Friday, 19 December 2014

The Last Gifts on My List (with String Art from Klutz)

I like food and fashion as much as the next person, but my favourite thing to create is home décor. My apartment is an ever-rotating collage of prints, pictures, plants and knick-knacks. I switch them to match the year, the season, and sometimes even my mood. It's not terribly practical, but it sure is fun! 

When deciding what to gift to the last few people on my Christmas list, I turned to Klutz's coolest new kit, String Art, to make some new art pieces they can add to their collections.

You might recognize the idea for this fun craft from those old math class activities, but Klutz has turned that on its head to make DIY art instead! With more than 20 trendy designs, six colours of strings and 14 colourful sheets of paper to choose from, you can customize your pieces for each person on your gift list. And, I know what you're thinking, it looks totally complex... But with Klutz’s exclusive pin-pushing tool, you'll have the perfectly-placed pins you need to go wild and scribble, fan and loop some seriously cool string doodles. Make a series to hang together or print some text to make your piece complete; the possibilities are endless! I modeled one after my very favourite mug, and it's so darn cute that I just might make another to gift to myself.

And so, with the wrap of this last gift, my Christmas crafting is complete. Now it's time to eat, drink, be merry and share the spoils of my Klutz gift-making with my friends and family.

Merry Christmas to all!

See you in the new year!

Thursday, 11 December 2014

What Makes Christmas Great (with Clay Charms from Klutz)

Christmas is full of wonderful things, like food, family, and lots of holiday cheer! But in the lead up to this amazing time of year, trying to find gifts for everyone on your list can be a bit stressful...

Crafting and shopping for my top people is no problem, but I’m always struggling for a way to cover the people in between: friends I don’t see often; distant family members; and any last minute people who may pop up. This year, I decided to break out one of my perennial Klutz faves, Make Clay Charms, to create some quick, handmade gifts for occasions such as these.

I baked up some super-sized Clay Charms in all sorts of Christmas shapes, and then twisted on wire hooks. Then I popped my homemade ornaments onto some simple sketched backgrounds to make cute, handmade cards that can be stockpiled and handed out on demand. Now I can spread holiday cheer to everyone I encounter! And when it all comes down to it, isn't that what makes Christmas so great?

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Teeny Tiny Christmas Gifts (With Mini Pom-Pom Pets from Klutz)

Every once in a while, there comes a new craft that really blows my socks off. I mean, let’s be honest, I love them all, but there are a few Klutz crafting adventures that have really earned top marks in my heart. As soon as I got my hands on Klutz's latest pom-pom adventure, Mini Pom-Pom Pets, I knew it was destined to be added to my "favourites" list. 

These heart-melting cute little fur balls take half the time to make as regular pom-poms, but are twice as darn adorable! Just wrap the coloured wool around any old kitchen fork, snip and decorate and, in no time, you’ve got a handful of teeny tiny pom-pom pets. 

Since ‘tis the season, I dressed mine up in their holiday best! A mason jar goldfish bowl wrapped up with a bow, two kitty ornaments to commemorate a first Christmas, and a little winter scene with some furry Canadian friends. Merry Christmas to you, you, you, and me!

Friday, 7 November 2014

Christmas Crafting Season Begins (with Loop Loom Bracelets from Klutz)

The moment November hits, you can already see the first signs of the holiday season ahead. Stores swap Halloween for Christmas decorations, Starbucks releases those familiar red cups and, in Toronto, The Bay reveals their stunning holiday window displays. 

There are many who lament this early start to the Christmas spirit. As a warm weather girl and a November baby who likes her birthday to have its space, I can relate. But the crafty gift giver in me is grateful for the reminder that it's time to start my Christmas crafting. If I want to go DIY with decorations and gifts for all the people on my Christmas list, I've got to get busy!

I popped over here to choose an exciting new Klutz kit  (or an old favourite) to start with. It was a tough choice -- and I can't wait to share my other projects in the coming weeks -- but in the end this girly girl went straight for the jewelry!

Loop Loom Bracelets is Klutz’s take on the rubber band bracelet trend, with one big change. Seven colours of stretchy cord are the medium of choice in this kit, so you can bead-dazzled your bracelets to your heart's content without any danger of them falling apart if one link breaks!

I was looping up a colourful stack of bracelets for my favourite cousin when inspiration struck... These stretchy bands would make great gift-wrapping ribbon too! So I’m making as many pretty beaded ribbons as I can, and boy am I glad I got my early start! This Christmas, my presents are going to be just as pretty on the outside! 

Friday, 24 October 2014

The Top of My Costume List (with The Marvelous Book of Magical Mermaids from Klutz)

For me, Halloween is serious business--a holiday that’s all about dressing up and eating copious amounts of candy? Yes, please! 

In preparation for this annual day of awesomeness, I keep a running list of all of the costume ideas I want to try--including favourites like Ashley Spinelli, Ramona Flowers and Janice from the Muppets. Some are simple and easy to throw together and some will require some serious planning, but I hope to have each one checked off one day. 

Near the top of my costume list sits my white whale--Cher’s awesome Halloween costume in Mermaids. As a proud handmade Halloween-er, checking this one off my list will be the ultimate challenge. But the year I pull it off, I will have won Halloween! Till then, I'll have to get my fix from some finned friends of my own. 

The Marvelous Book of Magical Mermaids is Klutz’s latest version of paper doll play and comes with more than 200 pretty accessories to mix and match. And just like the equine version of this popular book, the outfits are lush, colourful and totally over the top! 

After creating sailor mermaid, mermaid Cleopatra, a pretty coral mermaid and a mermaid with troll doll hair, my mermaid craving has officially been filled and I can investigate more reasonable options for this year's costume. Plus, all this paper doll play has given me some awesome new ideas to add to my costume list for years to come! 

Friday, 10 October 2014

Star Wars Reads Day Strikes Back! (with Star Wars Folded Flyers, Draw Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Star Wars Thumb Doodles)

Fall is here and that familiar chill has crept back into the air. It’s time for boots and scarves and, for me, hiding indoors with a good book or a fun craft. But this weekend, there is another Force at play, beckoning me back to my two favourite activities

That’s right, tomorrow is the 3rd annual Star Wars Reads Day! This amazing initiative is the joint effort of Lucasfilm and its publishing partners. It's celebrated in every which way, from simply sitting down with a good book to some pretty amazing events at bookstores, libraries and other venues around the world!

I’ll be celebrating by bringing copies of Star Wars Folded Flyers, Star Wars Thumb Doodles, and Draw Star Wars: The Clone Wars up to my family’s Thanksgiving weekend celebrations. After all the fun we had with playing with Paper Dragons, I can’t wait to see what great ideas this wacky bunch will come up with this time!

So, get reading, drawingThumb Doodle comic booking, or try out one of these cool crafts from the official Star Wars Event Kit, cause it’s time to celebrate!

Happy Star Wars Reads Day!

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

A Few of My Favourite Things (with Nail Style Studio & Nail Art from Klutz)

Yesterday was officially the first day of fall. And though the weather seems to be a bit confused as we finish up the last week of September, there's no denying it anymore. Summer is gone!

Don't get me wrong, fall has it's perks--Halloween, pumpkin spice and scarf season, just to name a few--but this warm-weather girl will be mourning summer's end for the eight long months till it's back again.

Whenever I'm feeling blue, a good art project always cheers me up! So, I grabbed Klutz's Nail Style Studio and Nail Art and painted my tips and toes in all sorts of pics and patterns. Forget raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, here are a handful of my tried and true remedies for when I'm feeling sad!

Exploring a new neighborhood in my city.

A good stretch and centering on my yoga mat.

Getting lost in a book.

Warming up with a hot drink.

And painting my nails with patterns and pictures that make me smile!

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

LEGO Fangirl (with Crazy Action Contraptions from Klutz)

I have loved LEGO for as long as I can remember. From my first DUPLO set to The Movie and videos games I love so much, this timeless toy has always found it's way into my free play. My love for LEGO is so well-known that a friend once commissioned the making of a giant LEGO Hogwarts Lynn for my birthday!
So, when Klutz and LEGO paired up to create Crazy Action Contraptions, it was pretty much a match made in heaven for me! I rushed home and Mike and I raced Super Charged Speedsters up and down the halls of my apartment all afternoon long.

Last week, as I packed for a cottage weekend, I was thinking back to some of those fun times so I threw Crazy Action Contraptions in my suitcase for a second round of brick-filled fun. And on Saturday, over veggie pizza and big mugs of hot chocolate, we built LEGO-made machines that zipped, bumped and spun all over the cottage!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

My Fairweather Friend (with Friendship Bracelets from Klutz)

Whenever August rolls around, I always get a bit weepy for the end of my favourite friendship. See, for three sunny months a year, Summer and I are the best of friends. There is never a shortage of things to do when Summer is around! I want to run and jump, laugh and play, and just enjoy every moment we have together. Then when Summer is gone, all I want to do is hibernate under the covers till they day she comes back again.

So, while soaking up the sun (through a thick layer of SPF) one cottage weekend, I decided to celebrate our fleeting friendship, while it was still in full force. I grabbed a copy of Friendship Bracelets, the most classic of crafts, and knotted up an ode to my favourite friend. Three colourful anklets--my go-to summer accessory--one for each month we get to spend together!

All throughout August, those bracelets reminded me to enjoy each leap off the dock, dip in the pool and day in the park. And now, even though the cold weather feels like its already set in and I’m sporting long sleeves and pants, I've got three pretty little reminders to keep me going until my best friend is back again!

Monday, 18 August 2014

Playground Pop-Up Shop (with Face Painting from Klutz)

When the sun is shining and summer is in full swing, even not-so-great days can turn out to be pretty wonderful!

A few weeks ago, I had a play date with my little friend, Ben, and his mama and papa too. We were meeting at the park on Saturday morning to laugh and play the day away, and I couldn't wait! Unfortunately, when our date came around, poor Ben wasn't feeling very well. But he put on a brave face and asked to go the park anyway, so we decided to downgrade our playground play to something a little more low key. Luckily, I'd just received this big box of goodness from my Klutz fairy godmother, so I picked out some favourites and we planned a Klutz party in the park.

You’ve already seen the hilarious results of our Cat’s Cradle play, but we also had some fun with Face Painting that day. Back when this blog began, I did one of my first posts about painting pumpkins with these great paints, and I was really excited to use them again.

We parked ourselves on a bench by the playground, spread out our supplies and opened up a fun little temporary tattoo shop. We painted bees and bears and some decidedly abstract art pieces all up and down our arms and pranced around the sandbox sharing and showing off our cool arm art. Our pop-up shop was the hit of the playground and Ben’s spirits began to brighten! Soon, we were galloping through the grass, planting flowers in the sandbox and snacking on sandwiches, and our quiet park day had turned into quite the adventure!

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Back to Basics (with Cat's Cradle from Klutz)

Something about summer always makes me go back to the simple fun of my childhood, whether it’s skipping rope down the sidewalk, drawing on driveways or blowing bubbles in the backyard. Maybe it’s because, when it comes to outdoor play, simplicity rules. Or maybe I get nostalgic because, I think we can all agree, summer vacation is one of the best things about being a kid.

With a long weekend at the cottage ahead, I was reminded of the fun my little sis and I had playing car games on the drive up a couple of years back. So, I decided to break out Cat’s Cradle, the most classic kids game of all, for another spin this past weekend.

I know it seems simple--just a piece of string and some instructions--but with this little book you can have a whole lot of fun! Whether you are teaching little hands how to play (when all they want to do it gallop like a pony), racing against the clock for Cat’s Cradle mastery or using leftover Pom Pom Puppies yarn to stage a giant-sized game, this summer game will always be among the best!

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Summer Sticker Celebration (with Washi Tape Stickers from Klutz)

If you haven’t heard of washi tape yet, then get thee to the nearest craft store, STAT! This multi-tasking tape, which hails from Japan, is easy to stick on and peel off and comes in tons of fun patterns and prints, making it a crafting must-have.

I’ve used it to recover old notebooks, add flair to my phone and iPod, decorate vases and so much more. But Klutz’s take on the washi tape craze is my favourite by far! With Make Your Own Washi Tape Stickers, you can shape this colourful tape into completely customized sticker designs that are perfect for any occasion!

With the sun shining up in the sky and the great outdoors calling my name, I pulled my copy out onto the deck at the cottage and washi-ed the summer sights all around me. I mixed and matched the tape in six fun colours and patterns, chose from a ton of easy-to-trace designs, and snipped out seascapes, beach scenes, and sweet treats! Now I’m sending my postcards to some friends so that they can peel-and-stick washi stickers and share in the summer love.  

Monday, 30 June 2014

Get Outside and Happy Canada Day! (with Chalk the Block by Klutz)

In my free time, you're most likely to find me hunched over my desk, crafting up a storm, scissors and glue in hand. But when the weather turns sunny and summer is here, it's all about being outside! 

This Canada Day weekend, I grabbed a copy of Chalk the Block and took my creativity outdoors, to spend some time in the sun, doing what I do best.

With some great ideas from Klutz on how to maximize my sidewalk chalk play, no crack or crevice was safe from my mad doodling! This weekend, everyone will feel the spirit of summer and some Canada Day pride when they pass by my house.

Looking for more great ways to play? Why not throw a Sidewalk Chalking, Balloon-Twisting front yard carnival, like I did one Canada Day past. Hopscotch and skill tests, balloon animals and a roaring chalk rollercoaster, our crafty little carnival was a total blast!

Whatever you do, hope you have a very happy (and hopefully crafty) Canada day!

Thursday, 12 June 2014

One of a Kind Father's Day Date (with Toolbox Jewelry)

My dad may not be the handiest on the block, but with that big brain of his, there’s not a project he won’t try. My skills, well they're less in tools than tape and glue, but I’ve got that same determination to take on any crafting adventure. Together, my papa and I have put our skills to use for all sorts of projects, from a bright pink bench to this cool book clock and the light box I use to photograph all my Klutz crafts!

He’s out of town again this Father’s Day, so we scheduled a Skype date to celebrate. To carry on our tradition of handy crafts, I grabbed my copy of Toolbox Jewelry and together I whipped up a stack of cool arm hardware as we chatted the day away. Even though we couldn't be together, we still found a great way to spend our early Father’s Day date!

The last time I made these cool cord bracelets, it was the dead of winter, so I wrapped them around my mini-Christmas tree. But, now that the warm weather is here, I can finally sport these neon-coloured beauties myself. And every time I look at them, I’ll remember my awesome dad and our one-of-a-kind Father’s Day date!

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Bubbles and BBQs (with How to Make Monstrous, Huge, Unbelievably Big Bubbles)

The best things about summer is the world of outdoor space that it opens up. Picnics at the park, playing at the beach, lunch on a patio and a stroll around the neighborhood are a few of my favourites. But the ultimate outdoor fun of summer is definitely the backyard barbecue.

Now, I don’t have a backyard, but this sunny Saturday we were headed to a friend's BBQ party, so I took a peek into my cabinet of Klutz curiosities for a way to make our day extra fun.

How to Make Monstrous, Huge, Unbelievably Big Bubbles is the brainchild of bubble master David Stein and the editors of Klutz. Stein’s invention, the "Bubble Thing," is the magic wand that makes your bubbles big, and inside the book you’ll find the recipe for the perfect bubble mix.

As the ribs and carrots sizzled on the grill, we set up with a bucket of suds and our Bubble Thing and took turns blowing super-sized bubbles out in the sun.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Tissue Paper Pretties (with Tissue Paper Crafts)

Maybe it’s because my momma's thumb is bright green, but when I think of Mother’s Day, I think of flowers. So even though I've been swooning over Klutz’s dreamy spring offering, Tissue Paper Crafts, since the day it came out, I knew I had to save this cute little kit for this most special occasion.

Thankfully, since Mother's Day is almost here I am finally free to take a crack at some tissue paper crafts! I was practically bouncing with excitement as I peeled back the cover of this pretty pink book to reveal a rainbow of tissue paper to work with. I started small, making a single flower with frilly pink petals. It was so darn cute that I potted up a pale green succulent with a pretty orange flower. But I still wasn't done! I made a colourful flower garland to play "ring around the mirror" and some branches upcycled with delicate white flowers. But the pièce de résistance? A beautiful gold birdcage made from pop-out pieces and a papery little bird to inhabit it!

I am pleased as punch with these tissue paper pretties and I just know my mom will love every one. And when Sunday rolls around, I’ll send her on a treasure hunt around the house to seek out her tissue paper treats!

Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

The First Annual Candy Cup, featuring Klutz Air Power

It started out innocently enough.

Just two sisters, sitting on the couch, eating junk food and watching a movie. As one polishes off a bag of candy, she remarks to the other, “Betcha two gummies I can shoot this wrapper into the garbage!” 

“I’ll bet you three chips you can’t!” the other fires back.

The first one shoots and falls just short of the can, and the second jumps up triumphant and then scarfs down her prize. But the first sister can’t let it stop there because a good ol’ fashioned bout of sibling rivalry has begun!

“I’ll bet you three gummies that I can chug this whole glass of milk in five seconds.”

“I’ll bet you this chocolate that you can't fit ten marshmallows in your mouth.”

As the bets get crazier and crazier, the Klutz-ier of the two sisters has an idea to get things back under control. She heads to her cabinet of curiosities and pulls out Klutz’s latest book of science-fueled fun, Air Power: Rocket Science Made Simple.

If they’re going to be betting, they might as well have fun and maybe learn a thing or two. So with a quick lesson in Newton's Laws of Motion, five balloons to power their play and two piles of gummies to set the stakes, the first annual Air Powered Candy Cup began.

Whose hot rod will drive the farthest? Whose hovercraft will hover the longest? Whose rocket will flyer higher? Whose helicopter will fly wilder? Who knew? But those two sisters were sure going to find out!

And as the gummy piles grew and shrank, laughs were had and fists were shaken, 'til finally, one candy pile towered over the other, and so a winner was declared.

And although this sibling didn't emerge victorious, she was happy to turn that pesky little impulse to compete with her little sis' into an awesome, air-powered adventure. And you can bet that next year, she’ll be ready to claim the title — and that yummy cup of candy — all for herself!

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Here's to Never Growing Up with Straw Shooter Jets and The World According to Klutz

I like to do arts and crafts, eat ice cream for dinner, and stay up waaaaaay past my bedtime playing video games. So if you were to call me childish... I just might have to agree. But mischief, well, that’s never really been my strong suit. This sweet little face of mine is an open book. Forget lying and deception — I'm too easy to read. But since April Fool’s Day was just around the corner, I decided it was time to work on my poker face in preparation for a day that’s all about playful pranks. I grabbed some supplies and began my week of April Fools prep.

If I was going to earn my stripes as a prank-master, I needed to do a little studying first. Where else would I turn but the silliest books around to get a view on The World According to Klutz. Within this little box set, you'll find three volumes of utter hilarity! The Greatest Facts in the History of Facts for some believe-it-or-not conversation starters, a hall of fame edition of The Klutz Book of Inventions, and the manual for my week of April Fools' Day prep: The Encyclopedia of Immaturity. As a sweet bonus, this little box set also included some silly stickers to get me started.

After I had learned the basics, it was time to branch out. My weapon of choice? Straw Shooter Jets, Klutz's latest incarnation of paper airplane play. Klutz's DIY aircraft had already taken me to the moon with my dadon a wild dragon ride, and to battle evil with Buzz Lightyear, but these newest, far-flying paper planes were just plain up to no good.

No family photo, piece of food, cereal bowl, unsuspecting pedestrian or plant was safe from my wild stickering or dive bombing planes. And now that I’ve test-driven some truly silly stunts, I’m all set to celebrate today in style.

Happy April Fools' Day!

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Introduction to Transfiguration with Felted Friends

The greatest thing about this blogging gig is getting to share how fun and accessible arts and crafts can be. With a little help from Klutz, even Muggles can create a little crafting magic.

I had exactly zero experience with felting when I got my shiny new copy of Klutz’s Felted Friends. So I didn’t know what to expect as I unpacked fluffy bundles of wool, a foam block and a green felting tool. I mean, I like to think I’m a pretty fantastical crafter, but even I couldn't quite figure out how I would conjure those cute little creatures on the cover with what was in front of me. But I knew Klutz had my back, so I cracked my Transfiguration textbook, picked up my wand and set to charming up some Felted Friends.

I poked and jabbed my wand into those fluffy clouds of wool and I started to see things take shape. A little head with a button nose, a round body with a white tummy, a fluffy tail and long ears — suddenly, there was one seriously cute bunny in front of me!

Before long I had perfected my practice and had three pretty pastel forest animals to complete my collection. And while the truth behind felting is slightly less magical than I imagined*, I still like to think these three little guys would have earned me an Outstanding on my Transfiguration O.W.L.!

* As you poke the felting needle back and forth, it twists and tangles the wool fibres until they bunch together to become dense and compact. The same principle applies as you attach one piece to the other. The fibres tangle together to become one, without tape or glue. Magic!

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

(No) Signs of Spring, with My Style Studio

My Style Studio
In case you haven’t heard by now, here in Canada, We are Winter. Me, I’m not much for winter sports but I show my true Canadian colours by bucking the cold weather and wearing skirts and dresses year-round. It can get chilly, but I’m not gonna let a little thing like snowy, blowy weather keep my style at bay.

But even us crazy Canucks start to feel winter dragging by the time March rolls around. And since the snow shows no sign of stopping, I need a little warm-weather inspiration to cheer me up. So I grabbed a copy of the boxy new edition of My Style Studio to sketch up some spring fashions to look forward to. And with visions of T-shirts and maxis and bare legs (oh my!), I think I just might make it through.

For a peek at more of my Klutz-made style inspiration, check out My Fabulous Book of LooksMy Style Studio fall linePaper Fashions summer style and holiday wearmy Fashionably Me back-to-school style, and more!