Monday, August 4, 2014

Mad Libs


Have you ever played Mad Libs? Player 1 asks the other players for a list of words (adjective, animal, noun, and so on) without giving any context. Player 1 then plugs those words into a story and reads out the result, which is often hilarious! I wanted to make some interactive cards, or at least cards with an activity, for my next batch to be sent to Cards for Hospitalized Kids. So I came up with the idea of Mad Libs, and found a website that has them. Instead of generating the story online, I copied out the list and the story into Microsoft Word, and printed them out. You can see the list and story on the far right of the picture.

For the fronts of the cards, I used stamped images of a little dragon reading that a lovely friend sent to me long ago. I'm still working on using up the things I've been hoarding... I typed up the sentiment and printed it out onto pale green cardstock. 

I had a bunch of library card pockets from back in the days when I used to loan kids I was tutoring or friends of the girls' books to read in English. Yes, I am that anal, I made up library cards for my books! Only for the ones I loaned to kids, though, not the books I read myself...

I sponged the pocket with some Distress Inks to make it look less boring. I may yet add some stickers, too. I'm thinking maybe stars... Anyway, the list and story are tucked inside the pocket.

I have a dragon stamp by the same artist who made the reading dragon, so I stamped the liner where my message will go, just to make things more fun.

Of course a project like this is very involved and takes quite a bit of time. But somehow it seems like all the little details really make a project fun, not only for the recipient, but also for the crafter.


The12 Mad Libs cards will join the 20 or so other cards I have already made. In the photo above you can see those cards, most of which also use up stamped images friends have sent to me. At the bottom left you can see that I had just gotten started with my Mad Libs cards, coloring in the reading dragon. And now I'm already pondering ideas for the next batch!

Happy Birthday




I can't believe Meital is seventeen! Just amazing. All of the gifts I gave her this year were handmade. Instead of my usual slapdash wrapping, I was inspired by the Older and Wisor blog to attempt something better. I put each gift into a box (cookies, ice cream bars and dishwasher tablets) and wrapped them with scrapbooking paper. My bow didn't come out exactly right, but not bad for a first time. The little tag has a Suzy's Zoo sticker on it. For the card, I used papers from a 6 x 6" pad by My Minds' Eye that I bought last year.


Since I had just finished this pair of socks, I stuck them in a box as gift #1. Yeah, it's kinda cheating, since she saw me working on them, but who doesn't love to unwrap gifts, even if you know what's inside?


I saw this Happy Chemistry embroidery pattern on Shiny Happy World (LOVE that website!!) and knew I had to get it for my budding chemist. But what to embroider on? In the end I made this very wonky Kindle cover (no pattern, I just made it up as I went along. Hence the wonkiness). 


The Kindle fits inside, but getting the cover snapped closed is a challenge. I am trying desperately not to let the off-center stitching and crooked pocket bother me....


Gift #3 was a little stuffed cat. Meital had asked for a cat like the one I made for Hopeful Threads (and later, for Liat) but our original plan was for her to make it. We hadn't gotten around to it, so I went ahead and made it for her.

So strange to realize that next year, her birthday will fall a few short months before she starts her IDF service!




Thursday, July 17, 2014

Another State


I heard that there was a call for baby hats to send to the Wyoming Medical Center in Casper, Wyoming. This tiny hat should have been finished in a day, but in the end it took me a while to get it done, because I was also working on those Thumb Buddies at the same time. It looks impossibly small but it is extremely stretchy. Pattern is the Stretchy Ribbed Newborn Hat - in the Round. Details on my Ravelry project page, for those on Ravelry.

The yarn (Berroco Comfort DK Solids) is very soft, which is great for a baby hat, but it had what I call a "mushy" hand to it that I find very unpleasant to work with. It was also incredibly twisty; I had to stop and let the yarn unwind many times. Not fun. I still have enough of this yarn left for perhaps two more tiny hats, I just have to work myself up to using it again.

So I have a new state on my list, and another contribution done. That makes putting up with uncooperative yarn worth the trouble.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Ink Pad Holder, version 1


When it gets this hot outside, it takes me a lot longer to get up the oomph to walk around the block to the recyling bin for paper and cardboard. Of course I have a huge stockpile of cereal boxes by now. I also had a bunch of Distress Ink pads stacked up in a drawer, and every time I wanted a particular color, I had to go through the stacks looking for what I wanted. Last night I got an idea, and so today I created version 1 of my new ink pad holder. The cereal boxes were already flattened. I measured halfway across the face of the box and drew a line. Same for the back.


I cut along both lines. As you can see on the left, I then taped the top and bottom of the box back together to create a long, shallow open-sided box.


I covered the outside and the bottoms of the shelves with paper, but I was too lazy to cover the sides and backs of the inside. Next time I will probably put the paper on before I close up the boxes. The other thing I will need to do (as you can probably guess) to to add another layer of cardboard between the boxes, to reinforce them. My original plan was to have stacks three ink pads high, but I don't think this version can handle that.

At least I got all of my ink pads indexed, with a small label stuck to the front showing what color it is. That alone is a huge improvement.

Good thing I still have plenty of boxes.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Thumb Buddy Loves You


I confess, I am a sucker for puns. I think a lot of kids are, too. And what could be better than making a kid laugh? It took a while, but I have made 34 cards, with accompanying Thumb Buddy finger puppets, that I will be mailing out to Cards for Hospitalized Kids as soon as I can (assuming, of course, the mail can get through. I'm currently living in what are sometimes called "interesting times.") From there, the cards will be sent to hospitals and Ronald MacDonald houses, wherever CFHK sees they are needed.

Working on a project like this is a lot of fun for me, and espcially these days it's nice to have something positive on which to focus. I've already got a couple of ideas for my next batch of cards. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

You've Come a Long Way...Baby?


You may recall that I sent these toys off to Hopeful Threads a while ago. I shared this photo with Kristy after I had mailed the package. But, well...it's a long journey to Tennessee from Israel...


I've learned that my package has arrived, and I am on pins and needles (ha) waiting for Kristy's reaction when she opens the package... There's a little surprise inside!

Just the way my quirky brain works, what can I say?

Meanwhile, the Thumb Buddies are coming along nicely. I hope to have 34 puppets and cards completed and - fingers crossed - in the mail by Friday! Back to my sewing, catch you later.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Making Progress


Progress on the Thumb Buddy cards and finger puppets for Cards for Hospitalized Kids is slow but steady. Of course the cards come together pretty quickly once I find time to sit and work on them, but the puppets take more time. So far I have only made 9 puppets, and there are going to be 34 cards; clearly I have a ways to go! I am using two different card designs that are fairly similar, which really helps keep things moving. I am so glad to be getting good use out of this packet of fun paper, too.

I am already thinking of ideas for the next batch of cards and puppets, though I think the latter are going to have to be sewn on the machine in the interests of speed and efficiency. I have some adorable patterns that I can't wait to try (thank you, Dona!).