Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

Good Morning!

Here's wishing you a hippity, hoppity, happy Easter from our side of the bunny trail to yours!


Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Tisket, A Tasket a QuicKutz Easter Basket

Good Morning!

Thanks for stopping by today. 

Well, my weekend list keeps growing... and growing... and growing...  We have a mountain of laundry that turned into an avalanche of laundry that needs some serious attention, Easter Eggs that need to be dyed, Adam's Easter Basket that needs to be finished along with a about 1 dozen other things that need to happen TODAY.  And all I want to do is lay on the couch and peruse my favorite blogs/Pinterest... maybe do a little sewing for a little girl that I don't have... so really good, worthwhile stuff.

Luckily, I have this fun little basket to share so maybe you can find the energy to go make something and be productive!

I made this sweet little spring basket using a few different QuicKutz Dies... I used the Popcorn Box, Ticket Border Die, Doily Nesting Dies and the Pop-up Flower dies.  I wanted it simple and sweet, so I used some super old but still a favorite, Girls Paperie patterned paper.
I know I've said this time and time again, but I LOVE using dies that you may not think of to make my projects.  I love taking the popcorn box (which is just a simple, cute, scalloped box) and turning it into a basket or goody box by adding a handle, made with a ticket strip! 
I cut a strip of patterned paper and wrapped it around the box, adhering with glue as I went.  I then glued the doily straight to the box and added my flower.  Simple easy, quick and simple but it's so darling.  You could make a few of these and put them along a table runner for your Easter dinner, filled with tall grass, or eggs or mini-eggs... whatever you have on hand.  You could also pass these out to family or friends as goody boxes or even make a few of these for May Day - the ideas keep coming!
That's it for me today - I think I lost my husband to the laundry avalance... better go dig him out!  I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter spent with family or friends, doing whatever you feel like doing!
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Making the best use of Sick Time - Soap Clouds!

Good Morning!  Thanks for stopping by today.

Well, if you've been following the blog for the past few months, it's no surprise to you that we've had some serious ickiness going on around here during the winter months!  Being sick is no fun for anyone, but especially for an active, smart and daring little guy!  We did our best to have fun through fevers, wheezing, Dr. visits, snot snot and more snot... so here's one of our fun activities/experiments for sickies, rainy days or curious minds!

Soap Clouds!

Can you believe that the voluminous white cloud in our roasting pan is soap?  /And it never seemed to really dissipate, unless you crumble it up into little pieces, but still... it's pretty indestructible as far as clouds go.

Ivory Soap
Paper Towel/wax paper or a paper plate
Tools/Colors/Toys to manipulate your soap cloud with

Here's what you do:

- Unwrap your ivory soap bar and place on a paper towel, wax paper or paper plate in the microwave.

- Microwave on HIGH for a few minutes.  You'll start to see the soap grow and grow and grow!  I ended up stopping the microwave around the 1 minute mark when it seemed the cloud wasn't growing more.

- Take the cloud out and start playing with it!  We used different kitchen utensils, food coloring, water, spray bottle and more to see "What would happen if..."

Food Coloring on the cloud...
We liked watching the coloring spread on the soap, but it didn't spread as much as we thought it would. 

Food Coloring was the main variable for our experiment - I'm not sure if it was the pretty coloring or the mere fact that Adam got to use something he doesn't normally get to play with, but it was the variable of choice!

This final photo is an upclose photo after we sprayed the cloud with water, then ended up pouring water all over it like a waterfall.  The cloud mostly stayed in its original fluffy condition.

We left the cloud over night to see what it would look like in the morning... it didn't really change.  I have no idea why Ivory soap reacts like this, we did try Dove soap as well and it didn't blow up like a cloud, I'm sure there's a very interesting science lesson here somewhere but we were focused more on "hypothesizing" part of the experiment.  Hearing a 4-5 year old try to say "I hypothesize" was the best part for me... that and the house smelling so fresh and clean for a few days! 

That's it!  And for those who do not like to waste, if you don't put food coloring, corn syrup, and other variables all over your soap cloud, you can still use it in baths/showers!

That's it for us today!  Have a good one!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

DIY Pallet Garden

Good Morning!

Thanks for stopping by today!  I'm super excited to share this Pallet Garden tutorial, so lets just jump right in and get our hands dirty!

Garden Gloves
Crow Bar (Optional)
Manure or potting soil
Landscape Fabric
Staple Gun
1 2x4 wood beam for each pallet you'll use

Clean/weed the space you'll use for your garden.  Our side yard is the perfect spot, we needed lots of sun for our veggies so this is the ideal spot for us.  You can see what your plants sunlight needs are by checking the seed packet or potting pick (if you're using a mature plant).  Our side yard was overgrown with wides, so Big A and my Dad used a rototiller to rip up the weeds and then Little A and I went through and threw all the weeds away.  This took the majority of a day for us, but if you're area isn't a weed jungle, you'll be fine.

2. Once your area is free of weeds, go ahead and rake it so that it's pretty flat.  Its helpful for the whole process if your ground is soft but not wet.
3.  Grab your pallet, hammer, nails, saw and 2x4. 
3.  First you'll remove the excess boards from your pallet top.  I wanted wider rows for our veggies, so I removed every other board with the crowbar.  You'll want gloves for this, you'll need to pull, tug and pry on the boards and more pallets are basically a large splinter.
4.  Next you'll cut your 2x4 into pieces so that each piece is the same width as the pallet, these will be the legs of your pallet raised beds.  To do this, I simply leaned my 2x4 against the pallet, got the ends even, drew a line where I wanted to cut so that my legs were the same width as my pallet and used the circular saw to cut my pieces.  You could use a regular saw, but it would take a lot longer.  I then hammered my legs onto the bottom wooden slats of my pallet.
5.  Now you'll need your landscape fabric, a staple gun and scissors.  You're basically going to wrap your pallet's bottom and side so that your dirt will stay in the "bed".  Take your landscape fabric and roll it over the bottom of your pallet.  Cut the fabric to be the right length and start stapling it at one end, pulling tight over the rest of the pallet and stapling a few times on each leg.  The first bed I made I didn't wrap the fabric around the sides and the dirt seeped out, so  the next few I made we made sure to wrap and staple along the bottom and the sides of each pallet.

6.  Now comes the fun part!  You'll want to make a nice, flat spot in the dirt where you'll lay your beds.

7.  Lay your bed in your raked spot and fill with a mixture of soil and manure.  Try to get your soil/manure mixture to the top of your beds.  We wanted to make sure that the soil wasn't going to move around too much on us, so we would step/stomp on it to pack it in.  We also wet it down after we packed it in, let it settle then added more dirt/manure and packed it in again.  You'll have some seepage around your pallet, but you pack a little bit of dirt around the base to avoid too much.
NOTE: Adding dirt with a dump truck is the fun way to do this.

We made 3 beds, one has radishes, onions, cilantro, jalapenos and anaheim chili's, another had crookneck squash and green zucchini and the last having a few different types of lettuce and spinach.  We're also planting watermelon and pumpkin, but we'll wait a little longer to start those plants!  We're also doing corn and tomatoes, but we'll do both in another part of the yard where Rango can't trek.

NOTE: Having a cute little helper makes the whole process a lot more enjoyable!  Especially when he wears bright green galoshes on the wrong feet!

Oh!  And another great part of garden beds with pallets - you can write directly onto your pallets what you planted so there's never any confusion!

That's it!  Go on, get dirty!  Please leave me a comment with any questions and I'll do my best to give helpful responses!

Have a great day!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Pallet Garden

Good Morning!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Well, last week was the first day of the spring... we welcomed it with this sweet little guy in our garden...

We love having a garden; there's something about planting a seed and watching it grow, change and turn into something that will feed your family that makes me feel fulfilled - maybe it's my caveman instinct?  Or my family lineage coming out (my Dad's side were farmers/dairy men)?  I don't know, but I love planting, caring for and harvesting a garden! 

There are a few challenging aspects to our garden though... one being our sweet, hungry, adolescent tortoise, Rango... he's probably the biggest fan of our garden which is our biggest problem!  Last year he was able to break down fences to get a taste of the sweet little buds as soon as they started to sprout.  This year we were determined to find a way to keep our very hungry tortoise away from our garden, so a raised garden bed was really our only option.

So, our garden had to meet certain criteria:
1.  Our of Rango's reach.
2.  Inexpensive.  We've really been trying to watch what we spend and not buy just to buy.
3.  Reduce. Reuse. Recycle - when we purchased our home the backyard was a hot mess.  It still kind of is, but originally it had a ton of stones, boards, gates, bricks, rocks, etc that weren't really our style and that we subsequently removed but held onto for future projects.  Both Alan and I wanted to figure out a way to use what we had.

(Photo courtesy of via Pinterest)
So, I was perusing Pinterest one morning, looking for garden ideas when I came across the photo above.  They'd used pallets as a planter for flowers - light bulb moment!  We could use pallets that we'd had in the back for our raised planter beds!  I started looking specifically for this on Pinterest and found these...
(photo courtesy of via Pinterest)
and this...
(photo source: Pinterest)
Both Big A and I loved the idea of combining these two ideas, we needed the pallets to be a little higher off the ground than they came (out of reach of our hungry little tortoise) and I LOVED the idea of having the rows formed and ready to be planted! 
Here's our version...
We actually made 3 of these beds and we're just starting to see the little sprouts take off!  Little A and I love going out to water and count the new sprouts and wondering when the next ones will take off.  We even made a chart to keep track of the timing so we know when to thin them, when to give up on some of the plants if they haven't popped up, when we can start harvesting, etc. 

Join us tomorrow for a tutorial on how we created our Pallet Garden!

Have a great day!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Felt Dolls

Good Morning.  Thanks for stopping by!

Today I'm sharing another past project - you might be like "Why are you sharing Christmas projects in Easter?" and I could be like "Because you can always take the idea and modify for whatever season we're in!" with a smile, but it's mostly because it's been a rough week around here so I'm pulling from the past. 

We were at my husbands BF's of forever house at Christmas time and their daughter had a little Christmas doll names Noel that she loved, so I thought I'd make her a few more Christmas dolls to squeeze.

There's nothing easier than sewing with felt - no finished seams, no turning out... I LOVE it.  So, since I knew that chances of me getting the dolls complete by Christmas required the easiest route possible, I grabbed felt and my Silhouette Cameo.  I found a cut and round looking Santa and sized it so it would be a good size for a doll.  I couldn't just do Santa, I was aiming for Mrs. Claus but they didn't have a matching one, so I grabbed his elf and did the same thing.  I cut my paper pattern with my Cameo, labeled everything and then went to Joann's to get all of the felt I'd need.

It didn't take much felt, I don't think I got over 1/2 yard of any one color - I then used my paper pattern to cut all of my pieces.  I then laid them out and figured out exactly how to assemble these cuties.  I decided to assemble the fronts with all of their pieces and then just use a solid backing.  The most time consuming part was changing the thread for each color!  I learned pretty quick to make sure that I had sewn ALL of the white pieces on each doll before switching to green, red, black, whatever.

I used fiberfill and stuffed these guys to the gills, then sewed the opening shut with my machine. 

That's it - a cute and festive pair of dolls!  And, since I'm only showing this to help you be inspired, you could totally do the same thing with bunnies, eggs or chicks for Easter!  See, so it's a totally logical post right now!

I had so much fun making these little Christmas dolls that I added one more...
A little winter penguin!  I did mess up this one, I sewed the hat onto the front but didn't have one on the back body so it was a little flat and that's why it has that concave spot on the top of it's head  kind of a bummer, but he's still super cute!

So, go on and make some fun little Easter Felt Dolls/pillows after being inspired by my Christmas Dolls!

Have a great one!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Wee Bit O' Fun... St. Patty's Day Style

Hello!  Good Morning!

Thank you for stopping by today!

Adam's on Spring break for 2 weeks, yes... 2 weeks!  It feels incredibly early to me, but it is nice to have my little one snuggling next to me every morning without the stress of getting out the door on time!  He's still getting over his yucky virus and I've been trying to work and get ready for Scarlet Threads and Penelope Lane Boutique (which are just in a few weeks!  Eekkk!) but I also want to have some quality fun time... and with St. Patty's Day just around the corner, I thought we'd start looking for fun green themed projects and recipes to do around here!

Aren't these boxes super cute?  I have a few different QuicKutz (she used the Popcorn box) boxes that I could use to make something similar!
These Apothecary Jars are so cute!  I LOVE the rainbow effect from the different candy and can only imagine the amount of time spent making these look so perfect!

I think we'll be making lots of rainbows around here... but maybe with the evaporated milk and food coloring concept??
    We will definitely be making some of these!  Both my guys (big and little) love rice krispie treats!
    I absolutely love this idea!  We're pretty big on scavenger hunts around here... we've printed off different printables for neighborhood, home and outdoor scavenger hunts and I LOVE the concept of a color scavenger hunt!  We could do this many different days and I doubt the Little would get tired of it!
    LOVE the fruit rainbow!  A fun and healthy snack for everyone in our little family!  You could do something similar with pancakes for breakfast, it would be fun to let the Little go to the grocery store and help me pick out the fruit for our rainbow, would help color association.
    Can't beat a FREE Printable!  You could print out a few of these and have your Little draw a Leprechaun or draw his face, your face, Daddy's face, the pets face as a Leprechaun.  You might all get a kick out of this...
    These sure look like a lucky way to start the day!  And if you're going to buy Lucky Charms (we don't normally purchase sugary cereal for Adam, his energy level can't take it... or mine!) you might as well use as much of them as possible!
    And last, a fun little gift for your Leprechaun!  A watercolor paint set - I'm sure you can find these at the DollarTree or the 99Cent Store!
    Hope these ideas leave your feeling a little lucky today!
    Have a great one!

Monday, March 4, 2013

March of Dimes Donation Announcement!

Good Morning!  Thanks for coming by!

I hope everyone had a great weekend! 

We had a sick weekend here... Adam got sick last Wednesday and remained sick though the weekend.  He had this weird rash, which looked like little pin pricks all over and were horribly itchy so I took him in and he had a virus with a viral rash... which was super fun.  So, along with the normal fever, congestion, barking cough and general yuckiness, he had a horrible rash that covered his arms, legs and trunk and itched so bad that he would scratch till he bled.  Like I said... so. much. fun.

But, hey, at least he's on the mend, right!  Let's stay positive around here!  And there's nothing more positive then figuring out the final amount of the March of Dimes Donation from Kutz. Paper. Scissors!

If you missed my original post about our birth story and our support of March of Dimes, you can check it out here.

I'm so happy to announce that Kutz. Paper. Scissors will be donating is $78.10 to March of Dimes.  And after speaking with  my little family and looking at Adam's 1st year album, we decided that we should match that donation, so the total amount being donated is $156.20

Thank you for all your support, if you made a purchase in the shop or let a friend know about our Month of Giving Back, we appreciate it!

It's hard to believe that we've gone from this...

to this...

Have a great day!