Saturday, December 8, 2012

crispy rice folks

For the 4th day of advent, our activity for together time was creating snowmen out of rice cereal.  We'd prefer to make real snowmen, but mother nature hasn't been cooperating. Fortunately,  this turned out to be a simple project that was also a lot off creative fun.

I made the standard crispy rice treats, then the kids covered their hands in LOTS of butter  and went to town making different kinds of "men" and creatures.

    Pierre, and his pet sheep Shaun.

We used the following items for decorations:
+ hats - chocolate sandwich cookies & marshmallows dipped in melted chocolate chips
+ buttons & eyes - mini chocolate chips  (nerds would be cute for a little more color)
+ scarves & mittens - fruit roll-up/tape (I only bought red, but there were many fun colors to choose from)
+ nose - marzipan (& food coloring)
+ arms - toothpicks (pretzel sticks were my original plan...but I forgot them while shopping)

    Edmund out for a stroll with his friend Pierre, who seems to be a bit tipsy.   Perhaps he indulged in
    the egg nog a bit too much!

Here's the complete collection of all our folks.  

    ...lots of fun, super cute, very tasty!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Advent 2012

Here's the advent calendar I put together for Christmas 2012.  Last year's advent calendar was fun, but it was just about receiving gifts.  I was very inspired by this calendar, and decided to make an effort to minimize the material aspect of Christmas.

Within each envelope there is a small card with that day's "gift".  I didn't completely get rid of material items, there are still a couple of days on which the kids will receive a small gift or treat.  The remaining days have activities to do together as a family or for others in our community.

Some of the activities include:
+ Watching Christmas movies together
+ Going ice skating
+ Christmas caroling at a rest home
+ Making gingerbread houses
+ Making winter bird feeders
+ Going bowling
+ Making fleece hats for needy kids
+ Delivering toys to Toys for Tots
+ Pancakes for dinner
+ Making candy
+ Looking at Christmas lights

The calendar itself was put together with small craft envelopes I found at Michaels, and washi tape from Target.  I printed out the numbers on adhesive paper and adhered them to the front of each envelope.  Quick & simple...which is what I need at this busy time of year!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Some things are best not shared...

We spend a lot of time teaching our children how to share.  There are plenty of things in this life that need to shared, such as toys, time, and love.  However, there are a few things that simply aren't for sharing, case in point....lip balm.  I don't even want to think how many illnesses have been shared via family lip balm.  So what is the solution? Custom lip balm wrappers! I put together this set of designs for our family, so we can all keep our lips chap-free and stay healthy!

To make your own, simply follow the steps below:

1. Remove existing wrapper from lip balm
2. Download/Print the designs
3. Cut out the rectangles
4. Place image side down on a 4" length of packing tape
5. Cut around the rectangle, leaving a little less that 1/4" tape exposed around outside of design
6. Align and wrap around lip balm, press firmly to secure

Thursday, September 6, 2012

girly birthday printables

DOWNLOAD: invitations, thank you front, thank you back

We had a very girly birthday at our house recently, in fact our thank you cards just headed out to the mail today.  This is a version of the invites that can be personalized, as well as matching "fill in the blank" thank you cards.  (I find it much easier to convince a 7yr old to use these than to write out 10 individual thank you cards!)

The invitations print 2 to a page, use good quality card stock for best results.  The thank you cards will print 4 to a page, you will need to download both the front and back. Print the fronts, flip & re-insert your paper, then print the backs.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

goodbye summer

Hello! I'm back. We said our official goodbye to summer as the munchkins headed off to school last week.  I'm dusting off the computer and catching up with the world a bit this week.  The summer was so much fun and much too short.   I was blessed to be able to spend lots of time with my two favorite people and soaked up as much of them as I could.  Now I'm feeling renewed and ready for the fall.

Here's a small taste of what we've been up to:


living history.

the lake. (lake there another one?)

the beach.

family time.


Monday, July 9, 2012

strawberry jam

We went strawberry picking about a month ago, strawberry season came so early this year!  We had a beautiful sunny morning, and came home with about 7lbs of bright red berries.  I usually end up freezing most of the berries for use in smoothies.  But this year, I decided to make jam...more specifically freezer jam, because it's quick & easy; no pectin, no boiling jars and lids...perfect.

(I'm always amazed by the brilliant red that strawberries create naturally.)

I used this great recipe.

 --- --- -------------------------------------------------------------------- --- ---
Jean's Strawberry Jam

This recipe for a cooked freezer jam, from Jean Copeland of Jean's Berry Patch in Apex, NC,  it uses no pectin products.

4 cups strawberries, hulled
4 cups sugar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice

Mix the berries and 2 cups of the sugar in a large sauce pan. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil for 2 minutes, continuing to stir. Add the remaining 2 cups of sugar. Return to boiling and stir while the mixture boils for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the lemon juice. Pour int a large bowl and skim the top. Stir frequently, skimming the top. Cover the bowl and let stand overnight. Pour into jars, cover with lids, and freeze. Makes 2-3 pints. Store this jam in the freezer until ready to use. After opening, it keeps for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.
--- --- ------------------------------------------------------------------- --- ---

I put together some strawberry jam labels, if you decide to whip up a batch of your own, you can find the printable file HERE. (The labels fit a standard canning lid & the date is blank for you to fill in as you wish!)

The jam is fantastic on toast, or with peanut butter, but this is by far my favorite way to use it!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

printable father's day cards

Here are a couple of cards for Father's Day!  

Each card prints onto a single 8.5 x 11 sheet, simply fold in half and sign!  Find links to download them at the bottom of the post.

Download the files here::  1. PENGUIN    2. DAD

Saturday, June 9, 2012

allergy season in style / a.k.a custom tissue box cover

I'm not sure who the tissue manufacturers have in mind when they come up with their box designs, but it's definitely not me.  Blue tinted peonies?  ...No thank you.  

Here's a quick and simple way to make your own custom tissue box cover.

1. Grab an empty tissue box (make sure it's at least as tall as the boxes you normally use).  Cut off the bottom and release the glue on one end.

2. Slide the empty box top over your full tissue box and tape open end loosely.  The goal here is to have a cover that slides smoothly on and off the full tissue box.

3. Select paper (you could also use fabric...) in which to wrap the tissue box cover.  (I used a lovely Snow & Graham wrapping paper)

4. Cut toward corners at 45° angle, then wrap sides.

5. Fold ends to meet sides and trim excess paper, then wrap over ends.

6. Fold paper over bottom edge and tape securely, cut through opening and tape securely.

Slide it over your tissue box and enjoy!

Bless you!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Saturday, June 2, 2012

teacher appreciation cards

It's the end of the school year!  It's been a crazy few weeks, but we can finally take a deep breath and get ready to enjoy the slower pace of summer. 

Here are a couple of cards I put together for my kid's teachers.  We're blessed to have had wonderful, caring teachers who truly love and seek to understand our children. We'll miss them very much next year.

Find printable files for the cards here: 1.TRULY  2.ETERNITY

Thursday, May 24, 2012

if i had my own line of fabric...

I've been taking a pattern design class at  The class has been so much fun, and Alma the instructor is uber-wonderful, I can't say enough good things about nicole's classes.

Here are a few of the patterns I've designed.  Someday I'd really love to see these in a quilt.  In the meantime, I will daydream about my imaginary fabric's called 'dime•stone' (named after a misconception I had as a child that mixed diamonds and rhinestones together) I hope you enjoy it.

I may even come up with some printable stationary based upon it...

Monday, May 21, 2012

itty bitty s'mores

These are the perfect treat for urban campers like myself.

1. Mini Graham Crackers   2. Small Marshmallows   3. Chocolate Chips

+ Round up some hungry campers

+ Squish the marshmallow onto the graham cracker and the chocolate chip into the top of the marshmallow

 + Nuke them for about 15 seconds.... lacks the ambiance of a camp fire, but it's much faster!


Thursday, May 17, 2012

seed bead billy balls

I love billy ball flowers, so perfect and round.   This version is made with styrofoam balls and seed beads.

Here's what you'll need:

+ styrofoam balls (I used 15/16 in. balls)

+ seed beads in the color of your choice

+ coordinating tissue paper

+ glue (I ended up using both a white craft glue and a clear "ultra tacky" craft glue)

+ floral stems

1. Cut a small square of tissue paper that will cover your ball, paint lightly with white glue.

2. Wrap ball with tissue paper

3. Twist the extra tissue into a small point that can be used as a temporary handle, allow tissue to dry completely.

4. ...take a deep breath and get something good to listen too...
 Working in sections, apply clear tacky glue on tissue covered ball and place seed beads (I used a toothpick to help arrange them).  When the ball is about 75% covered in beads, cut off the tissue paper point and insert a floral stem.  Continue to glue and place beads, until the ball in completely covered.
5. Enjoy your tedious, but beautiful creations!

Monday, May 7, 2012

treasures in the woods

We've returned from a quiet weekend away with our loved ones in the north woods.  

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

mother's day card

Here's a little card for Mother's day.  Download it here.

The file includes two color ways, gray as shown and pink, two cards per sheet.

*background image from dioma