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!
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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:


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