Wednesday, August 31, 2011

WFMW: Filling out school forms

We've gone back to school here and with it came an onslaught of forms to fill out. This year I've got two kids in school and I'm filling out the same forms for both of them and they're also the same forms that I filled out LAST year. So, I scanned the forms using my scanner and then filled out the forms on the computer so I could just change the stuff that was different between each child. I just used a photo editing program on my mac to do it (MSPaint would work on Windows), but you could OCR the form, if your scanning software supports it, and then edit it in Word or Then I saved a copy of each form so I can just update the new stuff next year.

Alternatively, if you're not that computer savvy you can fill out the common information for the forms, make a copy of the form and then finish filling it out for each child. I did that last year, and saved a copy for this year, but realized it would be easier to read if I typed it. My handwritting isn't very neat anymore now that I type pretty much everything!

This has worked for me for school forms and other forms as well, anything that I need to fill out for both kids. It works best if the form is on white paper too.

For more great tips, check out Works for Me Wednesday over at We Are that Family.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

IC 35: Done Reading? phone book craft

This week's Iron Craft challenge at Just Craft Enough was to use a book.  We're all readers here at this house, even my kindergardener who can't read will have us read to her over and over.  So the idea of crafting with a book, even one that I didn't care for wasn't something I could bring myself to do.  (Although  afterwards I realized I think I've got some with water damage that might not be readable anymore I could use.)  I do however get an excessive number of phone books each year.  I need to look into asking them to stop but haven't gotten to it yet.  So I took a phone book and loosely followed these instructions.

And made a pencil holder:

Pencil Holder

Originally I was going to paint it all blue with a yellow center, but my daughters saw it and decided they wanted to decorate it, so for now, I've left it as is.

Any other creative uses for phone books?  I used to cover them with paper and then contact paper and use them as stools for the kids (I even personalized them), but our phone books here aren't as big and the girls no longer need stools as much.  I also use them as a working pad when I'm cutting or gluing.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

IC 34 - On the Go - Candy Airplanes

This week's Iron Craft Challenge at Just Crafty Enough is On the Go.  So I made some of the candy airplanes that my Mom used to make for party favors growing up.
IC 34: Candy Airplane

For each airplane you need:
1 rubber band
1 roll of Smarties
1 stick of gum
2 Lifesavers (they need to have the hole in the center, Breathsavers and some of the other brands do not)
candy airplane supplies

Step 1: Feed the rubber band through the holes in the Lifesavers.
Candy Airplane step1

Step 2:
Hook both ends of the rubber band over the ends of the stick of gum.
Candy Airplane step2

Step 3:
Use a finger to spread the Lifesavers apart and slide the roll of Smarties in between the lifesavers and in between the rubber band and the stick of gum. Slide it so that the stick of gum is about 1/3 of the way back the roll of Smarties.
Candy Airplane front view

And you're done!
Candy Airplane sideview

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

IC 33 - UFOs

This week at Just Crafty, the Iron Craft challenge is finishing unfinished projects.  Boy oh boy, is this one right up my ally!  Proof of that? I didn't find out what the challenge was until yesterday (Tuesday) but, still managed to have three things to share! 

I finished my backpack make over.

I finished this blanket for my friend who is collecting blankets to send to Mexico. She's been making the no sew fleece blankets with some other friends and saving the scraps of fleece.  I got a box of them over a month ago and started several quilts with them.  This one was pretty close to being done I just had to add a little bit to the sides to make it wider and then add the binding.



Then, I had this fleece blanket which was just a piece of fleece that I started to blanket stitched around the edge a few years ago. It's been hanging out in my laundry room waiting for me to finish it.  I'd bought it to make a blanket for my youngest to use for naps at Day Care.  However, she's going into Kindergarten this year and no longer taking naps.  Now, it's going to the same charity as the other blanket.

Clifford Blanket

Had I found out about the challenge theme earlier, I might've picked the knit socks I've got hanging around, or maybe my Pi shawl, or maybe the quilts I'm making for my daughters, or maybe... Ok, I think we need to do this challenge again LOL.

Backpack Makeover

Backpack Makeover

A few years ago, I found some brand new backpacks at Good Will for $2.50, but, I didn't like the design that was on them.  I picked up a couple of them anyway though intending to give them a make over.

This year, I was intending to get some princess fabric to decorate one for my youngest, but she decided she wanted a ballerina backpack.  So, I bought some fabric with ballerinas on it, cut it to size (with about a half inch extra on all 4 sides to turn under), then I sewed around the edges turning the raw edges under as I went.  I did the stitching by hand because I wasn't sure that I'd be able to manipulate the backpack with my machine enough to do a good job.  After I finished sewing it, I sprayed it good with Scotch Gaurd.  The fabric will attract dirt faster than the canvas part of the backpack, so I wanted to counter act that.

So, now my daughter has a backpack with the design of her choice and there's not likely to be anyone else in Kindergarten with one like it.  This would work well too for the times when your child out grows the theme of their backpack but it's still in good shape.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

IC 32: Summer Contest

This week's challenge is the summer contest.  I decided to make a sun catcher.  A friend gave me a big box of little jars of the plastic pellets left over from sun catchers.  It looked like someone had saved all the leftovers from various kits.  There were only a few of the metal frames in the box, mostly it was just the plastic pellets.  I'd been thinking about what I could use them for, various ways of making my own frames, etc.  I saw where someone had made frames out of soda cans.  Problem is we don't drink much soda here and didn't have any cans.  So I decided to improvise.

Suncatcher supplies

1) Extra plastic pellets left from the sun catcher kits
2) A metal cookie cutter
3) Foil
4) ribbon
5) A study cookie sheet (not shown)
6) Hot glue gun


1) Take the foil and lay a piece on the cookie sheet (at least the size of the cookie cutter)
2) Take another piece of foil and line the cookie cutter with it (I took strips a little wider than the cookie cutter was tall and ran them around the inside, wrapping the foil over the edges, trying to get it as tight against the cookie cutter as possible.
3) Sit the cookie cutter on the cookie sheet and fill it with the plastic pellets.  Since there's no frame to stabilize this when we're done, I filled mine pretty full (1cm deep).
4) Bake according to the instructions with the suncatcher plastic pieces. I did mine at 375 for 20 min.
5) Cool enough so you don't burn yourself when you touch it
6) Pop it out of the cookie cutter and peel off the foil
7) Glue the ribbon to the back with the hot glue gun


8) Hang it in the Window!  (funny how you don't really notice the screen, until after the picture's taken!)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

IC 31: Sculptural - Peanut Butter Playdough

Iron Craft has moved to Just Crafty Enough and this week's challenge is Sculptural.  We were to make something with clay.  If you recall, I used polymer clay back for the Hometown challenge. And while I'm not opposed to making beads or some other kind of jewelry, I was trying to think of something different to make.  That's when I remembered this playdough that I made a few years ago.  So I decided to make some of it and to make a teddy bear out of it.

IC31: Peanut Butter Playdough Teddy

Here's the recipe:

1 package (1/3 of a box) of graham crackers, finely crushed
1 cup smooth peanut butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar (or to taste)

Soften the peanut butter in the microwave
Add graham cracker crumbs and sugar, mix well
Refrigerate before using.

You might need to add more graham cracker crumbs or powdered sugar to keep the dough from getting too sticky.

I embellished my bear with M&Ms,  Chocolate Chips and a sprinkle (for the nose).

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Back to School

It's getting close to that time, stores have their back to school supplies on sale.  I took my youngest shopping for a new outfit for her to wear the first day of school.  We hadn't even left the store yet before she was asking how many days until she starts school.  She's just a *wee* bit excited about this next step!

After getting asked a number of times the rest of the day, I finally asked her if she wanted to make a chain to count down.  So, that is what we did.

I've made it into a pdf for you to print.

Some of the graphics are from WebWeaver.

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