Sep 30, 2011

Hope for your green tomatoes

It is that time of year-when many of the nations gardens are being killed off by cold weather.  Perhaps it is happening to you.  It hasn't happened yet to me but we are getting there.  Just thought I would share a little tip in case you don't already know this (and I am sure most of you do) but did you know that your green tomatoes are not a loss?  How do I know this?  Well growing up in Canada we never had a red tomato from our garden.  We got all of them from our basement where we ripened all of our tomatoes in the late fall when it was too cold outside.  All you need is a box and some newspaper.  Put your green tomatoes in there, cover them with newspaper and store in a cool, dark place and in a few days to weeks you will have red tomatoes.
See what I mean?  I just go and check them every few days or so and take out the ripened ones and leave the rest.  So don't just let them go to waste.  Want another idea-try making green tomato relish.  I have made some for my hubby and he loves it.  Ball has a great recipe.
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Sep 29, 2011

Excercise-Blahh - A Real Mommy Moment

I hate to exercise.  I really wish that I didn't; that I was one of those people who actually enjoys running but I am not.  Every morning my good intentions come to a grinding halt when I step out of bed and feel like I have two cinder blocks at the bottom of my legs.  I love to walk and take my girls on long walks nearly every day and I love to ride my bike even more and try and do that too-though now both of my girls won't fit in our bike trailer and the sun doesn't come up early enough for me to ride before my hubby has to leave for work so that has come to a halt as well.  I am just going to be honest and say that the exercise that I do manage to do is only to maintain the body that I have (because for some reason my body does not and pretty much refuses to shrink in size-does yours do that?) and so that I can throw around the word "exercise" in a conversation and feel a bit better about myself.  You know like at church, "I was out getting some exercise the other morning when I had this major impression..." or at the library, "Ya, I remembered that I needed to drop off my books this morning as I was out getting some exercise" or on the phone with my neighbor, "I am sorry I missed your call this morning, I was out getting my exercise."  But the truth really is, I think exercising is the pits and if Heavenly Father decided we never had to do it ever again I wouldn't argue.  I would be perfectly content just walking because it is fun to do and not because I have to get my exercise.
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Sep 28, 2011

White Sweater Pumpkins and a New Idea

In case you weren't around last year I wanted to share my tutorial to make these fabulous white pumpkins.  I have been making some the last couple of days because 7 wasn't enough for my living room and I had some sweater pieces left over from last year.  I started making some mini ones and was stacking them on top of eachother when this happened:
Are you thinking what I am thinking?  Now all of a sudden it is beginning to feel a lot like Christmas and I am dying to get my hands on more of these bulky sweaters so I can finish up my pumpkins and work on some plump Christmas creations.  More to come.
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Sep 27, 2011

Countdown to Halloween Tags & Calender

If you have made this or are intending to make this (in which case you had better get cracking) and are needing some ideas of what to put inside I am sharing this post to let you know what I am doing (which you can copy exactly if you like, or you can use it as an idea source and modify it to suit your family).  I have included a printable calender so you can remember what it is you agreed to do each day and put it in with your other plans as well as 3 sets of tags to write the activities on and then fold them to put them in the boxes.  Not every day will need a tag.  Happy creepy crafting and counting down.

Halloween Countdown calender
Halloween Countdown Tags owls
Halloween Countdown tags candy
Halloween Countdown tags pumpkins
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Sep 26, 2011

Make Ahead Monday-Ice Cream

You are going to thank me big time for sharing this one with you.   I am not the genius behind this, Eagle Brand I believe is the company to thank.  Actually Our Best Bites is who I owe all my thanks to for sharing this divine recipe.
You are going to have to take my word for it because I didn't believe this would work, but this is the best ice cream ever and it is so stinkin easy-like, "I am never going to buy ice cream from the store again" easy. 
3 ingredients people: cream, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla.  That is it, a little whipping of the cream, some folding and freezing and you have heaven on earth in a bowl.  I happened to be given a gallon of whipping cream from the food bank and I have made two double batches so far and have enough for one more.  I made plain vanilla and today I made cookies and cream.  I had to wait until the kids were in the bathtub so I could sneak a bowl without having to share.  I am just warning you that should you make this your waist size might expand and your ability to resist diminish rapidly.  Don't say I didn't warn you.
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Sep 23, 2011

Preschool Spot

I do preschool at home with my girls a few times a week.  It is not nearly the length of regular preschool but we pack a lot into a short amount of time and the girls seem to enjoy it-okay well Small Fry seems to have an opinion about everything these days but I just brush it off.  I wanted to have something that signified preschool is starting and we need to sit.  I came up with a spot for each of the girls.  Here is what I did:
I bought some circle placemats on clearance.  They are the plastic kind and on the floor on their own they were really slippery (like break a limb slippery).  So I bought some foam grippy stuff (technical name of course) that you put in drawers and stuff to keep everything from sliding around.  You can find it at the dollar store or at your local small town market for triple the price (I know from experience).  And you will need some spray adhesive and contact paper (or vinyl).
 Because the grippy stuff wasn't as wide as my circle was round I traced half of the circle and cut it out then repeated for the other half.
 Spray the back of the placemat with adhesive and attach the grippy stuff.  I seemed to have a bit of trouble getting it to stick so I found it was better to do it in small sections.  I wanted to add a letter for each girl so they would know which spot was theirs so I used the contact paper and my mother in law's Cricut machine to cut out the letter.  Did you know you could do that?  Use contact paper instead of vinyl??? I am not the genius behind that discovery but I do happen to think it is FABULOUS!!!!!
 And here is my model (very apprehensive to cooperate) showing how the preschool spot works. 
Now if I can just get them to actually sit on them all the time I will have it made.
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Sep 22, 2011

Creepy Mini Milk Cartons for Halloween

 I am all about these mini milk cartons right now.  I love finding something that I can use in lots of different ways.  I took this pattern and printed it on 3 different pieces of cardstock (print on the wrong side of the paper).  I folded them into boxes and then decorated them.  You could do whatever colors you like and there are more ideas for creepy critters than just these.  Don't you think they would look cute on a Halloween platter or make a super fun party favor.  Here is what I came up with (the link to the pattern is at the bottom).
 For the witch I cut out the hat and brim, star and spider.  I used black ric rac for the hair which I glued to the back of the hat.  The hat could be glued onto the box or use double sided tape.  I used some light weight wire to make the hanger for the spider. 
 For Frankenstein I cut out the hair and attached it to the box with double sided tape.  I used real screws on the sides.  I poked a pin hole with a large pin and then screwed the screws in part way.  (don't you just love em).  I drew the little stitch mark with a black pen and then chalked over it with some gray chalk.
For the mummy I cut strips of gauze and attached one end with a piece of double stick tape, then wrapped them around and around the box.  I attached two googly eyes with some glue and then wrapped a bit more gauze to cover his eyes part way.  I added a mini safety pin too.
Happy creepy crafting.
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Sep 21, 2011

Help for my scraps box

This is currently how I am storing my fabric scraps.  It has escalated into a huge mess.  I have limited fabric storage space and have a bunch of small pieces that get lost in my fabric drawers but this doesn't seem to be working either (not that you could tell from the picture right????).  Does anyone have any brilliant ideas for storing small pieces of fabric?  I am sure there is something that I just haven't thought of and have just been waiting for one of you wonderful ladies to enlighten me.  So please, help-my scrap box runneth over.
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Sep 20, 2011

Halloween Tags

I came up with the idea for these cute Halloween tags when I was teaching scrapbook classes at Paper Daisy in Orem.  They are  a great way to use up all those little scraps of cardstock you are holding on to!  To start, you will need 5 tags in these colors--two peach, one black, one green, and one orange. My tags are 3 in. x 1 1/2 in., but you could easily use any die cut tag you have.
Here is what you will need for all the tags.  I did one picture instead of lots of pictures of tiny pieces.  I'll tell what you need for each tag as I give instructions.
Here are the finished tags!  So cute, and super easy to do!
Supplies: 1 green tag, one black tag, zig zag or grass craft scissors, one black eyelet, two mini black brads, one gray strip 1/4 in. x 2 in., some pink chalk, and glue.
Take the black tag and cut with the craft scissors just above half of the black tag.  This piece becomes frank's hair.  Adhere hair to the green tag, then add the eyelet to the hole. (The eyelet isn't absolutely necessary, but adds a more finished look.)  Put your brads through the tag, creating eyes.  Adhere the gray strip to the back of the tag, creating the bolts in his neck.  Add some pink chalk to his cheeks and he is done!

Supplies: 1 orange tag, one orange eyelet, two mini black brads, 1 leaf punch, green cardstock, orange chalk
Take the Orange tag and add the eyelet.  Chalk ridges into your pumpkin using a slightly darker chalk than the tag color. Punch a leaf out of the green cardstock and adhere to tag.  Add mini brads for eyes.

Supplies: 1 peach tag, 2- 6 in. strips of gauze cut in half the long way (you should have 4 skinny pieces total), 1 white eyelet, 2 black mini brads, pink chalk
Take the peach tag and begin wrapping it with the gauze.  I only used 3 of the four strips so it wasn't too bulky and some of the peach tag could show through the gauze.  Make sure your tag is fully covered on  the front side.  Add your white eyelet.  Add the mini brad eyes.  Chalk his cheeks.

Supplies: 1 peach tag, 1 black eyelet, 2 mini black brads, black cardstock, orange cardstock strip1/4 in. x 1 1/2 in., black cardstock strip 1/4 in. x 2 in., 6-2 in. pieces black baby ric rac
Take the peach tag and trace the top of the tag onto black cardstock making it come to a point.  This will be your hat.  Cut it out and adhere to peach tag.  Add the eyelet to the top of her hat.  Adhere the orange strip to create the band of the hat.  Glue the ric rac to the edge of hat, then add the black strip to create the brim of the hat.  Add the mini brads for her eyes.  Chalk her cheeks.

Black Cat:
Supplies: 1 black tag, black eyelet, 2 mini black brads, purple cardstock cut into a small triangle, 3 strands of black DMC floss cut to 3 in. in length, mini hole punch or needle, white gel pen
Take the black tag and add the eyelet.  Add the mini brads for eyes and glue purple triangle underneath for the nose.  Draw a line down from the nose for a mouth using the gel pen.  Using a mini hole punch or a needle, punch 3 holes on each side of the nose for whiskers.  Thread the DMC floss through one side of the cheek, and out the other.  Glue on the back to hold in place.  Repeat for other 2 strands of floss.

I used my tags as an embellishment on this halloween scrapbook page, but if you wanted to use them as gift tags, simply cut another tag out of the same background color and glue to the back of your halloween tag.  This will finish it off, hiding the backs of your brads, glue, etc., and give you someplace to write!  Add a ribbon through the eyelet at the top and you have a cute tag to add to a halloween treat!

Fun Family Crafts
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Sep 16, 2011

Rapunzel Rapunzel Let Down Your Hair (or not)-A real mommy moment

I posted previously about my frustration with the Rapunzel doll and her rats nest of hair.  I had a bunch of wonderful comments with suggestions of how to get it un"tangled".  I put them to the test but to no avail-that hair was so knotted and twisted it was just not coming out.  So I asked small fry if I should cut it and she said yes so that it could be short like her hair.  I asked 3 times to make sure and each time she answered yes and so....
behold Rapunzel with a new hair style and Brittany I did pause for half a second with the first snip to see if it would all go dark and it didn't-total bummer cause that would have been so cool.  I am sure there are some moms gasping that I could do such a thing and probably I should have just taken better care of it in the first place but let me just tell you that I have no time for such things.  When we first got this doll (bless you my brother) I spent plenty of time combing and braiding her hair but it always got messed up again and I so I had to just let it go and let it be what it would be.  Barbie hair is not on my priority list and to be honest my daughter has played more with Rapunzel with the short hair do than she did with the mop of frizz.  I have learned as a mom that you can't keep the toys perfect forever (why did you buy them if that was the intention) so why waste your energy.  Yes I don't want things trashed but if the kids are playing with them then why do I need to stress if all the little parts are still there or are lost, or if all the playdough colors get mixed together or if the doll is wearing some other dolls clothes or none at all.  I am letting it go and whacking off any frizzy hair that gets in my way and I am not wasting any more energy on it.  The end.
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Sep 15, 2011

Paper Witch Boot

This tutorial is by my neighbor and friend (who I am so thankful is on the mend enough to craft with me and help me out on my blog) Allisha.
I saw this cute idea for a witch boot made out of a high heel shoe pattern on Good Things Utah and had to try it.  My sister, Cassy, was able to locate a pattern for me from the lady that was on the show.
I cut out two of the pattern so that the inside of my shoe had a design. Remember to turn one of them over so you can glue wrong sides together. This is not necessary if you want just a solid black shoe. 
I used some spray adhesive to glue my two pieces together, then scored all the lines and folded them.
Glue the shoe together.
My sister made these up and used a roll of lifesavers to look like the witch's leg.  In order for it to stand up, you need to cut out a 1 in. square piece in the heel of the shoe. leaving the tabs in place.   Add a buckle and some ribbon to the toe of the shoe.
Cover your lifesavers with a piece of striped pattern paper and insert into the heel of your shoe.
Fill with candy for a cute party favor or gift!

For a copy of the shoe pattern go here and enlarge or reduce as you desire.
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Sep 14, 2011

Tiny Socks Baby Company-Melon Days Preview

Our little town celebration is only days away and probably as you are reading this I am frantically trying to finish I love Watermelon t-shirts and onesies.  Wanted to share a couple of pics of some of my stuff (lots of which you will be able to find right here on my blog for sale in October). 
Receiving blanket cupcakes with a binkie clip tie.

Burp cloth cupcakes (the jumbo version-made with a cloth diaper burp cloth)

Diapers and wipes holder with a carrying strap and front binkie pocket

Large bibs (backed with terry cloth and totally reversible if you want)

Compact change pads (for those who carry a small diaper bag-which I don't even know how that is possible)

Folded change pads (some plain and some with a carry all strap)

Carseat covers (the tent style)

Nursing pillow covers

Peekaboo fitted carseat covers

This is a one of a kind outfit-melon onesie with t-shirt skirt.

And an assortment of hats.

And there is plenty more-just have to have a few surprises.  If you are in the area come and stop by (oh ya, and don't forget your wallet).
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Sep 13, 2011

Countdown to Halloween

Halloween is coming just around the corner and if you are a major fan like me then you will want to make sure you enjoy everyday leading up to the big candy event.  I created this super easy (but a bit time consuming because you have to make 31 of these after all) countdown.
You will need:
Black cardstock or construction paper (I used construction paper because it was cheaper).
Assorted Halloween prints papers
Small tags (I used wooden circles and stars)
Black embroidery thread
Creep Cloth (see below)
Plates or other items to create a stand (I used plates and flower pots from Ikea-but I don't know if they still make them).
Step one is to create all your boxes.  I used a die cut from my husbands school.  Perhaps you have your own die cut or you could go to a local scrapbook place and they are more than likely to have one.  These are 2" boxes.
 This is creep cloth.  I bought it at the dollar store so I suggest you waste no time and get some.  It is perfect for this project and many other Halloweeny type things.  A must for the holiday.
 These are the stars and circles I used.  I didn't have enough of either so I used both (in no exact order).
 Step two: I wanted to spray paint them black.  The easiest way I found to do this was to put them all in a shallow box like this and the spray them.  The wood pieces still move around a bit but they are contained and easily can be adjusted.
This is how they look.  I drilled small hole in all the circles.  The stars would break every time I tried to drill them but the circles did fine.
 Step three is to embellish the boxes.  I didn't feel like it was necessary to do a ton of embellishing so I simply cut a piece of paper smaller than the box (by 1/8" on all sides) and adhered it to the box.  I found the fastest way to do this was using spray adhesive.  I put the paper piece inside my garbage can, sprayed it and then attached it (much faster than glue or tape).
 Step four is to number your wooden pieces and attach.  I attached all the stars with a large glue dot.  The circles were also attached with a glue dot but I threaded a piece of embroidery thread through the hole (using a large needle was really helpful) first. 

I tied the thread around the back.  The numbers are written on with a silver permanent marker.
The last step is to assemble.  First build your stand, laying a piece of creep cloth on each plate.  Then arrange your boxes.  Wouldn't this look so super cute on a little black or purple or silver table?  Because my kids are so little I will definitely be putting it up out of their reach but in years to come I will find it a special place. 
My plan is to fill the boxes with different things each day leading up to Halloween like: a piece of candy, a note to carve pumpkins, try on costumes, jump in the leaves, do a craft or read a story.  Stay tuned for a list of the ideas.  Happy Halloween Crafting everyone.
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