Thursday, July 16, 2015

"My School Day" time book


It may be only July, but here in Georgia it is almost back to school time -- kids go back in just a couple of weeks! And while a new school year is always an exciting time, it can also be a little stressful, especially for kids who are just starting school or kids who need a routine. That's where the "My School Day" book comes in.


When I was a teacher, I got a lot of questions about what time we would do certain things. First graders always wanted to know, "When do we go to recess? When do we go to art/music/etc?" With this little book, made from Deflecto's 3"x5" flexible pouches, you can introduce kids to their daily school schedule before the school year starts AND practice telling time!


Directions:
1. Stamp a clock face onto 3x5 pieces of white cardstock and put the appropriate time for the child's activities (you can get the daily schedule from the teacher before school starts). I made cards for getting on the bus, school start time. lunch time, "specials" time (art/music/PE), recess, and end of day, but you may need different ones for your kids.
2. Print the words and the times for each activity on the computer and attach them to each card. Of course, you can always hand-write these! With this, kids learning to tell time can match the clock face with the "digital" time.
3. Edge each card with washi tape.
4. Make a front and back cover. This is a great place to use scraps! Be sure to include a place on the inside of the front cover for the child's name, address, and phone number. If the child rides the bus, put what bus number they ride home on the inside of the back cover.
5. Use a book binding ring to hold the pouches together and decorate with ribbon!

With this book, kids get an introduction to their school day before the big day arrives. Since it's made with these cool pouches, it's small enough that kids can carry it in their book bags.

Here's to a less-stressful first day of school!

Materials used:
Deflecto flexible pouches
white cardstock
patterned paper and journaling card from Keller's Creations
letter stickers from The Paper Studio
embellishments from Queen and Co.
adhesives from ThermOWeb
book ring
ribbon
clock face stamp
pen from Zig

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Proggy Rug Rainbow Pillow Featuring Oly*Fun Fabric


Today, I am participating in a manufacturer's challenge showcasing products from Fairfield (the makers of PolyFil, American Spirit batting, and lots of other sewing/fabric products). I used their versatile Oly*Fun fabric to make a no-sew "proggy" pillow!

First of all, you may be asking, "What is Oly*Fun?" Well, Oly*Fun is an awesome, water-repellant fabric that can be used to make just about anything. You can use it like you would use paper or fabric so it's very versatile. It comes in a wide array of colors, and it is perfect for outdoor projects because it's weather-resistant.

Next you may say, "Then what is 'proggy' rugging?" Proggy (or proddy, depending on what area of Great Britain you are from) is a style of rug-making that uses small strips of fabric, a pointy-tipped tool called a proddy, and burlap (or "hessian" as the Brits call it!). Now, while this technique is mostly used for rugs, you can use it to make wreaths, stuffed toys, and more.

Check out this short video that explains how to make a proddy/proggy rug. This lady does a great job explaining how it's done, plus her accent is fantastic!



My favorite part about this pillow is that it is completely NO-SEW! Yep, not one single thing is sewn on this pillow, making it perfect for non-sewers (like me!) and older children!


Materials needed:
Oly*Fun fabric by Fairfield
PolyFil polyester fiberfill by Fairfield
proggy tool by Craft Yourself Silly
Burlap

1. Cut Oly*Fun fabric into strips of approximately 1/2"wide and 2-3" long. You need enough fabric for about three times the area of your finished piece.
2. Get a piece of loose weave burlap. It needs a more loose weave so that the proggy tool will go through the holes more easily. Size of the burlap depends on how large you want your pillow.
3. Fold one edge of the burlap over about 2 inches. Always work from the back of the project (the front will be the fluffy side).
4. Starting in the middle of the row, poke a hole through the burlap with the proggy tool. Use the proggy to poke the fabric through the hole. Then move over three strands of burlap and poke another hole, weaving your fabric into this hole.
5. Move over three more strands of burlap and repeat the process until you get to approx. 2 inches from the ends. Fold over the ends and repeat steps 4 and 5. You will fold over all 4 sides of your burlap until all sides are finished and you have a square.
6. Once your borders are done, continue filling in the middle. You can work in rows or just random -- its up to you!
7. After the burlap is filled in, take a piece of Oly*fun and cut it approx. 2 inches larger on all sides than your burlap square (so if your burlap square is 12x12, then your fabric should be 16x16).
8. Cut fringe into the Oly*fun edge with each fringe strip measuring 2 inches by 1/2".
9. To attach the backing, use your proggy tool to poke the fabric through already established holes once(the backing and fabric will share holes). Repeat until 3 edges are complete. Leave the 4th edge open so you can stuff the pillow.
10. Stuff the pillow with polyester filling.
11. Finish last edge with the larger Oly*Fun backing

To get you started on your own pillow for less, use coupon code AMYCOUP to save 20% on orders at Fairfield World through the month of June!

For more "pillow talk" from other designers, just click on the Designer Crafts Connection logo in the right sidebar!

Learn About the Cricut Explore!



**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links. 

Want the ability to easily make a personalized wedding gift or perhaps some unique home d├ęcor? Then you might find Cricut electronic cutting machines to be the best DIY crafting tool since the sewing machine. 

There are two machines that Cricut currently offers on their site:
Cricut Explore One™ 

Cricut Explore One™ is a simple design-and-cut system. It’s versatile, easy to use, cuts very precisely, and is also incredibly affordable. With its irresistibly low price and limitless cutting potential, the Explore One is perfect for a new or beginning crafter. Here are a few notable features of the Explore One: 

Materials – All Cricut machines can cut an unbelievable variety of materials, for example:
  • Paper
  • Vinyl
  • Iron-on
  • Craft materials
  • Upcycled materials
  • Fabric
  • Plastic
  • Thick materials
Precision - Features Cut Smart™ technology, which allows you to cut a wide range of shapes and sizes with exceptional precision, from ¼" tall up to 11½" wide x 23½" tall. 

Smart Set® Dial - Each machine features a Smart Set® dial, which sets your settings (e.g. speed, pressure, etc.) for you so you don’t have to keep track of them. You just select the material that you're using on the Smart Set® dial and the machine's Cut Smart® technology will deliver a clean, professional cut. 

Images and Fonts - You can upload your own images and fonts for free on all three Cricut cutting machines.

Cartridges - Both machines work with any Cricut cartridge and have the capability to hold all of your cartridges “virtually” in the cloud within your Cricut Design Space online software. So once you’ve loaded a cartridge, you’ll have it everywhere you go. 

Cricut’s Design Space™ and iPad® app - All Cricut Explore machines work hand-in-hand with Cricut’s Design Space™ (for PC, Mac®, iPad®, and iPhone®) that you get access to for free. 

Cricut Explore Air™

The Explore Air is the whole kit ‘n caboodle. It offers all the impressive features mentioned for the Explore One, but two key things set it apart:
  1. It has a dual carriage for cutting and writing or cutting and scoring in one step. If you do a lot of paper crafting, this is the machine for you!
  2. It has built-in Bluetooth® capability. You just use Cricut’s free iPad app and design anything you want from your iPad, just like you would on your home computer, but with the convenience of being able to take your projects with you anywhere. Then, you can just wirelessly send your project from your iPad to your Explore Air to bring it to life.
Now that you know a lot more about how Cricut Explore® machines work, I’ll focus next week’s post on how you can design here, there and everywhere with Cricut Design Space. You’ll be blown away by how easy it is.

Until then … Happy crafting! 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Creating with Joy - Dollar Store Summer Makeover

You may know from my last post that I love summer. However, there is something I love even more than summer: saving money!

I am a crazy frugal girl; heck, I was even a panel speaker at the International Coupon Conference a few years ago! So it is almost needless to say that I do a lot of shopping at the Dollar Tree. I can always find a good bargain there. Just this month, I found a fun tropical print tote bag and a pair of all black sunglasses, each just $1. Cute enough as they were but kind of plain. So I gave these two items a million dollar makeover with Joy embroidered letters!


I used the white varsity letters on the bag to add my initials. Full disclosure here: I didn't iron these letters on since the bag is made of a synthetic material that doesn't hold up to an iron. Instead, I attached the letters using 3-in1 Adhesive from Beacon Adhesives and it worked perfectly. However, if you use a bag that is made from canvas or another fabric that won't melt when subjected to heat, iron those letters on -- it's super easy! Just iron from the back side of the fabric!


Next, I used Joy's small monogram letters to add my initials to each side of the glasses again using Beacon's 3-in-1. And since a girl can never have enough bling, I added a clear rhinestone to the letter and used black adhesive rhinestone sheets from The Buckle Boutique to decorate the earpieces (I laid the earpieces down on a sheet of scratch paper and traced around them, then used that as a template for cutting my rhinestone sheets).

Now, instead of just an everyday bag and pair of glasses, I can hit the pool looking like a million bucks!

Want more ideas on how to use Joy letters? Come on over to the Creating with Joy blog. My fellow designers have some amazing ideas!

Materials used:
Joy embroidered letters
tote bag and glasses from the Dollar Tree
adhesive rhinestone sheets from The Buckle Boutique
adhesive from Beacon Adhesives
single rhinestone from Want2Scrap

Disclosure: I received these embroidered letters from Joy as a part of their design team. However, I received no compensation or consideration from Dollar Tree or any other companies included in this post. All opinions are my own.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Summer Vacation Dry Erase Countdown Calendar

"Summer summer summertime
Time to sit back and unwind..."

Yeah, so I am channeling my inner DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince right now. Why? Because it's summer!

I have always loved summer. The laid-back times, the hot weather, my birthday -- I love everything about it. But the best thing about summer has to be vacation. It seems like almost everyone takes a summer vacation and it's something to look forward to during those long winter months.

So how about a summer vacation countdown calendar to mark the days until your getaway?


I used the Deflecto sign holder that is made especially for cubicles (it comes with mounting clips, Velcro, and magnets so that you can mount it almost anywhere). Won't your co-workers be jealous of your upcoming adventure and your cool calendar? Just keep track of the days with a dry-erase marker, writing the days left on top of that cute little die-cut suitcase.

So where are you going this summer?

Materials used:
"Going Places" and "Base Camp" Cricut cartridges
We R Memory Keepers "Jet Set" collection
SEI paper and washi tape
K and Co. dimensional stickers 


Friday, May 22, 2015

Creating with Joy Frame

I am Creating with


Joy S.A. Embroidered Letters & Appliques for Wearables & Home Decor 

I am pleased to announce that I am going to be a part of the "Creating with Joy" ambassador team. Joy S. A. Inc. makes awesome embroidered applique letters and designs that make any project beautiful.

Joy S.A. is sponsoring a blog hop with Designer Crafts Connections so be sure to check out all the amazing projects from the other designers. Use the arrows beneath the logo in my sidebar to the right to navigate the web ring.  And there is a new blog that where we will be sharing our projects each month -- check it out here!

Here's my project!


I am a huge Atlanta Braves fan, so I wanted to make a frame to feature my favorite teamI just added the Joy 3" Varsity Letters in red to a clear acrylic frame from Deflecto to go from plain to fab! These letters are gorgeous! The embroidery is beautiful and the adhesive really sticks, making them a great way to personalize almost anything.

For more inspiration, look through all of the projects on the DCC blog hop and check out our "Creating with Joy" blog and Facebook page!

Thanks for stopping by!




Monday, May 11, 2015

Father's Day Car Guy Frame


We just celebrated our moms on Mother's Day, so now let's turn our attention to the dads out there!

For this Father's Day, I am giving my dad something that combines two of his loves: me and cars! You see, my dad has always loved cars. He knows more about cars than almost anyone I know, Because of him, I have attended lots of classic car shows, drag races, and NASCAR races, and I have loved every minute of it too.

The picture above is me and my dad at a NASCAR race at Talladega a few years ago. The picture needed a cool frame to go with it, and the Deflecto curved magnetic frame was just right. (By the way, this frame is so neat because the frame snaps together with magnets and the photo just "floats" between the two panels.) I placed my photo on Rowlux Illusion Film and placed it in the frame. Then I added some fun car-themed stickers and die-cuts to the frame itself to give it a "high-octane" look!

So if your dad is a car guy, give him a gift that will rev his engine!

Materials used:
Deflecto curved magnetic frame (5"x7")
Rowlux Illusion Film in Red 3-D
Die Cuts with a View car die cut
Creative Imaginations stickers
Studio G by Hampton Art glitter glue
Glue Dots adhesive

Monday, April 20, 2015

Mother's Day Masterpiece Magnet


May will be here before you know it, and with it comes Mother's Day!

My mom always loved the gifts I made for her the most (and she still does), and I think most moms are the same way. So this month's Deflecto Crafts project is a fun gift for moms that they will love and kids will love to make!

I started with the Deflecto customizable magnetic craft sheets. These sheets are so easy to use! They have a white facing to them that can be painted, inked, covered with paper... you name it. They can also be easily cut with scissors and craft knives and you can use punches and die cut machines. (These sheets are being rolled out to stores soon -- ask your local craft store to carry them!)


I just used a ruler, a permanent marker, a pair of scissors, and a craft knife (for the center) to cut out my frame, making it 4" x 5". The great thing about this simple frame is that you can let kids make whatever design they want using markers or paint, drawing directly on the white surface. I used Copic and Spectrum Noir markers, giving my frame a little bit of a stained glass look.

For the finishing touch, I put a school picture in the frame and added a little tag that says "Happy Mother's Day from your little masterpiece!"

And yes, that little girl in the picture is me in the 3rd grade!

Materials used:
Deflecto magnetic craft sheets
Copic and Spectrum Noir markers
Fiskars Amplify mixed media scissors
Fiskars fingertip craft knife
Martha Stewart Crafts permanent marker


 
Images by Freepik