Tag Archive | diy

Nerd + Crafting

My dear husband, who I promise is an adult and contributing member of society, loves to play D&D with his guy friends.  It is his ‘guys night’ and a bunch of his friends go off and have very creative adventures in the comfort of the livingroom **major bonus of being an adult, they don’t have to be banished to the basement**.  I’ve played occasionally and it is fun enough, but I prefer to have the nice solo night at home where I get to eat a quiet dinner and watch whatever I like on tv.

Anyway, like all hobbies, there are tons of things marketed directly at them.  There are the books and stuff, but then there are the extras and we are the proud owners of a very nice set of spell templates.  They are nicely done truly – you put them on the playing board to show how far your fire ball or ice stream goes.  They came on a giant piece of thin plastic so my first contribution to this was my ability to cut very nicely.

 

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spell sheet from Arc Knight – check them out, they are a great small business

 

The issue becomes how to carry all these bits…  For scale, that Capt America/Iron Man box is the length of a pencil (and is full of guess what; pencils!).  Some of the spells are wide, some are long, some are very very small…. How to keep them all safe?

I happened to have a yard of super hero fabric and my machines were all set up so instead of folding laundry last night I made this;

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Not just a bag!  Imagine how big a fail it would be just put them all in a tote.  The tiny ones would be gone, the long ones would be bent, and one can’t let an opportunity to make tiny pockets pass by.

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First of all, I made the side and half the bottom open for easy access.  Husband has big bear paws and if the chaos he leaves looking for a spatula in the drawer is any indication, he needs the ability to see all the pockets.  There are snaps up the side of the bag and velcro on the bottom (wraps up and around so there is a more secure bottom).  The pocket on the left is for the long thing things, across the bottom are all the large triangles and circles, and the wee little pocket on the top are for the little bits.  There is also room for the dice and pencil box and probably a book or 3.

Do you notice more snaps?  I decided that based on the variety of sizes,  small things would get lost in each pocket and to indulge more crafting energy; all the pockets open up for easy access

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So other than an oddly unfortunate fabric placement that makes all the small spells seem to be stored in The Hulks armpit, and, it isn’t lined, I’m very happy with it and more importantly so is he.

This took less that a yard and if I was starting again I would integrate the velcro better by just making the back longer than the front so it could fold up neatly.  I thought of the velcro after when snaps were not really making it on the bottom once he asked to store more things.

Happy St Patricks day!

The day I’m confused about my culture more than normal because I’m not ‘allowed’ to do or like things NOT in my culture of birth but everyone can be Irish if they feel like it. I also don’t especially know if I’m all that Irish.  However, based on my research from my Irish cousins and FancyPaperBlog there is very little difference beyond some vocabulary from my life here and their lives there.  (except for the president… I can’t guess the current president of Ireland and I can only name one; Mary Robenson, and our presidents seem to get more international notoriety)  So I am Irish and so are you, unless you super identify with some other culture.

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American Irish, mixed with Pinterest and hallmark, creates a bit of a crazy little holiday focused on green and rainbows.  School lunch today was desirable so no cute lunches to pack but I did break out the special ‘rainbow’ cereal for snacks.  They left an entire beer * and some soda bread for our resident leprechaun, Mr McCabbage, who ate and drank it all, leaving a spill of gold wrapped chocolate for them to find.  The tricky guy also dyed the milk green and also poured some on the floor **

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Tonight we are having soda bread and soup, good for lent and all that.  When the kids asked why we didn’t celebrate more since this was ‘our’ holiday I gave them my dad’s answer that this is day to go to church in Ireland…

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Still like celebrating things that have no more sress then what you personally choose.  I celebrated by doing my part of the tax prep and taking a short nap all while looking like an Irish Ari flight attendant.

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*Lars thought someone loved him since that ‘door’ is right above his office so he drank it

**Lars also accidently spilled a dish of cereal and Niamh saw him cleaning it up and deduced that the tricky leprechaun had made a mess.

 

Edit – I googled the president of Ireland and he is also on twitter.  To support my Irish side, I’m following him now.  You also get to be president of Ireland for 7 years, thats a long time…

https://twitter.com/PresidentIRL?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

Happy Valentines day!

This year, I’m not sure if because it is a Tuesday or what, I’m not doing as much as usual.  I’m actually not even going to see Lars because tonight is the SCA kids practice and also my PTO meeting so we will be in opposite directions until about 8:30.  After that we plan on a nice take out sushi dinner but really, I don’t doubt his love in general.

I did have fun with valentines for the kids.  I took a cue from all the cute photo strips we have as favors from recent weddings and decided to DIY one.  The internet is full of other people who thought of this first but this is how I did it;

  1. Took a ton of pictures of each girl holding a dry erase board where they wrote each part of the message.  Take A LOT because half of them will be too silly or full of frownsimg_6013
  2. cropped them to be square in my computer
  3. used the collage option to line up the 4 pictures in a strip.  I choose to have white borders on a pink background.  You can also do this in excel, sometimes it is easier in excel!
  4. Sent the image to our local UPS store and then talked to them so they knew what I wanted, and, printing is one of those things personal attention is worth doing.
    1. Paid a whole $10 for 35 strips (2×8 if you are looking for dimensions) for each of the kids.  That is $10 for 105 strips total.
  5. Cut up some pretty washi tape so the kids could tape on pencils (totally optional)
  6. They wrote names and taped pencils no problem and it only took about 20min

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I love that getting them printed is so economical because I figure I would have spent $3 per ‘kit’ at walmart and I would have needed 4 at least since they are usually only 24 so I’m saving money, and, it is something I get to keep and love.  I know, there is a ton of time involved between taking pictures and edits but for me, that is the fun part.  This didn’t even need hot glue so I consider it an easy one.

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Finally, I must add a new addition to the valentines traditions.  Apparently, as they get older, the valentines box becomes homework, and Niamh had her heart set on a Giraffe valentines mailbox.  It is a STEM school and I like that they described this as a building project and include the design-refine-spend time method. I talked her out of having the mouth be the mail slot because… engineering… but I do like the final result.  It could be better but she procrastinated until yesterday afternoon to even start and I refused to do it without her (because I wanted her to do it over the weekend when we had time).

 

So I hope you all have nice days and nights and a pleasant February 14th in general.

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giraffe mail box – excuse the mess below, that is how creative tables look.

 

Working with them

In my life revolving around trying to not have the house fall down around us, I try and make time for some fun photo projects.  I know it seems a bit over the top to do personalized cards for the kids, but, really they are for me.  It is a good yearly chance to take pictures of them as they grow.

This weekend we have 2 photo goals;

  • a ‘Thank You’ card for selling cookies.  I think people enjoy getting a token from the kids they are supporting.  Girl Scout Cookies are more or less their own reward, but, the fact you are helping kids should make you feel good too.  I also like that I have a picture per year of them in their vests and it also gives me a deadline to sew on all the patches.
  • Valentines card pictures. Again, I know, the 2.99 box from WalMart would be fine and that is all they are going to get in return (worse then christmas cards) BUT I seriously love the cards from last year and have had them by my bed for the past year.

However!  My kids are not models and I’m not a real photographer.  I end up getting frustrated and my lighting semi stinks and I hear myself getting mad that they won’t smile ‘right’ for me and so I end up just trying to ‘go with it’.

And so here is what you get when you let a cranky 4 year old pick how she will hold the sign…

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part of me thinks I should use it anyway, but, I did get a more traditional one too.  I’ll be working on it today and see how it looks. The inspiration this year is like a photobooth strip, it will be 4 square pictures in a strip that say ‘happy’-valentine’s-‘day’-‘name’ so this is just 1 of 4…  She does have cute feet.

So that is my plan for this SuperBowl Sunday.  I’m going to go workout like normal, come home and feed kids, put them to bed and then make cute cards.

Christmas crafting

Today’s post is based on product given to me by Oriental Trading company in return for a post.  I almost feel bad because they are so fast and shipping and I’m comparably slow at posting.

*in my defense, they just pull from a warehouse and ship the next day, I have to wait for my heard of cats to be in a crafting mood. *  Lucky for me, they inherited my love for crafting gene so far 🙂

I got quite a few things this order but my first goal was to get things that the kids could create gifts with.  There is a TON of jewelry options but I settled on 2 kits and then some charms and cute lampwork beads, one that looked like apples and another set that were just pretty.  I also got a few basic supplies like wine charm wire loops and necklace chords.

 

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Tried to keep the title and item number visible, price etc will probably be dependent on when you go look.

 

The older two were enchanted with the box of what can only be described as treasure.  Both dove in to create teacher gifts and with zero guidance from me created wine charms with bits and parts I was not expecting them to use.  It was ABSOLUTELY within their level (of age 6 and 8) to not just manually make it happen but to put together something pretty.

The Santa kit from the picture is actually too hard for them.  I plan on doing them myself and they will find their way to some lucky family members.  (here is where I hope my sisters are too busy to read my blog)

 

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The final thing that I want to highlight is, according to Oriental Trading, another Christmas craft, but, I’m planning on wearing it year round.  The safety pin in this picture actually also comes with a tiny nativity scene but for me, this is going to indicate my willingness to help anyone who needs it so I’m going to use that charm elsewhere.  The safety pin symbol , I think, is a great idea in its simplicity.

I was very impressed with the overall quality.  Makes me wish I had time to just sit and play with beads all day.  I will settle for the time I have and I’m double grateful for the fact that I can put a pile of supplies in the hands of my kids and let them create.

100% vegan turkey (craft)

Last year I did this too, but, it is so easy and the kids love it that I did it again.

 

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The center part of the ‘turkey’ is a large lunch bag.  I filled it 3/4 full of popcorn and crunched the end in on itself and rounded out the edges.

The legs are actually made from brown packing paper that came in an amazon box but could easily be from a strip of brown grocery bag.  Last year I used small lunch bags but I didn’t have them on hand this year.  My parents actually brought fancy turkey chocolate pops so I put them in the legs but you can fill them with anything.  To make the shape we rolled the paper around a beer bottle, removed the bottle, then filled, then folded then end in on itself.

To make the white pretty end this year I used coffee filters that I cut the ends into a frill, but, last year I used normal white paper.  I taped it shut around the ‘leg’.

I pulled out a tray, plopped the ‘body’ in the middle and squished the legs into it and it looked pretty natural. They are not even stuck together, just pushed into place.  I think that will work better for eating it tomorrow, zero risk of ripping the bag of popcorn open when a leg is pulled off.

Other Thanksgiving prep is underway, we have all the food in the house and plans are detailed.  Shopping was no problem and we found everything we needed in under 2 hours.

Now we just enjoy company and cooking!