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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mea culpa

I was super busy with various commitments and didn't post any of my Thanksgiving or Christmas crafts. I took tons of pictures, and will post those soon so you can use them later. I am working on getting my supplies for new Valentine's crafts out so that I can make those and post the pics with directions as soon as possible. As a busy mom that's sometimes easier said than done!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thanksgiving Advent Calendar- UPDATED

I made my Halloween and Christmas advent calendars a couple of years ago. The supply list and instructions can be used for any of the calendars.

large piece of felt with thick interfacing
several colors of felt
several coordinating fabrics
coordinating thread
coordinating ribbon including one thick to hang it up
coordinating seasonal decorations
thick interfacing for pockets and backing felt
Wonder Under
coordinating thread
ironing board
rotary cutter and mat
1/2" thick wooden dowel and 2 wooden balls to fit the ends
This is the fabric for the letters and numbers.This is the rough sketch I made of what I want my calendar to look like when completed.After making the rough sketch I cut out paper versions so I could use them as a cutting guide for the felt. I cut one feather to see if I liked the size of it in relation to the body. I'm planning to use 5 colors for the feathers.

1. Iron the felt onto the thick interfacing.
2.Trace your shape (feather in this case) onto the interfacing and cut out.
When you're done you'll have a stack of feathers. These will be your pockets.
3. Lay out your pockets with the turkey body. Make any changes necessary before you sew things on. I'm not entirely thrilled with the way this looks. I haven't figured out what to do yet. Any suggestions?
4. Iron the material so it's flat and then iron onto the Wonder Under.
5. Trace and cut out the words and letters from the material.
6. Iron them onto the pockets. If desired stitch around them to make sure they'll stick well.
7. Sew your pockets and the turkey body onto the large piece of felt.
8. Decorate with ribbons (I do top and bottom) and/or other decorative pieces.

** I am too busy to finish it before Thanksgiving this year so I am adding what I have done since I last posted this. Please email me with any questions!
I had to make the turkey smaller and turn the beak and wattle so they faced forward so that everything would fit correctly. The picture above shows how it looks currently. I still need to iron on the numbers, add stitching around them and then sew them to the brown felt. I also need to sew on the Happy Thanksgiving to the top, add the eyes and the ribbon. If I can find it I think I might add rick rack to the bottom. We'll see. I hope to have this done soon, but I have several upcoming activities that I am in charge of in the next 2 weeks so it might not be done before Christmas.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Werewolf Meatloaf

I made Werewolf Meatloaf for my kids tonight so we could have something a little different. I didn't make the meat any differently than usual, just shaped it differently. My 5 year old son wouldn't even touch it. He thought it was really a werewolf paw. Ha ha! My older kids loved it, especially when they got to add the "blood" (ketchup).

Here's my meatloaf recipe:
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef

1 t. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. soy sauce

1/2 chopped white onion

1/4 - 1/2 c. seasoned bread crumbs

1 egg
salt and pepper to taste
5 pecans or almonds

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Mix all the ingredients together by hand until well mixed. Shape into a hand shape, placing a nut on the end of each "finger". Put onto a cake pan and bake for 35-40 minutes. Top with ketchup.This is the cooked meatloaf. I couldn't even get it out of the pan and onto a serving plate before the kids were eating it. The onions stayed at the top which my youngest thought was fur.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Homemade Glass Hurricane Jar

I've seen these all over the place. I have 3 sons, who bring over their friends, who are usually boys, and as mothers of boys know, even though the rule is no throwing balls in the house, something gets thrown, and Mom's expensive glass jars get broken in the process. I figured this out a few years ago after a trip to the Home Goods store to buy apothecary jars and other cute glass display jars was all for naught within 3 weeks of my purchases. I'd pretty much sworn off the idea of buying anything glass until they've moved out... UNTIL... I saw I saw homemade glass hurricane jars that you made yourself from the dollar store! They're everywhere, and I don't know how I missed it until now.


E6000 glue (this will be the most expensive part of the project- I
had some so I didn't have to buy new)
Glass candle holder- I got a votive (dollar store)
Hurricane jar (dollar store)


1. Remove the price tags from the bottom of the jars. Clean well. Rubbing alcohol works really well.
2. Put a dollop of the glue on the candle holder and put your jar on top. Hold it securely for a few minutes. 3. Add candy or whatever you want to put in there. Decorate with a ribbon (I haven't done this yet...) and you can use it for all seasons of the year.

Terra Cotta Mummies

I got the idea from Inspiring Creations. I tweaked it a bit because I liked the mummies being thicker in the middle.
Supplies 2 same size of terra cotta pots White Paint Googly eyes Strips of white material Hot glue/glue gun Black or dark brown ink pad Foam brush Directions 1. Glue together the lips of the pots and press together until dry. 2. Paint the pots white. Use a couple of coats, but they don't have to be completely perfect since you're covering them with the material.
3. Glue the eyes on the pots.4. Take a strip of the material and adhere
it to the top of the pot and wrap it around, gluing every so often to keep it on. Make sure to avoid the eyes!5. When you're done with the material add some ink to it to make it look older. I used a black ink pad and a brown ink dauber to get the colors I wanted. (Here's one that I hadn't distressed next to the one that I had.)Display with your other favorite Halloween decor!

Halloween Wreath

I saw a picture of a cute wreath in a Woman's Day Magazine a while ago and decided that I had to make it. This project was actually pretty inexpensive. I already had the paint, foam sheet, glue and eyes. At the dollar store I found the wreath and the bag of balls. I got the bag of orange feathers from Hobby Lobby for less than $2, and the black pipe cleaners for less than $1 at WalMart. Here's my inspiration photo.


12" grapevine wreath (you can do larger, just get more feathers)

1 bag orange feathers

1 bag of multi-sized Styrofoam balls
Black, orange and purple paint
Black foam sheet
Google eyes
Black pipe cleaners

Glue gun/glue
Craft tweezers


1. Paint the balls purple, orange and black. You may need
to do 2 coats. Set aside to dry.
2. Put glue on the spine of the feather. Place it on the wreath, and press firmly to make sure it's on there tight. Continue until the entire front of the wreath is covered. (The directions in the magazine called for using an orange feather boa, but neither Hobby Lobby nor Joann had on in stock so I used the feathers. If you use the boa instead just do a small section at a time with the hot glue.)3. For the spiders- Cut out small sections of the pipe cleaner for legs. Press them into the balls and bend to look like legs.
4. For the bats- Cut out bat wings from the foam. Hot glue to the back and hold for a few seconds while the glue hardens.
For the pumpkins- Put a piece of green feather or foam onto the top of the orange balls to make pumpkins. 6. Using the craft tweezers pick up the eyes and put hot glue on the back. Place onto the balls.
7. Glue everything to the wreath and display.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Marshmallow Shooters Made from PVC Pipes

If you have a Cub Scout you have probably seen marshmallow shooters at some point.They also sell them at the stores, but they're so cheap and easy to make it's hard to justify the extra cost. These shooters are popular with kids of all ages. These are quick and easy to make, and I got supplies to make three of them for less than $7.

1- 1/2" PVC pipe (They are 10' long so you'll have some extra pipe after cutting out the pieces you need.)
2- 1/2" PVC elbows
2- 1/2" PVC T's
2- 1/2" PVC caps
Hack saw or PVC pipe cutter
Optional- Spray paint or decorative duct tape

Cut four 4" pieces, two 6" pieces and one 8" piece. This is what it looks like when you've cut the one pipe and the fittings you'll need. Assemble according to picture below, making sure fittings are tight. This is how it looks when it's done. You can spray paint it or cover it with decorative duct tape to personalize them.

To shoot them place a marshmallow at the end of the barrel and blow forcefully in the top opening.