October 29, 2012

halloween peg dolls

This was my first attempt at peg dolls after seeing a few around on the interwebs. Originally I wanted to use them to make Ella a kid friendly nativity for Christmas (which is only 2 months away, eek!). After doing some research on peg dolls, I decided I should try my hand at something less detailed then the three wise men and baby Jesus. It would be a shame to mess up baby Jesus on my first try, don't ya think?

I stumbled upon this great blogger and her awesome walkthrough on the basics of painting peg dolls while doing my research.  I knew nothing of how to get started with these little pegs, so a big thanks goes out to her lovely tutorial on how to get started with halloween peg dolls.

I ordered my wooden peg dolls from Hobby Lobby online. I used the 2 5/16 inch" Birch Man peg for these. They also sell a smaller 1 11/16" Birch Boy which I ordered to use for baby Jesus. 
As you can see Ella loves them. They're just the perfect size for her tiny hands.
This little guy is my favorite. His pointy little teeth and cape, so cute. Very Twilight-esque if you ask me. Hm, Twilight themed pegs....I could be onto something. 
The great thing about pegs are that you can decide how much detail you want to add to them. I added some stitches to Frankenstein and a drip of blood to Mr. Vampire. Feel free to go all out or keep them simple and plain. This being my first time, I kept them fairly simple.

I used regular old cheap Folk Art craft paints. After everything was good and dry (I let them dry overnight after they were all finished) I sealed them with 3 coats of Modge Podge Hardcoat. I wanted then to stand up to the heavy wear and tear of 2.5 year olds.
These have opened a door wide open! I've already had about 30 ideas for other peg dolls, and have started working on Ella's nativity. I will warn you, they can be a little time consuming depending on your level of perfectionism, but the end product is SO worth it!

August 20, 2012

felt food making-bacon

Its been a while since I've shared another of the items in Ella's felt food collection, but since we had bacon wrapped jalapenos poppers (with jalapenos from our garden) last night, I thought it was appropriate to share the felt version.

It was a very simple one to make. Two 6 inch dark red pieces of felt with curvy sides sewn together and two white wavy stripes of felt sewn on top. Voila! Bacon without all the calories!

To see more felt food click below:

August 18, 2012

30 before thirty

I didn't mention it but my birthday was a couple weeks back and I turned 27. Ugh, just the sound of it bothered me in the months leading up to the actual day. This was the first year that getting older really freaked me out. 27 isn't exactly old I guess, but it sure feels like you're on your way and thats the part I loathe. You can't say you're in your early 20's or even mid 20's anymore. You're officially in your late 20's and well...in my book that's old.

So I got all nostalgic and started thinking about my life. The things I have accomplished in my 27 years so far and the things I want to accomplish in the future. After thinking long and hard (oh who am I kidding, it was more like wallowing in my "oldness") I came up with a list of 30 things I'd like to do/accomplish/have before I turn THIRTY years old. So here it is:

1. Run a 5k
2. Run a 10k
3. Have another baby
4. Pay it forward
5. Give blood
6. Get another tattoo
7. Reach my "ideal" medical weight
8. Re-connect with someone from my past
9. Master cooking classic Italian recipes
10. Read some classic novels
11. Make homemade pasta from scratch
12. Own something from Tiffany's
13. Research/make a family tree
14. Go on an overnight vacation with just Travis
15. Go on a missions trip
16. Family trip to the beach
17. Get/raise chickens
18. Take a spin class
19. Disneyland
20. Try a new food I've never had before
21. Throw someone a surprise party
22. Fill a journal
23. Get my colors done
24. Organize the whole house
25. Sew with leather
26. Watch the sunrise
27. Family portraits
28. ???
29. ???
30. ???

I know I'm missing a few but I figured that in the next 3 years something else is bound to come up and I'll add it to the list then. I'll check in along the way and keep you updated as I check things off of my list. And I encourage you all to think about some of the things that you'd like to do before you turn 25, 30, 35, 40...whatever your next birthday milestone is. I've made a button to share with you all, so grab it, use it, link up and join in on the fun!

August 1, 2012

hand stamped jam knives

I shared on Monday about my jam making adventure. I also left you with a preview of a small project I did as an accompaniment to my gifting jars of peach jam to friends and family. Im sure we've all seen the hammered flat spoons with stamped lettering, right? Here's another spin on silverware stamping, butter/jam knives.
I made a stop by the thrift store and picked up a variety of spreader knives for $.10 each. Then using the metal stamping kit I already had I picked a phrase and steadied my hand. One good whack of the hammer on the end of the stamp was all it took. The hardest part is lining up the letters straight and getting a good impression on the silverware. Hit it too hard and you'll double up the letter, too soft and you wont get the full letter stamped into the knife.
After the knives were stamped I used a permanent sharpie and filled the letters in. Then I used a magic eraser to wipe off the excess sharpie, leaving the letters darkened. Then to make sure the knife is food safe I ran them through the dishwasher. Easy peasy!
Don't they make the most darling accessory? And they were easy! I'm going to help a friend stamp names into spoons as favors for the kiddos at her daughters ice cream themed 3rd birthday party. How cute is that idea?!

July 30, 2012

homemade peach jam

I may have a new hobby. Yes, another to add to the list of 1,345,215 things that I enjoy doing. Canning! Travis and I ventured into canning when we were trying to make his barbecue sauce shelf stable. So we packed the mason jars full of sauce and boiled them, then sat back and listened to the "ping, ping, ping" and they self sealed. So gratifying to hear that little sound.
My sister in law recently bought a new house in the area and was lucky enough that the property came with 3 mature fruit trees, two apricot and one peach. We feasted on apricots (one of my favorites) prior to out adventures in canning, otherwise i'd be slathering apricot jam on every food item at every meal. 
Don't get me wrong, when we visited the new place a few weeks later we were lucky enough to pull about 20lbs of beautifully ripe peaches from her tree. She didn't want them and sent them home with us. I immediately knew I wanted to try my hand at making peach jam and canning it, and so I did!
We followed the directions on the back of the Sure Jell pectin package. "If its not broke don't fix it" was our first time jam making motto. And it turned out SO GOOD!!! I made a whopping 21 jars of jam and our tiny family of three has already gone through almost three jars. 

I also had to have labels for the jars. Im kinda obsessed with sticker paper and making custom tags and labels and stuff. It makes it look so much more official. I came across this amazing site called the jam labelizer where you can customize different designs and print them. Super easy, super cute. I named my jam after the little one-of course. 
I also DIY'ed a little something extra to go with the jam I gave to a few friends. There's a sneak peak below, but I'll share more about that later this week. Now don't be intimidated, go make some jam!

June 29, 2012

yo gabba gabba thank you

Ella's Yo Gabba Gabba 2nd birthday party was a huge success! I'll share pics of the party soon, but until then I wanted to share the "thank you" card that I designed for all her guests. 

I really enjoy designing invites and thank you's. Here is a thank you I designed recently for a friends little boy. Can you guess the theme of his 2nd birthday party...yep, Sesame Street!

Hope you're all having a great week!


June 26, 2012

4th of july pinwheel tutorial

Today I'm sharing a quick and easy tutorial for making 4th of July decorations. Pinwheels are fun, simple to make, require basic supplies, and are perfect for last minute procrastinators, ahem...like myself. I made two sizes of pinwheels, a 12 inch and a 6 inch. Both are fun, but the large ones really make an impact. I chose not to put stakes on mine, but if you'd like to line your driveway or use them as festive cake toppers just tape a bbq skewer onto the back. 
Happy decorating! 

May 31, 2012

happy birthday Ella June, you're TWO!

Happy Birthday my sweet baby girl. I can't believe you're TWO years old today. You're truly the most beautiful child and I'm blessed beyond measure by your loving spirited personality. You have the best parts of your daddy and I, and we love you SO MUCH!
Happy Birthday Junebug!
We're having a party this weekend, and its Yo Gabba Gabba themed! Yay! I'll be sure to post pictures next week after the party, but until then...here's the party invite and water bottle labels I designed for the party. 

May 28, 2012

homemade baked apple chips

After my attempt at homemade fruit roll ups I decided to try my hand at another homemade snack, apple chips! I love the store bought ones, but they tend to be expensive and chocked full of preservatives and added sugar. Today I have a recipe for the easiest snack ever. They're perfect for making in large batches, taste amazing, and keep well for extended periods of time. They are also great for using only organic ingredients, because well...there are only 2 in this recipe.

Ella loves them, this pic of her trying to steal the bowl of them is proof that they're kid friendly. 

Step 1
Wash and slice 2 apples into thin slices. The thinner they are the faster they dry out, and the more chips you get, however they are crispier. So if you like less crunch and more crisp then opt for slightly thicker slices.
Step 2:
Remove the seeds and any tough bits of the apple core. I used a metal pastry tip as a tiny cookie cutter type tool to cut out the middles of my apple. (You can see it pictured in the photo next to the cinnamon).
Step 3:
Place apple slices on parchment paper lined baking sheet and sprinkle with cinnamon, organic preferably.   :)
Step 4:
Set your oven to 225 degrees. You want a low temperature because you aren't cooking the apple slices, you are drying them out. It should take about 2 hours to dry out the apples, depending on how thick they are sliced. Flip them after an hour. If they are not done after two hours just check on them every 15-20 min until they are dry to the touch.
They're done. Now try not to eat them all in one sitting. 
Believe me, you'll be tempted to. 

May 24, 2012

Birthday Balloon Wreath Tutorial

Im still trying to believe my little one is going to be TWO next week. The proof is in the pink chalk that's scribbled on my front door, i'll get to cleaning that off eventually. 

Memorial Day weekend is a special time around our house because Ella was born on Memorial Day 2010. It's great for her because she'll always have a 3 day weekend for her birthday, and great for mommy and daddy because we have an extra day to recuperate after all her birthday festivities. 

This wreath is so colorful and perfect for letting the neighborhood know that someone in your household has a birthday.  I'm looking forward to hanging it up a few times a year to celebrate all our birthdays. It's so cheerful, who wouldn't be happy when they see it. 

Read on for the full tutorial!
Supplies needed:
14" Styrofoam wreath (I got mine at Michaels, it was $6.99, but with a 40% off coupon I paid $4.50)
2 Pkgs 100 ct greening pins (Got these at Walmart in the floral section for $1.00 a package)
3 Pkgs 72 ct Balloons (Also purchased at Walmart for $4.50 a package)
Ribbon (I already had on hand)

TOTAL COST: $20.00

NOTE: Before you get started, you have the option to wrap your styrofoam wreath in ribbon. I decided to do this so that the back of the wreath is covered in something instead of seeing styrofoam, it just gives it a more polished look. It's not necessary though because you wont be seeing the back side of the wreath when the project is finished. Just personal preference.
Step 1: 
Take 2 balloons and stack them on top of eachother. Place the middle of the stacked balloons between a greening pin.
 Make sure the balloons are centered, if they're not you can adjust them once you push them into the stryofoam wreath, but better to make sure they are before you push them in. Assuring they are centered helps keep your wreath uniform and full. 
 Step 2: 
Push the greening pin with the balloons into the wreath.
 See how the balloons are centered? :)
Step 3: 
Keep on goin'! Continue to place balloons into the wreath until you've covered the whole front side of the wreath. Depending on how big/wide your wreath is you'll need to put more balloons towards the middle and the outer edges. You want your balloons to be close together so that you cannot see the wreath underneath, but not so tight otherwise you'll run out of balloons the last few inches, and running out to buy more balloons when you're that close to finishing doesn't sound like fun. 
 Yep, there's A LOT of balloons to be attached, so keep on going!

Step 4: (not pictured)
Before you completely cover the wreath cut a length of ribbon to hang your wreath and attach it with a few greening pins, then continue to cover right over that ribbon with the rest of your balloons. 

You're finished! Now hang that baby up and get ready to celebrate!