I love books. I think that's kind of a prerequisite for English teachers. For as long as I can remember I got a thrill every time we had "library" class. As a kid I used to make little slips of paper to go in my books where I would write the author and title and borrower so I could pretend that I was a librarian.

Because I'm hoping that my kids will want to play library with me I decided to whip up a little library kit for them as well as one as a birthday present for their friend.

I totally lucked out and at the office store where I went to purchase the date stamp and pad I found a random stack of REAL library cards on shelf for only $2.78. Woo hoo! It saved me printing my own!

If you aren't lucky enough to find real library cards you can download free printables at the Creature Comforts blog. I printed off the library pocket template to use for this project. It's a pretty cute blog, while you're there you should take a look around!

After printing off a template I then traced them onto paper from my Amy Butler stash.

Fold them as per instructions, glue and viola!

 Here they are stuffed with library cards. All ready to be taped or glued into a book!

The date stamp is a key ingredient. I had to search to find one that had a bit of a vintage look to it. Most office stores will have some version. If you want a "less potential mess" one you can get a self inking stamp.

I think the stamping will be one of the funnest parts.

A last minute addition to the gift were the cliche "librarian glasses". I just couldn't resist. I raced to the dollar store over the tall one's lunch hour and bought a few sets of child sunglasses and popped out the lenses.

Doesn't he look like he should be smoking a pipe and reading that book?

Why thank you Mr. Librarian. I will treasure this book!

Next up I made a few bookmarks from coordinating Amy Butler paper and used baker's twine for the tassel.

While my kit sat assembled it struck me that I should make patron library cards! Photoshop to the rescue!

I created a document that was 3" wide by 2" tall. I put a clipping mask on for the picture. The bar code was a free clip art I found in a google search.

If you would like to make your own patron cards you can download my psd file HERE. You will likely need some type of "insert image" action to insert the picture into the image layer and you can customize all of your own text!

Once you have it the way you like it, save it as a jpg, put on a word document and print. I made one for each member in Sadie's family so that they can all borrow from her library.

I bought the cute little case to keep it all together.

I'm not going to lie. I'm pretty excited to play library with my kids!

Wouldn't these be perfect little Christmas gifts as well?

DIY | Library Kit

by on 6:51 AM
 I love books. I think that's kind of a prerequisite for English teachers. For as long as I can remember I got a thrill every time we h...

Glue Sticks' birthday was over the the long weekend in September or as we still refer to it - staycation weekend. Hers is a music loving family and so I wanted to make something that might reflect that a bit. She also has a thing for pillows - thus the guitar pillow was created :)

I pinned this picture a while ago and thought they were absolutely adorable. I loved how they used decorating fabric but in a fun shape. Classy.

What you'll need:
  • 1/2 - 1 yard of main fabric plus coordinating scraps
  • sewing machine
  • pillow stuffing
  • paper/pencil for the drafting
I used a large piece of paper from my kids drawing roll to create the template for the pillow. I free handed a general guitar shape. When you sketch something like this don't worry about making perfect lines. If a corner is wonky just keep sketching over it until you get the shape you want, no one will see this anyways.

Cut it out and pin to the fabric.

Cut out a circle of your coordinating fabric, sew around it in a 1/4 inch inseam and then pin it to the guitar. Sew.

Cut a long piece of fabric that is roughly twice as long as the length you want it to run on your guitar. Hem the edges and then run a gathering stitch down the middle. To do this, set your machine to the highest tension (mine is 9) and on the longest stitch (mine is 4). Do not back over at either end, just run it straight through.

It should gather to some degree but you can pull a string to gather it more into the ruffle that you like. Sew it to the front piece of the fabric.

 K... I just realized I didn't use a gathering stitch at all - I was too lazy! Ha, you could though :) I just pleated it as I sewed it onto the guitar piece.


 Place the right sides of the guitar together and sew all the way around leaving a 5 inch opening at the bottom (for stuffing).

Pull it right side out and stuff. When it's the firmness you desire tuck the seams of the opening in, pin and sew closed.

I think it suits her home perfectly! It's also a big hit with the kids who use it in their pretend bands all of the time :)

Even though we were beyond blessed and didn't personally suffer at all from the flood in June I still feel like I have post traumatic stress from the Spring that we had. Thankfully our summer was hot, hot, hot and we've had a gorgeous fall... but I'm not ready for winter. I'm not ready to be cooped up with two toddlers who prefer to spend 90 % of their days outside.

This picture (from Pinterest) though reminds me that with winter comes Christmas and it eases my dread a little bit.

It's such a perfect little vignette. So vintage and colourful. More than anything it makes me want to have a pink tree. 
So I started searching. The results? Reasonable price = 4 foot tree. Sorry, my ceilings are 9.5 feet and and my 3 year old would likely be taller than the tree. Not going to work.

Reasonable height tree = $1000. Yup, not going to happen. 

"Glue Sticks" suggested I just paint one. Genius. Done!

Meet my 7 foot "garage sale" find.

Fortunately Glue Sticks' husband is a professional painter. I gave him a ring and asked for his advice on painting my tree. Primer.

I feel like I grow up a little bit more every time I use primer - any one else? I just feel so wise and patient :)

I took the boy one with me to buy paint. He was really excited about a painting venture and asked if he could paint too. He got to pick out his very own can of spray paint so that he could do a project. He picked red.  I let him go to town on a canvas while I worked on the tree. It was a fun mother-son DIY moment.

I really am loving the way it's turned out, though none of the pictures show quite the true colour of the tree. There really isn't any purple hue to it at all. It's a very pretty pale pink.

I searched the web before I started to see if there were any tips on painting a Christmas tree. None. Go figure! Here are a few things I learned:
  • Primer really is a good idea. Go water based.
  • Do not use cans of spray paint. It'll cost a fortune as you'll blow through a gazillion of them. I used at least 3/4 of a gallon of paint.
  • Use a high velocity low output paint sprayer. 
  • Start by spraying the underside of the branch and then move to the top. Then spray from each side. Pull apart branches and really get into the root.
  • Spray from absolutely every angle and when you've got them all, find another one!

The thing about DIY is not necessarily that you can do it for less money. Often times I spend more making it myself. What I like though is that I can create something original.

I'm quite excited to decorate my pink tree. I'm going to need to find new ornaments as my current colour scheme won't really work. I can't wait for Halloween to be over so I can start perusing Sally Anne for vintage ornaments!

Here's another pic from Pinterest. I think I'll do it in the window next to the tree :)

And aren't these "Santa Sacks" adorable? I love the look of presents under the tree but I think I'll make a couple to pack family gifts in for transport over the holidays. So cute!

Still not ready for winter but at least I can look forward to my pink tree :)

Oh... and another happy note... I was thrilled on Friday to have my FAVOURITE fabric designer Heather Bailey do a feature on our camper Elsie! I used fabric from her Pop Garden collection in the makeover and she wrote a sweet little post on our Elsie journey. Thanks Heather!

If you haven't seen it you can check it out here!

One of the my favourite items that I've made myself is my coffee cozy. I use it all the time! It's small and easy to keep in my purse and I find I always grab for it whenever I get a coffee or even to put around a cold drink. I must say, I also feel pretty stylish with my pretty, eco friendly coffee cozy wrapped around my London Fog.

I made this cloth cozy using the pattern and tutorial found here. I loved that I could just print out the pattern and use it to cut all my pieces. It's a super simple tutorial and didn't take long to make the cozy. In fact, I even made a bulk stash of them to give my family as our "table presents" last year for Christmas.

If you don't have a printer (or like me are refusing to pay $50 for the ink cartridge!) you could just use a cardboard sleeve and trace a 1/2 inch inseam all the way around and use that as your pattern. For my elastics I use hair elastics rather than the elastic by the yard. It's prettier.

I've also seen a lot of crochet coffee sleeves popping up on Pinterest and I figured they looked pretty simple to make. I was right. Last night around 1am, while crafting with a friend I decided to try and whip up a few. I actually think they're pretty cute! (Excuse the mini coffee cup, it's all I had on hand - from my kids play kitchen - Ha!)

Brace yourselves... what you're about to see is the most hack attempt at a crochet patter that you've ever seen! I shouldn't even include it but in the event that you want a "jumping off" point for making your own crochet cozy pattern, this may help.

I basically just crocheted a chain as long as my current coffee cozy (or you could use a starbucks sleeve). Mine was 28 stitches long.
Row 1: Chain 28.
Row 2: Chain 1, turn and then do 28 SC (Single Crochet). Chain 1.
Row 3: Turn, 28 DC (Double Crochet), Chain 1.
Row 4: Turn, 28 DC, Chain 1.
(Depending on the bulk of your yarn and the tightness of your stitches stop her or add one more row.)
Row 5: Turn, 28 DC, Slip stitch and knot.
** This will give you a pretty straight cozy. If you want it to be wider at the top just increase each row by 1 or 2 stitches each time. To increase, just do 2 DC in the same stitch.

I then used a yarn needle to sew a button on one side. I didn't crochet in a button hole but because I tend to have a loose and flexible stitch I knew I'd just be able to push my button through wherever. This way I can make it tighter or looser depending on the size of the cup.

I had no issues getting the button through my stitching.

 The great thing about these are that it really took 15 minutes or less to make one.

These are perfect stocking stuffers or you could even make a set to give as a hostess gift. Or, make at least 5 to go in your purse ;)

 ~ Monique

We saw this pin on Pinterest over the weekend. Gorgeous. Let's do it.

We set a date. Tuesday night.
We'll probably need more glue sticks... Kim offered to pick them up.
I texted that we might need around 3 bags each.
She called back later and left a message that she had bought 17.
17 packs.

After we put the kids to bed the tall one asked, "When is 'glue sticks' coming over?"
That will hence be her name on this blog :)

The boy one helped me gather a huge bucket of sticks. And by help I mean he fought off all the trees with a big stick sword.

We ended up with these beautiful wreaths. I don't have pics of glue sticks' wreaths but they are stunning. 
It's easy peasy lemon squeezy:
- Cut a round piece of cardboard.
- Glue sticks around the cardboard.
- Make fabric rosettes and glue in a ring to cover the cardboard showing through the sticks.

Glue sticks learned a lot about hot glue... namely that it hurts and gives blisters :)

We were up until almost 3 am. Yikes. I prayed as she left that God would make our 4 hours of sleep we would get feel like 8. He did. So thankful for that.

Now I can't decide where to put the wreath. Front door?

Gate? Doesn't really show up...

Inside on my gray wall? I think that's what I'm leaning towards.

Fun night. Great project. And I think glue sticks is more crafty than she knows :)

Stick Wreath

by on 8:44 PM
We saw this pin on Pinterest over the weekend. Gorgeous. Let's do it. We set a date. Tuesday night. We'll probably need more gl...

The boy one isn't really old enough to watch many "Super Hero" shows but he has picked up on the notion of a "super cape" from a few features in programs like Backyardigans and Max and Ruby. I love how his imagination is blossoming and to facilitate a bit more pretend play I figured I'd make him a super cape.

Doesn't he look super?

- Old T-shirt
- felt
- scissors

 I started by grabbing an old t-shirt of mine. It's from a stash of shirts I plan to make a quilt out of. I wanted to save the front of this shirt for the quilt as it was one of my warm up shirts from when I played for the U of R Cougars. 

You need to essentially cut out the back of the shirt while keeping it attached to the entire collar.

Once you have that cut you can shape the cape. Here I only cut a slight angle at the top but I find it a bit flappy so I'm going to slope it even more to round his shoulders better.

I also rounded off the bottom corners. Fold the cape in half before you cut to make sure you have symmetrical corners.

Next you need some embellishment. To make the popular Super Man diamond, cut a square from another t-shirt scrap, fold it on the diagonal and then clip the top and side corners.

From an old baby onesie I cut out a "K" for Super Kai. His real name is Miciah but Super Miciah is a little syllable intensive :) Jersey stretches a lot so pin everything in place before you sew!

With the K sewed on I then sewed the patch to the cape. Also what I didn't grab pictures of is where I sewed a length of blue ribbon and a length of red ric rac to the bottom of the cape for a little more pizazz.

Every hero also needs a mask to hide his true identity so I sketched out a quick pattern on paper and then pinned it to felt folded in half. To guide the mask creation I measured my son's face, and the distance between his pupils (for the eye holes).  Pin on the fold and cut!

Once it's cut out sew on elastic to the back. I sewed one side on and then fit it on his head and sewed the next side on.

After I finished his ensemble, which took less than 30 minutes we went upstairs for a little "super shoot." This kid cracks me up.

**Photo Tip: It was a rainy day and so my room was actually quite poorly lit. What was important to me was getting great action shots and so I jacked my iso up where it needed to be regardless of a bit of grain. To freeze action you need to set your shutter speed to at least 1/500. That's a fast shutter speed so you'll need to compensate with your aperture and iso. If you use your Tv setting your camera will do it for you or you can set it all in M.**

Yeah, he's totally crunching his head in the bottom right corner. Flips make me crazy nervous - for good reason!

"Look Mommy - I'm Super Cape!" Not Super Kai, he's Super Cape. Adorable.

I love how it fully looks like he's floating here!


 Every super hero needs a side-kick and so we have a Super Hanny cape as well. Complete with pom pom trim of course (and sponsored by Adidas.)

 These were crazy easy to whip up. After my first run with Kai's cape it only took me 15 minutes to make Hanny's. This is a perfect gift for all the littles in your life. Customize a cape, sew a mask and even a couple of felt cuffs (with laser buttons of course) and pack them all together as a "Super Kit".

Here I just covered an old coffee tin in scrapbook paper to house all the items. It's a cute presentation and can be kept as a practical space to store their super clothes :)

Have a Super day!

P.S. He's acquired another fellow Super. I was promptly informed that Naters needs a cape too :)

DIY | Super Cape

by on 9:36 AM
The boy one isn't really old enough to watch many "Super Hero" shows but he has picked up on the notion of a "super ca...