Sunday, February 16, 2014

Miniature Crochet Heart Pattern


I found a cute little crochet heart pattern on planetjune.com, but I needed an even smaller heart for a project I was working on, so I took the pattern and modified it a bit to make it miniaturized.  I took the pattern for the Small Heart from PlanetJune, and I substituted double crochets for triple crochets and I substituted single crochets for double crochets.  I used a size 3 (size D) to achieve this miniature heart that measures about 1.25''.  Any ideas on what to do with these little hearts?  I hope to post what I did with mine soon!

Vet School Widow: Miniature Crochet Heart Pattern


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Whale Silhouette Wall Hanging from Vintage Buttons




I was at a garage sale a few months ago and purchased a Mason jar full of vintage buttons for a few dollars.  I didn't have a particular plan for them, but buttons are always good to have on hand.  Plus, they provide tons of activity time for my daughter.  In one swift motion, she will dump the entire contents of the jar onto the coffee table and begin sorting, stacking, and counting.  Last night while she was playing with the buttons, I noticed there were quite a few of the white and clear buttons in all different sizes, and so I decided to make some button art with them.

After my daughter went to bed, I dumped the buttons out on the coffee table.  The sound from each button hitting the table reminded me of all the times my daughter had done the same thing so many times before.   I moved the buttons around in different shapes, and the white whale appeared.  I pulled out some blue fabric that I bought about 10 years ago when I was going to learn to sew, and it became the perfect background for a white whale swimming in the big blue ocean.  My husband found a piece of scrap wood, and I procured the Elmer's glue and scissors, and I was ready to begin.

Vet School Widow | Whale Silhouette Wall Hanging from Vintage Buttons - Button Art for Toddler Room DIY
Collecting supplies to complete a DIY project for a toddler's room.

I glued the fabric to the wood by applying glue to the back and to the sides of the wood.  Then I cut out a whale shape out of the same type of fabric to glue the buttons to just in case I made a mistake.  I glued on the first layer of buttons and then glued the whale to the wood.  Next, I glued on the second layer of buttons, and let it dry overnight.  I was worried when my daughter woke up she would want to know where all her buttons went, but she said she liked her new whale for her room (although, she still doesn't believe me it is a whale...what do you think?)

Vet School Widow | Whale Silhouette Wall Hanging from Vintage Buttons - Button Art for Toddler Room DIY
Whale silhouette wall hanging made from vintage buttons.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Heart Shaped Crayons for Valentine's Day



Valentine's Day is quickly approaching.  Even though I haven't figured out what my daughter will be handing out to her classmates this year, I figured I would write about last year's Valentine's handouts.  My daughter and her friends were 1 1/2 at the time, so crayons are an appropriate handout at that age.  To up the cute factor, I decided to make heart shaped crayons by melting crayons into heart shaped molds.  I didn't want to cut up a bunch of brand new crayons, so I asked a woman at work whose kids were a little older to see if she had an old box of broken crayons.  Bingo!

Vet School Widow: Crayon Shaped Hearts for Valentine's Dayv

I took off the wrappers, cut them up with a knife, and organized them by color and brand.  I found the different brands melted at different temperatures (might be a good experiment to do with an older kid), so it seemed to work best when using just the Crayola brand crayons.

The only other thing I needed was a heart shaped mold.  I looked all over, but I couldn't find anything that would work, and didn't want to order one online.  The Dollar General store had heart shaped ice cube trays for $1, so I decided to try them.  To avoid a potential mess in the oven, I placed the mold in an oven safe pan; just in case the mold did melt, I didn't want to spend the rest of the day cleaning up melted plastic and crayon wax off of my oven!  Luckily, keeping the oven at a low temperature kept the ice cube tray from melting.  The tray did get a little warped, but it kept it's shape long enough to make the amount of heart crayons needed for the class. I washed the ice cube tray with soap and water afterward, but it still got pretty destroyed.  This year I was out shopping and found a silicone baking pan that would work much better, so I went ahead and bought it just in case I wanted to do this again in the future.

Vet School Widow: Crayon Shaped Hearts for Valentine's Day

Pull the molds out of the oven as soon as the crayons are melted.  Once the crayons are cooled, you can pop them out of the molds and admire your new heart shaped crayons.

 Vet School Widow: Crayon Shaped Hearts for Valentine's Day

To finish them up, I bagged the new crayons up into little treat bags and tied Valentine's cards from Hobby Lobby around them that looked like a page from a coloring book.  It would also be cute (and probably cheaper) to make your own tag.

Vet School Widow: Crayon Shaped Hearts for Valentine's Day | Tags to go with heart shaped crayons

I set one aside because I thought it looked like a globe, so it was a special one just for dad!

Vet School Widow: Crayon Shaped Hearts for Valentine's Day | Heart Shaped Crayon that looks like the world

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Crochet Coffee Sleeves



One of my friends had asked for some help to read a crochet pattern for this cute little coffee sleeve.  We hadn't managed to find a time to get together, so what better time to work on it then this evening during the Super Bowl.  I'm not much of a sports fan in general, so I wasn't really planning on watching the game, but given the events of the night, there wasn't much to watch anyway from what I could tell, so it worked out well for us.

Vet School Widow: Crochet Coffee Sleeves

A coffee sleeve was also a perfect project for me to work on since I recently gave up soda (or pop, depending on what part of the country you are from.)  But because I gave up soda, I have replaced it with coffee, so a coffee sleeve will come in handy.

It really is a simple little pattern, and we both finished ours in no time at all.  We lost track of what row we were in, and at one point my friend had started to work in the wrong part of the stitch, but really, once she put the buttons on, it looked like she meant to do it that way.  I thought they turned out great, and I plan on using mine first thing in the morning.  

Vet School Widow: Crochet Coffee Sleeves


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Small Pickings from Mom's Purse - 10 Minute Toddler Activites



I was going back through my pictures, and I came across some from Memorial Day weekend that I thought I would share. We had been on a car ride, and wanted to stretch our legs and grab some lunch. Apparently everyone else on the road had the same idea, because the Maid-Rite was packed.  After ordering our lunch and finding an empty booth, we took a look around the waiting room and noticed not many customers had their food, yet, so we figured we might as well get comfortable.

Knowing that my daughter was not going to be patient when it came to waiting for her french fries, I had to think fast.  Searching through my purse I was coming up short on toddler activities.  I did have a label from a skein of yarn as well as some stickers that were part of a junk mail packet requesting donations.  These might be strange things to have in a purse, but I can explain.  One of the women I work with always brings me stickers from the direct mail packages that she receives and I had the yarn label to remind myself what color yarn I needed to finish my current crochet project.  Both reasonable explanations, right?

Nevertheless, we were both thankful for the finds from my purse.  What 2-year old doesn't love stickers, and the yarn label was a perfect canvas.  My daughter went right to work on her masterpiece.  These two small items saved both of our sanities in the busy restaurant.  It took about 30 minutes for us to get our lunch, and this activity kept her busy for almost the whole time.  We were actually able to enjoy our time together even with the unexpected delay.

Vet School Widow:  Small Pickings from Mom's Purse - 10 Minute Toddler Activites
Carefully removing each sticker.

Vet School Widow:  Small Pickings from Mom's Purse - 10 Minute Toddler Activites
Applying each sticker to her canvas.


Vet School Widow:  Small Pickings from Mom's Purse - 10 Minute Toddler Activites
A work in progress.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

3 Fall Pinterest Activities for Toddlers



Okay, so I will admit it.  There is snow on the ground and Christmas decorations are already down; fall has passed and it is officially winter.  And yet, my entry today revolves around fall activities.  Truthfully, the reason I am just now writing this is because it took me this long to finish 3 simple fall activities I had pinned from Pinterest.  Okay, that isn't the whole truth.  I actually only finished 2 of the 3 projects, and today I decided that I will probably not finish the 3rd activity, so I decided I might as well write about the 2 projects I did accomplish.  When I sat down to write this, I thought about changing the title to '2 Fall Activities for Toddlers', but it didn't have the same ring to it.  Then I realized that the fact I never got around to finishing the third activity might be noteworthy.

3 Fall Activities inspired by Pinterest

Leaf Wreath:

The first fall activity is a Leaf Wreath.  This is a great project for anyone of any age.  It is very easy, and requires little effort (my favorite kinds of activities).  The finished product looks nice, too.  I think most people will have the supplies on hand, too.  All that is needed is scissors, a paper plate (or any cardboard surface), and glue.

Vet School Widow: Leaf Wreath

Back in October, I was sitting on the front stoop watching my daughter play, and it popped into my head this would be the perfect time to do that leaf wreath I had pinned.  I went inside and brought out the supplies.  I cut out a wreath shape from the paper plate to use as a base, but you could use an empty cereal box or other piece of cardboard.  Then I told my daughter to go out and collect leaves and bring them back to me.  We talked about the different colors and sizes of the leaves, and it was fun challenge to have her find a specific color or size leaf.  As she proudly brought me each leaf I had requested, I glued it to the paper plate using Elmer's glue.  They didn't stick that well, so I placed a block on each leaf to help them stay in place.

Vet School Widow: Leaf Wreath

Mini Pumpkin Shaped Pizzas:

The second fall activity is making Halloween pizzas.  This activity was easy to fit in, because as I have mentioned before, we make pizza a lot.  One day after the dough was rolled out, I remembered the idea to cut out shapes in the pizza dough using cookie cutters.  It worked out really well, and even when I re-rolled out the dough over and over again it continued to be easy to work with.  My daughter loved cutting out the shapes, and it was fun to eat the mini-pumpkin-pizzas.

Vet School Widow: Pumpkin Shaped Pizzas

Vet School Widow: Pumpkin Shaped Pizzas

Vet School Widow: Pumpkin Shaped Pizzas

Multi-Colored Leaf Sugar Cookies:

In general, when I pin an activity inspired pin, I have full intentions of replicating the pin or at least completing some derivative of the activity or craft.  I have a soft spot for the Wilton Comfort-Grip cookie cutters, so whenever I see them at the store, I usually buy them.  So when I saw the pin for the tricolored leaf sugar cookies, I knew it was a perfect way to break in my leaf cookie cutter.  The idea is to mix together different colors of dough, such as yellow, orange, green, and brown, and the final sugar cookies will be multi-colored to represent the changing colors of fall.

It was Christmas Eve, and I finally decided to make some sugar cookies.  I thought it would also be a good time to try the multi-colored leaf cookie.  I made the dough, and put it in the fridge... and that is the end of the story.  I never got around to pulling the dough back out of the refrigerator.  Yes, I feel awful about wasting the dough, and if I knew I wasn't going to roll the cookies out right away I would have put the dough in the freezer.  I just kept thinking that I would finish the cookies, but then too much time had passed and I decided to throw the dough away.

Although we weren't able to enjoy fresh cookies this fall, I still plan to make them next fall!


Monday, December 16, 2013

DIY Tissue Paper Bouquets in Mason Jars




I mentioned in my last post that I helped put together a baby shower, and in addition to making the honey pot, I also made some tissue paper bouquets for table centerpieces.

Vet School Widow | Tissue paper pom bouquets in Mason jars with miniature chalkboard tags.  An easy DIY centerpiece for a baby shower.
Tissue paper poms for a flower bouquet centerpieces.

The tissue paper poms seem to be very popular right now, but they are also pretty bulky and time intensive. I wanted to create the same impact as the large poms, but on a smaller scale, so I thought it would be cute to do flower arrangements. I found these instructions from LiaGriffith.com for miniature poms, and added a few steps at the end to create flowers.

As per her instructions, I folded each sheet of tissue paper, cut off the edges to make them round, and punched a hole in the center.  Folding the tissue paper and punching the holes was easy.  However, cutting around the edges was a bit blistering. Maybe I need to invest in sharper scissors, or maybe there is a better tool to do something like this in the scrap booking section of the hobby store, but if you are planning to use plain old scissors then be prepared with some Band-Aids.

Vet School Widow | Tissue paper pom bouquets in Mason jars with miniature chalkboard tags.  An easy DIY centerpiece for a baby shower.
Folded tissue paper ready to be cut into flowers.

Vet School Widow | Tissue paper pom bouquets in Mason jars with miniature chalkboard tags.  An easy DIY centerpiece for a baby shower.
Miniature tissue paper poms ready for wire stems.

To make the flowers, I used green stem wire from the floral department. This step was also a bit blistering. I used my fingers to wrap the wire around, but I was very close to investing in some pliers to make this step a bit easier.  I just wasn't sure how often I would use the pliers again, so I passed them up this time.

Vet School Widow | Tissue paper pom bouquets in Mason jars with miniature chalkboard tags.  An easy DIY centerpiece for a baby shower.
Tissue paper flower ready to be poofed.

After the wire is attached, start crumpling the tissue paper to make the flowers.  Don't be timid; it takes quite a bit of scrunching to get the flowers to take shape. For the final touches, I organized the flowers by color; orange and black for Tigger, pink and white for Piglet, yellow and white for Rabbit, grey and pink for Eeyore, and gold and red for Pooh.  I placed the finished bouquets in glass mason jars I had collected from old Classico jars. To remove the labels from the glass jars, I simply soaked them in hot water and then washed them with Dawn soap.

Vet School Widow | Tissue paper pom bouquets in Mason jars with miniature chalkboard tags.  An easy DIY centerpiece for a baby shower.
Soak the Mason jars in hot water to loosen the labels.

I only had 4 of the large Classico jars, but 5 bouquets. I found a small Mason jar tucked away in the cupboard, and it ended up being perfect for Piglet. I lined the inside of the jars with spanish moss from the craft section, and topped each off with a bow made from twine.

Vet School Widow | Tissue paper pom bouquets in Mason jars with miniature chalkboard tags.  An easy DIY centerpiece for a baby shower.
Finish off the centerpieces with miniature chalkboard tags.

I labeled each of the bouquets with miniature chalkboard tags.  It worked out that I used chalk to label each bouquet since I spelled Piglet incorrectly. It was an easy fix to wipe off the extra T, though.

Vet School Widow | Tissue paper pom bouquets in Mason jars with miniature chalkboard tags.  An easy DIY centerpiece for a baby shower.
Since the tags are written with chalk, this mistake can be easily erased.