Chillin' wiht my Peeps

FREE file to make a super cute spring shirt

Mini Photo Frame Banner

A cute and simple way to display mini pictures - come find out how to make one for yourself!

Pony Bead Lizards

Learn step-by-step how to make pony bead lizards

Glitter Felt Hairbows

Add a little sparkle to any little girls wardrobe with these DIY hairbows!

Perfect Crisp Lines

Find out the trick to getting perfectly crisp lines on name signs

October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

Hope everyone had a fun Halloween Weekend - we did!

October 30, 2010

Flower Cupcakes

I was able to make cupcakes for a baby shower a few weeks ago - happy day!  I have seen so many cute cupcakes out there - aren't cupcakes all the rage right now?? - and I've been wanting an excuse to make some.  The theme for the shower was pink and flowers, so I made plain cupcakes topped with flowers made out of Gum Paste.  I had never used gum paste before, but it was kind of like fondant except that it dried hard.  I used the tutorial over at the Make It And Love It CAke Series (love that series - makes me feel like I can actually tackle cake-decorating).
I made some of my flowers curved out and some flat - but I loved the curved ones most.  I didn't have a "molding cup" and I'm cheap so instead of buying one I put the flowers out over my measuring spoons.  By the end I had every spoon I could find on the counter with gumpaste flowers drying on them.

The cupcakes were lemon with a raspberry filling - the cake was a mix (with extra oil added) and I made the raspberry filling by blending the raspberries and heating it and stirring in sugar and cornstarch.  I found a tutorial on filling cupcakes, but of course I can't find the link now.  Basically I cut a cone-shape out of the cupcake and put in filling, then cut a piece off the cone so it was then a lid and put the lid back over the hole in the cupcake.  I thought they were pretty yummy.  And I made those cupcake liners too - cute, right?
And I had nothing to do with anything else party related, but I had to take a picture to show you these flower balloons my friend made - just 5 pink balloons and 1 yellow balloon - genius!
 She hung them around the entryway to the room - super cute.
Have a great Halloween!!  Save those candy wrappers so you can put them to good use..... (do you think the kids get annoyed when I say "don't rip it open - bring it here so I can cut it for a nice edge" - I'm sure they just think I'm crazy....)

October 29, 2010

Photography Tips: try something different

Remember when I used to give photography tips every week? - well, I know it's been a while.  I think I've told you about all I know, so it's just a matter of practice.  Are you getting that blurry background you want (here's the tip on blurry background) and are you off of the green square and using "P" (here's what that's all about).  Well, family photo season is upon us - I have been doing TONS of sessions - and so I came up with another tip for you: Try Something Different.

When you're taking family pictures for your Christmas Cards, do the traditional sit-and-smile in a group shot, but don't be afraid to try something different.  Here are some of my favorites from sessions I've done in the past few days - and none of them are the traditional shot.  Don't be afraid to try something different - worst case, you'll just delete it later.  Some ideas I use:

Feet pictures - I always take a picture with feet only - there's just something I love about it.  This family all wore Converse shoes, so it was all the more fun.
Pose pictures - this works great with a plain background, like this wall - I love how everyone gets to show their personalities.
Use your surroundings - I love this phone booth picture - -
telephone booth family picture photo idea
Jumping Picture - I almost always do a jumping picture - it's a good one to give the kids a break from sit-and-smile pictures.  A hint is to tell every to kick their bottoms instead of just jumping up - it makes you look higher.  And this will take a few shots - and even little kids who can't jump still look cute trying.

October 28, 2010

Quick Candy Gift

Need a quick and easy neighbor gift??  Something fun to give to a teacher??  Looking for a craft to do??  We turned a jar of candy corn into a jack-o-lantern.  Here's how:

First paint mod podge on the back of some traingles that make a jack-o-lantern face.
Stick them on the jar and then coat the whole area with mod podge.  Let dry.
Fill your jar with candy corn - that gives it the orange color for a pumpkin - then top with green or brown fabric and tie it on (I never know if I should put green on top of pumpkins or brown - do you have the same dilemma or am I just crazy...)

That's it - done and done.  Are you ready for Halloween or frantically trying to do a million things in the few days left???

October 27, 2010

Spider Shirt

My kids have weeks worth of Halloween Outfits - seriously!!  Grandma buys new gigs every year - this year she remembered that they have a ton and got them skeleton jammies instead of shirts, so that was fun.  Anyways, I have nothing.  NOTHING!  Where have I been - - so when I saw the quick how-to make a spider shirt over at AGAAGG (that'd be A Girl and A Glue Gun) I thought I could whip one up.

I took the Minnie Mouse shirt I made for myself (because really, it's cute at Disney, but in real life?  I didn't think it'd be a constant in my wardrobe rotation) and ripped off the Minnie.   Then I hot glued the spiders right on.  I was skeptical, but it worked!  And they're on for good.

It took maybe 5 minutes.  I did it was I was getting ready to head out the door to Halloween Storytime at the Library.  Fun, right?  So if you need last-minute attire this weekend, this could be you:
And speaking of A Girl and A Glue Gun, I love this pin Kimbo made.   Back when I was trying to hit 500 followers, my husband asked me what I thought a "big" craft blog was - I said it was 1,000 followers.  Uh, I'm over 1200 right now.  Wow - am I "big"!?  I now think that 3,000 followers is big, but I like to think in my corner of the craft world I might be a big deal....maybe...sorta......

Showing Off

ARgh!!  I can't get InLinkz to pull up, so I can't see my linky party, so I can't find most of the links to these cute projects (I happen to have looked them up and grabbed the pictures earlier today)
UPDATE - - I dug clear through my "history" (at-hem, apparently I look at A LOT of craft blogs on a daily basis) and found links - yea!!  On to sharing them:

I wasn't sure about owls when they first started coming on strong, but the last couple of months they have really grown on me - I mean, really, check out this owl bunting from Spunky Junky - too cute!
I cannot believe how many little pumpkins they made over on Whimsical Creations - such a cute idea for an upcoming Halloween Wedding.
You probably know all about the playsets Elizabeth makes over at Twelve Crafts Till Christmas - here's her how-to on a play apron.
Just the other day I was telling someone I wanted to hang a wreath in a frame - and what do you know, it shows up in the link party - see more at Joy Is At Home.
This bag is cute (and I happen to have checked out the book she mentions from the library a couple of weeks ago) but more than that is the story of Grandma teaching the art of sewing - love that!  You can read it over at Crazy Joy.
First off, LOVE the color of this door.  Second, our house doesn't have house numbers - they're on the mailbox post (who knows why!) - so I love the idea of putting them on the door - check it out over at Pickles and Paper.
Love the green of this girls room/nursery (can you tell I love green) - reminds me of my kitchen - check out more pictures over at JourneyMum.
Did you see this knit sweater - wow!  this is why I need to learn more about knitting  - check out the details at Visions of Sugar Plums.
Three shirt redos that stood out - sweater ruffles at Holy Craft, middle ruffle at Polka Dots and Pizza, and black ruffle tee at Sewn - you all inspire me to want to try (again) a shirt redo - - -

So, due to the InLink problem thing, I can't find out who was the most viewed link - I'm sure it was you, so congrats!!

Thanks for linking everyone!!  If you were featured feel free to grab the button:

October 25, 2010

Take-A-Look Tuesday and Pumpkin Dresses

Remember the Pillowcase Ghost Dress??  It was so cute that I made a pumpkin version... the neighbor girl was over so I thought it was a fun project that the girls could do - they love pushing the pedal and "sewing" while I guide the fabric through - - for the how-to, just follow the link to the Pillowcase Ghost Dress but make a jack-o-lantern instead of a ghost face - but you knew that...
Pillowcase Pumpkin Dress

Now, on to the Link Party.....
Time to Take-A-Look at what you've been up to -  Can't wait to see what comes this week - and who will be the most viewed link - maybe you?

- - just a run down- -
  • Link to a Specific Post, not your whole blog (to do this, click on the title of the post you want to link and it will open on it's own page, then copy that url)
    Please don't link up a post that you've already linked here before - since we've been getting so many linkups (great!!) let's keep it to a maximum of 2 links per person - thanks

    Grab my button below - you can post it on your post, on your sidebar, on a page of a list of link-ups, wherever as long as it's somewhere.

    Try to visit a few other people on the list - it's fun to support and encourage fellow craftiness - and everyone LOVES comments
If you're new to link-ups and have questions let me know and I'll do my best to help

Candy Wrapper Flowers

Phew, another week and I'm still in!!  This being in a contest thing is starting to get intense!  Last week my entry was Candy Wrapper Flowers.

I know that recycling has a lot to do with upcycling and repurposing, but when I hear the word "recycle" I think glass, paper, aluminum - you know, trash.  And with Halloween coming up, the biggest trash will be all those candy wrappers laying around.  Instead of throwing them out, make cute Candy Wrapper Flowers.

Candy Wrapper Flowers are an update to the throw-back of Candy Wrapper Bows that were popular in the 80s - those we great, right?  But instead of big and floofy, using a few folds they can have a more modern look.  You can wear them attached to clips and hairpins:
And I love their look attached to a headband, the big trend right now.

So save all those wrappers and start crafting!

So, I'm sorta glad I didn't win because I didn't have a tutorial ready to go - here's a few tips:
--When making the flowers with "petals" I thought I could glue them - wrong - I ended up sewing them just like fabric flowers.
--I did hot glue a back  on to stablize them and again used hot glue to secure them to headbands and clips.  Then to reinforces I hot glued more wrapper over the spot.
--the M&M wrapper is several fun sizes wrappers folded fan-style all sewed together to make a circle.  The blue middle is a wad of taffy wrapper.
--you can buy 12 packs of taffy for $1 at the dollar store - it wasn't good, but the wrappers were great, bright colors.
--The skittles wrappers were fun size, each petal was one fun-size wrapper - I folded them in Kanzashi flower method.
--The starbursts are just wads glued onto a clip

I know this is the worst how-to ever!  But I didn't take pictures while I made them because I wasn't sure if it'd work or not.  Anyways, any questions??

October 23, 2010

Banana Bread - looks yummy!

When my husband was in France on business last year he had a certain dessert a lot so my souvenir was the silicone pan used to make it (was a great gift - practical and fun - I loved it!).  I haven't made the dessert yet (it'd help if I remembered what it's called) but when I was making banana bread the other day I grabbed the pan instead of a boring old bread pan.  See how it came out - fun, right??
Every Tuesday at our house is "Breakfast Tuesday" - you know, breakfast for dinner.  Anyways, Banana Bread was the side dish but when it came out of the pan and I topped it with powdered sugar, it looked so yummy that the kids thought it was dessert - fine by me, it was great!
The recipe is Banana Banana Bread from AllRecipes and it is a keeper!!  I enjoyed how much banana it called for. I love AllRecipes - I use it alot and look for recipes with lots of high-rated reviews. 

So, don't be afraid to branch out and break rules - banana bread, not in a bread pan - fabulous!

October 22, 2010

Vest with Covered Buttons (and Random Shout-outs)

 I was lucky enough to test a vest pattern for Little Lizard King, found here (want to be a pattern tester? sometimes she asks for volunteers on her blog).  The pattern is for a reversible vest but I made both sides the same - it went together very quickly - love that.  My little boy will wear this for our family pictures (the girls will wear their flower-girl dresses and I'll wear my matching mod podge shoes - my older son and husband will hopefully have ties that match as well....) - I like the idea of green accents instead of red for Christmas pictures - something different.
 (my model wasn't cooperating - oh well!) I had never used fabric covered buttons before - they were so EASY!  I LOVE the look of them!  You just cut a little circle, use the enclosed tool to snap the button on to the back, and that's it.  This is the first time I've done a row of buttons  - they got a little wonky, so don't look too close.

Also, did you see that  I WON a giveaway over at Twelve Crafts Till Christmas?  Finally, entering millions of giveaways pays off!  I also won a subscription to EMealz, but I'll tell you about that after I try it out - - anyways, I could pick any hat and went for the pink in a 5T, since my girls are almost 6 and 4 - I figured a 5 would allow them to share it.  They both LOVE it (you can buy this one HERE or check out the whole Girl In Air Shop for other choices) - warning, cute hat makes cute kids look even cuter:
And it was Hat Day for my kindergartener - check out the whole look!  She seems so grown-up!

(what's with the cat and hose? oh well...)

Another shout-out - a reader is trying to get 90 emails or cards compiled for her mom's 90th birthday - want to help with the effort - check that out at I Do Designs - -

Umm, I think I deleted my signature somehow - oops! - - MANDY