Thursday, December 22, 2011

Project Round-Up [December Edition]

Products Used: 12 Days of Christmas Collection by Heidi Swapp + Jessica Sprague

I think it's been about 6 years since I last made one of these treat pouches. I think the only reason is because I didn't have a paper crimper and I think the crimped ends are the icing on the cake - so to speak. No sense doing it if you can't do it right... and it just so happens that, sadly, our local craft store is going out of business and things are getting cleared out. 10% at a time. Goes down a little more every week. Paper crimper, welcome to the family. Robert's, I'm really going to miss you.


Products Used: Kitschy Digitals Calico Dream Kit

Hello little house. You're just what I didn't know I was looking for. Since I haven't posted for a while, I probably haven't mentioned the fact that the universe is trying to tell me something. It has a bit to do with heart. It started with the Tin Man at Halloween and has been gaining steam ever since. I'm sure I'll get it figured out soon. I've got a whole year to work on it...

On another note, this little house ornament has been one of my favorite projects of the year. I found it at Michele Made Me via Pinterest. I've been spending my crafting time trying to get past the learning curve of the handy dandy cutter. I think I'm starting to get it and thankfully so. It is making projects like this one a breeze. So nice.


Products Used: Kitschy Digitals Chalkboard Paper

This beauty is my new desktop wallpaper. I'm always grabbing images because they're pretty + I like looking at them + I think I might like to try it someday + etc. = my desktop is a mess. I am determined to keep it cleaned up. I think this might be the answer. I love it.


Products Used: Kitschy Digitals Woodland Diecuts Kit

The boys around here are obsessed with snow globes. I am obsessed with trying out new things on the handy dandy cutter. This project involved printing images onto label paper at staples and cutting them on the silhouette. I did a happy dance as I told *B* how cool I am... I made stickers! And then we decorated circles and stitched plastic page protector pieces over the circles [leaving an opening]. And then we added glitter and stitched the opening up. I drew a little base and put it all together. So incredibly cool. The boys turned out so much more whimsically than mine. I'll have to see if I can't round them up for a photo. I'll even try to keep in mind a true tutorial. It could happen.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

2.for.Tuesday



one: I am here today. Template Tuesday is winding down. Next year will be full of new + exciting adventures. Get your templates while you can.



two: free class. Yep, that's right. F.R.E.E. Here's what Jessica has to say about it:


Every year, I take the opportunity to give back to the community by offering a free class. Not only does it give you a chance to make a cute project and record some special holiday memories, but it will also give you a chance to take a look inside the online class environment available in ALL of the classes here at JessicaSprague.com.
In our class, we'll be using cardstock and digital patterned paper to create a stunning, but EASY and REPEATABLE garland you can hang from your ceiling, drape around your tree, or hang on the wall. Each year as you create December memories, you can create a new garland. Even the storage box is a keepsake!
In addition to our amazing project, our week-long class will be filled with ideas to make your holiday memory making, and memory-keeping a little brighter and a little more fun!
I can't wait for class! Please join me!
I've signed up! Now it's your turn. Here is the info + free code

ps. Right now there is a really great sale going on at Jessica Sprague... All of the digi kits (excluding Becky Higgins) are 35% off. All of the classes currently open for registration are 20% off. That even includes our new Digital Art Journaling Class and The Art of Poster Design Classes. 


pps. Check back tomorrow for my monthly round-up of projects. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Super Saturday


Project 1: Old Boris + a box of Vlad's native soil = a certain nine year old boy's dream project. I think he just wanted the Dracula Pez dispenser inside. In addition to Queen of Quirk's Old Boris kit I also used her Jeepers Accent Pack [I thought I had taken a photo of the inside of Vlad's coffin, but alas! There is not one. It's the very cute 70's yellow/brown diagonally striped paper- It's my favorite part]. The coffin treat box template is from Martha Stewart.
Project 2: costume record + fabulously cute homemade envelope using Carina Gardner's Haunted + Raven collections. The girl is going to be Dorothy. The baby will be the lion. I'll be either the Tin Man or the Scarecrow and ::B:: will be the other. The two oldest boys wanted to be The Grim Reaper and Dracula.
Project 3: Haunted Bingo + Party Bags [again using Carina Gardner's Haunted + Raven collections].


Project 4: "dem bones dem bones gonna dance around". Have you ever seen a skeleton doing a heel click? I thought it would be fun. The skeleton and spooky cutouts are from Samantha Walker's Harvest Moon Halloween Accents. I sprayed the spooky with adhesive and glittered it. I wanted it to stand out but not be distracting. I kind of like it.

And I think that's enough for one day. See you next time for the end of month round-up ;).


ps. I'm open to project suggestions. Want to see me make something?
pps. After cutting out everything involved in these various projects I decided to use my saved up [for the past 4+ years] birthday money and buy a Silhouette Cameo. It's in the mail. Yipee!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Absenteeism

A few days ago I wrote a fascinating post that started something like this: Here I sit, fingers poised over the keys waiting for an incredibly clever and catchy title to pop into head, but all I've got is this, "Fill in the blank. Fill in the blank." rolling through my head. My fingers tap out the word absenteeism.

I remember that my internet was having issues that day and the post was lost. All except the title. A tragedy to be sure.

I remember that it was very clever.

I remember that I googled "absenteeism" to check my spelling, and found myself amused by the various reasons for absenteeism. Most of which seemed applicable.

I remember that the only reason I got on to blog in the first place was that I was giddy with excitement over a most wonderful [small scale] project idea I've decided to embark on.

I remember that I was not willing to give any specific details about said project.

I'm still not.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Girl Friday



This girl knows what she wants. And she's got the fashion thing down. Three things to remember: Pink is pretty. Princess = perfect. A tutu makes everything better. Even pajamas.

This momma is going shopping today. Normally this doesn't go so well [possibly the problem is that these jeans look like they fit my nine year old son]. I'm thinking that if I go in with a plan it will be more enjoyable. But I could be wrong. Here's to hoping.

Source: polyvore.com via Lisa on Pinterest




  



I always feel self-conscious when I dress up. I guess accessorizing the jeans + t-shirts is a nice place to start. And I do wish those boots had a bit of a heel.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Seriously Behind

This is going to be one huge round up of projects. Huge [I didn't realize I was so far behind. Not as far behind as I originally thought. Thank heavens]! If it's not your thing, that's too bad. I sure had fun making them!


This is a party in a box. A birthday party to be exact. I revisited the party popper idea from a few months ago. I always wonder if they actually pop like they're supposed to. *B* was getting really irritated with me because I kept popping them off and he kept having to reset them. Not to mention the confetti I was getting everywhere. I don't know what his deal was. He understands prototypes ;). After all, I had changed the confetti I used and needed to make sure it wasn't too heavy. A few different times. I seriously get the biggest kick out of them. They make me happy.


This is the label for said party in a box.  It's always really exciting to get a sneak preview of  fun contents with a pretty package label. I have happy mail aspirations.




Because of my happy mail aspirations I started working on a postcard pack with quotes and words of encouragement instead of photos. I have been really inspired lately by words and the different and wonderful ways people are putting them together. I love postcards. I love that every person who touches it from here to there gets the message. Which is why I thought word art was perfect for this sort of thing [and just in case you were wondering it was the purple card letter cutting that led to the previously mentioned hair cutting]. As I was formatting the postcards for printing I realized that if I just dropped in a photo and some journaling I would have some pretty cute layouts. Sweet! Bonus pages.



And just a little peek at the postcards. All cut out and tied up with a ribbon. Way to much fun. Now... who to send them to?

The end. For now.



Girl Friday


This girl gave herself her very first haircut on Monday. I was really hoping that by never mentioning hair and cut in the same sentence that we would just tip-toe past this phase that kids seem to go through. I was really, really hoping. We were cutting out letters from paper and it must have been when I turned to scan them into the computer she worked her magic on her hair. I didn't even notice until quite a bit later -- she had walked away from the project while I was busy with the scanner. When I saw her pretty little blonde curls on the table my heart fell. I immediately went to inspect the damages. Thankfully it wasn't too bad. Especially with the rest of her hair down around her face. I pulled it back for the photo. She seemed to only cut the parts that tend to hang in her face. On Tuesday I took the girl to get her hair fixed. After it was washed and combed the stylist informed me that she had cut quite a lot in the back as well so a pretty big trim was necessary. Hmm. I wondered where all that hair went? On Tuesday night *B* found quite a large pile of cute little blonde curls under his fishing bag. The Girl hid the evidence. Sheesh.

This mom gets her hair cut approximately once every three years. I just don't have the patience for it. The benefit to doing it this way is that, by the time I get around to cutting it, my hair is long enough to donate to locks of love. It really does grow insanely fast. So here I am. Shopping around for a cute haircut. Suggestions welcomed.

ps. That's blueberries on her face.

Monday, September 26, 2011

More Than That

On Saturday night I attended the annual Relief Society meeting of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. As always it was amazing and inspiring. Sister Beck opened the meeting. In her talk she paraphrased Christ teaching Martha she said something to the effect of, "you could be doing more than that." That really hit me. I thought, how could I possibly be doing more? And after thinking about it [and putting it into it's correct context - because, well, that's always a good idea] it wrapped back around nicely to be tied up in a pretty bow of less is more. And then Elder Uchtdorf talked about good sacrifices. "Am I committing my time and energies to the things that matter most?" Probably the thing I most needed to hear right now. Funny how that works.I chuckled when they announce that Elder Uchtdorf would be speaking. I leaned over to my friend and commented that he is such a fabulous champion for women that they seem to be pigeon holing him to the cause. And then it occurred to me that he is probably the priesthood leader specifically assigned to watch over the organization. I always enjoy hearing him speak to us. His genuine love and caring for women is apparent. 

I loved when he mentioned spending many hours stitching the title of the lesson onto potholders for every member of the class. This is where the whole "less is more" thing really came together for me and I had an epiphany... Martha = Martha. Don't get me wrong. I love Martha Stewart. I think she's brilliant and these types of things make life fun. However, if I'm feeling overly stressed about something I now have a guide to step back and ask myself, "is this something Martha would do?" If it is perhaps I need to sacrifice it for something better.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Girl Friday


This girl was thrilled when one of the neighbor grandmas let her borrow a huge box of Barbie dolls. Thrilled. I love that she hates it when they're naked. She likes to change their clothes, but is quick to let me know that running around naked isn't okay. They need to get dressed. Did you know Barbie is evolving? There's quite a variety here. Some with the typical big chest/ skinny waist/ big hips, some with not so big chests, some with not so defined waist/hips. It's kinda nice to see that they're making new molds. Her favorite is Erika from Barbie in The Princess and the Pauper movie. She sings. And The Girl sings along. I love that.

This momma was inspired by an intriguing question [asked by the fabulous, and always inspiring, Kal Barteski] that was right up my alley. How are you evolving? Life is constantly changing. I am regularly trying on new hats, wearing them around for a while, taking note of what I like and what I don't, so that hopefully the next hat will be a better fit. Right now I'm making more of an effort to take our food back to basics. I've started making my own yogurt. We're implementing the use of more whole grains like amaranth and millet. We've bottled up loads of vegetable soup/salsa from our garden. Oh, and we got chickens. I think I might be evolving into an urban farmer. It makes me happy. 

ps. We survived our trip. More on that later. I'm working on a video...

pps. If any of my favorite thrifty yard sale ladies ever stumble across a batch of Barbies that are in good condition for what you consider a good price [I haven't the foggiest] I would love you forever if you'd snag it for me. The girl will love you forever as well. Promise.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

2.for.Tuesday

Today I am...


one: here.


two: and here.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Girl Friday


This silly girl will occasionally have breathing issues. It started when she was 5 months old and hospitalized for three days with pneumonia/dehydration. Since then we've run the gamut of nebulizer treatments and doctor visits with the occasional trip to the ER. This weekend we rushed down off the mountain after we ran out of medicine and she was not breathing any easier. After getting her blood oxygen level checked we were advised to go home, give her a breathing treatment and take her to the ER if she didn't improve. A few hours later we found ourselves in the ER. Girlie has pneumonia. She also loves blueberries.

This silly momma will occasionally have issues that involve awareness/backbone. After putting The Girl on oxygen, giving her the appropriate medications and waiting for what I am assuming to be an appropriate amount of time, the doctor came in and said he was taker her off the oxygen for 10 minutes to see what her blood oxygen level was holding at. After about 6 minutes her saturation level was 92 or 93%. He put her back on the oxygen, stating that her level was dropping too fast, and said he was admitting her to the hospital. Now here's where the awareness/backbone part would be helpful. Good questions to ask: At what point does her blood oxygen saturation level become unacceptable? Is admitting her to the hospital really necessary? Could we wait a bit longer and check it again before proceeding? All excellent questions I thought of after being with her in the hospital overnight and into the afternoon [while we waited for our pediatrician to make his way over and discharge her]. On the children's floor her blood/oxygen saturation level hovered around 89-90%. They monitored her levels but never once put her on oxygen - when I asked if she needed it [I believe my exact words were - in reference to the tiny oxygen mask the ambulance transport people left, "So, does she not need this?"] they said her levels were fine. And here I though the only reason she was admitted was because she had to be on oxygen. Silly me.

ps. I like blueberries too.

pps. In case you were wondering, the girl is fine. Wild and crazy, as per usual.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Day Late

one: "Fortunes forecast! Lucky charms!" I think that's my favorite line from Disney's Robin Hood. I love how Little John delivers it. Today for your viewing pleasure [and quite possibly your creative inspiration] I give you fortune tellers. Remember? I tried to amp it up a little. These ones require a bit of thought. I wanted there to be a bit of a challenge so as to encourage multiple visits. Here's how to work it:
  1. Ask, "Which do you prefer, multiplication, addition, division or subtraction [then proceed to spell out product, sum, quotient, difference - don't worry, they're marked]?" 
  2. On the inside one will encounter the standard set of numbers. Instead of just picking a number however, the suplicant will proceed to work the math and attempt to create an equation that results in said suplicants age by using the prefered method, i.e. I am still 34 [for a couple more months] and a little forethought revealed that I cannot create an equation using the numbers 1-8 to equal my age if I choose anything other than addition. Therefore, I am required to work my way slowly to 34 by adding various small numbers--Though I am not opposed to switching up the method mid-process for a fun mixed equation.
  3. Lastly [and somewhat anti-climactic if the truth be known] one needs only to choose a random number. I'm trying to figure out a more fun was to do this... maybe grade your performance on a scale from 1-8? Maybe I'll add smiley face stickers or colors or something...no wonder those foil stars were calling to me at Staples last night! Dang.
  4. Reveal said number by opening up the flap and, voila! Fortune forecast.  
I'm working on a template/how to for the box. I'll let you know when it's up.


two: In a few weeks we'll be setting out with my family for beautiful Oceanside, CA. We have a few activities planned - the San Diego Zoo, Sea World, LA Dodgers game. The kids are going to want money. I'm going to want to give it to them. I'm going to wish they had earned it. I came up with a plan. They can each earn a potential $30 and rather than give it to them in small increments and listen to them cry about how they want this Lego set or that Pokemon card I devised a progress tracker. It works with a magnet. Pretty slick. Again, working on a how-to. I'll let you know.

ps. All projects created using Echo Park Paper Co. products available at JS. Click the photos for direct links to products.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fun With Foods

is a regularly scheduled Relief Society meeting our ward puts on once a month. Last month they did a whole class about crock pot cooking that got my wheels turning, but I've yet to put it into practice. Two months ago they did a whole class about everything one can make using a basic bread recipe [dinner rolls, cinnamon/orange rolls, pizza crust, etc]. Last night was all about grains. I am fascinated. I am intrigued. I am going to tell you the single, most doable, thing that had the biggest impact on me and leave the rest for another day:

Soak grains before cooking.

Apparently this makes the grains more digestible and activates the grain enzymes which increases their nutritional value and flavor. Who knew? So, going to make wheat pancakes for breakfast? Put the wheat to soak the night before. Rice with dinner? Put it to soak in the morning.

Easy peasy.

ps. I don't think you've heard the last from me on this subject... I just requested three books from the library about grains. Consider yourself warned. :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

2.for.Tuesday


one: This man and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary last month. I figured it's about time he get his photo featured. Though looking over my shoulder he did mention the fact that he didn't give me permission to plaster his face over the world wide web. So there you go.




two: This quote. I love it. This project is going in the boys room. Hoping the words will inspire. Thought leads to action and all that.


ps. the template I used for the anniversary is the free template over at JS for Template Tuesday today [Template Tuesday #30].

pps. click images for product links.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Girl Friday


Me, I have a love for hats. I used to buy hats all the time. I realized that I never wear the hats I buy. I quit buying hats. Recently I went shopping with my dear sister. I always buy stuff I never wear when I shop with my sister. I bought a hat. I love the hat. The Girl loves the hat. I love the hat on The Girl.

The Girl has started saying, "Oh dear!" Randomly, she will come to me and say, "Momma, lets laugh and sing!" So I start singing and three or four words in she busts up laughing. Which makes me laugh. When she feels somehow slighted by something I've done or said she sings this little song, "Mommy's stupid yes sir-ree" to the tune of A Happy Family. She single handedly ate four klondike bars yesterday while I was curled up in fetal position on the couch [we've had the flu this week... hopefully I'm the last] and her dad was running errands. The evidence was all over her princess dress.

ps. Lace frame how-to.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Make It Do

Have you ever paused to wonder where exactly the forks go? Or the spoons for that matter? I do this quite often. I can never remember. I suppose if I were more diligent at setting a nice table on a regular basis I wouldn't have this problem, but I don't... So I do. Plus, I believe I've mentioned that it's The Girl's job to set the table, so throw being three into that mix and it becomes quite the puzzle. How to help her set the table without leading her around the table indicating each item for her? Enter the interactive placemats I shared a couple of weeks ago for JS.

This project was really simple to make and has yeilded huge results. I created an 11 x 17 template [obviously the most time consuming part of the project] that included the makings of an informal place setting in proper placement + spacing, dropped in some cute papers, and printed + laminated at Staples. Done and done.

A few things to consider:
  1. I originally intended to use this template as an embroidery pattern to put on linen placemats. I still think that would be really cool.
  2. Don't have Photoshop? Cut out the individual elements and trace around them onto the paper of your choice. Adhere to the background of your choice + voila.
  3. Cut the shapes out of fabric instead and applique/ use a fabric glue like Fabri-tac, Aleene's Fabric Fusion or Heat 'n Bond to stick them on [side note: it's been a while since I used Heat 'n Bond and I've never tried Aleene's Fabric Fusion or Fabri-Tac - they just seemed like what I would look for if I were to do this project. All products got overall good reviews with a few terrible ones. I am not necessarily endorsing the products, just brainstorming]. 
  4. Print the page, as is, and let your kids color it.
  5. Template = Pattern. So many options.
Finally, the true test - can The Girl set the table properly? Well, see for yourself:


video

ps. I wanted to fit everything on the placemat [including the cup] so I went with a salad sized plate vs. a larger dinner plate. In my trial you may notice that things are a bit tight. I've made the necessary adjustments to the template.

pps. The song in the video is All The Ways by Frances England from her Mind of My Own album.

ppps. The template is in the box. Please leave a comment if you grab it. I've been getting a bunch of people downloading my templates and I think that's awesome. I'd love to know who's using them.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

2.for.Tuesday




one: winner winner chicken dinner. A few weeks ago I offered a prize to anyone + everyone who knew the answer to a question. Today I finally made good on one of those prizes. I can't decide which I like better [the frame isn't part of it, I just needed to distinguish the borders]...



two: beach hat. for a beach bum. We're heading to Oceanside next month and I've had this cute little hat on the favorites bar for a bit too long now. Time to make it happen [it's rated as easy - we'll see]. I'm wondering how it would be with raffia?  Definitely more beachy + hopefully more flopsy. I'm looking for a bit of flopsy.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Aha!

Since joining the Jessica Sprague Creative Team I've developed a love/hate relationship with hybrid [meaning that digital products are printed out and assembled hands on vs. organized and assembled entirely on the computer] projects. Love the hands on process/ hate the bleeding print. A complete tragedy when that happens.

Did you know that paper matters?

Fairly recently I learned something new. Maybe something so completely obvious it's laughable to be sure, but new all the same. The type of paper used in printing projects matters. Alot.

One of the perks of being on the JS team is that companies will occasionally offer free or deeply discounted products for us to play with. When the Red River Paper Company offered sample papers I briefly wondered if it would be worth it because my printer just bleeds anyway. Again, not so. I was so excited when the package arrived I dusted off my JS products and kicked out a few paper postcards. I thought, "what better way to get a true test than with multiple patterns + colors in the same project?" I loved it. When the first page came out [printed on 53 lb Red River Premium Gloss] I picked it up, licked my finger and tried to smear the ink. No joke. Guess what? It didn't smear. So I licked it. Still no smear. By now I'm doing a little happy dance in my seat and wondering just what it would take for the ink on this paper to smear. I took it over to the sink and ran a small stream of water over it for a couple of seconds and then dabbed it dry. NO SMEAR! Obviously it's not ideal to put your paper project under a stream of water. The paper will warp if left to it's own devices, but I am not kidding... The ink stayed put.

I tried some other papers in the pack they were wonderful and heavy papers. The print was sharp and clear [though if it wasn't a coated paper the ink didn't seal and would bleed]. There was this one paper that, after I realized the ink wouldn't bleed, I sat it aside for a special project - It was thick and heavy and beautiful and thick. Too thick for my junk printer. And then there was this one project [done on a satin finish paper] that I thought would come off without a hitch but the inks wouldn't dry. Forever. It's still not dry and the lines are fuzzy. I realized much later that there is a right + a wrong side to special papers. I gave that paper a second chance and have come to the conclusion that Arctic Polar Satin 66 lb Red River Paper might be my favorite paper for printing projects at home. Not too glossy, true colors, clean lines. Beautiful prints.

Thank you Red River Paper Company! Not just for making fabulous papers, but for providing me the testing grounds for getting optimal results from of my less than stellar printer. I will stop complaining about it now.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My Very Most Favorite

time of day is the quiet early morning hours when the world is just starting to open her eyes. 


She reaches her arms high in a great big stretch and with a wide yawn she breathes in all the possibility of a new day.  It was my pleasure to witness this very chain of events this morning. And as the sun peeked his head over the mountain I took this photo of my babies all cuddled up in bed with their daddy. Life is good in the morning.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

2.for.Tuesday


one: Survey Says: Salsa. Soup + Salsa. I am exhausted. We were up until 3:30a.m. this morning bottling tomato soup + salsa. I love the soup, but am really wondering if it's worth all this trouble. This is the third week in a row we've done this. I don't think the salsa is worth it. I've still not found a bottled salsa recipe I love. Tonight we used recipe #2 for this year. I think we're going to have a salsa party when we're done with the tomato season. Everyone will have to fill out a survey about the each of the different salsas and hopefully we'll be able to pin down a recipe we like. Hopefully. I'm thinking a questionaire like this might just do the trick. This just might be the labels on a few jars that get delivered as invites. That would help me get rid of some... hmm.
two: Flashback. Remember when I first started posting 2.for.Tuesday clear back in November 2008 [wow]? It was entirely about great ideas I had seen and wanted to try. Some I even tried. I kind of miss that. I kind of miss letting the ebb + flow of the internet waves pull me where they would. It isn't very often anymore that I surf without a specific purpose in mind. Today I was reminded of how much I enjoyed creating a post with the sole purpose of sharing fun ideas with you. Elsie Marley recently shared a post called things on the internet: tutorial edition. Things like the homemade retro play stamps tutorial/photo by Teri at Giddy Giddy. It's all fun. Go see.

ps. It seems a few crazy Christmas cards are extremely past due... I'll get right on that.

pps. The label was made with Echo Park's Country Drive Elements 2

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Super Saturday

Sorry about the absentee-ism lately. I was cut off from the internet for about a week and then I got to play catch-up. Here's the final step in that catch-up process... My last two JS projects for the month:


First up we have interactive place mats. It's The Girl's job to set the table for dinner and I've been thinking a lot about how to help her do a nice job correctly. I came to the conclusion that an interactive place mat was the way to go and started looking for linen place mats that I could embroider the elements of an informal place setting onto. I made a template/pattern for the embroidery and got to thinking, "why worry about embroidery when I have access to so many fabulous + fun patterned papers?" So for fun I started dropping papers onto the template. Loved these ones from the Early Bird Paper Pack by Cosmo Cricket. Perfect. I printed them 11 x 17 and had them laminated at Staples [have I told you about Staples? I'm going to have to do that. Remind me. Heidi Swapp is brilliant]. I love them. I love that they are wipe-able. I love that they want to set the table now because it's like a game. And I love that they are now learning how to do it correctly.


Isn't that the cutest card ever? I seriously keep looking at it and thinking, "Who can I send this too? What kind of party can we have so I can send this card to someone?" Around here we talk quite a lot about inviting various families from the area over for dinner so we can get to know them better. Lately the boys have been wishing for a party for no reason. A few years ago Sarah Neuberger from The Small Object made printable fill-in-the-blank invites that I flagged for my to-do list. When I saw Cosmo Cricket's The Boyfriend Elements tags I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them. Love it when random things line up just so. I made a template and dropped them in. Easy Peasy.

I'm sure you'll see these projects again.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

2.for.Tuesday

one: Evidence. I am getting the biggest kick out of Nisa Fiin's [of Splendid Fiins] new Evidence line. When I saw the first group I immediately thought I'd make a field journal for the boys to document their summer adventures. Lucky for me, I am a procrastinator, and while this project floated around in my head Nisa was busy making even more great stuff for the line. And I saw this tutorial for making little books. It's perfect. So here you go. A very cool book of field notes. I'm over at Mouse, Paper, Lovely with a photo filled how-to today. Come visit!


1. watermelon hands, 2. outside of the dugout tonight...., 3. red.3, 4. red.4, 5. red.5, 6. Untitled, 7. spinning summer records, 8. day 5 red boats santa cruz, 9. day 5 taffy, 10. Untitled, 11. red seasonal goodness, 12. poppytalk red: summer shoes, 13. cherries, 14. red1, 15. IMG_1986, 16. GreyLemon SummerColor Rainbow4, 17. rainbow.1, 18. friendships over the rainbow, 19. summer rainbow, 20. rainbow.4, 21. day 4 rainbow (ceiling lights), 22. beads, 23. Ferris wheel2, 24. rainbow, 25. hot air balloon, 26. Carnival, 27. balloons, 28. Summer Rainbow 2, 29. Making our own pot of gold, 30. 100 Colours, 31. IMG_9576, 32. hot air balloon - it's summer!, 33. rainbow weekend., 34. IMGP8931, 35. play-doh, 36. poppytalk rainbow: beaded

two: Color Week. How come I always miss it? It's on the someday list. I love looking at all the beautiful photos!

ps. The Splendid Fiins Evidence Paper Pack will be available next Monday at Jessica Sprague!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Make It Do



So the other day my kids had a lesson on the food guide pyramid complete with art project. Really. I had nothing to do with it. They sat down at the table - the two younglings on one side and the older "teacher" on the other - and they had a lesson. I was here, working on the computer, and listening [occasionally throwing a comment or two in].  It was decided by the teacher that they would do one food group every day this week. Today they did grains. What does this have to do with my established Make It Do series you might be asking...
In my mind, talk of grains led to thinking of sprouts. In fact, it keeps popping up. See, the other day I was at the neighbor's house getting a can of tomato sauce. While we talked she took out a jar of sprouts and proceeded to rinse them. Of course we started talking about sprouts... And for the past few days I've been reading Whole Living Magazine and there's a recipe with sprouted quinoa so they were already on my mind a bit. And then I remembered that Mom gave us a sprouter for Christmas last year. Awesome. So here I am. A sprouter [as of three days ago]!

Did you know there are pages and pages of information/research touting the benefits of sprouts? For example, did you know that there are 10 to 100 times more enzymes in germinated grains and beans than in raw fruits and vegetables? Sprouts abound with antioxidants, they are full of protein, chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. When a seed sprouts, stored food & enzymes needed for growth of the mature plant are mobilized. Protein, carbohydrate & fat is broken down (pre-digested) to free amino acids, simple sugars & soluble compounds. Vitamins, including A, B-complex (B-12), C, E & K, increase to meet the growth needs of a young plant. For example, B-complex in wheat increases 600 percent, vitamin E triples & vitamin C increases six-fold. Vitamin C in a 100 gram serving of peas goes from 0 to 69 mg. in 48 hours! Essential minerals - calcium, magnesium, iron & zinc are supplied in organic form, "chelated" for better assimilation.

So now I'm asking myself, "why haven't I been eating/feeding my kids sprouts all along?" I think I thought it was complicated. Apparently it isn't.


This is the sprouter I have. Three days ago I put in 1/4 c quinoa [that's quinoa - pronounced keen'wah - in the first photo] and filled it up with very warm water to soak for 3 hours [I set a timer because I knew I would forget]. When the beeper beeped, I emptied the water, put on the lid and sat it on  the counter. It's called the EasySprout and it's supposed to speed up the process. 24 hours later this is what they looked like [I put some in a jar so you could see them better + I love the photos you'll see in the link below. I wanted some of my own]. My kids love them. I want to try beans next. I love bean sprouts in stirfry.

Don't have a sprouter? Here's a great link to a very simple + kid friendly sprout project. All you need is a mason jar, breatheable fabric [like cheesecloth or a piece of a pair of old nylons], a mason jar ring and, of course, seeds. But not the kind you buy for the garden. Those typically have stuff on them.

In comparison the only real difference is time. With the jar you have to rinse the sprouts 1-2 times per day while the sprouter claims the airflow is such that it's not necessary to rinse at all. It also claims that my quinoa sprouts will be ready in 12-24 hrs, but Whole Living says quinoa takes 2 days in a jar. I suppose there is one more difference: You probably have everything you need to start sprouting in your house right now [wheat berries/lentils/black eyed peas/pinto beans, etc], but you would have to order a sprouter if you wanted one - there are endless options available.

What does one do with sprouts anyway?
•Add to tossed salads
•Use in coleslaw
•Try in wraps and roll-ups
•Stir-fry with other vegetables
•Blend with vegetable juices
•Stir into soups or stews when serving
•Top omelet or scrambled eggs
•Add to sushi [because, you know, we eat that all the time :)]
 
Enjoy!


ps. Want to know more? Here's a great link with tons of info about sprouting at home.

pss. the photo above shows the stage we ate them in. I read somewhere that the most nutritional stage is 1/4 roots. I'm not convinced that what I'm seeing is roots. I'm working on doing more research to see how to go about getting them into the bigger great on a sandwich stage. The sprouting at home link in the postscript is the place to learn it I think. Just a matter of time.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

2.for.Tuesday


one: Nine Already? Cosmo Cricket has a new line out called Salt Air. It's pretty fun! Since *I* got a fish for his birthday I decided to use it to do a page about his birthday. Not that you can really tell it's about his birthday, but that's how I do things. That little ticket on the right is his party invite [we took a bunch of kids to see Rio at the dollar flick so it's a movie ticket - the template is in the box. You're welcome!] and of course, the fish. I made the line and the clips were extracted from a photo. And, yes, I'm obviously still the white paint lady. Maybe I will always be. I like it alot.

two: glitter. Thanks to my friend Cannwin.

ps. The Man doesn't think it really looks like glitter.  :(

pps. know where "cue the sparkle" comes from? I'll make you a customized sparkle element of your choice if you can guess right! After I wrote that *I* said I had to change the color of the glitter. He thought the green glitter was for him since it's his favorite color.

ppps. If necessary, I may limit the number of elements and do a random drawing to choose a few winners. I don't forsee that happening, but you never know.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Girl Friday

Yesterday my friend Cannwin posted a list. And you all know how much I love lists. Then I got an e-mail from BPC [Big Picture Classes] with a great "I" list. And the boys are currently working a list. Hmm. I think the universe is telling me it's time for another list :). Like I need an excuse. Here goes:

I was not going to post today.

I am going to the dentist.

I think I should take better care of my teeth so I don't have to make special trips to fix problems.

I wonder if that protective mouthwash really works...

I wish I could snap my fingers and have everything fly to it's place [like Mary Poppins].

I save everything. It's annoying. And counterproductive to my organizing wishes.

I always sit things down on the nearest surface and forget about them.

I can't imagine living in a clutter free home.

I believe it's possible

I promise to make more of an effort.


      

photos credits: Better Homes & Gardens and Martha Stewart Living

I love the look of a clutter free home.

I do.