It uses her shirt from last year - which she is outgrowing, and will be useable for camp. Of course since I couldn't decide which twill tape to use - I spent more than buying the other backpack - Oh well

Supplies needed:
An old shirt
Your choice for the straps - I used one roll brown twill tape and one roll camo twill tape (both from Joann's)
 and usual sewing supplies.

Supplies before - I sewed the two tapes to together so they look like one.

First cut off the sleeves. I know one this style it will make the top a little smaller than the bottom - but once the backpack is in use you really can't tell. Also cut off the neckline using the lower edge of the neckline as your guide - and cut from the open sleeve hole to the other open sleeve hole.

I realized once I cut off the sleeves - if I even up the sides and open up the sleeve - it would make a great pocket on the inside of the bag. 

So I "serged" the egdes. I have a stitch on my machine that does a mock serge stitch - which I used for most of my seams. When I sewed the pocket down - I turned the serge edges under to sew them down.

Here is the pocket pinned in. Remember when you pin - leave room to do your casing at the top of the drawstring (this picture I didn't leave enough room and had to redo.) You will need up to 2 inches at the top for the casing. I did the pocket at this point because it will be easier to line things up before you sew together.

 Here is the pocket sewn down with a couple of lines of stitching to make three small pockets. They aren't very deep - but will work for a couple of small items. Also note - this picture is correct in how far down the pocket needs to be.

Now put the right sides of the shirt together and sew up the sleeve holes.

Before sewing the casing together - you will have to plan for four button holes to allow you feed the straps through the casing. I made them about 1 inch long and put them about 2 1/4" down from the top. This way the button holes are on the outside of the bag - and they will go one on each side on the side seam on both sides.

Here is the button holes finished on one side.

Here is the start of the casing. You don't need to leave an opening on the inside - as you will be threading the straps through the sides from the outside.

Here is the casing done. Unfortunately since the printing of the shirt goes up to the neckline - I do lose the top part of the design - This is also a child size XS - so I didn't have alot of room either.

Next we are threading the straps. The twill tape came in 3 yd rolls so I was able to use 1 1/2 yds of each strap. I took one strap and threaded in one side and made it go al the way around till it came out the other buttonhole on the same side I started on - if you look the in the pictures - both ends are coming out of one side. You will do this on the other side - taking care when you are crossing the straps on the other side.

Here both straps are in.

Now to finish the bottom and gussets. First I sewed the bottom together, with right side of the bag together.

Then I turned bag right side out to make a gusset. This will be confusing - but I hope the picture will help. I want the straps to go into this triangle pocket you see above - that way when I sew the triangle, the straps will be sewn in.

Here is the straps "going into" the pocket. You will grab these from the inside and make straight seam that will catch the ends.
As you see how these are sewn I am making the gusset by matching the bottom to the side seam and sewing straight line to make a triangle edge. Most of this will be cut off to make the ends cleaner - but will also hold the straps. I did sew a couple of times over - to make sure they don't move.

When you turn the bag right side out - you see the straps coming out of the side and bottom. you also made the bag a little wider.

To cinch the top you pull both sets of straps and to open you pull the hole open.

I think this a great reusing project and will be a great reminder of various camps. 

Have fun sewing. I would love to see if anyone tries this.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tshirt crafts part one

Well a couple of weeks ago I saw a great post on CRAFT Magazine. They took old t-shirts and foam and made a Big Bean Bag. Well I loved the t-shirt idea - but wasn't crazy about finding foam - has I didn't have enough just laying around. I got thinking cap and remembered an idea I saw about filling pillows or bean bag with STUFFED ANIMALS. Well K had my old animals, plus animals people have given her and animals that other family members didn't want. What is great about this idea - is she has a number that are big animals and they take up space.

Well I ran with the idea. I had about 10 tshirts already put aside for a quilt - but I recently put a concert quilt together (that still needs a back and border done) - so I didn't need another quilt. I also found a craft for the scraps (another post, but check out the spring issue of Petite Purls for great ideas). Besides the shirts (you need 12) I found a couple of more shirts and I had a 24" zipper that I hadn't used. Their design doesn't use the zipper - but I wanted to be able to let the kids play with the animals.

So I made the template with wrapping paper and went to town. I used my fake overlock stitch on my sewing machine. And I cut up my shirts and put them together. I idea and making happened so fast that I didn't even get pictures of the process. I put the zipper in when I was sewing two sections together (but not as the last seam). These helps so you don't have to whip stitch the bag close- you use the zipper to help turn the bag inside out the last time. Just make sure before you sew the last seam - that your zipper is OPEN. :)

Here is one side of the shirts.

Here is the other side

And here is the opening with one animal peeking out.

I wish I had before and during pictures - if you have done a zipper before - you can add the zipper no problem.
I'm happy with the results and we will just have to see as time goes by - how the animals survive. To some it might not be the softest bean bag ever - but it is the best way to hide the excess animals we all have.

Monday, March 15, 2010

birthday party wrap-up

What a party!!

Note many pictures to come here today

Above is the new birthday banner I did for K. I had one done for her 2nd and 3rd birthday, but I did it in primary colors and this party called for purple and pinks. I did this one on my Cricut, with Plantation schoolbook. I did the letters at 6 1/2 inches on shadow. I put eyelets in and ran ribbon through the holes. This way I can switch out the age each year.

I also did a fun backdrop!

This Castle is made of a tv box and two shipping boxes. I used a big sponge for the bricks and I tried use a foam stamp for the ivy. I was using wall paint that I had - with out buying more paint - so the colors didn't stand out. The flowers were from my wedding (7 years ago) They were in a box in the basement, and I pulled out what I needed. The flower will get out away, but the kids will still play with the boxes. The kids had fun playing around it and it gave me a great backdrop for taking pictures of the presents in front of. I wish I had a shot of all the kids with their crowns and shields.

Here is the carriage in use.

The mobile up - the funny part is my daughter's 2 girlfriends who came were dressed in Snow White, complete with the shoes. K started the day in her Halloween costume and went to Snow White later. Unfortunately I could only get a picture of a couple of Snow Whites together, not all 3.

The Princesses on the Wall. These will move to K's room later

The goody bags all filled up.

One of the guests with his crown and shield all put together. I did make my life easier but precutting items (the kids ranged in ages 18 months to 4 yrs). I precut construction paper to fit the shield. Then I Xyroned the dragon and swords so they were ready to use. I put out extra foam pieces that I had that were sticky backed for them to add more details. The boys got swords in the goody bag to finish the outfit, the girls got wands. The girls did picture frames and foam tiaras, with princess foam pieces I got from Oriental Trading.

The princesses working on their crafts. I also had jewels with sticky back to dress up the girls.

And the cake!!
 I used the Wilton Princess towers to dress up her cake. Turns out you really need to have big cakes - mine didn't bake high enough even with two layers). I didn't use about 4 towers. It wasn't bad to put together. I did the flowers ahead of time out of royal icing, the "recipe"of the cake called to use fondant flowers, but I didn't want to buy the tools to do that. The cake was enjoyed by all.

And here is the backdrop being used. While K was opening presents a couple of the kids were playing in the castle.

I think K enjoyed her birthday - she certainly was spoiled and has been playing non stop with her new toys.

I'm happy with the results and I look forward to what I can come up with later. I'm also waiting to see, if I need to make some of these items for her friends later :)

Thanks for looking :)

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