Saturday, October 31, 2009

Christmas Gift Idea: Simple Fleece Scarf

When I saw this tutorial for a simple fleece scarf at Make It and Love It, I had to try it out right away! I had a piece of fleece to make my mother-in-law a scarf and this project was perfect. It took about 45 minutes for me to complete one scarf, making this an excellent easy Christmas gift idea. Fleece is on sale often at the stores, making this a frugal craft as well. I picked up fleece to make 3 more scarves for under $4 total. Love this idea!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Storytime Fun: Pumpkins Everywhere!

In my work at the library, I plan storytime programs for ages 1 1/2 - 3 1/2. Every year, I try to put together a pumpkin storytime that is fun but has minimal references to Halloween. The books that mention Halloween primarily focus on seasonal elements (friendly bats, leaves, etc.) or the dressing up aspect of Halloween. Here are a few of my favorite books and a couple of newer books I've discovered. I have a few more new pumpkin books on request, so if they turn out to be good ones, I'll add them to the list.

Julius's Candy Corn by Kevin Henkes

For this rhyme, I put together a little set of cupcakes with candy corn on top made out of graphics from Microsoft Word to use as a flannelboard activity. Then, I modified the following rhyme to fit the story:

Down around the corner at the bakery shop, there were 5 little cupcakes with candy corn on top.
Along came Julius with a penny in his hand. He bought one cupcake and away he ran!

Repeat for 4, 3, 2, & 1, using the cupcakes to count down as each one is purchased.

You could also use the cupcakes for general counting practice.

Where is Baby's Pumpkin? by Karen Katz

It's Pumpkin Time by Zoe Hall

Plumply Dumply Pumpkin by Mary Serfozo

Duck and Goose Find a Pumpkin by Tad Hills

Mouse's First Halloween by Lauren Thompson

What are some of your favorite pumpkin books?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

WatchKnow: Educational Videos for K-12

Since mid-summer, I have been involved as a Media Review Panel Member at a new website called WatchKnow. With Larry Sanger (co-founder of Wikipedia) as executive director, WatchKnow is an online directory of educational videos for grades K-12. The videos are organized on the site by topic and are searchable by keyword and age level. Videos on the site are also rated, making it easier to find good quality videos.

Right now, the site has over 11,000 videos available, but more are constantly being added. The reason? This site is a wiki project, meaning the people who visit the site can also contribute to it. Perhaps you find a great video on a certain topic. Add it to WatchKnow! You can also contribute by rating the videos that you view and use.

This is a great resource for parents, teachers, students, homeschoolers and more. Videos can show a different way to teach a certain topic or give you a refresher on a specific subject.

Check out WatchKnow and let me know what you think!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Alice.com

I heard about a new web site called Alice.com on Money Saving Mom last week and decided to take a look at the site. Alice.com is an online source of toiletries, cleaning products, household items, and some non-perishable grocery items. Your order is delivered to your home with free shippng.

I registered for a free account and placed a small first order. I got 4 Suave shampoos at $0.60 each, Kotex liners at $0.66, a bottle of Joy dish soap for $0.85, 2 Dove deodorants for $0.97 each, and 2 rolls of Bounty Basic for $0.59 each. The total cost for the order was $7.76 for all 10 items.

I placed this order late on Saturday evening and received it on Tuesday afternoon. I was amazed at how fast the shipping was! I will definitely keep an eye on the best deals at this site. There is a feature that shows the 50 best deals on the site. It is a nice supplement for grocery store deals and is very convenient. We are also going to consider using the site for my grandfather this winter when he can't get out to get some items.

Have you used Alice.com? What did you think of the site?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Colorful Crayons Birthday Party Planning

We have been thinking about our little girl's 2nd birthday party lately, and I think we have finally settled on a "theme". We aren't going to have a big party as some of our family cannot travel to be with us, but we will have two small parties, one with each side of the family. I have been searching online for ideas to fit my "colorful crayon" theme and have found a lot! Even though we won't be using all of these ideas, I thought I'd share some things I found in my searching!

Brownies in a Cone Recipe - This looks fun and simple. Since we will have two little parties and also celebrate on her actual birthday, I thought we could do these as a change from cake for one of the events!

Box of Crayons Cake - This looks a little too hard for me, but my mom thinks we can do it. We'll see if we try or not!

Pretzel Crayon Treats - These are cute and my daughter likes pretzels (or pickles as she calls them!).

Crayon Candle - Cute for a decoration, perhaps?

Crayon Birthday Candles

Fill in the Blank Party Invitations - Since we only need a few of these, I thought these colorful cards would work well embellished with crayon stickers my husband bought at the teaching store today.

I am still hunting for some free crayon downloads to use as decorations. If you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

New Items and Promotions at CJ's Craft Corner






We have been busy adding items to CJ's Craft Corner! We've added placemats, a market tote, a cloth children's book, and a tablerunner. In addition to the promotion running through the end of October (buy one tea wallet or crayon holder with $1 shipping, get free shipping on a second tea wallet or crayon holder), we are offering free shipping on all fall and Halloween items left in the shop. Many are reversible, giving them additional seasons of use for the same price! Stop in and see us today!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Swagbucks and Ebates

With Christmas getting closer, I wanted to write a quick post about two ways of saving/making money that I have used in the past.

The first way of earning some extra money in the form of gift certificates is through Swagbucks. Our computer had some problems back in the late summer and we got out of the habit of using Swagbucks. Today, I set it up as our home page and main search engine again. Basically, use Swagbucks for online searching and you get chances to win Swagbucks that can be redeemed for gift certificates and merchandise. One of the best deals is a $5 Amazon gift card for 45 Swagbucks. I had enough points to redeem for a $5 Amazon gift card today and I won 5 Swagbucks with my first search!

A second way of saving money while shopping online is through Ebates. Ebates rebates a percentage of your purchase when shopping online through the Ebates site. They also offer a sign up bonus of $5 when you sign up through a referral link and earn at least $5.01 cash back within 90 days of joining.

Both of these sites provide a nice way to offset some of your shopping expenses! What other rebate sites do you like to use?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Weekend Sewing: Fat Quarter Napkins

My mom was going through her fabric stash a couple of weeks ago, and was going to get rid of this Christmas mitten fabric. I thought it would make really cute napkins, so I cut the fabric into fat quarters to make the napkins from Weekend Sewing. I used gold thread to topstitch them and am pleased with how they turned out!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pumpkin Outfit


My mom had some cute pumpkin fabric left over from making a tablerunner and I thought it looked just about the right size to make my little one a pumpkin skirt. It is a bit more fitted than the ones I have made for her in the past, but it looks darling with a pair of black tights.

I had a bit of fabric left over, so I used the pumpkin applique pattern found at Wee Folk Art to make a pumpkin to put on a black turtleneck. I used Wonder Under to fuse the fabric to the turtleneck (but not before getting a big piece of Wonder Under stuck on my ironing board cover - whoops!) and then stitched around the shapes using the stretch stitch on my machine. I had so much fun making this for her and she seemed to like wearing it! (Although I had a really tough time getting her to stay still for me to take a picture!)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Progress...

We are a week and half into this construction project and are definitely seeing some progress! The backyard is all muddy, but the whole addition is framed and tub is in! My daughter told my mother in law that we need to get some toys for the bathtub because she is going to take a bath in it. :)

I looked at the shower curtain, rug, and curtains I had purchased and decided it was all wrong with the flooring we bought, so I took it all (except the flooring) back. I was really disappointed because I had gotten some great deals on these things! We ended up getting a plain sage green shower curtain for a really good price, so I feel a little better, but I am starting over a bit on my decorating plan.
I've been thinking of a sage, pale blue, and chocolate brown color scheme, but I'm not sure. We already have a sage green bathroom, so I want this one to look different. What color scheme do you think we should try?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

New Fabric


I went to Joann fabric and got some pretty new fabric for Christmas presents! I love designer fabric (Amy Butler, Alexander Henry, etc.), but when I get 6 yards of fabric for under $9, I still really like some of the fabric I can get at Joann's! I have several Christmas projects in mind for this fabric - shoe bags, tote bags, and more! I especially like the blue and brown damask fabric.

Where do you get your fabric?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Mini Fabric Pumpkins


I saw these darling fabric pumpkins recently, and decided I wanted to try and make them. They went together so quickly! I filled mine with fiberfill instead of the plastic bag, but did use the dental floss. They found a home in a bowl that is also displaying some harvest-toned wool dryer balls. Give this craft a try if you have some fall fabric scraps around.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

New Item and Shipping Promotion at CJ's Craft Corner


Believe it or not, Christmas is getting closer! We are hoping to stock CJ's Craft Corner with a variety of new items over the next several weeks, so check back often.

Today we added some darling teapot placemats to the site and are starting a new shipping special on tea wallets for the month of October. During the month of October, enjoy $1 shipping on all tea wallets and mini crayon holders, and free shipping on the second tea wallet or crayon holder. That would be 2 tea wallets for $12! Get a head start on your Christmas shopping!

Read for the Record

Don't forget! Today is Read for the Record! Check out the web site for ideas to use with The Very Hungry Caterpillar and to be counted as a part of this great effort. We read the book this morning already and will hopefully do a few activities to accompany it this afternoon.

Are you reading the book today? What activities will you be doing?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

DIY Halloween Tutu

A week or so ago, I saw a tutu tutorial from Tea Rose Home. I thought the tutu looked darling, but didn't really look at the directions for the tutorial. A few days later, I took a look at the directions and really they were super easy and that I understood them!! When I saw that tulle was on sale at Joann Fabric this week, I knew I had to give it a try.

I bought the supplies on Sunday and had the tutu finished by Monday evening. It was so fun and simple to make. I purchased a yard of 5 different colors of tulle (total cost under $6) and did a pattern of one strip of each color all the way around the elastic. For my daughter, I used about 50 strips that were approximately 6" wide. The finished length of the tutu is around 16" long.

I don't know exactly what my daughter's costume is going to be...but the tutu is so cute, I know she'll have fun! I'm thinking of a butterfly or a fairy, but I'd love your ideas.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Weekend Sewing: Drawstring Travel Bags


I finally made a project from Weekend Sewing! I made four drawstring travel bags using the directions from the book. The first one I made was using the medium-sized dimensions from the book. I made two others to be shoe bags (presents for Christmas) and the last one is probably going to be a Christmas gift bag.

These are simple and fun to make. I definitely will be making more!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fall Tunic

Last weekend, I picked up some knit fabric at JoAnn Fabric. It cost just over $2 a yard, so I spent under $6 for 2 1/2 yards. I thought I had some directions at home on how to make a tunic, but when I got home, I couldn't find the directions.

I decided to hop online, and see what kinds of tutorials I could find. I found this two hour dress/tunic tutorial from Lula Louise, and it was just what I was looking for. I didn't use her measurements/pattern, but I used a tunic I already had and traced it to make my pattern. I did make the pattern longer than my existing tunic as well.

Around 3 hours later (everything takes me longer than it says!), here is the finished tunic! This is probably my favorite piece of clothing I've made for myself. I like how versatile it is. I wore it yesterday with a denim jacket and black pants, but I think it would work over a turtleneck or long sleeved t-shirt or with a skirt or jeans. I also think this fabric is really fun. It is too short for me to wear comfortably as a dress, so in the future when I make another one, I might make it as a dress instead.

Now I want to go back to Joann Fabric and see what other inexpensive knits they have...
For more DIY projects, check out DIY Day!
 

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