Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Planning in a Day (And on a budget)

Throughout my life, I've been told once or twice that I put things off to the last minute. I would say, in some circumstances, this statement is fairly accurate. Halloween is a big exception to this, as I usually start thinking and planning it on November 1st of the previous year. Thanksgiving, however, definitely falls into the "oh crap, that's tomorrow" category.

I have rarely hosted my own Thanksgiving day, so I am not into the habit of thinking about it. However, I now live across the country from my own family so it's necessary that I become a host, if even only to my own little ones. The day before Thanksgiving I started searching for crafts, recipes, etc... Here is what happened:

The first thing I came across on Pinterest was Oreo Turkey and Pilgrim Hat namecards which I found here. Of course I HAD to make them, and they turned out swell -
I had to make pilgrim and native american hats, just like I wore in the second grade! Here's my little star in the making,  showing off her pilgrim's hat. It took FOREVER to find all of the designs. Here's the links- Boys Pilgrim, Girls Pilgrim Bonnet, and Native American Headdress (seperate website with ALL of the hat designs).

I thought this was such a neato idea, little pie tins filled with treats and toys, and below that I put a few coloring pages and activities. This kept the kids busy the ENTIRE day! Definitely worth it! For filling the pie tins you can go to your local dollar store and grab party favors. In fact, party favors from the dollar store are so reusable I used to have a tote filled with all those little toys from dollar stores and Oriental Trading because they are ALWAYS handy!

This was a great game idea - Turkey Bowling - and was easy to make. I printed out the templates on cardstock and used a hot glue gun to secure. Look at those guys, they look scared!

I printed out 6 of these (one for each of us) on 60lb cardstock paper. The kids helped cut and glue and the stuff they came out with was great! Here's the link to do it yourself.

No kidding, I picked up these placemats and napkins up at the dollar store and printed one sheet of these napkin holders on plain paper, and they held up well!

Coloring Activity Sheets kept the kids entertained! Here is a link to one I used. Here's another.
For six people we had LOTS of food. A few recipes were family recipes, but I will share one I found for pumpkin fudge, which was great and easy.
The kids had a great Thanksgiving! Here is a link to the Give Thanks banner (we also got some games from this site too), which you can attach to string but I just taped on the wall. Here is a link to the other cut outs.
As you can see, it all turned out well, even with no prior planning. Be inspired. This didn't take lots of money or time and the kids (as well as everyone else) enjoyed this Thanksgiving the best so far. (No offense to prior hosts and celebrations)

And now it's December 15th....I guess I better start planning Christmas soon!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A new form, a new blog

Hey there! Welcome to my new blog, SaMiE Designs, Creations, and Journey of Crafts! Let me give you a little background about myself. I am a mother, writer, artist, thrifty coupon cutter who also loves transforming nothing into something. Not too long ago I joined Pinterest (you can follow me here) and I have been so inspired by other blogs I have decided to create my own, all about things I've made, tried, reviewed, and more.

SaMiE Designs has been a dream of mine for quite some time now, and I am excited to get it off the ground. SaMiE isn't my given name, it's a configuration of my first name (SAra), my middle (MIchelle), and the first letter from my love's last name (English). I love it because it's crafty and original to me. It's also what I named my dress form. See:
My Design Penname, SaMiE, from SAra MIchelle and my love's last name, English.
I would like to start off with something I have just done recently: creating my own dress form out of duct tape. Someone I follow recently posted this duct tape dress form design and I was immediately inspired. I had been looking into dress forms not too long ago, of course they were completely out of my price range. The Duct Tape idea was revolutionary in my mind, and I pinned it quickly.

Approximately a week later I was admiring the adjustable dress forms in the costume shop at my work when a co-worker came in and we started talking. She told me she had used a duct tape dress form for years before purchasing the adjustable form at a yard sale for $20. (Some girls have all the luck)

I went to the store that night and bought duct tape and a long t-shirt. I picked a t-shirt with Tinkerbell on it because although no one would ever see it, I would always know, and it gives me a smile to think of Tinkerbell in my dress form. Call me crazy.

So, the idea is very simple, but I'll give you the info on how to make your own. I'll also give you some tips of things I noticed when doing it myself:

Step 1: Find an old, long t-shirt you don't care about. Or you can buy one. (Bonus points if you get a tinkerbell t-shirt)

Step 2: Get LOTS of duct tape. Also grab as many free newspapers as you can. I used about 15 copies.

Step 3: Enlist a friend, and make sure you tell them your idea for the finished product. (Unlike myself, whose boyfriend was wondering why he was putting duct tape on me for the first 15 minutes, which led to a lot of confusion)

Step 4: Put on undergarments that it would be OK if they got cut a little, then put the t-shirt on top. Put your hair in a bun as high as you can. Trust me, it hurts when it gets in with the duct tape.

Step 5: Cover the shirt with duct tape, trying to get as snug as you can, however BE CAREFUL not to wind the duct tape roll around your body. If you want to wrap it around, pull slack from the roll and place it on your shirt. It will get pretty hard to breathe if you pull the roll around your body without letting slack out. It will also pull the shirt, which could result in an uneven bottom. I used strips of duct tape of the approximate length of the area I was trying to cover.

Step 6: Try to have a few layers of duct tape on, and go over each area again to make sure it's as smooth as you can get it.

Step 7: For the neck and arms: Put newspaper around your neck and under the fabric at the arms. Repeat step 5 and step 6 so that way you have great neck and arm areas.

Step 8: When you are satisfied with the form, mark your belly button, waist, and if you wear your pants at a lower level (like I do) you want to mark that as well.

Step 9: Starting from the bottom, cut a straight line up the back, cutting through both the shirt and duct tape.

Duct Tape Dress Form by SaMiE
Step 10: Once the form is removed, place horizontal small strips of duct tape over the cut that you have made. Then duct tape the bottom, creating a "floor" to the form, making sure not to mess up the shape. Then crumble up the newspaper and fill the form, packing it tight, but not too tight to burst.

Step 11: Decorate your body form, if you chose to do so.

I have not yet mounted my dress form, but I will be doing that soon, and I will give you directions on how to do that as well. My form, however, stands up pretty well on its own so far.

At the end of the day, I ended up with this:

So, that's it. Now don't you want to make one for yourself?

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