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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Birthday Blocks

My niece turned one and her mom and I made a bunch of blocks for her both to serve as decorations for the party and her room but also for her to play with. Of course we went with a Diva theme, I mean, how could you not with a DOB of 90210 (Sept 2, 2010)

They started out with my favorite blocks from TJ Maxx....seen before on this blog:

Next up add, fun paper, sparkle mod podge and vinyl.... VOILA!

The spell out her name, her special day 90210, Hottie, Glamour, and a bunch of girlie images.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Little Man's Birthday

My Little Man turned FOUR! I know not a big deal..but since when did I become the parent of a 4 year old.

His party was Fireman Themed.

We had invitations created by my talented roomie. Favors were the fireman and police hats from the Dollar Bin at Target...and the best part....the homemade carnival game created by the hubs and me!

HUGE piece of plywood
Clear spray sealant

So first up, get your adorable hubby to cut out the cityscape outline.
Second figure out the placement of the windows and draw the general window form and the flame.
Beg and plead hubs to cut the shape of the flame and the outline of the window.
Have 4 yr old help you paint the flames red, orange and yellow.
Paint the cityscape with gray spray primer, gray paint and then realize it does not cover enough and go back to hardware store for glossy can paint and do it all over again....
Spray flames with sealant
Attach flames to open window with hinges.
Have Hubs and FIL rig up a stand using 2x4s.

Day of party, con niece, nephew and roommate to fill up 400+ water balloons.

The moment of truth, let 15+ 4 year old Firemen throw water balloons at the "burning building to put out the fire"

Birthday Boy taking his turn

A HUGE hit!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Teacher Gifts - Valentine's Day

A little late, but can certainly be adapted for end of year gifts, birthdays or appreciation days.  

So for my wonderful teachers this year I thought I would try to make somthing. So many great ideas out in blog land.

I decided on some chalkboard frames and some heart chalk.

Chalkboard paint
Chalk Hearts

First paint your frames with chalkboard paint. I used the spray kind.  I put 3 coats to make sure it was good and covered.  Following the directions on the can let it sit and then cure it.

Next up, make chalk hearts following this great tutorial or get lucky and find a 3 pack of heart chalk at Michael's for a whopping $0.49! that is $0.17 a heart! Go me :)

Then decorate the frame. I went with hearts to go with the theme. Write a cute message in chalk.
Last wrap your frame and chalk with pretty ribbon and Voila you are done!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer Love

Kitchen Aid Mixer, how I love thee!!

I bought my stand mixer about a year ago when we bought our house. It was my present to myself. Now, I have made many baked confections much to the dismay of my and my husband's waist line.

So it was time to branch out...

Duh Duh Duhhhhh.....Enter the Ice Cream Maker Attachment. Purchased at Amazon

OH MY GOD, it was delicious. Like never going to buy ice cream delicious!

I have some leftover vanilla beans from my homemade Vanilla extract and went to town!

1 pint of Heavy Cream
1 cup of Half and Half
3/4 cup of Sugar
Pinch of Salt
1 Vanilla Bean, split lengthwise
3/4 tsp of Vanilla Extract (used my homemade version)

Pour 1 cup of Cream in pan and add the sugar and salt.  Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add the pod to the pot.  Warm over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.

(Side note about the Vanilla Beans...they are sticky and tended to clump.  I found that if I smeared them a bit they did not end up in large hands smelled like vanilla for a day but there are worse things!)

Remove from heat and add the remaining cup of Cream and the cup of Half and Half.
Add the Vanilla extract.

Put the batter in a air tight container and in the fridge.

Next Day, add batter to your frozen bowl according to directions.  I ended up mixing for about 40 min. (The book says 20-30).

Throw it into a flat tupperware and put in freezer for a few hours.

Dish it out and top with fresh berries....OMG it was inhaled by all.

Next up, Lemon Sorbet!

Friday, May 20, 2011

New Sign

My first Upcycle Craft.

I like it!

So, I started with this that I purchased at a Goodwill store for a whopping 3 bucks. I liked the gold trim and the fact that it was a thick sign
First step, I put a layer of brown acrylic paint to cover the base
Next I streaked black and white acrylic paint. to add some dimesions...

I wanted it to look sorta like wood? Dunno, It worked.

Finally I cut my saying using SCAL. and Gold Vinyl.
Voila! It now hangs over my hall closet.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Endless Craft Possibilities

We just bought a miter saw so the possibilities have just quadrupled in my house! I can't wait to put it to good use.

A few projects I'd like to try:
Signs (name plaques, wall decorations)
Blocks and Bases for the blocks
Shelves in our linen closet
Marshmallow Guns as seen here
Memory Game

This is just off the top of my head...I know if I sit and think I will come up with oodles more!

Monday, May 9, 2011


I love to Bake. When I was pregnant with Munchkin it was the only nesting activity I could do. We had NO space for him (he slept in the pack and play in our already cramped room) so I turned to baking. I have found quite a few recipes that I love. One is a Toffee Cookie that has become a favorite.

I have made it a few different ways and I thought I'd share them with you!

Basic Toffee Cookie
2.5 cups of flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter (softened) **
1.5 cups of sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1.5 cups chopped Skor bars (8 1.4 oz bars)
** I have substitued 1/2 cup of applesauce for the butter and it was great!

1. Sift together flour, salt and baking soda. Set aside
2. Cream butter until fluffy. Add sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy. (I usually go get the eggs and come back while it is mixing) Beat in eggs one at a time, add vanilla.
3. Add 1/3 flour mix, 1/3 skor bars, and so on until all is mixed in.  Chill cookie dough for at least 1 hour.
4. Preheat oven to 350F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper ( NOT Wax paper, learned that the hard way) or Silpat. Scoop out cookie dough in small drops (about 1 inch). Make sure they are about 3 inches apart they spread like crazy!
5. Bake for 8-12 min depending on the method used (I will explain later) Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes. Move to a wire rack to cool. Package and make all your friends love you!

So now my many changes.
Silpat vs Parchment Paper: I found that parchment paper needs more time and Sil pat less. My first time using the Silpat I had mini toffe briquettes after 10 min.
Cookie Cake: I have baked it in a silicone 8x8 pan at 300F for about 30 min. I topped it with a choclate truffle sauce and then homemade whipped cream and it was divine!
Mini Mini Cakes: I have thrown them in mini muffin tins and baked them for 12- 15 min. They make lil cookie cups.
Mini Cakes: Just baked them in muffin tins (baked for 20 - 22 min) topped them with the same truffle sauce. Later when it was time to eat them, nuked them for about 10 seconds and topped with icecream it was so good!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Vinyl Love

OMG where have I been??? I purchased vinyl ages ago and was just plum scared to try it.  It looks so complicated. I was unsure how to cut it in my Cricut. I was baffled by the transfer tape. I was just unsure about it but I LOVED all the stuff in the blog world.

So for Teacher Appreciation I decided to just do it (cue uplifting music).

I bought these basic (plain) acryllic tumblers at Marshall's for $4. 

In addition I added colorful reusible ice cubes so that the Teachers can have cold drinks that don't get watered down.

Create my letters and shapes in Sure Cuts a Lot and CUT!

Next find vinyl in coordinating colors.

Attach mix and matched colors using contact paper and

Voila! Gorgeous cups ready for summer.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Ribbon Key Ring

So wandering through Michael's I found a free Take Me home instruction sheet on how to make a Ribbon Lanyard. I have seem them around the blog world and thought I could use up my stash of Ribbon!

A no Sew Ribbon Lanyard in perfect fun happy colors for Summer!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Ghetto I Spy Blanket

I am not a sew-er.  I know the basics but the sewing machine just terrifies me...I dont know why. 

I LOVE all the I spy blankets and wanted to try one for my boys.  So, what to do?

I have been playing with Heat and Bond for a while now and thought, hey, let's give that a try!

So, without further Ghetto I spy blanket.

Different fabrics cut in 5 inch squares
Heat and Bond
1 yard of fabric solid print
1 yard of fun, soft, fabric in pattern

To brainstorm my blanket I cut 24 little squares of paper and wrote on the squares the pattern and the color of the fabrics I had.  Then I was able to adjust and move the squares to where I thought they looked best.

Once I had my plan, I pulled out the 12 pieces of fabric in varying prints. I had a lot of animals and music themed fabrics.  I cut two squares of each fabric into a 5 inch square.

Next I ironed them onto heat and bond following the instructions. ** In hindsite probably would have been best to iron them onto the heat and bond and THEN cut the squares. Eliminates the ends fraying**

Now to prepre to main blanket  Lay the two fabrics on top of each other and trim the edges so that they are the same size.

Take your solid print fabric and lay it flat on a table.  Take your prepared squares and following your paper diagram lay out the squares (another idea if you are a visial person, lay out the squares on the fabric and move them around until you get them where you like them)

Now iron your heart out!

I found that it was best to do a row at time.

Next post will be the final steps...

Thursday, April 21, 2011


So, I got a bee in my bonnet and decided I wanted to try out a recipe I found on Sugar Bee who found it on Landee See Landee Do.

My office is having their "Spring" party and I thought what better way to celebrate than with Bunnies!

 They are not the best of bunnies. The third one looks like his face is melting...but they are kinda ugly cute!
 And what bunny is not complete without a little bunny tail!
AND, they taste super yummy!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hair Bows

I think I am obsessed. It is a nice way to keep my fingers busy while I sit on the couch....

Tulle hair bows!


This has not been my year...

My boys have been sick with bronchitis, sinus infections, pink eye, the runs, the flu and just about every other cold out there.

I decided that I wanted a new car the painful and expensive way by totalling my SUV.  I am fine, a little bruised and battered but nothing major.  I am now officially a Mini Van Driving Mom.  I love the new car but wish it had not come this way.

My hubby has quit his very stable state job and has decided to branch out into a small internet company, which means more hours, less health coverage and greater uncertainty.

Other than that things are good.  I am still working on a few crafts. I have been making bows out of everything. My Sister got pictures done and my SIL made a tutu and I made a matching hair bow for my lil 7 mo niece.  She is gorgeous!

I promise to come back oh great blog land.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Craft Bug

I have been elbow deep in poop which makes Crafting no fun. My oldest is being moved to a new school this Friday because we have had enough. They send him home after he poops in his pants and neither my husband nor my work is ok with us taking off daily.  He will go to the same school as my munchkin. So at least the silver lining is that I have one drop off and one pick up. Yay!

I have just started crafting a bit...I have found a new use for my laminator! I laminate little stickers and put them in things...Kinda like all the sanitizer/dish soap lables using projector sheets.

I made a few for my son's teachers as a thank you gift. (not intended to be a comment on the pooping, I swear!) I also decoupaughed some canisters to house the pen and a few other trinkets. I will post pix soon.

Last night I put together a weekly calendar using craft paper and contact paper. So easy!
Pix coming soon!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Potty Training and other fun stuff

We have been potty training the Lil Man for what feels likes years! He has just not got it.  Because of his age he needed to move to the preschool so they took him knowing he was not completely trained.  We have had the worst month ever! I kid you not, he came home with at LEAST 2 bags of soiled clothes. And it was nasty, the teacher would literally bag the poop and all. My hubby and I would trade off poop duty. Not fun.

Just this week we have not had ANY poop accidents. I want to cry and dance at the same time. I know that it may not be the end of the ordeal but to not have to clean dried poop off my son's underwear two days in a row was just heaven!

In other news my munchkin is moving to sippy cups.  He seems to get the hang of straws so we shall see. He is still very attached to his first morning bottle and his nighttime bottle.  I will cross that bridge when I get there.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hair Bows

I have become a crazy woman...I have hair bows on the brain and I don't even have girls! 

I made one for my niece-in-law (my SIL's niece), one for my colleague's daughter to match the t shirt I am making for her, I have one that I plan to give to my sister for her daughter.  Crazy bows everywhere!

It has been fun making this tutorial work for me...I made one with tulle and fabric and it made it a little different.

After I got done with fabric I very quickly made up some rolled rose clips.  My sister just cut her hair and the blue one would look great!

It has been fun. I can mindlessly sit on the couch with Lil Man while he watches his evening cartoons before bed.  Now what the heck do I do with them all?!

Monday, February 21, 2011


I have been in Canada for the last week for work. It was a very productive visit but the whole trip was ruined but an AWFUL, HORRIBLE, hopefully never reproduced flight home.  Like Air Sick awful...just in case you were wondering Barf Bags work....Yah, ick!

So, I am recuperating.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentine's Day Cards

My lil  man is a well known rockstar. Why not play on that!

Enter Picnik....and Voila, cards fit for a star!
I have had them printed at Target. I will add a baggy of candy, and we are done!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Birthday Blocks

There are so many blocks out in Blog land...I was inspired to try my own set.

Scrapbook Paper
Mod Podge

I found decorative cubes at TJ Maxx one day that was 5 bucks for five 5 inch cubes. What a steal! They said "RELAX" in pretty font. I was sure I could mold them into what I wanted.

My first attempt was to use cute birthdaypaper and cover each side.  Then using the tutorials on the web I cut the numbers for countdown blocks.

Now my kids and hubby can countdown to their very special day!
Another view

(for the bottom box I just found an old lotion box and covered it in construction paper and spelled out "birthday countown" in alphabet letters.  I wanted the blocks a little higher than the counter)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Bean Bags and Rice Warmer

I ordered some fabric scraps from a lady on Amazon and they came and they are great!  I love that I get a lot of different fabics and patterns without having to buy mass quantities.

One pattern stood out and was calling to be played with!  Cowbow Cows, super cute.

I am not a sew-er.  I can hand stitch very very minimally. I can add accents to shirts but that is about it. I may be able to sew back on a button....MIGHT.

So I thought I would try my glue gun.  I cut one squares and one rectangles of the cowboy cows. Then I cut a square and a rectangle of a matching fabric (an upcycpled play pen sheet that tore the first day we put it on the bed WTH).

Put the two fabrics right sides together and hot glued them around the edges leaving a little opening.  Once that was cool I turned it right side out. Filled one with beans and the other with rice and then glued the opening shut.

I now have two bags that my boys can throw around, or if you were my oldest, you would use them as props for your tools.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My plans for a restaurant book

With my sons just old enough to wreak havoc in restaurants we have had to find things for them to do that does not include banging spoons on the table or throwing toys around.

I have an idea that we shall see if it works.  I asked Lil Man's school to send home blank worksheets that they use to learn. Things like tracing letters, shapes and drawing his name. I plan to laminate them and stick them in a 3 ring binder.  Then I want to cut a paperdoll body with my cricut and with a metal sheet laminate it. Next I plan to cut lots of different outfits, hair, and accessories. I think I may add a I Spy page with things that would be common to restaurants.  

Ideas for Pages:
Dress the Boy
Letter Trace
Number Trace
Find the letter B (Lil Man's name starts with a B)
I spy
Trace my name
Matching Color/Shapes
Free Draw

Any other ideas. I want it to be fun but somewhat self contained.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Fish Birthday Tshirt

My colleagues husband is turning 65 this weekend. She asked if I'd could make a special shirt for him. Of course I said yes!

T shirt
Freezer paper
Sure cuts a lot

First, I found a very simple fish stencil online.

Then I traced the image using my software.  I then copied it and made the second fish a little smaller. To add a birthday touch I added birthday hats to the fish.  To do that I added a 'V' and turned it upside down. For the top of the hat I added an '*'. Voila an easy hat!

Once done I cut it with the cricut.

I like to cut my designs on paper first. I allows me to check placement, size and it shows me what size piece of freezer paper I will need.

Once I liked the size I cut it on freezer paper.

Final step is paint.  I like to use puffy paint. Gives it a little bit of depth.

The final product details...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Kids Masterpieces

I want my boys to enjoy creating and I think that means we start young.

For an easy afternoon project I let the boys go to town on their own 8x10 Canvas. 

Canvas (any size)
Paint - I used washable finger paint
Cookie Cutter (optional)

I like to put two colors on a plate and let the boys do with them as they want.

My youngest was a little disconcerted by the feel of the paint. But soon he was having fun.

My oldest loved using the cookie cutters to make shapes. But he LOVES to get it all over his hands.

And the finished products hanging in their bedroom.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Little People Magnets

I decided to pull out my Cricut and play with the cartridge Paper Doll Dress up and Everyday Paper Doll. It has been a while since I have used a cartridge; I mostly use Sure Cuts a Lot.

My Fridge has been faily bare and decided it needed some pizzazz.

With 3 adults and 2 boys in the house I figured we could all have our very own magnet. I can use the boys' to pin up their lunch schedules or art projects.

Craft Paper
Clothes pin
Hot Glue

Lil Man is my rock star, has been interested in Music since birth.  For him I created a Guitar Rock star complete with Microphone and guitar.

Munchkin is my pirate, always plundering Lil Man's toys. He gets a pirate, complete with Hat and Treasure Map.

My hubby is my knight in shining armor

My roomie is the wizard.

I cant forget me, I am Super Mommy, or so I try to be.

I made one for my sister....
Nuff Said!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Thank you notes

I love to include the birthday boy in the thank you notes.  They are both too young to write them themselves so they usually are included in the decoration.

For the first birthdy parties for both boys I let them go crazy with finger paint on plain 8.5 x 11 paper.  When their masterpieces dry I cut out squars or rectangles (depending on the size of the notecard) and and attach the drawings to the front of the notecard. I can then write and sign the inside of the card and the gift giver gets a thank you note from me and a personal drawing from the birthday boy.

Super simple but personalized.  

Monday, January 24, 2011

The plague

Our house has been visited by the plague. All four of us were coughing. sniffling and down right miserable.  I think I see the end of the tunnel...I hope to start posting again soon.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Gift Card/Picture Holder

For the holidays I created a simple gift card holder that could also double as a picture frame using my favorite dollar canvas from Michael's. These could be changed to fit your holiday. Red and Pink for Valentine's Day, Primary Colors for Teacher on..

Paper Clip
Scrapbook Paper
Hot glue

First paint your canvas, I painted my a dark blue.

Next, glue some pretty paper on your paperclip

Find matching embellishments, I used green flowers and different colored brads for the center of the flowers to match the colors in the paper.

Finally assemble.  I hot glued the paperclip to the canvas. Then arranged the flowers and hot glued those down.

For the gift card I printed a gift card holder using the Cricut that I found here...

Voila, a simple gift for teachers for the holidays!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Lamp Redo

As I recover from my Pirate Birthday weekend I will share a Lamp decoration project I put together in one night...

I was given a spectacular lamp from my MIL.  It sat on my hubby's piano and when we confiscated inherited the piano it came with it.  In my post about the dollar canvas here I took a look at the lamp. It was plain and boring.....I could snazz it up.

I have had a chunk of remnant fabric with music notes all over it forever. What better way to decorate a piano lamp than with music notes!

I followed the tutorials for two different fabric flowers I found on this page and this page using my music fabric and a little felt for pizzaz.

Once the flowers were made I took some black ribbon I had and hot glued it around the top and bottom of the lamp shade. Beginners mistake: Make sure that you start glueing the ribbon at the same place the lamp shades meet, this way you won't have to worry about covering up the lip of the ribbon....

Next I hot glued the big flower to the center. 

Because it might be fun to change out the smaller flowers I hot glued those onto alligator clips.  That way I can easily change them out for holidays or just because.

Voila, a gorgeous piano lamp!

And the best part, I can change out the smaller ribbons if I so choose!
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