Shreddin’

Really it could go either way….slopes or crafting right??!
We are actually doing quite a bit of both around here. It is cooold still and school continues to be cancelled on random weekdays due to the cold, we were off yesterday and today for temps that were in the -30’s with the wind-chill! Luckliy every Friday the mercury climbs up to perfect temps for hitting the slopes, in MN we have great hills no actual mountains, but we don’t mind!
So we are bumming and skiing/snowboarding, it is polar (ha ha) opposite of the California version of boarding and bumming since we aren’t getting tan, but I could not have planned it better myself.
Mostly we are spending times off the slopes inside, so I am trying to keep a balance between reading, eating, bickering, and screen time…not all that easy!
Here is the project we did yesterday, inspired by this pin on pinterest.

This seemed like the perfect cold day craft….we have cardboard boxes and magazines laying around so we set to work.

I was not sure that I would be able to free hand draw a large shape that would resemble anything better than an amoeba, so I got our the overhead projector that comes in handy at the most wonderfully random times, I posted about it before here!

The kids got out their large bin of “figurines and animals” and chose the one that they wanted.  It worked best to lay the object on its side, and then we adjusted the projection to fit on the cardboard which was propped against the wall and then the kids traced the shape onto the cardboard in pencil.

Overhead scrapping

At first we were going to just rip the paper or cut it into thin strips, however with small hands it was looking chunky and not as uniform as we wanted.

So we employed the help of a paper shredder (which only momma was in charge of!), we borrowed from a kind neighbor, and shredded up old magazine pages.

The kids spent truly spent 2-3 hours gluing down the strips onto their shape…I mean quiet craft time is like silent gold am I right?!?!

At some point we ditched the white glue bottle and got out modge podge which is why some spots on the finished project are shiny…I would recommend this, it seemed to secure the paper better, and not leaves any loose spots that may tear off.

Ta da!

A Goat (by our 11 year old, completely independently):

Ebay 2014 629

An elephant ( by our 9 year old again independently) I just love the hair-do:

Ebay 2014 628 copy

A panda bear (by our 6 year old, mostly independently, she needed a little help gluing and staying on task at one point, but you can see she came back with vengeance and a black crayon for the background):

Ebay 2014 630

And who else? Pocahontas (by our 4 year old, she may have had some momma help;)):

Ebay 2014 659

Really an easy craft with what materials most of us have around the house, if you do not have a projector you can certainly free hand a shape, I am sure most of you out there have better art skills than I!

And just one more…proof that the sun does shine on MN hills!

A bombski

Storing Little Ornaments

Have you seen the Shining, with Jack Nicholas, when the family gets snowed into the hotel in Colorado and all go stir crazy??? Well we are not quite to crazy yet, but let me tell you we are shut in and staying, if you have not heard on the news, Facebook, or from friends and family Minnesota is in an “arctic vortex” or “arctic hurricane”. Today without the wind-chill we are sitting at a steamy 1 above zero, yesterday it was -45 with the wind-chill. The kids are home from school and we are staying put!
We are cooking and crafting and putting away all the last straggling items from Christmas and New Years Eve.
We have quite an eclectic collection of ornaments from over the years, honestly I am not sure where they all have come from, some were thrifted for projects that became leftovers, some were gifts and some just given to us, regardless we have boxes to put away each year.
I had pinned an idea about plastic cups glued to cardboard for safe and neat ornament storage which is perhaps some of the inspiration for this idea.
Super simple and maybe it has been done before, but I decided to reuse our egg containers, with 6 of us we go through a lot of eggs each week with breakfasts and snacks, so I had a few cartons laying around waiting to be recycled.
Here is what I did:

Egg carton ornament storage @patchworkreality

They fit perfectly, although we are avid recyclers, reusing is almost always better:

Egg carton ornament storage @patchworkreality

How happy does that little snowman look?  See you next year little dude!

Upcycled Rustic Initial Carved Headboard

When we redid some of our garden space we had some leftover 1 X 8 boards.

Santanna’s bed does not have a frame and these boards have been sitting under the deck for almost 2 years, giving them a great distressed patina.

As Jon and I were talking about how to cut up…or not…the boards and how we attend to arrange them to go over her full size bed I fell more in love with the look.

I decided instead, they would go in our room…over our king sized bed.

We had taken off an outdated headboard and have also been discussing how to upcycle that one.

Headboards are apparently a big deal at our house..who knew.

I wanted to headboard to go past the bed a little so that when the bed is made the headboard would extend at least the length of the bed + bedding, the headboard is a total of 96 inches and goes about 6 inches past the bed/bedding.

Headboard

The back of this headboard has 3 1 X 4 boards placed so the end 2 can attach to the metal be frame and one in the middle for support, you could use 2 X 4 or even 4 X 4 board for the “legs” if you want to change the look, I wanted a sleek profile, plus we had all the boars for this in the garage making it FREE.

2013 June 836

When I was dreaming up Santanna’s headboard I had some thoughts about drawing some sort of graphic on it, she still might get a headboard so I won’t spill those thoughts yet.

I thought a saying that might fit, but honestly there was not one that I LOVED, so I thought how about a carving?

Aha!  Initials in a tree….Awwww..right?!?

SO I used our generic Dremel tool, which I think I killed while doing this and carve d our initials, First name and Middle initial, per Hubby’s request.

2013 June 835

It looks rustic which is great, this was not as easy as I thought it would be, hence some minor imperfections, but I do love the way it turned out.

I did not carve the heart; I painted and sanded all of the heart and initials to give it an aged look.

2013 June 838

On the other side I added the year we were married in paint, I did many different layers and wanted that too look aged as well, I am not sure that it is exactly how I pictured it in my mind, but I can’t say how often my vision and the end product correspond.

Plus it is more discreet then the carving.

2013 June 834

I have to say we are loving this, and that is was FREE from some repurposed garden boards makes it feel special.

 

 

 

Upcycled Jewelery Oraganization

Is it May already…and almost 1/3 over. I am still pushing foward on the NYR to become more oranginzed.

Organization in our house is a constant battle, a good one, but hard-fought non the less.

With 3 girls, the princess accessories are at an all time high, but I am sure it is just the tip of the iceberg.

At her recent campout birthday party, Raiven received a few new special accessories, she has pierced easr, has been acquiring necklaces and bracelets from relatives and friends, and thrifting. Until this project she was hanging them on a wooden drawing doll, is that what it is called?

I accidentally deleted a whole card full of photos…ugh! So the before shots are none existent..but here is what we did:

I had 2 black picture frames that were thrifted or the glass has brokern out of, I was tired of tripping over them but knew I would find a use from them….eventually.

When I saw this I decided to upcycle the old frames to organize our oldest daughters jewelry.

We spray painted them in Raiven’s color choice.

Then Hubby cut, he is the type A to my relaxed type B, and attached chicken wire to the frame.

He attached them to the wall with hallow all sinkers, since they were not on a stud, we wanted them securely in place.

2013 May 058 copy

WE added these hooks to the chicken wire, we crimped the top set closed so they are fixed in place, but we left the others uncrimped so she can move them around as she likes.  These are from Menards, but I am sure any hardware store has them.

2013 May 059

The other side we did not put any hook on, we left this one for earrings so she can just loop them over the wire.

2013 May 055 copy

I made the yellow beautiful art on her wall, inspired by one I saw on Zulily.

She is thrilled with this new addition to her room, and is really lets her showcase all the special jewelery she has, as most of it has been gifts.  It also gives her the independence to choose what she wants to wear and gives her the ability to easily care for her special jewelry.

2013 May 050 copy

Appliqued Turkey Shirt Tutorial

Happy to update from yesterday’s post that the Turkey shirt has made it through BOTH the washed and the dryer!!

Here is what I now have for Santanna:

 

I am very happy with the way it turned out, I really like the raw edges on all of the appliqué, it gives it a bit of a feathery feel…if you make a shirt like this you can use a product called fray check on the edges and it should prevent this from happening, it may make the edges a little more stiff though so keep that in mind.

Please keep in mind that I am in no way experienced in the art OR science of sewing, especially with a machine, that being said here is how I made this shirt:

1. Grab a shirt, this black one was for sale in my ebay store, it was a new with tags Target cast off that set me allllll the way back 49 cents….so really if you are a novice like me, just take a shirt that you already have or thrift one, just in case…..

2. Gather fabric, I recommend getting material that is not very stretchy, it will make this much easier when sewing onto the T shirt that is stretchy itself, I am pretty sure the fabric I used was quilting fabrics that someone had donated. If you have old sheets, tablecloths etc, these would be great

3. Grab templates for a circle, and feathers, our local bread store gave the kids these “feathers” to color and return for a free cookie, and the circle is a trace around any round object that you have at home. I know some of my directions might not seem super concrete but I think that any artsy/craft project should be more of how you like it with guidelines than solid have- to’s..

4. Cut out all your templates, I free handed the eyes, the fabric I used dictated the eyes, you might want circles or layers, play around with what you have until you like them the I had a few different styles before I decided I has them right. For the beak I cut a triangle and for the snood (the bacon looking thing, yes I had to Google that) I cut a free hand bacon shape. I cut different size circles for the body which was dictated by the size of the shirt. So you have a circle (body), arrow shapes (feathers), triangle, (beak), and a bacon shape (snood).

5. Now lay out your feathers on your shirt, move them until you like how they lay, I did some at different lengths to give it a natural abstractness, then lay your circle over them and carefully pink the feathers to the circle but NOT to the shirt. Sew around the circle to set feathers in place, do not forget to backstitch. Continue these steps, continuing with the beak, eyes and snood (are you comfortable with this word yet?…not sure I am :))

 

6. Now you should essentially have a turkey patch or an appliqué, lay it out on your shirt, and pin it into place, after I did this I found there were some feathers that needed a little trimming here and there. Now here comes the trickiest part, sew around and up and down your circle and feathers to completely secure your turkey into place. Here is what I learned: the first shirt I made I actually just went whole hog and stitched the turkey parts onto the shirt like above, but I found it got very bulky and was hard to keep all the feathers straight. I did complete my first shirt by sewing right onto it so if you feel like this will work for you please do not let me discourage you. I just think it works better especially for the eyes and smaller parts to already have them sewn on prior to sewing on the shirt, otherwise it gets to be quite thick, and this starts in the T word….tension, I am not there yet. I appliquéd my turkey one feather at a time, and then laid my shirt back out to make sure all the parts were where I wanted them. I did end with some puckering some pieces moved a bit, but I really like the originality of the way it looks.

 

 

7. Decide if you want legs, or any other special details, a little fabric bow would be cute if you want a girly turkey. Snip any loose threads, turn the shirt inside out and wash in cold in and dry as you would any cotton T shirt. ENJOY your Turkey shirt!!!

The kids are really having fun with this, I just finished Solomon’s shirt tonight and he decided his needed legs, Raiven has decided that she would like hers appliquéd on with dark aqua thread. What better way for us to all hang out and be creative, then THEY get to wear it!!

You can see it is not perfect, but I can tell you that I have less than $6.00 invested in each shirt, if even that. I will post a picture of all of us at the Turkey trot.

Thanks for looking!

Gobble gobble:)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Repurposed Puzzle Snail Mail Letters

It seems to me like all we ever get in the mail are bills, magazines, political propaganda (which I think is over now, thank goodness), and an occasional party invite.

In my sometimes old fashioned nostalgia I encourage our kids to send letters to friends or family.  Santanna is especially fond of making letters and pictures for her little friends.  Who does not like to receive a fun piece of mail personally addressed to them in ink??

Our friends daughter,  who I wrote about previously  who is battling brain cancer, is getting an overwhelming amount of mail, letters and packages, guess who feels a little left out/angry about not getting any mail?  Little sister Elsa.  So, her mom grudgingly asked if we could help a girl out and send some snail mail Elsa’s way.  I think we all know how hard it can be to actually ask for help when you need it right?!

This got me thinking, we needed to blow up this girls snail mail box, how many pictures was Tanna willing to color?

Then it came to me, a puzzle letter:

Here is what we did:

  1.  Went to savers (you might have one of these not being used at home as well, we recycled this one, you might be able to repurpose your own),  bought this puzzle.

2.  We put the puzzle together upside down. This is harder then you think wihtout picture clues.

3. I helped Santanna write a letter and she drew whatever and decotared whatever she wanted in Sharpie and Crayola markers.

       4.     I included instructions with the first envelope.

       5. Then we took the puzzle about, mixed it all up and I got out my postal scale for mailing packages and we weighed each one equal to/less than an ounce.  For this puzzle it was about 5 pieces per envelope.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 I am so excited for her friend to get this, she is going to be thrilled, plus it gives her something to look forward too.

I think I am also going to do this when the big kids are at camp for the summer.

Valentines’ Day Heart Crayon Craft

This is such a fun and easy craft to do with all ages.  These are great to give as little Valentines’ tokens or to make and bring into your child’s school, they are also really cute to fill a vase with and then put flowers in.

Anyway, this is very easy and does not require reaaly strict instructions.

You will need: Crayons, heart shape pan/muffin pan,  a cooling rack and patience

First gather all your broken crayons, these work best, but if you need to buy some that is fine also, you will just need to break then to fit in the pan.  We divided them into colors that I thought most fit the Valentines’ theme, pink, red, white, but a heart crayon can be any color you choose.

Heat your oven to about 200, this is again not a strict temp, it needs to be warm enough to melt the wax, but not hot enough to cook  it.

Peel all the paper off your crayons, here is where the patience is needed this can take a bit.

Break your crayons into pieces that will fit into your pan.  Put the pan into the oven, check in about 3-5 minutes, this will all depend on the size of your heart pan and then number of crayons that fit in each space.

Once all the wax has melted and congealed (love that word;) we found it was best to pop the pan on a cooling rack into the fridge to let the was reharden, and they popped right out quite easily for the most part.

Then grab some paper and try them out, or give them away or do whatever your little heart desires:)

White plastic globe birdfeeder upcycle

I am having trouble fitting all the pinterest ideas that inspire me into the short 24 hours per day, unless I go without sleep some will just probably never get done.

However, there was this amazing chicken house that was pinned, which led me to Karens’s blog: The Art of Doing Stuff , where I saw these:

From The Art of Doing Stuff

I knew this was a doable project and the next time I was at Savers I scored one of these orbs.

The orbs in the picture above are glass, and on her blog Karen shows what can happen if one slips out of your hands while crafting one of these, I lucked out and got a plastic one.  With 4 young ones around the house I knew a glass orb did not stand a chance.

So you will need, a plastic orb and some sort of strong string, we used twine:

You can see this is not going to be a  spendy feeder so if some hoodlum decides to snag your bird feeder some night, it won’t be a huge loss, except for the birds:

Take your plastic orb and drill 2 holes across from each other on the top third of the orb:

Next take your string, twine, rope or what you are using and string it through the two holes you just drilled, you can ties these in a knot and hang it from your tree.

Tie the string in your preferred knot and hand from a tree limb….also pretty important to fill with birdseed, which you can see we need to put on the list.

Total cost: $1.99 since we had the twin already, who know how much the bird seed will cost, but you can factor that in.

Total time, about 5 minutes.

Renewed floral chairs.

The narrow farmhouse table I made here via some slight modifications from Anna White’s amazing website was in desperate need of some chairs.  Luckily I had a set of chairs that I has snagged from an estate sale for $10…for teh pair, I thought this was such a great price.  then I got them home and they just did not fit anywhere.   I have had them for sale at 2 maybe three garage sales and even moved them from one house to another.

Perservenece….or maybe just an inability to let a good thing go for fear of wanting it again someday has won this battle, I recovered these chairs with some cushion and fabric from Hobby Lobby and am totally in love!!

I am sad that I can’t find a before picture to increase the wow factor, I am sure I will find one in the archives at some point, anyway here are the chairs:

Almost done..Corner Fireplace

What took the longest on this fireplace project was not the work, but the decision making. We cruised along through the framing and even the stone was an easy choice.  We freecycled the mantle our of a tree that had fallen  at the end of the street, we really llove the natural look of it, but are not sure if we want to leave it “raw, or add some color?

Hubby wanted to have a hearth, I think he is envisioning that cheery Christmas card photo in front of this beauty. This is where we hit a major stall. Since we added this hearth we cannot figure out what to put there, stone won’t work, we can’t find a tile, granite or marble that we like with the stone and wood, plus I don’t think we want to add any more types of material to this project.

We decided on the tile in the picture…it is a bit dark but we think it works best :

 

We really love the way it is turning out we jsut have to finish the hearth and do something with the matle…stay tuned!