Posts in Category: Crafty Wench
Oh yes, these beauties are absolutely delicious, every last square inch. Pendleton paired with suede and leather make for a soft, durable and dreamy pair. No need to line these with quilt batting, a simple sleeve is all you need to keep your devices scratch-free and sleek!
I had my heart set on making my little family a set of Pendleton stockings, but being from Canada makes for acquiring the fabric fairly tricky. Unless one happens to have a fabulous colleague/friend who lives close to the Pendleton Outlet in Oregon. I knew all I had to do was ask my friend who shares the same love for Pendleton that I do.
We share similar tastes, in fashion and generally speaking when it comes to aesthetics so I totally trusted her judgement in what she would pick out for me and you guys?! I’ve been able to make a plethora of handmade gifts for my family and friends thanks to this good woman.
One of my most favourite things to make! For a quite a while I made and sold dreamcatcher baby mobiles and over the years I’ve become slightly obsessed. Dreamcatchers of all shapes and sizes, using various natural, repurposed and purchased materials. This tutorial specifically shows dreamcatchers as holiday ornaments and gifts for friends. However, the process is universal for a number of different dreamcatcher styles, whatever the theme or occasion.
For larger hoops, I use young red willow branches (easy to bend), or older, drier branches soaked in a tub of hot water to become pliable. For the smaller ornamental style dreamcatchers, I use brass hoops that you can purchase at any craft store. I’ve even seen them in some dollar stores.
One of my favourite presents to give friends and family are handmade ornaments that I made myself, peeps who are really into holiday trim and decorating just love that action! This year I started making a bunch of different smaller styles to gift as unique sets and medium dreamcatchers for rearview mirrors on the dash of cars or with bells on the tassels to hand on doors! I’m also making a couple of larger ones for certain individuals on my list to hang in their homes or over their beds.
I started making them back in November and one I got into a groove they’re easy to make in the evenings while watching Netflix and winding down after a long day. I like to have a lightweight food serving tray, or tea tray (I have a few cheap ones from Ikea for couch crafting), to keep all of my materials organized. I even made a (cheesy?) DIY video of the weaving process. You know you want to see that, right? If in the very least to make fun of me, no? Be kind, it’s my first DIY vid. Dreamcatchers have and always be a well received gift, I hope you enjoy making and giving them as much as I do…
I live close to what I like to call the Christmas Crack Store. Blasphemous, perhaps, yet totally true. I paid that special place a visit last week and came home with boughs upon clusters upon strands of assorted evergreens and got busy with one of my favourite annual traditions to do this time of year. Making wreaths. You see, the holiday season does something mighty fine to my insides. I get all in a tither about making and crafting and creating things that I know the people whom I love, will love.
I also really dig buying gifts for my kids, family and friends. Little things. Some big things (mostly for the kids and my mister). I try to reign it in and every year I’m getting better at being more organized with my making, (equalling less buying) so that I can really get into the process. Less last-minute stressed out Betty, more enjoyment.
I’m definitely not a fan of the mass-consumerism that throbs and booms and pulsates around the holidays. It hurts my heard and heart to know that there are many families who go into a small amount of debt every year around this time to buy SO. MUCH. STUFF. Or those that feel inadequate because they can’t cover their living room floors with presents. Gifts with hefty price-tags in shocking amounts. All the brands, all the tech gear.
Not for me, no thanks.
What I can get into is gifting a friend with a handmade wreath say, (for example, ahem), for Winter Solstice. Or a basket of edible goodies that I canned over the summer and fall with handmade ornaments and some small boughten gifts, or thrifted treasures and coveted vinyl. Homemade cookies. Gifts that I put a lot of thought into and didn’t go crashing into some store days before the grand rip and tear, just to buy something. I don’t do last minute shopping, never have. I buy year round, the little that I do buy and I keep a list going to know remind myself of what I’ve got going on and to keep within the budget.
Wyndham is turning four on Friday. FOUR. Just never-mind. I’m not going to wax poetic about the state of my mind concerning this leap from toddler-hood into child-hood.
Not when there’s a super-cool Magic School Bus Party theme to attend to. A ‘Sense’Sational’ themed Magic School Bus party at that. Sensory and science games for kindergarteners, fun fun. Perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea, with all the mess.
The mess was already worth it days ago from the absolute JOY Wyndham has displayed in having this theme for his birthday party. The minute his gorgeous bigs eyes saw the invitations I made for him to hand out at school…Oh my. Lets just say I had one of those fleeting, ‘I’m a Super-Mom’ moments…
You can do this with any jam recipe, but you really should do it with this one because it’s kind of one of the best experiments in my kitchen that didn’t blow up in my face this year. Heck, maybe longer, given how truly adventurous I was with it.
I mean, strawberry jam with no white sugar, sweetened with minimal honey and NO PECTIN?! Unheard of right? Yet totally doable, totally delicious and packed with a hidden superfood that makes it all happen. (Chia seeds, my friends. Oh yes.)
So if you’re willing to take my word for it and you’re into the frugality of making your own Holiday presents for friends and family, especially the edible ones (everyone likes some prettily packaged homemade canned goods. Or at least your friends and family probably do if you’re the type of person who’s into that sort of thing.) Make this jam and then follow these simple instructions on how to package it all up with cheer and just the right amount of glitz, glimmer and understated charm that one would hope for in a jar of crimson red Holiday jam…
I know, right?! Look at those beauties up there! I recently went to a birthday party for the twins of a good friend and these crayons were in the goodie bags. Not just your average, run-of-the-mill goodie bags filled with dollar store candies and crafts either.
AS you might surmise, having a birthday party for twins isn’t the easiest and combining themes for a boy and a girl extra tricky.
But when you put a bunch of creatives, small business owners and foodies together to help make things happen, the results are usually off the hook, and YES, Pinterest worthy. Don’t hate.
Remember when I said that we we’rent putting Wyndham in daycare after-school? Or that TV wasn’t going to be my babysitter every single day? Yea. about that.
It’s been hard, obviously – to keep up with the equivalent of what should be my 8 hour work days as a mom who works from home. So far? So far I’m exhausted in wading through this new shift, yet totally revelling in all of the time I’ve been spending with my guy.
It really does ease the annoyance of working late nights after he and his sister are in bed to make up for lost time. I’m trying not to think about the things I’m missing out on; late evening yoga classes, reading, Netflix or crafting. I think about what I’ve gained when I’m lacking the dedication at 9PM, when after a long day all I want is to curl up next to Trev with a book or a show.
This is my new regular and that’s all there is to it. I’ve gotten back into waking up early some days, like really early…before anyone else in the house is up. It feels like I’ve carved out this secret little compartment of time for myself that allows me to fly through some work in anticipation that I can take back my evening to do some of the other things I enjoy. You know, actually hang-out with my other love, just the two of us.
It’s as if by some odd flash of common sense, that I’ve given myself some time to settle into this new routine before Abby begins staying home with me part-time in the New Year. Originally we were going to take her out of full-time daycare this autumn but then we shook our heads a bit and reassessed.
One thing at a time, one thing at a time.
Which is a really good analogy to follow when I pick up Wyndham from school. The days are so busy, so jam-packed with to-do lists, that if I don’t have a few planned activities mapped out for us for the week, I’m kind of screwed. As chief-in-residence-memory-maker, I want to have fun with my boy, I want to do new things with him and create a space and experiences for him that make his eyes light up with joy and fulfilment. Where I’m not a stress-bag about it.
So I make play-dates with his friends, and make faces out of food and execute craft projects to do together. In being honest, there are also the days that he does indeed hunker down and watch several episodes of his favourite shows on Netflix; wherein I toss him a quick snack of PB&J, screw those fun food plates! Where free play reigns supreme and I had not a planning moment involved in what he does or how he spends his time. This is important too.
Well, this week…this week I really had my shit together. I had sugar and gluten free apple and pumpkin pies leftover from thanksgiving to slice up for snacks. I invited a couple of our neighbours (gorgeously adorable), sons over for a crafting play-date. I’ve kept a reasonably clean and tidy house and only ordered take-out once this week. Success!
As I sit here typing, one of those dang cute Jack O’ Lantern ‘suncatchers’ (as seen below), picks up some chunks of morning light from my deck window to shoot tiny particles of light; dancing specks of dust and shadow across my
desk dining room table. Everything in this moment feels in place. Rather good really.
Making crafts with my kids doesn’t have to be a chore, especially for a creative like myself. Clearly I enjoy this sort of thing. I’m going to go out on a limb here and present you this easy craft project for ALL types of parents, (yep, this quick project is glue, paint and glitter-free), even those of you who shiver at the thought of craft-time. The thing is? Kids LOVE it. I could link-up a bunch of research about how creative, sensory activities and making art for little ones is vastly important for their development in a myriad of ways, but I won’t. The bottom line is that it’s good for their little brains; their wild and wanting souls and busy hands. Just as important as sports, academia, music and free-play.
I first discovered the wonders of contact paper for craft making with kids a few weeks ago via my pal Asia Citro of Fun At Home With Kids. Now that mom has it going on. I was so inspired by how she mothers and was especially appreciative of her Starter Art Kit list. The dollar-store is great for many things. There are a few super-cool things on that list that you can’t find at a dollar-store (including contact paper). (If you’re a nerd-o creative type like me and that list makes you drool a little be forewarned: Discount School Supply doesn’t deliver to Canada and yes, you REALLY DO need those liquid watercolours. They are the bomb-diggs. I ordered mine via Scholar’s Choice.)
Now that we’ve gotten that little digression out of the way, onto the instructions for those cute suncatchers! It’s Hallowe’en time (you all know how much I love Hallowe’en, right?) and these are a pretty great activity to do over the next couple of weeks…
Clearly, my child didn’t come running up to me asking, ‘mama! Mama! I want to be Edgar Allan Poe for Hallowe’en!’ We’re only just wading into a love and appreciation for Hallowe’en over here with my guy.
His sister on the other hand, plays dress-up every chance she can get.
At nearly four, Wyndham gets his inspiration from some of his favourite shows, and now of more recent; what he hears other kids talking about at school. Yesterday he came home begging me to make him into a Zombie. (Doesn’t he know he’s already there!? Doesn’t he know that as a toddler he reserves the sole right to drain my brain?)
So yes, it was all me. I showed him some pictures of the Poe, I read him some poems and we watched a couple of videos together. That’s all he needed to be al about it. So that’s me, living precariously through my child. Wyndham was especially a fan of the coat with the Ravens attached to it and wore it for hours after our little photo shoot. Now he’s not sure he wants to be Batman on Hallowe’en anymore, he definitely want to be Poe for his school-day costume. (You’re welcome teachers.)
I’m not sure what I love most about this costume. How easy and cheap it was to make, how much fun we had pulling it off together or how darling and adorable my boy was in really getting into the ‘Poe’ character…