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Hi! I just wanted to let everyone know that Firehouse Crafts has officially moved to Always Being Crafty. You can find us at our new blog at www.alwaysbeingcrafty.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/alwaysbeingcrafty. Hope to see you there!


I just wanted to share with you these great little stitch markers that I purchased at my LYS. This was just one of those frivolous gifts that you buy for yourself because you deserve it! They are from Hiya Hiya and if your LYS does not carry them you can find them at Amazon.

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I am one of those knitters who loves to knit using pretty stitch markers. I am actually disappointed if a pattern does not need a stitch marker. I have some very pretty ones that I have purchased or made over these years. These are mostly made of beads or small crystals. I never had any that looked like little balls of yarn. They were just too cute to pass up. I currently have them on my needles now and they look very pretty against the pink yarn that I am using.

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How about you? Do you like to knit using fancy stitch-markers? What kinds of knitting novelties makes your knitting even more enjoyable?

Happy Knitting!


A couple of years ago somebody gave me Reindeer Dust (reindeer food) for the boys to put out on Christmas Eve. Basically, it’s just oatmeal, glitter and sequins. The boys were so excited when they sprinkled it outside for the reindeer and they even checked in the morning to make sure that the reindeer had eaten it. Good deal my Husband had gone outside after the boys went to bed and swept it up!

I decided to make some of the Reindeer Dust for the boys to give out at their school Christmas parties this year. It was simple enough to make it but I wanted a cute tag for each bag so I turned to Pinterest, of course. I found a Pin here which explains how to make the Reindeer Dust. I used this Pin for the printable tags.

For this project I used the following:

Oatmeal

Glitter

Sequins

Resealable plastic bags (I purchased a pack of 100 for about a two dollars or so at the local craft store in the jewelry section)

Card stock for the tags

Red and white striped bakers twine

Single hole puncher

I mixed the oatmeal, glitter and sequins in a bowl. I just sort of estimated how much glitter and sequins I would need. I had either 4 or 6 small pouches of sequin stars (44 cents each) and then I purchased two containers of glitter. I put in all of the sequins and added some glitter and mixed it with a spoon. I ended up adding a bit more glitter but there is no set amount, it’s just how much glitter you like to see in there.

I then put a scoop or two in each bag and sealed the bag closed. I printed off the gift tags, cut them out and hole-punched one corner. I also put a hole punch in each bag in the spot where I wanted to attach the tag. Please be careful when doing this. You need to place the hole in the plastic bag above the seal of the bag. If you put the hole below the seal of the bag your Reindeer Dust will leak out. I then cut a piece of baker’s twine and used it to attach the tag to the bag.

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Unfortunately, I cannot seem to find my pictures of this tutorial. If I can find them, I will update this post with them. In the meantime, you can see the reindeer dust in the picture above. It is in the bottom left hand corner of the picture right below the candy cane.

The Reindeer Dust was a huge hit at the class Christmas parties. Before we left for school, however, the boys both made sure that we had enough of our own Reindeer Dust at home so that we could also feed Santa’s reindeer. On Christmas Eve Gabriel sprinkled all of the Reindeer Dust by our front door. We had spent Christmas Eve at my Mom’s house and both boys fell asleep in their new pajamas on the way home. When we arrived home Gabriel woke up a bit and then fought the sleep and woke up completely just so that he could make sure that the Reindeer Dust was sprinkled outside and that Santa had milk and cookies by the fireplace. Poor little Matthew just slept through that part. They were very excited though to see that everything had been eaten by Christmas morning and that Santa had enjoyed his snack!

Thank you for spending the 12 Days of A Pinterest Christmas with Firehouse Crafts! Please keep stopping by for more craft ideas throughout the months ahead!

Happy Crafting!


This is the third year that we have had an Elf on the Shelf. The first year the boys were a bit small but Gabriel liked him. Last year they definately got more into it and this year it seems like they actually made friends with the Elf. The first year I named him Ralph the Elf and the boys were happy with that the last two years. This year, however, they decided to name him themselves. They decided that his name should be Stinkerbutt. I told them that wasn’t appropriate. They then settled for Stinker so we now had Stinker the Elf staying with us.

Stinker is a very mischevious little elf. He is always getting into something when the boys are sleeping. In order to make things more interesting this year I decided to turn to some of the Pins that I had on my Pinterest board for some ideas. This Pin had some cute ideas along with this Pin. If you forget to move your Elf you can always go to this Pin for some great ideas to explain why the Elf didn’t move during the night.

I particularly liked the idea where you leave a note next to the Elf for your kids from the Elf. The note includes some seeds (tic tacs) that should be planted in a bowl of sugar. In a couple of days something will grow. You then put some Christmas cookies on sticks one night and put them in the sugar so that the kids think that they “grew” the cookies. Here is the Pin which explains it in greater detail. I thought that this idea was so cute but, unfortunately, I ended up not doing it this year. I will try again for next year! In the meaintime, Stinker the Elf had some great hiding spots. Here are a few of them!

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I came across a couple of Pins for welcoming your Elf and saying goodbye to your Elf. This Pin gives Santa stationary that you can download and this Pin gives you a great little letter from the Elf and Santa . It is addressed to your children and explains what the Elf is doing at your house. I took the basic form of the letter and modified it for my kids. I put the letter on the kitchen table along with a bag containing a couple of Christmas treats for the boys and the Elf book.

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I also found a great Pin for saying goodbye to your Elf. I modified that one too for my kids and they loved it! The letter explains that Santa lifts the Elf’s magic for a few minutes after the child is done reading the letter. During those few minutes the child can touch the Elf and kiss him goodbye without the Elf losing his magic. Once the Elf is put back up in the tree the magic returns. My boys were so excited about that at first but then they both became a bit nervous. They decided that Mom should take the Elf off of the tree and then they each held him super gently and kissed him goodbye. It was so heartwarming! Neither one actually closed his hand around the Elf. I’ve never seen them be quite that gentle with anything. They truly believed in that Elf! After I put him back in the tree my 5 year old was asking why Stinker had to leave. He was so sad that he actually started crying! I felt so bad for him. He asked if Stinker could please come back for a visit or two during the year and I said I’m sure that would be fine.

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The next morning (We kept our Elf out until January 5) on January 6 Stinker had flown back to the North Pole but he left each boy a little something under the tree. They each received a Pez candy dispenser kit and jingle bells on a train doorknob hanger. They were very excited but still missed Stinker very much.

We are looking forward to seeing you again next year, Stinker!


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I saw this idea here at Liv Life on Pinterest. It seems quite popular and I have actually seen a lot of these showing up a Christmas parties. Here are the supplies that we used:

Chocolate wafers – two bags

Crushed Peppermint (You could just crush candy canes)

Regular sized marshmallows

Mini candy canes

Celephane gift bags (if you are not using the stirs right away)

Gift tags (optional)

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We started out by melting the chocolate wafers in the microwave according to the package directions. We then took the mini candy canes out of their wrappers and pushed one candy cane into each marshmallow. Once we did that we dipped the marshmallow into the chocolate and, while the chocolate was still soft/warm on the marshmallow, we rolled the chocolate covered marshmallow in the crushed peppermint. We placed them on a sheet of waxpaper on a cookie sheet and put them in the refrigerator for a few minutes to let the chocolate harden.

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Once the chocolate was hardened we placed them each in a celephane bag and tied it with baker’s twine and attached a gift tag.

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This was a great project to do with my boys. It was simple enough that they were able to help me with it…they also enjoyed taste testing everything too!! We added gift tags to ours as we were going to hand them out as random acts of kindness. We started out at our doctor’s office. We were going to stop in and hand them out but my youngest developed a sinus infection so we had to go to the doctor’s anyhow so we decided to take the hot chocolate stirs with us too and do it all in one trip. The nurses just loved them and the kids loved handing them out! They gave them to all of the nurses and the doctors.

We then took them, on another day, to the restaurant where we eat breakfast on Sundays. It is a small family owned restaurant and they have watched the boys grow up. The boys took their bags in on a Sunday morning and handed out their hot chocolate stirs after breakfast. It was so heartwarming to watch! They actually went around to all of the waitresses and the owner and handed them out. When they saw that they had more left (yes, we made a lot…about 75 of them!) they decided to hand them out to the other patrons! It was so cute to watch! They would go up to the tables and hand them out and people were so gracious. Gabriel sort of tossed them up onto some of the tables and startled a few people but they were all laughing about it. You could see the people at the other booths watching and waiting for theirs. It really was very heartwarming.

Growing up I remember my grandpa and his grandpa friends would always hand out crisp new $1 and $2 bills at Christmas randomly to the kids in the neighborhood. It brought me to tears when one of the elderly men sitting with a his friends at the booth behind us pulled out a bank envelope and gave the boys each a crisp new $2 bill! I hadn’t seen somebody do that in years. My Grandfather passed in 2004 so it has definately been awhile. I thought I was going to cry! Then there was another elderly couple a couple of booths over who gave the boys each a $1 bill. I know that the boys and I did not expect money for our gifts but I also remember as a child how the grandpas liked to hand out money like that at Christmas so we did let the boys take it for their piggy banks. I think that the grandpa’s feelings would have been hurt if we didn’t let the boys take it.

I never thought that making these simple hot chocolate stirs could make so many people so happy. I guess that it is the little things that count!

Happy Crafting!!


I purchased a Smash Journal for myself this past summer. I really like it and I basically use mine as a creative notebook. I can put thoughts and notes inside of it along with inspirational pictures. I mostly use mine for creativity. I saw a Pin on Pinterest for ideas on how to create Smash Journals and thought that it would be a good idea for my nieces. They are 13 and 11 1/2 years old and I thought that they might be at a good age for the Smash Journals. I also found that Michael’s Craft Stores sold a Smash Journal kit at a great price, plus I was able to use my 40% off coupon. The kit contained the journal but also a number of accessories. My favorite part of the journals is that the pen is not only a pen but a glue stick so that you are able to glue in anything that you want and you always have your glue stick handy.

These Smash Journals ended up making great gifts for my nieces and I think that people of all ages would have fun creating them. There are so many different reasons to create one…to store your creative ideas, keep ticket stubs, photographs, vacation pictures and memorabilia, just to name a few! I am having a lot of fun with mine and I hope that my nieces will enjoy their Smash Journals as much as I am enjoying mine!

Happy Crafting!!


steelers blanket

It doesn’t seem like Christmas would be complete here without at least one no-sew fleect blanket! My brother is a Pittsburg Steeler’s fan and has been since he was a child. I found some great Pittsburg Steeler fleece at the fabric store and I couldn’t pass it up. It was no soft and cuddly and I knew that it would make a great blanket that not only he would use but I had a feeling my nieces would be using it too!

There are a couple of techniques for putting these blankets together and Pinterest has a lot of tutorial pins for completing the blankets. One technique is to do a form of crochet to link the fringe together or you can knot the fringe. I like to use the fringe.

I posted a tutorial here awhile ago on how I make a no-sew fleece blanket. They are super simple to complete. My only suggestion is to try to make the blanket when you have a couple of hours of time to devote to it and have a place where you can spread it out where it will not be disturbed. Once I get my fleece blanket front and back properly measured out and even I like to leave it like that and not put it away until I am finished. Otherwise, it feels like you have to start over each time with laying out the pieces and making sure they are even with each other. If you think that you may have to put the project away part way through it then I would suggest that you only cut out a fringe and knot it one side at a time. That way if you have to put the project away part way through it then the knots will hold everthing in place and you will not have as hard of a time lining everything back up again.

Happy Crafting!!


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My best friend and I are always trying to stay organized. I have two boys and she has three boys. Staying organized seems to be very difficult! While I was on Pinterest I found a great inspiration for a home organizer binder from Organizing Homelife. She wrote 31 blog posts and in the end you have a daily home organizer binder. I made one of these binders for myself and my friend.

The binders were very simple to make and the suppies were simple enough. I used wet erase markers because they do not smudge when you close the binder, clear plastic pages, paper, tabs and a binder.

I printed off most of the printables that were given on Organizing Homelife. Some of them I did not need but I did print off almost every single one. Once I had everything printed I laid out each category and placed them in the order that I wanted them and then placed the papers in the plastic sleeves in the binder. I also purchased a clear plastic pouch which was three-holed punched so that I could keep my wet erase markers right in the front of my binder…as opposed to my boys getting their hands on them and mixing them into their own stash of markers!

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I think that the binders turned out beautifully! I am still in the process of putting all of my information into the binder but I am going to be trying real hard this year to stay organized! My friend loved her binder and will be using it too. It contains pages for a daily calendar (I printed enough pages to do a week at a time), a monthly calendar, contacts, gift lists, maintenance logs, grocery lists, username and password lists, doctor information, insurance information and chore lists. This binder is a must-have for busy moms!!

Happy Crafting!!


This was a great little project that I found on Pinterest. Basically, you draw lines on a fabric bag to resemble a piece of lined paper. Then you have your child draw a picture of their teacher on the bag and you embroider it. I used that basic premise and added to it by making each of the bags instead of purchasing them. That way I was able to use some school-themed fabric for most of the bag. I originally saw the Pinterest Inspiration here at Come Together Kids.

Supplies:

Approximately 1/2 yard of fabric of your choice (I used a printed fabric)

1 piece of muslin or light colored fabric measuring 12″x14″ for the front of the bag

fusible interfacing to cover up embroidery, about the size of the front of the bag.

Blue Sharpie marker – fine tip

Red Sharpie marker – fine tip

Black Sharpie marker – fine tip

Black embroidery floss

Thread and sewing notions

I started out with a simple bag pattern that I like to use. I made up the patterns in various sizes a while ago. For this bag I used the size which starts out with a measurement of 12″ wide by 14″ high. On each of the bottom corners I cut out a two inch square so that I could square the corners and have a flat bottomed bag. I used fabric in my stash but I would think that you could make this with about 1/2 yard of fabric.

I cut out one piece of 12″x14″ fabric from the muslin, one from the fusible interfacing and one from the printed fabric. This forms the bag. I then cut out one piece of printed fabric 8″ wide for the handle. I used my original pattern piece of 8″x34″ to start with. That size handle makes the bag more of a tote bag and I was looking for a shorter handle to make the bag more of a lunch sack. I took the longer strap and then just trimmed it to a size that looked good with the bag, but I kept the width at 8″.

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I started out with the muslin piece first. I cut out my two bottom corner, a 2″x2″ square. Then I took my blue Sharpie marker and drew lines across the muslin to make it look like lined paper. I started about 2″ or so from the top of the bag. Please keep in mind that part of the top of the bag will be folded over to make the top finished edge of the bag. I took a straight edge and made my lines. I then took my red Sharpie marker and made one red line along the left side of my front bag piece about 1 1/2″-2″ in leaving room for the french seam to be formed. If you want you can add three black circles to the left side of the red line to make it look like loose-leaf paper. I opted to do this at the end of the project so that I didn’t run the risk of getting the black circles lost completely or partially in the seam.

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Once I finished drawing the paper on the front of the bag I wrote each teacher’s name on the bag since my kid’s are still to young to do that quite yet. I then gave each child the bag for their teacher and a pencil and asked them to draw a picture of their teacher. They were very excited and happy to do that so that part went much more smoothly than I had anticipated. When they were finished I took black embroidery thread and backstitched over their drawings and the teacher’s name. I finished the front of the bag by ironing a piece of fusible interfacing to the back of each bag front. This will offer some protection to the back of the stitching.

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When I had all of the embroidery done I begain to put the bags together. I chose to use french seams because I do not like the raw edges showing in my bags. I think that the french seams just keep everything looking neater. I started out by laying out the front and back piece of my bags, wrong sides together. Now, this next step you can do either now or later. I find it easier to do now because I prefer to iron the fabric when it is not already sewn together. I fold over the top of the bag a 1/4″ and press. I then fold that piece over about 3/4″ and press. I now have the creases in my fabric for when I am ready to stitch the fold on top to finish the bag. I then unfold my pieces of fabric (most of the crease will stay in your fabric) and then I am ready to begin sewing.

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I used my 1/4″ pressing foot and made a 1/4″ seam along the two sides and bottom of each bag. I trimmed the seams to about 1/8″. I turned the bag inside out and pressed the bag catching the seam that I just made between the front and back pieces. I changed my presser foot to just the regular presser foot and stitched two more side seams and a bottom seam again with almost a 5/8″ seam, catching the previous seam in the center so that there were no raw edges showing.

This is from another project but you can see how you press the seam together, catching it between the two side pieces.

This is from another project but you can see how you press the seam together, catching it between the two side pieces.

To box the corners I turned my bag right side out. With wrong sides together I used my 1/4″ presser foot, I lined up my bottom and side seams to give the bag a flat bottom and stitched at the spot where all of the layers will come together and will be caught in the seam. I trimmed the seams, pressed the seams, turned the bag inside out and changed my presser foot back to the regular one. I then stitched a 5/8″ seam locking the previous seam into a french seam.

To finish the bag I folded down the top of my bag along my crease lines and stitched, catching the fabric that I had ironed under 1/4″.

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The final step was the handles. I pressed my piece of fabric for the strap with the wrong side facing up. I then folded it in half, wrong sides together, and pressed. I opened it back up and then pressed each long raw edge to the center pressing line. I then folded that piece in half and pressed again. Basically, I folded the piece in half making it into two 4″ halves. I then opened it back up and folded in the raw eges of each 4″ half and making them each a 2″ half which then made the entire strap 4″ wide. I then folded that 4″ piece in half and ended up with a 2″ wide strap.

I folded the short end of each side of the strap up about a 1/4″ or so and pressed. I then placed each end of the strap on each side seam of the bag and stitched it to the bag by stitching a square around edges of the strap. Prior to attaching the second end of the strop to the bag, make sure that the handle is the length that you want it to be. If not, trim the handle with scissors, press the edge under about 1/4″ and then sew it to the bag.

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When I was finished I pressed each bag. I was so happy with how they turned out and the teachers seemed to like them too! I placed them each in gift bags and then attached a homemade gift tag to each bag along with a reindeer ornament.

Here is each bag all packaged up.

Here is each bag all packaged up.

Happy Sewing!


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I have a friend who just loves Raggedy Ann so I decided to make her one for Christmas. I had posted about my first Raggedy Ann doll that I had made earlier this year and then I pinned it. Technically, I think that still falls under a Pinterest Christmas!

You can find the original post on how I made the Raggedy Ann doll here. You can find my tutorial on how to make her hair here.

I found some great Raggedy Ann and Andy fabric at Hobby Lobby and made my friend a simple tote bag. Originally I planned on using that as the gift bag for the doll but I did not measure very well and the doll did not fit in the bag. Oh well! Now that I have gotten into making pillow cases I wish that I would have saved the fabric for that instead of the tote. Maybe next time I am in Hobby Lobby I will be able to find the fabric again and make her a pillowcase for her birthday in January.

I’m happy with the way that Raggedy Ann turned out. It’s so much fun to see the dolls develop as I sew them. This little doll was fun to make and I am looking forward to giving it to my friend. Maybe one of these days I can even get a few of them in my Etsy shop!


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