Monday, November 30, 2009

Our Foray Into Freezer Paper

By now, everyone knows that making stencils out of freezer paper is a great way to create fun and unique shirts, bags, table linens....the possibilities are endless. But, as is usually the case, we had never given it a try. Until today!

After choosing the images we wanted to stencil onto the shirts we had, we printed them off the computer and traced them onto our freezer paper. We were careful to do this on the non-shiny side!

Then, using a sharp X-acto, we cut out our stencil.

Next we placed it onto our shirt (shiny side down) we ironed over it to make it stick. When doing this, be sure to place the iron straight down and not move it back and forth as you would normally do when ironing your clothes. Then we were ready to apply the paint!

Depending on the type of fabric paint you use and what color material you are stenciling on you may want to put a layer of white down first to make the final color pop.

After we let our initial layer of white dry, we applied a coat of red (we found that we actually needed to apply two coats of the red to make sure of nice, even color).

Once the paint was completely dry, we carefully peeled off the stencil revealing our finished image!

The last thing you should do is set the image by ironing it while the shirt (or whatever else you are stenciling) is inside out. Then you are ready to try it on and show it off!
**silly boys!**

As many already know, this project is so fun and easy - not to mention versatile! You can give new life to all sorts of things. We already have our eye on a couple stained shirts, as this would be a great way to cover those stains and give the shirts a whole new look!
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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Making Applesauce

A few weeks ago we went apple picking. We
came home with 40 lbs of apples. We knew applesauce was in our future. We had many different varieties in our basket, but any tart cooking apple would work well.

Everyone got in on the fun!

The grownups peeled, cored and sliced the apples and the kids chopped them up.It didn't matter what size the pieces ended up.
The kids thought they were so cool using real knifes to cut.

This was a great teaching opportunity as well. We talked about the parts of the apple, the stem and blossom end. We cut the apples in half and found the apple star.


This was a 5 quart pot that we filled almost to the top with apples. Next we added 2tsp of cinnamon, 1/2 tsp of nutmeg and 1/2 tsp cloves. We poured in 2 cups of water and covered the pot. We simmered for about 35 - 40 min. You can mash with potato masher, or blend in blender for smoother sauce.

Now for the really fun part! MMMMM!

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Monday, November 23, 2009

1 Million Pillowcase Challenge

With Thanksgiving coming up fast we wanted to take the time to think about all the wonderful things we have in our lives to be thankful for. Our families, our friends, good health...too many to count! But we also know that there are others out there who are not as fortunate. So many people need a safe, warm place to rest their heads. That is why we are going to participate in the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge (and we hope you will, too!).

The idea of the challenge is for crafters to make pillowcases and donate them to the charities that need them in their communities, in the hopes that 1 million will be donated in 2010. Their website has patterns you can use, or you can design your own - we'll be sure to post the ones we make!. They also have lists of possible charities that you might want to send your completed pillowcases to.

A pillowcase is such a quick and simple project, but sometimes it's the simplest things that can mean so much. Because in this time where we remembering all the things we have to be thankful for, it is also important to remember those who need a little help.
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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thanksgiving Cookies

Happy Thanks giving!!

We saw these cute turkey cookies on Nick Jr. Our four year olds knew right away that they had to make these.

We used refrigerated sugar cookie dough. We traced our four year olds hand (use your smallest child's hand, they got huge in the oven) on construction paper. Cut it out and use it as a pattern for the cookies. We used a bamboo skewer to cut out the dough.

We also made some leaf shaped cookies as well.

Next we made a very simple frosting just using powdered sugar and water. For the brown icing we added vanilla extract and cinnamon (about a tsp. of each) We made the frosting slightly runny and used new paint brushes to paint on the frosting! We used our last few pieces of Halloween candy corn for beaks for the turkeys.

So fun painting cookies!

Some of the turkeys ended up a little abstract.

Our fall leaf cookies turned out beautiful as well!
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Monday, November 16, 2009

Math Match

Two of our boys are in the same preschool class, which is designed to get them ready for next year's jump to kindergarten (when did they got so big??). So we have been doing what we can to encourage the great things they are learning! And since they have been showing an interests in numbers, we looked for a fun way to help them work on that skill.

So we went over to and checked out what activities they had for kindergarten math. There we found this great idea for making a memory game using numbers!

What you need:
  • 10 blank index cards
  • markers
  • small stickers
We first cut each card in half, then on ten of the halves wrote the numbers 1 though 10. On the other ten halves, we let the boys make ten "quantity cards" by having them place the appropriate number of small stickers on each one (one card had one sticker, one had two stickers, etc.). Then we were ready to play!

We placed all twenty cards face down on the table. The idea was to flip on card over, and find the card that had the matching number or written on it or the correct number of stickers on it! For example, if a number 6 cards was flipped, we tried to find the card with the six stickers on it. This game was a fun way for the boys to practice counting as well as helped them to associate the number symbols with quantities. And it's good for working on memory as well!

And, let's face it, games are fun!
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Friday, November 13, 2009

We're Getting Ourselves Organized...

...Or at least we're trying to! This blog has been so much fun for us. It has allowed us to find a small corner of the (cyber)world to call our own, which can be very therapeutic when your day-to-day life is full of kids, pets, and other household chaos! But we are learning that it's all about balance for us.

So to help us find a happy medium between full-time moms and mad crafters we have decided to officially schedule our postings. In a perfect world we would post everyday, but that is pretty unrealistic for us. We tried posting about three times a week, but even that wasn't a perfect fit. So instead we have decided to designate Mondays and Thursdays as our official project posting days starting next week!

Thank you all for bearing with us! Stay tuned because we have some really cute ideas coming your way!
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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Easy Breezy Burp Cloths

Need a gift for a new baby, but want something a little special? Try these. They only take a few minutes, and require very little sewing skills. But the end results are not only practical but stylish and adorable as well!

What you need:
  • cloth diapers - the 6 layered kind (washed & dried)
  • cotton fabric (we used flannel also washed and dried)

Before you cut the fabric, pin it to the diaper, right sides together. Then cut around the diaper.

Now sew around the diaper as close to the edge as possible. Leave a 4-5 inch opening and then turn the cloth right side out. Hand stitch the opening closed, and you're done. We rolled ours up and tied them with a pretty ribbon.

**This project has been entered in the Creative Craft Contest hosted by Floral Showers Crafts!**

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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Ladybug Book Ends

We made these bookends for our ladybug girl Chloe. (born Oct. 30!) We chose ladybugs, but almost any favorite shape would do. Our ladybug were about 10 inches wide and 8 inches tall. We cut our shapes out of felt and sewed them together with embroidery floss.

Each ladybug is reversible, so we cut out two of each piece. We top stitched them together, leaving the bottom open. We stuffed the ladybug with some paper towel and then stood it up on black felt. We traced around the ladybug (making an oval shape) to make the bottom of the bookend. We took the paper towel out and sewed the bottom on leaving a 5 -6 inch opening. Next we placed a heavy duty zip lock bag inside the bug and filled it with new sand. (We tried rice and beans, but they weren't heavy enough.)

Then we squeezed all the air out of the bag and zipped and taped the bag shut. The bottom of the lady bug was closed and a final flower embellishment was added.

**This project has been entered in the Creative Craft Contest hosted by Floral Showers Crafts!**
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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cutie Cowl

Maggie had a plain black tank top, and while it has served her faithfully for years, she decided it was time for a change. So following this great step-by-step tutorial from Happy Together, we turned the plain tank into a cute cowl neck tank!

The cowl didn't turn out as full and drapey as we would have liked because the fabric we used was a scrap from a previous project, which made it's size pretty limited. But even though it didn't turn out exactly how we envisioned, we still think it was an adorable, quick, and easy way to help a boring tank make a cute statement!

Another thought we had was to add snaps to the top and the cowl allowing you to attach different cowls to fit your different moods. This would turn your one shirt into many! Maybe we'll save that project for another day, though!
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Monday, November 2, 2009

Bubble Art

We were trying to rack our brains to come up with a fun project for the boys one rainy day, when one of them said that they wanted to blow bubbles. Knowing it was not ideal bubble-blowing weather, we came up with the idea of adding color to the bubble solution! We had seen this project before using tempra paint powder, but we didn't have any. So we improvised and used food coloring instead!

We divided the bubble solution into several small dishes, then added a good amount of food coloring until the solution was dark. Then we gave the kids bubble wands and paper and let them blow the colorful bubbles onto the paper! When the bubbles popped they left colorful circles.

Having done it once, we now think this would make a great outdoor project (maybe with over-sized paper!). The bubbles tended to spray solution when they popped, spraying color as well. Make sure you are doing this in an area that can stand some mess and have your kids wear smocks - this can stain!

We also think this would make great wrapping paper!
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