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Jungle Flower Box

19 May

Alright, enough of the mushy stuff- we got to get down to buisness around here =)

A bit ago I was contacted by JoAnn Fabrics to review a craft from their spring line up of crafty ideas.  I chose to do the jungle flower box.  I am glad that their requirement allowed for me to put my own “spin” on the craft because we  did a lot of spinning.

Here is the box that they started with:

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And this is the box we ended up with:

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We used acrylic paint from Joann’s and the girls had a lot of fun.  I would have bought a flower box from JoAnn’s but we live in the middle of nowhere and I wasn’t up for treking 45 minutes one way to buy a box SOOOOO I asked Jared to make one for me and he came through with a beautiful box made with scraps from around the house.

Here are some of the other crafts for you to look at, click here. 

And get this, whoever gets the most repins (with the hashtag # summerof joann) of their picture from pinterest gets a $100 Joann’s gift card, purdy cool.  So pin away!

Hope this inspires you all to get crafty and make some great things.

Block Printing

8 Apr

One thing that I absolutely love to do is block print.  For some reason I love thinking about what will be black and white.  When I carve out a certain area I love that the simple cuts I make will ultimately form a bigger picture.

Anyways, I love making these and it has a relaxing and calming effect on me.  Here are some sites of my favorite block printers, they make books and have mad skills. Betsy Bowen and Stephen Alcorn

Here are a few I have been working on:

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Happy Printing!

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

30 Mar

Here is a post from my wonderful sister-in-law, she has a thought provoking blog over here, check her out!  Thank you for such a lovely post Maria.   Hope this helpful tutorial gives my readers some inspiration like it did for me.  They turned out darker and more rich that anything that can come out of a package.  P.S. Isn’t my nephew stinkin’ cute?

Here’s Maria’s guest post:

I have to admit, I was skeptical and imagined this project would be much more labour intensive than it was. However, after attending a demonstration at our local Co- op, I was much more optimistic. This is definitely a project we’ll be repeating each spring, and my two-year old loved it!

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Food based dyes are safe, inexpensive, and best of all, free of the crazy shenanigans they put in conventional food dyes. Everything I needed for the dyes I had on- hand except for beets, so this was an extremely pocket-book-friendly project as well.

I used brown eggs, but I shamelessly stood in front of the egg cooler picking through the different cartons until I found some light coloured farm eggs. I baked these in the oven for 30 minutes at 325F, so I didn’t have to worry about them while I prepared the dyes. When they were ready, I placed the eggs in a bowl of cold water to chill.

For each dye, I used a 1:1:1 ratio of water and vinegar and respective food.

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BLUE: 2 cups chopped red cabbage 2 cups water 2 TBSP distilled white vinegar

YELLOW: 2 TBSP Tumeric 2 cups water 2 TBSP distilled white vinegar

MAGENTA: 2 cups beet peels 2 cups water 2 TBSP distilled white vinegar

RUST RED: 2 cups yellow onion peels & butts 2 cups water 2 TBSP distilled white vinegar

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I brought the four pots to a boil and then covered and simmered for an hour. Once the water had turned a desirable colour, I turned off all burners, removed the food scraps for the compost, and poured the dyes into wide-mouthed mason jars to cool.

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Once all the eggs were in, we placed the jars in the fridge to soak. The yellow eggs were ready after two hours, and everything else came out of the dyes after four hours. I rubbed the eggs with olive oil to give them a nice shine. Happy Easter!

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Making Friends

22 Mar

The girls are getting excited about the upcoming arrival of their brother or sister.

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A few days ago we made some stuffed friends for the new baby’s room.  There is an owl, hedgehog, mushroom, leaf and and a green bird.  I sewed the outsides together while the girls sat on my cutting table and stuffed the fabric with, well, stuffing.

They love projects and were especially happy to be making one for their sibling.

Marker Bag

3 Mar

DSC_5486Kids like bags.  They like packing them with whatever really important toys or books they are currently into and then totting them around like they own the place.

I made this bag with a big pocket on the outside.  Then I saw this picture on etsy.com and made columns for tall markers.

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One of Aleah’s little girlfriends just had a birthday and we gave her this bag along with a handmade neck-warmer.  I love going to a birthday party and not ending up at a dollar store for most of the gift =)

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Hope she gets some good use out of this bag, it would be a perfect thing to bring to church or on a car trip.

Painting hands and some paper

28 Feb

DSC_5332 DSC_5334Aleah loves crafts.

I told the girls I was going to run upstairs to take a shower and Aleah politely asked, “hey mom.  Could you set us up with a craft before you go?”  How could I say no to that adorable little request.

Don’t worry though, this little painting craft didn’t happen while I was away (I wouldn’t be that crazy).  A typical morning for us means I spend a few minutes on pinterest figuring out a good craft and then try it with the girls.

This morning we tried using hot glue on cardboard and then painting over it.  That did not work so we ended up painting and making a pretty big mess.  Ah well, at least my bath tub is clean from the other day.

So even if your morning doesn’t go as planned at least you tried and the kids had huge smiles on their faces.

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Kid Bath Paint

19 Feb

Aleah and Sophi were sick and Aleah had to stay home from school which majorly bummed her out.  Soooooo, mommykins to the rescue!

I wanted to give them a bath to get their snotty noses cleared out and also wanted it to be special.

Cue the kid bath paint. Here is how you make it:

2 tbsp. cornstarch
1/3 c. liquid kid soap
Several drops food colouring
Smidge of water to get a good paint consistency

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The kids looooved it.  And I had to pry them out of the tub because the water wasn’t exactly warm by the time the paint ran out.

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And one bonus side effect that I didn’t see coming was the tub was squeaky clean when they were done!  All that soap and scrubbing really did my bathroom some good!  Yay, finally a craft that got something clean instead of making me clean up afterwards for hours.

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look at those suds

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Happy Valentines Day

14 Feb

It is not too late to make these for your sweetheart.

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Aren’t they cute?  Aleah cut these out and glued on the eyes and beak.  I wrote out a corny pun (You’re a hoot, Owl be Yours, Guess Whoooooo loves you) and then Aleah wrote her name.  We made 15 of them for the kids in her class and her teachers.  Instead of putting a piece of candy to go with each one we taped a balloon to the back.  Thought it might be a fun twist.  Something for the kids to play with when they are running around and hyped up on all the Valentines candy.

A Merry Pouf

1 Feb

DSC_5163For Christmas I made Jared’s mom an awesome pouf.  It was one of those gifts were you can’t wait to give it to the person because you know that you nailed it. Here is the link if you want to make one yourself

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Also it was one of those gifts that I just wanted to keep for myself =)  It turned out way better than my poufs, ah well.  Practice makes perfect right?

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Mary and I sitting on our poufs with our new matching jammie pants and slippers

I made her pouf out of an ugly floor length old navy skirt that I used to actually wear (ew) as well as some flannel fabric I have been hanging onto for a while.  The issue with a pouf is that it takes a TON of stuffing to fill it up.  I used all the sweater remnants and sweater bodies I have been saving as well as a whole lot of craft store white filling.  I emptied about two suitcases of extra fabric that was too small to use on anything else.  So glad to get that out of my closet!

I can’t wait to visit Colorado and visit the pouf in its new habitat.  Oh yeah, and to see Jared’s folks too!

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It was -29 this morning and is currently -20 (feels like -34).  Guess it is a good day to get crafty, drink smoothies and hang out with Sophi Joyfuls- inside.

Guest Post and a Cute Nephew

25 Jan
Hi! I’m Courtney. I’m Cait’s (favorite) sister and the blogger over at Gluten Free Jesus Freak (http://glutenfreejesusfreak.blogspot.com). I’m also a full-time pastor and a brand new mom to a dear, dear little 4-month old boy. Life is very full these days!
We welcomed our little guy in September, and as fall turned into winter he developed pretty severe eczema from the dry air and his sensitive skin. The eczema rash was all over – his ankles, torso, arms, and scalp. The poor little guy scratched himself to sleep most nights, when he slept at all. After trying a variety of home remedies (oatmeal baths, Vaseline, lotions, creams, olive oil, fragrance-free detergent, Vitamin E, and on, and on, and on…) that proved unsuccessful, we finally trekked off to the pediatrician who prescribed us an ointment to treat our son’s rashes.
The only catch? Our baby wasn’t supposed to get it in his mouth or eyes.
(Are those of you with kids rolling your eyes yet? Can those of you without kids picture how hard it might be to keep a 2 1/2-month old baby from touching his head and then rubbing his eyes or putting his hands in his mouth? Yeah. Not happening.)
As a result, we’ve become big fans of baby hats in this house. We smear our little guy’s head with the meds and then put a cotton hat on to keep him from rubbing his medicine into his eyes or mouth.
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This worked for awhile, but then we faced a dilemma. As he outgrew his newborn hats, it got really tricky to find cotton hats for a baby who isn’t a newborn but isn’t yet a toddler. If they’re too small, they pop right off. If they’re too big, he pulls them down over his eyes and mouth and gets really upset about it.
He had another flare-up this week, and my husband and I tried to figure out what to do. Suddenly, I had an idea.
“I’ll make him a hat!” I said.
My loving husband tried not to roll his eyes. He knows how most of my sewing projects end up. I am a big crafter but not such a great sewer.
“If you think that will work…” he said.
I disappeared into our bedroom and came back with a soft, old, cotton pajama shirt I was planning to take to Goodwill. Yes, it’s a dorky shirt. Don’t judge.
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I cut off one of the arms along the seam.
Then I tied the top of the sleeve into a knot and rolled up the bottom for a brim. I did the same thing with the other sleeve.
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Voilá! Two baby hats! For a grand total of $0.00.
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You can tack down the brim with a few stitches, or leave it rolled up so that it can unroll as your baby grows.
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It’s super soft because the cotton is so worn, so he doesn’t mind it as much as some of the other hats we’ve tried. Also – is he not the cutest baby in the history of the world?
(A word on baby eczema: We still have to use the prescription ointment from time to time, but we’ve also recently tried another home remedy that has worked wonders. It’s called a “bleach bath,” and though it sounds scary, it’s really simple and safe, not to mention advised by places as reputable as the Mayo Clinic. Follow this link for more info: http://www.nationaleczema.org/living-with-eczema/ask-the-doctor/bleach-baths-babys)