Sunday, November 8, 2009

Those adorable Kissy Heads, Squeezums or Kiss'n Critters...

Everyone has seen or had one of these at some time or another. They're known by various names: Squeezums, Kissy Heads, Kiss'n Critters, Kiss Me Quicks, and probably others that I can't think of right now. Squeeze their cheeks and their mouth opens wide. They're terrific for holding some tiny little surprise item, the most traditional use is with a Hershey's candy kiss in the mouth so when you squeeze the cheeks you get a kiss!!!

These make up quickly with Plastic Canvas and there are dozens of delightful designs to choose from. You can use them for Party Favors, adorable magnets (clamp your notes in the mouth), Christmas Stocking stuffers, to hold money for a gift, as package ties, placecard holders... the possibilities are endless. They're perfect for clamping (biting?) onto the branches of a Christmas Tree as Ornaments. Pass them out in the morning and they'll keep the kids occupied and happy... and give you a few minutes to relax before the day really gets going.

Kiss Me Quick from Leisure Arts has patterns for a Lion, Clown, Alligator, Zebra, Parrot, Lamb, Monkey and a Cow. Christmas Squeezums from American School of Needlework has over 2 dozen Holiday designs including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Snowflake Singers, Angels and more. Squeezum Folks from American School of Needlework has another 2 dozen or so designs that you'll love, like: Punk Rocker, Construction Worker, Fortune-Teller, Highway Patrolman and others. You can find a terrific assortment of Craft Patterns for Squeezums at Stone Hill Collectibles. While you're there check out all the other wonderful Craft Patterns for other great projects. And don't forget to pick out your Free item before you check out with your goodies... one per order (please) and NO minimum dollar amount required.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Rainy Day Clothespin Crafts

What do you do on those cold dreary rainy days of Fall and Winter.... when you start to hear "Mom, there's nothing to do"?? You stop whatever you're doing and try to come up with something interesting to occupy the kids. Sometimes you might say "Let's make cookies". Sometimes you might "suggest" they clean their rooms (accompanied by the sounds of groans and wails of protest). Well here are some fun ideas for projects that will keep the kids busy, happy and productive (even the grown-up kids) using simple modest wooden clothespins. You'll definitely want to keep a stash on hand. And the really good news is, inflation hasn't caught up with the lowly clothespin yet!!!

So, what can you do with a wood clothespin? Has your child ever brought home from school a reindeer ornament made with 3 clothespins? Well, that's one of hundreds of possibilities. You can make clothespin dolls, clothespin dollhouse furniture, clothespin toys, clothespin ornaments, clothespin wall plaques... and more.

There are different types of wood clothespins available, some in different sizes, and they can all be used. There are Flat Clothespins (also packaged as "no-roll" clothespins), Doll Pins (round clothespins that have already had the ends trimmed off straight), and Spring Clothespin Halves (spring clothespins with the spring removed).

Here are some suggestions for your Rainy Day Clothespin Project Box:
1. Clothespins... LOTS of wood clothespins
2. Popsicle Sticks
3. Glue
4. Paints and inexpensive brushes
5. Colored marking pens
6. Fabric scraps
7. Yarn
8. Beads
9. Trims
10. Wood spools
11. ... anything else that might make a fun embellishment.

This is sure to be a favorite rainy day activity for the kids, so keep that project box full and ready.

The Clothespin Book by Jan Way has some adorable projects: a Toy Soldier, the cutest owls you ever saw, Raggedy Anne & Andy Dolls, a clothespin train (complete with Engine, Coal Tender, Milk Car, Tank Car, Box Car, Log Car and a Caboose) and more. Clothespin Critters and Other Fun Things by Geri Whetham is filled with ideas including: Camels, Boats, Horses, Planes, Tractors, an Astronaut and tons more. Cleverness with 3 Kinds of Clothespins from Plaid includes: Baskets, Planters, the 3 Wisemen ornaments, an eagle, an Indian Chief plaque and even more ideas. And finally there's a fantastic book from Hazel Pearson called Clothespin Dolls and Furniture including Spool Ornaments with projects like Indian Brave, Squaw, dollhouse furniture (bed, table, chair, vanity) and the neatest spool ornaments for the Christmas Tree.

If you're looking for even more Rainy Day project ideas for kids, stop by Stone Hill Collectibles and browse the shelves. I have over 1000 craft patterns now (and adding more all the time)!