Friday, May 7, 2010

Spring in a Can

My sons have been asking me lately if they can plant some seeds so they can watch them grow. While I would love to have a garden, we have so much wildlife in our yard that anything we planted would be eaten in no time.

It is still too cold here to plant flowers outside, so I bought the following materials so that they could plant cat grass in recycled cans. It was a quick project that was just long enough for their 3-year-old attention spans. And the grass started growing in about 7 days so they didn't have to be too patient to see results.

1 can (I used a 14.5 oz. can from canned corn)
pea gravel or small rocks
potting soil
1 brown paper lunch bag
rubber cement

First, I rinsed out a can and dryed it. I didn't use soap to wash it because I was afraid any soap residue would hurt the plants. And here is a tip: the cans with the pop off tops (similar to soda cans) leave sharper edges than the cans that you have to open with a can opener. I learned that the hard way by slicing the side of my hand while drying a can. Needless to say that I threw that can out and opted for a can without sharp edges.

Next, my sons filled the bottom of the can with pea gravel to provide some drainage. My sons then filled the cans with potting soil, sprinkled in the seeds, topped it with more soil and watered it.

Now that their part of the project was done I decided to decorate the cans a little. I wanted to label each can with their name on kraft paper, but I didn't have any kraft paper on hand. Instead, I cut out a piece of brown paper lunch bag that was 8.5" long and about 4" wide. On my computer, I set up a document in Word, chose a font I liked and typed my sons' name. I printed it on the lunch bag and then used rubber cement to glue the label to the can. I'll admit that the lunch bag did get stuck in the printer once but thankfully it wasn't a horrible paper jam. Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the results, especially since it only cost me a couple of bucks for the seeds.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

New Crochet Pattern: Coffee and Donuts

Here is a sneak peek of a pattern that will be available in my shop either later today or tomorrow morning. It includes instructions for a coffee cup with a removable lid and drink sleeve and 3 donuts.

Whew! I have been so busy lately finishing all of the projects that I put on hold when I was crazy busy at my day job. I think I'm almost caught up :)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Pattern Update: Lunch Play Set

Lately I have been revising some of my previous patterns and improving them. For the lunch play set pattern, I made the sandwich a little smaller and redesigned the milk carton. If you previously purchased this pattern from my shop and want the updated pattern for free, just send me a convo through Etsy. And if you could please reference in your convo the date you purchased the lunch play set pattern that would help me find it in my records. Thank you :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Wow Wow Wubbzy!

Here are some more characters from one of my sons' favorite shows on Nick Jr. -- Wow Wow Wubbzy. The pattern is by Leisure Arts and you can find it at your local craft store (such as Hobby Lobby) or on-line.

If you are going to buy this pattern be forewarned that the suggested yarn was difficult for me to find. I couldn't find it at Hobby Lobby, Michaels or JoAnns. I ended up ordering the yellow, pink and purple yarn online at Roberts Crafts. I have to say that the shipping for 5 skeins of yarn was a little ridiculous, but I knew that if I used the yellow, pink and purple yarn that I could find locally that I wouldn't be happy with the finished product. And another tip: you will probably need 3 skeins of yellow to finish Wubbzy rather than the 2 skeins they recommend. I did, and I got to pay shipping for another skein of yarn. Oh well, my sons love the finished dolls so I guess it was worth it :)

As I don't usually make dolls, I enjoyed the challenge that these patterns presented. And I learned some new techniques in the process.