Wednesday, March 28, 2012

These are a few of my favorite things: March's 10

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I haven't really had much time this month to actually get much crafting in, but I keep my promises, so here is a list of some great upcycled crafts that I have been dying to try (and will when I have the time).

by Stuff To Craft
1. Soda Bottle Sprinkler (free if you already have a hose)

I love this idea. And as soon as I plant my flowers in the yard, I will be using this to water them.

by Veseys
2. Slinky bird feeder ($2 for the loop)

This is awesome! It looks great and it's so creative. This website is selling the bird feeder already made but you could make your own with a slinky, a metal loop and peanuts.

by Infarrently Crafts

3. Shrinky Dinky (free)

All you need is some of those plastic salad to go containers and some markers. Awesome!

By Plum Adorable
4. Bleach pen shirts ($4 if you don't already have a bleach pen)

I am so excited for this. I love the idea of making an otherwise ordinary tee, into something super cute!

5. Foam Stamp (free once you order take out)

So simple yet I wouldn't have ever thought of it. Take a old Styrofoam container and carve a design on it. Instant stamp!

by Indestructible
6.  Upcycled crayons (Free, if you already have the molds)
You've probably heard of melting your old crayons down and melting them in muffin pans, but how about those awesome chocolate or oven safe soap molds? It makes for some cute new crayons.

by Groove Press
7. Earing holder (.99cents for that grater at the thrift store)

In the words of Martha Stewart "It's a good thing." Love it!

By Duo Fiberworks
8. Sweater pots (Free if you already have an old sweater and plastic pots)
What a great way to reuse old sweaters. I have so many, and am excited to try this.

by Crafty Endeavor
9. Yarm Garland ($2.00 of the balloons)

I love this idea and it doesn't have to be used just for Easter.

By Ikat Bag
10. Mail Box (free)

Liana loves to check our mail and I bet she would love it even more if she could have her own mail box. Going to have to make this one for sure next time I get a big box!

There are tons more awesome crafty ideas out there that I just can't wait to try. But they will have to wait, cause I am busy making busy bags! More to come on that....

Confession #18: Building is not just for boys.

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I found a blog by Ana White on making a reading nook. It seemed so awesome and it had simple instructions. I followed her directions on how to make the frame. The only difference is that I used smaller screws to secure the base. I left like it would crack the wood with the screws that she had me use.

I couldn't find a curtain that I liked at our local thriftstore but I did find a cute duvet cover for less than $2.00. So I cute the cover in half, and hung one side onto the frame. I measured and trimmed and repeated with the other side. I trimmed the cover on all four sides. I also used the leftover trimmings to make the loops at the top. I made them the same way you would make bias tape. I pinned them on top the top of the cover while it was connected to the frame. So that way I knew they were in the right place. I made 6 smaller bias strips for the back. Pinned them and sewed them on.
Finally I threaded them onto the top rod (just like they say to do in the blog). Beautiful! It only took me one evening to do the sewing. And less than that to build the base.
I draped the cover over to measure

Trim all four edges of each side

I made fourteen large loops (bias strips) and 6 thin ones

Making the bias strips

Sewing all the strips on.
All the strips are pinned

Once sewed, thread on all the strips (every other one)

This side done!

The back with 6 ties.

Sharing the nook with friends!

She must have loved it!

And as always I did this barefoot (well, I did ware shoes while I drilled holes in the wood outside). I am so happy with the result of this project. I decided not to staple the bottom like Ana did in her blog. I want to be able to wash the cover if need be. So I made 12 more thing bias strips and tied the cover secure at the bottom. Hope this inspires you to create your own special fort for your child. It was so simple, and fun.
And under $20! You can't beat that!

Confession #17: Traveling with kids CAN be fun

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Sorry (again) for the lack of blogging. I guess I have been too busy with life. haha
Well, I don't really know how to put our trip to the Dominican Republic in words. All I can say is that it was wonderful. Living down there two years ago was at times vary hard. Manly because teaching in an unorganized, undisciplined school comes with many challenges and grey hairs. But going back down there for Operation Christmas Child was another story. We saw this country in a whole other light. Our students were more enjoyable and it was stress free. Perfect! God sure blessed us throughout our trip.
We helped distribute many boxes to many different kids throughout the country. It was a great experience for us and our daughter. Liana enjoyed every minute of the trip. She would have probably been happy if we had never come back to the states.
I am having a hard time putting our trip into words, so here are some photos for your viewing pleasure. So kick off your shoes and relax
Liana dancing with the sunday school girls

A sleep on Jhonn

Some of the girls share their boxes with Liana

Letting Liana help open her box

Low rider!

Sean is praying for a girl in the hospital

Visiting our old school

What's so funny?

Making friends
The Janssens at the beach

Enjoying her new shades

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Confession #16: Granola bars should never be store bought

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I know it's been a while since I last blogged, and I'm sorry for that, but I am right now in finals week of school so I have been busy pulling my hair out! I plan on writing a little bit about our trip to the Dominican Republic but for now I am just going to give you the best granola bar recipe (that's peanut free) that I have come across. I am making this right now! I am using the first part as a base and going from there.
Mix 1 cup homemade apple sauce with 1 tea cinn and 3/4 tea homemade van extract. Add in 2 1/2 cup oatmeal. And I expanded from there.
1st Batch: 1 cup crushed walnuts and almonds and 1 cup crazins and raisins.
2nd Batch: 1/2 cup chocolate chips, 1/2 cup crazins, 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
3rd Batch: 1 cup marshmallows and 1 cup chocolate chips

Recipe inspired by Brown Eyed Baker

Enjoy! And I will be posting regularly again next week.