Category Archives: crafts

valentines and xo stamps

valentines and xo stamps


For Valentine’s Day, I got Chris the latest Chris Ware collection, “Building Stories.” It’s an amazing package of graphic art/comics/I don’t even know what to call it — all in different formats. We are long-time fans of Chris Ware. His work is meticulously designed, and we were pretty awe-stuck by “Building Stories” just looking through the package. Anyway, this giant book/box needed wrapping, so here’s what I did. It’s pretty self-explanatory. I always love a project that uses what I already have around.


Next, I used my valentines for Chris and the girls as an opportunity to play around with Illustrator. Though I took a class on Illustrator years ago, I am very much a novice with this software. Use it or lose it. I’ve lost it. Frankly, I was pretty pleased with myself for being able to make a heart shape with the pen tool. Baby steps.

As soon as all the girls are in elementary school, I’m hoping to finish up my half-completed degree in graphic design. I have a feeling pottery is going to require a day job, and jobs for editors (my pre-child career choice) are few and far between these days — not that graphic design is booming, but I enjoy it. When I took my typography class, we were using rub-on type. Rub-on type! Do they still do this? It’s not like we didn’t have computers then … Anyway, until I’m back in school, I’ll continue to make little projects for myself like this. Practice practice.

IMG_3584Sidenote: Check out the new button in the corner of my images. It allows you to pin the image to Pinterest, so pin away! Just be good and give credit where credit is due. Speaking of which, I got the ISLY Pinterest WordPress Widget from Melissa Esplin here. Thank you, Melissa and Chris (her husband who made the plugin).


happy valentine’s day

happy valentine’s day

IMG_3551Last weekend the girls and I worked on a giant pile of homemade valentines for their classmates. We made 73 valentines! I asked them if they wanted to use store-bought cards this year, but they picked homemade. I was thinking our days of homemade valentines were nearly over with my oldest, but her crafty instincts are strong.

This year the girls picked the printable butterfly valentines from Cindy of Skip to My Lou. I did the printing and cutting; they did the stickers and writing. I bought googly eyes that already had adhesive on them in order to avoid a glue mess. The larger eyes seemed to work better on the lollipops — they had more surface area of stickiness.

The girls were a little concerned by the butterflies’ lack of antennae or mouths, but these were quite enough for them to handle without those things! They turned out really cute

I just noticed the little note on one of these that says “Books rool.” That’s my girl.

I hope you have a good Valentine’s Day!


marshmallow wreaths

marshmallow wreaths

We always do a craft or two as one of our advent calendar activities. Last night the girls made marshmallow wreaths. (Instructions here.) I came across these on Pinterest. (Of course — where else?)

Here’s how it went. The girls were able to complete these fairly independently, which is my main concern. So thumbs up on that count. But the instructions said you could use full-length toothpicks on a flat foam wreath. When we did this, the toothpicks were way too long, and went completely through the marshmallow by quite a lot. There was no way the girls were going to be able to partially skewer the marshmallows, so we cut the toothpicks in half. This created a ten-minute lag during which the children ate half the marshmallows. So Chris had to run out and buy more. Then while he was gone, Elise decided to roast a marshmallow on the advent candle and set it on fire.

So, stabbing! Fire! Fun holiday times!

No, really, this was a pretty good craft for the girls. I tried hanging the wreaths before setting in the refrigerator overnight, but marshmallows kept falling off. So I refrigerated them and hung them this morning. The marshmallows are still falling off. So, fingers crossed for no toothpick ingestion. Happy fun Christmas times!

the pseudo-disney lunchbox

the pseudo-disney lunchbox

This summer we took my older two daughters and our niece to see “Brave.” They all loved it (and so did I — how nice not to see yet another princess-y princess). So when school was starting my girls asked for Merida lunch boxes. Unfortunately Disney puts yucky PVC all over their lunch boxes. But I couldn’t talk the girls out of Merida. So we compromised: Lands’ End ick-free lunch boxes (with coupon!) and half a yard of Merida fabric. I ironed on some interfacing that I already had and cut out patches that I edged with bias tape (another stash supply), and then hand-stitched them onto the bags. It was pretty easy, and the girls are happy. Win win.

I hear this laminated cotton is food-safe, so I may make some sandwich wraps and baggies, too. You know, in my loads of spare time.