Tag Archives: fun

Fun Finds: Scout Creative Calendar of the Month Club

Standard

Do you have your desk calendar for 2012 yet?  I usually get one in my stocking every year, but this year I am happy to say that I did not.  I say this not because I do not want a calendar, I actually love having a physical calendar to look at.  I am happy that I have space on my desk to make Scout Creative’s Calendar of the Month!  I discovered Scout Creative’s Calendar of the Month Club last November and I was pretty disappointed that I had missed the whole year of awesome 3D paper calendars!  I’m really looking forward to starting 2012 with a super creative desk calendar by my side!

To get your own, you can like Scout Creative on Facebook, or sign up to get each month’s new calendar emailed to you.  This month, the calendar is a Yakuza Ramen Noodle shop complete with a tattooed terror!  You can even purchase the template for three more gangsters  in Scout Creative’s Etsy shop for only $1.49!

 

In addition to this awesome monthly surprise, they have revamped last years 3D calendar for 2012.  You can get the PDF to create a whole year of calendars all at once in their Etsy shop!  They are all so cute, that I honestly can’t choose a favorite!  All I know is that I can’t wait to see what they come up with next!

Holiday Gift Guide: Find the Perfect Gift for Him

Standard

Boys.  They are so hard to shop for!  If they want it, they already have it…so where does that leave us ladies at Christmas time?  Staring blankly at lists of useless gadgets in the hopes that we will find a piece of junk that he will find interesting for at least one day before it gets tossed. Well, we all have one weekend left to figure it out!  If you live in the Portland area, there are several fun craft shows going on this weekend where you might be able to find something unique.  They include the Handmade NW Formal Artisan’s Fair, Crafty Underdog, and the 3rd Annual Heart of Craft Show.  There may also be time to have items shipped.  Just be sure to let the seller know that you need it by Christmas!

Well, I think I have my husband’s gifts set this year, but most of the time it is a giant struggle to find the right thing!  While I am by no means then expert on the subject, I have compiled the following list of items that I have (or would) buy for my man.  Hopefully this helps!  Happy hunting!

Stocking Stuffers

What about some beer soap?  It is a funny, yet useful gift that is sure to put a smile on his face! There are several shops on etsy that sell it.  The picture on the right is from Anderson Soap Company.

Beer Soap By Anderson Soap Company

Flasks seem to be really big right now.  As you’ve seen in previous posts, I have a fun chalkboard flaskin my etsy shop.  You could write him a little message on the flask and wrap it up!  If chalkboard is not what you are looking for, try searching for your perfect flask on etsy…they have thousands of unique choices!

Chalkboard Flask By Elation Greetings

A wallet is a great choice.  Just don’t go to the department stores to get it.  There are many, many great hand made wallets out there that can suit any taste.  Myfavorite have to be the duct tape wallets by jDuct.  Note that they also sell some awesome flasks!

Duct Tape Wallet by JDuct

Finally, in the category of smaller items, why not consider a wooden guitar pick if your guy plays.  They look awesome and supposedly improve your grip.  You can find the one below at NuevoWoodcrafts.

Wooden Guitar Pick by NuevoWoodcrafts

Drink

If your guy is one who likes to imbibe, some mulling spices would be a great, inexpensive gift.  I have found cans at the grocery store for around $5.  YOu can also look up a recipe and make some yourself.  The best par is that they work great with both apple cider, and surprisingly, wine!

Whisky stones make a great gift for the guy who loves his scotch!  They keep your drink cold, without watering it down.  They also supposedly do not absorb refrigerator odors.  We found this not to be the case, so think carefully about where you store them!  ThinkGeek has them for only $20.  I have also seen them at high end kitchen stores.

Whiskey Stones at ThinkGeek

Home Brewing has become a really, really popular hobby here in Portland.  If you thin your man would be interested in starting it up, you can get a starter kit from your local brew store that includes the basic equipment that he would need.  There are also ingredient kits that can help get him started on his way to brewdom!

If he is already a brew master, making him some kick ass labels might be a fun gift!  You can design them yourself and print them on sticky paper, or have someone else do the design for you.  Girl In Gear Studio has these great ones ready to go!

Beer Labels by GirlInGearStudio

More Gadgets

My husband is both into hiking and photography.  lugging a big heavy tripod on a hike is not really very fun, but he has a Gorilla Pod, which works great!  Now we don’t have to spend half an hour looking for the perfect rock to rest the camera on for our “here we are” photo!  You can find these babies at REI.

gorillapod at REI

I have seen both expensive and inexpensive versions of Tech gloves around recently.  They allow you to use your smart phone without removing your gloves!  How handy!  You can now find these fancy gloves at REI, Target, and my personal favorite, SockDreams!

Tech Gloves At Sock Dreams

This last one sounds so silly, but trust me, he will LOVE it.  It’s a green laser.  This is not just any laser.  It is super bright and can travel up to 5 miles.  Not only is it fun to play with, but it is very useful if you are into astronomy at all.  I have purchased them for my dad, husband, and groomsmen at our wedding from z-bolt.  They even come in a fancy box that you can personalize!

Laser Pointer From Z-Bolt

Get Him Out of The House

If all else fails, get him something that gets him out of the house!  With all of the groupons floating around recently you could easily get him some golf lessons or a paintball session with his friends.  Better yet, get all of your friends to get the same thing for their guys…then the boys can all have a day out together!

DIY Christmas Wreaths: 5 Wreaths You Can Make to Decorate Your Home

Standard

Grape Vine Wreath

A few years ago, I thought that it would be fun to make a little wreath to help decorate my home for Christmas.  I expected it to be somewhat difficult and time-consuming, but the opposite was true!  It turns out that making your own christmas wreaths (if you start with a base) is really, really easy…and you get some gorgeous results!  The wreath that is pictured above is my own creation.  I just purchased a grape-vine wreath and some artificial flowers and berries from the craft store and threw it all together in less than an hour!  I just used hot glue and crafting wire to hold everything together, and made a little hook out of crafting wire for the back.  It was super simple, and has been a part of my holiday decorations for years!  It got me to thinking though, what other awesomely easy Christmas wreaths are out there to make?  I did a little searching and this is what I came up with.

One of my favorite looks for wreaths has been the cluster of christmas ornaments.  They are just so bright, shiny, and festive that you can’t help but stop to admire them!  Turns out, they are not too hard to make either!  I found a great tutorial on Matt and Becky’s Blog.  You can see their results below, and I have to say they did a beautiful job!

Matt and Becky's Ornament Ball Wreath

Recently, I have been seeing a lot of felt flowers around.  I love how soft and cute they are!  Jen, from Tater Tots and Jello has shared her sister’s awesome tutorial for how to make a gorgeous wreath and even provides a link showing how to make one of her favorite felt flowers.  It all came together quite nicely, and looks fantastic!

Felt Flower Wreath from Tater Tots and Jello

Recently, I have been intrigued by all of the awesome things that you can do with paper…particularly recycled paper.  I have seen many, many fun crafts that can be done using old toilet paper tubes.  Of course, making a wreath out of them is on the list!  See you there design provides a great tutorial for making a really cute wreath out of recycled toilet paper and paper towel tubes.  Just don’t forget the most important tool of all…that glass of your favorite wine!

See You There Design's Cardboard Tube Wreath

Finally, it wouldn’t be right to have a post about Christmas wreaths without a tutorial on how to make the classic fresh fir wreath.  Let’s be honest…nothing beats the real thing!  Save-on-Crafts has a great post with directions for how to make your own fresh greenery wreath.  There is also some discussion about different wreath forms and many more ideas for making some awesome wreaths!

Fresh Wreath

Last Minute Halloween Decoration Idea: Ghost Pops

Standard

I never decorate my home for Halloween.  I never know if I’ll be home to pass out candy, so I’d rather not have trick-or-treaters come to my door only to find out there is no candy to be had.  Instead, if I am home, I try to find a way to display the goods in a cute way.  Usually this means buying a Halloween bowl of some kind when I grab the candy at the store.

This year, I thought it would be fun to dress up the candy in it’s own costume!  To do this, I have turned Tootsie pops into tiny ghosts!  I’ve even made a little diorama of sorts to display them in.  Doing this is super simple, and a fun way to display your Halloween candy to the kids.

For the ghosts, purchase some white tissue paper from the dollar store.  (Many directions indicate to use kleenex, but I have found it difficult to draw a clean face on them.)  Cut the tissue paper into approximately 6″ by 6″ squares.  On one of the squares, use a ball point pen to draw a ghostly face, approximately 1/2″ from the center of the tissue paper.  Layer 2 sheets of cut tissue paper together, leaving the one with the face on top.  Drape the papers over the Tootsie pop and tie at the “neck” with a ribbon or thread.

For the diorama, get some styrofoam or florists foam and a container of some kind.  Cut the foam to fit into the container.  Using hot glue, adhere some decorative moss on top of the foam and insert the sticks from your ghost pops.  For my diorama, I used my Silhouette SD and the available designs to dress up the scene.  I glued toothpicks to the backs of my cut-outs and inserted them into my diorama to make it really pop!

Halloween Costume Idea: Paper Eyelashes

Standard

There is a blog that I follow called “All Things Paper,” written by Ann Martin, a quilling enthusiast who tends to find the most amazing paper creations.  First of all, if you don’t know what quilling is, look it up.  Better yet, check out Ann’s Blog because it is some pretty cool stuff.

About a month ago, “All Things Paper” featured a post about some fun, decorative, fashion lashes made out of paper.  The lashes are made by a company called Paperself, and they feature a variety of designs including peacocks, butterflies, and clown lashes among others.

When I first saw these lashes, my mind immediately went to how I could incorporate these into a Halloween costume.  I actually have a friend who is planning to be a peacock for Halloween, and these lashes would be perfect for her!

Without giving too much away, none of these lashes really fit the costume that I have in mind for myself.  I am planning to go as a notorious criminal of sorts, so I immediately thought that lashes with some sort of bomb motif would be fun.  I couldn’t find any lashes similar to what I was looking for, so I figured, why not make them myself?  As mentioned in previous posts, I have a Silhouette SD, and it can do some pretty intricate cuts.  I decided to try my hand at creating my own paper eyelashes.

After a few attempts, I found that the Silhouette could not cut quite as finely as I would have liked.  I ended up using individual lashes that were about 0.01 inches wide, and that were spaced at about 0.03 inches.  It took about 5 tries before I had a design that did not get eaten up by the Silhouette blade, or destroyed when I tried to remove it from the carrying mat.  The final product is shown to the right.

I still was not sure if they would work out, so I decided I might as well try them on!  I applied them above my natural lashes and used an eyelash curler just like you would with any other set of false lashes, and voila!  Home-made false lashes made of paper!

Halloween Decorations: How to Make Cheesecloth Ghosts

Standard

Halloween is just around the corner, and I have been thinking up fun, crafty ways to decorate.  Thinking back, I remember making cute, spooky ghosts using cheesecloth and Elmer’s glue.  In fact, my crafting career started with these cute little guys!  When I was about 12 years old, I had a booth in a children’s craft fair where I sold Halloween decorations that included these cheesecloth ghosts.  Back then, I remember staying up late into the night adding the final touches to my spooky creations.  Embellishments included witches hats, broomsticks, top hats, canes, and tiny trick-or-treat bags that actually contained candy.

I recently decided to give these guys another try.  I had the Charlie Brown Halloween Special, “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” in mind as my inspiration.  With the help of good friend, we were able to create four costumed characters.  My husband and I set them up in our back yard and created the above photo.

If you want to make your own spooky decorations, here are the instructions for these cheesecloth ghosts:

What You Need:

  • Wax Paper
  • Plastic Bottle
  • Dowels or Pencils
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Water
  • Elmer’s Glue
  • Shallow, Disposable Dish
  • White Cheesecloth*
  • Embellishments, As Desired

Directions:

1.  Spread out the wax paper on your working surface, taping together if needed to protect your table and keep your ghost from sticking.

2.  Create a form for your ghost using the plastic bottle, dowels, and aluminum foil.  Get creative with this!  You can use large or small bottles, styrofoam balls, sticks from your yard, or anything else that you find to make a form.  Just make sure that it won’t stick to the cheesecloth, and is relatively sturdy.

3.  Mix one part water and two parts glue in the dish.  Cut the cheesecloth into approximately 3 inch wide strips and coat with the glue mixture.  Remove the excess glue with your fingers, spread out the cheesecloth, and drape it over your mold.

4.  Repeat step 3 as needed until your mold is covered with several layers of cheesecloth, and you are happy with the way that the ghost looks.  Allow the ghosts to dry for at least 24 hours before removing them from the mold.  They should be dry to the touch.

5.  While the ghosts are cute on their own, you can add hats, eyes, and props to really make these cute decorations stand out!

*Note: You can purchase cheesecloth at the craft store, at the grocery store in the kitchen department, or at the hardware store.  Just make sure to get white cheesecloth, as it also comes in a natural color for more industrial purposes.