Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Flower Streamers Craft Kit

It's new craft kit time - Flower Streamers! And not just one new kit - three different kits in bright and cheery color combos!

Princess Flower Streamers:

Spring Flower Streamers:

And Summer Flower Streamers:

Of course, if you have a special color scheme in mind, let me know. I can hook you up! 

Flower Streamers aren't just for girls! Boys love streamers, too! And buttons! Everyone loves buttons!

Look how cute the packaging is! I love it!

Can you see in the package, the little bag that says wax paper? Wanna know what the wax paper is for? It's for your kid to use as a work surface so your table doesn't get all gluey. Because I want to make your crafting world as easy as possible. Because I care. And I want you to like me! I really do!

Anyway! Peyton and Ella loved making their streamers!

Peyton made his with green petals. Because he's a rebel.

Ella wanted to make two - princess colors, of course!

Both Peyton and Ella cut out all their own flower petals and middles - their cutting skills are really coming along! It was so fun watching them choose their button colors and decorate their flowers. 

Did you notice that all of the flowers they made have happy faces? Peyton's flower even has two happy faces! Now we have happy, happy flowers all over our house! I love it! 

The flowers get relocated constantly around our house - they've decorated doorknobs, plants, windows, and, of course, the floor. Yay for me. 

The green ribbon streamers on the bottom of each flower sway beautifully with the smallest little breeze. They also sway quite a bit when Peyton and Ella hold their flowers above their heads and run willy nilly all through the house.

When I asked Peyton about the craft he said, "It's really fun because you can do any design with the buttons and when you're done you get to hang it anywhere you want. And if you do different colors of buttons then it looks really cool." And I totally didn't even make him say that!

And Ella said, "I love making the flowers because when they're done they look awesome!"

I couldn't agree more. :)

Happy crafting!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Zucchini Nut Bread Cookie Sandwiches

I saw these cookies in Martha Stewart Living and had to try them out.

She had me at Cream Cheese Frosting.

The cookies by themselves are delicious. They're soft, like zucchini bread, and the oats and walnuts add a nice texture. And all that zucchini! I love it! And it makes for a healthier type of cookie. With cookies, I'll take all the help I can get. I might even try using whole wheat flour next time. Or maybe half whole wheat and half regular because I'm a wimp.

I changed her recipe just a little. Hers calls for 1 cup of grated zucchini. The zucchini I had made about 1 1/2 cups worth of grated goodness, and I didn't want to waste, so I put it all in. And I used reduced-fat cream cheese instead of regular. I have a serious aversion to fat-free foods, but reduced-fat I can handle. Also, I don't have a fancy 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop. I used a regular spoon and tried to make them all the same size. They weren't, of course, so I just matched up like sizes the best I could when I assembled them. It worked out fine.


  • Zucchini Nut Bread Cookie Sandwiches

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup finely grated zucchini
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • 8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt into a bowl. Beat 1 stick butter and the sugars until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla.

  • Beat flour mixture into butter mixture. Mix in zucchini, oats, and walnuts. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

  • Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop (about 2 tablespoons), drop dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Bake until edges are golden, about 17 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.

  • Beat together remaining 1/2 stick butter, the cream cheese, and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Spread 1 heaping tablespoon filling onto the flat side of 1 cookie, and sandwich with another cookie. Repeat with remaining filling and cookies.


Friday, May 13, 2011

Burlap Lamp Shade

So Ella had this lamp when she had her own girly girl room.

But when we moved, the shade broke. It was way too girly for Peyton and Ella's new shared room anyway. 

Poor Peyton already has to deal with Giant Dollhouse:

Tinker Bell Table:

And the huge beautiful wall hanging that Ali made for Ella before she was even born:

And those are just a few of my favorite girly things in their room. There are a lot more. There are a lot of boy things, too. It's just that those things seem not to be so massive. Honestly though, it doesn't bother Peyton at all. The kid is cool like that.

Back to the lamp!

I found this DIY lampshade on clearance at Joann Fabrics for $2. It has this removable template that you can pull off to measure your fabric. And underneath the template the shade has been pre-adhesived. The template and the adhesive are handy, but they're not anything I couldn't have done myself. It was the $2 price tag that got me.

I wanted to make the new shade gender neutral-ish, so I ended up choosing burlap because I knew it would give the lamp a clean, fresh look.

Here's the template the shade came with:

Did you know that you can grab onto one thread of burlap and pull it all the way out to make yourself a To Cut line? I just learned that neat little trick so now I feel super smart.

I cut around the template, leaving myself plenty of extra room because I'm craft-accident-prone.

I wrapped the burlap around the shade. I told you that mine was already pre-adhesived (I can make pretty much any word into a verb because I'm awesome like that), but I'm sure you could use spray adhesive or fabric glue, or even your trusty glue gun to get it to stick. 

Then I  trimmed my burlap a bit more to make it all nice and neat. 

Then I used my glue gun to burn myself repeatedly while I wrapped the burlap around the edges of the shade. Because burlap has lots and lots of holes. Yay.

It was worth it. 

I didn't want the inside to look unfinished, especial since burlap is the master of fraying. So I lined the inside edge with some extra twine I had left over from my kitchen memo board.

Look how neat!

Then I glue gunned on some ribbon. Since it is a boy/girl room, I chose colors that I knew Peyton and Ella would both like. 

I worked really hard to get the ribbon to not ripple. It was an impossible task, but I'm okay with how it turned out. 

I really love it.

Here it is in their room with the dinosaurs I painted for Peyton a while back:

It lets a lot of light through, too!

And Peyton and Ella love it! They really like it when I make things for them. I think it makes their world feel a little more special and loved.

How long do you think the top of that dresser will stay that neat? My guess is about 30 tiny minutes.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Kitchen Memo Board

As a shape, I think the oval kind of gets a raw deal. Triangles and squares and rectangles - now those shapes have power and strength. And circles - they've got movement on their side. But an oval! So sad. You put it upright and it will roll over on its side and stay there. Helpless. Which might be why, when my husband brought home an oval-shaped medicine cabinet from the sale table at Lowe's, I was all, "meh." 

But anything is better than keeping your toothbrushes in a cup in the cabinet underneath the sink in a poorly designed master bathroom in Iowa. Right? But seriously! Who does that? Who designs a bathroom without a proper toothbrush storage area? Probably someone with an oval-shaped brain.

Anyway! When we were packing up to move, the mirror dropped out of the oval medicine cabinet and shattered. So we tossed the medicine cabinet part of it and kept the frame:

The frame itself is kind of pretty. Which makes up for some its general ovalness.

And it still had the mirror backing, so I came up with a plan. 

Look at me, trying to be the boss of my project. This is when I was feeling all cocky:

I glued on some cork board which isn't even thick enough to properly hold pushpins. Is that not the sole purpose of cork board? Why can't I find cork board that wants to fulfill its destiny? It's ridiculous.

And my sweet husband, James, spray painted the frame white for me. 

I could have left it like that, but where's the challenge? 

So I hot glued on some pretty blue fabric:

The blue is pretty, right?

I could have left it like this. But as I said before, I bought the cork board just to waste my money since the cork is too darn skinny to properly hold up its end of the pushpin deal. 

So I came up with a better plan! My Oval would have a meal planning section and a crisscross-ribbon-to-stick-stuff-in section. I would hang it in my kitchen and it would be AWESOME. 

Remember before, how I was all cocky with the tacky glue? That whole three or four minutes of "Take that! I'm totally the boss of this Oval!"?

Well. My Better Plan is when my downfall began. The fabric has a pattern which may or may not be diagonal or horizontal or vertical. I can no longer tell. When I was hot gluing it on, I thought I was laying it out straight, but maybe I wasn't paying attention, or didn't care, or maybe I was drinking wine. It's all a confusing crafting blur. But now that it's attached, the pattern is kind of diagonal. 

Combine that with the fact that if I try to stand The Oval upright, it will roll over on its sad little side. How can I possibly make the yellow ribbon that is the divider for my meal planning section look level in this situation? One second it looks level, and the next second it looks completely slanted. And, yes! I even used an actual level! In the end, I crossed my fingers, hoped for the best, and glued with abandon. And it worked (I think)! Suck it Oval!

I got these cute little wooden alphabet letters to represent the days of the week and I tied them onto some twine. It was going along nicely.

But then I did the crisscross ribbon section. I laid out the ribbons and then adjusted them to make the diamond shapes bigger. And then adjusted them again to make them smaller. And then again to make them who knows what. 

And then I had to walk away because The Oval was winning. There must be an easier way! Finally I came up with an acceptable grid. I measured out the individual ribbon areas with a piece of paper to make sure they were consistent. I imagine, if you were using a REAL shape (that's right - I said it) like a rectangle or square, you could just measure and mark and glue and then skip on down your flower and butterfly path of life. Stupid Oval.

Here's what the back looked like before I trimmed all the ribbon:

Back to the meal planning section!

This next step took some time to figure out. But only because I wasn't sure how I wanted to attach my meal planning papers. Wooden clothespins? Mini clothespins? Clothespins mod podged with fancy paper? Bull clips? I was driving myself crazy. I was worried the clip on / clip off process might cause some wear and tear on the fabric. And I knew the weekly meal planning display needed to be a simple task or this whole Oval battle would just be a waste of my time.

In the end I cut the tops off the 2" x 3" zip top bags that you can get at your local craft store. I glue-gunned them onto the blue and tan paper. Then I slid a coordinating piece of scrapbook paper into each one. That way you can't see the glue on the back of the bag. And it's pretty! 

I pre-cut a bunch of white cardstock. Each week, when I do my planning, I can write our meals on the papers and slide them in. Easy peasy mac n cheesy! I also made two bottom slots for extras like desserts or snacks I want to make. 

I tied little pieces of twine onto our initials and glue-gunned them on. This is my kids' favorite part of the board. It's so sweet - anything that helps bond us as a family, even little wooden alphabet tiles on a kitchen memo board, means so much them!

And then I added some bright yellow flowers from the Dollar Tree that I embellished with pearl centers. I mostly just stuck the alphabet tiles and flowers wherever I messed up with the glue gunning and ribbon crossing. I'm pretty sure that is why embellishments were invented.


I love how happy and bright it is!

Good game, Oval. Good game.


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