Feb 18, 2012

And the winner of the Pellon Prize pack is:

After seeing all your applique projects, I'm itching to get going! These products would certainly help me do that!!
Thanks for the chance! :)
Congrats Erin.  I sent you an e-mail.  Thanks to everyone for entering.
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Feb 14, 2012

Announcements of all kinds

Announcement #1:
We are having another baby!!! Yippee and wahoo and all those other excited phrases.

Announcement #2: My family just found out last week that my dad's cancer is back...with a vengeance.  Currently it has consumed the lower part of his body (groin and down).  It is aggressive they say.  The two treatment options are a stem cell transplant (which they will not consider for him since he is turning 80 and they don't do them for anyone over 65) or intense chemotherapy which they say would probably kill him.  They are giving him oral chemo which is basically to maintain quality of life.  There is nothing they can do to treat it.  They said he has months...not years left.  That pretty much means that I have to take the chance to spend as much quality time with him as I possibly can (which involves me packing up my girls to Canada for as many more times as I can).  This leads to announcement #3.

Announcement #3: I had already thought of this prior to the news about my dad but that news only solidified for me the decision.  Because of my first two announcements this blog will officially come to an end after my last giveaway has closed.  I am averaging 2 comments a post and working my tail off to try and post helpful and noteworthy ideas (I know I am not always successful).  But with the nausea of pregnancy and the exhaustion, the desire to spend more quality time with my girls and now the urgent need of being with my dad I cannot do it any more.  Maybe it will be my time again down the road and I will pick it back up and maybe not.  It has kept my creative juices flowing for 3 years, but it just not the right season of life right now.  Thanks to everyone who has been a follower.  My goal when I started was to have 1000 followers.  Now I am just 8 followers away from 800 and I think that is pretty darn fabulous too.  Thank you to my few loyal commenters and to everyone who has been a reader (whether you want to admit it or not).  I hope you have benefited from Small Fry and Co.  I know I surely have.
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Feb 13, 2012

One more Pellon Giveaway NOW CLOSED

I have one more Pellon giveaway to announce:
A 5 pack of machine embroidery products.  The giveaway includes:
1 pack Stitch and Tear lite
1 pack Fuse and Tear
1 pack Stick and Tear
1 pack Soft N Stay
1 Pack Sol-U-Film Lite

These products are part of a new line that will be available at JoAnns.  It is the perfect prize pack for anyone that does machine embroidery or hand embroidery too.  The giveaway will run all week and the winner will be announced on Sat Feb 18th.
To enter:
1. Leave a comment and AN E-MAIL to get ahold of you (please make it easy on me).
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Feb 8, 2012

I tried it and... I love it and I made it even easier

The original idea for this comes from Make it and Love it (which I love almost everything she makes).  She made a cell phone charger from an old lotion bottle.  That got me thinking "I bet I could use any plastic bottle and make millions of these."  Well it is a bit harder to come by millions of plastic bottles than I thought it would be but as one empties I snatch it up and get creating.  She made hers with Mod Podged fabric.  I made a couple that way and they work great.  But the other day I was wanting to make one that could be used ASAP.  So I tried spraying the entire thing with spray adhesive and sticking my fabric on.  The verdict... 
FABULOUS and fast.  From beginning to end this project took 10 minutes.  I used a dish soap bottle.  I cut the shape free hand but if you check out Make it and Love it she shows you the general idea of how to cut one.  I sprayed on the glue, stuck on my fabric (smoothing as I went), cut an oval to cover the bottom (attached with the spray glue), punched a hole in the back with my hole punch (probably the hardest part) and done.  Here are some things I have learned from making these:
#1.  If using a clear bottle like a dish soap one then don't draw your outline with a dark marker or something that will show through (since you don't cover the inside with fabric.
#2.  If making this for a cell phone charging station before cutting out the opening in the back measure the size of your plug on your cord because you want the opening to match the size of the plug otherwise they don't always work.
That's it.  I think the idea if brilliant.  I love the spray glue method and I am rapidly trying to use up all the bits of soap and lotion in a bunch of different bottles so I can create a whole set for my craft room for pens, markers, sewing tools etc.
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Feb 7, 2012

Busy Bag Day

Since Pinterest and I have developed a loving relationship I have noticed tons of links to busy bags (among other wonderful things to keep toddlers learning and occupied...it is saving my life might I just add).  I have wanted to make a bunch of busy bags for my girls but the thought of making them all on my own was very overwhelming.  So I sent a message out on Facebook to a bunch of moms with young kids here in town and got a group of 9 women together to have a busy bags day.  Each mom picked one or two ideas to make and brought enough supplies for the whole group.  We had about a month to get ready since we all live in the middle of no where and had to have time to gather supplies.  We met at our church where the kids could run around while we assembled.  Everyone brought their own gallon sized ziplock bags to take home all the new activities in.  Some games required some assembly which was done at the church while others were ready to go.  We were there for an hour and a half and each mom went home with 18 different things to do.  It was so worth it.  Even if you had to pay a dollar a piece for the items for your bags you were getting 16 more bags at no cost so the cost was well worth the final outcome.  At first I thought we should each do 3 bags but actually doing 2 was the perfect number for each mom.
Here are some of the bags set out ready to go.

A second table of bags.

Table #3 of bag items.

Some of the lovely ladies who participated.  We did it on a morning when not everyone could attend so those who couldn't make it sent their stuff and some of us assembled bags for them.  So it works out even if everyone can't be there.

This is my loot.  Some of the things I got are: a Popsicle matching game, fishing game, pom pom shooters (fun for dads and kids), alphabet clothes pin game, stringing beads, file folder games, tongue depressor puzzles, alpha beans and more.
 My plan for using the busy bags is that we will do them Monday, Wednesday and Friday because we have preschool on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  We are doing them right after breakfast after we clean off the table.  I picked out two bags for each girl and they did them and then switched.  Their attention spans are still not that long so it was the perfect amount of time. 

Want to do a busy bag day of your own?  Here is the list of links I sent all the ladies.  Each one is a link to a specific idea or a blog or website that has lots of ideas.  After I sent the link I had the ladies write back to say what they were doing to avoid repeating any of the activities. 

http://www.mydeliciousambiguity.com/2010/09/toddler-busy-bag-activities-month-3.html   #'s 1 & 4
http://www.mynameissnickerdoodle.com/2010/02/colors.html Could be done with different sizes of pasta (just a bag of colored pasta and some string.
http://moneysavingmom.com/2011/08/busy-bag-idea-pom-pom-stuff-it-in.html i have found packages of mini cups with lids at the dollar store they come in like 5 or 6 a package.
http://www.activity-mom.com/2010/03/lima-bean-letters.html could be put with a bunch of cards that spell words and the child has to match up the beans
http://www.activity-mom.com/2010/02/letter-matching.html   You could make a bunch of cards with letters on them and then add in a couple of sheets of stickers.  Once used up the mom can replace them
http://www.activity-mom.com/2010/01/beware-of-crocodiles-game.html I think this would be cute but I would use fun foam to make the crocodiles and you could put numbers or shapes or colors for the kids to find.
http://theprincessandthetot.blogspot.com/search/label/Tot%20Trays There are tons of ideas here that could be turned into busy bags.  I like sort the foods (you could do this with picture cards), the nuts and bolts-that would be super fun, egg carton button sort, happy sad sorting (click older enteries to get here), draw a mouth, lacing foam beads onto a stick (could be done with fun foam with a hole punched in it and a meat skewer),
http://www.kindergartenkindergarten.com/file-folder-games.html this site has some cute and free printable file folder games that could be put in a bag.
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Feb 3, 2012

I tried it and...

It worked but not on what I thought it would work on.
I found this idea on Pinterest from the blog One Good Thing by Jillee.  She showed how she cleaned her cookie sheets by using a mixture of baking soda and peroxide.  Her results were amazing.  I have well used cookie sheets and thought they might like a little sprucing up.  So I tried it and it worked kind of but not like her results did.  I abandoned the project after two cookie sheets and decided the well used look works for me.  She didn't say how long she let it sit so perhaps had I left it for longer it would have worked better.  But I was determined to have it work on something so I decided to try it out on my stove top burner pans (please don't judge-cleaning these is not my favorite thing at all).  This is the before:
 And this is the after.  And by after I mean after I let it sit for about 5 minutes and then  washed and scrubbed off with a scouring pad.  It was much easier to clean than any other method I have tried before.  With the first swipe with a rag a bunch of the grime came off.  I did have to scrub because these were pretty bad but I didn't have to work harder than I have had to previously so I think it was a big success.
 On two of my burner pans I got them clean except for the stains.  This isn't grease or food, it is like a stain from water or heat or a combination of both.  I am not sure.  It doesn't come out so I thought I would show you this in case you have this problem too and are thinking this will miraculously take care of that.  It helps get off grime and grease though.
Now for a side note about cleaning with baking soda:
Beware of the gritty film that will be left all over everything if you decide to rub this on all your surfaces.  I didn't purposely do that but I was careless in the whole process so I ended up with baking soda on parts of my counters and I had the darndest time getting them clean.  I had to pour vinegar on them to finally get the baking soda off so beware.
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Feb 1, 2012

Easy Paper Bag Valentine Pennant Banner

I wanted to create something new and "fancy" for Valentines Day.  I played around with a few different ideas and finally decided on this:
 I am not doing a tutorial because it is really easy and straight forward. 
-The pennants are cut out of paper bags (another reason to skip the plastic at the grocery store...there are crafts to be made with the brown bags)
-The hearts are cut from book pages
-The letters I painted on free hand
-The red hearts are cut from scrapbook paper
-Everything is attached with double sided tape
-The pennants are attached together with a piece of lace that I sewed across the top (another reason to not let your mom throw out all that outdated lace...trust me I almost did let my mom throw it all out).

Easy and pretty.  A fun and fancy Valentines idea.
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