Wednesday, November 10, 2010

No-Sew Fabric Flower Hair Accessories

I subscribe to the Prudent Baby website, as they offer a wealth of tutorials and creative ideas.  The other day they posted a tutorial for a no-sew fabric flower headband.  With my first daughter, I made a bunch of headbands with big, ostentatious flowers.  I always got compliments on the cute headbands, but with baby girl #2, I seem to be over them.  I still love the headband idea for babies, but think the flowers could be saved for 'occasion' wear.  When Prudent Baby posted the subject tutorial, I figured I'd give it a try... I love the look, as it seems a little more 'casual.'

We've had several girls born into our group of friends in recent months.  For the first baby, I decided to make a headband to match the collegiate onesies I had purchased, as both parents are huge fans of University of Florida.  I did the center of the 'flower' using orange fabric, then attached the blue fabric as the outer rim.  In order to keep the headband and flower versatile, I adhered the flower to a clip so they can use different accessories on the headband and so the little munchkin can wear the flower as a hair clip when she gets older.  

For the second baby, I did a simple pink and white motif.  I used a button for the center to jazz up the plain white flower.  I finished the flower as stated above...adhering it to a flower clip.  By doing this, you could also make a matching hair clip or hairband for an older sibling, or even a cute flower pin for mom!  

Monday, October 4, 2010

Ikea Chair Finishing

I am definitely way overdue in posting.  I considered not posting anymore, since I am busy with our newborn, her older sister, work, etc.  What the heck...I will continue to post here until I have absolutely no time or desire to do so anymore.  I was shocked to see how many hits my blog has gotten, with little to no promotion or recent was kind of encouraging.  
Anyway, I have worked on a lot of things since JUNE!  One of my projects was to finish my daughter's chair that I purchased about a year ago at IKEA.  

THE BEFORE . . . plain, bland, boring, but still kind of cute. 

THE AFTER . . . chic, stylish, and FINALLY matches our decor!

I first stained the chair to a darker color, to match our brown leather couches and chocolate brown tables.  Once it finally dried (a week later - I think it slapped it on a little thick), I drew a pattern to create a cushion for the chair, cut out the fabric (same fabric as our curtains) and busted out the sewing machine to finish the look.  It was actually quite easy, so it won't be a big deal to make another one for my second daughter.  If you are interested in a pattern/tutorial for this chair cushion, please post a comment. 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Birthday Tree

I subscribe to the Tip Junkie website, where today they discussed birthday traditions.  I loved this post because traditions give everyone in the family something to look forward to for any given holiday...including the parents!  Our daughter was born on January 2, 2009, so while this year she didn't really even know what was going on for her birthday, future years could bring some heartache due to how close to the holidays her birthday falls. 

To try to prevent this and make her day remain extra special, I started a tradition called her "Birthday Tree."  We kept our Christmas tree up through the Christmas and New Year's celebrations.  On the eve of her birthday, we took down all of the Christmas decorations and re-decorated it for her birthday, with pink crepe paper and pictures of her.  I printed out small pictures (about 2"x2"), punched a hole in the top, and tied a ribbon through in order to attach it to the tree.  I really wish I would have taken more and better pictures of her birthday tree, but there was so much going on and I was grossly under-prepared the morning of her shin dig.  Below is a sample of what we hung on the tree.  I dated the photos, as I plan to keep them each year and re-use them...could be really cool in 15 years, or maybe she'll be over it by then.  My hope is that each year she will look forward to waking up on her birthday to see what her "Birthday Tree" looks like (which means I will have to come up with something new and creative each year).   

Everyone who attended her party enjoyed looking at the Birthday Tree, as it was something they could do at their leisure (as opposed to having to watch a timed slide show on TV with everyone huddled around). 

Baby Girl II is due around July 4th this year...another holiday baby...I will have to come up with something fun to incorporate the holiday into her birthday as well! 

Thursday, June 3, 2010

FREEBIE: Simply Word Art

It's been a while since I've created any digital scrapbooking freebies to post.  Since I've got babies on the mind, here is one that might be useful for baby books!  Enjoy and feel free to post links to your layouts.  To download, click here or on the image below.   

Homemade Play Dough

It's been a long while since I've posted anything.  However, I've been keeping up with my obsession of browsing other crafting blogs and my list of crafts to try is getting forever long.  With a second baby on the way in five weeks, I better get my butt in gear because I don't foresee myself having a ton of time with two little munchkins just eighteen months apart! 

I subscribe to Skip To My Lou, as she always has a lot of great postings.  Today she posted a recipe from Homemade By Jill for homemade play dough.  I was so excited because over the weekend I brought out the play dough for my seventeen month old for the first time ever.  She seemed to like it, but it tends to crumble a bit.  My mother-in-law claims that homemade play dough has a much better consistency and does not crumble.  Not to's completely edible!  My daughter would probably love to help make the play dough and it could make a good little gift for the kids in her class at school!  Click on the image below to link to the homemade play dough tutorial! 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

FREEBIE: Stars and Stripes

A grungy word art for the upcoming patriotic holidays - Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day! Download here or click on the image below.

Publish Post

Monday, May 17, 2010

FREEBIE: Father's Day Word Art

With Father's Day approaching next month, I figured I would start making some word art for the holiday. Download here or click on the image below.

Friday, May 14, 2010

FREEBIE: Ten Tiny Toes

Baby fever continues, so I figured I would create a word art! This was actually created from a photo I took of my daughter's feet when she was just a few weeks old. Download here or click on the image below. As always, please link to your layouts!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

FREEBIE: Sandy Toes and Salty Kisses

A little something for summer scrapbooking! Please link to your pages - I'd love to see how people use the word art. Download here or click the image below.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

ABC's of Me

I wanted to make a quick (and easy) scrapbook to compile some pictures throughout my daughter's first year and give them to relatives as gifts during Christmas. often has promotions for 'free' 8"x8" 20 page photobooks ($8 for shipping) so I typically try to cash in when those offers come around. They were such a
hit, I think I will have to do them each year!

Below are the pages I created for Natalee's "ABC's of Me" photobook (click on each picture to view a larger version). I had to get creative with some of the letters, such as "x" and "u" but if you Google "words that start with..." you can get a lot of ideas (if you're in a jam). Beneath the book I have a free template you can download.

Now for the template freebie (.psd file). Enjoy! Please post links to your "ABC's of Me" pages! I would love to see what other people come up with. Download here or click on image below.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Baby Fever

It seems like there is another baby boom going on this year! I think my husband and I counted fifteen (or more) of our friends that are having babies this year, including us. It is a very exciting time for so many families. Ironically, most of the babies are GIRLS! As the mother of a 16 month old girl, and another girl due in two months, it is so exciting to know that many of our close friends will also have girls. There is nothing sweeter than seeing the bond between a baby girl and her father.

While baby registries are always so fun to peruse, I figure that I will leave those gift ideas for the not-so crafty. :) I have some cute ideas (many of which I have not yet executed) but with many baby showers approaching, I plan to finally accomplish over the next couple of months, so stay tuned!

While planning a coworker's baby shower (for her baby girl), I made this diaper cake. Not only will it be a useful gift for the proud parents, it will also double as a beautiful center piece for the shower.

This was the first diaper cake I'd ever made, so I plan to come up with some more creative ways to jazz up future cakes.

Ingredients for this cake:
  • Cardboard cake circle (can be purchased in cake making section of a craft store - I went with the 16" size but you can choose a smaller size)
  • Cake doily or lace
  • Wooden dow rods (12" or longer, depending on how high you anticipate your cake to be)
  • Rubberbands
  • Ribbon
  • Diapers (about a case)
  • Glue gun (optional)
  • Any other decorative accessories (stuffed animals, pacifiers, bottles, bibs, etc.)
  1. I first rolled five to six diapers and put a rubber band around each group. You can rubber band each diaper individually, but this would be more time consuming.
  2. Once all of the diapers are rolled, you may need to rearrange the number in each group so that you can stack them in a tiered formation.
  3. Once you have the basic form of the cake developed, you can put it all together.
  4. I purchased white cardboard cake rounds so I didn't have to cover them (although you could cover them with cute fabric). I then adhered the lace to the cake round with a glue gun.
  5. I put the first layer of diapers on the cake round, trying not to leave much excess space around the edges.
  6. I then stacked the second layer and inserted the wooden rods so that the first layer and second layer were 'connected.' (This will make it easier to transport).
  7. I continued this process to the top layer, ensuring that all layers have wooden rods running through the diaper rolls for one or two layers so that you don't have to worry about a massive landslide of diapers.
  8. I put a stuffed animal in the center of the top layer (rather than another roll of diapers) to add a little bit of flare. You could us anything for the top layer...onesies, bottles, etc.
  9. Once the entire cake was stacked, I wrapped thick ribbon around each layer, using a glue gun to keep it tight. You can use additional ribbon, bows, or any other accessories to jazz it up.
  10. Feel free to stuff other goodies in the ribbon and diapers - bibs, onesies, socks, burp clothes, bottles, baby spoons, etc. (perhaps some of these things could be retrieved from the recipient's registry).
Use your imagination! I will post some pics of additional cakes I make, as I am sure there will be many in the next six months!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Teacher Appreciation Week

This week is Teacher Appreciation week - a time to show teachers (and/or daycare providers, administrators, etc.) just how grateful you are for all that they do for your children.

There are quite a few websites you can go to in order to get ideas of just how to show your appreciation. I tend to go the 'handmade' route when giving gifts, so this year I decided to make chocolate covered pretzels and brownies for my daughter's daycare providers. I hope they like chocolate...but what do they expect from a mom who is 8 months pregnant?

I used two different 'recipes' to make the chocolate covering on the pretzels.

(1) Wilton Candy Melts
I went to Wal-Mart and saw Wilton Candy Melts for $3.25 (usually much more expensive at craft stores such as Joann and Michaels). I thought I would give them a try since their sole purpose for existence is to melt, mold, and harden.

  • 12 ounce bag of Wilton Candy Melts
  • Pour the bag of Candy Melts into microwavable bowl
  • Microwave for 2 minutes at half power (power 5 on my microwave)
  • Mix
  • Microwave for another 25 seconds at half power
After melting the chocolate, I used a silicone scraper to coat pretzels rods with chocolate and placed them on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper. A 10 ounce bag of pretzel rods contains about 27 rods but you have to remember that some of them will be broken. I bought two bags of rods and found that the 12 ounce bag of Wilton Candy Melts made about 30 rods. I sprinkled pecans on half of the pretzels and then put them in the fridge for about 15 minutes.

The pretzel rods turned out really well - the chocolate hardened like a charm and didn't get soft after sitting at room temperature.

(2) Nestle Morsels
A recipe I retrieved online was to use semi-sweet morsels and shortening as the chocolate dipping. The recipe was 12 ounce bag of morsels and 1 tablespoon of shortening.

  • Combine 12 ounce bag of morsels and 1 tablespoon of shortening in microwavable bowl
  • Microwave at half power (power 5 on my microwave) for 1 minute
  • Mix
  • Microwave at half power for another 30 seconds, or as needed.
After melting the chocolate, I dipped Snyders Olde Tyme pretzels (regular pretzels) into the chocolate with a pair of tongs. After being dipped, I tapped the pretzel gently (holding it with tongs) to remove excess chocolate. I placed them on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper and put them in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

While the pretzels covered easily with the chocolate, the chocolate seemed to soften after being set out at room temperature...perhaps it was the shortening? In the future, I will stick to the Wilton Candy Melts.

I put the pretzels in decorative plastic bags and put them in a basket that I decorated with flowers and ribbon for my daughter's two daycare providers. My husband said they would think the pretzels and brownies in the basket were store bought, so I made a little tag stating that they were handmade (by my daughter). I used one of the many fonts I downloaded from Kevin and Amanda.

Shockingly enough, I was unable to find Teacher Appreciation Day greeting cards. So, I decided to take some blank cards and make my own using this Word Art I created. I printed it out on colored paper and glued it onto the front of a blank card. Feel free to download here:

For the administrators and a few other people who work closely with my daughter, I put together bags with some of the chocolate covered pretzels and brownies. I decorated the bags with a little name tag for each, and a little flower to dress it up.

Hope these give you some ideas for future gifts!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Gift for Fellow Crafter

As we get older, it seems to be such a struggle to figure out what to give friends or family members as gifts.  Of course,  handmade gifts are always super special to the recipient.  However, sometimes LEARNING a craft can be a wonderful gift as well!

This year for my mom's birthday I signed us both up for jewelry-making class at Joann Fabric.  I had to check around at several stores, as they all seem to offer slightly different classes and schedules.  If you search for the location of a specific store location, you can download their class schedule online, which is quite convenient.  In my experience, the larger "superstores" offer a wider variety of classes and times than the smaller stores. 

Michaels also offers classes, but at the time I called them, they only were offering a scrapbooking and cake decorating class.  Unlike Joann, they do not offer their class schedule online. 

I made a card for my mom stating what the gift was (obviously I had to check with her before booking the class to ensure she was available).  I definitely could have been more creative with the card, but was pressed for time.  

With the card, I framed a picture of my mom and my daughter, so I could actually give her something tangible (and somewhat sentimental). 
She loved the gift and we both look forward to spending time together learning how to make jewelry!