Monday, December 28, 2009

Grocery Bags = Great Gift Wrap

I found this link when surfing (the net...even though I wish it were ocean waves), and put a pause on other projects to take part in the Grocery Bag Sew-Off.

Deadline is extended to December 31, 2009 if you're interested!

(I think I'm taking a vow for 2010 that I will not purchase gift wrapping if you plan on getting a gift from me in might get lucky in getting a bag like this...or some other sort of wrapping that is hand made or leftover from previous years...or were on gifts given to us!)

It's a bag!

From this...

to this..

My mom asked, "Where ever did you find those?"
I responded, "I made them!"
She replied, "You made them? Wow! They look store bought. Honey, she made those..."
(I glorified the moment! These are the best kind of compliments.)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mail Order Christmas

Priority did our wrapping this year! (I'm too afraid to wrap anything and put it under the tree with this little pirate around. that have come from afar via priority are still packaged, even if there is gift wrap under all that priority tape!) The litte pirate and I spent our evening arranging and photographing! :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Sneak Peak with a Freebie Opportunity

A little flavor of what Mr. 2 Cool is working on right now. (He feels productive cutting my scraps into even smaller scraps!)

And a little flavor of what I'm working on right now. It's a Christmas gift, so it won't be revealed until the rightful owner(s) have them in hand!

What ever could it be? I'll make you one of these surprises too, for free, in a theme of your choice, if you attempt a guess! :)

To enter this freebie do the following:
•LEAVE A COMMENT, with your guess of what it will be.
•IN THE COMMENT LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IN THIS FORMAT: name(at)something(dot)com it is important to spell out dot and at so you don't get spam, if you DO NOT leave an email address, I will not hunt you down to send you a freebie, thanks.
Good Luck, I will randomly choose a winner on Monday.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cardboard Christmas Tree and Ornaments

These days there is plenty of talk of cutting back. Don't let that get you down if you're unable to get a Christmas tree this year. Cutting back? How about cutting out? Using kitchen shears, a good friend of mine came up with a creative idea...without having to leave the house to buy supplies or decorations!

She says, "I alternated every other branch (circle) to have a light green or dark green paint. The star on top is 3D by cutting notches in the cardboard and sticking the two pieces together perpendicularly. I have a bird and two circle ornaments that I did the same way so they are 3D. For one ornament, I used a scotch scrub sponge to make the squares and wrote with a black sharpie marker. We want to celebrate Jesus's birth and his work in our lives! I painted Jaida's hand and pressed it on some cardboard. I only had red, yellow, blue, and green paints, so I mixed the red and blue to make purple and the red and yellow to make orange (more variety). You can see the 3D bird in this photo. I used the tops off of some beauty products to make the polka dots on some of the ornaments.This tree is free if you already have paint, yarn, paint brushes and cardboard! It was fun to make and will be easy to store. Jaida loves playing with it because it's like a mobile. :)"

What are some creative ways you have decorated on a budget for the holidays?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Wrist Bands from Socks...and Jesus Had a Little Monkey?

The weather has gotten a lot colder in so cold there is frost forming on the inside of our front room window (don't worry...we already called Lowe's to come out to do a detail so we can get a window ordered, and hopefully bought before the end of the year so we can get a 30% tax advance). This doesn't mean that I am in need of wrist bands. What it does mean that while I was already dawdling today with making bags for the Grocery Bag Sew-Off, I also found time to fold the little pirate's laundry while watching a movie with him...and there were tons of socks in that load. The little pirate doesn't wear socks unless it's cold...which means, a lot of those socks were ones he had last year...which means they are way too small, but we just keep putting them on him...and the reason we probably do that is because I can't bear to see them go. What in the world do I do with a bunch of used socks with neat patterns (please comment with some ideas...I still have tons of socks)? Well...wrist bands from socks! Today, that's what my idea was, dawdler friends! I was able to manage to make three, from two pairs of socks. I hand stitched them.

They definitely could have been done on the machine...but purple thread was in there...and I needed something quiet to busy myself while guarding the little pirate's door, making sure he would stay in bed (he was way too excited about me making accessories out of his favorite socks).

By the way...what do you think about the little pirate's new lyric request to his favorite bedtime song, Jesus Had a Little Lamb?

Jesus had a little monkey
Ever glad at heart I am
For my zoo keeper gently guides me
Knows my name and well provides me
Loves me everyday the same
Even gives me a banana

(You can sing the new version while posting a comment about what you think I should do with all those socks...otherwise, we'll just have tons of wrist bands floating around.)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Colored Chocolate Treats and a Give Away

Drizzled one color of chocolate into a candy mold. Spooned in another color of chocolate onto the drizzled color in the candy mold. Tapped on the counter several times to get the chocolate to flatten out, and get rid of any air bubbles. Inserted and rolled a stick. Refrigerated for 15 minutes. Popped out of mold. Used a pairing knife to clean up edges (saved excess chocolate - more details later). Placed in clear bag and sealed with a twisty tie around the stick. Boxed up and shipped to a special little girl who is having a birthday soon (blue and green ones for the boys, purple and pink ones for the girls, leftover green and pink ones stay behind). Happy 8th Birthday, Little Princess!

Now for a color lesson. As mentioned above, I saved the excess chocolate when cleaning up the edges on the stars. I purposefully did this, because I knew we had a few pretzel sticks leftover and in our family we love chocolate dipped pretzel sticks. Pink, purple, blue, and green make gray.
I had already known this color would happen (art geek) and wasn't worried about the look of the color seeing how the final treats were going to remain in our house and be eaten by us, not needing to look pretty to anybody receiving them. (Gray chocolate is just plain weird.) I had so few pretzels that there was still scrappy gray chocolate left...I recalled chocolate stores in malls selling chocolate covered potato that's just what I did.
I'm pretty sure I'm not a fan of that and will find something else to dip my gray chocolate in next time (i.e. my finger)...or just make more stars.

The Give Away Rules: Comment on this post by 11:59pm CT, December 11, 2009 and you could win a colored chocolate treat package (contents: pretzel sticks, primary colored chocolate morsels you can mix in any way you want to dip your pretzel sticks). In your comment you must tell your favorite color and the primary colors (plus black or white) used to make your favorite color. In your comment you must leave an e-mail address in the following format, with the words "at" and "com" written out between parenthesis [Example: dawdler101(at)gmail(dot)com]. I will throw your name in a hat, draw and post the winner of the give away on December 14, 2009.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Baby Taggie

This has been quite the adventure so far. Most importantly, the lesson learned today is that with dawdling come more than necessary errors to correct...all from just taking too much time on one given task at hand.

The first example is that I had already written this post...then somehow, because I probably re-read the words one too many times and clicked one too many fancy codes on my keyboard, I deleted what I had spent so long writing and ever so carefully placing images (and lucky for me, this auto it auto saved my delete and back spacing only eventually took me to my home page...not my original draft...spectacular!)

For the next example, I made this baby taggie Christmas gift for a baby girl in the family...

...and I made a mistake along the way (it happens to the best of us). It's such a simple project though...but, I spent too much time making sure I had the right sides of the fabric on a fabric that clearly had no right or wrong side of fabric, that I clearly overlooked the fact that I put the batting in between the outside fabrics before sewing, so that when flipping the taggie right side out, I had neatly hemmed the inside padding to the outside of the taggie. In comparison, it would be like your winter jacket's insides being neatly sewn to the outside of your jacket. This is when I said, "I guess I should have found a tutorial, after all," seeing how I thought it was simple enough I could wing it on my own. Go ahead and take a look at my mistake for yourself!

The two images directly above are not a tutorial. 
Warning: Do not do this at home.

Anyway...dawdling in unnecessary bags and looking at unnecessary items to find my stitch ripper instead of just cutting new materials that were already nearby, in addition to eating a nice lunch with my thoughtful and loving husband and my intelligent and creative pirate-loving son...I finally got around to getting it right. Now it just needs to be wrapped.

The best thing of all, is all the materials to make this baby taggie were already in the house (even the stitch ripper)...I didn't have to go out into the cold and stand in long lines at stores to purchase items for this project. I've been having fun doing that lately. And the ultimate goal I believe I have in mind, is to continue making projects using at home materials while supplies last, as well as sell the items I produce. Perhaps even you'll be ordering something in the future. Afterall, it is Christmas. And by clicking "baby taggie" you will discover why you want to order one for that little one in need of gift. I can get an order to you in three to five days from contacting me for the Christmas special price of $10 + shipping (no going out in the cold or standing in lines for you either).

Have fun correcting your errors when dawdling. I've found that in both examples, I liked my second go at it better.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

How to Contemplate Like a Dawdler

This is my new blog that is my hopeful beginning to a thrilling future by sharing with you my creative talents and telling about the creative talents of others (probably even you). Topics will range, but not be limited to the following: drawing, painting, sewing, knitting, cooking, and parenting. 

I've sat here for most likely over three hours starting a new blog...and this is all I have to show for that time spent.  Most of the time, I sat here thinking about what I should or could do and peering off at wherever my eyes end up taking a gander. You would think that because three hours have gone by I must have been doing something else. But, really...I haven't. I did go to the bathroom once. I have sipped on a nearby drink. But no music, no movies, no TV, no talking, no communication of any sort...other than having written something in this post's draft box several times and deleting parts of it, retyping parts of it, and moving parts of only end up something else of much shorter length. And to top it off...after putting the final end mark on the final sentence...I sit and stare at what I have just written...for a good long while. 

I invite you to dawdle along with me on my newest adventure. (i.e. Bookmark this page, visit it often, and bombard me with encouraging e-mails when I haven't posted as frequently as you desire to view my newest blog posts.)