Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year: In the Season Dec. 31, 2010

Today on In the Season I showed some ideas for getting the new year started.  (Is anyone else having trouble getting over the fact that it’s going to be 2011?  It feels like all that Y2K stuff was just yesterday!).
Lots of people talk about trying to get more organized at the start of a new year so here’s my take on that.  This is an organizer that I plan to hang on the side of my fridge where I’ll be able to see all the most important lists and keep up with everything. 
It’s made from a metal thing called a “block end” or “end cap” which is a piece of duct work (like for your furnace) that they sell at hardware and home improvement stores.  I found mine at Home Depot.  They range in size from about 8 inches square to about 8 by 24.  This one is 8 by 20.  I began using scrap ones that were taken out of my home as a new furnace and ductwork were being put in but they’re very reasonably priced too.  The smallest ones are about $2-3 and the largest about $7.  After I began working on this idea, I saw something similar done with a cookie sheet.  Just a word of advice, if you plan to use a cookie sheet, take a magnet with you when shopping for one because not all cookie sheets are magnetic.
The background papers on this are glued on (my favourite adhesive to use for this to get a nice smooth adhesion is Liquitex Gel Medium.  You can also use it over the top of each piece of background paper as a top coat to protect them as well.  If you want to change this out seasonally, you could adhere the paper to scraps of cardboard and then attach them to the planner with magnets instead. 
Once the background pages were in place, then I put each of my organizational lists on with magnets so they could be changed out as needed.  Here you see my “To Buy” list and my weekly schedule.
In the center section, I put a removable frame on magnets so that I could add in a family photo.  This would also be handy for things like a motivational word of the week or that business card you really need to keep from losing.  Below that I have a monthly calendar.  For the calendar, I attached paper to cardboard and then used strips of ribbon as “photo corners’ so I could put the whole stack of calendars on there and just pull off the top one as the month ends.
Here you see my weekly menu plan, my To Do list, and my To Call list.  I purposely made the To Do list small because I’m one of those people who makes huge long ones and then can’t understand why I didn’t find enough hours in the day to complete it all.  I saw an idea on a blog about writing down your MIT’s – most important things.  She had a running list of other things it would be nice to get done but her MIT’s were the top priority items that really HAD to be done.  I thought using such a concept would keep me focused on the truly important items and not trying to take on too much.  You can see that I’ve used a variety of items for magnets – embellished glass marbles, little clips, and fabric yoyos (more details on making these on the playback of the show).
Hanging from the bottom of the organizer is a covered box where I can store all the little planner sheets to put up on the board, some pens and pencils and other handy items like scissors and envelopes.  It’s attached to the back of the organizer with magnets.  I’ve put magnets on the back of the organizer so it can go on the side of my fridge but you can hot glue picture hangers on the back or a big ribbon to hang it from instead.
We talked about some of our New Year’s traditions and I showed how to make a “wish box” and some cool techniques for embellishing it as well.  Check out the playback of the show to see all the details:

Creative EdVentures Update

I just wanted to post this to clarify - In the Studio with Maria Nerius has NOT been cancelled.  It's simply on hiatus.  Maria has a very busy schedule in January and cannot devote the time she would want to In the Studio.  We will be sure to inform you as to when the show is resuming!
Also, be sure to join me (Cyn) today at noon Eastern for In the Season.  I'm going to be showing you some fun ideas to get the New Year off to a good start!
On Facebook:
On the web:

Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Lineup of Shows for the Creative EdVentures Channel

With the new year comes some new beginnings for the Creative EdVentures channel.  Here is the lineup which begins next week:

Mondays:  9 pm Eastern (8 Central, 7 Mountain, 6 Pacific), In the Zone, a craft party of demo’s, chat, fun, laughter, and Show and Tell time for you to share with us what you’ve been working on!  Hosted by Roberta and Cyn.

Thursdays:  Noon Eastern (11 Central, 10 Mountain, 9 Pacific), In the Paintbox, where Amanda will be teaching basic painting techniques dealing with watercolor, acrylics and eventually oils.  She will demonstrate that you don’t need expensive tools to paint…just patience and practice!

Also on Thursdays, at midnight Eastern (11 pm Central, 10 Mountain, 9 Pacific), robi@nite, hosted by Roberta who created this show “for 'night owls' like me and all my friends on the West Coast and other time zones. The show will focus on art, crafts, chat, and health issues many crafters live with. The night light will always be on :)”.

Fridays: 1 pm Eastern (Noon Central, 11 Mountain, 10 am Pacific), this will be a rotating schedule hosted by Cyn beginning with:

January 7th:  In the Budget, focusing on budget friendly crafting ideas often made with items from around the house

January 14th: In the Kitchen with Cyn, all about cooking

January 21st: In the Spirit, focusing on spirituality

January 28th: In the Home, focusing on making a house a home

and continuing with:

February 4th: In the Season, our show about seasonal celebrations big and small

Note: In the Studio with Maria Nerius has gone on hiatus.

You can reach Roberta at

Amanda can be found at

And Cyn's blog is a

We’ve got some great new hosts and we’ll be having lots of fun guests to join us as well:  Andrea Currie, Lisa Fulmer, and more!

You can watch any of these shows right from your computer by going to on Facebook or on the web.  You don’t need a webcam to participate but if you have one, we’d love for you to share with us!  These shows are a lot of fun to attend and participate in live but if you’re unable to make it to any of them due to other commitments, no worries.  Each one is recorded and I’ll be providing the playback links here so that you can check out what you missed.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Today’s In the Season Live Interactive WebTV on the Creative EdVentures Channel

We had a lovely little holiday celebration on In the Season today with Maria sharing with us her holiday trip to Germany and both of us sharing our Christmas traditions.
I also showed a couple quick and easy last minute Christmas crafts such as these cute little creations!  Can you guess what they’re made of?  Yup.  I’ve been using toilet paper rolls again!  I flattened them and painted them in a background colour.  When they were dry, I used some Terrifically Tacky Tape just inside one end to seal it closed.  Then I decorated them.
On the reindeer, I used some craft foam circles for the cheeks and petal shapes for the ears.  Googly eyes and a pompom nose finished his face.  Then I punched two holes in the top and twisted a chenille stem through it to serve as the closure.
For Santa, craft foam was used for his cheeks and mustache, quilt batting for his beard and the trim on his hat, googly eyes and a pompom nose.  For the closure on this one, I glued on a scrap of fabric as his hat and tied it shut with a piece of ribbon.
For the snowman, I once again used googly eyes, a piece of craft foam for his carrot nose, and then I painted on a mouth.  A felt strip that I fringed at both ends made for a scarf and another felt scrap was glued on for his hat, using a piece of yarn to hold it shut.  But, hmmmm, I’ve told you that one end is sealed and that I’m creating closures (that can be reopened) for the other.  It must mean something is supposed to go inside right?  Can you guess what it is?  These little pockets are perfectly sized for gift cards!  What a fun way to present one to someone, making it just a little extra special with that added hands-on touch!
If you missed seeing In the Season live, here’s the playback link so you can check out all the fun!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Update on In the Season, Dec. 17, 2010 Show

Hurray!!! Linqto was able to give us the recording of the show on Friday so although I know none of you were able to make it there live, here is the playback if you'd like to see what you missed!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Today's In the Season Live Interactive WebTV: Dec. 18,2010

Well, today's In the Season was a bit of a disappointment.  You see I was there, recording away and apparently a group of you were there trying to watch - but I couldn't see any of you and none of you could see me.  It's like we were in two different rooms.  Apparently, there was a problem because Linqto had upgraded and I still had some of the old components in my cache so even though I recorded today's show, at this point in time even the recording is lost out there in cyberland somewhere.  Ahhh tecnology!  I do appreciate Linqto's help in figuring out what was wrong and the problem should be all cleared up for next time!

So, I'll show most of what I made on today's show - a lot of it you can mostly figure out from the pictures but if you have any questions please let me know.  There are a few things I can't show you, at least not at this time, but you'll get most of the good stuff.  Well....other than my witty banter, helpful hints, and all of that!

This is a candy sled that I used to make every year for my students.  They were so popular that many of the other teachers used to buy me the supplies and ask me to make them for their classes as well.  This is completely edible as long as you use some care when making it.  The key things are that you need to use well wrapped candy - check it carefully for any holes or places where the wrapping may not be as secure and that you need to use only little dabs of glue from your glue gun - just enough to hold the item in place.  If you glob on the glue really heavily it could potentially seep under the candy's wrapping.

I normally used small sized chocolate bars and candy canes.  I didn't in this example because for the candy canes, you need the ones that are wrapped not the ones in individual pouches.  In other words, they need to have the wrapping tightly around them the way the regular candy canes are but often the small ones are put into what looks like little individual plastic bags instead.  I couldn't find any of the small wrapped candy canes this year so I went with the larger ones.  I would have liked then to use a larger Santa to drive my sled but had already  purchased the small ones.  The chocolate bar serves as the base of the sled. The idea here is to glue on a chocolate Santa to drive the sled and then to put some candies on the sled behind him - if you can find ones that look like little elves or other characters (I've used penguins here) they can be his helpers and then you can glue on a pile of wrapped candies to look like a pile of Christmas presents back there too.  Because I had to use the larger chocolate bars here I couldn't find any with pretty Christmas paper on them so I chose to wrap them with a bit of paper to make them look a little more festive.  Glue a candy cane on each side of the chocolate bar as the runners for the sled.  When I taught older grades, I would give them supplies and let them make their own.  They got quite imaginative and sometimes would add things like cardboard reindeer to pull the sled with ribbons as the reins.  You can add a little tent card to the front with the person's name on it and use these as placecards for your Christmas table.  They also make really cute present toppers.  Most adults I gave them to have always said that they were too cute to eat but the kids will generally eventually tear into them and as long as you used the care I outlined above, that's perfectly fine!

Along these same lines, here is a cute little candy tree.  Again it is all edible.  With the sled, I find that really the only glue that seems to hold them well enough is glue from a glue gun but with this little tree, a good white glue will do the trick too.  You need 2 peanut butter cups and one Hershey's kiss for this.  I like to buy the ones in the festive Christmas colours.  Here I've used a red peanut butter cup right side up, then glued on an upside down green peanut butter cup, and finally topped that with a green kiss.  This can be further embellished with things like glitter, sequins, rhinestones, tiny ribbon trim and so on.  You might even want to cut out a star for the top.  A hanger can be added to use this as an ornament or again it makes a cute place setting at the dinner table, package topper, or stocking stuffer (I just then wrap it in some tissue paper to protect it a bit).

Here's another take on a candy treat.  This reindeer is made with a peanut butter cup as its face and then a red Hershey's kiss for its nose.  I added googly eyes and chenille stem antlers to finish it off.  This is another one that works well with white glue instead of a glue gun (if you want children helping to make these), although I do find that the antlers are better put on with the glue gun.

I'm sure you've all seen those typical candy cane reindeer - most people have probably made them with their children or had their kids bring them home from school or daycare or something.  Well, these next two projects are a bit of a different take on the candy cane reindeer.  This first one is similar to the previous reindeer project.  This time, the candy cane is used as his body, a mini chocolate bar becomes his face, and a red kiss is his nose.  If you prefer, on these or the previous project you could use something like a gold kiss on it and then add a red pompom as the nose sticking out from it.  Googly eyes and more chenille stem antlers and he's all finished!  This project I find works best with the glue gun.

This other variation on the candy cane reindeer uses two candy canes each.  These happen to be French Vanilla candy canes - hence  the blue and brown stripes.  (shhhh don't tell anyone but I'm not big on traditional candy canes - not a huge fan of peppermint).  Besides, these colours go better with my decor.  In this case, I didn't use any glue to hold the candy canes together but you could if you wanted to.  I just laid them next to each other and tied a piece of brown yarn around them.  Then I wound and wound the yarn around them to hold them together and form the face/body.  The curved parts of the candy cane look like his antlers and the sticks at the bottom become his legs.  When I got to the end of the winding, I used a dab of glue to hold the end of the yarn in place but you could tie it off instead if you prefer.  Googly eyes and this time, a blue pompom nose (to go with his blue stripes - did I mention that I'm not always much of a traditionalist either?) for his features, and then a ribbon bow and a tiny bell to embellish him.  I was thinking you could make girlie ones with those pink or purple candy canes they have out too - maybe giving her some felt eyelashes and a bow in her antlers?  Either of these candy cane reindeer look really adorable sticking up out of a stocking or a gift bag.

Finally, here's a sweet placecard holder made from candy canes.  The canes I'm using here are fake but it works really well with really candy canes too.  If you use the fake ones, you can use them year after year - and because of the way I've constructed them, they can be taken apart for relatively flat storage.  If you use the real ones, then your guests can take them home (or eat them after dinner) as a little party favour.  For these, you want to get the canes into a tripod sort of shape.  I found it easiest to just line them up side by side first and then arrange them into a tripod after.  I didn't glue these - I found the glue made them a little harder to assemble because you had to line them up just right.  Instead, I found it easier to use a rubber band to hold them together.  I used a green one so that it wouldn't matter if it showed.  So, to recap, I lined them up, side by side and then wrapped a rubber band around them.  Once it was on there snugly, I was able to pull the canes out into the tripod shape - because they aren't glued in place you can fiddle with them a bit as needed  to get them into just the right positioning.  You want two of them to serve as the part that holds the place card (kind of like an easel) and the third to be the support stand in the back.  I then added a little red bow over the rubber band for more embellishment.  A little jingle bell on it would be cute and festive too!

I shared a couple other ideas on the show which unfortunately I don't have to share with you at this moment BUT I will try to make them again so that you can see them.  Again, let me know if you have any questions about any of these ideas and I'll be glad to help you out with them!

Friday, December 10, 2010

In the Season Live Interactive WebTV: Dec. 10, 2010

On today's In the Season Live Interactive WebTV show on the Creative EdVentures channel, I demonstrated how to make three different adorable Christmas napkin rings.

This poinsettia one is made from felt - it takes a little bit of cutting and then assembles in seconds.  No glue required!

These are the pieces you need to cut out.  Two red flowers with 4 petals each, one green flower with 4 petals (slightly larger than the red ones), and one red "bone shaped" piece.  In the video demo, I show you how simple it is to assemble these into a poinsettia.

Once assembled, a ring is formed on the back of the poinsettia to serve as the napkin ring.

This holly napkin ring is also made from felt - same idea as the poinsettia one but this time I used a couple dabs of glue to add some holly berries to it.

To make this napkin ring, you start with a long strip of green felt shaped like holly leaves at each end.

At the base of one of the holly leaves, you cut a slit.  Then the other holly leaf is pulled through that slit to form the ring that holds the napkin.

Finally, there's this adorable Santa napkin ring.  Made from a toilet paper tube, you simply tuck a red napkin up through it and voila! The napkin forms Santa's hat and coat.

This project takes one whole toilet paper tube.  Cut it in half and paint one half flesh coloured.  For the other half, I cut it open and painted both the inside and out white.

The white one gets cut into strips.  Already curved because of the shape of the tp tube, these strips become Santa's curly beard.

I glued a scrap of quilt batting to one end of the flesh coloured piece to form the brim of Santa's hat.  You could use felt or cotton balls or paper instead.

If you missed today's show, here's the playback link where you can see the complete demo's: You can follow our fan page on Facebook for all the latest on our shows and check out our blog here:  Creative EdVentures

Don't forget - In the Season is a show about life's celebrations, both big and small.  We share holiday traditions and crafts every Friday at noon Eastern.  Next show: Friday, December 17th.  On Facebook: OR on the web:

Friday, November 26, 2010

In the Season Live Interactive WebTV: Nov. 26, 2010

We had a great time on In the Season today!  Maria showed us some fabulous gift ideas and I talked a little bit about Advent and Hanukkah.  Advent begins on Sunday, Nov. 28th this year.  To figure out the date that Advent begins each year, first you need to see when Christmas Day is.  The closest Sunday before Christmas Day is the 4th Sunday of Advent and then you just count back from there.  O Come O Come Emmanuel is one of the commonly sung Advent hymns:
The word Advent means “coming” and it is a season when the focus is on preparing for Christmas.  The different parts of the Advent wreath symbolize different things.  It is usually a circle because circle is eternal like God’s love.  There are some churches that use a triangle shape instead to symbolize the Trinity.  The wreath is made of evergreens to remind us that God never changes.  Holly is often used as a reference to Jesus’ crown of thorns – the red berries representing the drops of blood on Jesus’ head.  Three of the candles are purple – purple is the colour of royalty and repentance.  One candle is pink – that candle is lit the third week and stands for Joy as Christmas is almost here.  Some people, like me, also use a white candle in the center as the Christ candle to be lit on Christmas Day, white signifying purity.  The candlelight itself reminds us that Jesus is the light of the world, especially during this, the darkest time of year.
I showed how to make a child friendly Advent wreath.  When I was teaching, kids always wanted to help light the candles on the Advent wreath but of course this could become dangerous.  They also liked to have their own wreaths and so I came up with this idea.  The main base of the wreath is a paper plate here but you can also just cut a circle out of a scrap of cardboard.  For each of the candles I used a toilet paper tube.  The tubes can be covered with tissue paper, construction paper, napkins (that’s what the purple ones here are covered with), felt, or fabric to name a few materials.  If you use fun foam or a fairly sturdy paper, you often don’t even need the tp tubes as those materials will stand in a tube shape on their own.  I’ve also had children paint or colour the tubes instead of gluing things on.  It partly depends on the age of the children you’re working with and what skills you’d like them to practice.  For attaching the tubes to the base, I found it helpful to “fringe” the bottom of the tube – making little 1/4 inch slits all the way around so you can bend those out into tabs.  This gives you a better surface than just the edge of the tp tube to put the glue on.  For this wreath, I cut out a bunch of holly leaves from construction paper but again there are many other possibilities.  With little ones, I often used green tissue paper that they could tear and crumple into small balls and then glue those on.  For older kids, I would give them a holly template and they could practice tracing around it and cutting out the leaves themselves.  Here, I’ve crumpled up little balls of red tissue paper as the berries but you could also let the children use a hole punch and punch out circles from construction paper.  The part the kids all loved best was that they could “light” their candles each week.  As you might be able to see in the picture, what I do is to tape the flames (cut out of construction paper – I made a flame shape but a plain old rectangle works too) inside each tube and then “tuck” the flames down inside.  When ready to “light” one of the candles, the child can merely pull the flame up out of the tube as you can see with the center candle.  For more tips and to see just how I put this all together, check out the playback of today’s show.
Hanukkah begins this year on Wed. Dec. 1st.  Now, I’m no expert in Jewish history so please if I make any mistakes here, feel free to correct me!  The word Hanukkah means dedication in Hebrew.  My understanding of Hanukkah is that it commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem after the Maccabees were able to drive the Syrians out in 2nd century BCE.  Because the Syrians had been using the temple as their own, the temple needed to be rededicated to God.  This rededication meant relighting the eternal flame within the temple but there was only enough oil to keep it lit for one day.  Through God’s miracle, the flame remained lit for 8 days, giving them just enough time to press some more oil. Hanukkah is, therefore, an 8 day celebration.  A crucial part of each day’s celebration is the lighting of the candles on the Menorah.  A Menorah has 9 arms to it – one for each day of Hanukkah and the 9th one being the Shamash – the candle that is used with which to light the others.  A fun game often played at Hanukkah is Dreidel, a spinning top game.
Today I showed how  to make a simple Dreidel with your children.  This is just a cube made from a piece of construction paper with a bamboo skewer stuck through so that it can spin.  Please excuse the symbols on mine – I copied them the best I could!  The idea is that each person playing has some gelt (chocolate coins) and before each round, they each put in 1 or 2 into the center (kind of like putting in the ante when playing poker).  Then a person takes their turn at spinning and depending on which symbol lands face up, that directs them as to what they get to do.  For example, if they spin and get Nun – they do nothing and the turn passes to the next player (leaving the coins in the pot and adding another “ante”).  If they get Gimel, they take the whole pot.  If they get Hei, they take half the pot, and if they get shin, they have to put a coin in.  It’s a fun game and if you can’t find the Hanukkah gelt to use (it’s plentiful at party stores in my neck of the woods – as are wooden dreidels), you can always play with chocolate kisses or some other wrapped candy!  If you’d like to try this game with your family, here’s a link that will take you to a printable template for a Dreidel that’s similar to the one I made along with the symbols and instructions.
Here’s the playback link to today’s In the Season.  Check it out! We’re live every Friday at noon Eastern.  Come and join in the fun!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

In the Season Nov. 19, 2010

Here are the craft projects I presented on In the Season yesterday.  If you’d like to see the tutorials on how to make them, check out the replay link:
These ornaments are made from vintage wooden spools and vintage bottle caps.  I left them unpainted because I liked the natural wood showing through.  I used some scrapbooking paper scraps and images I had on hand here.  I have purchased image sheets from a variety of places but these are some of my favourites:
Teesha Moore (the image used on the blue spool is a Teesha Moore) (this site is currently being moved but they have some great images…I bought some CDs filled with images from them)
There are also a few free, copyright free sites that I like to use for images as well:
I’m sorry I can’t tell you specifically where I got the Madonna and Child image from.  It’s been in my computer for about 10 years and I just can’t find the source for it.
I also made snowflakes out of popsicle sticks (no I didn’t eat all these popsicles!…these are craft sticks purchased at Michaels).  The original instructions I saw someplace online last year called for using a protractor and measuring all the angles to be sure they were all 30 degrees but I’m more of a “wing it” kinda girl so I just eyeballed it.  If you look really closely, you can see that it’s not perfectly even but I think they look great anyway.  I’ll be making more of these and painting some blue, some white, and some silver to match my decor.  Glitter and rhinestones may also make an appearance.
The top snowflake is about 2 feet across and the smaller one is about 1 foot across.  They’re quite quick and easy to make and I think they’ll look really pretty from both the inside and out hanging in my big picture window in my living room.
Check out the video for all the details on how to make these projects:

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mary Lou’s Angel

By Maria Nerius and the audience of “In the Studio with Maria Nerius”
Every once in a while we are visited by angels in disguise and our friend Mary Lou was one such angel. She shared her creative heart with all and her favorite craft project? Angels!
1/2 Yard of muslin washed
1 Yard purple ribbon
1 Yard pink boa
5” White boa
5” Silver star garland
1 Beaded flower (brad)
1 Purple glass butterfly bead
1 Pink heart button
Hot glue and glue gun
3-5 Tea bags and 1 gallon hot water
1 1/2” or 2” wood bead
Chenille stem
Place washed muslin into a tea bath (steep 3-5 tea bags in large bowl) and allow to soak for at least an hour, remove, rinse, and allow to dry. This gives the muslin an aged look. Along the bias of the fabric cut 1” into the fabric every 1/2". Rip along the cut marks to create long strips of muslin.
Arms. Take two of your strips and fold in half, then in half again, and one more time fold in half. You should have a length of around 5” in front of you. Measuring in 1/2" from each raw end, tie off with another strip of muslin (or ribbon) to create “hands”. Trim.
Body. With 12 more strips gather each at raw end and fold in half keeping your finger in the fold. Slide in arms and balance. Gather up under the arms and tie off creating the the top and bottom of a dress or body for the angel. Trim if desired. This is a very long angel, you can choose to add another fold to shorten her.
Head and hair. Glue wood bead to top of angel body at center. Loop white boa twice and secure with chenille stem, this is the angel’s hair. Glue to top of wood bead. Loop silver star garland twice and secure with chenille stem, this is the angel’s halo, glue to top of hair.
Wings. Looping a figure 8 twice with pink boa shape wings. Secure at center with chenille stem. Glue to back of angel’s body. Glue wings to back of angel’s body. Adhere a medium heart button to center of angel’s wings.
Finishing. Purple ribbon was tied at angel’s waste and trimmed. A beaded flower brad, with the brad removed was glued to center side of ribbon, then a purple glass bead butterfly was glued to side of flower. Enjoy.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Some time ago, we were chatting during In the Studio with Maria and asking what kinds of craft projects people would like to see demonstrated.  Mary Lou Makela brought up angels and several others joined in saying they loved and collected them.  Mary Lou was even involved in an angel swap so I promised I would share my ideas with her.  Unfortunately, she passed away the day before I was demo'ing them but in subsequent weeks, I did show how to make these on In the Season and am sharing them here now.

Autumn Angel

When I found a small box of pinecones among my craft supplies, I immediately saw that they would make great bodies for some Autumn themed angels.  For this one, I hot glued some silk Autumn leaves to the back of the cone to form her wings.  For her head, I wanted something that looked natural.  If I could have found any acorns in good shape, I might have used one of those but all I could find were the acorn caps.  So, I used a filbert instead.  For her hair/halo, I had some little silk fall flowers leftover from another project and glued one of these on top of the filbert.  Spanish moss makes for nice hair too and the colour goes nicely with the Autumn theme.  You could add a hanger to this and use it as an ornament or sit her in a basket with some pumpkins and gourds or other such fall items. I liked keeping this one faceless and not adding any arms to her but you certainly could if you wanted to.  How about spraying or painting the tips of the pinecone with white paint or glitter, using silk poinsettias (white would be really pretty I think) as her wings, and perhaps adding a sparkly chenille stem as her halo to turn her into a winter angel?

For this one, I used a small bell as her body/skirt.  A small bead (either with a face or not) becomes the head.  I found it was difficult to find beads that were an appropriate size to fit the body but had a hole large enough to fit over the top part of the bell (the little "handle" so to speak).  What I usually have to do is to insert some sort of an item (could be a craft knife or a sanding tool for example) into the hole of the bead and "gouge" it out to make it large enough to fit right over the top of the bell.  Another option is to glue it in front of the "handle" but that doesn't work with some of the slightly larger beads.  On this one, a little piece of wire was formed into a halo - you could also use some of that garland that has little stars on it or something similar.  When I made these with my students, some also added hair out of things like cotton balls or embroidery floss.  The wings are made out of a small piece of ribbon that was folded over and then gathered in the middle with a piece of wire - lace is another nice option.  These make for really cute little ornaments if a hanger is added or can be suspended from a chain for a necklace or have a pinback glued onto them to make them into brooches.  When I was teaching, I would give these each year to the classroom volunteers I had.  I attached a little slip of paper that said, "Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings.  Thank you for being our classroom angel."

Here's another one of my favourites.  Can you guess what these are made from?  The body is a piece of rigatoni.  The arms are pieces of macaroni, the wings are a piece of bowtie pasta, and once again, the head is a filbert.  A bead works for the head too.  These can be painted with spray paint (a good option if you're making lots of them) or acrylic craft paint (usually needs more than one coat though).  Again, moss can be a good option for hair but on the one on the left, I used tiny pasta that was labelled pepperini (one of the brands around here also just calls it "baby pasta").   On the one on the right I thought an acorn cap made a lovely little topper for her - kind of a natural looking halo but once again things like wire or chenille stems work well too.  Because her arms are curved they are ideal for holding little items like flowers or in the case of the one on the right, an apple, making it a cute gift for a teacher.  I assembled these with glue guns.  When I've made them with children, I made sure to use the cool glue guns or Aleene's Tacky Glue (just requires some holding time until they dry).  Again, hangers can be added to turn these into ornaments or pinbacks to make them into brooches.

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

In the Season, Nov. 12, 2010

[caption id="attachment_52" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Real Maple Leaf Rosebud and One Made From Felt"][/caption]

On this In the Season show, I demonstrated how to make these pretty maple leaf roses.  Because on that day, the leaves were too wet and soggy for me to use, I showed the technique using leaves made of felt.  For the real maple leaf rose bud, I used 3 leaves but since the felt is so much thicker, I only used 2 of them for it.  The lovely thing about the real roses is that once you have made the roses, they will dry and take on some really pretty tones and textures.

I also showed how to make these whimsical paper pine cones.  I did them in brown tones so that they would be suitable for fall and Thanksgiving displays, but I can see them being really pretty in a Christmas print or a metallic paper.

The pine cones are made from paper, wire, and beads.  You can hang them like an ornament or perhaps a window decoration or I can picture them in a basket type display as well.

Although I didn't show the steps for making these, I did show an adorable little craft made from plastic needlepoint canvas.  For this one, I had made it into a Jack O'Lantern for Hallowe'en but there are lots of other possibilities.

You can attach a string to these to make them into ornaments, use a pin-back to turn it into a brooch, or even hang it from a cord as a necklace.  They are quick and easy to assemble requiring only three small pieces of canvas and some yarn (I added features with fun foam).  Attach a note to each one that says "Squeeze my cheeks and I'll give you a kiss."

When you squeeze on either side, it pops open like a little mouth is opening up.  Place a Hershey's kiss in there for a surprise treat!

Here are some links to some other versions of this but I would think it would be pretty easy to just come up with your own design for many items just like I did:

Kissing Mouse
Kissing Frog
Kissing Santa

If you'd like to check out the playback of this In the Season show, here's the link:

In the Season is every Friday from noon til 1 pm Eastern in the Creative EdVentures room. OR

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Mummy Madness

In the past few weeks over on In the Studio with Maria (Creative EdVentures), we have been going a little mummy mad!  It all began actually with Andrea Currie discussing themes for upcoming Craft-tastic Live shows ( and some of the ideas that came up were mummies, zombies, and dogs.  Well, Maria was inspired and decided to make a mummy dog with a zombie mask!  From there, it was suggested that we all try to come up with some mummies and have a month long mummy challenge. 
mariamummy mariamummycan
mariamummycan2 mariasmummies
Maria came up with some great mummy ideas didn’t she?
Here’s Jerry’s contribution…an amazing mummy quilt!
Amanda made this great mummy eyeball wreath – she was one of our challenge winners!
Here’s a link to her tutorial for how to make one of your own:
Real Estate Mummy (1) CP Mummy PMC Pump (1) Fence w  Mummy (1)
Here are CIndy’s wonderful mummy projects!  She was the other challenge winner!
And finally, here are my  contributions.  I saw some fabric that I had Koolaid dyed lying around.  It was in strips because I had been tearing it up and using the strips for water bottle bracelets.  When I saw the torn strips it made me think of mummies and then I became inspired by my daughter.  Her favourite colour is purple and she’s really been liking bling on art projects lately – hence the tiara and rhinestones.  I used a paper mache skull form from Michaels and just wound the fabric strips around it, securing with Aleenes Tacky Glue.  The tiara and rhinestones are all from the dollar store – the rhinestones were sold as a sticker set for “blinging’ up your cell phone.
For this project, I took a clear acrylic frame and covered it with cheesecloth (the idea was given later that I could have tea-dyed the cheesecloth for an aged look – love it!).  I found this chain with eyeballs attached at the dollar store and glued that on but you could also use big googly eyes or ping pong balls with eyes painted on (which is all that these are) if you don’t find something similar.  Quick and easy and it has a little opening in it for a photo of a trick or treater!
Here are some links to some other mummy projects:
Barbie gets mummified.
Clay pot mummies
Mummy treat holders
Mummy spoons
Movable mummies
Mummy treat cups
A mummy candy holder
Mummy heads
A meatloaf made into a mummy for a cute Halloween dinner idea
Mummy cupcakes


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