Handmade Mother's Day Gifts

A huge thank you to Mel from Never A Dull Moment for sharing these easy toddler craft projects to make your Mother's Day extra special!

Homemade Mother's Day gifts from Toddlers 

We love making handmade and homemade gifts and the option of a hand print and we're game! My mom has mentioned more than a few times how much she loves the hand and footprint cards we've done through the holidays so I knew Mother's Day would be no exception.

So, thanks to Pinterest- here's a few of our favorites....

Have a grandparent that you don't see nearly enough? Send a hug!


Everyone loves flowers for mothers day; why not spend a little extra and personalize the planter? 
{note: this was a pain to do! not only did her hand keep sliding, we couldn't get a good print because it wasn't flat. Oh and as the hubs mentioned today; if paint isn't water proof what happens when it rains? Oh well, it's the thought right?}

And my favorite...


 
I saw something similar on Pinterest and knew this was something my mom would love. This was done on a small canvas from hobby lobby (craft store) and was very inexpensive! 


And one that I haven't tried yet but will be soon....






Mel is the mom and blogger at Never A Dull Moment.






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Easy Easter Crafts for Toddlers

A HUGE thank you to Melissa from Never a Dull Moment for guest posting for me today! She's a crafty mama with a knack for children's activities, especially around the holidays! Enjoy some Easter toddler crafts!!


For the past month or so I've perused Pinterest and searched Google for some options Easter craft options for Lexie {2 1/2 years old}. There are many out there as I'm sure most of you know, but some of them are a little complex, some a little tacky to me; and some well I couldn't do them on my own no less with my toddler "helping"! Then I found a few I could do, and a few I knew we'd enjoy. 


We did the turkey hands at Thanksgiving, the Santa hat's at Christmas, and the loVe at Valentines day; so it was no surprise that I found a hand-print/footprint craft I loved. 

1. The foot-chick 
Lexie is so used to having her hands and feet painted she actually request's it now. This one was nice and easy though I will admit we called Dada in to assist when she tried to run around with a painted foot. We used a yellow finger paint, let it set over night then I added the eye, beak, and feet the next day. Makes a great gift for the Grandparents, or the front of an Easter card to family. 


2. Striped Easter Egg
This one was a lot of fun, with only a little prep work I cut pieces of colored paper we had on hand, and placed double sided tape on one side of the strips. Then took a white piece of paper and had Lexie lay them out covering the entire paper. Next, I took a second piece of white paper (we used card-stock)  and cut an egg shape out of the middle {this was honestly the hardest part for me, I won't mention the numerous time I had to re-cut it}. Then you adhere the top to the bottom, I simply taped them together. 


 3. Chalkboard Eggs
At first thought you may not think Chalkboard eggs are a good toddler craft but if you give me a moment I'll explain. First the prep.
I'll be honest, I've never used Chalkboard paint and was wondering if I would ruin the thought of it by starting with this project. However, that wasn't the case at all; I honestly looked around the room after I did the eggs thinking of what else I could paint! The directions call for two coats, painted an hour apart, one vertically, one horizontally. For the eggs I only did one coat but I did apply it thick and allowed it 12 hours to sit. Then I showed Lexie...

The paint is very forgiving (and yes, I painted the paper plate too- told you I was looking for "things"!)  Lexie really enjoyed drawing on them, and she cracked quite a few and you wouldn't know it unless you felt it! 


Can't see the BIG crack can you? 

oh yeah, I did one too! 

Happy Easter! 


Hi, I'm Mel from Never a Dull Moment.I'm a Coffee Drinking, Social Media Lover, "Woober", "Mom-mom" and 30 something trying to get healthy! "Never a Dull Moment" sums up my world, as the saying goes "if it’s not one thing it's another!" Join me and my family through that day to day life with a crazy toddler (who's very photogenic) and an extended family who thinks one more should already be on the way {which we are NOT ready for yet}. Oh and then there's me, the matriarch of our little family who is double the size she should be and is trying to figure out how to get healthy without losing my mind in the process!


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Fabulous Finds Friday: Terracotta Pot Planter

Looking for a punch of colour on your front porch?

I know that I am, and I think one of these flanking either side of my dark grey door will do just the trick!



I think I would change it to suit our colour tastes though....likely paint the posts a dark grey to match the door, but still contrast with the light grey stucco.

Flowers...hmm...purples and yellows likely, especially if the front walk up is boxwoods and daylillies {another post for another fabulous friday!}

Special Post: Mother's Day Crafting with Shizz



So its the day before Mother's Day, and did you get anything for Grandma?  No?

Well, here I am to save your day :)

This super easy craft is cute, quick (30 minutes tops) and definitely something any grandmother/mother/aunt/sister/friend would love!



Supplies:
small flower pot
hole punch
craft knife
scissors
colored cardstock
green pipecleaners
small block of floral foam
self-healing cutting mat

1 more supply item:
Toddler for tracing :)

Cut our your hand template.
I labeled mine with his age, because I plan on using it again in the near future.

Pick out your colors of cardstock, trace out the number of hand "flowers" you want.

Using your craft knife on your self-healing mat, cut out your flowers.  Make sure to cut ever so slightly inside your traced line, so that you don't have a line that shows up on the flowers.

Next (not pictured) punch holes in the bottom of your flowers, about 1/4 inch from the bottom of the flower.
Then, fold a pipecleaner in half.  Insert the folded end through the hole in the flower, and fold down the tip about 1/2 inch and pinch flat.  This allows your flower to stand straight, and not flop over.

Now twist the ends of your pipecleaner together to make it more sturdy.

Using a bread knife (don't worry Mizzle, I used the cheap one), cut a small cube of flower foam that will squish down in your flower pot.

Then, using scissors to first poke holes in the foam, insert your flower stems and arrange to your liking.
I added a little bit of brown shredded paper "dirt" in the bottom, which also helped to make the flowers stand better.
Now give it to Grandma!

This is a super easy craft that can be used for almost any holiday.  Birthdays, Easter, Mother's Day, Teacher Appreciation (use a handprint from each child in the class), Grandparent's Day, etc.

Enjoy, Happy Crafting!






SWH4T$: Rainbow Rice

Rainbow Rice
by: Shizz



I'm sure you've all seen this floating around Pinterest, Rainbow Rice to put in a sensory bin for toddlers to play with. I've been wanting to make this for a while, and Monday was the perfect day since the weather here was 85 degrees and sunny (yup, its still April).



I used this recipe as my guideline :)



I tried to break down the cost by cup of rice, but it wasn't really working, so here is what I paid for everything today (I have leftovers).



1 10 lb bag of white rice: $5.49 (I only used about 1/3 of the bag, I made 12 cups of rice total)

bottle of rubbing alcohol: $1.09

Ziploc bags (sandwich size): $1.00 for 15 (Dollar Store!)

Food coloring: $2.50 for 4 bottles

Plastic container for storage: $1.00 (Dollar Store!)



So that's less than $12 for a fun activity that I could probably make about 8-10 batches from that one bag of rice. Not bad at all!






Step 1: Gather your supplies:


Ingredients listed above,


Wax paper for drying


Disposable gloves (if you hate dye on your hands like I do)





Step 2:


Bag up your rice: 1 cup to a bag






Step 3: Add color


1 T rubbing alcohol + 10-12 drops food coloring


First batch I mixed them in these little bowls, 2nd batch I added


the alcohol and food coloring directly into the bag (much easier)



Step 4:


Squish Squish Squish the bag till all the rice is colored.


Make double sure that your bag is sealed.


Trust me on that one...






Step 5: Dry


Spread out on wax paper in the sun and let dry


I think it took about 30 minutes to dry






Step 6:


PLAY! Dump into a bin, sand/water table, cookie sheet, large bowl,


basically any large container. Add a few utensils, cups or spoons,


and let your toddler go to town!






Jack loved it :) He played with it for about an hour :)


I was worried about the dye coming off on his hands, and I'm


happy to report that there was not one speck of dye on his hands :)

SWH4T$: Love {in a} Jar

Happy Thursday everyone, and welcome back to She Works Hard for the Money - a bloghop for hard working mamas to share their time and money saving tips!

The rules are super simple!

1) Follow your hostesses, Baby Shmizz and Sweet Stella's, via GFC

2) Link up a specific post that relates to money and time, your job, your business, couponing, anything that shows how you "work hard for your money".


3.) Post our button on your post

Have fun linking up and finding her blogs to read!


SWH4T

Love {in a} Jar

So...my husband decided to be super romantic this Valentine's Day and booked us a night at a local hotel, a romantic dinner, and even got a baby sitter for our son. I was shocked...pleasantly surprised...but absolutely shocked!

And I had squat to give him!

I started thinking and came up with this cute idea, which would be perfect for anniversaries as well!

Materials:



1 jar (I used a large jam jar)
3 pieces of paper
10 pieces of his favourite candy (Rockets for my Hubster)

Soak your jar a sink of hot water. This will make scrapping the label off a sinch!

While your jar is soaking, cut your paper into strips. They don't have to be perfect by any means. I did 5 notes for every year that we've been married, and 5 extras.

Set aside 5 strips of paper

Write out love notes on the remaining strips of paper. Reasons you love him...are proud of him...proud to be his other-half...proud of him as a father Really anything that you love about him.



On the 5 you set aside, write out activities to do together. Thing like...slow dancing...taking a walk together...whatever you'd like! Wrap them around his favourite candy



Scrape the label off the jar, and dry it thoroughly...you don't want those papers getting wet!

Once the jar is dry, stuff it with the notes, activities and extra candies!





Sweet and corny, but super thoughtful!

Link up your crafty, thrifty and frugal ideas with us!






Fabulous Finds Friday: Sculpted Wall Installation

There's a wall between our closet and bathroom doors...it needs some love and since i've been playing with clay again, I'm thinking about making a wall installation similar to this



Probably a cluster of 3 or 5...

Off centred from one another...slightly cascading

I'm hoping to have the walls painted before we move in...currently they're a spicey cinnamony colour, and with the dark hardwood, it just feels really heavy to me.

I'd prefer it to be a lighter, softer stone or grey colour so we can add in punches of mustard and teal and have it really stand out.

Our bed linens are also a bit dark, chocolate browns with cream and caramel.

I think these white flowers would be the perfect wall installation!

SWH4T$: Repurposed Jars

Welcome back, crafty, thrifty mamas!! We're so happy to have you back for She Works Hard for the Money!

Before we get hopping, we've got some rules...

1.) Follow your hostesses at Baby Shmizz and Sweet Stella's via GFC

2.) Link up a specific post that relates to money and time, your job, your business, couponing, anything that shows how you "work hard for your money".

3.) Post our button on your post


Have fun linking and finding new blogs to read!




Repurposed Jars

Before the holidays hit, I was looking for some simple crafty projects to take my mind off of a super stressful time (packing to move...selling our home...going on vacation...coming home...moving).

Have some empty salsa jars lying around the house? Maybe some funky patterned paper? Podge?

Well that's all you need for this project!!





Choose your paper...I chose some grey and blue tones so that it will fit nicely into my new studio once we move

Wrap it around your jar, and make a mark where the paper meets

Cut out the pattern that you desire. I cut around the flowers and vines, but there are really no rules to this project!

Smear adhesive to the jar, and attach paper. Seal the paper with more adhesive



For me, they make perfectly pretty water jars (and drying jars) for my paint brushes but they would also be great with some inexpensive flowers for a hostess gift (I'd tie ribbon round the top to finish it off), some stones and fallen branches for some bathroom or kitchen decor



Happy repurposing!






Fabulous Finds Friday: Glitter Shakers

I've been searching high and low on Pinterest, designing ever square inch of our new home {which we haven't found yet, but that's besides the point...}

One obvious room that I'm focusing on is my design studio. I've been looking for everything from amazing office chairs, unique storage ideas, distressed desks and how to repurpose items that I already have {cheap and cheerful!}

Here's one that I've found, and definitely will be implementing with some great shakers from the dollar store!



Incredibly smart, and they look super chic too!

Have a Fabulous Friday!

SWH4T$: Candy Cane Play-dough

Welcome back to Week 9 of She Works Hard 4 The $ (SWH4T$)!



We are so pleased for you to join us this week, and look forward to many holiday tips and tricks!



The Rules? They're pretty simple!





1.) Follow your hostesses at Baby Shmizz and Sweet Stella's via GFC


2.) Link up a specific post that relates to money and time, your job, your business, couponing, anything that shows how you "work hard for your money".



3.) Post our button on your post


Have fun linking and finding new blogs to read!










Festive & Frugal Toddler Gift

In keeping with Shan's theme from last week, I thought I would feature a cute and cheap gift that you can make for the little kids in your life. I made Candy Cane Playdough for Jack's little friends that we got together with last weekend.



Yes, they are on the liquor cabinet...
right now its the only high placethat Jack can't reach...


I got the idea for this from my favorite addiction time-suck social media site, Pinterest. I actually combined 2 ideas, Candy Cane Playdough with Snow Playdough:







In addition to your playdough ingredients (see here), you will also need red & white glitter, 8-oz mason jars, fabric cut into 5x5 inch squares (I also used pinking shears to make the edges of the fabric pretty)





I made 1 batch of red playdough and 1 batch of white playdough using this recipe, and I added 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract to each batch for candy cane scent :) At the end, I kneaded in red glitter to the red batch, and white iridescent glitter to the white batch. 2 batches of dough fills about 5 8-oz mason jars.





Assembly:


-divide your batches into small 15 small balls each.


-start with a red ball and slightly flatten it in the bottom of the jar so it touches all sides of the jar.


-add a white ball on top, squishing down in the same manner.


-repeat until you have 3 layers of red & 3 layers of white (this amount worked for me, you could make more or less layers depending on what you want).


-place the metal lid on the top of the jar, cover with a 5x5 inch square of fabric and screw down the collar over the fabric & lid.





The cost of this whole gift is minimal, because most of the stuff you have on hand already (flour, salt, vegetable oil, cream of tartar). We happened to have mason jars already because we do a lot of canning in the fall, but if you need to purchase them, here is an idea of prices:





12-pack case of 8 oz Mason Jars: $17.95 on Amazon, which is $1.50/jar


1/2 yard of fabric, price varies, but I paid $3.99 at Jo-Ann Fabrics


Glitter: $1.99 each





So I didn't do out the math of how much it would be per jar all said and done, but I'm guessing its less than $5. Which is awesome for many reasons, but mostly because its homemade, its cheap and its just plain fun!





What sort of homemade gifts have you made this holiday season?




Fabulous Find Friday: Doily Lamp

We're in the process of scouting houses, old and new, and planning for a big move right now. This had kept me very busy on Pinterest looking at home decor ideas and, really, planning the house of my dreams.

I was looking through my boards and saw this fabulous goodie...which I think will be necessary in my new studio, or in our great room/den as a dreamy light fixture (maybe in a cluster of 5?) over Owen's reading area.



You can find detailed instructions here!

Happy Friday!

What's Next Wednesday: Craft Show Recap

Well...I survived my first craft show this past weekend!! I wasn't really sure what to expect, but I definitely learned a tonne and made some really awesome connections with other vendors and some fabulous customers who have some really great parties coming up that I hope Sweet Stella's can be a part of.

The display, while exactly what I had envisioned, needs some work and I have a plan for reconfigure things for the next show on December 1st.



The ornament trees were a huge hit, and that is one area of the display that I am super happy with.

The bookcase, while a great display idea to keep things organized, needs some help. I'm thinking of stationery all on one shelf, along with a photo collage of the pictures from the GBK Productions Emmy's Gifting Suite with Jeff Probst and Annie Illonzeh.

On another shelf, all of the beautiful journals, and then masks on another. Keep it simple, and streamlined...with room to replenish stock where needed.



Another thing that will be changing is getting the Tiny Stacks and Favour Pouches off the table and into pretty containers of some sort. I have a woven ceramic bowl that I made years ago, so that could potentially house one or the other...





The masks were also a huge hit, and I was even asked if I do children's birthday parties...as in they have a Sweet Stella's party!!

Definitely have that in the works...everything from masks to fairy wands, piggy bank to treasure chests, and custom packages too!! Sweet Stella's Parties will be here for 2012, so stay tuned for their unveiling after the holidays!

and if you're in the London area, check me out at the Mountsfield PS Holiday Sale!

Mompreneur Monday: Batikwalla

I hope that you all had a wonderful weekend!! We had a busy one here with our first craft show of the season, then starting to reorganize and rearrange my studio/guest room to stage it for showing since we'll be selling out home in a few months.

Today, I have a fantastic MOMpreneur to introduce you to, Victoria Dresdner from Batikwalla. Victoria specializes in really unique batik designs, and if you are into earthy vibes, yoga and being centred, this is the shop for you!

What do you do?
I am a batik artist!


How do you maximize your time as a busy mom running a business?
I'm most productive when I have a deadline to meet. It creates a buzz in the household and my kids seem to know it is time to let me work. But if I'm only doing a couple orders at a time it's easy to step in and out of my studio and get a little bit done throughout the day. It really adds up. As long as I stay steadily productive with the batik while switching back and forth to maintain the family life I know I'll be on track.

What do you see as your greatest challenge being a MOMpreneur?
Balancing my time is the biggest challenge. Even with the exhilaration of a deadline I still always wish I had started earlier.

Link

What advice do you have for other moms looking to start a business?
I would suggest taking small steps, and not to underestimate the value of those small steps, as long as you keep going.

Is there anything else you'd like to share about Batikwalla?
Yes, Christmas orders should to be placed in November, with December 7 being the absolute last day I can make a batik and have it delivered in time for Christmas. Original batik pieces take a long time to make, especially in the winter months. However, archival prints and batik patch embellishments (which make great stocking stuffers or sweet little gifts to the crafty divas in your life) along with finished ready-to-purchase batiks will be available to be shipped in time as gifts for all the last minute for Etsy shoppers throughout the month of December.




What's Next Wednesday: Craft Show...T-Minus 3 days!

That's right folks...3 days! AHH!! I cannot believe how much stock I've made for this weekend!

  • 36 painted glass ornaments
  • 22 paper styro ornaments
  • 45 notestacks
  • 38 tiny stacks
  • 24 pinwheels
  • 9 basic masks
  • 9 couture masks (4 still in the works)
  • 7 thick journals
  • 1 thin journal
  • 152 favour pouches
  • 7 party packs
Grand total of 217 items! CRAZY!

But it was certainly well worth it, and I absolutely love each and every item!

Now I have to pack up all of this...



and I am OH SO EXCITED to share the new ornaments for this season!!


this one reminds me of chocolate milk...so I call it Brown Cow


perfectly papered in various greens and patterns!


I adore this one! Purple, silver and electric lime green...so unexpected!

Want to get a couple ornaments of your own?? Enter in the giveaway happening at Peanut's Tale!

What's Next Wednesday: Craft Show...1 Week to Go!

Ahhh!! Queue panic and anxiety!

Just one week to go until the craft show, and my husband will be travelling for a few days next week so really, I need to pick up my socks and get everything finished!

Within the past week...

  • 2 new custom masks created, even if they weren't for the craft show...they still count!
  • 18 new painted ornaments
  • 960 1.25" circles cut for 24 styro ornaments
It's been a crazy busy past week ,but it's going really smoothly for the craft show. All I need to do is finish up the styro ornaments, tie the favour pouch packs together, package the party packages and get some branches from the forrest across the way, which hopefully can be a weekend family trip with the wagon.

In the basement I found the two black boxes that I was looking for to store and display the stationary. I have a plan to get a white bookcase from my in-laws, put bins inside it on their sides and have stationary displayed for sale. It'll work, and it looks great...in my head!

Here are some of the *new* ornaments that I've painted for this year!







They're going to be displayed on the branches I'll collect this next week over at the forest (only fallen branches of course), which will be in tall vases. I have everything printed out for my price tags and labels...something else I need to take care of!

One week to go!!

Fabulous Friday: Catching Up with Nikki

A few months ago, I introduced you to the fabulously creative Nikki from Nikki, In Stitches. She's so brilliant at what she does, and I was fortunate enough to snag one of her amazing headbands for my son's first birthday photo shoot.


photography by Rosina di Trolio www.rosinaditrolioblog.com

What's Nikki been up to since we last chatted? Well..

First and foremost, she launched a brand-spakin'-new site. It's a gorgeous haven for how-to's and DIY projects, Nikki's amazing creations, and her awesome blogposts.

It's bright and wonderful and lovely!

She's also been named Doer of the Week over on Martha Stewart Dreamers into Doers. She was even able to go and meet the craft Goddess Martha herself in New York City at the Dreamers into Doers Event. What an incredible honour and experience!



Nikki is a true dreamer, and a true doer. She has a fierce determination, coupled with an imagination and knack for colour that comes along once in a blue moon. Her designs are unique, beautiful and original...and I absolutely love them.

What else is keeping Nikki busy? Well, she just launched an e-book!




How gorgeous is that, seriously?! Turquoise and red, with a splash of white!? Amazing!

The e-book has been so incredibly well received, and is full of tips and pointers on how to make your home a handmade wonderland for the holidays. It even has 3 projects with full instructions, that you too can create in under an hour. Yes that's right...Nikki knows the value of time, being that she's a busy mama as well as an artisan!

Her step-by-step gorgeous guide is available now on her website, so beat the holiday rush and get those projects finished now...so you can enjoy the holidays with your nearest and dearest!
Link
Catch up with Nikki today on Twitter, Facebook, her new site or drop her a line

What's Next Wednesday: Craft Show Week 3...or is it 4?

I'm seriously starting to lose track of what week of prep I am in all of this craft show madness! Over the past week I have...

  • stamped and bound 18 Tiny Stacks
  • planned out the rest of the masks
  • embellished 7 journals
  • decided on display materials
  • packaged 6 party packages

Whew! Lots was accomplished and I'd love to share the journals with you!

I just love them so much! Each one is different and unique...their own individual abstract paintings. Then, they're embellished with either feathers and glass beads, or a stamped image and glass beads. Sort of...abstract art meets shabby chic!











So...what do you think??

What's Next Wednesday: Craft Show Prep Week 3!

Another Wednesday, another week of preparations for the Christmas Craft Bazaar! I can't believe that it's only 4 weeks away...I feel like there is still SO much to do!

Within the past week, I've created and finished...

  • 5 glittered masks
  • 160 origami favour pouches with embellished flaps
  • 22 stacks of stationary
That's a heck of a lot of stock!!

Playing with glitter is probably my new favourite thing. Yes, it ends up with my covered in it, but it's so much fun and you never know what you can create until you're elbow deep in it!

Here are the new masks I just created










Like I said...all.over.glitter! But I love them, and the way they catch the light is spectacular!

What's Next Wednesday: Craft Show Prep, Week 2

Man oh man! I have been on-the-go and in creation mode for the past few weeks! Between wedding cakes, cards for weddings, stationary for the craft show...it seems to never stop!

Here are a few things that I have been working on!



Seasonal Stacks - 12 pages of handcut and stamped stationary, bound with cream ribbon. Perfect for gifts that need to be sent in the mail!



Tiny Stacks...they measure about 2"x3", and are the perfect stocking stuffer! Great for tossing in your purse to jot down quick notes, putting cute notes in your kiddos' lunchbox or tucking lovenotes in your sweetie's wallet! Bound with coordinating ribbon.



On the way...or rather, on the coffee table right now and all cut last night, 160 favour pouches, 12 more stacks of everyday stationary, 18 more Tiny Stacks! Then to be completed....7 journal embellishments, 30 ornaments, and as many pinwheels as I can make before the show!

What's Next Wednesday: Crafting up a Storm!

Wow...so no rest for the wicked right?

I have my first ever craft show and sale coming up at the beginning of November, and to be completely honest, I am absolutely terrified!

Will people like my stuff?

How do I display everything?

How much stock do I take?

Do I need a banner?

What about business cards...how many of those?


So many questions, and right now I'm just in production mode! Over the past two days, I've whipped up 34 notestacks (24 of them Holiday themed, and 10 of them everyday) and 22 tiny stacks (about the size of a matchbook! They're SO cute and are perfect to keep in your purse!). I've also done up 18 ornaments, and figured out some display aspects.

I'll be previewing alot of things here, including a mock up of the display to get some feedback from you all, but here's a little peek to tide you over!



Think....white...blue...glass vases with branches...

Stay tuned for more peeks and progress!