One thing that I’ve been appreciating more these days is the ability to use crafting supplies in multiple ways. Take for example, a stamp set and coordinating dies. Manufacturers have made it much easier to create stamped images and then cut them out by using detailed dies (with the help of cutting tools and machines) for paper crafting. But today, I decided to try them out on felt instead and managed to create a fun little playing board for our 5-year-old to play with. In this particular example I used the “Basket Bunch” photopolymer stamps and coordinating dies from Stampin’ Up.
I have to admit that sometimes I don’t like all of the stamps that are included in a stamp set. If I’m lucky there’ll be a couple of components that stand out to me enough to make it worth buying the entire set, and in this case it was the little flowers and banner that caught my eye. I used the flowers to do another one of my favorite techniques: creating a stamped background image on a card.
Watercolor painting can be applied to card making projects in a bunch of different ways. To make a beautiful card like this, I’m going to tell you how to use an ink pad and my new favorite tool – the waterbrush – to achieve stunning cards in a small amount of time. Not only do you achieve a uniquely created image, but the technique itself can be quite meditative and soothing too.
Lately my favorite way to spend free time has been sewing. I love making things for our 3.5-year-old to wear, especially when she picks out a particular fabric that she likes at the fabric store. She has this tendency to obsess over something once she realizes that she likes it, and lately this had been demonstrated by her discovery of Strawberry Shortcake. Not the cute, little, frumpy hat version you and I had back in the 80’s – rather the modern, hip, taller, and cooler version that is so popular today. While we were perusing through one of my favorite fabric stores, she insisted that I make her something out of this strawberry-covered fabric. And the first pattern I immediately thought of? Why, the Glass Onion Top of course. It’s my go-to pattern for a simple, casual, and fun top because of the super cute back panels that overlap. I love how there are no buttons or zippers so she can slip it right over her head. And I can make one with less than a yard of fabric – bonus!
In continuation of sharing our weekly craft dates, here’s a great project idea for little hands: paint your own puzzles! Our friend bought these blank puzzles from a local craft store and they are sold in a variety of packs and sizes. (I think the ones we used are this one listed on Amazon.) The one we used are 5.5″ x 8″ in size and the large pieces are perfect for toddlers.
The set up for this activity was quite simple and each kid painted two pictures. We used Crayola tempera paints and poured little amounts in plastic trays, then let them do whatever they wanted! It was interesting to watch and see what each kid ended up doing.
I really liked how one mom created a masked area with some masking tape (the letter ‘A’) and then painted around it. Once you lift the tape the unpainted area stays blank. So cool!
This was a very simple, easy, and fun activity that little hands can manage on their own. They would also make great gifts for grandparents and friends.
I have two reasons to be crafting lately: an upcoming show + a need to dwindle down my stash. And one reason why that’s easier said than done: an adventurous toddler that can reach very high onto my work space. Sigh.
But I’m happy to say that I have the opportunity to participate in this year’s Somerville Open Studios event taking place the weekend of May 4+5. SOS has always been my most favorite show to do because *so* many people come out to support local artists that weekend. I’ll be at the Armory building on Highland Avenue this year with a ton of other great artists. It’s from 12 to 6 pm each day that weekend, and there’s a parking lot behind the building. It’s location #62 on the map, and it’s also a trolley stop (how convenient!).
Now that I’m a mom, I find that I meet other moms in all sorts of places. I happened to meet a woman at an Isis maternity store right about when our daughter was seven months old: she was in line ahead of me returning something and in the meantime I was admiring her stroller (and the cute little baby girl sitting in it no doubt!). By the time I was done with my transaction she was still on her way out the door with a baby who by now was quite unhappy and hungry, and we laughed a little bit as I told her I totally knew what she was going through. After a couple of minutes of friendly conversation we swapped emails and shortly after that a new friendship was formed.
Well fast forward to today and her daughter turned one year old – my how time flies! She invited us to her birthday party which she said would have a “pink” theme, so I whipped up some cupcakes to bring along with us. I decided to do an idea that I saw on Pinterest where you use clear plastic cups and clear treat bags to wrap the cupcakes individually. I thought this would make them easy for people at the party to take home and enjoy later, plus with a bunch of little kids running around it might help reduce the spreading of germs if they were out in the open instead. For my version, I added a short bamboo stick and made a paper topper with some curling ribbon as an added little girly touch. They were a hit at the party and my friend loved them! Even better, it was a cinch to pull together.
I’m happy to announce that you can now purchase some of my craft themed greeting cards at Gather Here in Cambridge, MA! Here are just two of the many designs sitting pretty in a red spinning card rack near the register. Ideal for popping a GH gift card into, the cards vary in size and feature occasions from birthdays to thank yous to new baby. More cute designs coming soon – and shoot me an email if you have any special requests, ideas or suggestions!