My Little Library

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This is my library, for my neighborhood, by my mailbox in the front yard.  The idea is simple: you take a book or you can leave a book.  My job as the stewardess is to keep it organized and stocked with reading materials for all ages and interest groups.  Even though I promised to help, my handy husband did all the work.  He researched and designed the library, built and painted the library and he spent an entire day digging and cementing the foundation for the library.  Since everything is a family affair, we asked the kids to join in too.  They helped fill the library with books.

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This idea isn’t mine to take credit for. There is an organization called Little Free Library. The inspiration came from “Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin, (who) built a model of a one room schoolhouse as a tribute to his mother, a former school teacher who loved reading.  He filled it with books and put it on a post in his front yard.  His neighbors and friends loved it.  He built several more and gave them away.  Each one had a sign that said FREE BOOKS.”  Together Tod and Rick Brooks, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, “saw opportunities to achieve a wide variety of  goals for the common good.”

The website offers free building plans, DIY prefabricated library kits and a map of all the registered Little Free Libraries across the States.  Additional information on how to get involved, their blog and uniquely inspiring stories and libraries is also available.

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What a wonderful way to give back to the neighborhood and promote literacy!  We hope to see lots of neighbors stopping by to grab a book.

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DIY Train Party Hats & Mini Train Food Tray

It’s hard to believe my son just turned two! Seems like just yesterday we brought him home from the hospital.  We have a lot on our plates right now, so we opted for a small intimate birthday dinner with the family instead of the big birthday bonanza we had for his 1st birthday.  Just because it was a small gathering, that didn’t stop mama from making party hats for everyone! (Don’t mind the messy yogurt face)
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Here is a super quick tutorial using various things you may already have at the house.
I printed pictures of different trains on standard 8.5 x 11 white card stock, then cut the image out.  I used black card stock as a brace to give the train a little more support, and used hot glue to attach some black elastic to the card stock to complete the hat.  If you do not have elastic on hand, you can use strips of construction paper or card stock to make the ‘headband’.  I knocked six hats out in roughly 30 minutes, not including cutting time.  That took about 30 minutes on its own, the night before while watching TV.
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Going along with the theme, I made a few little trains out of some mini foil pans to hold his favorite rice crispy treats!  I hope the pictures below suffice for instructions.  If you have any questions, just comment below and I’ll try my best to elaborate.  ImageImageImageImageImage
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Guest Post by Little Pixie Crafts – Easy Hair Tie Tutorial

Season’s greetings Skip to the Details readers! My name is Karisa & I am the designer and owner of Little Pixie Crafts on Etsy. I have a quick and easy elastic hair tie tutorial for you that makes for a great stocking stuffer for friends and family. Here are the supplies that you’re going to need:

5/8 inch fold over elastic in any color or pattern. You can get this at a craft store or find it on Etsy sold in larger quantities.
Cutting mat or something to measure with
Scissors or rotary cutter
A lighter

Lay your elastic out flat, measure it 9 inches long and cut. I prefer to use a cutting mat and a rotary cutter because the measurements are visible on a flat surface and I can just run my blade across the elastic. Cutting mats and rotary cutters are an excellent investment and make cutting projects much easier!
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Once your elastic is cut, wrap it around your fingers and tie the ends in a tight knot. To keep the elastic from fraying I like to hold a lighter about an inch away from the knotted end to seal off the elastic. Be very careful not to hold it there to long because your elastic could catch on fire or melt too far down. This step is optional, if you don’t mind a little fraying you can just leave the ends alone. 

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Finally, find a cute way to wrap up or package your finished hair ties. I took some brown card stock and cut it with a scallop paper punch, put a couple of holes in it and tied my elastics down with string. What I love most about this project is you can customize the quantity, color or pattern! If you aren’t the crafty type or you’re short on time, check out my Etsy shop to purchase a set of these elastic ties already made and packaged. ImageImage

 

DIY Harry Potter Kindle Cover

At my cousin’s request, I went in search of a tutorial for a Harry Potter Kindle Cover.  I took bits and pieces from tutorials I found on Pinterest to create the one I am about to share with you.  In my excitement to get to the fun parts of the project I did not take as many pictures as I normally would have.  If you have questions about any of the steps described below, please feel free to comment and I will try my best to explain it.

Supplies you will need:

  • Felt in assorted colors
  • Coordinating thread
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Hot glue gun
  • Pen and paper for sketching

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Instructions:

1. Size the ‘flesh’ colored felt to your Kindle (or whatever device you are making the cover for).  Leave roughly an inch of material around the device to allow for sewing room.  (Optional step: I added two layers of batting before layering the inside fabric.  I wanted to have some cushion to protect the screen)ImageImage

2. Sew your felt together on the sides and the bottom, leaving the top as the opening for the cover.  Double check the fit for your Kindle one last time before folding down the two top pieces of the cover and hiding all the layers and frayed edges. At this point you should have the sleeve completed and ready to create the details for your character!

3.  Using a paper and pen, sketch out Harry’s hair, glasses and lightening bolt scar. For his Gryffindor scarf, I just cut a one inch strip of gold felt and 8 pieces of maroon felt for the strip.

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5. Cut out the pieces to the appropriate felt colors.  Place them on your cover to get an idea of placement and spacing. (This is also a good time to Google the location of your Hero’s scar.  This was a hot topic of discussion as we were deciding on the left or right side of his forehead!)

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6. I decided to work on the scarf first. Using a hot glue gun, wrap the gold felt strip from the back to the front.  Then add your maroon stripes.  Next I glued down the hair.  Assisted by the top of the cover, I lined the top of Harry’s hair with the top of the cover.  Next place the lightening bolt scar just under Harry’s hair and hot glue everything in place.  Lastly add his signature glasses to complete his face!

7. Trim off any leftover pieces of thread or slightly uneven felt pieces.  Rub off the hot glue “webbing”.  Proudly slip your Kindle into the fabulous Harry Potter cover you just made!

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