February 25, 2011

Craft Hope Baby Blanket and Owl Softie


Craft Hope is an organization that links crafters to charities. Every couple of months they feature a project that meets a specific need for a charity. They also have a book full of service projects. The current project is making delivery kits for Konbit Sante, a group that is working to improve the healthcare system in Haiti. The delivery kits help birthing assistants provide a clean area for a birth and prevent infection in the both the newborn and the mother.


Each delivery kit includes a homemade baby blanket, softie and tote bag.


I made the blanket out of pale green flannel and appliqued squares I cut from a flannel print.




I made the little owl softie out of two cotton prints and some felt scraps.



For the tote bag I sewed two long rectangles of cotton print all the way around, right sides together. Then I turned it, closed the opening and pressed the seams. I folded the rectangle in half, sewed the side seams and squared the corners of the bottom of the bag.



Each kit also contains gloves, string, plastic sheeting, hand sanitizer, alcohol wipes and soap.


Everything gets wrapped up in the plastic, tucked into the tote and then mailed off to Maine before it’s shipped to Haiti.



If you want to make a delivery kit or one of the other great projects click here.

Cheap and Easy Art: Pressed Leaves


This winter I picked up a bunch of half-decomposed leaves in the wooded area behind my house.


The fleshy part of the leaf breaks down first, leaving behind just the heartier veins and stems. 


I thought they were pretty so I spent some time (when I was supposed to be running) digging through soggy leaves, sticks and crawly things until I found some that I liked.


When I got home I pressed them between layers of newspaper and books for a week. Once they were dry, I glued them to cardstock and framed them with my go-to cheap Ikea frames.



February 23, 2011

A Bit of Spring: Flowers from Paper Cups


I’ve been sick all week with a sinus infection. But this morning when I woke up my fever had broken and the sun was shining (a rarity in Oregon this time of year). I dug myself out of my pile of blankets and dirty tissues and made some cheerful flowers.


I had some paper cups in bright pink, red and orange.



First, I cut each cup from the opening to the base in 1/2” intervals.



Then I cut the rolled edges off of each strip.


Next, I punched a hole in the end of each strip.


Once all of the “flowers” were prepared, I made the centers out of yellow cardstock. I folded a 1 1/2” strip of cardstock in half length-wise and cut tiny strips, starting on the fold and cutting towards the open side. Then I cut the cardstock into 1” sections and rolled them into a tube. I secured each tube with a little dab of glue.


To assemble the flowers, I poked a hole in the bottom of the cup and slid a straw through, securing it with a little hot glue.


Then I threaded each petal onto the straw and stuck them down with a dot of glue.


I slid the cardstock tube over the straw, glued it down and spread out the little strips.



Aren’t they cheerful?


February 21, 2011

Simple Fleece Blanket


My friend Erin got a sewing machine for Christmas and requested a few easy sewing projects to get started with. Well, Erin you’re in luck because easy sewing projects are about the only kind I do. I don’t love sewing the way I love other projects (because I HATE using a pattern) but I don’t mind ones like this fleece blanket. It’s quick and practical and oh so cozy.


2 pieces of fleece, 1.5 – 2 yards each, depending on how big you want your blanket to be

sewing machine, thread, etc.


Decide how big you want your blanket to be and cut both pieces of fleece to the desired size.


Ignore the ironing board and the cat food bag.

Pin the two pieces of fleece together. Sew around the outside, leaving a large opening on one side to turn the blanket.  Make sure to backstitch (sew back and forth) a few times on either side of the opening so the seams don’t tear when you force the blanket through the hole.


Pull out the pins. Make sure you get them all because nothing says cozy like getting stabbed with a stray pin.

Turn the blanket right side out by pushing (and pulling) the blanket through the opening.



Mika is obsessed with fleece. She almost got stitched into this blanket. Seriously.

Once the blanket is turned, tuck the edges of the opening in so they are even with the rest of the blanket and pin.


Sew the opening closed by hand or with your machine. If you are using your machine, sew as close to the edge as possible.


You should have something that looks like this:


Almost done! Top stich the whole blanket with a 1 1/2” seam allowance.  On my machine this means lining up the edge of the material with the edge of the metal plate on top of the bobbin compartment. If your machine doesn’t have a clear mark for 1 1/2”, just estimate.


When you get to the corners, leave the needle all the way down and lift the presser foot. Turn the fabric 90 degrees, put the presser foot down and keep sewing.


Trim any threads and you’re done!


If you are looking for really good tutorials for sewing basics check out Disney’s over at Ruffles and Stuff.

February 8, 2011

Super Bowl Score Pool and Food Labels



So I might have complained just a little too much about the team colors in this year’s Super Bowl. But really? Green, gold and black? What am I supposed to do with that? Well, this is what I came up with.


I bought football textured paper, cut out football shapes and stuck them onto canvas textured green cardstock. Then I used a white paint pen to draw the details and write the name of each dish for our snack bar.


Why are there flames coming out of one of the cards you might ask? Since extra hot wings and pulled pork were requested I needed a way to warn the little ones that can’t read yet (or might not take the time to read it) to watch out.


My next project was a score pool.


Although it may look like a wanky colored checker board right now, tomorrow our party goers will purchase squares for a quarter. They will receive a little football to write their initials on and place it on a square of their choosing. Then we will draw numbers (0-9) and assign each block along the border a number.


After each quarter, whoever bought the square with the second digits of the score gets 1/4 of the buy in. For example, if the score is Steelers 21 and Packers 42, the person whose square lines up with 1 on the Steelers side and 2 on the Packers side, wins.

Ok, here’s how to make one. First cut 10 1”x10” yellow strips of cardstock and 5 each of green and black.


Start with a yellow strip and a green strip (Not black and green like in the picture. That was before I ripped it apart for the 5th time). Glue their corners together at a right angle. Weave the other strips like you would make lattice for a pie.



Sorry for the crappy picture. The sun disappeared mid-project.

Trim the edges and glue it onto a 12”x12” piece of cardstock. Cut out the team names and glue them onto the side with their colors.