Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Christmas Tree Photo Holder

I love Christmas, even more so I love crafting with kids at Christmas, the look on their faces not to mention the pride they show as they create decorations or presents for friends and family is priceless. This year I had the privilege to work with Thrive Homeschool Group to create a photo holder Christmas Trees, they are super easy and kids and parents alike love them!



Supplies:

Large Craft Sticks (found at Dollar Tree)
1" x 1 1/2" wood block (I used scrap wood)
1 wood clothespin
1 wood star (if desired)
Assorted Paint I used Folk Art by Plaid Crafts
Paint Brushes
Paper Plate for Pallet
Hot Glue Gun
Saw or Heavy Duty Scissors (to cut the craft sticks)
Plastic or newspaper to protect painting surface


Directions-for one tree:

Prepare 4 craft sticks to paint, leave the first stick alone, the second stick snip off the rounded ends, cut the third stick into two pieces so that one is 1/3 third of the stick the other one is 2/3s of the stick. Cut the final stick in half. You will only use one of the halves.

Paint all pieces as desired. Start with a base coat, allow to dry and then add decorations. Older children are normally fine but might need a bit of guidance. Younger children use their finger prints to add "ornaments" to their trees for a special keepsakes (Be sure to add the year!)

Once the paint is dry, glue pieces together to the base. The uncut stick is the trunk, and arrange the rest of the pieces above the present largest to smallest to form the tree. You can either glue them straight, or for a more whimsical look tilt them. Glue the clothespin to the back of the tree and the star to the top.







The kids did a great job! 





Thanks to Plaid Crafts for generously supplying the paints and brushes! 






Monday, September 11, 2017

No-sew Fabric Building Set

Operation Christmas Child sends gift filled shoeboxes to children in need all over the world. When packing your shoebox gift you decide on the age and the gender of the child you wish to pack your box for. Coming up with something new and different for boys shoebox gifts that doesn’t take up a lot of space is always a challenge. This simple fabric building set is a fun imaginative toy that allows kids to build “towers” and yet stores flat taking up little space, making it the perfect addition to a shoebox gift. 


Supplies: 
2- 8” x 20” pieces of fabric (cotton, or cotton poly blend) 
2- 8” x 20” pieces of  Therm-o-Web Ultra Heat and Bond Ultra Hold (Red Label) 
Iron
*Board
Scissors
Ruler/pencil
Template (if desired, see below)


# While the stabilizer is fusible, it is only a temporary hold, thus the need for the ultra hold permanent adhesive.

* a regular ironing board can be used, but due to the thickness of the stabilizer, I found a regular board and silicone mat worked best. 

Directions:

1) Prewash/Dry and iron fabric 

2) Using the board and the silicone mat as your ironing surface, lay first piece of fabric face side down, place the Ultra Heat and Bond adhesive side down on the back of the fabric. With your iron set to medium (no steam)  press the adhesive to the fabric for 2 seconds, repeat until the entire surface is covered. Don’t be tempted to turn up the heat to make the project go faster. If you overheat the adhesive as it will “melt”  into the fabric vs. adhering to the fabric. This is one time when it pays to be slow and methodical. 

3) Repeat with other piece of fabric

4) Lay stabilizer on your ironing surface. Remove paper backing from fabric. Fuse the fabric to the stabilizer pressing for 6 seconds, repeat until the entire surface is covered. Check to make sure the entire surface of the fabric is bonded to the stabilizer. 

5) Repeat with the 2nd piece of fabric on the other side of the stabilizer. Again heed the warning about being slow and methodical 

6) Using a ruler and pencil to draw guidelines or the template, cut fused fabric into desired shapes Simple ones work best. Squares, rectangles, triangles, hexagons etc.  no See the template for ideas or come up with some of your own. 

7) Cut “slits” into the pieces. A slight “wedge” shape can be used for ease of putting together. The wider end of the wedge should be towards the outside of the piece. Be careful when cutting out the slits that you don’t go past the 1/2 way mark. (See photo) 


To build- join the pieces by inserting one into another at a 90 degree angle along the slits.

If you are creating this to put into a shoebox gift.  Create a tower and snap a photo. Store the pieces in a large ziplock bag along with the photo to act as directions. 

Thank you to project sponsors: Therm-o-Web and Plaid Crafts for providing materials for this project

Project Template:



Monday, August 7, 2017

Rya-tie -pom-pom ball.

Operation Christmas Child sends gift filled shoeboxes to children in need all over the world. National Collection Week is November 13-21. I love crafting for shoeboxes but like most I am busy so
 I look for quick and easy craft projects to create for my shoebox gifts. While the staple items in my shoebox gift are “necessities” like school supplies and personal care items. I love adding toys that are sure to bring a smile to a child’s face!

I used to wrap yarn or t-shirt pieces around a cardboard form to make a pompom style ball, but when Plaid Crafts sent me their new Rya-Tie kit I knew I found an easier way.  The Rya-Tie was designed to makes tassels used to create a latch-hook style decoration, but the tool does more. It is a easy way to create simple pompoms that are fun for kids to toss around. When you wrap the long side you can create a larger ball, and wrapping around the shorter side gives you two pompoms for the same amount of work. These soft toys can be created in minutes and are a great items to include in 2-4 year olds boxes because they are easy to catch or put together a set of 3 or 4 and send some juggling photos/instructions printed from the web, and you have a fun gift for an older child. 

Supplies: 
1 Rya-tie by Plaid Crafts
2 rubber bands (comes with Rya tie kit) 
1 skein of “t-shirt yarn” or t-shirt yarn (Bernat Maker Home Decor Shown
2 Zip Ties
Strong scissors or clippers

Directions. 


You will be using your Rya-tie tool length wise. Place a zip tie long the top and the bottom of the tool.
Wrap yarn around Rya-tie from top to bottom holding the zip ties in place with the yarn.  The more you wrap the fuller your ball will be. With I found wrapping 300 times makes for 2 nice sized balls.

Place rubber bands around wrapped Rya-Tie, these will hold the yarn in place while you cut it. 

Cut the yarn down the cutting channel. first one side than the other. 

Close first one zip tie around the cut pieces and then the other. 

Fluff the pom-pom, snip ends to shape. 

To make one larger ball  rotate the tool 90 degrees and follow the directions above. 




Thank you to Plaid for providing the Rya-Tie tool kit and Bernat for providing the yarn

Monday, July 10, 2017

Paper Mache' Flower Pot Games

Each year volunteers pack millions of gift filled shoeboxes for children in need. These shoebox gifts are sent to children all over the world through Operation Christmas Child.  Shoebox gifts are filled with; school supplies, personal care items, clothing, small toys and more.  As a crafter there are so many things you can make to personalize your shoebox gift.  I believe when you create you share a part of yourself,  a part of your heart. Who better to share your heart with than a child in need?
Operation Christmas Child’s National Collection Week is  just 1 month away but there is still time to create something to put into your shoebox gift. Toys and games are always a highlight with any child’s gift. These paper mache’ flower pot games are fun for 1 of for 2. 




Supplies needed:

For both games:
3- 3inch paper maché Darice
Assorted paint colors Delta CeramCoat Paints
sanding sponge
brushes
pallet
2-golf plastic balls (the ones with the holes) 



For ball catch:
1-26” piece of narrow ribbon
1-large eyed darning needle
2 beads (large enough they will not go through the holes in the ball) 
1-3/8” dowel rod (cut into a 6” segment) 
2-3/8” washers
1  3/4” wood bead with large hole (big enough to fit the dowel rod)
Drill and drilling bit


For tossing game:

1 paint stirrer or flat craft stick at least 1” wide. Cut into 2-6” pieces


General Directions:

1) Lightly sand dowel rod, craft stick pieces, and flower pots- if needed (some came with a bit of a “shiny coat” I gave the pots a once over to make sure the paint would adhere.)

2) Paint the flower pots, Craft stick pieces, and dowel rod, allow to dry.


Ball Catch Directions

  1. Drill a hole to fit the dowel rod in the base of the flower pot. This can be done with a craft knife as well, but I found a drill made for a cleaner hole. 

2) Take one end of the ribbon and tie a double not about 5” from the end, thread one bead onto the ribbon resting against the knot, thread ribbon through middle holes of the practice golf ball, add another bead, and make a 2nd double knot to secure in place. Trim the end and add a dab of glue to secure if desired. (See photo)  

3) From under the flower pot, insert about 1” of  the opposite end of the ribbon into the hole drilled glue inside the flower pot

4) Glue wood bead to the end of the dowel rod, thread a washer onto dowel rod. Put a bead of Mod melt glue around the drilled hole inside the flower pot.  Immediately insert dowel rod threading through the hole until the washer and bead rest on the inside bottom of the flower pot. Allow glue to cool. (see photo) This forms a handle.

4) From the bottom of the handle thread the other washer onto the dowel rod and glue to the base of the flower pot. (The washers give the paper maché some extra support and protection from repeated use.)


To play: See if you can catch the ball in the cup. 

For Toss Across Game: 

Using mod melter glue one flower pot to the end of each stick. 


To play:


Grab a friend and play catch.

Thanks to Plaid Crafts for providing the Mod Melter for the project! 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Splatter Paint part 2

One of the difficulties of splatter painting is waiting for the paint to dry! Waiting for paint to dry is like .....well waiting for paint to dry😂😂😂!

I shared yesterday about the splatter paint project I taught at the Christian Youth Center of Morris as part of their "Exploring Arts" summer  program.  I couldn't resist getting in on the "splatter painting" action with the teens.

I decided to create my own version of the youth center logo!


I created a large paper mask of the C-Y-C-M and then used stencil spray and tape to attach it to a black canvas. I thought the black against the color would create more of a striking contrast. I kept with the color scheme for the original logo. 








 














In addition to my rendition of the logo, I decided to experiment with acrylic pouring and dipping. We took all of the left over paint and poured it into a cookie sheet. We then swirled the paint to create a marbleized look. 

                                       


I then dipped the canvases into the paint. Some of them were interesting...this one though was my favorite.  After dipping the canvas, I took a paper cup and dipped the rim of the cup in and used that to stamp the canvas. I had a lot of fun playing! 




Thanks again Plaid Crafts for sponsoring our spatter paint project! The teens were not the only ones that had fun! 





Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Splatter Paint

Next to Operation Christmas Child, the Christian Youth Center of Morris is one of my favorite programs to volunteer for. When I was a teen, I had a similar place to hang out and connect with friends, learn about my faith, find caring adults to offer advice or a listening ear. My kids have been a very regular part of the Youth Center for the past 5 years but this year is pretty special. This summer my daughter chose to spend her summer working on an internship project at the Center. 

Winter had always envisioned there being a music and arts program at CYCM. We have done music and "arty" things in the past, but she wanted something where kids could explore different types of the arts; music, dance, drama, spoken word, photography, and even tech. Each week she will be focusing on a different type of "art" and have an artist come in and share their craft with the teens. The artist will talk about their start, and then what they do with their craft and how they use it for God's glory. 

This past week she asked me to come in and share with the students. While I'm not an artist in the traditional sense, my creative side comes out more in visionary skills and ideas. I can see the end of a project and be able to know what needs to happen to get from point A to Z. I talked to the teens about never feeling I matched up to other people in my life that could paint, draw, and play music and had to learn to accept and understand where my gifting was. I then shared some of the ways I have used my art and extensive crafting ability to bring awareness to causes that are important to me; CYCM, Operation Christmas Child etc. 


As for a project, I wanted to encourage the kids that "true creativity is never neat" and sometimes the "art" is in what is not (negative space) As the perfect project to combine both those concepts, I brought a "splatter paint booth" to CYCM. 

First the teens, used stencil tape to mask off a canvas and a t-shirt. Then after donning hazmat suits to keep their clothes clean, they went to town throwing paint around! 





The frame of a pop-up canopy made a great traveling "splatter paint booth." We simply removed the canopy and used plastic sheeting to cover the floor and all sides of the frame. 


We used latter for easels and the frame itself to hang their shirts from.



Emily with her painted canvas.


Plaid Crafts provided all of the paint, brushes and stencil tape for our project and even sent some extra so the girls could take a brush set home!




While the canvases look pretty now, we can't wait to take off the tape when dry to see how things turned out.




I had to get in on the splattering action and create my take on the CYCM logo. 


Thank you to Plaid Crafts for providing the supplies for our project and thank you to the CYCM Exploring Arts program for allowing me to come share! 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Online Sew-a-thon Wrap Up

While we have been getting ready for the Operation Christmas Child, Three Rivers, IL area team Sew-a-thon. Our friends at All Free Sewing have been having one of their own!!

The grand total for the ONLINE SEW-A-THON is.....

Grand Total: 1,089 Pillowcases!


To hear and see more about the cases that were made for Operation Christmas Child check out All Free Sewing's wrap up!

Are you in the Joliet, IL area and would like to join us in person?? On June 24, sewers and crafters from all over are going to come together to make another 1000 pillow cases.  Check out the "Sew-a-Thon" menu at the top of the page for more information.!