DIY notepad

As a scrapbooker I often have piles of leftover paper that is hard to find a project for. We also always seem to be scrambling for a piece of paper and I love a compact notepad so I decided to make small, portable notepads out of my scraps.

Pages
Cut ~10 pages, preferably from lined paper or plain white paper (it’s easier to staple together later) that are 2 1/2 in square.

For the cover, cut a piece of scrapbook paper or card stock to 6 1/4 and 3 in.

Fold cover at the bottom over a ruler at 3/4 in and down from the top over a ruler at 2 1/2 in.

Line up all the pages and tuck them in the 3/4 in pocket. Staple in place near the bottom.

Tuck top flap into bottom flap, just above staple.

Decorate if you want.diy notepad (2)

diy notepad (1)

diy notepad

diy notepad

diy notepad (3)

diy Small Christmas tree stand

A week ago my daughter asked me for a small Christmas tree for her room. I figured, why not and pulled out the very top portion of our artificial Christmas tree. The problem was finding a stand for the thing. I tried a metal waste paper basket that came with the house but that sucker was solid and I couldn’t put a hole in it for the tree at all.

In the end I took 2 empty coffee cans of differing sizes; one tall, one wide; that used to hold Lego blocks but the kids dumped out. Hey, if I need more of them, we just keep drinking coffee. I coated the wide one with Mod Podge and tinsel and left the tall one plain. I put the tall one in the wide one and the tree in the tall. Voilà, small Christmas tree beside bed.

diy small Christmas tree stand

diy small Christmas tree stand

Christmas lights organization

Let’s face it, they don’t go back into the box they came out of.

They will tangle together no matter what you try to do to prevent it.

The bulbs break and Heaven forbid you have the kind of lights that are wired in series (the older kinds) that if one light goes out, they all go out.

Each set of lights needs its own, soft, bag for 11 month storage.

So I made some out of old baby clothes of my kids! Baby summer dresses are perfect because the sleeves/handles are already hemmed.

a beautiful pink summer dress

a beautiful pink summer dress

I decided the sew under the top ruffle because the bottom ruffle was just too much extra fabric.
black line is the hem under the top ruffle

black line is the hem under the top ruffle

Once sewn, I cut the bottom ruffle off.
a string of lights inside the dress bag

a string of lights inside the dress bag

I got a lot of Christmas lights so I’ll be making a lot of bags for them as I take them down one by one and store them in a dorm room, zip up laundry tote.

DIY Awesome paper snowflakes

One of my magic talents that wows, amazes and makes children behave is that I can make kick-ass paper snowflakes from the top of my head. I can fold and snip without a pattern and when comes time for the big, unfolding reveal, I have a very quiet audience in awe.

Easy DIY awesome paper snowflake

Easy DIY awesome paper snowflake


regular piece of looseleaf folded in 4

regular piece of looseleaf folded in 4

now fold into a triangle, with the open leafy ends at the end

now fold into a triangle, with the open leafy ends at the end

cut the non-triangle part off

cut the non-triangle part off

fold triangle in half again

fold triangle in half again

cut off the bit that sticks out

cut off the bit that sticks out

I've drawn the pattern I'll cut out just to give you a basic idea to start from.  Any variation on this will work.

I’ve drawn the pattern I’ll cut out just to give you a basic idea to start from. Any variation on this will work.

the cutout, now unfold and hang!

the cutout, now unfold and hang!

Knit snowman and snow woman doll free pattern

See sidebar for copyright info.

Don’t know how I got this idea, but once it was in my head I had to do something about it. I devised a knit snowman pattern with removable hat and scarf so the kids can accessorize the little guy. I’m going to knit a skirt for my daughter’s snowwoman, but for now, here’s what I’ve got.

knit snowman free pattern

knit snowman free pattern

I used 4.5 mm needles which resulted in a 6 inch snowman. You can use whatever size needle and yarn you like.

Instructions

Cast on 11 sts loosely.
Inc K wise into ea st (22 sts)
Beg P row, st st 11 rows
K 2 tog to end of row (11 sts)
P 1 row

Inc K wise into first 5 sts, K 2 sts, inc K wise into last 4 sts (20 sts)
Beg P row st st 9 rows
K 2 tog to end (10 sts)
P 1 row

Inc K wise into first 4 sts, K 2 sts, inc K wise into last 4 sts (18 sts)
Beg P row st st 7 rows
K 2 tog to end
B & T tightly

Turn inside out and sew row ends together, leaving bottom open. Turn right side out and stuff. Tie a string tightly around the 2 decrease rows to create the 3 “ball” snowman and sew in ends. Gather cast on sts and pull shut, trying to give the snowman a bit of a flat bottom so he can stand on his own.

Arms

Make 2 alike

Cast on 6 sts
Beg P row st st 9 rows
B & T tightly

Sew row ends together with right sides facing out. Stuff. Gather up cast on sts, pull together and sew to snowman, 2 rows below “neck”.

Hat

Cast on 20 sts in first colour
K 2 rows
Break off first colour and add second (yellow in this case even though you can’t see it in the picture)
Beg K row st st 4 rows
(K1, K 2 tog) to last 2 sts, K2 (14 sts)
P 1 row
(K 2 tog) to end
B & T tightly.

Oversew row ends together and turn right side out. You can sew the hat to the snowman’s head but I didn’t because I’m going to make a bunch of them.

Scarf

Cast on 40 sts, cast off.

Skirt

Cast on 28 sts in colour of your choice.
K 2 rows
Break off colour and change to white yarn.
Beg K row, st st 10 rows.
(K1, K 2 tog) to last 2 sts, K 2.
Cast off.

Oversew row ends and slip over first “ball” of snowman to make a snowwoman.

Face

It looks way cuter if you use black thread to sew on the features, but my kids pull them out so I went with black marker.

knit snowwoman free pattern

knit snowwoman free pattern

Vest

Vest front, make 2 alike

Cast on 11 sts
K 4 rows.
Continue in Garter st but K 2 tog at beginning of each row until 6 sts rem.
K 2 tog, Cast off rem sts

Vest Back

Cast on 11 sts (for shoulders)
K 4 rows
(K 2 tog) twice, K to end of row (this decreases for neck)
K 9 rows
Inc K wise in first 2 sts, K to end of row (11 sts)
K 4 rows
Cast off.

When sewing the sides together, only sew down 2 sts down from top and leave 5 sts open for arm to fit through.

The Grinchy Claus vest free pattern

I provided a pattern for “a quick Santi Claus hat” a few posts ago and now I have the coat. Well, sort of. I started with the doll vest pattern and thought I’d add sleeves but the armholes were too big and Hubby pointed out that our daughter is still 3 and would have difficulty dressing the Grinch, so I left it at Santi Claus vest.

The Grinch in his clandestine outfit to fool Cindy Loo Who who was no more than 2 (but had a surprisingly extensive vocabulary.  Maybe it's a Who thing).

The Grinch in his clandestine outfit to fool Cindy Loo Who who was no more than 2 (but had a surprisingly extensive vocabulary. Maybe it’s a Who thing).

See side bar for copyright instructions, although the basis of this pattern comes from Martha Stewart.

Grinchy Claus Vest

Vest Front
Using 4 mm needles, cast on 15 sts in white. K 1 row.
Break off white and change to red.
Beg with K row, st st until piece measures 3.5 inches

Begin armhole
(K 2 tog at end of row, P 1 row) 3 times
(K 2 tog at end of row, st st 3 rows) 2 times
K 2 tog at end of row, st st 4 rows

Shape neckline
(K 2 tog at beg of row, P 1 row) 2 times
K 2 tog at beg of row, st st 3 rows
Cast off

Vest front other side
Using 4 mm needles, cast on 15 sts in white. K 1 row.
Break off white and change to red.
Beg with K row, st st until piece measures 3.5 inches

Begin armhole
(K 2 tog at beg of row, P 1 row) 3 times
(K 2 tog at beg of row, st st 3 rows) 2 times
K 2 tog at beg of row, st st 4 rows

Shape neckline
(K 2 tog at end of row, P 1 row) 2 times
K 2 tog at end of row, st st 3 rows
Cast off

Vest back

Using 4 mm needles cast on 30 sts in white. K 1 row.
Break off white and change to red. Beg with K row st st until piece measures 3.5 inches.
(K 2 tog at beg and end of row, P 1 row) 3 times
(K 2 tog at beg and end of row, st st 3 rows) 2 times
K 2 tog at beg and end of row
St st 12 rows
Cast off

To make up
Sew fronts of vest with necklines facing the middle up the 3.5 inches before the armhole. Sew the top of the front pieces to the back piece.

Add a sc border around the vest in white.

A quick little Santi Claus hat free pattern

and the coat comes later.

knit hat for the Grinch, free pattern

knit hat for the Grinch, free pattern

I found this Grinch doll while I was on vacation in a wonderful but expensive little toy shop. My kids both love the Grinch (and so do I) and I knew I could knit him a “quick little Santi Claus hat and a coat”. So far I’ve got the hat.

Grinch Hat Pattern

4 mm knitting needles, white and red yarn

Cast on 40 sts with white
K 2 rows
Switch to red yarn
K 1 row
P 1 row
(K 8, K2 tog) to end of row
P 1 row
(K 7, K2 tog) to end of row
P 1 row
(K 6, K2 tog) to end of row
P 1 row
(K 5, K2 tog) to end of row
P 1 row
(K 4, K2 tog) to end of row
P 1 row
(K 3, K2 tog) to end of row
P 1 row
(K 2, K2 tog) to end of row
P 1 row
(K 1, K2 tog) to end of row
St st 4 rows
Cast off
Sew edges of hat together and voilà!

Eventually I’ll add a wee little white pom pom to the top of the hat but right now I’m trying to figure out a coat pattern. So far, not so good. But I will prevail!

See copyright in sidebar.

Christmas gifts 2013

I sing Christmas carols all year long, but I will wait until December to start with the tinsel. Although we had our fist snowfall yesterday so maybe I can start early this year… Still, I’ll wait until after Remembrance Day to give our veterans and soldiers the respect they deserve.

support your own community

support your own community

I love the Christmas season and as far as I’m concerned, winter should be over after that. I’ve got Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus for my Nativity and I plan on knitting the three Wise Men (I have a pattern for some very colourful Kings) some time this decade. The Shepherds are on their own for a while.

Giving Local for Christmas

-gift certificate to hair cut salon

-gift certificate to have car detailed

-hire a student for a month of driveway shoveling or lawn mowing

-hire a cleaning lady for a week

-gift certificate for car oil change

-buy treats at the local bakery to give to neighbours and teachers

-Leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip (this is when the Avon lady can come in handy, get 10 chap sticks or shower gels for $10 and give them to every secretary you can think of).

This is a poem on a tea towel in a store where I worked 12 years ago

God bless these dirty dishes, they have a tale to tell
While other folks go hungry, they prove that we are eating well.
With home, health, and happiness,
I shouldn’t want to fuss;
By the stack of evidence,
God’s been very good to us.

So, Dear Lord, thank you for our wonderful, blessed life and send patience to sustain me. Please hurry. Amen

Christmas gifts for parents of young children, 2013 edition

This year I’m recommending clothing.

children's clothing

children’s clothing

Get something in what you believe to be their current size, something in the next size up, and one more size after that. This will save their parents the morning panic attack of “AAARRRGGG, NONE OF YOUR PANTS FIT AND IT’S THE MIDDLE OF WINTER, YOU CAN’T HAVE YOUR ANKLES SHOWING!” At least there will be something to tide them over till shopping day.

Mittens and gloves for young children because they are forever losing them.

Sun hats for the summer because those things are expensive. You can improve the hat buy sewing an elastic band in it to tuck under the chin.

Socks because people always need socks.

Diapers and wipes are always appreciated by those with babies. Again, buy the next size up because you can duct tape a big diaper around a baby but you can’t stretch a small one to fit.

Stay away from dressy clothes unless you really know the kids’ and parents’ taste.

Special needs. If the child has special needs make sure you check with the parents first so you get something the kid will wear. For instance, kids’ with autism usually can’t stand the feel of the seams in clothes or even the feel of certain fabrics. Or they’ll only wear one colour or Thomas the Train themed stuff.

Hubby says get them a hoodie. We live in Canada so you always need one. Even in the hot summer they make decent rain jackets for a run outside to pick up their toys.

I’m all for buying this stuff at a children’s clothing consignment shop or some kind of thrift store since kids grow so fast and that way you could get a pile of stuff for some very grateful parents. Or buy new, whatever floats your boat.