Friday, February 13, 2015

Valentine Love

I thought I was ahead of the game when starting Valentine crafts a few weeks ago on a Crafternoon. Ah, not so. We were burning the midnight oil making crafts & gifts the night before the girls' school parties. 

Anyway, I'll share what we eased in to earlier this month, then crammed in half assed last night. I do think everything is adorable if not clever, especially for a last minute attempt!

As I hosted a Crafternoon with some of my favorite girls, we had hours ahead of us an took our time. Our first craft was lovely. Time consuming, but the outcome was awesome!

We painted, glittered, and ModPodged several mason jars. I never used glass paint before and learned we need to use it more often!

Since we were short on time, I read that after painting or using ModPodge on glass you can heat the oven to 350 for 30 minutes and let it cool. As oven is cooling, place painted jars inside and let them dry out. Worked like a charm :)

We cut out felt hearts, hand stitched them together, filled them with a tiny amount of batting, and popped them on dowels. 
Total cuteness:

We also had some sewing machine action and stitched a sleeve of felt, then reversing the felt and stitched other side. We were able to cut little tiny hearts from one piece of felt.

Love, love, love this!

We made chocolate sugar body scrubs by mixing:
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 c olive oil
6 T cocoa powder
3 T vanilla 

Looks like ground coffee, but feels and smells fabulous!

Our other quickie project was hot gluing candy hearts on old spools of serger thread. Quick, easy, and fun for a short play date!

So we took our time with all those fun projects over the past few weeks. Then last night after dinner we realized we had nothing for school. 
Luckily I found this little number on Pinterest and we had a hoot making these class valentines.

If my printer had ink, we would've printed out the "Tic Tac Toe" in a cutesy font, but.... We did the best we can. 

So we are all finished. No. Mya reminds me we need a Valentine box for her class. She wanted a round owl made from paper mâché with layers of feathers. Ha! I handed her a cereal box and told her to think of something creative, since it's 25 minutes past bedtime.   
Luckily, the kid can think quick on her feet. (Like her mom) Her tender heart remembers Charlie Brown's  Valentine as he brought a briefcase to school to collect his valentines, but alas, gets nothing. So she decided to make a briefcase, with higher hopes of course. 
The pipe cleaner handle was the best touch ;)

Our other favorite action around Valentine's Day is a special birthday celebration! 
Yikes, 10 years old!! 
Love this kid!

Oh and straight A's to boot!

We've got some big changes coming up both inside the house and out. I'm hoping to write about them soon :)
Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Canvas, crayons, and paint, oh my!

I found a stash of blank canvases in my hoard, um, I mean craft supply area. We decided to experiment with some new techniques during our Crafternoon last weekend. 

One fun project we always wanted to try was the melted crayons on canvas. It was easier and quicker than I thought.
I bought several boxes of 24 count crayons at Dollar Tree and the girls picked out their favorite colors. We hot glued about 24 them on to a 12x12 canvas. 

I'll stop here and mention what we learned by trial & error:
• Just when you think you have enough hot glue under your crayons--Use more glue! They fell off quickly.
•Group crayons by like colors when arranging on canvas, the bottom of canvas will be a muddy color if all the different colors run together!

After we got everything situated on the canvas, the girls chose and cut shapes from the Silhouette Machine into contact paper. (Our one friend chose the NYC skyline. How cool is that?)

We then stuck our pictures on the canvas and the melting magic began with our hair dryers.

The contact paper did not stick to the canvas very well. Things got a little tricky, but we worked through it. Next time we will use freezer paper as our stencil and iron it on the canvas and peel off when finished. 

We were pleased with our finished product.

Next we tried some old fashioned stenceling, again, cut from the silhouette machine. Still, I would prefer freezer paper next time as the contact paper would not consistently adhere to the canvas. 

However, out results fared pretty well.

Although not one of our smoothest projects, we learned a lot and had a fun afternoon working together. I love Crafternoons!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

2 weeks into the new year

The girls and I have been discussing the meaning of "new year" lately. Resolutions, manifestations, goals, blank slates, starting new, etc., etc., etc....

 Marlee wanted to know if I make resolutions and do I follow through on them. I had to just chuckle as I think of the same goals I visualize every New Year, and always break.
Some examples:
•Eating only clean foods (doable, but difficult)
•Not losing my temper (ha!)
•Cleaning out and organize the attic (when?!)
•Not getting drunk until Thursdays (why?)
•Getting to the gym at 5:30am on weekdays (breaking this goal may have something to do with my previously listed goal being broken, I now realize)
•Keeping a clean kitchen at the end of every day (nope)

So I realized that maybe I'm not a great example to Marlee when it comes to resolutions for the new year. However, I do want to show my kids that it is important to make long term goals and stick to them. It does seem impracticable  
to me, to make all these promises on one evening each year and fufill them just because that's the norm.

I've decided to come up with an awareness check. What are we doing right now? today? And how does that affect the type of person we want to be? And of course being well versed in manifestations, laws of attractions, universal truths, and all that... I know that how we think right now affects our goals for tomorrow (literally) and for the future. 

So, we are working on a "Right Now" list. I'm impressed with what the girls wrote. Why am I'm always so surprised when they seem more aware and "with it" than I? While they've got a grip on things, I'm slowly trying to write mine:

Right Now, I am:
•Cherishing- all the friends and chosen family I allow in my life
•Learning- one new thing every day
•Rekindling- my relationship with my sewing machine, as it's my favorite method of creating
•Wandering- to new places on the map, planning a new place for the family to visit this summer
•Running- a little more each day. Perhaps a marathon is still achievable in my 40th year?
•Watching- my back. Sometimes I find myself in the 90210 zip code, distancing myself from toxic people.
•Cooking- at least 4 healthy meals from scratch each week
•Busying- my hands with a creative project when I become anxious
•Realizing- that sometimes I give too much of myself to people who don't appreciate me. 
•Working- on being a better mom, wife, and friend 

Hmm..If I didn't know any better, I'd say "awareness" could be my New Year's resolution, but why ruin a good thing?

Friday, December 19, 2014

Happy Birthday! Look who's 8!

I really believe this kid knew more about the universe than me the day she was born. That look of knowing and wonder never ceases to amaze me.

We had a great birthday week filled with friends, fun, The Nutcracker, and wild parties. Here's to being 8, and so far it's been great :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Handmade Holidays: Bottle Cap Candles & Lotions

There's nothing like last minute crafting! We were scheming for quite some time about what we would create this year, and we are so excited to share!

Our first gift was born from our love of essential oils. We have been reading about the healing effects and health benefits from certain oils and decided to mix up some of our own concoctions.

We chose peppermint and lavender for it's calming effects from tension and stress. Peppermint is also great to use for headache relief. Plus, they do mingle very well together. As coconut oil as our base, we had all our supplies on hand!

We've been using DoTerra oils lately. However, when making bulk gifts, I'm quite pleased with the Aura Cacia oils, they are good quality and much cheaper. They can be found at any health food store. 
Since I save every single container I've ever used, we had plenty on hand at the house. We found these in our mountain of empty containers and felt they would suit us well. 

We heated the coconut oil over boiling water and mixed in the peppermint and lavendar oils. Our ratio was 1 teaspoon each essential oil per every cup of coconut oil. 

Once everything was in liquid form and well blended, we ladeled it into our containers. 

With fancy new markers, we just made the easiest gift ever!

We knew we wanted to make candles this year but weren't sure which direction to head with them. We usually mass produce the gifts we give to neighbors. (Click here for last year's gifts.) I didn't want to use large containers since that could get expensive. We settled on bottle caps as tea lights. There seems to be plenty of beer bottles in our recycling each week, so I know we could gather enough bottle caps in plenty of time. Just in case, I had a friend help me out saving his bottle caps as well. Between the two of us, there was an ample supply of materials! Yikes! Here's a very, very small excerpt of our collection.

got supplies at AC Moore. You can get premade wicks, but for a fraction of the cost, you can make your own with the wick tabs and a roll of the wick material. The instructions were printed on the wick tab package and it was easy to assemble.

We simply melted the wax over boiling water, spooned the wax into the bottle cap and placed the wick inside. This was a little more time consuming as I didn't want the girls to pour the hot wax into such a small container. 

The results were awesome!

We are super excited about handing out these gifts this year!