Apr 29, 2011

Off to Mom Endeavors

Hello Wonderful Readers!

I'm just dropping a quick note here before I head on over to Mom Endeavors where I'll be guest posting today.  

Be sure to come check things out over there and see how I turned this hot mess:  


into this:


Have a fantastic weekend!

Be blessed,


Apr 27, 2011

Children's Flip Flop Strap

Last May I was wandering around Blogland, looking at a few of my favorite blogs when I saw the most genius idea over on Delia Creates.  (If you haven't ever visited Delia Creates you are missing out, big time!  Her effortless style and classic beauty make for a gorgeous blog to savor!)   Delia added a simple strap to the backs of her boys' flip flops using a simple elastic headband.


Isn't this the smartest thing ever?!  Check out her tutorial here.

Yesterday I bought a pair of adorable flip flops for Addie, but when I had her try them on at home, she ended up walking like a little old man.  As cute as her bent over stiff-step walk was, I knew she'd never wear her flip flops for more than a few minutes before kicking them off so she could run like the energetic and spirited 2.5 year old that she is.  Following Delia's simple and straight forward tutorial I came up with these:


I started by finding a headband that was rarely worn and cut it into two equal pieces.  As soon as I cut the headband, I singed the ends to keep them from fraying.


Then I simply hand-stitched the elastic headband around the straps of the flip flops.  Seriously, this took less than 10 minutes.


Here's a closer look at the heel strap


The result?  A little girl who can run and play in flip flops without them flying off or hindering the way she walks.  Addie is thrilled!

Look!  She's getting better at not making the weird-fake-smile-face as soon as I pull the camera out!

Thanks for the fantastic idea, Delia!

Be blessed,






Apr 25, 2011

A Spring Centerpiece

Whew!  What a crazy, crazy weekend!  We had a wonderful time catching up with a lot of family and friends, and of course there was plenty of fantastic food.

Since the weekend was so packed full, I just didn't have time to get all the little stuff done, so there's no new project to go up for you this morning.  However, a few weeks ago I was featured over at The ArtsyGirl Connection, and I figured I'd repost that project here now, in case any of you missed it.  My little spring centerpiece was a blast to put together, and super quick too, I hope you enjoy!


 I'm a big believer in not spending a whole lot of money on making your house look great, so if you don't have exactly the same items that I used, improvise and find your own flair to make your centerpiece sing!  
 

I started with this green bubbly vase I bought at the thrift store a couple of weeks back (my husband thinks it's hideous, but it reminds me of my great-grandma so I had to have it), some trimmings from a tree in my backyard, some painted dollar store birdhouses, and a little of this and that from around my house.  

I arranged my branches into a bouquet and tied them together to give them stability.  I placed them in my vase, and to keep them in place, I poured in a bunch of old dried beans I bought months and months ago to make beanbags for my son.  


Stashed away in my craft closet I had some dollar store bouquet filler that I took apart and wrapped the individual sections around my branches.  I'm sure many of you have branches that are already budding and covered with lush greenery...but we're not quite there yet, so my branches needed a little help.  


I found these cute little unfinished birdhouses at my local dollar store and couldn't resist!  I painted them and distressed them using the same dry brushing technique I used here, for refinishing my wooden candlesticks.

I hung my little birdhouses in my branches, using raffia to tie them in.  I also tied little bits of raffia here and there throughout my branches to fill them out a little bit more.  My branches were still a little bit wobbly, so I took the last of my raffia and stuffed it around the base of the branches, into the vase.  I really like how this looks almost nest-like, plus it's really stuffed in there, so my branches aren't going anywhere!


I set up my centerpiece along with some candles and a pretty table runner out in our sunroom.  Now I'm all set to enjoy the spring season, indoors and out!


I hope you all had a wonderful weekend celebrating Easter.  Thanks for reading!

Be blessed,

Apr 21, 2011

Happy Easter

Tomorrow is Good Friday.  I won't be doing my regular post, but rather I'll be spending the day with my family.



I hope you all have a wonderful Easter weekend,

Be blessed,


Apr 20, 2011

Corkscrew Curled Ribbon

Did you know that with a few simple around-the-house things and a little bit of heat, you can take plain old ribbon and turn it into sweet little corkscrew curls?  I didn't know either until I stumbled upon The Ribbon Retreat's free projects page.  Oh the fun that could be had here!  They've got a whole bunch of great tutorials for making adorable hair bows of all shapes and sizes.


It's super easy, and oh-so-fun, perfect for hair clips, decorating gifts, or adding a bow to something special.  It's an extra thoughtful touch to a simple thank you note that's sure to make anyone smile!    

All you'll need is a few 1/4" wooden dowels, clothes pins, and ribbon!


 First off, set your oven to 275 degrees F.


 Using a clothes pin, pin the end of your ribbon to a wooden dowel and begin to wrap the ribbon around the dowel tightly.  Once the dowel is entirely wrapped in ribbon, trim the ribbon and pin it in place.


Next, lay you dowels wrapped in ribbon on a clean baking sheet and pop the pan in your preheated oven for about 25 minutes.  Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool completely.


Once cooled, unwrap the wooden dowels, and feel free to grin at the lovely corkscrew ribbons you just made!


 I was amazed at how wonderfully curly my ribbons came out, and amazed that the curl has stayed!  I kid-tested these, and even with pulling, playing, stretching and scrunching the curls stayed perfect!

 You can use pretty much any polyester ribbon for this, though I'd avoid ribbon with wire in it and I'm not sure how the metallic ribbon would work.  I tried a few different widths, 1/4", 3/8", and 7/8".  The 7/8" ribbon didn't work out great, it was really difficult to get it to lay flat as I was rolling it onto the dowel.


Every time I look at these curled up ribbons it makes me smile, there is just something so cheerful about them!

Be blessed,








Apr 18, 2011

*Make A Mess Monday* Sink or Swim

Today's activity for Make A Mess Monday is a really simple, relatively low mess, experiment that is great for toddlers and preschoolers.
  
 To start, you'll need a large basin filled about half-way with room temperature water, a large towel as well as a hand towel, and a whole bunch of random water proof items.  


First we laid out our large towel and placed our basin of water on it.  You know there's going to be some sort of spillage when it comes to kids playing around with water, may as well be prepared for it!  

It was really interesting to hear the kids' guesses about which items would sink and which would float.  Item by item we guessed then dropped it into the water to see what would happen.  


We tried a  little plastic bowl, a hotwheels car, a loonie, a plastic chain, a little elephant from my friend in Vietnam (Hi Melissa!), a keychain ring, and a bunch of other random little objects from around our house.

Then, of course, we tested how much weight our little plastic bowl could hold.  The bowl ended up holding everything we had tested, the kids loved seeing the little boat float around the basin!
   

Once we tested everything I had found for the sink or float experiment, Boden wanted to collect his own set of items to see if they could float.  He had a lot of fun testing his toys, and of course playing with them in the water!  


By the time it was all said and done, there was a little bit of water splashed around, but the kids had a lot of fun and it was a quick and easy clean up.  

I wish I'd have thought to do this back in January when it was -40 and we were sick of being indoors!  This would have been a great winter activity.  Oh well, we'll definitely do this again next winter!

Be blessed,


  

Apr 14, 2011

Child's Artwork Display


Yes!  Another check mark on the list of projects I'm trying to complete!

This was a super quick, inexpensive project I put together for Addie's room.  Her room, by the way, is oh-so-close to being complete!  I've got one more project to wrap up and then her room is done as can be...hooray!  I got the idea from Ana-White.com, and if you haven't visited there, boy, are you missing out.  Ana's got an amazing website brimming with gorgeous ideas for affordable build-it-yourself home decor and furniture. Her site boasts beautiful plans for practically any furnishing you can possible imagine, big or small, elaborate or simple, modern or country.  Definitely take the time to stop by her site and drool over her amazing style and fabulous plans!

As I was saying, this is my inspiration from Ana White:


Isn't this genius?!?  Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best!
So to start you'll need a yard stick.  I found mine at our thrift store...surprise, surprise!
I covered my yard stick with some of the same scrapbooking paper I used here in Addie's girlie frames.  I cut it into strips the same width of my yard stick, then used Mod Podge to stick them in place. 

I looked and looked at all our local and not-so-local craft stores and I just couldn't find the jumbo clothespins that Ana used for her project, so I just had to be satisfied with plain old, regular bamboo clothespins.  No biggie. 
Using my hot glue gun I glued each clothespin down onto my yardstick.  You could get all crazy and measure before you glue them down...but I didn't.  Ana painted her clothespins before she screwed them to her yardstick, which is totally cute, I just liked the natural look of leaving mine plain.
 
If you're getting lazy and gluing your clothespins on like I did, be sure you glue them fairly high up on the clothespin itself.  If you glue them too close to the middle, the pressure you put on them when opening the clothespin will cause it to separate from the yardstick. 

Then simply screw that little lovely to the wall and your kiddo's will be all set to display their creativity!

Addie's got all kinds of her artwork up in her room, it's such a great spot for her to show off her stuff and admire her hard work.  And, not that I mind having my kids' crafts hanging on my fridge, but it sure helps my kitchen feel less cluttered when I can actually see my refrigerator!

Thanks so much for stopping by today!

Be blessed,


Apr 12, 2011

Spring Feature - The ArtsyGirl Connection


Hey Gang!  If you came by to check up on what kind of craftiness I've been up to, I've got a very special treat for you!  I'm actually over at The ArtsyGirl Connection sharing a great tutorial on a beautiful spring centerpiece, and Marilyn from The ArstyGirl Connection is here to show us how she made this stunning spring welcome wreath.  So without further delay, take it away Marilyn!

Photobucket
My Spring 
Welcome  
Wreath Tutorial

I am VERY pleased to be featured today for my lovely 
tutorial on a *Spring Welcome Wreath* I created for my doorway. 
I am Marilyn next door from  The ArtsyGirl Connection *Waving*

I'm actually a BIG fan of "I can't stop crafting" - I genuinely
come by almost every post of Jen's to read her lovely and 
beautiful tutorials! Being here is exciting and I'm very 
grateful to Jen for having me..

I am a bit of a craftaholic, and lovely home maker to my beautiful family 
of four <~Two munchkins (shhh - don't tell my !10yr old! I called him a 
munchkin, but he is to ME always, and my 1yr old cutie pie), hubs to 
be and a rather moody kitty!! I love making practical things to add a
touch of season to our home. Since it's spring, t'was fitting to 
spring up our doorway in a lovely way to say "Welcome Home"
........................

Springing Into The Tutorial......

Artsy Items Needed
Moss
Glue Gun
Branch (craft store $2.99)
Flowers (you can use whatever kind you'd like)

Ready...? 
Lets Get Crafting 
............................................................................

To begin, I took the branch I bought and laid 
it on a clean hard surface. I heated up my glue 
gun and took the flowers off the stems.
(You should be able to wiggle off the flowers 
from their stems very easily for placement)

Once I had enough flowers set aside, I started 
to spring up my branch.


Flowers Removed From Branches And Ready For Wreath..
I glued on the moss in patches all along the branch gently. 
There's really no perfect way to do this to be honest, go with 
your artsy eye and continue until it looks great to you. I 
decided to stop a little before the top to allow the top of the 
branch to remain bare and feature only flowers without 
the moss, and do the same for the bottom. 

To glue on moss, simply apply glue to the branch where you'd like
the moss to lay and press the moss on tightly for a sec. VOILA!

I am VERY impatient (laughs) ~ Hence, I didn't actualy wait to 
completely finish laying out my moss before I begun to lay out 
my flowers. I layed it out as I went along!! (BUT incase you can wait,
then the step above will be totally be your process before starting to
lay out your beautiful flowers along your moss filled branch!!)

Now that your branch is all set and ready to be flowered, you can begin 
to layout your flower. To start, apply your glue gently to the moss where you
would like the flower to hang, gently press the flower in the direction you'd
like and press down for a few seconds. It should stay on firmly when you let go. 



Continue to apply your flowers and build on until your 
branch is covered up and down with flowers in a 
beautiful order satisfactory to you.

*Moss sheds very easily, so incase a piece falls off (this 
actually didn't happen at all as the glue held it on the 
branch very securely), simply glue it back on.*

After I applied the flowers to the sections of the branch where I layed 
my moss previously, I glued on more flowers to the portion of the 
branch that I left uncovered. I simply added the glue 
on in little portions and stuck the flowers on carefully.



(*Be Careful during this phase as the 
glue + your fingers = getting burned VERY easily*)


Once you lay your flowers on  ~ You are practically done!!!
Give your branch a once over to make sure it looks full and pretty 
where necessary..It's ready to HANG on your front door with a 
welcome sign ushering in lots of S P R I N G!!


Thank you so MUCH Jen for having me here again today.
I sincerely appreciate it and hope you enjoyed my tutorial...

Spring into SPRING & be sure to stop by and visit sometime...
Sincerely ~Mariyn ---The ArtsyGirl Connection

Photobucket


Isn't that great?!?  I love that Marilyn's creation isn't a typical wreath at all, and aren't you drooling over her glue gun like I am?  How sweet!  Thanks for coming by to share such a great idea with us Marilyn!  And thanks to each of you for stopping by and sharing part of your day here with me, I appreciate it!

Be blessed,