Bunny Egg Holder

March 21, 2008

I though these would make cute place-cards or table decorations

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Download bunny-egg-holder.pdf

Print on colored card-stock and cut out on dotted line.

Bring legs up then wrap one arm in front of legs and then bring the other arm around and place on top of the first arm. Staple where claws on bunny should be.

Want more bunnies? Check out Bunny Napkin Rings

Bunny Napkin Ring

March 21, 2008

Here’s a little something for the children’s table at Easter —- a bunny napkin ring.

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Download bunny-napkin-ring.pdf

Print on colored card-stock then cut out. Roll end toward back of bunny head.

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Staple where claws on bunny should be

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I wrapped silverware in an orange napkin then fastened with a green pipe cleaner and slipped the “carrot” into the bunny.  If you have a hard time with the bunny standing up, a cotton ball glued to the back would provide stability and be a cute addition.

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You will find a matching Bunny Egg holder here.

Bit O’Green

March 17, 2008

Here is a little green treat for St Paddy’s Day!

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Green Candied Popcorn

4 quarts popped corn
1 1/2 Cups sugar
1/2 Cup light corn syrup
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (optional, does make mixture slightly more creamy)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
green food coloring (I used about 1/8 teaspoon Wilton paste color in Kelly Green)

In heavy saucepan on medium heat melt butter then add sugar, corn syrup, cream of tartar and salt. Increase temperature to medium high and bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. Once mixture boils, add in food coloring and stop stirring. Boil for 5 minutes (Do not stir). Mixture should be about 250-260 degrees. Remove from heat and carefully stir in vanilla and baking soda. Working quickly and while mixture is foamy, pour mixture over popped corn and gently stir to coat popcorn. Place popcorn into a large roaster or rimmed baking sheet (lined with parchment paper or sprayed with cooking spray) and bake at 200° F for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

Lucky Shamrock Hair clip

March 16, 2008

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If your little girl needs a bit o’ green tomorrow it is not too late to make this little hair clip. I need to admit that I have never written a crochet pattern before—-so I am hoping it works for you if you give it a go. It only takes a few minutes.

I used a size 4 crochet needle and embroidery floss (all 6 threads).

Chain 6, dc in 2nd chain from hook and then slip-stitch in remaining 4 chains (this makes the stem), chain 3 and join with a slip-stitch in the 3rd chain from hook to form a ring. For petal *chain 3 turn (only turn the first time), trc , dc , trc , chain 3 and slip-stitch in ring*. Repeat between * two more times so you have 3 petals. Fasten off and weave in the ends. Sew your lucky shamrock to a bobby pin or hair clip.

Now this little girl can tell her big brothers NO PINCHING!

Window Silhouettes

March 6, 2008

We had so much fun making these window clings —–the possibilities for seasonal and everyday decorations are endless.

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You will need a roll of clear contact paper, paint brushes, paint (we used acrylic), fine sandpaper and masking tape.

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First cut a piece of contact paper from the roll. I cut squares about 5″ x 5″ because that was about the size of shapes I knew I would be cutting.

Take a fine piece of sandpaper and lightly sand the shiny surface of the contact paper where you will be painting. Wipe off any dust. This step helps the paint adhere to the slick contact paper.

Since we are often VERY messy when we paint I taped a piece of wax paper to the table. Tape the piece of contact paper shiny(sanded) side up onto the wax paper.

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Paint onto the contact paper square. Since my daughter is three I encouraged her to paint using lots of colors. I knew I would be cutting out Easter eggs so it really didn’t matter what or how she painted.

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Allow the painting to dry completely. I think she painted about 10 of these squares.

Once the paint is completely dry take another square of contact paper the same size as your painting and peel off the paper backing. Cover your painting with the clear contact paper. Smooth out any bubbles.

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Trace around any shape of your choosing. I used an egg and bunny for my template.

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Cut out the shape

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Carefully remove the paper backing. This takes some time —–make sure you are only removing the paper (the back of your painting should be sticky). If you use acrylic paint it is plastic enough that it has a tendency to peel away from the contact paper, so peel carefully! If it does peel away and it won’t stick back down just put a little glue stick between the layers.

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Once you are finished stick your silhouettes to your window

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from the outside looking in

from the inside looking out

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I would encourage older kids to paint their own designs and then cut out. I can imagine huge flowers and birds! Nothing is sweeter than kid’s art!

Have fun!!

Lucky Shamrocks

March 4, 2008

My 11 year old boy made these cool hanging felt shamrocks for our window. (He wanted me to make sure that you know he was VERY bored and needed something to do and he got to use the sewing machine —stressing the MACHINE part, so it was all good)

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We took two layers of felt and cut out a shamrock shape.  My crafty boy used a sewing machine to beautifully stitch the layers together and also stiched  in a ribbon at the top.  He added a few beads on the ribbon and now they our hanging in our window—hopefully bringing us lots of luck!  If you need some luck, here are the shamrock shapes we used.

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?
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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).

Be Mine

February 14, 2008

My little girl couldn’t take any extra treats, candy or trinkets with her Valentines for preschool. That meant the lollipop lilies were out for us. So instead we made these little conversation heart garlands out of cardstock.

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We added “pink fairy” glitter (carefully chosen and liberally sprinkled by my daughter) to each of the letters. I used a Fiskers 1/4 inch rectangle hole punch to punch a hole in each side and then strung the letters on a 1/4 inch ribbon. We included two mini clothes pins with each garland. We packaged each garland in a clear cellophane bag tied with a ribbon.

BE MINE Conversation Heart Garland

I LUV U 4 EVER Conversation Heart Garland

Wishing you a very happy Valentine’s Day!

Oh Boy!

February 12, 2008

Here is our solution for Valentines for a boy that couldn’t decide whether Valentines are still “cool” to pass out. (He is in the fifth grade)

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This boy’s indecision pushed us into a last minute project last night that I am still trying to finish today.

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So if you find yourself in the same spot you can download the COOL Whirly Gig. We used card-stock, but they worked on thinner paper also.  My son finally getting into the fun decided we should punch a hole in the bottom and tie on a piece of candy (YIKES)!

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Cut on all solid lines and fold on the dotted lines.

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Fold up bottom flap and if you are not tying on candy you can fasten with a paper clip (wish I had a cool shaped one) , staple or cute heart brad.  Since the party is an hour away I think I might just hot glue that candy on the bottom!

Toss up into the air and it will twirl to the ground!  I hope you enjoy!  I am off to the Valentine’s Day party.

How does your garden grow?

February 8, 2008

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Here is another free valentine download for you! This one is much simpler! Download the files, cut and assemble!

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Lollipop Lily

Leaf

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I’d SNAP at the chance to be your Valentine!

February 6, 2008

Here is a free Valentine download for you if you dare (lots of cutting, folding, gluing….)

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First download and print out an alligator and inside of mouth

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Cut out pieces

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Lightly score lines on pillow box and gently fold

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Put glue on side flap of pillow box and fold together, leaving the ends open. Allow to dry a few minutes before folding in the ends of the box.

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Score about 1/2 inch from the end of the upper mouth piece so it can open and close (see final picture). Fold in ends on box and begin gluing on upper and lower mouth and the tail.Use lots of glue stick! Use a rubber band to secure pieces while they are drying.

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Fold edge of each leg and glue to sides of box

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Add some googly eyes and fill box with candy

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Recycled Candy Containers

February 3, 2008

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Take a little tuna fish can and cover it with spray paint and paper. Hot glue plastic pony beads all the way around the side and run a yarn through the beads and you have a little drum. Be sure to use a safety can opener so that there are no sharp edges and the top of the can works as a lid.  I think it would be best to package the candy in little clear bags so the candy doesn’t take on any odd tastes from the can.

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Small olive and green chili cans would make cute little drums. You could also forget the beads and yarn and use glitter and other embellishments instead!

Happy Birthday Kansas!

January 29, 2008

Celebrate Kansas Day with some Sunflower Cupcakes.

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Roll frosted cupcakes in a chocolaty cereal (leave a little space around the edge of the cupcake for the petals), pipe on some petals with a star tip and then very carefully decorate a red M&M to look like a lady bug. To make clean-up easier I attach my decorating tip to the corner of a ziploc bag. For the ladybug I cut the tiniest tip off the corner of the bag. I used a little melted chocolate almond bark for the ladybug details, but frosting would work also. Cupcakes adapted from Ladies Home Journal.

You can see last years celebration cake here along with links to Kansas coloring pages.

Have a happy day!

Happy Australia Day

January 26, 2008

Today, Australians are celebrating what is great about Australia. So I will join in and celebrate what I know to be great about Australia, my dear friend Andrea. I was lucky enough to meet her while we were both living in Germany. She is a kind, smart and generous woman. Our little girl is named after her darling daughter. Andrea and her sweet family touched our family in so many special ways and gave us so many happy memories.

So in her honor I will share her recipe for ANZAC biscuits, a famous Australian cookie. These are delicious–crunchy yet chewy!

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ANZAC Biscuits

1 Cup Rolled Oats

¾ Cup desiccated coconut (I use sweetened flaked)

1 Cup flour

1 Cup sugar

½ Cup butter

1 Tablespoon Golden Syrup (I use light corn syrup)

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 Tablespoons boiling water

 

  • Mix oats, flour, sugar and coconut together.
  • Melt syrup and butter together.
  • Mix soda with boiling water and add to melted butter and syrup. Add this to dry ingredients.
  • Place 2 teaspoons or a tablespoon of mixture on a greased baking tray.
  • Blake in a slow (150 C or 300F) oven for 20 minutes. Watch carefully as they quickly burn if left too long. (I baked mine about 15 minutes)

 

Andrea’s Footnote: ANZAC stands for Australia, New Zealand Army Corp. These cookies were sent across the world to the young soldiers fighting in World War I. They store well!

 

Makes 2-3 dozen

Enjoy!

Sweet Deal

January 19, 2008

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Last year I wrote about making miniature heart cheesecakes. My pan is non-stick, made by Chicago Metallic and purchased from Williams Sonoma. I have found one that looks the same (I am not sure about the non-stick, but the bottoms come out so I don’t think removing the cheesecake would be a problem either way) at Amazon. I think this is a good deal at $13.49 —I paid more!

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Stuffed

January 18, 2008

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Cut out the creatures, clip all corners and curves

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Turn inside out and stuff

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

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Breakfast Treat

January 15, 2008

A favorite breakfast around here is yogurt topped with granola. This granola is super easy and really tasty —very crunchy!

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Granola

1 1/2 cups brown sugar OR (1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup Splenda brown sugar)
1/2 cup water
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt (I use Kosher salt)

8 cups rolled oats (not quick or instant)
2 cup chopped nuts (I use pecans, walnuts and slivered almonds)

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.

Combine brown sugar and water. Place in microwave (use a large microwave safe bowl –mixture will bubble) on high for 5 minutes or cook on stove top until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from stove or microwave, add vanilla and salt.
Combine oats, nuts, and brown sugar syrup mixture. Stir until mixed. Spread the granola onto cookie sheets or a very large jelly roll pan (12 x 18) and bake 45 minutes to 1 hour or until golden and crunchy. You may add in dried fruit as it comes out of the oven. Store cooled granola in an airtight container.

Recipe adapted from Kathleen Daelemans “Crunchy Granola”

Happy Holidays!

December 25, 2007

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

Holiday beverage markers

December 23, 2007

Here is a quick solution for beverage markers—
place a 2-dimensional paper sticker on a metal rimmed office tag.

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They were slightly difficult to attach to the glass, but worked in a pinch and looked really festive. If one had more time the wire ring could be changed to an actual wire beverage i.d. hoop.

Homemade Caramel Corn

December 23, 2007

This is a sweet treat for some sweet friends. 

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I use my friend Di’s recipe.  It is easy and so delicious!

Di’s Caramel Corn

½ Cup butter (1 stick)
1 Cup light brown sugar
¼ Cup light corn syrup
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon baking soda
3 quarts (12 cups) popped corn                       

In heavy saucepan on medium to medium-high heat melt butter then add brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring mixture to a boil stirring constantly.  Once mixture boils stop stirring and boil for 5 minutes (Do not stir).  Remove from heat and carefully stir in vanilla and baking soda.  Pour mixture over popped corn. Gently stir to coat popcorn.  Place popcorn into a large roaster or rimmed baking sheet and bake at 225° F for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.  Cool and enjoy!

Two batches of this recipe filled my three containers from Wal-Mart perfectly.