Friday, February 26, 2016

DIY Tip Envelopes

Sometimes, the best way to say "Thanks" is with a tip.

Once, I went for a manicure with my sister and forgot to take out the tip ahead of time.  My manicurist had to go into my bag to find my wallet, and take out some money.  I almost felt like I had to tip her for getting her own tip. Due to that experience, I usually have my tip ready before I go in for service.  I now keep a stack of little envelopes in my car, just in case.

A while back, I posted about making my own gift card holder because Michael's doesn't give you one when you buy a gift card.  Again I must comment on how ironic that is considering they sell all sorts of paper crafts and supplies.   The process to make a tip envelope is similar to the gift card holder, but with a twist:  1) the envelopes are smaller  2) I run them through the printer.

I like to recycle the kraft envelopes that the kids get from school because they are big enough to feed through my printer.  You can use paper too but in the spirit of recycling, I urge you to consider using the other side of previously used envelopes.

There are two ways to make your tip envelope:

1) Print out the template found here but shrink it until it's the size you want it to be.  Then trace it right onto the brown paper.  Stencil the word "Thanks"and cut out your envelope.

2) If you have photoshop skills, you could "copy" the template onto a new 8" x 11" canvas and repeat the envelope design on your page.   Then insert the word "thanks" in the middle of the envelope, print, and then cut out your envelope. 

No matter which way you choose, you end up with a cute little envelope.   Mine are sized perfectly to fit a bill. 

But this size also works great with coins.

Just pop in your tip and seal with tape or glue.

Doing this ahead of time will help make your spa experience even nicer.  So make some extra to keep in the car.  You'll be "thanking" yourself.   Hahahaha - get it?

 Until next time,
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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

DIY Crayon Roll

DIY Crayon rolls are so great to have around. We have several at home which hold our Crayola crayons and Pipsqueak markers. I've been sewing crayon rolls for many years now. Whenever there's a birthday or a donation needed for school, there's always a crayon roll or something handmade added to the mix. 

Our life has been taken over this month with birthdays (including my own!).  Although I did the big trip to Toys R Us, it was time to sew up a few more crayon/marker rolls for the kids that didn't have one already.

First we had to make sure we had some crayons.  I usually get a basic pack 24-pack from Walmart or the Dollarama.

I also bought some Pipsqueaks.  I use crayons if the children are 5 and under.  The kids that are 6 and above get markers.

It's so easy to pop in the crayons or markers.

I like to use velcro to keep the rolls closed.  It's so easy for little fingers.

Here's what they look like side by side.  The crayons are a bit shorter than the markers.

I like that you can see the patterned fabric peeking out.

This crayon roll was packaged together with a bunch of stuff, including this cool colouring book.

It's a nice big book to go along with some fresh crayons.

Kinda makes me want to colour something too :o)

Happy crafting,
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Thursday, February 11, 2016

DIY Printing on Envelopes for Valentine's Day

I love the look of a printed envelope.  It's not hard to do but looks fantastic when it's done. 

This year, I didn't do anything spectacular for the kids' valentines.  We were told by the school to fill in the "from:" section of the cards and keep the "to:" field blank.   Hubby went out and bought some scratch/sniff cards for our kindie kid that came with envelopes.  Little man filled in the card but was too sick to write on the envelope.

To help him out, I drafted something quick on Photoshop.

However, I discovered the mini envelopes were too small for my printer.   Some of you will remember that I put paper lunch bags through my printer (here and here) without any problems.   So I decided to tape the envelopes to a sheet of paper in order for it to feed properly through my printer.  Here's how:
  1. Determine the smallest size of paper your printer can handle and cut a piece out.  Tape your envelope to the paper.
  2. Consider doing a test run on your sample paper so you know which side the flap should go.
  3. Check your work
  4. All done and ready to be stuffed.

 Seeing as how this was not a "mama" project, little (sick) man was my printer boy.

The envelopes were so cute when they were all stacked up.

We had lots of time left over to do some teacher envelopes.  I love using Photoshop.  I cannot believe I used to use Microsoft Word to design my envelopes (remember this?).

Happy Valentine's Day!

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Friday, February 05, 2016

DIY Heart Garland Version 2

A couple of years ago, I made a large felt heart garland. I liked it, but wasn't in love with it. I felt like the hearts were on the big side and I didn't like the way it hung. So rather than "suffer" with it, I decided to make the same garland with much smaller hearts.  I like it so much better.  I will admit though, it takes a bit longer to make because you have many more tiny hearts to cut out.  But the method used to make this garland is exactly the same.  Click here for the tutorial.

The felt is from Michaels and I used 9 different colours.  They had so many to choose from!  I picked lots of bright spring colours as it's still cold here in February and will be until at least the end of May.

 When you bunch it together, it's a nice squishy ball of felt.

Right now it's hanging on an hook, ready to be hung in the kitchen after Chinese New Year.

Happy "Early" Valentine's Day,
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Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Knitting: GAP-tastic Cowl

It's the GAP-tastic Cowl and it's all mine!!

When people ask me, "what have you been doing?", I think "what haven't I been doing?"  I have a lot of time consuming hobbies - sewing, baking, cooking, knitting, home improvement, gardening, photoshop design, this blog, etc..    I've always got multiple things on the go.   Those who know me, know that sewing is my #1 stressor and stress reliever.  But, lately I've been turning to knitting.  I made the Katy Cowl twice - one for my sister and one for a friend.  While I really liked both of those cowls, I also wanted to try knitting in the round.

I decided to knit a cozy cable cowl designed by Purl Soho.   So pretty.  But in hindsight, not very practical for me.  This cowl was my downfall.   But unfortunately I didn't know it until I was more than half way through.

As I continued to knit, I noticed that the cowl was getting very big.  I tried it on and this is what it looked like and I was only half way through the pattern.

I began to wonder if I should stop.  I even made hubby try it on (which he did - xoxo).  It was hard to wear under my coat, but also hard to wear above my coat since I have a hood.

I decided to undo the cowl after I had a nightmare about it.  #2 got his hands on my yarn and left me this yarn snowman.  That gave me the push I needed to find another pattern.

Enter the GAPtastic cowl.  It's one of the most popular cowl patterns on Ravelry and the designer made it available as a free download.  Thank you!

Again, I used the Wool-Ease in grey marble with size 13 needles.  I used 10 less stitches than the pattern called for as I wanted my cowl to be closer to my neck.  I cast on using the long tail method with a 150" tail (24" left over after cast-on).

It was easy doing the seed stitch and it wasn't boring at all!

I was done very quickly and bound off using a regular bind off.

I do regret not doing a super stretchy cast-on/off.

My join in the round needs work, but my bind off in the round was well hidden.  I followed this tutorial on how to neaten the last stitch.

So there you have it.  A cowl for me!

It was perfect for our day outdoors at Winterfest this weekend.  Check out this cool ice sculpture!

Feeling cozy,
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