Sunday, February 21, 2010

Geometry at Lunch!

If necessity is the mother of invention, then have I got some necessity to drop on you!  :-)

I'm also introducing a new category: Gizmos & Gadgets - in honor of all the tools and handy little, well, gizmos that make my life easier.  They'll come from all over, since there's no limit to where we can benefit from a little extra productivity or ease.  And sometimes, just sometimes, you'll even be able to outsmart your toddler at lunchtime!

So the story starts with a simple grilled cheese sandwich ...

... and my question of "Do you want me to cut it in squares or triangles?"  To which the toddler in question answered quite cheerfully "Circles!"

Circles, huh?  Not to be outwitted by a three year old and two slices of bread, I stared at the sandwich for a moment.  How do I do this easily?  A regular knife was just not going to cut it - cheesy pun intended.  :-)  But I realized I did have a tool at the ready ... enter the Gadgety Gizmo!

My Trojka kitchen shears from IKEA.  A whopping $1.99 (plus tax) and best of all they are dishwasher safe.  And on this occasion they also turned my lunchtime geometry problem into short work.  Observe!

Ta da!  Circles!  I was obviously impressed enough with myself to re-stage and photograph the entire thing, and I think DD#1 was pleased as well, since 'circles' is how she has continued to order her grilled cheese and other sandwiches since that moment of discovery.  But really, with the kitchen scissors you can sculpt your sandwich into just about any set of shapes imaginable.  Discover, experiment, and bon appetit!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Visions of Spring Giveaway, by Irish Rose Creations

I'm not sure what to claim as "wish I'd thought of that" for this one ... doing a giveaway myself, or being able to offer such a spectacular prize!

The giveaway of mention is being offered by fellow Etsian Irish Rose Creations, and you can see all the details on her BLOG.  Short story is she'll be giving away THREE amazing "Ring of Roses" doilies (like the one above) to one lucky reader on March 8th.  (Full disclosure: I'm blogging about it here to get a few extra chances to win!)

If you have a moment, be sure to browse her shop - I've highlighted a few of my favorites below.  Her work really is amazing.  And she must be a much faster crocheter than I am ... no way I could offer a doily of that intricacy for less than $30 ... unless I only wanted to make 50-cents an hour!  Then again, I've only been crocheting for 18 months (give or take) and she's been doing it for 25 years.  I'll get there, eventually.  :-)

This one is just so charming! And maybe it's because I'm in Michigan and getting ready for the spring flowers, but somehow this afghan is so hopeful - looking forward to new blooms!  I also really like the "quilty" quality of the block placement.  It really does look like a pieced quilt top, except it was pieced out of granny squares.

I don't generally go for crocheted bookmarks - which is odd since I like crocheted everything else!  But what strikes me about this one is how the shells come together almost like a butterfly motif, that is of course particularly apt for Easter.  I really like the packaging as well; it highlights the form and style of the item very nicely.

Again, the price point on this one blows my mind ... THREE dollars.  Are you kidding me?!  Either I'm greatly overestimating the amount of work required here, or I'm just way off base, but that seems crazy low to me.  I think these are just delightful!  Hmmm ... now to think of a new project where I could use them!  ♥

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Welcome to the family!

Let me introduce ... the family!  And also introducing a new category of posting on SoSaje - things I wish I'd thought of.  :-)  An opportunity for me to highlight great ideas and projects that other people are working on.  Enjoy the (vicarious) creativity!

So back to our introductions, my wonderful mom created the family dolls above and gave them to us at Christmas 2007.  They have become such an important part of our daily and imaginary play lives that she's currently planning an addition to the family to include the new friends that we've made over the last few years.

Each person is designed with a particular fabric that compliments their personality - my mom's for instance features snowmen.  :-)  Although we are many miles away from our extended family and only manage a few visits per year, the girls know everyone's name and face.  And since we're talking about (and to!) the dolls/family constantly, it really helps to keep these family members current and "present" for us and the girls.

I am also continually amazed by the different ways the girls think of to play with our "in house" family - taking them on imaginary trips, selecting various participants for special outings, playing catch!  (Yes, extended family members have been known to fly headlong across the playroom.) 

So, thanks mom!  I never would have imagined to ask for these dolls, but now that you've created them - I can't imagine our home without them.  Love you!!  :-)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Tied by an Angel!

I was putting the finishing touches on a baby set, and tied up the Texas flag lovey with my favorite bit of package bling - the crafty angel. It's so cute  and so easy ... I was inspired to attempt my first tutorial for SoSaje. So here we go!  :-)

   ~  medium butterfly clip (#2 size), available at office supply stores
   ~  8 mm bead
   ~  narrow ribbon, cut to desired length
   ~  threading tool - I'm quite partial to plastic dental theaders since they're so easy to work with, but really any piece of dental floss or strong thread will work

The beauty of this little project is that it's so simple, once you're working it from the correct end! In this case, it's the bead that goes on first, not the clip.  :-)

1) Insert the threader through the bead, and string your ribbon through the threader. Slip the threader through your bead so a loop of ribbon is now through the bead.  Remove your threader. (In the case of using the dental flossers, this means separating the sides until the handle splits in half - but not to fear, it can easily be used again since the plastic is quite rigid.)

2) Insert the ribbon loop through the center diamond of the butterfly clip.  From the other side, tuck the bead under the ribbon loop and cinch the knot down to form the angel's "collar."  (Click the photo below to see a larger view.) Then slide the bead down to center the head between the wings ... and done!


Use the loose ends of the ribbon to tie up your packages, create a book mark, or tie the ends together and create a whole host of angels with which to decorate someone's office or nook! 

Also a great craft to do with your kiddos or another group of young blessing sharers - Girl Scouts, youth groups, etc. I hope you enjoyed this, and that you'll be sharing angels with lots of others. ♥

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Party Time!!

I love the fabric party banner! Rainbow colored, themed or even monochrome - it's a perfect punch of color addition to any event or celebration.

  • birthday party? Check!
  • family coming home from the airport? Check!
  • gorgeous, sunny day that makes you really happy? Check!
  • playdate scheduled with friends you just saw yesterday? Check!

It's gotten to the point that I have just left the hooks up in the entryway since I know I'll be asked to put it back up again pretty soon. Yay! And since it's made of fabric, not paper, you can know that this durable banner will last, year after year.

And fun to make as well.  :-)  I did a custom for my MIL - photos to come soon, I hope!  And working on another custom themed banner for a friend.  Meanwhile, some "artsy" photos to share from the ones I've already made.