Archives for July 2010

Little Man’s Growth Board

Do you remember Lyndsey's Craft Spot guest post about making a growth board during Baby Week?  Ever since then, I knew I wanted to make one.  I have such happy memories of stretching up on my tippy toes while my Dad measured me on the wall in our Laundry Room.  The marks are still there--the story of our growing up!  
I followed Lyndsey's tutorial perfectly, so I won't re-has it for you... I'll just show off the finished product!  First and foremost, I am slightly heartbroken because I can't show it off in all its glory! The real growth board does not say "Little Man"; it obviously says his first name.  But in the interest of preserving Little Man's privacy, I did a little Photoshop trick to write over his name.  His name is written in brown vinyl, and it looks stinkin' cute!  Use your imagination!
This was such a fun project! Little Man has an airplane nursery... his Daddy is a pilot  So Mr. Oopsey Daisy really got into this project, helping me to design all of the details.  I bought the wooden airplane at Hobby Lobby, always wondering what I would do with it.  I gorilla-glued that bad boy right onto the board!  It's a splendid finishing touch!
This was the fun part!  We measured this big kid against his growth board for the first time.  Little Man is very tall and skinny for his age... he is 90% for height, but only 10% for weight.  He is already 2 feet/8 inches!
Sticking with our airplane theme, we decided to mark his progress with vinyl airplanes.  I marked the date and his current height on the airplane.  I can't wait to track his progress as he grows with a twisty turvy airplane trail!
I marked each inch using a paint pen and ruler.  (I actually bought paint pens to write in the quiet book... I don't love how they work on fabric, but they worked just fabulous on wood!) I demonstrated each foot marker with polk-a-dot scrapbook paper, distressed each, and added the brown vinyl words over the top.  I did the same for his name.  To finish up, I drilled holes and added the wire to hang it.  The bow was the cherry on top!
What a fun addition to Little Man's room--perfect for that skinny wall in his room!

Cowboy Birthday Party

I feel as though I have been teasing you with bits and pieces of my nephew's 3rd birthday party--a rootin' tootin' cowboy party.  We all came dressed in our cowboy gear, and my sister threw an absolutely amazing cowboy party for this handsome little guy:






Decor
 When we arrived at the party, we realized we were all "Wanted"!  Each guest was featured on a Wanted sign, hanging on a clothesline.

My little contribution, the rustic sign, hanging on the tree:
Games
BB gun shooting...


Horseshoes...

Lassoing (of cardboard horses and birthday boys!)...

Musical chairs....
Food
We loaded up these burgers, straight from the grill!

The AMAZING cowboy cake!  Check out that fringe!  And I love the bandana design.

Gifts
We spread out a blanket for the birthday boy to open his gifts...
Opening up gifts, boots and all!

Playing around
When a cowboy doesn't have a cowboy to ride....

And when Grandpa helps him find a horse...

Everyone HAD to bring a cowboy hat to wear!  We were also given sheriff badges to wear.

Happy Birthday, Cowboy dude!

More Cowboy Goodies

On Monday, I shared the fun rustic Western sign for that I made for my nephew's third birthday party--a cowboy party.  Tomorrow, I promise to share all of the adorable details of the party.  Your jaw will drop when you see it in all of its rootin' tootin' cuteness!!


Here are a few more last-minute preparations I made to get in the cowboy spirit:

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know I unexplainably dread making cards, but I LOVED making this card. And why, you ask???

Because I used burlap!!  Oh yes I did!  What says rustic and Western like burlap?! So perhaps I'll start making more fabric cards in the future.  They just make my day!

As soon as I heard the theme of the party, I knew exactly what Little Man just had to wear!  I used the amazing bandana shirt tutorial from Aly & Ash to make this fun bandana onesie!

Little Man was a regular Jessie James... if only he would wear his cowboy hat!

Yes indeed.  What a sweet little cowboy!!  Happy Thursday, everyone!

CSN Stores Review

I know, I know!  You can't get enough of CSN Stores.  Well, there's a reason that CSN Stores is such a hot topic!!  They.have.everything!! From vanity items to toys; from clothes to furniture.  You won't be disappointed with what CSN Stores has to offer.  I don't even like online shopping, but I do love CSN's easy-to-navigate websites.  I am excited because I am now a CSN Stores Preferred Blogger... and THAT means I get some fun stuff for F-R-E-E and get to show it off!


My hubby's birthday is just next week, so we decided that he gets to pick out something from CSN Stores for his big 30th birthday!   These are some of the top ideas in the running:

Some running shoes


New rolling suitcase for his frequent travels

       We desperately need some office furniture!!  Something like this would be lovely!

I know I would use this sander more than he would... so it could be a gift for the both of us!

So now the question is:  Which one will HE choose?  Stay tuned...

Wednesday’s Wowzers: 3 dozen (plus four) flower tutorials

Do you remember this post where I shared 3 dozen flower tutorials?  Ever since then, I have been on the look-out to collect even MORE tutorials!  I've definitely had flowers on my brain!  I have added so many more flower tutorials to my collection, that I can't even share them all here... I have tons of paper flower tutorials that I will show off another day!

But for now... enjoy your Wednesday with some gorgeous flowers! 





22.  Video tutorial for this chunky fabric rosette from Freckled Laundry.



  

33.  Scrumptious sunflower cupcakes from Mackenzie's Crafty Mom.


I know I'm inspired!  I can't wait to try out these flowers!
So now the only question is which one is your favorite??
PS Special thanks to Michelle over at The Scrap Shoppe for being willing to share her lists of flower tutorials, too!

Best Pizza Crust Ever!



For years, my hubby refused to eat homemade pizza.  "It just isn't as good," he would complain.  Then I introduced him to this pizza crust!!  It is by far the best pizza crust I have ever tasted!!  It is both soft and flavorful.  Now, we enjoy making pizza together, choosing our own specific toppings for our individual halves of the pizza!  It's actually a fabulous date night!  Get your kids involved in making pizza and this could be a fun family night, too.

I have a fear of making homemade bread.  I think it's something about the yeast.  But this recipe is SIMPLE.  Believe me!   You can't go wrong!!   So without further adieu, let me introduce you to the. best. pizza. crust. ever!  
Best pizza crust
3 ½ c. flour
1 c. warm water
2 T. yeast
2 T. honey
¼ c. olive oil
½ tsp. salt
Pour warm water into a bowl. Add honey and salt.  Mix until well blended.  Add the yeast and mix.  Let this mixture sit for about 5 minutes.  Add 1 cup of flour and the olive oil.   Mix until well blended.  Add the rest of the flour and mix well.  
The dough should turn into a ball.  If it is too dry, add water 1 tablespoon at a time.  If it is too sticky, add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time.
Once the dough is balled up, place on a floured surfaced and knead for 1 minute.  Place in a covered bowl and store in a warm, dry area to rise.
After about 45 minutes, the dough should have doubled in size.  Punch it down.  Let it rise for another hour.  The dough is now ready to be rolled out.  (You can let it rise once more and punch it down again if you’d like!)
Roll out the dough on a clean, dry surface.  Use a rolling pin to flatten it out to about ¼ inch thick. (After pressing dough into pizza pan, I actually had plenty of leftover dough after to make breadsticks another night!)  


Take a fork and puncture holes all over the dough to prevent bubbling.  

Brush with olive oil and Italian seasoning.  

Add your sauce, cheese, and toppings!  I like to leave my toppings about 1 inch away from the outside crust.
Bake pizza at 450 degrees for 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown.  I know you want to chow down right this second, but let it cool for a bit!
Enjoy!
No need to copy down this recipe... just click below!

Distressed Wooden Sign

I am super excited with how this project turned out.  It was one of those delightful moments where something turned out even better than I had envisioned.  I just couldn't stop looking at my rustic Western sign.

The goal:  My sister threw an amazing cowboy hoe-down party for my nephew's 3rd birthday on Saturday.  I will be sharing some details of the party later on because it was rip-roarin' fun!  She asked me to make a rustic sign that said, "Anderson Ranch" to hang up on a tree in the back yard.  Here are bits and pieces of my journey:

I was able to walk out of Home Depot with this piece of wood for FREE!  Great start!

The only problem was that my piece of wood was silky smooth, and I needed it to look rustic.  Can you believe that I have never ever distressed something before?!  I had so much fun with my mallet, screw, and screwdriver that I am having visions of distressing every piece of furniture in my home!  This was excellent anger management!!!  I went to town on my wood until I realized that the opposite side of the wood was actually much more naturally distressed.  It had a fabulous knot in it and was already a bit more rough.  I didn't even mind the extra distressing... I seriously LOVED it!  (What does that say about me?)
I started out by giving the distressed wood a good coat of brown spray paint.  See that fabulous knot?  

Next, I applied my vinyl on top of the brown coat.  I used a fun Western font called "Playbill."  I was so tickled with how Western it looked!

Now I gave my sign a good coat of Heirloom White.  I sprayed right over the top of my vinyl.  I loved how all of my distressing really showed up after this coat.  Check it out...

At first, I was a little disappointed because I found that my vinyl peeled up around some of the edges, so some letters were a bit blurred.  I contemplated fixing them up... and then I realized it simply added to the rustic look!  Oopsey turned into a daisy!  I even took it to the next step by sanding the edges of the letters so the brown would blend into the white.  Of course I sanded the sign's edges too.


I realized I didn't have any wire strong enough to hang this bad boy... but I came up with a frugal solution!!  I untwisted a wire hanger and used my big muscles and rusty wire cutters to fashion the wire into a sign hanger!  It was nice to find an easy solution around the house!


And here is the lovely finished product, hanging on the tree:


Deliciously rustic, don't you think??  

PS My friend Kelsey from Tattered & Inked was my paint distressing consultant on this project!!  I seriously e-mailed her to ask her advice.  She knows her paint!!  If you haven't checked out her blog, swing by and say hello!

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom File Folder Game

I should have declared this week "Ideas for Kids Week."  As I scroll through this week's posts, I am realizing that I featured tons of ideas for kids!!  But with summer in full swing and our pursuit of keeping our kids happily entertained, I think that's appropriate.  But just to keep myself balanced, I have several decor crafts prepared for next week.


I am slightly enraptured with file folder games.  I had oodles of them as a teacher.  And I am proud to say that I just finished Little Man's first file folder game.  I can hardly wait for him to wake up and see it!  I am also excited to share it with you today!  

One of my favorite books is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault. I think that this a fun way to introduce the ABC's. This book was my inspiration!  Portrayed by my all-time favorite DJ Inker'sclip art, I created this little beauty:


The goal of this file folder game is simply exposure to the ABC's.  Using velcro, the coconuts can be affixed to the coconut tree.  They can be pulled on and off and creep their way to the top of the coconut tree!  And chicka chicka boom boom--those letters can come off, too!

I created a beach scene with the iconic Chicka Chicka Boom Boom coconut tree that I downloaded at DJ Inker's.  I made one for each side of the folder to hold all 26 letters of the alphabet!  I can't stop singing "I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts..." when I look at these happy little ABC coconuts!  

See why I needed TWO coconut trees to fit all 26 letters??

Aren't those coconuts so happy and fun?!


For easy storage, all of the coconuts can be stashed in a ziplock bag and adhered (also with velcro!) to the back of the file folder game. If you laminate everything, this little goody will last you a lifetime! 





And yes, I am willing to share!  To assemble your very own file folder game...
* Download the ABC coconuts, available here.  I printed my coconuts on cardstock to give them a bit more stability.  But that's up to you!
* Download the palm tree page here.  Print two--one for each side of the folder and paste the entire pages on.  Thanks for the beautiful clips and fonts, DJ Inker's!  Clip art designs &/or fonts copyright Dianne J Hook. Used with permission from DJ Inkers.  
* With the folder opened up, laminate the folder and the coconut page for extra durability.  (If you live near a Lakeshore Learning Center, they offer cheap laminating!)
* Cut out the coconuts.
* Adhere velcro on the backs of the coconuts.  I like to use the heavy-duty velcro because it adheres easily and won't come off!  Trust me.  Adhere coordinating velcro onto the coconut trees.  You will need 13 velcro spots on each tree.
* Adhere velcro to a ziplock bag.  Place coconuts inside and adhere coordinating velcro to back of file folder.
* Enjoy!

This little coconut tree is just waiting to be filled up with more letters! 🙂

The Eensy Weensy Spider

Hello, my friends!  I am beginning to see the end of the pile of laundry.  I have food in the fridge and even a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies baked up!  That's progress!  Now Little Man just needs to get used to going to bed early again!!  The joys of coming home from va-cay!


Remember these little guys:

 Joining their ranks...

It's no secret that I love visual aids to help me sing with Little Man!!  Now say hello to our newest friend:

This was so easy and fun to make!


I created the face on a black felt circle.  I made some silly googly eyes and a mouth with a tongue because I wanted this to be a silly spider. Honestly, spiders are not my favorite creature in the whole world, so I wanted it to be goofy instead of scary!  


I stuck the pipe cleaner legs in between the face and another black felt circle, and sewed almost all the way around.  Before closing up the circles, I stuck in a bag full of rice to create a bean bag, and then sewed up the rest!  I curled up the legs so they would be as creepy and crawly as possible... and that's it!  Easy breezy!

Honestly, Little Man was slightly afraid of this at first.  Can't say I blame him too much!  BUT the other day, he was watching Barney and they were singing "The Eensey Weensy Spider", and he ran over to his music basket, and grabbed out the spider and danced around with it, quite proud of himself!  I was so tickled that he made the connection.  He really is a musical genius.  He recognizes a tune immediately.  And that, my friends, is why I make these silly little musical visual aids!  They are wonderful learning tools!!


Have a great day today!  Friday is just around the corner!

Wednesday’s Wowzers: Inspiration While I’m Doing Laundry!

I am so glad to be home after our trip to Cali!  Home sweet home!!  But I am still running a million miles a minutes, trying to catch up.  I have a mountain of laundry staring at me in the face and no food in the house... so much to do!

So I think I'll just sit back today and be wowed by all of YOU and the amazing things that you create!!  Here are my top 5 wowzer's!

I can't rave enough about these picture knob plaques!!  All I can say is that I am super impressed!  Craft O Maniac is my new favorite!

Infarrantly Creative:  O, how I love thee!!  So much inspiration!!  There was a whole week full of zipper crafts.  I am lovin' this incredible zipper flower!

This travel organizer is just too perfect for a family on a road trip!!  I love those polk-a-dots!!  Such cute embellishments.  You can find out more at Fabulous at a Teacher Salary.  (I also love that she is a fellow teacher!  Holla!)

My hubby LOVES Coke, and we love these glass Coke bottles.  What a fun use for them--a Coke bottle bouquet!!  I am totally enthralled with Lemon Tree Creations.  

One last goody for you.  Oh my goodness gracious!  This whale applique (made from a bandana!) from Fowl Single File is simply too cute!!  So many applique possibilities!  

Thanks for coming by today... and thanks for the inspiration!
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