Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Fun and games!

July 17, 2008

The online fun and games are back at Heifer International. There are coloring sheets, a memory game, a cow-culator, word searches, crossword puzzles and much more. You will find it all at

Fun and Games at Read to Feed

We are enjoying the color sheets

You can find more information about the Read to Feed program here. Download reading logs here.

Thank you for those of you that have already donated and for all of you that are joining us on our reading adventure and have started reading to help feed others!

Do you have a favorite book and craft you would like to share? Please e-mail me at cindyhopper(AT)gmail(DOT)com


Happy Fourth of July

July 4, 2008

2008 Parade Grand Champions —YIPPEE!

Uncle Sam Hat Party Favors

July 3, 2008

Just a little clue to the theme of our float! I am making these little favors for my breakfast table this year to go with the patriotic pinwheels.

I took about a 3″ circle of tissue paper and glued it to the top of a toilet paper roll. Next I printed the Uncle Sam Hat Party Favor download on card-stock. I used a glue stick to attach it to the toilet paper roll. I then filled the tube with goodies and attached a 3″ red card-stock circle with a glue gun. I printed the circles on a piece of red card-stock to make it easier for me. You can find what I used for the brim of the hat here. (Make sure you print full size–no scaling, so the downloads fit the toilet paper roll properly.)

Patriotic Pinwheels

July 1, 2008

We are busy around here preparing for the BIG day! I will again have everyone for breakfast before the parade starts. Here is what I am working on for the tables.

The container is a cardboard Uncle Sam hat from the party store filled with hydrangeas and patriotic pinwheels. If you would like some patriotic pinwheels to help decorate for your Fourth of July celebrations you may download them here.

Large Patriotic Pinwheel

Medium Patriotic Pinwheel

Small Patriotic Pinwheels

Print template on card-stock, cut out, fold tips to center and fasten with a long pin through black dots. The pinwheels can be attached to a pencil by pushing the pin into the pencil eraser. I needed a longer stick so I placed a cap pencil eraser on a 5/16″ dowel rod that I painted blue. I found they really spin well if you add a pony bead for spacing. A star cut out would be a nice touch on the front where the pin is placed.

now back to working on the float….

Summer Lunch

June 25, 2008

I had lunch today with two sweet nieces and an awesome sister-in-law. If you are looking for a simple and delicious menu, give this one a try!

We ate outside and each place had a tissue paper flower party favor filled with chocolates. I used these instructions, but used toilet paper rolls cut in half (what I had on hand at 10:00 pm) instead of the clear acetate containers. These were simple to make and inexpensive.

We ate salad with mandarin oranges and candied almonds along side a tomato pie.

Tomato Pie

4 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
10 fresh large basil leaves chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheddar cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise (I used Hellman’s light)
1/2 cup sour cream (I used light)
salt and pepper
1 9″ pre-baked deep dish pie shell

Lightly sprinkle tomatoes with salt and place in a colander to drain for at least 15 minutes. I prepared all of the ingredients early in the morning and then assembled just before baking. This gave the tomatoes plenty of time to drain to keep the crust from being soggy.

Combine grated cheeses, mayonnaise and sour cream.

Mix tomatoes, basil and onions and spread in the bottom of the pre-baked piecrust. Spread cheese mixture on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly.

Let set 15-20 minutes before serving. This is also good served at room temperature.

Mandarin Salad Dressing (from my friend Jenny)

Mix the following in a container that can be shaken:

1/4 olive oil
2 T red wine vinegar
2 T sugar
1/2 tsp salt (I use Kosher)
a dash of Tabasco pepper sauce
1 T chopped fresh parsley

I think it is best to make this dressing ahead of time to allow the flavors to come together and fully get the sugar dissolved. Shake well before dressing the lettuce. This makes enough dressing for about 4-5 nice size salads (about 6 to 7 large handfuls of lettuce)

Candied Almonds

In a dry skillet place 3 T sugar and heat over medium heat. As soon as you see any of the sugar melting add in 1/2 cup slivered almonds. The sugar will turn to syrup and coat the almonds. As soon as you see the slightest color change on the almonds– remove from heat. The almonds will continue cooking and it is very easy to burn them. Sometimes when I make these I get more of a crystallized looking coating. It doesn’t matter—is is all good!

Toss mixed greens with dressing, a regular sized can of drained mandarin oranges and the candied almonds. Serve immediately after dressing the salad.

For dessert, Miniature Cherry Cheesecakes

I used this pan, but I think these could be easily made in mini muffin tins.

Cherry Cheesecakes

1 8 ounce package of cream cheese (I used light)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup ground pecans
1/3 of a stick butter melted
3 T sugar
1 can cherry pie filling

Spray pan with nonstick spray. Blend cream cheese, egg, sugar and vanilla. Set aside. Mix ground nuts with butter and 3 tablespoons sugar. Divide the nut mixture between 12 cups. Press in bottom and up sides. Fill cups evenly with cream cheese mixture. Bake about 14 minutes at 375 degrees. Let cool on rack about 20 minutes and then remove from pan. Place cherries on top. Refrigerate until ready to serve. These freeze beautifully without the cherries on top. Makes 12 miniature cheesecakes.


Oh and for drinks, try a little lemon-AID!

Here is a printable version of the recipes


You are invited

June 16, 2008

to read along with us! Please join us for our Read to Feed project! More details about the program can be found here.

You may download a reading log.


You may also like to download this little informational sheet and sponsor pledge form. You can tape them on the outside of each side of a manila envelope to hold all of your pledges.



If you are participating please leave a comment and I will post a link to your blog on my side bar.

The first 50 people to contribute their reading pledges to our team will receive a copy of the book, Beatrice’s Goat, from Heifer Project International. Our goal is BIG but together we can do it!

Copy and paste the following code for a button for your sidebar:

<a href=””><img src=”; /></a>

2008 View from my bed

May 11, 2008

I can’t believe how my kids have grown!

and I noticed the breakfast gets better if they think it might get a picture on the blog!

Thank you all for sharing in all my ‘mom activities’ this year! You truly do make my world brighter by stopping here! 

I hope you have a very happy Mother’s Day!


May Day

April 27, 2008

May Day is just a few days away. Here is a little download for a simple cone and gift tag.


Print out on card-stock or decorative paper(my paper was two sided so that is how I got the solid tag and printed cone), roll into a cone shape and then glue. I had pretty good luck with a glue stick (when tiny hands were present) but hot glue is more sturdy. Embellishing the cones with drawings, trims, glitter, stamps, cut-outs, is a great family project————but nothing is more fun than the “ding and dash!”

Look what I made!

February 29, 2008

This is one of those reality check posts. Before I dispel all of your beliefs about me I had to show you what I ‘created’ last week.  Can you believe it?

I wish I could provide you with a tutorial (wouldn’t that be the best Valentine?) but I have no idea how I made those hearts with my tires.  I was dropping off my daughter to my sister-in-law.  She looked out at her driveway and said, “Oh my, you really are the craftiest person, you made a heart.”  After we had a good laugh, I realized I might be crafty but I would have never noticed what I had done.  It is just like my sister-in-law to notice.  She notices all those special things and is one of my biggest cheerleaders.  I would love to say I made those hearts intentionally for her, but however they miraculously were left there by my tires,  they are for her —-for appreciating all the little things, noticing the details and showering me with praise and love!

I also appreciate all of you that stop by this little blog and leave sweet comments.  Every now and then I get a comment that is just too good—actually too good to be true.    —- THEY FEEL SO GOOD—but at the end of the day us girls have to stick together. So just to keep it real you must first  read about the Fourth of July parade.  I do fess up there and say, “I hope my kids remember the parade when they are old and not that they always had to look for clean socks!” Please realize I only have one -3 year old at home (MAKES A HUGE DIFFERENCE) and the others 15 and 11 have been left to raise themselves (LOL).  You must also understand that my house is usually messy,  my sister-in-law kept my 3 year old (after I made those snow hearts) so I could clean off my kitchen counter to keep the health department at bay for one more day. My friend has said that after I take all those pretty photos for my blog I should whirl around and give everyone a true picture of what it looks like around the house.  I also rely heavily on the help of my friends and family.  In no way do I try to do it by myself.  My brother even told me my name should be  Cindy “it takes a village”Hopper.  And if you notice I am the most irregular blogger —-letting days (weeks)  pass by in-between posts. 

I am okay with my creative, clean and pretty space in the blog world, even if it doesn’t totally match my life — really both places are beautiful to me! It is not done in an effort to be fake–the qualities are all mine, the good and the bad in both places. 

I hope the things you see here add something special and fun to your life!   I hope you are inspired when you visit here. Putting my ideas out here has truly blessed me, I hope it has you also!  It is always  nice to hear when people enjoy what you are doing!  I do appreciate it when you take the time to say so!—–just remember there is usually more to the story (it will just be our little secret).


January 18, 2008

Our pal Elle came today and she made the most adorable stuffed butterfly and “puppy.”


These fabric crayons are great to have on hand to pull out when a quick and entertaining crafted is needed. You can use regular crayons directly on fabric but I really like using the paper. I think it is much less intimidating for children.


First Elle colored these pictures on plain white paper. You need to color hard. Keep the drawing large with simple edges. It is important to color on only ONE side of the paper. If your child feels that she made a “mistake” give them another sheet. Our “mistakes” bled through when we ironed. Remind them that their drawings will be reversed so they must write backwards if they are using letters.


Iron the drawings onto synthetic or poly/cotton blended fabric (I think my colors would have been more vibrant if I had done this, but I only had white muslin on hand) by placing the drawing face down on right side of fabric . Sandwich a layer of plain white paper on the top and on the bottom to keep from leaving crayon on your iron and ironing board. With iron on cotton setting, iron over design until the image is seen through the back of the paper.

Place the design onto another piece of fabric right sides together and stitch around the design, leaving a small opening for the stuffing. I think this is much easier than cutting out the design and then sewing.


Cut out the creatures, clip all corners and curves


Turn inside out and stuff


Slip stitch the opening closed and you have some wonderful creations.


Happy Holidays!

December 25, 2007


Wishing a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year full of blessings (and lots of craftiness)!

I am still here

November 29, 2007

I decided I really should have been blogging about my last month. I don’t know if you would be shocked, amazed or horrified. There was the worm costume made the night before the school book parade for Halloween,


hippie costumes for 5 (sneak peek of one little hippie),


packing and moving more stuff than 5 families could ever need, coughs, colds, painting miles of trim, painting walls, two birthday parties, homemade pumpkin cheesecake with chocolate ganache instead of the pecan praline, 4 dozen homemade rolls, 11 pounds of sweet potatoes, and the list goes on and on!

Things are still a mess around here, but a girl has got to craft! First up a hooded towel for my little girl.

On my list:

Spa Wraps, felt food, Advent Calendar, gift tags, homemade Irish Creme……..

We will see what actually gets done………………………………….so many crafts so little time!

Thanks so much for all of the kind comments.  Your support means so much to me!

Halloween Party Games

October 28, 2007

Here are some of my favorite party games for Halloween.

Blow the Ghost

Make a ghost by covering a cotton ball with a tissue and tied with a piece of thread around it’s neck. Tape a one inch piece of straw to the top of the ghost’s head. Make two of these so you have two teams playing against each other in a relay. Thread a very long string through the straw. Attach each end of the string to a chair. Pull the chairs apart until the string is tight. Divide class into two teams. Each team member will get on their knees and with a 3 inch piece of straw blow the ghost to the other side. Next team member will blow the ghost back until all members have had a turn.

Witch’s Stew

You will need at least one cut out shape for each member on each team and two plastic cauldrons. I used our school die-cut machine and made spiders, black cats, owls and frogs. Divide the class into two teams. Each member needs a 3 inch piece of straw. Give each team a pile of shapes (ingredients for the stew). One at a time a team member, using a 3 inch piece of straw, will suck up a shape, keeping it on the straw, walk quickly to the other side of the room and drop the shape in a black cauldron. Once the shape is in the cauldron the next team member can go. First team to have all members take a turn wins.

Sweeping witches

Each team needs a witch’s hat, a broom, and a large sheet of newspaper crumpled in a ball. Space three or so chairs apart in a line for each team. Each member will have to sweep the crumpled ball of newspaper in and out through the chairs while wearing their witch’s hat. They go down and back and then give the hat and broom to next person until all members have gone.

The best party filler when you have played all of the games, eaten the food, finished the craft and YIKES you STILL have 10 minutes left. Play human tic tac toe. Set out nine chairs. Divide the class (easiest if you do boys against girls). They play tic tac toe by each taking a turn sitting in a chair until they have three girls or boys in a row. If they are older don’t allow them to tell each other where to sit.

Halloween Treats

October 7, 2007

I made these pencil pops for my daughter’s bake sale at her preschool.  I think they would make really cute (and easy) favors for classroom parties at school also!


I know, a little cheating since no baking is involved! I used Almond Bark in chocolate and vanilla purchased from the grocery store. I found the plastic molds, pencil pops, bags and candy melting discs in orange at my local cake and candy supply. 


Melt the chocolate (I know this is NOT chocolate) in the microwave.  Do not overheat.   I melt it for a minute at first and then 30 intervals until smooth and melted.  I work in small batches melting only what I think I need to fill the molds.  The chocolate can easily be re-heated.  Place the plastic pencil pops in the molds.  Spoon melted chocolate into jack-o-lantern mold and ghost mold and refrigerate for about 15 minutes.  The suckers will easily pop out of the molds when thoroughly cooled.  One pound of orange candy disks makes 11 pumpkins.  One package of vanilla almond bark will make about 24 Ghosts.


Melt about 3-4 squares of chocolate almond bark.  Place slightly cooled melted chocolate into a freezer zip-loc bag and cut a tiny hole in one of the bottom corners of the bag.  Gently squeeze chocolate out of the bag to embellish the jack-o-lanterns and ghosts.


I wrapped each sucker individually in a candy bag and then tied with ribbon.  I stuck all of the Pencil Pop suckers into a block of green Styrofoam covered with black paper shreds and placed in a plastic cauldron.


Guess Who?

October 1, 2007

A special guest appearance from KISS and the Flintstones


Halloween 2004


Halloween 2005

This year we are going to our favorite Halloween party as …………………..oh you will have to wait. It is a big secret!

Time for a break!

September 17, 2007

Actually I have already had a long unintentional blogging break –sorry! I am wanting you to know that I am still here—-thinking about you and wishing I was sharing ideas with you. We are in the process of moving and in the middle of our school fundraiser, so in order to keep it all together (if that is possible), I will take just a little more of a break from blogging. This is killing me because I have so many Halloween ideas to share —— games, parties, pictures of our family costumes, invitation inspiration and most important of all BOOING. Please DO NOT buy those pre-made boo kits at those large retail stores!! Just hang tight and I will share some fun ideas for booing! You know we are all about the ding and dash!

Happy Fourth of July

July 4, 2007

Setting our breakfast tables



View from my bed

May 13, 2007


Happy Mother’s Day to you blog loving moms and daughters! You make this world brighter and more beautiful by the things you create, the goodness you make, and the love and kindness you share!  Have a wonderful day!

Thanks a latte!

May 9, 2007

For Tuesday’s teacher appreciation treat I filled take out coffee cups with a gift card from our local coffee shop. You can download for free the font I used on the tag from Fontologie.


If only I had enough time I would have made this cute crochet coffee cozy for the cup.

The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings. ~Eric Hoffer

Chalkboard Easter Eggs

March 23, 2007

I was totally inspired to see Martha make her own chalkboard paint. This could be the start to limitless crafts. I already loved chalkboard paint, but to have colors—wow. I think these chalkboard painted eggs would be unique place-cards for Easter dinner or just fun for kids to decorate over and over again with chalk. I used wooden eggs but you could also use blown-out real ones. They might be fragile when decorating, so I would probably fill them with plaster to make them more sturdy.

You will need:

Eggs, Acrylic or Latex Paint, Primer, Non-Sanded White Grout, 220-150 Sandpaper, Foam Paint Brushes and something to mix the paint in.


I first gave my eggs a coat of primer


I then mixed 1/4 cup of acrylic paint with 1 1/2 teaspoons of non-sanded grout. Mix well. Paint two generous coats of paint, allowing each layer to dry before adding the next. Once the two layers are dry, LIGHTLY sand the entire egg. Wipe away dust with a damp cloth. I repeated this process until I had 6 coats of paint.


Once the egg was completely dry I was able to draw on the egg with chalk. Most colors rubbed away easily, however a few needed a damp cloth to be removed. Plain black store bought chalkboard paint would also make for dramatic eggs.


I used a miniature grapevine wreath (sold in a bundle at the craft store) and a little bit of wooden green grass to display the eggs.