Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas To You!



Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year from my family to yours! Thank you so much for your kind thoughts and constant encouragement over the last eight months! Many many warm hugs to you!

I will be away from my recycling bin for the next little while. My loves and me are taking to the snowy Canadian road to visit with friends and family. I'll be back on January 3rd with lots more crafty stuff. In the meantime, you take care of yourself and your family, be safe, and have a great holiday. I'll see you on the flipside!


[featuring the new font: Egg Carton ( I had to use it at least once... visit this post for the whole alphabet!)]



Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Just for Fon-t!



And a 1, and a 2, and a...







Now I know my ABCs.
Next time won't you sing with me!


(featuring the brand new font: Egg Carton, by Michele Pacey)


Now go have yourself a fabulous day!


Monday, December 20, 2010

Tutorial: Quick and Pretty Junk Mail Gift Bow




It's that time! Yes, indeed. Time to get those gifts dressed up to the nines and pretty as petunias. Now, there's no need to go out and spend good money on fancy papers or frilly bows! Do not. Goodness no. Never. People will be ripping this stuff to shreds. No, what you do is head on over to your friendly household recycling bin, grab some of that Christmas flavoured junk mail and follow me!

Let's do this thing. Time's a wastin'!



Tutorial: Quick and Pretty Junk Mail Bow

You will need:
  • Christmas flavoured junkmail or any not-too-heavy weight paper from the recycling bin
  • String
  • Glue
  • Pair of scissors
  • Clothes pins or clips for clamping
1. Gather supplies.
2. Cut out a rectangular piece of junk mail.
3. Fold in half lengthwise.
4. Fold up in quarters.


5. Fold up in eighths.
6. Make 2 cuts starting from the raw edge and diagonally toward the center fold.
7. Unfold the piece. It should look as mine does in #7.
8. Fold up like an accordion.


9. Pinch the accordion in the middle.
10. Fold in half.
11. Tie a piece of string around your accordion at the half-way point.
12. Fan out one edge of the accordion towards the other edge. This creates a half flower. Glue the two edges together. Use a clamp to hold it in place. Repeat for the other side creating the full flower.


13. Flatten the petals out between your fingers.
14. This way the petals will stay open.
15. Create a little coil of paper with a folded strip of junk mail.
16. Fasten the coil with glue to the center of your flower bow.

And you are done! Attach junk mail bow to the gift!


Quick. Pretty. And the price ain't bad either.


Here's a white poinsettia I made with telephone book pages. For the center, I balled up some little pieces and glued them to a tiny circle of paper. Once dry, I glued this circle to the flower (or leaves, for you poinsettia purists) center.


If you don't want your gift recipient to rip up your beautiful handiwork, attach a little piece of gold cord to the bow and tell them it doubles as a Christmas ornament! See, now you're thinking of all the angles.

Enjoy enjoy!



And please, have yourself a lovely day!


Friday, December 17, 2010

A Giveaway Winner AND... AND A Fresh New Feature


GIVEAWAY WINNER

Before I go on, I want to say that the giveaway was just great great fun for me and my family! We actually took some time out over the last few evenings to read all your comments and sayings out loud to each other. And I must confess we laughed hard several times. So I'll be incorporating some or all of your everyday sayings in a craft early in the New Year. Thank you so much for your enthusiastic and heartfelt participation! It was a blast!

Now, let us find out who won Monday's Giveaway... Here's what Mr. True Random Number Generator came up with:

#132 - Sarah said: "Oh my." lol - I guess I am surprised alot.

Well I hope you'll be surprised again Sarah because YOU HAVE WON!!! I will be emailing you shortly so we can get that package on its way to you ASAP!

AND NOW FOR THAT FRESH NEW FEATURE...

Today I am introducing a new now-and-again feature here at Michele Made Me! I've actually done the feature once before under a different name (this crazy one here, tell no one...) but I came to the conclusion that the title was a teensy bit confusing, unintelligible even, since it consisted of two made-up words. This no doubt elicited questions from you like "What on Mother Earth is she talking about?" or "Who let this girl write a blog?", for example.

But we live and we learn, right? So, I've renamed the spot "FROM THE LAND OF BLOG" wherein someone (like you, for instance) takes a half-baked idea of mine and goes off with it on their own creative tangent, and then I feature it here in all its wondrous glory!

Let us begin today's little tour de crafts, shall we? Walk this way...

Below you see an amazing recycled toilet roll flower wreath-in-progress created by Suz from Suz Crochet Groove. The finished wreath can be seen on her blog so you have no choice now but to pay her a visit. She was inspired by this post.

Well, all I can say to you Suz is that the tables have turned. It is I who is inspired by YOU! Wow! So beautiful!



Next we have the work of
Nadia Visheratina who, spurred on by this post, made these denim disc tree ornaments with her children. I really fancy dimensional paint so my favourite might just be the little gold one, but if I'm honest, I love them all. This is a simple and pretty craft that even children can sink their teeth into!



Next we come to a whole slew of handmade covered buttons designed by DM. While some were inspired by this tutorial, DM is quite obviously a creative soul. She has proven that the possibilities are endless when it comes to handmade covered buttons, dressing some in crochet, some in hand-embroidery and embellishing others with beads. Look at them all! I've said it before and I'll say it again, these little guys are addictive. I dare you to make only one.


The two works of loveliness below come courtesy of Goska. First is her denim tree interpreted from this post. The little apples on this tree are all her, and I think they're brilliant. Imagine adorning the little trees in beads or yarn or paint. Again, the world of denim trees is a world of options! Her second offering is the toilet roll wreath which she has made using...well... a toilet roll. She used this tutorial as her starting point. I notice that her cutting is different and less complex than mine, making her version a more accessible craft for children (and grownups too actually).


When So Knit Picky emailed me to let me know she'd made something inspired by this post, I was not expecting to see paint palettes when I visited her blog. But that's what inspiration is after all. Building on an idea, taking it in a whole new direction, running with it. I think that using the tape dispensers as a paint palette cookie cutter qualifies as darn inspired, don't you? And the photo below does NOT show the wonderful end product. For that you'll have to click this link and check it out for yourself!


And finally, we come full circle to another striking recycled wreath. This one, by Aunt Peaches is made from all manner of rescued recyclables. She collected many many plastic cups and bottles, tin cans and foam cups over the course of a few MONTHS to have enough to make her wreath! That is dedication. This is mine here, which she cites as one of her inspirations. Imagine trashing this thing of beauty now? That would be a crime in my books.


Which brings us all home safe and sound!

So if one day you, yes YOU, get the urge to make a craft inspired by something you've seen on Michele Made Me, please let me know. I would be ecstatic to feature your work (and brag about it to the world) here on "FROM THE LAND OF BLOG". Don't even think twice, just email me!

Now remember, you go have a great day!


Thursday, December 16, 2010

For My Special Secret Quilting Person



*furtive look from side to side; hushed voice* Ate some spinach. Saved the packaging.


Washed the container. Removed the stickers. Added a hanger.


Covered assorted gifts with the telephone book. Or pages therefrom. Placed them in the container.


Made a little quilt using tiny fabric scraps mod-podged onto a piece of paper.


Cut mod-podged-fabric-paper-quilt to fit recessed area in container cover. Taped quilt on with double-sided tape. Added gold cord and fabric-paper beads to pretty-fy.


Put pretty-fied cover on the container to complete the gift box for my special secret quilting person.


Gift box doubles as hanging storage.


Special secret quilting person needs more storage.


Special secret quilting person is very special indeed. And very very secret. Find her here. But DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT tell her I sent you... It's... *furtive look from side to side; hushed voice*... a secret...


Now go have a fantastic day!


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Grandma Stop Reading This NOW!


I'm serious Grandma, avert your eyes!

Okay... The coast is clear.

I am SO proud of the boy's gift for his grandparents, I just had to show you!

He got the basic idea from an Art Attack episode, his single favourite television show EVER which is still re-running on TVO Kids here in Canada thank goodness! I couldn't find the link to the exact craft, but the idea is to make a framed, 3-dimensional outline of your country. It's wall art, you see.


So he and his Dad started working on it sometime last week. (Don't you LOVE IT when that happens?) Together they made the cut-out of Canada, the background and frame out of a chunk of corrugated cardboard box. Then they covered the whole thing with a papier-maché layer made of PVA glue and "loo roll" paper. We don't actually call it "loo roll" here. We call it toilet paper, but since he discovered Art Attack, the boy tends to call it loo roll in some Neil Buchanan-esque British accent. So great.

They let the whole thing dry for a few days if I recall. Lo weighed it down with a bench so the cardboard wouldn't curl while drying. Overkill perhaps, but it worked. Then the boy painted it.


We thought it was pretty much finished at this point, but the boy wanted to do some custom detailing. Here's what he did:
  1. He reproduced the Canadian flag from a small paper flag he keeps in his toy cabinet.
  2. He drew out and coloured the word "Canada" which I helped him cut out and attach with Mod Podge.
  3. I also happen to have a star compass stamp so he used it to create a compass for his map.
  4. He made a set of 3 arrows which can be moved hither, thither and yon. One arrow for Grandma, one for Grandpa (Grandpa travels a lot) and another for both of them together. I helped him laminate the arrows with packing tape. They are held in place with sticky tack which also allows them to be moved easily.
  5. He created a detailed set of instructions on how to use the map. We glued that to the back.

Here's a translation of the note on the back and the instructions, which he wrote by himself. He's 6 years old, by the way:

(not in the photo) Merry Christmas to you. Love, The Boy

13 December 2010

Place the arrows where you are.
Look, where you are.
Look at the flag, where you are.
Look at the country where you are.
Make sure to look at your compass.
Look at the red arrow for girls.
And look at the green arrow for boys.
The big arrow is for everyone.

The End

He's fond of commas, but who isn't? Finally, we brushed Mod Podge over the entire thing to make it last forever, and added a hanger. Here is the final result:

The GPS or GRANDPARENTS Positioning System! The ideal Christmas gift for today's busy grandparents. Tee hee.



I think they'll adore their new low-tech-made-with-love GPS, don't you?


Well you have yourself a fine fine evening, and I'll see you soon!


Monday, December 13, 2010

Gadzooks, It's a Giveaway!



THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!




Well, the people have spoken! Okay... ONE lovely person who's blog starts with a Dresden and ends with a Quilter spoke, and since I do take your suggestions extremely seriously, a giveaway is getting given here today!

WHY A GIVEAWAY?
  • First, it's a Follower milestone here at Michele Made Me! My heartfelt gratitude to you who comes by, reads my thoughts, peeks in at my work, leaves a kind word, and returns regularly to keep me company. I wish I could explain what that means to me... Thank you. ♥
  • Second, it's Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day in which I am a downright jubilant first-timer!
  • And third, 'tis the season to be giving, fa la la la la la la la la!

WHAT'S BEING GIVEN?

  • A small recycled ice-cream-bucket-turned-felt-and-embroidered-button-box designed and made by me.
  • Some Michele Made Me handmade covered buttons. (Find out how to make your own by clicking the link.)
  • Some Michele Made Me handmade wooden buttons. (Find out how to make your own by, well, you know...)
  • 2 spools of pearl cotton twine
  • 1 vintage lace collar and 2 pieces of lace
  • Some yarny crocheted bobbles

WHAT ARE THE GIVEAWAY RULES?
  • Please leave a comment that consists of YOUR FAVOURITE SAYING. In other words, what is the most common group of words that spills out of your mouth many times a day each and every day? For example: "Goodness gracious!" or "Holy mackerel." or "Ya know what I mean, jelly bean?" Whatever it is, that's the comment I want. Let 'er rip.
  • Make sure I can reach you by email.
  • Anyone, anywhere can enter.
  • Giveaway ends Friday, Dec 17th at 12 pm noon EST. The winner will be chosen by random number generator. I will announce and contact the winner shortly thereafter.

Now, let those precious little words fly...

Good luck, and have a great day!

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!


Saturday, December 11, 2010

What Rhymes With Live-Away?





It's a toughie.... Hmm... I'll be back on Monday to "give" you the answer... Tee hee...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Snowflake Mashup


A craft for kids from 1 to 92...

Take your scissors, some printer paper, some Christmas flavoured-junk mail, tape and some string.



Make some regular old snowflakes out of the printer paper and junk mail. Vary the sizes.



Cut your snowflakes in half, or cut curvy chunks out of them. Save all the pieces.


Cobble the pieces back together any which way you like. Use sticky tape to fasten them together and then string them up. Follow your own rules. You are in charge. This is your life.


Listen to me. Or this little guy will not be pleased...


Now, please, go have yourself a fine fine day! ♡

Edited to Add 30 Nov 2011: In answer to a reader's question, I show how I cut out my snowflakes HERE.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tutorial - Winter Wonderlantern





The snow has fallen. Christmas is just around the corner. Craftblogland is alight with the spirit of the season. Today I thought I'd add to the glow by sharing a very simple but pretty lantern...


Tutorial: Winter Wonderlantern

For this project, you will need:
  • A small lampshade
  • White tissue paper
  • White wrapping paper
  • Mod Podge
  • Plastic wrap/cling film
  • Paintbrush
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Exacto knife
1. Wrap your small lampshade with plastic wrap. Be sure it is well covered, but NOT too tightly. Tuck the plastic wrap ends inside the lampshade.
2. Water down some Mod Podge in a bowl you care nothing about. The Mod Podge should have the consistency of maple syrup (yummm, maple...). Slather the Mod Podge all over your plastic covered lampshade using a paintbrush.
3. Take a piece of white tissue paper and cover the lampshade.
4. Make sure there aren't any gaps or holes. If there are, cover those too. Using your paintbrush, smooth the tissue paper down onto the lampshade. There will be creasing and crinkling of the tissue paper, but that adds to the charm of the lantern.


5. Using the white wrapping paper, cut out a ton of snowflakes. You will be covering the shade with the snowflakes, so you'll have to estimate how many your particular lampshade will require. I cut out approximately 20 - 3 inch (7.5 cm) snowflakes for my lampshade.
6. Apply the runny Mod Podge on the tissue layer. Apply the snowflakes on the shade, going over the snowflakes with your Mod Podgy paintbrush.
7. Cover the entire shade with snowflakes. Give the shade a few minutes to dry out a little.
8. Apply another coat of Mod Podge over the entire snowflake layer. Take a second layer of tissue paper and place it over the snowflake layer. Once again, using your paintbrush, smooth the tissue paper down onto the lampshade. Allow the whole thing to dry well.


9. Once it is dry, remove the paper lantern from the lampshade. To do this, make a slit down one side of your lantern with an exacto knife. Don't cut through the lampshade. Untuck the plastic wrap ends. Gently remove the paper lantern. Carefully peal away the plastic wrap from the paper lantern. The plastic wrap should come off fairly easily. No struggle required. Trim the top and bottom edges of your lantern as in #9.
10. For a calla lily look, cut away the top corners of the lantern along a curve.
11. Your lantern should look as mine does in #11.
12. Gently curl the sides in by rolling them inward with your hands.

You are done! And you have your very own Winter Wonderlantern!!!



Now, enjoy enjoy!







Please be SAFE! Always put your candles in glass votives or jars before placing them in the lanterns.


Now if you like this snowflake craft, you will be awestruck when you see this Wonderland by Aunt Peaches, one of my favourite bloggy voices and crafters!

And if you haven't seen it yet, get a load of Lupin's Snowflake Curtain. Isn't it spectacular? If I had the time, I'd put one in every window! So so pretty!


And with that, I wish you a fantastic day and some happy crafting! ♥

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