Wednesday, January 21, 2015

to one of my best friends

It's been awhile. We've had a lot of life changes happening around here. Two babies in 2 years . . . deciding to make the switch to homeschooling . . . but things finally seem to be settling down a bit. Mostly. Or else I'm just getting used to the chaos. And I've missed blogging. So I thought I was done, but I seem to be back for the time being.

This might be a bit sentimental but, my mom is one of my very best friends. I never went through that I-hate-my-mom high school phase. She's always been my biggest confidant, always wise, mature, smart, and the best listener ever.  She always knows just what I need to hear, and I know that no matter what she'll always love me. When I get on the phone with her my husband always gives up on seeing me for a couple hours . . . She pretty much knows everything too. I learned how to sew, cook, clean, can, garden, shop and be thrifty from her. She's blessed me with an I can do anything if I set my mind to it mentality. She is amazing. A couple of months ago we found out she has terminal cancer. She's still doing well with her chemo treatments but we all know it's only a matter of time. It's been hard and Christmas was harder, even trying to come up with gifts. It was probably her last Christmas and nothing seemed right. Everything I thought of seemed boring or inconsequential, but this is what I finally came up with to give to them, (although let's be honest, it will really end up being more for my dad).



I drew a picture of her from a couple years ago . . .  above it's still not quite finished, and below it's finished and matted and framed. It was therapeutic torture to draw it but I can honestly say I've never put so much heart into a project before.






Thursday, October 17, 2013

4x6 Halloween Printables




So I have these 4x6 inch frames that I bought to put my nativity silhouettes in. I love them at Christmas time, but since we've moved I haven't put them up because I couldn't get past the Christmas nature of them.



 I finally decided they needed some revolving holiday art. (In the spring and summer I may just put family photos in them). Here are the Halloween versions. I tried to keep them simple, but graphic. I love a good pattern! Enjoy! They print 3 to a page. I would recommend printing them on white cardstock and cutting them out. Get the printables HERE.


I apologize for the bad photos. This corner of our house gets no natural light and it's extremely difficult to photograph.

*Also a little side note that I may or may not be back to blogging. Number 3 is finally one and I feel like I'm figuring out how to balance 3 kids, but number 4 is unexpectedly on her way here. . . so we shall see what that brings!

Monday, February 11, 2013

"sharp" valentine cards


It's been a long time since I posted. A long time. Three kids will do that, at least to me I guess! But I do exist. I go back and forth on whether I want to keep up the blog or not. But I did do something fun today I thought I would share.


The buddy wants the store bought valentines to give to his friends. Surprise. I want to do cute hand made ones. So I signed up to bring a simple prize for one of the games at their classroom party, just so I could make a valentine and he can still give out the "cool" ones for his friends :) Alas. This is what I'm doing! I bought simple heart pencil sharpeners (at walmart) and I will probably hot glue them on (waiting for the glue to start cooling before putting them on so they will come off). We'll see how that goes . . . I may have procrastinated a bit! (so they are just sitting on top for pictures)

---> Click here to get the free printable <--- p="">




I hope you all have a wonderful valentines day with the sharing of lots of love.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Freebie Friday: B&W Halloween Banner




Okay, so first, sorry about the long hiatus. I think summer just isn't my time of year for blogging. It has been a crazy summer though. We spent the summer house hunting and finally moved into our new house when I was eight months pregnant. Number three was born last week and once things normalize I will be back. But I haven't stopped crafting and oh how many things have started piling up to be blogged about! It's making me crazy. But while sweet number three is still sleeping constantly I've had a little time to put up Halloween decorations. I Loooooooove the fall and decorating for Halloween, and Thanksgiving. So, I just needed a Halloween banner. I wanted to just do some fun patterns, but didn't feel satisfied with the scrapbook paper options I had on hand. So I decided to make my own! I didn't want to use a ton of ink doing a full color print though . . . so a black and white pattern was born  . . . that could be printed with colored paper to still get my need for bright colors in there. I love the different vibe each color produces. Both my kids noticed the banner as soon as they woke up this morning. The little buddy wanted to know whose birthday it was! Happy celebrating!



Get the printable pdf here.




Monday, July 30, 2012

Wild Kratts Birthday & Printables


I was talking to my sister before I planned the buddy's birthday party and she told me how she'd invited 5 boys to her son's party and 3 of them ended up not being able to come and so his party involved 3 boys. She was a little disappointed. So I figured, heck, we'll invite 9 kids, that way when half of them can't come, we'll still have a party! And then of course, as luck would have it, all 9 of them (plus a few siblings) were able to come. Another stroke of luck came when Caleb snuck up behind me while I was perusing ideas online for the party and saw some pictures of "creature power vests" because we were having a Wild's Kratt's Party--from the show on pbskids about animals. Anyway, he got super excited thinking he was going to have creature power vests at HIS party. So then of course I couldn't say no . . . to making 12 creature power vests. I didn't show pictures of how to make the vests because there are lots of tutorials. See here.  or here. I just used black fleece for the vest, colored fleece for the accents and velcro. I hot glued all the colored parts and the velcro on. I sewed the sides of the vest shut.


Yep. It was definitely a partay. I gathered most of my ideas from online, and I have to say pinterest is definitely my friend :) Here's how it went down: I designed an invite because really is there any good Wild Kratt's paraphernalia online. Nope.



Then I got gathering ideas and making stuff. . . which kind of snowballed into a lot of stuff (note to self: don't start planning early because then you just keep adding to your ideas).

I ended up with 10 creature power discs, which "activate" the creature power suits. On the show the 2 Kratt brothers have creature power suits--including a vest with a circle in the middle. They get these circular discs with an animal on them and put them into the circle and then their suit turns into whatever animal is on the disc. (Yeah, I know that didn't make sense).


* get the CREATURE POWER DISCS PDF HERE. (I modified some I found online to fit the activities we wanted to do--if you want the original jpegs they should be linked through the pinterest link). I turned these into pdfs so I could make sure they were all able to be hole punched with my 3.5 inch hole punch--I had 100 to cut out and I wanted to make it easy on myself :) 


Print on cardstock, punch with 3.5 inch hole punch or cut out with scissors, glue small piece of velcro to back. 


We just had too many activities we wanted to do--so 6 of the discs we turned into an activity to "use" the disc and the other 4 went into their favor bags to take home.  We started off giving them their beaver discs so they could turn into beavers and make beaver dams out of peanut butter and pretzels. In theory it was suppose to take a long time and be an opener while everyone arrived. But somehow everyone seemed to arrive within like a 5 minute window. So they all made their "dams" together.


Next up we took them outside and gave them their Cheetah Discs to turn into cheetah's and race around the yard. A little anticlimactic, but the buddy enjoyed it. Because we had so many kids we split them in half and rotated through the rest of the activities.


For the Buttefly creature power disc I gave them each their disc and then they wrapped each other up in toilet paper like a cocoon and then "burst" free to become a butterfly. Simple, but fun.


For the polar bear disc I froze 4 gallon size bags of water flat in the freezer and then we pulled them out and put them on the grass. They had to step from "ice floe" to "ice floe" without slipping off. (but I don't think we managed pictures of this one before they were done--they went fast).




For the shark disc we had a little blow up pool that they fished for little plastic fishes. By far the favorite, and the one thing the buddy requested we do. 



The platypus disc was a simple carrying a boiled egg on a spoon to the nest game. Not the highlight, butsome of the kids thought it was pretty great.


* get the ANIMAL OUTLINE POSTER PDF'S HERE. Print the first 3 pages on simple patterned  scrapbook paper/cardstock and then cut out each animal leaving black outline. Print last 5 pages on colored cardstock. Glue animals above words. 


And of course we had to end with cake and ice cream (or ice cream sandwiches).

*Get generic WILD KRATT TOPPERS PDF HERE. Print on cardstock and punch out with a 2 inch hole punch. (they don't say Caleb on them). 



I also ended up making a little pouch for each child with a velcro closure and a band on the back so that as they collected each disc they could put the previous one in the pouch so it didn't get lost. In retrospect it was kind of a lot of work, and it may have been faster and more organized if they'd just given me back each disc as we moved on--and then I could have divided them out again at the end to send them home.



Their favor bags included the last 4 creature power discs with a little favor and fun fact to go along with each one:
* get the FAVOR TAGS PDF HERE. Print on cardstock and cut out with 2 inch hole punch.
* get the FUN FACTS PRINTABLE PDF HERE. 



The Firefly included a glow stick bracelet.


The Earthworm had a little toy worm and some gummy worms.


The bat included some "bat ears" made from black elastic and black fleece left over from the vests.


The large mouth bass included some gold fish. 


The buddy had a good time. He still occasionally puts on his creature power vest and runs around the house. And even when he doesn't have his vest on he'll say "cheetah power" and that means he's running "super" fast. It ended up being quite a bit of work, but I kind of brought in on myself. I get started and the ideas just keep coming and I want to do them all and so I do. I enjoy it though so I guess it's okay. I just hope it doesn't get out of control (probably too late for that one eh?) 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth of July!


I hope all you American's have a wonderful fun filled fourth of July. I promise I will be back with lots of great stuff. It's been a very busy/ extremely lazy month and a half. I hope I'm recovered :)






So far we've had lots of fun with parades and picnics and looking forward to fireworks!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

cakes


I've got 3 cakes and 2 sets of cup cakes to make in the next couple weeks. Cake is on my mind. This white cake was surprisingly easy (besides the enormous amounts of frosting it required.) But it packs a punch. I found the how-to on I am baker. Find it here. And yes, hers is much better than mine, but I'm learning.


My first attempts at cake making were at best pretty sad. Here's the buddies first birthday cake. . .  good thing he was only one and didn't know how bad it was. It even leaned to one side. So I decided that I just didn't like making cakes and that it was too sloppy for me. I like clean crisp edges and neat lines--easily achieved with paper. Not so much with cake. Goopy, unpredictable and messy. Yup. Always getting the crumbs from the cake into the frosting. 


Last year I decided I was going to learn how to make a decent cake for the buddies birthday (below). So I picked the brains of a couple of really great ladies at church, one of whom used to teach cake decorating classes. (yep, I'm too cheap to take an actual class). Here are some the most important things I learned from them.


When making a layered cake: bake the cakes. Let them cool, take them out of the pans, and wrap them tightly in saran wrap.  (but not so tight that you crumble the cake :) Then freeze them overnight. It's about 10 times easier to frost a frozen cake than it is to frost a soft crumbly cake. And the best part of all is that when you freeze it, the moisture is kept in the cake and you end up with a much moister cake.

When frosting the cake I also learned that you don't go over and over the same area with the knife. An easy way to do it is to pipe the frosting on all over the cake with a big tip and then just spread it flat so you don't make such a mess.



And finally, I really like using fondant: crisp edges and neat lines :) I made my own marshmallow fondant, which is kind of annoying, but really much yummier than the already made kind. I used this recipe from all recipes. When you are ready to use it just roll it out with some powdered sugar to keep it from getting sticky and then use cookie cutters or fondant cutters (or new sculpey clay cutters) to cut them out. Get them wet with a tiny bit of water and stick them on your cake.

Anyway. This week I'm going to attempt to make a chocolate ganache for a fancy chocolate cake I'm making for a mother's day tea party. It's amazing how much more confident I feel with a few cake making success behind me. I'm no pro and I've still got a lot to learn, but I've decided that making cakes is surprisingly fun, time consuming, but with some attention to detail do-able.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails