December 4, 2011

Advent Calendar

Welcome December! This is my FAVORITE time of the year. I love everything about Christmas and now that I'm a mom I get to watch the little prince experience the wonders and joys of the holiday as well.

Part of the Christmas season for me is about tradition - decorating the Christmas tree, listening to Christmas music, dinner with my family - creating those memories that you take with you throughout your life.

The Advent calendar was not a part of my childhood Christmas tradition but I decided this would be a great way to reinforce the story of the birth of Christ in a way that was fun for my four year old. Of course I got the bright idea to create our own calendar instead of buying one. Why do I do this to myself? I don't know about you, but whenever I say "this will be easy" I have automatically set myself up for a much longer process than originally anticipated and this calendar was no!

Using plain white posterboard, some Christmas fabric that I've had for a while, some thin ribbon and scrapbook paper I set to work on making a calendar that we can use for years to come.

The completed calendar

Each pocket has a card with a picture on it that corresponds to the story

I took a small Christmas photo album (10 pages) that I found in the dollar bin at Target last year and covered it in one of the remaining pieces of fabric; added the story to the pages and now we have a coordinating Christmas story book. Though you can't see it clearly here, the story is divided into 'days' to correspond to the numbered pockets.

A close-up of the pockets and the three different fabric designs used.

Even though this took longer than expected (we were three days behind), I'm happy that I now have something that I can use with my son for many more Christmases to come.

Off I go to work on a few other projects...let's hope that at least one or two more Christmas crafts will make its way into blog-world.

Join us at these linky parties:
Dixie n Dottie

November 17, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I can't believe that I haven't posted in a month...time is moving way too fast and I'm having a hard time playing catch-up. I could go on and on (and on) about how I'm trying to balance my life and my blog but honestly that would be better suited for a therapy session (lol) so I'll just get down to it.

Let's talk Thanksgiving people!

The sweet little babies that I have the pleasure of teaching three days a week are the inspiration for this craft. It started on a trip to the Dollar Tree where I found some great craft pinecones. Immediately I thought these could be transformed into little turkey's for my kids' class Thanksgiving feast.

They were meant to be mine - 9 pinecones and 9 little friends in the class

I've never made a pinecone turkey before but I figured it couldn't be that hard. I looked around my craft area for things I could use and was able to come up with a pack of foam sheets, some pipe cleaners and wiggly eyes.

While my son watched a couple shows of Thomas the Tank Engine, I cut out circles for the head, oval-ish shapes for the feathers, triangles for the nose and a candycane sort of shape for the gobbler.

Now it was time to put these together. I pulled out my trusty glue gun and began the assembly process which looked like this....

Attached the circle for the head

The beak

The globbler

The eyes

The foam feathers and pipecleaner feet - what a cutie he is, right!?!

Since these are going to decorate our table I wanted them to be a bit more fun than this. I've been learning to create my own toppers for parties and events and this is my first creation (I'm very proud of how well these turned out).

How cute are these! Not bad for a first try! (smile)

Put together and this is what I have...

Even though this is a poor photo (sorry) this is too cute, if I do say so myself!

The kids won't get the humor of the picture but their parents sure will and what a sweet keepsake for them to add to their own Thanksgiving table.

There are many things that I am thankful for and when my life feels like it's spiraling out of control I take a step back and remember that I'm blessed to be able to do what I love - even if that means doing so only once a month. Little Blue's Room would like to wish you and your family a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving. Be a blessing to someone this holiday season and remember....

October 14, 2011

Before Meets After ~ Picture Frame

A trip to The Goodwill landed me with my next 'Before Meets After' piece - a 5x7 solid oak wood frame. Since Halloween is only a couple weeks away and I have so many crafts that I would love to do (but unfortunately won't get to before the holiday) I thought this would be the perfect piece for a simple transformation.


The frame

Look at the price tag - gotta love $.49!

Spray painted it black

Cut a piece of white textured scrapbook paper to size

Using my Silhouette and the free shape of the week, I cut out the witches hat in both black and orange

I created a witches hat using pieces from both cutouts and used some great rub-ons that I found in Target's dollar bin last year and you have.......

A great Halloween sign

Simple and easy! I can't think of a better way to add festive holiday decor to your home without breaking the bank.

October 13, 2011

Breast Cancer Awareness

I think we all know someone (or know someone who knows someone) who has been touched by cancer. Unfortunately, this is a subject I know more about than I would like. I lost my father in 1991 to prostate cancer and lost my mother in 2007 (just two months after the birth of my son) to esophageal cancer. And if that wasn't enough, while my mother was losing her battle my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. I'm happy to say that my sister is a SURVIVOR - three years strong now!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. 38% of breast cancer cases are preventable. Join me as I do my part to help fight this disease....because sometimes the only way to win is to FIGHT LIKE A GIRL!

Ladies (and guys too) remember to 'Feel Your Boobies' by doing your self breast examinations and if you are over 40 have a mammogram. Let's help kick cancer's butt - early detection is the key!

October 10, 2011

Guitar Decoupage

I began working on this project sometime mid summer and ended up setting it aside to work on other things. I like the idea of decoupage so I wanted to try it out, but after finishing this I think the jury is still out on whether or not I'll attempt this again in the future. I wouldn't necessarily call this a crafting "fail" because I think it turned out as well as could be expected but I'm not terribly thrilled with it - I'll let you decide.

I took a plain canvas I had on hand from another project and painted it with red acrylic paint and let it dry

Using the music note scrapbook paper I used on the toy bin from this project, I cut out a guitar shape and small 1"x1" squares. I also used black scrapbook paper I had on hand to cut rectangle shapes to create a border. The edges were cut using decorative scissors

Using the same black paper, I cut triangle shapes to fill the remaining space. I used Mod Podge to glue each piece to the canvas then applied a medium layer as a sealer. I then finished it off with a coat of clear acrylic

I love to learn from my crafting - what I like, don't like and what needs improvement. For a first try, I think this is good so I'll try not to be too hard on myself about the end result.

Crafting is like life - sometimes you make mistakes but the growing happens when you learn from them. So I guess it's back to 'learning' for me (smile)!

October 9, 2011

Dinner with Friends

We've been in our new hometown for about three years and though I'm beginning (and that means recently) to feel like this is "home" for me, I've found it hard to make friends. Who would have thought that making friends at this stage of my life would feel more like it did when I was Anyway, I've met a great lady that has shown as much interest in a friendship with me as I am with her so I invited her and her family over for a night of dinner for all, fun for the kiddos and great conversation for us. This was no elaborate spread - just pizza, fruit and cupcakes for dessert - but we had a great time!

Even my little pumpkin made an appearance as decoration(smile). Now that the fun is done, back to work I go. Let's see what the creative spirit cooks up for me this time.

October 8, 2011

Pumpkin Decor

Boy, I never thought that once school started back it would be this hard to carve out time to craft. As I continue to work with my schedule to find a way to get my projects finished and get them to my blog, I've decided that I can fill space with a few simple crafts that require little to no time (and of course little to no

On my trip to Target, I found this great little grapevine pumpkin in the dollar bin section for $2.50 that I thought I would spruce up a bit and use as part of my Fall/Halloween decorations.

The flowers are from the Dollar Store and the ribbon was on sale at Michael's. I used my glue gun to attach both to the pumpkin and voila, it's finished in a matter of 30 minutes. It's going to make a great addition to my table for our dinner date with friends!

September 25, 2011

It's Fall

It's officially FALL and what better way to welcome the new season than to craft a Fall theme project.

When I made my little Halloween signs (here and here), I had a few people ask me if I had anything Fall related and a bit bigger (the Halloween signs were approx. 5x7). Well I didn't at that time but took the request as a challenge to come up with something fun and just as cute.

This project looks nothing like what I had floating around in my head (this happens to me a lot!), but I love how the creativity comes to me as I'm working on a piece - some of these projects take on a life of their own...LOL!

Anyway without further ado, here is what I came up with......

Everything I need to get started. The frame came with these great 3x3 squares that you'll see in another craft at a later date

I painted the frame with chocolate brown acrylic paint. The paper came from another project, so I didn't have a full 12x12 sheet. I measured and cut the paper to fit inside the frame and used Mod Podge to glue it down

Using my Silhoutte machine, I cut the pumpkin design in another shade of orange scrapbook paper and applied it before using Mod Podge as a sealer. Once it dried I sprayed the entire frame with clear acrylic

Since I had to use two pieces of paper to fill the frame space, I ended up with a seam down the middle that I felt needed to be disguised. I had some thin brown ribbon on hand that worked perfectly to create this window design as well as used it to cover the perimeter of the frame as well

Using the Silhoutte again, I cut the little pumpkin cart out in vinyl and applied it to the bottom square. Both the flowers and scarecrow I bought at the dollar store (removed the stick from the scarecrow) and applied using super glue

All finished! I added the letters using some 3-D stickers I picked up from the dollar bin at Target last year.

September 24, 2011

Before Meets After ~ Toy Bin

In my search to find stores with bargain items that can be used in my craft projects, I've found a hidden gem (at least it was hidden to me...hehe) that I never considered before. I've always known that my local Dollar Stores carried some great finds that could be turned into marvelous projects but had no idea that the local Goodwill would be a proverbial wonderland of inexpensive 'trash to treasure' items.

After a couple trips to the store, I've found a few things that can (and will) be transformed into great pieces. After giving some thought as to what to do with them, I've decided that I will begin a series titled "Before Meets After" - a chance to see these great bargains in their 'before' state and what they will look like 'after' a little crafting magic.

My first post isn't a dollar store or Goodwill find but it definitely qualifies for this category. As you know from my Art Center post, I'm working to complete my son's big boy room. Originally we put his toys in one of those 3-drawer plastic bins, but that just wasn't going to work anymore (it's now in my crafting corner) so I took an unused 3-shelf bookshelf and turned it into a cubbie.

A place for everything and everything in its place.......

An unused bookshelf from the basement playroom

Spray painted blue to match the room decor

Turned the bookshelf on its side to create cubbies. Cut out two guitar shapes using this great music note scrapbook paper. Using Mod Podge I applied them to the top on opposite ends

Bought these red bins from Target during their Back-to-School sale

Using my Silhoutte machine, I cut the letters in vinyl to go between the guitars (this was my first time using vinyl on my machine; I have a few tricks to learn about cutting and size)

Not the greatest picture, but a new toy cubbie filled with toys and ready for play!

It's not completely finished. I do hope that I'll get the chance to add a little curtain to disguise the space at the top where the bins don't quite reach, but that's a project for another day.

Stay tuned for more "Before Meets After" - but in the meantime.....

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