Crafting Time – Part 2

More of the craftiness we had going on here when the girls were a bit younger (pre-teen to early teens). They still craft now, at 14 + 17, but their crafts have definately become more elaborate (read “EXPENSIVE”).

dsc_9156aOne day we had walked all the way down to the beach, and had decided to collect all kinds of rocks while we were there to paint and glue. The critters turned out pretty cool, but I think we should have used better glue than the hot glue sticks as the weight of the rocks was too heavy for some to stay together. We added magnets to the back and had them on our fridge.


dsc_91541A few times we sat with a pad of paper and designed all sorts of silly clothes. Come to think of it, those times were all in ferry lineups… But it was fun! And some designs were completely off-the-wall. This is one of A’s sheets from when she was very young.


dsc_9166aWe had these magnets on our fridge for ages. We had pressed tiny flowers, glued colored tissue and the flower to the back of a clear “rock” and added a magnet. Beautiful! I think our last one just recently broke (the magnet-to-tissue bond isn’t great if you pick up the magnets many times over).


dsc_9164aShrinky Dinks! The girls and I did these ages ago – can’t remember what in the world we did with them… This past Christmas Tt drew a bunch of mini B/W pictures and we shrunk them and made earrings for all the girl sisters + cousins. They were actually a big hit!

dsc_9162These cute little felt mittens on a ribbon adorned all our Christmas gifts one year. We wrote “to” and “from”‘s on the back of each mitten. Of course, they coordinated with our wrapping paper and Christmas tree theme ;-).


dsc_9165We (meaning the girls, really) painted these bird houses, although I’m not sure why – we’ve never bought bird food… They so suit each girls personality – A is colorful and bright, B is thoughtful and precise. We have them outside now, which I hate to do for the potential wear and tear!


More to follow! We have not yet even BEGUN to craft… Mwuahhahaha.


Vintage Aprons

I stumbled on these and they are fantastic – Vintage Aprons!


(sold, sadly! oh, and check out the cig)




(again, sold out, but cute no?)




(seriously – was everyone’s waist really that skinny in the 50’s??)



Check out these and more at So Vintage Patterns.
I’m definately making some for Cmas gifts next year. Should I find “spare time”.


Blogging… and what I SHOULD be doing.

This blogging is so totally addictive!
For someone like me with no focus and a zillion interests, there is no better place to ramble on and on… and on… Who’s listening? I have no idea, but I do know for certain no one at home listens to me talk, so what’s to lose?!

0802-feb-misc-4(this is my staple page format – 9 out of 10 look much like this…)

BUT, I’m afraid, that while I whittle away the hours typing, sorting through photos and even reading some of my favorite blogs, there are, in fact, a zillion other things I should be doing instead.

Like updating my scrapbook. I’m BEHIND, for the first time… ever.

0804-tt-swimming-2(I’m sure I stole this format off Mother, so can’t take any credit for any creativity whatsoever)

My scrapbooks are not fancy. I use a super duper program my mother introduced me to called Lumapix Fotofusion (which you can d/load online and you’re rarin’ to GO!), and I can crank out 10 pages in one episode of CSI. Which tells you how far behind I am – we haven’t had cable in about a year.

0712-bri-goofy-2(I snitch photos from cameras, facebook, msn – you name it – and post them for the girls own memories)

My pages are pretty standard – cram on the photos, add a nice background, and copy x an entire year. Once in awhile I add an EMBELLISHMENT, but that’s pretty rare. Mother + sister take their time, do one special photo up per “memory”, add all sorts of things to it. But I don’t got that kinda time.

italy-06(one of our Italy “collage” pages. I had a “holiday” format and almost every page for this trip had the same format, with collaged photos and a clump of text from our journal)

With teenagers and toddlers, we honestly do SO MUCH STUFF inside of a week, and every week is so different. If I don’t just scrap it right away as-is, it gets beyond me. And so it has…

italy-38(ain’t we cute??) (except me – I just look TIRED… and I was…)

Often in the am, or later eve I find Hubby sitting with is tea, going through a book or two, remembering things we’ve done that were special. Time just flies so quickly, and we do so much, it would be so quickly forgotten if we didn’t stop to relive it through our books.

0712-tayler-daycare-2(a page from Tt’s daycare that was mostly fuzzy and never finished…)

When I have time to sit, I rush through, grab photos and GO. Email to costco. Print. Insert. Done.
No fluff. No fuss. But for me, with no memory in my brain whatsoever, it works.
I add “souvenier” pages where suited, and even have pages with envelopes for the girls report cards or awards, or the boys swimming reports, or DVD copies of our months videos. It’s literally ALL in those books. One stop shop.

Guess I should quit typing now and go run off some pages for… last May.


Crafting Time – Part 1

The most “random hits” I get here are people looking for either things to do with teenagers (see post) or homemade craft ideas, so I thought I’d post some of our oldie but goodies.

When the girls were young, we used to do 1 or 2 crafts a week together. They thought I was sooooo smart to know all these crafts just “outta my head”, but frankly I’d just buy a Martha Stewart Kids mag once a month and figure it out on the fly… (They still think I was just being real smart!). WELL, thank goodness for scrapbooks – here are some photos of a few of our efforts:


dsc_9144aBeady critters and people and things of all kinds were a favorite past time for awhile. We even had a big book of all kinds of things – including little 3D shoes! They could become keychains, car mirror hangy things, earrings – you name it. B made this one, and I kept it in the scrapbook.


dsc_9147aA bit of a fuzzy pic of a pic from my plastic-covered scrapbook, but they’re soaps. We made them for Cmas gifts one year with molds we found at Michael’s (where else?!).


dsc_9149Gingerbread houses DEFINATELY count as crafty – especially when you turn it into a contest ;-). We did a few back then, and now I started doing them with the boys (see blog). We even have a cast iron mold from Lee Valley.



One day A + I decided our “craft” would be to plant some mini flowers in a bunch of molds. They all died, but she went on to plant many a bulb with Hubby, even though she confessed she does NOT like bugs. Or dirt.


dsc_9153We didn’t get a photo of the actual craft – this is the drawing that’s in our scrapbooks. We did little bejewelled t-shirts! They were a lot of work even for B + I, and prompted A to say (in fun) “This is the WORST day of my life!”. Such a drama queen.


dsc_9159aThere are always other family members willing to craft, too! Aunts + Gramma all have their own interesting stamping and card-making materials that are fun for crafty visits.

Stay tuned – more to follow!


The Aunt/Uncle Gift 2008

I was mentioning all the time and energy that went into our homemade gifts for the aunts and uncles (see blog), but OF COURSE I couldn’t say what exactly it was just in case one of them ever reads all this blabbering! So, here it is for all those that search and google “homemade gifts” every year like I do.


This is our “working in progress” for a booklet with all sorts of “us” inside. Just what everyone needs for Christmas – more of US! Ya, well, that’s all they were gettin’.

First we had to cut all the paper and hole punch every piece.

The tricky part was cutting all this adhesive black foam sheet to add into the thicker pages so the booklet would lay fairly flat…

dsc_5318(Tt and I did a snowman craft out of felt. We’d been learning the “Frosty the Snowman” song, so were trying to make his parts match the song – does the pipe look corn-cobbish??)

Then score every page for folding open.


(Photo of us (ain’t we sweet?) and some of the kids school pics (I always take school pics of the boys too, and Grama adds the “schooly” background)…)


(More school pics, and this year a grad pic! My pics hadn’t come in, so this is one I took at the grad pic studio instead, with a few of her besties…)

And put it all together with these scrapbooking pegs. I had inserts too, in case it needed to be bigger, but just the peg and the backing were fine.



(A personal piece from each Kid – artwork from B, a video of choir + dance recitals from A, a scribble from Boo and a book Tt wrote and illustrated…)

Then to place each item in each page so they could take out what they wanted, leave in what they didn’t, do what they want with it! We used photo corners for most pages, but Tt’s booklet took a big more ingenuity.


(A calendar magnet! THIS took a LOT OF WORK to figure out, but once it was set up (thanks Grama), it was pretty easy to finish…
And a homemade ornament with a Cadbury Thin inside! Well, there WAS a Cadbury in there…)

Finish with a pretty sticker on the front and a ribbon to hold it all together. (There WAS a lovely red ribbon holding it all together…)


(Voila! Where would one be without a MICHAEL’s nearby???)

We added some baking and called it a gift. Merry Christmas!

Homemade Christmas Ornaments

While decorating our tree this weekend, the girls and I were happy to see many ornaments we’ve made together over the years! We make some together just about every year, plus I still buy each of the Kids a new ornament every Christmas and put their name on it for one day when they have their own tree in their own home. Which may not be long for B… *sniff sniff*. Here are some of the “homemade” ones on our tree this year:

dsc_7916this one’s from a Michael’s kit… we often hit Michaels for ideas each year. these were pretty simple compared to the bead work we’re used to!

dsc_7919speaking of bead work! B made a bunch of these of her own design, made to look like icicles dripping off the tree. so pretty in the light (yes, my photo here is fuzzy…)

dsc_7921we painted these when the girls were younger – and they’ve survived year after year on our tree! another Michael’s crafting moment. what would we do without that place???

dsc_7923ok, so we didn’t make this one – it was given to us a few days ago, but it’s crafty and sparkly and really pretty, so I’m including it anyhow!

dsc_7925this was a difficult one – silky fabric cut into spherical quarters, then pinned with beads all around. the top has a fancy pearl hatpin holding the hanging ribbon together. no idea where I got this – the girls were younger when we made these ones and it was pretty tricky for them.

dsc_7926this was a pretty ceramic ornament A had made – we broke it this year… the photo is posted in memory…

dsc_7927this was an easy one – buy little wreathy things, wrap little ribbons around ’em. fini.

dsc_7928this was last years craft. we had this weird roll-out foamy stuff, then we used Christmas cookie cutters, punched holes and painted ’em. Tt painted this one – can you tell?? we put them on every gift because they were easy to make a lot of, but usually we make some for us and one for each relative’s gift.

a few years ago the girls and I also made a bead string to wrap around the tree. we used the big big beads and threaded them all. one by one. not only was it a lot of work, but we realized at the end it really should have been double-strung, so we ended up going back all the way through with an extra string. they are still in one piece! but for some reason didn’t make it onto our tree this year.


Martha Stewart Christmas Crafts
Michael’s Christmas Supplies