Gnomes · Mardi Gras

I Am Not a Gnome Sexist

I can’t stop making gnomes, manly because I am still obsessed and people keep asking for them. But I have noticed in my hours of looking at pics of gnomes on the internet that I am not a fan of the way I see the female gnomes made. Mostly the female gnomes have two braids down the side of their body, with the big nose it ends up looking like a braided mustache to me. So for a while now I’ve been thinking about how to make them look a bit more feminine. Little did I know a perfect storm was brewing.

You may find this hard to believe with all the gnomes I have created I have yet to actually make one for myself. So I finally decided to change that, and I knew exactly what I was going to do a Mardi Gras gnome! I love the city of New Orleans I have been fortunate enough to go there many times of the years, never for Mardi Gras but still I make sure to celebrate the holiday. I see it as a way to stay connected to the city I love. So I decided why not make a Mardi Gras gnome for myself and then it hit me why not try to make a girl gnome, and boom inspiration struck!

So I did the same thing with the yarn, separating the threads, this time though it was for hair instead of a beard. I decided my female gnome would have Rapunzel like hair either loose or braided I had yet to decide this detail. I made the hat and body exactly like I did with the male gnomes, then I made a Mardi Gras mask out of felt and feathers. I added some lace to the bottom of the gnome to give it a dress-like feel, and lace is a feminine touch. Lastly I added the obligatory beads and put a few stars in her hair for a little sparkle.

girl gnome 1So I dig the way she turned out and I hope to make some more gals in the future. Until next time stay crafty my friends!

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Crafting for kids · Kid friendly science · St. Patrick's Day

Having St. Patrick’s Day Fun with the Kiddos

So a couple of times a month I get to watch my five-year old niece Kenley and my four-year old nephew James and I always try to find fun things to do while we are hanging out. This might be due to the twenty years I spent working at a teacher’s supply shop or maybe we can blame it on Pinterest either way I tend to love a theme for what we do, and this weekend I had a real good one, St, Patrick’s Day!

So first I went to that wonderful time suck known as Pinterest to look for some fun and educational things to do. James always asks for “experiences” what he really means is experiments but he is still figuring these things out. Now that Kenley is in school she just wants the freedom to do it herself, and since James is trying to keep up with sissy he too wants to do as much as he can with little help. So I’m looking for some fun things for four and five-year old kids. Also as you might have guessed I love to make things with them that can be on display for their parents to see when they get home.

The first thing I found was Leprechaun rocks, which are a mixture of backing soda and green colored water that you form into rocks and stick items inside  then let dry. After they dry you hide them and let the kids find them then you put them into a bowl of vinegar and watch the chemical reaction reveal the surprises inside. I thought this would for sure be a winner, we have done soda and vinegar experiments before and they love them. So I went about making the rocks you kind of have to play with the ratios mine worked at one cup of baking soda and a little less than a half a cup of the green water. As I mixed them up I added some gold glitter, because glitter makes everything better, I also put some on top of the rocks to really make them shine. The instructions said to let them dry overnight, but I found  it took longer also I flipped them over for the second day to help them dry. I was not sure if I put them on drying racks if they would stay together so I left them on parchment paper and just rolled them over. As you might have guessed they are a little crumbly but they held together for me to place in the back yard and for the kids to find and drop in the vinegar. The kids loved this activity and the addition of glitter in the dough really made it look cool when the vinegar went to work, almost as if the rocks were filled with gold. One last comment, I was telling my nephew about these Leprechaun rocks, and he corrected me he said, “No Auntie they aren’t Leprechaun rocks they are Sham-rocks!”

St.Pats Rocks

 

The next thing we did I remembered from my days at Teacher’s Delight, the teachers store I worked at for around twenty years. I used to run art/craft hour for kids at the store, I would find an idea in a book and often times tweak it a bit to fit my needs. One of the things I always loved to do was coffee filter projects, because they are easy and fun and most often teach about color saturation and primary and secondary colors. So we got some paper plates that are coated so the paint doesn’t soak in but beads up, you can also use parchment paper. Next I thinned down some tempera paint with water and put them in shallow dishes. I gave each child a straw and told them to shake drops onto the plate then blow the colors into each other to see what happens. We used red, yellow, green, and blue. James loved seeing the colors combine, and Kenley loved sprinkling color all over her plate. When they had decided they had enough colors on their plates we grabbed the coffee filters. Earlier I had drawn some clovers on the filters with a permanent marker. They placed the coffee filters down and watched the filters absorb the paint. We also tried dropping color directly on the filters to see what the difference. Once each child was happy with their clover I set them aside to let them dry. Once dry I cut them out because the coffee filters can be a little tricky and hole punched them. Lastly we used glue sticks to add a little gold glitter, because life should always have a little sparkle!

St.Pats Art

I hope you all try these and that your families enjoy them as much as we did. Until next time stay crafty people.

 

Uncategorized

It’s Time For The Dubsism “Dollar Store Double Dribble Basketball Bracket Bonanza”

Any of the crafts created for this prize package were crafted by yours truly! Hope you all will join in!

Dubsism

It’s only a week until Selection Sunday, which means March Madness is here! That also means it’s time for another annual tradition here at Dubsism, an NCAA Basketball Tournament bracket challenge.  But as part of the tenth anniversary of Dubsism, we’ve decided to break the bank on this year’s event…this year, there’s prizes involved! Because the average yearly income of a blogger is somewhere between a professional can recycler and a serial plasma donor, we combed only the finest dollar stores for swag befitting the winner of such a prestigious event.

Here’s what you can win!

1) A Crown

The winner of the Dubsism Basketball Bracket Bonanza is worthy of regal status, and nothing says royalty like your very own crown signifying you are the biggest basketball head in the Dubsiverse customized and bejeweled by Mrs. J-Dub and her Hot Glue Gun Club.

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Gift in a Jar · Valentine Gifts

A Hoot of a Valentine Gift

So my sister shares the same craft gene I do, however it manifests itself in her in a different way. She makes amazing cakes, cupcakes, and sweets and loves a theme nearly as much as I do. Now that her oldest is in kindergarten she crafts super cute snakes for the kids in her daughter’s class all with whatever theme the teacher has chosen for the week. Also she is a lover of gift giving and with Valentine’s Day lurking she decided she was going to make a Valentine’s Day gift for the teachers in both her children’s teachers.

I found out about this because she called me hoping I would help her with a cute saying to put on the top of the gift. She describe the gifts to me as a jar shaped like an owl that she then put a various selection of delightful items that fit in the jar from sweets to nail polishes and many items in between. Now I love a pun as much as the next man so I instantly went to the word “hoot”. We tried a few out and finally decided on “you make learning a Hoot!” Unbeknownst to me this small act earned me my own owl full of goodies and after seeing the finished product I felt like I had to share it with all you moms out there super easy and cute. My sister said she found most of the items at T. J. Maxx and Marshalls on sale.

 

 

Crafting party decor · Party on a budget

Party Scape for Less than Fifty Bucks

Recently one of my work pals retired and we decided to throw a party at work to celebrate her. It would be a lunchtime carry-in so the food was all brought in my coworkers which is awesome because I work with some fabulous cooks! I was asked if I would do the decorations and since it is post-Christmas and pre Spring I am always looking for something to craft to keep me out of trouble so of course I jumped at the chance. I was told her favorite color was purple and with this information I was unleashed to do my crazy crafting thing.

I started at the Dollar Tree, because this store brings me the best ratio of flashes of crafty brilliance for my buck…literally. So as I walked up and down the aisle I kept my eyes peeled for inspiration and I found it in the form of some old school glass vases. I snatched up two deep blue/purple and one clear. Then I made my way to the picture frames because I had  seen an idea on Pinterest that I thought I try. I also found some of those plastic frames that you often see at restaurants that are one piece of plastic into which they slide weekly specials. I was a little bummed out because I did not find placemats and tablecloths to fit my theme but I was not done on my crafting excursion so on I went to my next stop.

Hobby Lobby did not disappoint when it came to my color needs I went straight to the scrapbook paper, which was on sale, and got a lovely selection of purples and blues in both solids and patterns I love doing all sorts of stuff with this paper mainly because I have a metric ton left over from my scrapbooking day, but wouldn’t you know I did not have much in the way of blues and purples. Most likely this is due to the fact that I too like this color scheme and there for use it early and often when crafting. I also picked up some sparkle tulle and then I was on my way.

Next stop was to Ollie’s, I hope everyone has enjoyed the odd wonderment of a Ollie’s warehouse. This store seems to by large lots of whatever they think might sell from wherever overstock lots are sold. I really wasn’t there for craft stuff, more just looking at all the odd food stuffs and other things they carry when I hit gold! They had a bunch of plastic table clothes in a box, now I had to dig to the very bottom but there they were my purple table clothes!

Husband at ollies

I was feeling pretty happy with my finds as I headed to Meijer, but still had not found the placemats I was hoping for. I really like to use them to set the centerpieces on, much like a good rug, they really tie the room together. While I was doing my weekly grocery shopping I spotted the perfect placemats for my color scheme, so I snatched up three. I was nearly giddy with crafting glee as I checked out and headed home to craft!

I started with the glass vases and artificial flowers I picked up at the Dollar Tree. I done a similar craft for a Baby Shower where I hot glued flowers to the rim of the vase. This time I added blooms to the center as well and for three dollars a piece I feel like they turned out rather sweetly.

 

 

Next I tackled the frames and sparkle tulle that I wanted to turn into these frame crosses I have seen on Pinterest. Now the ones I have seen were done with larger frames meant to be hung on walls, I needed to scale this down to a table scape size. First I cut some of my pretty scrapbook paper to fit in the frame. Next I had to decide how many layers of the tulle I would need to give the look I was going for. Lastly I needed to put something over the center where you have to pinch the fabric to create the cross like look. I had some extra silk flowers left from the vases so I decided I would just put a bloom in the center, which would tie nicely in with the vases.

 

Last craft was using the plastic restaurant frames. Firstly I went to the internet for some nice quotes on retirement. Anytime I can sneak the written word into my decorating I jump at it, it makes me feel like I am using my degree in Literature. So after reading more than my share of “inspiring quotes” I finally found a few I liked, I printed them out in pretty colors, not sure of you can hear it but this is where my husband will be screaming about the price of ink, you can do what I do and just ignore the rant. I then framed these quotes in more of that pretty scrapbook paper and slide them into the frames, boom! Super cute and less than $1.50 a piece, even with the cost of ink!

 

 

I in all I spent around forty-five dollars for all the items I used to put together this party scape and I was so happy with the way it came together. You should know I am big believer in symmetry so as you can see each table has one placemat, one vase two fancy tulle frames and two quotes. Also I love a little extra bling so I tossed on some plastic gems, another Dollar Tree find. In the end it was all for my friend and she loved it so that’s what truly matters. I loved doing this and I did not have to break the bank to do it, so neither do you!

Finished room

Until next time keep it crafty people!

My Latest Obsession

More Gnomes: The Obsession Lingers

So for one reason or another, whether it be they were Christmas gifts or I just finished them I have a few new gnomes I made. A couple full size gnomes one Colts and the other Army themed. Then there are a couple of wine gnomes which are essentially just hat beard and nose and they slip over the top of a wine bottle. I also think you could slip them over a golf club, but I know far more drinkers of wine than golfers.

 

Crafting for kids · Upcycle crafts

Crafting in the Polar Vortex

I work in a doctors office and due to the intense cold of this polar vortex they decided to close the office for a day, which essentially gave me an adult snow day! So I decided to try out a new craft that I had seen on Pinterest a few times, turning Altoids tins into tiny displays. Mostly I had seen Christmas displays but I was thinking there has to be more options. I also have a few nieces and a nephew that love to play with tiny things so that got my creative juices flowing.

I started the process earlier in the week by demanding my husband not throw away his tins and bring them back to me so I could craft them into an amazing tiny kingdom. He offered me an eyeroll and a big sigh but did as I ask, so I had both a blue and a red tin to work with. This was prefect as at this very moment my niece Kenley is going through a red phase and my nephew James is in his blue phase. I washed the two containers and sat down to decide what to do with them. Kenley is super into animals right now and I had left over safari animals from a previous craft so that seemed like a solid idea for her. James was a little harder because I could not settle on an idea so I let Hobby Lobby help me there I really wanted to do a space theme but I didn’t have much luck with tiny plastic figures, but they did have a bunch of ocean animals and his room is decorated in sharks so I thought that is what we will do. I collected various bits and baubles to go with the project; such as beads, felt, chenille stems, netting, and of course my hot glue gun.

First I had to paint the tins, but how to do this in a polar vortex? Because normally I would just take them out on my deck and give them a coat or two of spray paint but that’s not happening since any amount of time outside longer then five minutes could cause your eyeballs to begin to freeze, take a moment to let that sink in. I mean it was stupid cold outside so that option was out. So I looked in my treasure chest of craft supplies and found acrylic white paint, and just like that I was painting tins. It took a couple of coats and it was thicker then spray paint would have been, but I just made swirling brush strokes to create texture. After it dried I needed to decide how to pain the now white spaces, as my trip in the treasure chest did not turn up and other colors other than white. I thought surely I must have something I could use, then it hit me I could use nail polish of which I have a ridiculous amount of colors. The funky thing about using nail polish on acrylic paint is that if you don’t spread it around fast enough it will actually take off the acrylic paint. So I had to use a dabbing method which again added to the texture of the tin.

Once I was happy with the outside and it was dry I went inside and created backgrounds with fun scraps of scrapbook paper and created felt clouds, a beaded sun, and a felt paper tree completed the safari for Kenley. The other tin was again paper for the background secured using mod podge and them added some chenille stem coral and place a few ocean friends and James’ sea world is complete. I added the letter on the top, so there would be no confusion as to whose tin is whose, this auntie knows what’s up! Just for kicks I added the rhinos and whales to give the impression the tins are being carried, also it allows the tine to lean back a little when opened.