Sunday, January 24, 2010

Gifts Galore!

Baby DressesA coworker's wife is expecting a little girl this spring and we are throwing a shower at school. I am putting together a gift basket from my department and I wanted to give something homemade so I headed to the craft store to see what I could come up with. I found an easy pattern (I can only really do "easy" patterns at this point...have yet to tackle zippers and buttons...stayed tuned!) for an adorable little baby dress. This pattern did actually stretch my sewing skills because I have never done a facing before (the contrast lining inside the dress) but I figured it all out and ended up making two dresses out of adorable fabrics. Check 'em out!

Spa Pillows

Partly out of necessity and partly out of wanting to try a new craft, my latest craft his week has been making microwavable neck wraps and eye masks. I used soft flannel in fun patterns and filled them with rice. I tried putting peppermint tea in one wrap (for lack of essential oils) and it came out spelling pretty good when heated up! The key is to make two separate compartments so that the rice evenly distributes throughout the wrap. You can see below that I created two chambers in the neck wrap by sewing straight down the middle before filling with rice. You also have to remember not to overfill it or it won't be pliable enough to curve around the neck.

I added a little gift tag with heating/cooling directions to this neck wrap and eye mask set...this is going to a friend who I know gets migraines often, so hopefully this will help!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A New Year and A New Post!

I haven't posted for a long time (since this past summer I think) but I have been doing lots of crafts nonetheless! I sold my condo (YAY!) and am now crafting out of a very cramped but functional spare room at my parent's house while I save for a house of my own! So, here's what I've been up to:

Scrapbook Map
Over holiday break I had time to create a project that I had been wanting to do for a really long time. I had seen this idea at around election time. You basically blow up two maps of the U.S. and use one as the base template and the other as outline to cut out each state. I used really pretty (and coordinating) scrapbook paper to create my map. It took me an entire afternoon to cut out and glue each state. Once the entire map was finished, I mounted it on gold wrapping paper that I already had. My challenge was finding an 18" x 24" frame, which I did eventually find at A.C. Moore (with a 40% off coupon I might add)! Now this beautiful piece of art has a new home in my classroom (until I actually have a home to put it in)! I should have taken a picture of it before I put it behind glass but here it is:

Frame the Name (and the date)
I wanted to give unique Christmas gifts to a few friends and family members so I decided to take an afternoon to go out and about and take photos of letters and numbers. I then took the photos and spelled out people's names and framed them up! I also used the numbers to do birth dates. They turned out really cool! In the next few months I will be adding the letters to my website for other people to purchase. I think they would make really cool wedding gifts or baby shower gifts!

American Flag Ornaments
I really wanted to think of something fun and easy for my students to make and take home to their families. Yes, I am aware that I am a high school teacher and that most of these students have stopped making ornaments once they were out of elementary school but why not take a short hiatus from our busy academic schedules and do something fun!? So, I came up with an American flag made out of popsicle sticks. The students colored four of the seven sticks red and then glued them together. I pre-cut little squares of blue/star fabric that they then glued to the corner of each flag. I think they turned out pretty cute (this is on my bulletin board at school, hence all the holes in the paper behind the flag):

CD Cookies
I saw this idea on Martha and thought they would be really easy, cute, and inexpensive Christmas gifts for people at school since I already had the paper CD sleeves. I created my own labels in Photoshop and printed them out on sticker paper (from Staples). The most difficult part turned out to be trying to create oatmeal raisin cookies that were just the right size!

Flag Pennants
I've been making more of these for people as gifts...a few more 'welcome' signs, 'celebrate', and this one for my friends beautiful little baby: