Thursday, December 17, 2009

Domino Necklaces

I love to craft with my daughter, Alexis. She is growing up so fast, and it amazes me how well she puts things together. I think she is very creative. She chose to make domino necklaces for her friends this year, I think they turned out very cute.

She chose her papers first and traced them to fit on both sides of her dominoes. Then she sweet-talked her dad into drilling holes at the top of each domino.

She used mod podge to attach the paper onto the front and back of the dominoes and then coated each with diamond glaze. We were both very disapointed to see how yellow our "non-yellowing" glaze turned out; but the dominoes are very pretty.

We suspended each domino on a toothpick across a little Dixie cup to dry. They take about 24 hours to dry completely.

Tonight Alexis strung the dominoes into necklaces and tomorrow she will give them all away.

Teacher Gifts Courtesy of Blogland

Tomorrow is the last day of school before Christmas. I am excited to have my children and husband home with me. I have seen some great ideas all over blogland for teacher gifts. This is what I chose to do.
Obviously, the "M" jar holds pencils (this will be given along with a bag of cookies to my older kids' teacher), the "H" jar is filled with cookies (this is for our principal), and the "W" is filled with lifesavers for my husband. Since high-school teachers rarely receive gifts from their students, I figured that I would take care of that.

The jar ideas are courtesy of My Mix of Six (her pictures are MUCH better than mine).

I can't remember where I saw the recipe for these cookies...if you recognize it, let me know. I would love to link to it and give her credit; she has a great tutorial with pictures.

I only have the recipe and a couple of notes, bear with me it is long but not actually difficult:

Perfect Chocolate Mint Cookies

3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 T water
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp. salt
36 Andes Mints

Melt butter, brown sugar, water over low heat, add chocolate chips and stir. When partially melted, remove pan from heat and continue to stir until the mixture is smooth. Let cool for 10 minutes (15 for a double batch). Pour into a mixing bowl and mix in eggs, and then dry ingredients.

Refrigerate cookie dough for 1 hour (the original poster said that she doesn't refrigerate hers, mine was a little soft to roll into balls; I think that it would work well to refrigerate it for about 20 minutes.) Roll the cookie dough into balls (I used my cookie scoop from Pampered Chef). Place on un-greased cookie sheet (I used my stoneware pan) about 2 inches apart. Bake 8-10 minutes at 350.

While the cookies are baking, unwrap your mints and cut them in half. (I couldn't find the mints so I tried the Andes mint chips, although they taste great, I wouldn't recommend them. It was a hassle!!) Place one mint on each cookie immediately after removing them from the oven, let sit for 5 minutes and then gently spread the mint/chocolate mixture to form an "icing".

Yum, Yum, Yummy!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Crafting with my sister.

One of my very favorite things to do is, to hang out with my sister, Bekki. She was here visiting just before Thanksgiving and generously helped me out preparing for my craft fair. It was so fun to be creative together. We decided that we would really like to have a whirlwind craft marathon again (this time we want to keep the projects, not sell them).

This Christmas Countdown Calendar was one of our favorite creations that week. They all sold really well at the craft fair, so I made some more.

You can find these in my etsy shop, or have fun making some of your own. I love my set.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Have you wrapped your presents yet?

I have barely started...
How does is offering free download-able gift tags, you can print most of them in color or black & white (maybe you could let your kids color them). Print them on glossy card stock or photo paper for the best results.

I hope you like them as much as I do.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Baby, It's cold outside!

We are freezing over here. It always gets cold here in the winter, but the extreme cold usually waits until later in the winter. We have been hitting the negative digits every day. Our water pipes have frozen twice and now we have a big ugly haystack on our pumphouse in an attempt to insulate it so that we will have water, my husband's ignition was frozen so his car wouldn't start, and my kids haven't been able to play outside at recess. They are bouncing off the walls!!!

These blocks seem appropriate right now.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Vintage Window...Of course I want it.

My friend offered this window to me. I love the shape and so, of course, I said "yes". Unfortunately, I have very little wall space in my house, so I really wasn't sure what I was going to do with it. It has been sitting for a couple of weeks. But today I decided that I was just going to hang it up before it gets broken. I figured that I was unlikely to love the placement; but I can always change my mind.

I decided not to paint it yet, I really do like this color anyway; but I am also a little lazy...I knew that I wouldn't want to paint it again. So, I am waiting to decide for sure what I want to do with it after Christmas is over.

The only supplies that I spent money on (and I really should not have) are the wreaths. They are just dollar store specials. The rest of the supplies are from my "stash". I have had the pip berries for a couple of years, I am determined to use them this Christmas before any more explode --why do they do that?

The hardest decision for me was what color of ribbon to use; I really wasn't loving any of these, but I was NOT going to spend any more money. Which do you like? I finally settled on layering the first two ribbons.

Here it is with lights, ribbons, wreaths and berries. I would still like to hide the rest of the lights; but I do like it. I like that this part of my nativity set collection has a backdrop now.

I apologize for the picture quality, I couldn't wait to take pictures...I really wanted to finish it tonight.

Give-Away Winner

Congratulations Robin, the winner of my magnetic recipe holder. The random number generator picked your comment. Please contact me at with your address so I can get it to you.

Thanks to all who entered.

Friday, December 4, 2009

What do you think, Jamie?

I couldn't resist posting a picture of a fun neighbor gift that my friend, Jamie and I collaborated on the phone about. I am cutting the vinyl for her and she is putting the boards together. I couldn't stand to just put it in the computer without seeing the finished product; and I love it.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

1st Ever Give-Away

If you read my blog at all, you know that I am hooked on magnet boards. This is another variation on the same theme. One of my friends and I made a few of these over the Thanksgiving weekend, and I love the way they turned out. I am putting a couple in my etsy shop but I would like to give one away to you!

You have 4 chances to win:

  • Leave a comment
  • Follow my blog
  • Blog about this give-away
  • Visit my shop and leave me a comment here...what you like, suggestions, a funny story about your day...whatever.
Leave a separate comment for each entry. I will draw for the winner Tuesday evening.

Good Luck!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas in the Country

I have been working (with a lot of help from my wonderful husband, sister, Bekki and my older kids) on preparing for a craft fair. It is in a little, tiny town; but they generally get a good turnout. I am nervous and excited because I have never done anything quite like this. I get a section about 3x4 ft. It is amazing how much you can fit in such a small space.

I heard back after the first weekend, it seems that the sales went really well. I am thrilled!

Most of these items are still available for special order (I can make more!) Contact me if you are interested.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Quick and Easy Neighbor Gift

The credit for this idea has to go to my friend, Karla. I made the tags; she thought of dressing them up in a frame to make a quick and easy gift for neighbors, teachers or friends.

I stamped the ornaments on cardstock and mounted them on thin chipboard (for stability), backed them with cute scrapbook paper and framed them in a rustic pine frame. Of course, they need a cute ribbon. I think they will be lots of fun to give.

I also love the idea of framing a handmade card.

Quick, easy and cheap. My idea of a perfect gift to give.

If you don't have time to make one (or several) on your own. This design is available in my etsy shop.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My new favorite addiction.

I received a Silhouette Craft Cutter for Mother's Day this year, I was super excited to get it; but then it sat for a couple of weeks. Now that I have really learned to use it, I can't imagine a week without using it. ;)

I used it to create freezer paper stencils for these blocks. I am having a blast with stenciling. I think these blocks would make great neighbor gifts...very quick and inexpensive. Just combine some duck cloth, acrylic paint, upholstery tacks, scrap 2x4's, freezer paper and whatever ribbon you have laying around. Have fun with this.

(these are also available in my etsy shop)

Monday, November 16, 2009

I am jumping on the burlap bandwagon.

I really love all of the burlap projects out there, lately I have been creating some of my own. The only thing that I don't like about sewing with burlap is the fibers. My nose gets so itchy as I play with it. I have started wearing an apron and throwing it in the washer as soon as I finish and this seems to help a little.

My latest favorite project is burlap magnet boards. I love the texture of the burlap, with the convenience of the magnet board.

I created this one with its coordinating magnets after seeing some on blogs, (sorry I don't remember whose) I really wanted cute buttons to embellish the magnets, but I needed to use what I already had. In came the embossing powder and stamps. I love the way it turned out.

(If you would like one, but don't have the time to make it yourself, I have listed some for same in my etsy shop--

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Merry Christmas, already?

Even though it happens every year, I am still surprised at the number of Christmas decorations out in stores already. But rather than be frustrated about skipping Thanksgiving, I am going to jump on the bandwagon ;)

This is a craft that I created for our recent Christmas in the Kitchen activity for Relief Society. Just modpodged cute fabric on wood blocks with ribbon and cardstock accents. I used stamps for the tiny tag and the ornament embellishments and my Silhouette to cut the letters. I love the ribbon, believe it or not, this color was really tough to find. It has a tiny bit of shimmer to it. This really was a fun activity and I am excited to display it in my home this Christmas. I hope you enjoy creating your own.

(If you don't have time to make your own, I have some for sale in my etsy shop.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Storage Cubes?

I have been trying to convert our back hallway into a makeshift mud room since we don't have any room for a proper one. I purchased a very inexpensive bookshelf to store our mittens and hats in the winter and baseball gloves, shinguards, and balls in the summertime.

I have been using dairy baskets (I think that's what they are called) --they are the baskets that gallons of milk are delivered to the stores in-- to store the equipment up until now. The upside is that they are very durable and stack well; the downside is that they are really ugly.

I have been looking for cute baskets to replace them but I haven't been able to find anything durable enough that is also inexpensive. After I saw some recovered storage cubes on a blog that I am sorry I can't find-I'll keep looking and give credit when I find it- I thought that I could just recover these to make them cute.

I purchased some coordinating upholstery fabric and pulled out my handy-dandy glue gun. I wrapped the outside of the baskets in thin batting so the texture of the basket wasn't so obvious and then started cutting and glueing to fit. I didn't use any sort of a pattern but I did line them with the opposite fabric on the inside of the basket. I am still looking for a cute ribbon that will look good on the striped basket.

This fabric coordinates so well with my living room that I was tempted to put them in there instead but I think I will cover some more, and make lids for them to store our scriptures and a few small toys for Addyson.

ADD Relief

My son, Chandler has been diagnosed with Passive ADD. This is different from the more common ADHD because it doesn't have the hyperactivity issues associated with it. Chandler is a super mellow kid that rarely acts out at home or at school. He is generally content to daydream his way through the entire day.

Chandler has struggled a lot lately because we had to take him off Strattera. The medication had been working but he was suffering from a lot of side effects. After we took him off the medicine, he rarely finished any work at school and so this made homework really rotten. He had trouble focusing enough to get his chores done and even had a hard time when he was playing sports because he couldn't concentrate on what the coaches were trying to teach.

I was especially concerned since he was constantly comparing his progress to that of Cortland and Alexis. I know this is a real issue with multiples; but I hated to see him labeling himself as slow or not as smart as them.

I have been searching for a solution that would help him and I think we have finally found it. Chandler has been taking "Centering/Focus" by Deva Flower Remedies as well as an Omega 3 supplement. It seems to be helping. His grades have been steadily climbing over the past few weeks and he has been finishing the majority of his work in class. What a relief to see him being successful again.

I know a lot of other parents are looking for help with ADD and are hesitant to turn to all of the medications that are out there. I hope this post will be helpful to someone; I know I am very grateful to the lady that shared this information with us.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentines Day

Isn't this cute? My friend, Michelle gave it to me. I love simple holiday decorations. I think this one would be easy to make; I love that the letters have little red hinges between them so I don't have to keep rearranging them.

We didn't have school on Friday so our Valentine's Day party was on Thursday. Somehow it caught me off guard. I knew it was coming, but I was scrambling at the last minute to put it together. (I am the party coordinator for Cortland and Chandler's class.) Our main activity was "Don't Break My Heart", the old tie the balloon on your ankle and hop around trying to pop the rest of the balloons game. The kids really got into it and had a great time.

We also planned to play Super Twister but we ran out of time. I usually spend lots of time coming up with cute goodie bags, and creative games but this time it was so simple. I guess it just goes to show me that kids just want to relax and be kids.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Bow Give-Away

I just discovered a darling blog She has the most beautiful bows and dresses and her prices are very reasonable. She is hosting a Valentine's Day giveaway. Visit her blog and enter to win this:

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Boys in the Girls Bathroom?

A couple of days ago, I walked around the corner to find Collin very carefully drawing on the bathroom door. He was surprised when I asked him what was going on. It turns out that he was making a sign so that we would all know that boys and girls could use this bathroom. (Never mind the fact that we only have one bathroom right now.)

I explained that we don't draw on our doors, walls, furniture, etc. and we came up with a solution that we could both live with-for a while.

What a relief, now I won't be confused!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I "heart" magnet boards!

One of my favorite new organizational projects is a magnet board inside my bathroom cupboard. My cute girly girls love hair bows, flowers and clippies and our drawer had been overrun with them. Searching for the right accessory sometimes took longer than the hairstyle and when I am trying to balance a 10 month old on the counter at the same can be precarious.

My fantastic husband had this one up for me very quickly with only a minimum of eye rolling (he couldn't believe that this was all for hair stuff!). I used leftover babyfood containers -I love those! for the tiny little elastics and clippies and some cute ribbon from Michaels dollar bins for the long bow holders. E6000 adhesive is my favorite for attaching plastics or glass and it worked like a charm for the magnets on the containers and the ribbons.

KC used contact cement to put the flashing right on the cupboard door and then trimmed it out with molding--it still needs to be caulked and painted, but that is for another day.

Each of my older kids also have magnet boards in their room. This isn't a great picture of the one in Cort and Chan's room but you can get the general idea. I love that they can display all of their artwork on it; they can also use dry erase markers on it but I haven't told them about that possibility. I don't need dry erase marker all over everything else. My boys love BYU so I used vinyl lettering to decorate the board.

I have seen this flashing used for backsplashes in kitchens. I love the idea of being able to stick my recipe right to the backsplash up above my workspace...hmmm maybe that will be a project for another day.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Running on Adreneline

Although my days are fairly routine, from 4-8:30 pm is a race. Keeping all 5 kids going and accomplishing everything they need to, and still making it to bed by 8:30 requires me to have a split personality. I am a combination drill sergeant, referee, cook, housekeeper and taxi driver.

Mondays are especially wild. There is usually more homework and we are trying extra hard to save time for family night. By the time that we are ready to start our family night, I have been racing and pushing for so long that I am really not prepared for a nice calm evening; so our family nights tend to be crazy. But we keep trying.

I found a great resource for FHE lessons. This book is awesome! We especially loved throwing marshmallows at Samuel the Lamanite (KC). I picked this one up at the grocery store of all places.

During the middle of our not-so-calm Family Night, Addy was having a fantastic time.