Chalkboard Conversation Hearts

My first Valentine's Day post of the year--finally!  
I don't know why, but I am having such a difficult time getting back in the swing of things.  I guess the fact that my hubby is traveling A TON, plus Little Man keeps getting sick doesn't help.  Getting a project completed has been absolutely painful. Hopefully we'll get back in the groove very, very soon.
Now I would like to introduce you to my chalkboard conversation hearts.  Who doesn't love conversation hearts?!  And how about the chance to write your own little messages.  Then erase and write another.  And another.  
It all began when I discovered THIS red and pink chalkboard paint at JoAnn's last week.  I had long mourned the face that chalkboard paint was only black, but little did I know!  I quickly took both of these home with me.
I also found these wooden hearts at JoAnn's, and I bought the last three that they had.  
I took out the jute and gave each side of the hearts 2 coats of paint.  (Please don't judge me for my messy painting... it was late at night, and I was rushing!)  I quickly decided to paint the hearts on wax paper instead of the paper plate to keep the hearts from sticking.
Then I got out my chalk and started to write some lovey-dovey messages!  
I added the jute back through the holes and started hanging the hearts around my house. I decided to add some ribbon bows to dress them up a bit.  Because I ended up with 3 hearts, I decided that each member of our family can have a heart.  We can write messages to each other and leave them around the house!
Hopefully this heart will help my hubby lighten up while working in his office.  He's a bit of a work-a-holic!

 But they sure do look cute hanging from the knobs of my little bench.

Or from our little office organizer next to our front door.

I left this heart in a really obvious spot to be sure that Mr. Daisy would come home, notice them, and tell me how much he loves them!

 I'm looking forward to writing little messages to each other again and again!  Don't you love chalkboard paint?!

Thanks for being here and thanks for reading!

Do You Fondue?

A little valentine recap....

I had TWO valentines this year.  Aren't they handsome?!

I made candygrams for both of those handsome guys.  Even though my hubby doesn't enjoy sweets, he enjoyed the sentiment.  As part of our 14 Days of Love we also heart-attacked doors for each other.  There was  no shortage of hearts in our house.  
Everything we ate was in the shape of a heart!  We had pancake hearts for breakfast and personal heart pizzas for dinner.
  It was a wonderful day of love, and it couldn't have ended any more deliciously... my entire family got together for a little fondue.
I absolutely adore fondue.  The chocolate, the dipping, the candle-light... so romantic.  Chocolate-dipped strawberries are my kind of heaven.  There are tons of fondue recipes out there, but here is my favorite.  It is so simple to make, and not too rich.  We made 2 different recipes last night, and this one stands as my fav:

Easy Chocolate Fondue

1 cup chocolate-flavored syrup
7 oz. (1/2 can) sweetened condensed milk
Dash of salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

1.  Place chocolate syrup and milk in sauce pan (or in fondue pot on medium setting).  Heat and stir on medium-low.  Stir in salt.  Cook and stir 12-15 minutes.
2.  Reduce heat to warm and stir in vanilla.
3.  Warm in fondue pot and enjoy!

Some of our favorite morsels to dip are pretzels, bananas, apples, strawberries, vanilla wafers, nuts, angel food cake, and animal crackers.

It’s Not Too Late To Decorate for Valentine’s Day!

I realize that not everyone loves decorating for Valentine's Day.  BUT if you want to throw something up just in the nick of time, here are 2 easy ideas to decorate in a flash!

This heart garland would be lots of fun to make with kids.  
First, cut out a ton of hearts!  I am a sucker for red/black/white together, so I scrounged up some scrapbook paper and started cutting.  (Well, actually, I let my cricut do all of the cutting.  If you cut them by hand, just use a standard template so your hearts are all the same size.)  Then fold all of the hearts in half.
To make the hearts 3-dimensional, I took 3 paper hearts, and glued them together, fold to fold. 
Then I punched a few holes, and strung them together with red ribbon.
Ta-dah!  I went a little crazy with the hearts, so I had enough to do 2 heart garlands:  One for the mantel and one for the hallway.  I have a whole set of small hearts, too, that I think I am going to save and use to make a valentine tree next year.

My last Valentine's project for the year:  I found these cute frames in the dollar bins at Michael's and just couldn't help myself.
Then I printed out some vintage sheet music for a song called Moonlight and Roses.  Perfect! I traced some ovals to fit in the frames an distressed the edges.
I added letters to each frame and added them to a bare bookshelf that needed some sprucing up.
Seriously took me about a half hour.  So easy.  

What to Give Your Husband on V-Day?

I don't know about you, but my husband is pretty tough to shop for.  

He's not exactly the sentimental type.  He already has what he wants and does not like the idea of me spending money on him.  I really had to rack my brain to come up with something.  I have a few little things... a travel case to carry his toiletries for when he is gone on business trips.  And a heart pillow I sewed up with a pocket to carry pictures of me and our son (also for when he travels).  Totally corny, I know.  But his coworkers won't see it... he can just toss it in the suitcase and take a little part of us with him because he travels a lot.  I used up my scraps to make a couple other little pillows, too, and threw them around our bedroom.  I love the quilted look of the fabric. 

But then I got to thinking about a gift that might help solve a particular problem we have.  We really try to have date nights every week.  We have mapped out the entire year of who is in charge of planning the date that week.  But, still, whenever it's his turn and I ask my hubby what we are doing for date night, he looks at me with his eyes glazed over and I realize that he has no clue.  I am sure many of you understand that look and that frustration.  So why not give the gift that keeps on giving?!  

I made my husband a book of date ideas!!  In the beginning, I thought that I would make a date jar and pull out an idea and go do it.  But knowing my husband, he likes to see all of his options, so I thought that flipping through a few might be beneficial for him.  I only picked activities that I could actually picture us doing together... nothing too elaborate or cheesy.  I created the date cards, laminated, and cut them out.

I punched holes with my heart punch and bound it together with another one of those metal circle-clasp thingeys (what are they called?!).

I made a silly front and back, added a few ribbons, and called it a day.  Now I am hoping that our date nights will be more meaningful.  Adding a little romance all year long... a gift to both of us, right?!

So, for any of your procrastinators out there who still need a gift, I have a free download for you.   You can download my date cards here or here.  (You won't see a preview... just go to File<Download.)  The document includes the front and back covers.  There are a couple of blank cards, too, for those of you more creative and daring than me.  Write in your own! 


Tic Tac Toe: 3 Hearts In a Row!

The sewing machine and I just recently became friends.  But I don't have a whole lot of patience.  I am a fan of quick, easy projects.  I dreamt this one up and knew I could handle it.   Here is what I did:

Let's start with the front.  I wanted a checker-board look to the front of the board.  I needed 9 squares, so I cut 4 white squares and 5 black squares and arranged them into a tic-tac-toe pattern.  

Then I cut 4 strips of fabric to line the 4 sides of the checkerboard.  

My seam allowance for the whole project was 1/4 inch.  I pinned the squares, right sides together, and sewed them together, a row at a time just like a quilt.  I learned the hard way that pressing your seams open is not optional.  So press your seams every step of the way!  (I guess the iron and I still need to make friends!)

Next, I pinned 2 of the strips to 2 sides of the checkerboard, right sides together.   Sew those together and cut off the ends of the strips so they are even with the checker board.

Now sew on the other two strips, and the front is done!  Don't forget to press open those pesky seams.

Then I cut out a square of fabric that was 12 1/2 inches by 12 1/2 inches.  This will be the back of the tic-tac-toe board.  I pinned this to the front, right sides together.  **It would be a cute idea to sew a little pocket on the back to hold the hearts.  I wish I would have thought of that before!**

Then I sewed up 3 sides of the square, leaving 1 entire side open and snipping corners.

The inside of the tic-tac-toe board is a foam board square.  I cut it 11 1/2 inches by 11 1/2 inches to be sure it would fit into the fabric cover, and it did.  Nice and snug!  Hooray!
The fourth side has to be sewn up by hand.  I did it last night while watching American Idol.  
There are so many cute things you could make for the tic-tac-toe pieces.  If I was a truly patient person, I would have done X's and O's.  Instead, I just did red and pink hearts.  I wanted them to be thick, so I cut out 5 pairs (10 total) of red hearts and 5 pairs (10 total) of pink hearts.  I used a 3-inch heart template to cut them.  I just pinned 2 hearts together, and stitched all the way around.  

Now play tic-tac-toe to your heart's delight!!  

PS This was my first sewing tutorial, so leave me a comment if it does not make sense!

Instead of a Regular Old Card…

Don't forget to enter the give-away by Friday!

This year my husband and I decided to spend less for Valentine's Day and make more handmade gifts.  Easy for me, hard for him. Hee, hee.  Anyway, I decided that instead of buying one of those cards with the built-in music that I always get sucked into buying on Valentine's Day, that I would make him something a little more meaningful.  In fact, I decided to make one for both of my boys--my son gets one, too.
Have you been checking out all of the amazing deals in the dollar buckets at Michaels?  They have cute chipboard books for $1!  So I bought two of those and some coordinating paper.  I mod-podged paper on the front and back of each page and distressed my edges with distressing ink.

I thought of 10 reasons why I love my husband (and 10 reasons why I love my son).  I pasted them onto the pages, and embellished a little.  I still don't go over the top with embellishing.  Simple is better for me and my boys.  I punched out a few hearts and pasted them on.  Voila! I tied a few ribbon scraps onto the metal circle-clasp-thingey.

Here is a view of the back of my son's little book.  I think I will present these on Valentine's Day morning.  I gotta say.  I love this more than the traditional card.  (Do you think my husband will remember if I do the same thing next year?  Probably not...)

My Little Heart Breaker

Thank you so much for your kind comments yesterday!!  They really made my day!

Another one of my recent discoveries is freezer paper.  How did I not know about this before?!  No, I do not use it in my freezer.  I have been using it for painting some cute shirts for my cute little guy.  At first I was a bit annoyed about the large roll, but I think this will be my lifetime supply!  I let my son play with the box, so it's a little awkward, but still intact.  🙂
Yet another reason to love my cricut:  It can cut freezer paper stencils.  You could also print out your desired shape off of the computer, and use a razor blade to cut out a stencil.  I've done that before and it works beautifully.  But this saved me a lot of time and effort!  It was a little tricky to not lose the "donut holes" on the insides of the B, e, a, etc.  
After I had my stencil, I ironed it on--shiny side next to the fabric--onto my t-shirt.  The paper almost yellowed from the heat, but it was good and stuck.   I also ironed a larger piece of freezer paper--again shiny side DOWN on the fabric-- onto the opposite side of the shirt.  This keeps any paint from bleeding through.  Genius.  I feel this method is pretty foolproof.  I should know.  I mess up plenty, especially when painting.  Definitely not an artist!
Then I got into Picasa mode.  I used real fabric paint this time, Tulip brand.  I painted right over my stencil, still on the ironing board.  I was worried at first when the paint seemed a bit too pinkish....


Phew!  By the time the paint dried, it came out a good shade of red.  I don't think my hubby could handle his son in pink.
It looks much better on him, don't you think?!  Yes, he stole my sunglasses out of my purse.
He will be sporting this on V-Day.  Thank you freezer paper.  Thank you cricut!

X’s and O’s

This is a quick craft I whipped up in the valentine spirit.  I saw wooden hearts at Hobby Lobby and couldn't pass them up.  I wasn't quite sure how they would end up, but I gave them a couple solid coats of red spray paint as soon as I got home.  Gotta love these sweet red hearts.
Then of course I sanded my edges.
I traced the heart onto several black and white papers.  I am a sucker for the red and black/white combination.  I mod-podged the papers on and then used my nail file to really meld the paper with the wood.
For a couple of weeks, I have had these hearts just waiting to be finished.  I debated about several messages including "I love you" or just "L.O.V.E.", but then decided we all need some extra X's and O's.  I cut out some red paper on the Cricut (I am trying to save my vinyl as much as possible--paper is cheaper!).  I couldn't resist adding a bit of glitter.  Bling, bling!
So now they sit on my mantel, just waiting for more valentine decor.   One step at a time.

The Ever-Popular Heart Wreath

Is everyone making this wreath for Valentine's Day?
I kind of like that.  Nice affirmation of my good taste.   I love the look of this wreath.  It reminds me of rose petals. And it's easy.  I only had to cut out circles and push pins.  I can do that!  I first saw this wreath at The Idea Room.
I started out with a yard of red felt, a heart wreath, and a box of straight pins. I also got a chance to try out my new fabric shears.  (The baby safety plug is NOT part of the wreath....)
I traced a glass from my kitchen, and cut out a couple of circles at a time.  I kept thinking, "Okay, now this is enough circles."  But I used up every single scrap of red felt.  Not kidding.  Confession:  My circles looked more like lemons.  Or acorns.  Take your pick!
Once all those pesky circles were cut out, I took each one and folded it in half.  Then I folded that in half again.  I think it kind of looks like a fortune cookie, don't you think?!
I took a straight pin and secured each "rose petal" into the syrofoam heart and just started pinning away.  That was the fun part for me.
I was so excited to hang my finished wreath until I realized how terrible it looked on my orange door.  Talk about a clash.  Good thing this won't be my door forever.  Silly orange door.
Looks much better against a white background, don't you think?  My baby sure thinks so.  He is ready to tackle it.  It is on his blankey, so it's fair game.

14 Days of Love

Have you ever heard of the 12 days of Christmas?!  
Well, here are the 14 days of Love!

If you haven't heard of the blog Love Actually, you have got to check it out!  I find the cutest romance ideas here, and I frequently refer my husband to these awesome ideas.  As we are approaching Valentine's Day, I really loved the idea of a Valentine's countdown calendar.   I was inspired.  So I decided to make my own "14 Days of Love".  Mr. Oopsey Daisy thinks that this is one of my best projects yet!  Here is what I did:

1.  Ideas.  I thought of 14 romantic (for him) or thoughtful (for me) ideas to do for each day--1 for each of 14 days.  Some examples:
* Write and send each other love letters.
* Read your old wedding cards.
* Dance to "your" song together.
* Bring home a favorite treat for each other, etc.
Be creative!  Then, I created a card with instructions on what to do for that day. I also laminated them for longevity.  (Make sure the cards will fit snugly into an envelope.)

2.  Pockets Then, I made 14 pockets to hold these delightful thoughtful-romantic gestures.  I took an actual envelope (a long one), cut it in half, and then mod-podged cute Valentine-ish paper to the front.  I cut a triangle to form a "lip"of the pocket, and glued corresponding numbers on to each one.  This is what the assembly looked like.... Grabbed a half envelope, glued the paper on, cut the lip, glued on the numbers.

Here is what each pocket looked like:

Guess what I did with each pocket?  Yep, I laminated them! (If you take a razor blade, you can slit the opening after your laminate the pockets.)

3.  Final Assembly.  Then I put each card into the corresponding pocket.  Look how cute they look?!  I told my husband that there is no peeking.  He has to wait until each morning to pull out the card.

4.  Sign.  I had some leftover paper, so I made a little sign out of some scraps and cut out the letters on my Cricut.  Also laminated.

5.  Ready to go!  Last night, I used sticky tack to hang this up in our bedroom.  Can you believe that today is already February 1st?!  Today we pulled out our first activity...

Now it's just too bad that Mr. Oopsey Daisy is going to be out of town for 8 out of the 14 days of love!!  Oh well, we will have extra to do when he is in town!!

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