Archives for category: crafts

It feels like I’ve been running on empty/low for so long that I don’t really know what a regular pace is.  Since I started my business in 2009 I have lived in what feels like a constant whirlwind; juggling my own business, my family life and the lives of 3 children; making costumes for our local youth theatre company, working part-time, and attending craft shows as a vendor.  This week I’ve decided to stop.   For now.  And just see what that feels like.

I’m not stopping everything.  I have a new part-time job which I love.  You would have to drag me out of the theatre world screaming.  Kids and husband need to come first again.  So for now I have put the craft shows on hold.

I love craft shows.  I really enjoy the atmosphere, hanging around with crafty types, meeting vendors and customers face-to-face.  But they are physically and emotionally exhausting.  There’s all the time spent in my studio sewing things I love, in the hope that other people will love them too (and buy them).  There’s the planning and preparation, set-up and tear-down of booths.  And this is before putting on my happy face to meet the public.  Don’t get me wrong, I REALLY enjoy meeting my customers, both old and new, but for every person who loves and buys my work, there is someone who thinks my prices are too high (they’re not) , they could make it themselves (they could, but they didn’t), or they want to haggle for a deal (they’re already getting one).  There are some people who walk into my booth and just scowl.  Seriously, how can pretty little girls dresses and bloomers make someone scowl?

So, I’m finally going to work on the list of household projects that I always keep meaning to get to but never do because there’s another craft show deadline approaching.  Ironman needs frilly curtains in her room, Boy needs cool blinds in his room, Guy wants a bean-bag chair.  I have 2 deckchairs to recover, and numerous cushions to make…for me.

I decided last week that since our camping trip to Awenda, my children had been watching way too much tv, and playing on the computer too long, and it was time to do something crafty. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, and this site in particular, I was able to gather together enough ideas for 11 different crafts.
I love this site, Rachel scours the craft forums, sites and blogs to bring the best tutorials and DIY projects from across the internet. She then groups them according to category, so you can search for kids crafts, back to school, weddings, birthdays etc.

I chose the crafts for our day based on what supplies I had in the house at the time, so I didn’t have to drag 3 kids around a craft store (it was really hot, and I was trying to do this without spending any money!)
The first 2 crafts were easy, all they required were broken crayons, of which we have mountains, and lots of 2 dimensional items. The only other things we needed were a paper plate, aluminium foil, construction paper, cookie cutters, and sunshine.
I sent the kids off around the house to find these items, while I downed my first cup of coffee of the day.

Craft #1 was crayon melts.

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While these were melting, we went onto craft #2, sun prints.

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 This was a interesting lesson, trying to explain why really cool shaped rocks would not give great results, but other things like the miniature guns (can you tell I have 2 boys) turned out very well. I think this was my favourite craft in the end.

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Now came some messy crafts. We made watermelon paintings, (I recommend a strong paper towel not an economy one.)

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followed by painting with soap suds.   I ended up using more laundry detergent than recommended to get large bowls of “paint”, and it’s not a craft for the really messy, as I was a little concerned about the detergent getting into the kids eyes. I wouldn’t do this craft if your kids are prone to splashing paint around, but my kids enjoyed watching how the painting changed over time.
We then made marbelized paper, which I loved (that’s the printer in me ), and we discovered that once dried the colours are more vibrant on the side of the paper that was not actually printed on.

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The great thing about the weather being so hot was that the children spent time in the paddling pool in between crafts, instead of badgering me about the next activity like they normally do. While I was clearing up one craft and assembling supplies for the other ones they were running about throwing water at each other. Also, we did most of the crafts outside, and they were nearly all made with soap it was an easy clean up!

After lunch we made our final craft, make your own personal monster. I got the idea here, but as guy and boy are not into dolls, I had to make the whole thing more appealing to them! We adapted the idea, but left out the catnip. They are still sewing them as this was their first lesson in sewing, and guy is now talking about making more, and selling them on my etsy store. Watch out for them, I may be taking orders soon!IMG_0352_6

We kept checking back on the crayons, and by dinner time they had still not melted completely. I recommend the author’s suggestion to make crayon shavings, rather than do what I did, which was put them into the top of the bbq for a few minutes (ha ha). Here is the resultant mess, but we still had a great day, and I have a list of crafts for some other time. I think I’ve earned a few hours of sewing time to myself now, once I’ve figured out how to remove melted wax from my deck.

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