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31  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Thanksgiving / Unique Thanksgiving place cards on: November 12, 2007 09:37:23 AM
These Indian headdress and pilgrim hat place markers are a fun way to get in the Thanksgiving spirit and keep everyone in the right seat.  When our kids were young we liked to sit adult child adult child around the table.  It was more harmonious and each kid had a grown up to help serve them etc and place cards eliminated the whole discussion of who sits where when it's time to eat

32  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Thanksgiving / Cool Fall Leaf drink coasters on: October 04, 2007 02:02:43 PM
I'm really excited about a new project I came up with this week.  It's a fall leaf coaster.  I traced the leaf shape onto cork, cut it out, then painted it.  I think it would also be cool if you made a bigger version and used it as a hot pad for Thanksgiving dinner (or any dinner).

If you want a complete tute I posted it on my site today

Happy Crafting!
33  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Original Penguin Count down to Christmas on: August 31, 2007 08:01:18 AM
My daughter drew this penguin and I then transfered it to felt.  At the beginning of December you start with an empty string for the penguin's lights and each day you add a light, starting with #24, to his string so by Christmas he has a full set of lights and the kids can tell exactly how many days until Christmas.

I have complete instructions and a full size pattern at http://www.craftelf.com/Craft_elf_holiday_Christmas_Penguin_Christmas_Countdown.htm

I didn't post the tute here because the pattern takes up way too much space.  Hope you like it.
34  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Get Product and Website Opinions / Help needed keeping traffic on my site on: May 18, 2007 11:00:43 AM
I started preparing my website last summer and around the end of February really got it up and going.   I offer free craft instructions and patterns along with other craft related infromation.  The problem I'm having is 75% of my traffic stays under 30 seconds and only about 13% stays longer than 2 minutes.  What suggestions do you have to keep people from leaving.  I think I have good content but I know my home page still needs work.  I am constantly trying to improve it to make it more professional looking. 
Thanks for any advise you have.


PS.  I'm a big girl so please be honest.  I can take it.
35  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Father's Day / Father's day gifts from the kids - 4 projects on: May 10, 2007 11:05:48 AM
If anyone is looking for a gift their child can make for a Father's day gift, I have some ideas.

you fill the bottle with sand, tiny shells, and a personal message you can find a complete tutorial at http://www.craftelf.com/craft_elf_general_crafts_Message%20in%20a%20bottle.htm

This eyeglass case is great for sunglasses and of course I'd make it in a manly color for a Dad.  Find the complete tutorial at http://www.craftelf.com/Craft_elf_general%20crafts_Eye%20Glass%20Case.htm

complete instructions for these at http://www.craftelf.com

Hope this helps someone.  These are all projects I made in my children's classes when they were in elementry school.  When we made them in school I gave each child a paper lunch bag to decorate to put their gift in.  The Dads really loved them.
36  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Snowman from a recycled water bottle Tutorial (complete w/ photos) on: May 09, 2007 05:49:50 PM
This is my newest creation. Let me know what you think.

Bottle Belly Snowman

Make this adorable snowman from a recycled water bottle and some fleece. He's a fun kid's winter craft!

1 Empty 8 oz water bottle
7 Black glass E beads
3 Small circles from fun foam or felt
1 Brown pipe cleaner (chenille stem)
Piece of fleece 3" x 6 1/2" *
Piece of fleece 1" x 10"
2 1/2" Styrofoam ball
1 Cork 1/2" x 3/4" or smaller
Fake snow flakes
Orange Acrylic paint
Paint Brush
Metal teaspoon
Small clear elastic or a piece of thread
1 Toothpick
Sewing machine, needle & thread OR hot glue gun
Paint the cork orange and set aside to dry

1. Remove the label and any glue residue from your bottle and make sure the inside is completely dry.

2. Remove and discard your bottle cap then fill the bottle with snowflakes.

3. Place the Styrofoam ball on top of the bottle and push down gently to get an impression of the top of the bottle.  Remove the Styrofoam ball and using the handle of a teaspoon, hollow out the area you marked so the neck of the bottle will fit inside. Once hollowed out, stick the Styrofoam ball on top of the bottle.

4. Make the hat by either sewing or hot gluing the 3 1/2" ends of the larger piece of fleece together forming a tube.  On one end of the tube, wrap a small clear elastic or tie tightly with a piece of string.
Fold up the other end of the tube to form a cuff and place it on top of the Styrofoam ball - aka the snowman's head.

5. Tie the 1" x 10" piece of fleece around the neck of the bottle as a scarf.

6. Cut two 4 1/4" pieces of brown pipe cleaner and discard the rest.
Bend each pipe cleaner into a Y shape.  To do this, make a slight bend (right angle) approximately 3/4" from one end then about 3/4" from the bend, fold the pipe cleaner back against itself to form a Y.

7. Make a small hole on either side of the snowman using the tip of a pen or some other sharp/pointy object you have handy.  Stick the straight end of one pipe cleaner into each hold for his arms.

8. Glue the three felt or craft foam circles to the front of the water bottle to form his buttons.

9. Cut approximately 1/4" off the tip of the cork to use as his nose.  To attach the nose, cut a toothpick in half (wire cutters work well for cutting toothpicks).  You will only use one half of the toothpick.  Dip both ends into glue.  Stick one end into the cork and the other end into the Styrofoam ball where you would like the nose.

10. Put a small dot of glue on the Styrofoam ball where you would like each of the eyes, then push a bead into the Styrofoam right through the glue.  The glue will dry clear so don't worry if some gets on the beads.

11. Make five small dots of glue for the mouth and push the beads into the Styrofoam through the glue.

*Fleece only stretches in one direction.  When you cut out your hat, be sure that it stretches in the right direction by holding the two short sides and pulling.  If it stretches this way you are all set.  If not, re-cut a piece in the other direction.

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