Thursday, March 25, 2010

Joining Forces!!

Thanks to my sweet sister in law Kathy..she is letting me join her here on her craft blog! I am excited!
So...a couple things I have done the past couple days...
It was my son's teacher's birthday so I decided to make her this wall hanging/plaque. I saw another version on Brown Paper Packages. They did a Family Values plaque. I might get to that someday. If you want to see their version go here.

I used a wood plaque, spray painted it black. I then distressed the edges with sandpaper. Then chose a paper palette. His teacher's favorite color is black so we chose black. I chose my wording, my fonts and sizes of papers and got to work. I inked the edges before gluing them down and then mod podged the whole thing. We drilled two holes in it so I could attach some tulle for hanging it up.

This morning right before I wrapped it up I noticed I put the word "understanding" twice! Nice! I had to do a quick fix before he took it to school today. I just added the word "example" on top of it.
My newest obsession is fabric flowers. I love them for embellishments for shirts, dresses, purses, even shoes. It is a simple flower...just a strip about 1 " wide and as long as you want. The longer the strip, the bigger the flower. You just do a running stitch and then gather it to form the flower. Then stitch to secure it through the middle. Add your center...a button or a bead. I sewed a small piece of felt on the back to give it a finished look then attached a bar pin so we can switch it out on different things. The edges are supposed to be frayed. I am still searching for more flower tutorials so stay tuned....

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Easter Wreath

Last night I was so excited to stop by the Dollar Store, not because my daughter was so excited to use her allowance for some fun, cheap, toys but because I was excited to make my Easter wreath. I was so excited to find the wreath, some spanish moss, and pastel speckled eggs. I could hardly wait to start putting it together this morning.

As soon as breakfast was finished, and while I was still in my jammies, I started creating my wreath. I have never worked with spanish moss before (if I had I might not have been so excited) and didn't realize how messy it was. I did start out with newspaper undereath my work area, but the moss didn't "stick" to my wreath very well, not even with tons of hot glue. Finally though, I was able to get enough moss to stick to the wreath to add the eggs. The eggs also had a hard sticky to the moss as well. I finally got it attached to my door hanger and now have something Easter/Spring-y on my front door. However, I am not happy with the wreath. I saw one on a blog somewhere that was so cute. It was so bright and fun. I am thinking I might have to ditch this wreath and recreate another. Anyways, here's my first attempt at an Easter Wreath :)

Up Next: Take 2 of an Easter Wreath

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Latest Crafts

So the past couple of weeks I have been busy and not making crafts like I normally would. My husband, James, went to Hawaii for an entire week to visit with his Dad. We sure missed him and are glad he is back now. While he was away, I had my mom and my sisters family come and visit. We had a lot of fun and made some fun crafts, but unfortunately, James had my camera in hawaii so I couldn't take and post pictures.

While James was away, I figured I would surprise him by redecorating our room. I decided to stain the wall behind our bed because it is so plain, and James doesn't want anything on the wall over his sleeping head, so I thought staining a design would be fun. My sister-in-law, Nicole, had stained her kitchen wall and it turned out so cute, that it gave me the courage to try. It took me 4 hours to "stain" the design on using a stencil, then another hour to rub the stain to "antique" the wall. I think the time and effort was worth it. I think the wall turned out kinda fun.

I was worried the design was a little too busy, but I liked the softness the ragging created to help tone it down. (Sorry the picutre is so bad, but it was late at night and the wall obviously reflected my camera's flash)
Here is the room when James arrived home. The wall is all finished, the bedding nice and new, decorative pillows, and plants have all been added as well.
Here are my curtains. In the 5 years we have been living here, we have never had curtains so I thought it would be a fun touch. I had never hung a curtain rod by myself, so that was a fun little experience. I did however, have my mother-in-law put the curtains together for me. She did a great job using my 2 panels to form a nice "scarf" on top. The curtains have really warmed up and softened the room. . . . I love them!

Next, I made this little shirt for Katelyn. I had seen on someone's blog how they had used bleach to "color" a shirt. Katelyn has these cute butterfly pants and so I thought it would be fun to try and make a matching shirt. It didn't turn out like I had hoped, but it was my first try and since I couldn't find the blog (I looked for hours!) I just winged it. I think I'll try again, but for now, it's nice to have a $3 shirt to wear around the house. (you can't have too many of those with little kids!)

And finally, to start celebrating Easter and spring we made these fun "Bug" eggs. When I was browsing through my Oriental Trading magazine, I saw these cute bug eggs you could purchase (I beleive already filled with candy too!) I thought they were so cute. But, of course, thought it would make a fun craft so I had to copy it for myself. So I ran to the store and purchased some craft foam, traced the egg, and started decorating. I thought they were so fun! My little 5 year olds (well my child and my niece) did a great job!

Next Up: An easter wreath for my door.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pot 'O Gold

So the other day when I was looking for a "pot of gold" to go with my rainbow project. I ran across my Pampered Chef Mini-Muffin pan and thought, "this looks like a pot. . .I wonder what I could do with this" Well today, I answered myself with this: My Brownie Bite Pot 'O Gold I was feeling hungry and not just for anything but for some sweets. (As is common---just ask my nieces and nephews and they'll tell you I ALWAYS have sweets in my house.. . thankfully I have a treadmill as well!!!) So I thought I could whip up my favorite brownie recipe and bake them in my mini-muffin pan and they would look like little pots. But then what to use for gold?? Hmmm, well my Grandma White makes the most yummy Rocky Road Brownies so I thought, I could just use toasted yellow mini-marshmallows on top. And when I thought of marshmallows, I remembered recently seeing a recipe for Marshmallow Frosting. I decided I needed to try something new so I figured to just go for it and make the frosting. So I headed over to Jonna's blog and made her Marshmallow Frosting and tinted it yellow, then into a ziplock bag it went (with a snipped off corner) and then I frosted my "pots" with some gold. I must admit, they were a bit of work and I wish I could say it was all worth it. I think next time, I'll just try adding those yellow mini-marshmallows and toasting till golden and gooey. But all in all, a fun little project to honor good 'ol St. Patrick.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Somewhere over the rainbow

Today for our craft project we made rainbows. We just hand sketched a rainbow with clouds and cut out. Then glued on stretched out cotton balls for clouds. Next, we cut our construction paper into squares and scrunched up, then glued the squares onto paper using Elmers glue. It is one of those fun and easy projects that doesn't take a whole lot of supplies, but adds some fun to your walls, windows, or doors. Next to this rainbow, is our pot of gold. It was another easy fun project. I just cut a toilet paper tube into 3 equal parts. (then decided to trim it down a little to look a little more like a pot.) Next, I cut out a strip of black construction paper the same size as the tube and glued the paper onto the tube. Then I traced the bottom of the tube onto the black paper and cut out the circle and glued onto the bottom of the tube. While that was drying, I took my lovely helpers outside to help me gather up some small rocks. Then we spread out the newspaper and pulled out my leftover gold spraypaint (from the giant snowflakes made from popsicle sticks we made back in December) and sprayed our rocks gold. After they were finished drying, we added the "gold" to our pot.
And just for fun, we posed our "wee leprechaun" from last weeks craft project next to it for a fun little scene.

I have a small shelf on my kitchen wall above my table that I love to use to celebrate holidays. Each month, I usually change out all the decorations for whatever holiday is coming up. It's so fun to see all the fun crafts and projects we have done the past couple of years displayed on our shelf. (There are some things that I have purchased to decorate as well. )
So here it is, my St. Patrick's day shelf. I think it's pretty cute. Although in the picture you can't see our "Wee Leprechauns" very well, but I think the girls have done a great job!

Friday, March 5, 2010

St. Patty's Crafts Week 1

One of my favorite past times is surfing the craft blogs out there in blogland. One of my favorite blogs is the Idea Room. Amy, has SO many ADORABLE and AMAZING crafts on this site. So for Valentines I saw this amazingly cute valentines wreath and really wanted to make one. However, I didin't ever go to JoAnn's to pick up the styrofoam heart to make the wreath. However, now that St. Patricks day is coming up, I thought I would steal the idea to make this St. Patricks day clover for my door. (Thanks, Amy, for such a great idea!!!)
Not quite finished project. So, I'll give you the details on how I made it, just in case any of you desire to make one too :)

First I took a plain piece of paper, folded in half, and cut out a heart shape. Next I took 3 styrofoam circles and made sure my paper heart template fit.
Then I cut out each of the three hearts using a standard kitchen steak knife. (I know, I use really technical and specialized equipment!) ;)

Next, I put the three hearts together and used one of the excess piecess as a clover stem and glued together. (I'm sure a tacky glue would have been better, but I'm a glue gun kind of girl!)

I purchased 6 sheets of green felt and used a small cup to trace 12 circles on each sheet. I ended up with 72 circles. Just barely enough for my clover. After all the circles were cut out, I folded each circle in half, then half again, and pushed a straight pin into the "rose bud" and into the styrofoam. I lined the outer edges (making sure it overlapped to cover up the styrofoam sides) then filled the insides.

And finally, I brushed some glitter over the tops and hot glued a piece of ribbon onto the back to hang from my door hanger.

And Voila, here it is on my door! Sorry the picture isn't very good. It was a grey, dreary day but I think it looks St. Patricks-y. :)
(Amy, at the Idea Room did a much better job on her tutorial, so you might want to check it out here.)

Next, Family Fun had this cute throw-back to the 80's with this hair barrette.
I made it in navy and white because those are my daughter's school uniform colors, but I thought it would be so fun in shades of green, or green and white for St. Patty's day. You can get the instructions here.

And again from Family Fun here are the "Wee Leprechauns" we made.

I thought the 5 year olds (Lauren and Paige) did a great job making these. Although, I wouldn't really suggest these for children much younger. I would also suggest all the pieces be cut out and ready to go before starting as my children were bored easily. (Family Fun, painted the toilet paper tubes green, however, I just glued green construction paper onto mine so I wouldn't have the mess of paint, as well as the wait time for them to dry. I think they turned out pretty cute anyways!)
Click here for instructions on making these cute "Wee Leprechauns"

Friday, February 26, 2010

Piece de Resistance

So it's not a masterpiece, and definitely not my best work, but to cap off our animal week we made this caterpillar cake. Thank you to my sweet sister Leisa for this fun cake pan! This is one of those projects that I'm excited to try but once I start, I get discouraged because it's not turning out the way I expected and when I'm halfway through I don't care how it looks anymore I just want it to be done. Thankfully for me, I have small children who clap their hands and say "good job Mom!!' when I'm finished. :)

A perfect book to go along with this cake is "The Hungry Caterpillar" but sadly, we don't have it. So we are reading a cute book called "You're My Little Love Bug"

I hope you enjoyed animal week. Next week we'll start celebrating St. Patricks Day!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Good Clean Fun

Alright, this is where I can show everyone that I really don't come up with these cute ideas all on my own. Some projects I have seen years ago and can't remember where, and others like this cute activity I have found from other wonderfully creative people out in blogland.

Christina, at A Family filled with Love & Fun had this super cute idea---Bathsoap and Markers. We didn't make the bath markers (because that's usually our sidewalk paint) But we loved the idea of bathtub crayons. To go along with our animal theme, I decided to turn them into cute animal bath soaps.

To get all the wonderful instructions on how to make these cute bathsoaps/crayons visit Christina's website here.

(She has a lot of great and wonderful ideas so check out her blog!)
---She used Dove soap. I used Ivory (because it was white and inexpensive) but it seemed a little too soft. I think I'll try it again with Dove this time.

Next up: Homemade suckers. We had a lot of fun making and eating them! If anyone out there hasn't made homemade suckers, I hope I can motivate you to try it. It is pretty easy, but does require a few things like a candy thermometer, candy extract, sucker sticks, and sucker molds. (If any of you neighbors want to try before you buy, you are more than welcome to borrow mine)

First: Mix 2 cups sugar, 2/3 cups light corn syrup, and 3/4 cups water in saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissoves. Bring mixture to a boil without stirring.

When syrup temperature reaches 260 degrees add color.

Do not stir; boiling action will incorporate color into syrup. Remove from heat at 300 degrees (or when drops of syrup form hard, brittle threads in cold water.) ***After boiling action ceases, add flavoring and stir. Use caution when adding flavoring to avoid rising steam.

Pour syrup into lightly oiled candy molds

or onto greased cookie sheet and score to mark squares. When cool, break into pieces

and dust with powdered sugar to prevent sticking. Store in airtight container.

Here are our finished bear suckers. We wrapped them in "Cling" wrap and put in a cute vase on our counter.

To go with our animal theme, we have also read the 3 Little Bears, and our Berenstein Bears books. We have also checked out some Bearnstein Bear movies from our local Library as well as The Swan Princess to go with our Swan Cream Puffs from Tuesday's post.

Up next: We'll start getting ready for St. Patricks day by making some Wee Leprachauns and Clover stamps.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Animal Theme

Since this past week has been rainy and grey, I thought it would be fun to do some animal themed snacks and crafts. So here's a little peek into what we did this week.

For lunch we had Octopus and Seaweed
We just made up a package of Ramen Noodles, dyed with a little blue food coloring (in the water before noodles were added) Then made hotdogs and split with knife to form legs, then used mustard to dab on some eyes and a smile.

Next we made bathtub floaties. I took this idea from Family Fun. Click here for instructions.
Then for dessert we had Cream Puff Swans

Just make cream puffs like normal. Spoon some batter into a plastic sandwhich bag and snip off a small corner. (Mine was a little too big, so this swan has a huge head!) Then squeeze batter out of bag into an "2" (This way you have a head and the bottom sticks into the bottom of the cream puff) . Then spoon remaining batter onto greased baking sheet into rounded mounds and bake. When they have cooled, split in half. Remove the insides from the bottom half and add swan head (the #2's) into bottom half. Fill with pudding. Then cut the top half into half again, making "swan wings" Add "wings" into the bottom and dust with powdered sugar.

We also like to read books so in keeping with our animal theme we read a book entitled "Animal Babies in ponds and rivers" and The Ugly Duckling.

Still to come: Homemade suckers in animal shapes, bathsoaps in animal shapes, and animal sun catchers.


Hi everyone and welcome to my new blog Snacks-n-Crafts. I wanted a place where I could keep track of all my fun snacks and crafts. I wanted it to be an organized and easy-to-use reference for future crafts as well. I hope you'll enjoy this new blog.