Monday, November 30, 2009


So, as most parents I have an overabundance of photos of the kidlets. Yes, I do scrapbook. Even then, I don't put every picture I take in my books so I have extras. Most of those extras go to the extended family.

Usually I just make mini albums with my extra pics for family gifts, but this year I'm trying to be a little more creative. I scrounged around my garage/craft studio and came up with some materials. I found some inspiration from a few websites, and poof...the following creations came to life.

Bottlecap Magnets and Push Pins
I used my 1" circle punch and cut out pics and then mod podged them into new bottlecaps. These turned out super cute. Pics where two out of the three kids are looking at the camera make awesome candidates for these bottlecap beauties.

Just hot glue either a magnet or a thumbtack to the backside of your bottlecap and your all set!

Scrabble Photo Easels
Someone gave me the pieces to a Scrabble game and I held onto them, knowing I'd think of something. I painted the wooden tile trays blue using acrylic paint, then hot glued the tiles to the tray, leaving a slight space behind for the photo.

I then finished off the front with some matching ribbon remnants I had and glued two buttons on either end.
I hot glued two tiles to the top backside of the tray, to act as a support for the photo. Otherwise the picture sat in the tray at a weird angle.

Photo Jars
Pint sized Mason jars, new. Took a family pic, backed it with cardstock and scrapbook paper. Slipped it inside the jar, instant photo jar!

Took some vintage handpainted wooden ornaments and hot glued them to the inside bottom of the jar, just to give it some extra cuteness.

Cut a circle of fabric, covered the top of the jar and then embelished with some grosgrain ribbon, rick rack and another ornament.

I decided to screw the ring on over the fabric, thought it looked cuter that way. That's it, super simple. Could also tweak this to use regular glass jars (think old mayo or relish jars).

Photo Wreath
Took a foam wreath from the dollar store and hot glued cardstock circles that had photos mounted on them. I made this pretty simple, next time I'll use some scrapbook paper too. Black and white photos would look awesome in this project!

It was a 10" wreath (I'm pretty sure), I used 9 photos in all. Three different colors of cardstock backers, rotating the colors.
I used a scrap of red grosgrain ribbon and affixed it to the back of my wreath with two "t' pins.

I then embelished the wreath with ribbon bows, ornaments and some mini bells. This would be a great project to use up random odds and ends of craft materials that you have lying around.
I'm linking up my beauties to Kimba's DIY Tuesday:
Get crackin' and make some for the Grandparents for Christmas, they'd love them!

Linking up to the following,

BWS tips button

Button Broaches

Making button broaches with some of the many extra buttons I have lying around the house. My MIL gave me a huge bag of them awhile ago, so sweet of her! Anyways, I've used them for several projects but many of them are the "shank" style button and I hadn't figured out what to do with them. I took the buttons and layered them, putting the shank style ones mostly on top to fill in spots between. I think they turned out really cute, they are going to be gifts for many in the family this year. I didn't have the actual pin backs, so I just used over sized safety pins. I then used decorative scissors to cut black card stock for them and finished up the backs with printable labels I made on the computer. I'm excited to give them, I think they'll be well received.

Isn't She Purty?

This is my new sewing machine, ordered her today from MAJOR pain to order, their website is having serious issues. However, I got her for half price with free shipping! Yipee, I am excited to meet her! I need to think of a cute name for her (I know, I'm weird). Any suggestions?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tiny Turkey Handprints

Every year I make these with the kids, it's fun and super easy. I like it because it also is a neat way to chronicle their growth, since their hands get bigger every year! It's also super cheap, which is also a plus with kids crafts. I try and make them a little different every year for variety, and then I usually display them on the backside of the front door. They are made out of brown grocery bags, feathers, fake leaves, construction paper, googly eyes, pom poms, etc. Usually whatever I can find lying around the house.
This is the first year we made them.
This is last years edition.
This is the one we made this year. I also took the materials to a playgroup we belong to and we made them, the kids had fun. I love making little things like this with the kids, and it's great that it can be used as part of our decorations too!
I'm linking up again to Kimba's DIY Tuesday!

Monday, November 23, 2009

DIY Dollar Store Designer Print

I've found some really cute removable decal/wall sticker at the dollar store. I used the one below in a family photo display I created in the living room. They are great, since we rent we can't do anything permanent, so this is a great way for us to personalize our home without it being an issue when we move. Below is a partial picture of the "family wall".The other day I found another really cute decal that I wanted to use. However I didn't want to stick this one directly on the wall, but figure out a way to frame it. The size was oblong, I didn't want to buy a frame since it would probably be more than I wanted to spend. So I was looking around the house and found this picture. It was hanging on the wall, but I decided to kidnap it for my project and replace it with something else.
I had some grass cloth wallpaper already, so I cut it to fit inside the frame of the picture. I didn't remove the old picture, just cut the wallpaper to fit over the glass on the frame. Then pulled out my handy dandy glue gun and glued the wallpaper directly to the glass. Then I centered my decal. All there is to it, new picture for $1! I think it turned out pretty cute, and I love the fact that I didn't have to buy anything additional.
Here it is hanging in the living room. There is a torchier lamp behind the screen, when it's turned on at night it looks really pretty and makes the picture really pop.

I'm linking up to Kimba's DIY Day!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Grubbin' Gluten Free Pancakes

So, have you seen those yummy looking "holiday" pancakes they have at IHOP? Now, it's honestly been 5 years since I last ate at an IHOP. However, after seeing the "Pecan Pie" pancakes they currently have for a "limited time", I had to have them! So, today we went., they were delicious!

Anyways, oldest DS has a gluten and casein intolerance. So, you can imagine that his options at IHOP were pretty limited. He ate eggs, bacon, sausage and some country ham while he watched the rest of us scarf down yummy gluten filled pancakes. I promised him when we got home we'd some GF pancakes together. I haven't make them in awhile, so I didn't have a recipe handy. I did my trusty Google search and came across this one:

Looked really easy and I had everything on hand, so I went for it. This is how they turned out. Super yummy and easy to make, which is always a HUGE plus when cooking GF foods. I doubled the recipe and tweaked it a bit, adding 1t vanilla extract and 1t cinnamon. I also decreased the amount of water, only adding a total of 3/4 of a cup. Lastly I used rice milk instead of cow's.
As you can see, my daughter even liked them because she snuck a few bites out of one when I wasn't looking! DS was my "cooker helper" and we had a blast. I love spending special time with the kids one on one, wish I could do it more often but cherish the times when we do. I remember cooking with my "Nanny" in the kitchen, she really taught me the basics of cooking. I was about my DS age (he's six) and I really remember and cherish those memories. I look forward to making my own "kitchen" memories with my kids too.

Linking up to "Tasty Tuesday" at:

Beauty and Bedlam

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Back To Reality I'm really putting myself out here. I woke up this morning, and as usual within 1/2 an hour my house was trashed. Same story, every morning. Same issues, same chaos, same mess. You know the song with the lyrics, "Back to life, back to reality"? That was my reality EVERY morning. Today, I decided I'm not going to have that reality anymore. I am TOTALLY changing the layout of the living room. All by myself, with the kids, no hubby. You know when you're just at the breaking point and you're not going to do it, not even for one more second? That was me this AM. So...without further adieu, here are my "before" pics. I know, the house is trashed and I'm so embarrassed to be showing these. But, I need to be brutally honest with myself so that I don't let it get to this state again!




Ok, totally bared all there. Scary stuff. "After" pictures to come.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

DIY Herbal Bath Tea Bags

I saw this in a blog the other day and wanted to make some for bath baskets I'm working of for Christmas However, I didn't have the tea balls and would need to purchase them. Trying SUPER hard to be creative with what I have on hand for gifts this year. Scrounging around, I found some long lost cheesecloth I've had for years and never opened. So, I decided to make "tea bags" instead. Me thinks they turned out pretty nicely. Here's what I did:
I grabbed my "tools" which were peaking shears, a hole punch, cheesecloth, ribbon, a permanent marker and some pre-cut card stock circles (left over from another project).
I dumped a bunch of herbs in a bowl. I used rosemary, basil, dill and bay leaves. The rosemary and basil leaves were a bit past prime, but still had a nice smell so I am excited I found a use for them instead of cooking.
I cut a rectangle of cheesecloth, triple layered. I was going to just double it, but since the rosemary and bay leaves are a bit "pokey" I didn't want them to snag and rip the cheesecloth. I then tied it up with my ribbon and threaded my card stock tag through before knotting off the ribbon.
I made seven bags in all, perfect for the two bath sets I'm working on for gifts this year. I think they turned out pretty cute, and best of all I didn't spend anything since I used things I already had on hand. Yipee! I'm linking my project up to Kimba's DIY Tuesday!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Improvised Inspirational Art

This is the unfinished bedroom art that I'm currently working on. I still need to mount the fabric to the wooden frame backer and then I'm going to center the picture in the middle. I'm really excited, I think that I'll turn out really cute when I'm done. I've been trying to figure out a way to reuse an old picture frame and that is what I've done here, total cost of project is under $20! I'll try and post a picture when I'm totally done. Here's a semi "tutorial" on what I did.
The picture frame was originally birch. I painted it white (Antique white from Kilz, left over from my bathroom redo). I then painted the inside of the frame chestnut brown with some acrylic craft paint. I took that same brown and mixed it with some candy apple red acrylic craft paint and then gave it this streaked, worn looking finish.
I found this adorable cabbage rose flannel fabric in the remnant section at JoAnn's. It was approximately 20x24, under $1.50! I'll have a little bit of left-over fabric that I can use for something else.
This is the original picture I started with. It's a metal wall plaque that I got from my new favorite local home/garden shop. I really like it, but when I hanged it up I knew that it wasn't substantial enough and needed something more. Hence my "improvised" inspirational art!
I'm linking up to Kimba's DIY Tuesday!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Bucket O'Blooms

So my sweet Hubby brought me home some cute sunflowers the other day, just because he loves me. Isn't he nice? I love them, so cute and cheery. However just putting them in this galvanized bucket wasn't enough. So, I headed out the front door and took clippings from the various shrubs we have in the front yard and assembled the arrangement above. It looks so much fuller and more abundant, don't you think? I also added some heather, but I forgot to take a picture of it. I have no idea what all the other bushes are out front, but they work great for free greenery!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Seaside Photo Frame

Had this great picture of Hubby and two of the kidlets that I wanted to frame. I wanted the frame to have a "beachy" feel to it. I took some sand (from the sandbox in the backyard of course!) a bag of small shells that I got on clearance from JoAnne's and hopped to it.
I took a plain wooden frame and brushed craft glue liberally along wherever I wanted the sand to stick. I then sprinkled sand over the wet glue and let it dry completely. I gave it a few coats with some clear acrylic sealant. Out came my trusty hot glue gun and I affixed the shells to the corners of the frame. Turned out pretty cute, huh?
I think this would be an awesome way to use sand or shells that you've collected from special trips. Especially if you put a picture in the frame from the trip itself. I'm linking up to Kimba's DIY Tuesday!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Cornmeal Playdough

Recipe for cornmeal playdough:
2.5 C flour
1C cornmeal
1T oil
1C water
few drops of food coloring, if desired
Mix all and knead well before using. Store in airtight container or Ziploc bags.
Great stuff! Super easy and cheap to make, really good consistancy. Fun and different texture, good for sensory play. Smells awesome too!