Friday, December 30, 2011

Best Christmas Gift EVER!!!

Pic of Kellen modeling the stork costume

Every holiday season, I am reminded just how fortunate my husband and I are to have the family and friends that we do! This holiday was no different...except for the fact that we now had the pleasure of telling the people we love that we would be helping to expand the family with an addition coming in June!!! In case I haven't made myself clear, WE'RE PREGNANT!!! Being the nerd that I am, I knew that simply telling extended family the great news would not be enough. As a result, I recruited my brother Kellen, always the life of the party and never one to turn down an opportunity to draw attention to himself, to help me out in spreading the word.

Using 1 1/2 yards of white felt, 1/4 yard of orange felt, and 1/2 yard of black felt, I created a stork costume for Kellen. Using a mixture of hand-sewing and machine stitching, I sewed together a hood with a beak and eyes, along with the body and wings. Using the orange felt, I cut out legs and feet and pinned them to the body once my model was ready to be costumed. Since we were at my grandparents' house for the big reveal, we decided to use their chair lift to help the stork in his descent down the stairs. My brother certainly did not disappoint as he flapped his "wings" and squawked down the stairs, explaining to the confused bystanders that he was a stork. He then presented my grandparents with a package that, once opened, held our sonogram pictures and a message that read "Merry Christmas from the newest addition to the Dalby family. Coming to a hospital in Pittsburgh: June, 2012." After a brief moment of confusion as to who exactly was having the baby (as I have a number of cousins and siblings, all around the child-bearing age), we revealed what we had been keeping a secret for FAR TOO LONG, and the reactions were more than we could have ever imagined! Video for further proof to come in the future!

A stand-up view of the bird himself (don't mind the elbows of others taking pics!)


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Decorate Your Own Mustache Mugs

This is one of my absolute favorite craft projects and perfect for the gift recipient with a great sense of humor! I used "Google Images" to look up pictures of mustaches for inspiration. Using a black, ceramic marker, I drew and colored a different type of mustache at the top of each mug. After I was satisfied with my masterpieces, I set my oven to 275 degrees and placed the mugs into the oven for 45 minutes to set the marker and avoid smudging. I will not say who the recipient of this gift could potentially be, but I will say that they are in for a very good time once they receive them!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

How To: Family Keys Holder

Here is another cute and easy idea for a personalized gift:

-unfinished, plaque with hangers
-black, acrylic paint
-silver paint marker
-acrylic sealer


1. Cover the hangers with tape to avoid getting paint on them

2. Using a foam, paint brush, paint at least two coats of black, acrylic paint onto the unfinished wood

3. Use the silver paint marker to label each key hook (in my case, I labeled three of the four with the names of the people in my brother's family; Camdyn is only one, so I also added some "keys" for her to use for the next fifteen years! And the other key hook could've been labeled "guest," but I figured I would save a spot for their next child, whenever he or she comes along).

4. Spray two coats of acrylic sealer over the entire plaque and let dry.

Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Scrabble Tile Coasters-third and final Scrabble gift, I promise!

Scrabble tile coasters for my mother-in-law, Francie, and my father-in-law, Bob

Here is another SUPER simple Christmas gift idea using (you guessed it!) Scrabble tiles! Using blank coasters (I found  a pack of 6 blank coasters at my local craft store for just under $2, score!), I arranged 4 rows of 5 Scrabble tiles, spelling out the names of the recipients in the second row (for my mother-in-law, Francie, I obviously also used a portion of the third row, as well!). After determining the order of letters, I removed them and painted a thick coat of Mod Podge across the front of the coaster. I then put the letters back onto the coaster in their appropriate order, making sure to center them as much as possible. After allowing the Mod Podge to dry for about 20 minutes, I spread two more layers of Mod Podge over the top of the Scrabble tiles and allowed them to dry. Using an acryllic sealant, I sprayed the coaster, allowed it to dry, and Voila!!! An unbelivably quick and easy craft project that works as a functional and personalized gift for any recipient!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Scrabble Tile Name Plaques

Scrabble tile frame featuring my name, my husband's name, our last name, and "Love"

If you've read my previous posts, you know that my newest craft material obsession is Scrabble tiles! In addition to the Scrabble tile pendants I've been making, I am now branching out to Scrabble tile frames. I simply bought a frame and cut out houndstooth scrapbook paper to fit the inside of the frame for the background. I then laid out the words I wanted to display in crossword puzzle fashion (this part was probably the most time-consuming, as it was a little difficult to make everything fit the frame and look balanced). Once I decided on the layout, I used double-sided tape on the backs of each tile to adhere them to the background and placed them in the frame. Fortunately, the Scrabble tiles are thin enough that everything fit perfectly and I was even able to keep the glass on the frame (which I had not originally expected!). I had so much fun making one for my house for my husband and I (above), that I decided to make one for my brother as a house-warming gift.

Frame made for my brother and his family

Cutest litte guinea pig I ever did see!

The only thing more fun than making crafts?!?!?! Watching the recipients of the crafts put them to great (and in this case, adorable) use! Here are two pictures of my precious nephew, Royce modeling two of my creations. How cute is he?????

Coming home from the hospital in his bowtie onesie

Modeling his "mustachifier" for Aunt Shannon

Monday, December 5, 2011

How To: Scrabble Tile Pendant-Autism Awareness

Autism Awareness Scrabble tile necklace

So, I tend to develop a new, craft-related obsession every few weeks, whether it be a new craft material I’ve discovered or an awesome project I’ve found online (this is the part where I plug once again!). This week, my obsession is SCRABBLE TILES!!! Who knew you could do so much with game pieces and some craft materials (which I happen to have a few of)! My first Scrabble tile-related craft is a pendant.
As a teacher of children with Autism, I not only have the privilege of working with some amazing kids, but also with incredibly dedicated, caring, and gifted adults. In my classroom, I have three other women who work with me on a daily basis which (just ask my husband) isn’t always easy. Despite the challenges that our students present, these women handle every situation with positivity, humor, and grace. When it came to figuring out appropriate Christmas gifts to give them, I knew it had to be something appropriate to what we do on a daily basis and made with love.
The fantastic thing about Scrabble tile pendants is that you can virtually use any picture of your choosing as the centerpiece of the jewelry. Since the symbol for Autism Awareness is a multi-colored puzzle piece, my choice of picture was simple.
Here are the instructions to make your own:
*Square bail plate (sized a little smaller than a Scrabble pendant)
*Scrabble tile
*Picture printed and cut out to fit Scrabble tile
*Modge Podge
*foam paint brush
*necklace chain

1. Using a very sturdy, craft epoxy (Tacky glue or a hot glue gun simply won’t cut it, folks!), glue the bail plate (I bought mine in a pack of four at Hobby Lobby) to the lettered side of the Scrabble tile. Let dry overnight.

2. Print out an image of your choice to fit the blank side of the Scrabble tile. Note: An average Scrabble tile is 2 cm. x 1 ½ cm, or .75 inch  x .83 inch and cut out.

3. Using your foam brush, brush a layer of Modge Podge onto the blank side of the Scrabble tile.

4. Adhere your picture to the Scrabble tile. Give it a few minutes to dry a bit so that it does not slide all over the pendant for the next part.
5. Paint a heavier but consistent level of Modge Podge over the top of your picture. Let dry and paint on another layer.
6. After the pendant dries, spray an acrylic sealer over the picture-side of the pendant
7. Once the pendant is completely dry, string the necklace chain through the loop at the top of the pendant.

Voila! Easy breezy!!! PS-If you know any of my classroom assistants, mum’s the word until Christmas!