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Craft Apparent

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Vickie Howell: March 2010 Archives


Chiming In

Posted by Vickie Howell on March 15, 2010 at 3:05 PM in Eco-Conscious CraftsGeneral CraftsNature Crafts
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Spring has (almost) sprung which means it's time to get our outdoor craft on!  With just a spoonful of creativity, your family can whip-up an eco-friendly wind chime out of recycled utensils -- so, clean out those cabinets for a D.I.Y. clapper made from everything but the kitchen sink!


Wooden Spoons
Small Colander 
Indoor/Outdoor Spray Paint
Spray Sealant (optional)
Clear Jewelry Cord or Thread
Colorful Bead (optional)


  • Thoroughly coat wooden spoons with spray paint.  If desired, also coat with an all-weather, spray sealant.  Let dry.


  • Drill a hole in each spoon handle, about 1/2" down from tip.


  • Knot a piece of jewelry cord through a spoon's hole.  Feed the opposite end of cord up through the inside of one of the colander's holes and back down through another.  Pull until desired length; knot off and cut excess.  Repeat for as many spoons as it takes to create the look you're going for.
  • Tie a hanging loop of cord onto top of colander; slide decorative bead onto an additional piece of jewelry cord, knotting to keep in place.  
  • Hang and enjoy the clickety-clack.  What's that?  It's the sound of craftiness!



P.S.  Don't forget to share pictures of your crafts in our Flickr Pool!

I Spy a Shamrock

Posted by Vickie Howell on March 1, 2010 at 12:37 PM in Parent/Child CollaborationPhotosSewingSt. Patrick's Day
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I Spy A Shamrock Album

It's true, crafts are often a great diversion for kids while us parents are working on something else.  Sometimes though, a project that rallies the whole family for a little quality time, is just what the crafty doctor ordered!  Enter, the I Spy A..., photo softie book--a journal of pictures taken by you and yours, of themed items from your own town.

Here's the concept:  Choose a theme; sit down with the kids and make a list of items that go along with it.  Since it's March and we're gearing up for St. Patrick's Day, we focused on Irish items.  Here's what our list looked like:

Pot O' Gold

Now, depending on how adventurous you are, you either load everyone up in the car and start driving aimlessly or, do a few internet searches for businesses and streets with names that match the words on your list first.  Either way, don't forget to bring your digital camera with you when you go!

Encourage your kids to get their spy eyes on and point out any items they see that might fit the bill.  Whenever you spot something, safely pull over the car and snap the shot.  If you have older kids, let them handle photography duties--it'll nurture their appreciation for details!

Once you have at least 6 photos taken, head on home and get them printed out.  Then, you'll be ready to start book making.


How-To Make Photo Book Softie

6, 4"x6" Ireland-related photos taken of signs and monuments around your town.
1/2 yd. Gold Felt
1/8 yd, or 3 sheets, White Felt
Sewing Machine
Contrasting Thread
Marking Pen
Shamrock Cookie Cutter or Template

I Spy A Shamrock Album 2

  • Cut four, 7"x14" pieces of gold felt (these will be the pages) and six, 4 1/2" x 6 1/4" pieces of white felt (these will be photo mats).  Cut a Shamrock out of remaining white felt, using a template or cookie cutter as your guide.
  • Sew a photo mat with photo on top each, on both the right and left sides of three of the gold pieces.  Avoid using pins to keep the photos in place while you sew, as you don't want to create extra punctures in the photos--instead, just hold them in place as you go.
  • Sew Shamrock on the right side of the fourth, gold piece (this one will be your front and back cover).
  • With wrong sides facing and using a 1/4" seam allowance, sew two of the gold pieces together.  Repeat for the remaining two pieces.
  • Layer pieces so the the cover piece is face down with the other on top of it.  Using a zig-zag stitch, sew down the center of the pieces to "bind" your photo book.
No-Sew Option for this Project: 
Ditch the felt & thread for paper & glue; make a photo scrapbook!

Use your finished book as an opportunity to chat with your children about the experience and about other, cool things they noticed around the city while you were on your drive together.

Wishing you the luck of the Irish in all of your crafting!


P.S.  Sign & monument photos also make great greeting cards--simply glue one onto the front of plain card stock!
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