Saturday, April 23, 2011

Calling Summer...

With only 32 days left of school I thought I might get ready for summer by...making the perfect summer clip!  A pinwheel hair clip to be exact.  My friend, Jenn found this and I jumped on it!  It's a little more complicated that the korker hair bow but so fun and super cute.  This was my first try at it and as much as I am proud- I know I have room for improvement.  It includes fabric and exact measurements and lines... AHH!!! The tutorial I followed was at The Mother Huddle,  who is amazing!  Enjoy!

Monday, April 18, 2011

In Lola's Honor

In honor of Natalie's newest friend arriving earlier today I thought I might share one of my favorite projects I've done with her (and one of the firsts).  You always hear parents say- "I don't remember how small they are at the beginning"...and you don't!  It's a bittersweet feeling but I think this will allow you to hold onto a side of that feeling...
I used a water based ink on a super small and cute canvas and then my hubby sprayed it with gloss...
*Now it's not as easy as it looks.  Natalie was 3 months old when this was done so she was squirming but the best part about that ink is if you smudge you can wipe it off with a towel...


Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Cottontail Cake

I love all of the seasonal Funfetti cakes.  For Valentine's Day- Natalie and I baked one in the shape of a heart.  It was super cute and SO YUMMY!  We went to Target today and this was an impulse buy- super cheap and super easy...  I decided to make a layered 8" round cake.  Simple enough.  I thought I left enough time for it too cool but I still got crumbs in the icing...Need improvement there.  I placed a bunny cookie cutter (which I love- so many uses!) on the top and filled it with the spring decor toppers.  I liked how it turned out- sorry about shadow- I was so excited to upload it.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Mini Korkers

So, I haven't mastered the soldering gun yet so the edges are burnt (just a little) and for some reason they are lop sided even though they have the same amount of ribbon but it's my first try...
A big thank you to Michael Creations who helped me figure out the dimensions and lengths...

Friday, April 15, 2011

A New Way of Wrapping

I love finding neat things to add to presents and I found that with these gift labels I found on Zulily.  They are made by Erin Condren and she's AMAZING!!!  Of course I had to add a korker (my newest obsession).  I know it looks like a bottle of wine- it's actually a barbie and a tee...I need a wrapping 101 class pronto!

Easter Egg Decor

I love when I go to parties and the kids have made the decorations.  A couple years ago- I had my niece help me do the name cards for our Thanksgiving table.  I traced her hand and turned them into turkeys.  They were SUPER cute and everyone loved them.
Here is an adjustment on this project which I love but my husband convinced me not to go empty Lowe's and Home Depot's paint department in fear I might be placed on "THE LIST"...
After putting the Easter garland together I realized this could be easily done with many of the major holidays- you would obviously have to change the color scheme.

This is what you will need:
- Water colors (one with lighter colors)
- Paint brushes
- Cup of water
- White crayon
- Egg tracer (I used this one)
- Pencil
- Scissors
- Small hole punch
- Ribbon or yarn

I first drew a line down the middle a 26 x 3 1/2 piece of paper using a white crayon.  This helps the colors stay separate (crayon resist).
My garland has only 2 colors- the kids will have a variety of colors.
The kids chose 2 colors- one for the top and one for the bottom.
I let them dry and then cut them into 2 1/2 strips (which fits the egg tracer nicely).  I got 9 eggs out of each strip.
I then traced the egg on one paper, layer the rest underneath alternating the colors (flipping the paper), stapled them and cut them out.
I put 2 hole punches in each egg and strung them onto the yarn.
SUPER CUTE, SUPER EASY, and the kids LOVED it!

A Cuter Place for Bills or Bows

Memo Pads
I've made a few of these.  They are super easy and so cute!  I have one at Christmas time to display all of our Christmas cards, one in our daughter's room that has pictures of her and her friends and one in her bathroom to organize her bows.  There are a lot of sites that offer video tutorials.

Here are a couple examples:



For My Little Artist

While searching for something for work, I came across this project.  Toddler Crayons!  My husband and I kept thinking Natalie needed a chunkier crayon to color with but the ones out there look like they would crumble or they weren't worth the price.  So I made these.  Super easy!  The part that took the most time was unwrapping the crayons and breaking them.  I would say I used 4 boxes of crayons.  Put them in cupcake/muffin tins or if you have shaped tins- that would be even cuter!  I've also seen them done with different colors.  My green turned out a little marbled- which I like.  Set the oven to 325 and put them in for about 12 minutes.  Check to make sure that all the crayons have melted and VOILA!

*My friend has also made these using the shaped tins...



Krazy for Korkers!

We went to The Florida State Fair in February and I picked up some really cute curly bows- which I found out later are called KORKERS.  So the WEEK of The Orange and Blue game I decided Natalie needed a new bow for her first game and after looking everywhere on the web for a local place I found NOTHING.  So I started looking for korker bow tutorials and they are SUPER EASY and fun to make!  
This is what you will need:
3/8" Ribbon (I used grosgrain ribbon)
3/8" dowels (You can find them at any craft store- you just will need to cut them to size- mine were 18 in.)
Binder clips (Medium or small- large are too big)
Alligator clips (I found mine at Sally's)
Hot glue gun
And not pictured- a solder gun (to prevent fraying- fray glue can be used as well but can be messy)
Needle and thread  
Drawer liner
Start by pre-heating your oven to 250 degrees.  Wrap your dowels with your ribbon until covered and attach the binder clips (one on each side).  Bake for 20 minutes.  Take them out and let them FULLY cool.
Gently unwrap the dowels.  Lay your ribbon out on a flat surface.  
NOTE-The first bow I did I made a 5 curl cut (cut after each 5th curl) but it was a little too long so the second one I made a 4 cut curl and it looked much better.
NOTE- This would be the step where you would solder the edges.
The tutorial I watched said to use a large needle- all I had was an embroidery needle and that worked fine.
Thread your needle and start layering your bow.  The spot where your start sewing the ribbon together will end up being the bottom on your bow.  Rotate the ribbon as you add them and once you have all the ribbon on your needle go ahead and do a couple rounds to make sure the ribbon is secure.  Go up and down NOT around the ribbon.
Wrap your alligator clip with flat ribbon and glue down.  Make sure to go completely inside the mouth of the clip and loosely around the edge so it can open and close without restrictions.  Apply some hot glue to the top of the clip and then attach korker ribbon.  Apply a thin strip of the drawer liner on the inside of the slip- it helps prevent slipping.  AMAZING TIP!


Trick or Treating for Adults

I always love using Natalie in my crafts- especially the ones I give away.  So around her first Halloween I got the idea to give out candy to my girls at work...

Halloween Candy Tags
I've done these the past 2 years.  The first year, I did footprint art.  I put white paint on her foot and stamped it on black paper- I them colored it to look like candy corn.  I added this to a small bag of candy corn.  This picture was taken before I colored it.


This past year I did palm print pumpkins.  I put orange paint on her palm only and stamped it on white paper.  Cut it out, add a stem (brown paper bag) and a leaf (small green button).  I added this to a small bag of candy corn.


Happy Candy Day!

This is more suited as a conversation piece rather than functional piece.  I think I broke 4 tops while making 3 candy holders...UGH!  

Candy Corn Holder
I found this craft online.  It was really easy to make.

This is what you will need:
1 small terracotta pot
1 small pot saucer
1 wooden doll head
1 small glass container
Epoxy glue
Black spray paint
Halloween ribbon

First paint the pot, saucer, and doll head and let dry.  Place the pot upside down and affix the glass on the top with the open side up.  Glue the doll head on the saucer.  Fill container with candy corn and top with saucer.  The top will slide off and if it lands correctly- it will break.  I put a couple dots of hot glue on the inside of the saucer so it wouldn't slide. 

Homemade Halloween

A Homemade Pippi Longstockings
I loved making this!  It was for her second Halloween.  Her first was very "pick a cute costume- force her to wear it".  So I wanted to make this one- well at least as much as I could.

This is what you will need:
White onesie
2 unmatched knee high socks
Tutu (if you have one- a jean skirt or overalls would work as well)
A Fabric Bundle
Brown eyeliner

First cut the fabric into squares and attach with hot glue.  Then add the buttons on top.  Try to do it as randomly as possible.  As you can see- it was hard for me.  Use extra fabric for hair accessories.  If you can get pig tail braids- do it and add wire.  Add freckles using the eyeliner- again be random. 


Some Thankful Ideas

I know Thanksgiving is MONTHS away but these are too cute not to share now! 

A Perfect Pumpkin Pie...or is it?
I found this in a magazine.  It's actually a chocolate chip cookie (the recipe calls for sugar- too plain for me) with orange tinted butter cream icing and a dollop of cool whip.  Then decorated with pecans.  But I fooled you- didn't I...
You can find a big cookie sheet at any craft store- I found mine at JoAnn's.

Thankful Stones
I made these for a friend who adopted my class this year.  It turned out really cute.  I love how personalized you can get with it.  

This is what you will need:
A bag of river rocks 
Acrylic paint
Paint pen
Charger plate or basket

First paint the rocks.  I left a little unpainted around the edges.  Using the paint pen, write things you (or the recipient) are thankful for.  You can also monogram one for each person in the family.  I googled "things to be thankful for" and got a bunch of ideas.  Then spray them with the sealant and let them dry.  It's a cute center piece for Thanksgiving.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

For Little Lola

For Lola's arrival:
I was asked to do the favors for my good friend's baby shower.  I quickly accepted!  She's having a little girl who will be named Lola Emma.  The color theme was pink and brown so we had Godiva gems wrapped in 2 shades of pink tulle with a brown ribbon tied to the tag that read: 
"Thanks for celebrating the arrival of our little gem"
In the center was her initials.

A Sesame Street Second

A Sesame Street Invite:

Here is the party invitation for Natalie's 2nd birthday party:
A Sesame-tastic Birthday Party 
Natalie's birthday party was this past weekend and it was awesome!  We had great weather, amazing kids, and good friends that helped us celebrate Natalie's big day.  Just like the invite it was a Sesame Street themed party.  Here are a few things I did for the party:
These are the table decorations.  My husband spray painted terra cotta pots to match Big Bird, Cookie, Abby, Elmo and Zoe's color.  Then we added googly eyes and pieces of foam to make them come to life.  Then I filled them with things that each of them are known for.  To make the googly eyes stay in a certain place (i.e.- Cookie), my husband punctured the back of the eye- place the black part where he wanted it and squeezed hot glue in the hole so it would stay.  This what a lot of work but a lot of fun and I am happy how they came out. 



Here are the favor bags.  I got the background from site (when you click on each Muppet it takes you to a page with info of them- I right clicked the shape and was able to copy it to my desktop).  I opened a Microsoft word document and inserted the picture and a text box with the words I wanted.  I did the same thing for the table decorations and just added a poem I wrote for each.
I filled them with bubbles, a Sesame Street bookmark- I printed out and laminated from the site and also I used cookie cutters on some cooked cookie dough and each child got their name.  (i.e.- Natalie would have gotten 7 letters to spell her name.)  The trick is to cook the cookie dough leaving the edges exposed- and when they are done- punch the cookie letters into the dough and carefully pull them apart.  I was going to have a station where the kids could decorate them but we decided on a bounce house instead...


And then there was the cake!  A friend and her Mom baked and decorated it.  After researching Sesame Street cakes, I decided that I did not want any characters- I just don't like how they turn out.  So I wanted "N is for Natalie" on it, polka dots, stars, and 2's.  I loved how it turned out and it was SO YUMMY!!!


A Polka Dot First

First Birthday Decor

For our daughter's First birthday I planned a Polka Dot extravaganza.  I found the Polka Dot Market (see Favorite Sites) in the process.  Here are a few of the decorations I did.


The Kitchen Can Be Fun...

Things can be fun in this room.  The oven and I are still not BFF's but that's ok, right?

An Eco-friendly Soap Dispenser:
I'm not a green thumb nut- far from it.  But when I saw this on TV- I had to try it.  I know- I should of tried it with a different color soap- but this is all I had.  I mixed in a bottle of hand soap so it's not so hard on your hands and it's multi-use (I hate having all those bottles- dawn, hand soap and germ-x on the counter).  
This is what you'll need:
- A mason jar and top
- Hand soap pump
- Hole saw (make sure the diameter of the saw matches the inner diameter of the pump)
- Soap
My husband did this project...  
He used the hole saw to make a hole in the top of the jar top.  He then pushed both parts of the pump together so they fit snug.  DONE!


End of the Year Crafts

Here are a few crafts I have done for my Room Moms and my students for the end of the year.  I have a STAR theme in my classroom so I love stars- and this brick was so cool to make.

Family Brick
I did this last year for my Room Mom's family.  I used one of my Ed Emberley books for the art.  The kids loved doing it!  It can be used as a door holder for those nice breezy days!


You're A Star!
I made this for my students at the end of the year.  They picked that paint, I painted and monogrammed them.  This can easily be a birthday favor or a rainy day activity.

Sending Japan Some Hope

I came across OshKosh B'Gosh's Cranes for Kids: Giving Hope to the Children of Japan program and I couldn't help but get involved.  Here's the dish: 
Go to OshKosh B'Gosh and download the directions to make your very own crane.  When you have finished making it you can send it to OshKosh or drop it off at a store near you. 
OshGosh will donate a piece of clothing for every crane they get by April 25!
So get folding and send some hope to Japan.
* My Kindergarten students "helped" me do these.  They colored and decorated the 8x8 piece of paper I gave them and did the first 4 folds then I finished it up for them.  They loved watching it turn into a crane. 

My plain one...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

New Kid on the Block

I feel like breaking out into song (In particular "The Right Stuff")... I am new to the blog world and I am loving it so far!  I am so inspired and impressed by all of the other blog sites I FREQUENTLY visit.  It's no walk in the park though- but I enjoy learning new things- like creating and linking my own blog button.  I have a blog button- WHO KNEW!  :)  I think I have met my fill though...