Saturday, December 31

Top five tips for organizing for New Year!

So what are your New Year's Resolutions? 
With the New Year coming I have been thinking on this and I decided that the main resolution for me should be to better organize and prioritize my time.  That will be an ongoing goal since you can always find room for improvement when it comes to that.  I  have browsed the land of blogs and pinterest and have come up with some links that can show us some tips on organizing and prioritizing our time.  Here are 5 of the top tips/links to organization that I found helpful:

 #1:  Over at Tip Junkie - Laurie has given us 32 of her favorite tips on organizing tips.  The one I know I will be implementing is the errand clipboard and the recipe binder.  You should see my recipes they are scattered into a million different folders, etc. 

#2: The next is a phone charger made from an old bottle of lotion.  I always have baby wash bottles that are going in the trash and what a great way to re-use one to get the phone off the counter and out of the way!  Thanks to inhabitat for showing us how to make this!


#3:  Is an article found at Wall Street Journal about the 25 Documents you need before you die.  I know, I know it is a morbid subject but how many of us want to leave our children or spouse the burden of taking care of it all if the unmentionable happens?

#4:  Is a weekly cleaning list that Ashley over at shared with us on a post about the chores of cleaning the house when she was put on bed rest.  I like having a checklist to mark things off as I do them because then I can see what I accomplished. 

Pinned Image

#5:  This last idea was uploaded by a user on pinterest and I thought it was an awesome idea to easily hang up and put notes on without taking up a lot of space for a calendar.  It is also inexpensive so it has another check in my book. 

Thanks everyone for the ideas and I hope you can comment with your New Year's resolutions so you can give me even more help this year! 

Thursday, December 29

Yet another birthday...cake!

First, I wanted to thank everyone for your support and thank all the followers and readers for helping me with this blog.  I appreciate your support and your comments and I hope this next year will be even better with more crafts and fun for you and me.

So onto my post - my boy #2 had his birthday yesterday and I always ask them what they want for their birthday cake.  He had told me that he wanted a monster truck cake for forever and so I had a few ideas about what to do and was not stressing about it.  Then after Christmas was done, I asked him again what he wanted as his cake and he said that he wanted a Dinosaur cake.  His birthday was the next day and I had not a clue what to do so off to pinterest I go.  I love that site!  I found a cake that looked pretty simple but cute for here and decided to make it.  The only other request that he had was that he wanted it green with blue dots and it had to have teeth.  So I cooked the main cake in a bowl and made the head out of rice crispies and the tail is just from rolled fondant.  I think it turned out cute and I know that he loved it.  So let me know what you think. 

Thanks for reading,

Friday, December 9

Snowmen ornaments

I mentioned in my last post about ornaments that I had made for my annual ornament party and that I had hoped to post my ornaments that I am making for this year's party.  Well, here they are!  I saw on pinterest (the link is to some cute snowmen made by using blocks of wood and burlap hats so I decided to make a minature version for the ornaments. 

Supplies used:
burlap (8" x 4 1/2") for cap
cream paint
orange, black, and white paint for face
blocks of 2x4 (1 1/2" wide)
hot glue

I used 2x4s of course... and cut them to be around 1 1/2 inches wide.  Then I sanded them and painted them a cream color.  So they looked like this:

I then painted the face on them.  I used the wrong end of the paint brush to make the circles and carrot for the nose so it turned out like this:

Next, I used my trusty hot glue gun to glue the piece of burlap for the cap.  I folded it about 1/2 inch and placed it around an inch from the top of the block.  Starting on the back I put the folded side towards the bottom and then glued it all around.  Lastly, I used a piece of twine to tie the cap.  This is the finished product:
I loved how they turned out and think that I might have to make the larger version of this anyway.  What do you think?

Enjoy your crafts!

Tuesday, November 29

Ornaments of Christmas past....

I have a friend (thanks Melissa Fossat) that introduced me to the idea of an Ornament and Cookie party!  The party was so much fun that I stole the idea and started doing one of my own.  The idea is the invite 12 people total to the party and have each of them bring 12 ornaments and 24 cookies.  The ornaments are usually something homemade and the same with the cookies.  You bring the ornaments and cookies and swap them with each other so you end up with 12 ornaments and 24 cookies - one from each of the people attending and one of your own.  This is my third or fourth year hosting the party and it is one party that my sisters ask if I plan on hosting again every year.  It is going to be a tradition for a long time.  So I thought I would post ornaments that I have made from the parties in Christmas past. 

Ornament #1:  2x4 Christmas Tree

First I cut some scrap 2x4s into triangles using the chop/miter saw.  It is the same technique used in the 2x4 candy corn post.  Then I painted them green and splattered some white onto them to frost them a bit.  Then I distressed the edges.  Next, I drilled a hole in the top of the tree to put the ribbon through to hang on the tree.  Last I put a roofing nail in the bottom for the trunk and tied a Christmas ribbon on the trunk.  Here is the finished project:

Ornament #2:  Silver snowflake

This was the easiest of the 3 to make.  It involved going to the craft store and finding some snowflakes that were already cut out and spray painting them silver.  Then I added a Christmas ribbon so they could hang on the tree.  Easy as pie!  I don't know why they have that saying - I don't find making pie that easy- anyway...  Here is the finished project:

Ornament #3:  Fabric Candy canes

This was a time consuming ornament because of the sewing.  Everytime I sew I usually take twice as long as someone else because I usually have the re-thread the machine - kids help me un-thread it ;), and I usually have to pick some stitches out because I am that good.  So I found 4 different fabrics that I thought looked good together and kind of christmasy and sewed a long line of them together.  I then used a template (this one was a cookie cutter) and cut out the ornaments.  I cut out another fabric for the back and started sewing.  I used a zigzag stitch of these so I would not have to turn them and stuffed the candy cane when I got to the top.  At the top I also added a ribbon to (you guessed it!) hang from the tree.  Here is the finished project:

I loved how these 3 ornaments turned out and I hope that when I come up with another idea for this year's party I can share it with you.  Here is some creative vibes to you this season and I hope I get some too.  Enjoy!


Sunday, November 20

Candy Monogram on a Frame

Candy Monogram!
So I am loving the candy wreaths, presents, etc out in the blog world and so I knew that I wanted to make something using candy this year for a decoration.  What is cheaper right than running down to the dollar store and buying a package of peppermint candy?  This project used around a package and a half so the kiddos were happy because they got some candy out of the deal too.  Here is the supply list for this project:

Piece of cardboard (size depends on the size of the letter you make)
Spray paint or anyother kind of paint

I started out by freehanding the letter G to the piece of cardboard - that is why it is not perfect but oh well, I will tell myself that it adds to the charm ;).  Then I spray painted the cardboard letter lightly so the cardboard would not show through in between the candy.  Next, I hot glued the candy onto the cardboard letter.  Then I added a bow to the letter, and last I attached to a frame that I had.  I love the silver frame and how it accentuates the silver in the bow.  That is all!  I can't decide if I want to hang it on the wall or if I want it in the plate holder.  I am showing it in the plate holder. 

Cheap (total cost of $3 for me since I had the frame, cardboard, and spray paint on hand)

Let me know what you think!  I love to get your comments! 

Monday, November 14

Burlap & Sweater Trees!

So I had 3 of the stryofoam cones left and I was thinking about what I wanted to do with them.  I saw an old sweater and an idea was born.  I love how the old sweaters can be upcycled into pillows, etc so I wanted to use it for a tree.  I wanted to do it in a group of three because that is a good number and so I needed to come up with another idea to cover the tree with.  So I came across an idea for printing on burlap and there was the other covering!  Here are the supplies that I needed for this project:

3 Styrofoam cones
old sweater
paper or felt for the pattern
hot glue gun

I first traced a pattern using a piece of felt that I had and marked it to make a rough pattern for the trees.  I then cut out 3 of the patterns- 2 burlap and 1 using the sweater.

I then printed on the burlap using the stamp and ink making a pattern.  I did this on both of the burlap pieces.  I also had 3 snowflakes to use at the top of each tree and inked the edges of these also.

Using the hot glue gun, I glued the burlap onto 2 of the cones.  I then glued the snowflakes on the top.

For the sweater tree, I ended up sewing it on the top and sides so it would slide onto the cone.  Then glued the snowflake onto the top.  Here are the finished trees.   These are going to look great on a table or the fireplace mantle...I think. :)
It's beginning to look alot like Christmas.....

Monday, November 7

Winter Wonderland Wreath!

With the arrival of snow in my neck of the woods it reminded me of Christmas but I knew that even though the stores are gearing up for Christmas it is a little early for me.  So I wanted to make a craft that could go through Christmas and be something that is not overly Christmasy (if that is a word).  This craft will work because it isn't over the top Christmas but says snow and winter to me.  I started with these supplies:

Cheap picture frame (without glass and backing)
Grapevine to make the wreath
wooden snowflakes
ribbon (red and gold tulle)
bells *which I found at the dollar store in a pack of 9

I started by forming a wreath using the grapevine to fit into the picture frame.  I used twine to hold the top in place and hot glued it at the top and bottom to the frame. 

Next, I tied the bells with the twine to the wreath using different lengths to add interest.  I then added some ribbons to the top of the bell.
Lastly, I painted the wooden snowflakes and hot glued them to the wreath.  I also added some of the honeycomb (brown color) of paint to the frame to distress it and make it look a little more interesting to me and added a burlap bow!

That's it!  Here is a picture of the Winter Wonderland wreath on my wall.  I love how it turned out and I might have to make some more to sell.  What do you think?

Enjoy your crafting!

Wednesday, November 2

Monster of a birthday!

So my baby boy turned one over the weekend so I was busy planning a party.  I love it when they turn one and they tear into the cake or get freaked out by it.  I was in the hospital last Halloween so this year I wanted to get into the spirit by throwing my baby boy a party with a Halloween theme.  What is more Halloween than Monsters?  Besides, He is my little monster!  So I used some ideas for decorations from other websites (pinterest is going to be the death of me) and his party was born. 

First, I started with the decorations!  I followed the idea of my mummy wrapped candy bar and wrapped a vase like it so It looked like a mummy.  Then I used some toliet paper rolls and with some scrap paper and googley eyes some monsters were born.  Last for the decorations that I want to show you was a mason jar that I wrapped in string and spray painted black with some halloween ribbon the tops.  This was also a idea from pinterest.  Check them out:

Next came the cake!  I let the kids pick out what their cake is going to be and then I attempt to make it.  Since my baby is only one then I make a small cake just for them and cupcakes for everyone else.  Going with the theme of monsters I created simple cupcakes with a royal icing decoration from the Ace of Cakes guy.  Sorry, I can't remember his name but they were darling and so much saved work for me.  The cake I made using a round metal bowl and then piped stars on it to give the monster a fur-like texture.  I added a marshmallow with a black dot using food coloring for the one eye and licorice for the mouth.  My husband told me to put the teeth with a space between them because our cutie has the same space in between his front teeth, this was marshmallow also.  The horns and arms were made by melting chocolate and piping it onto wax paper and then freezing it.  I then just put them in the cake.  Here are the cupcakes and cake:

He totally enjoyed the cake even after a scare with trying to grab the candle when it was lit.  I love their messy faces!  Hope you enjoyed your Halloween weekend and you had a 'monster' of a time.  Corny I know!

Tuesday, October 18

Various easy Halloween crafts!

This week I did a few random crafts for Halloween that were easy to the budget and easy to do.  First I made a cake platter using an idea that is all over the blogging world.  These are the supplies that I used to make it:

I then put a liberal amount of glue around the base of the candle pillar and pressed the plate down.  I turned the plate upside down so I could better center it on the candle pillar.  Isn't it so cute!  The finished picture would have had some cupcakes on it to display but I ate them.  What can I say - I am a junk food fiend.  So you are going to have to settle for apples.

I love how it gives the plate a little height and makes it a display!

Second, I made a cute treat for some neighbors.  I am in charge of an activity for some girls in my church and we thought about doing the 'Boo' activity for some people in the neighborhood but we wanted to do around 12 and our budget isn't all that extensive so this idea was born. 
These are the supplies needed along with tape and glue dots for the eyes:

I made these Halloween mummies and they ended up costing around 75 cents a piece so we are giving 2 mummies with a tag attached that says "Some 'mummy' loves you!  Happy Halloween!".  I would love getting chocolate and I hope the people that get it will too.  What do you think?

Hope you enjoy your Halloween season and go get your craft on!

Tuesday, October 11

Leafy Tree for Fall!

Sorry for the wait on the post but I have been busy with some other things.  I have been canning - salsa and raspberry jam.  I love fall with all the things going on and the smell of salsa in the house.  So onto the blog post- I had this idea as I was driving home the other day from eating lunch with my honey.  I had a couple styrofoam cones left over from a trip to the Dollar Store and I remember that some blog used some fall leaves to cover a wreath.  Well, why not cover the cone and make a fall tree?  So first I bought some fall leaves at -- you guessed it! - the Dollar Store and I already had the styrofoam cone so so far I am into this craft $3.00!  I came home and started making it by hot gluing on the leaves to the cone.  I started at the bottom and worked my way up.  After I had covered it once, I added some more to fill it out.  I then found an old candle pillar and put it on there.  Here is the finished picture! 

I had some leaves left over so I added some to a grapevine wreath and used some gold tulle and made this cute wreath too. 

I still have some so I might have to try a cute table runner that I saw with burlap and fall leaves.  Hmmmm - decisions, decisions.  :)  Hope you enjoy the project and enjoy your crafting!

Tuesday, September 20

Easy Paper Pumpkin

So I have been seeing fabric pumpkins everywhere in the blogging world and I have been telling myself that I want to try making it but I don't have as much cute fabric as I do paper.  I am a paper addict - I admit it and I know that it is a problem so I need to make more using paper.  So I had an extra styrofoam ball from the candy corn topiary and thought - hmmm pumpkin!  So here comes some Modge Podge, scrapbook paper, and the stryofoam ball.  
First, I cut some strips of paper out - they were 1 1/4" by 12".  That fit around the ball that is 4 inches.   

Next, I cut off some of the bottom so the ball would lay flat.

Then, I started to Modge Podge the strips of paper and put them on the ball.  I used some pins to hold the paper into place until it dried a little bit.  The paper would crinkle up as I continued to put it around the ball but I liked the look so I keep going. 

When I had all the strips in place, I put some circles of paper to cap the ends and put another layer of Modge Podge on it. 

I had a piece of stick or square dowel and I cut off a piece of it for the stem.  I painted it a brown color and tied some tulle and ribbon on it for decoration.  Let me know what you think.  This was simple but I still might have to try a fabric pumpkin.  According to me, you can never get enough fall decorations.

Thanks and I hope you enjoy your crafting!

Tuesday, September 13

Caramel Apple Cake

So I have a really good recipe for a strawberry cake and I wanted to try something new with it.  Since it is getting to be fall I decided to try the cake recipe using apples instead of strawberries.  I am trying to cook more with what is in season and apples remind me of fall.  So I was watching Cupcake wars on the Food Network and they are always trying different combinations, recipes, etc.  I thought what reminds you of Halloween and Fall more than Caramel Apples.  How yummy would it be to adapt the recipe to make a Caramel Apple Cake?  It turned out really good! 
I have to say that the caramel drizzle on top I made using just sugar and butter.  After the sugar caramelized I added butter and then drizzled it on the cake.  It turned out like hard candy caramel so next time I might use a caramel sauce that contains milk, etc. or buy a caramel ice cream topping.  It still tasted wonderful and I will be making it again.  I hope you enjoy the recipe!

Caramel Apple Cake

2 large apples, peeled and chopped
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
6 Tbls butter (softened)
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup flour

Cook the apples in saucepan covered with water until soft.
Mix all ingredients together and mix until fluffy.  Fold the apples into batter.
Pour into greased 9 inch pan.

Cook at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Lower tempeture to 325 degrees and cook an additional 30 - 35 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

Caramel Topping:
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp butter

Place sugar into heavy saucepan and put on med-high heat.  Shake sugar until it melts and turns golden brown.  Stir in butter and drizzle on top of cake. 

Thanks and let me know if you like this cake - I loved it!

Sunday, September 11

Someday Crafts!

I am so excited and wanted to scream this from the rooftops or at least on my blog that I get to be a guest blogger on Someday Crafts!  Michele asked me to guest blog the 2x4 Candy Corn craft.  So look for me there on Monday, September 12th.  I am so excited and I just can't hide it. ;)