Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Fruit Loop Necklaces


Since we've been talking a lot about colors in our house, I thought we would do one more rainbow activity. Making necklaces out of fruit loops was a great way to sort colors and work on fine motor skills!

We started by sorting the fruit loops by putting each one into their matching color bowl. On a side note, we really love these plastic bowls from IKEA. We have the matching plates and utensils as well.

We talked about the colors of the Rainbow and named the colors in order out loud together. Then I asked him if he could make a Rainbow necklace. He actually did this with very little guidance!



But stringing onto a piece of string was a little difficult. So we stopped at bracelet length. I thought it would be easier if he used a piper cleaner instead of string. This proved to be much better. And this time he opted for an all green necklace :o)



Now the best part! Time to eat! Even little brother got to have a little of my necklace.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Candy Shamrock Cupcake Topper


I had leftover cake batter from my Crock Pot Mini Cake and thought it would be the perfect amount to make some mini cupcakes. I threw in some green food coloring, filled my mini muffin tins, and popped them in the oven. I also had a package of leftover Candiquick from my Crock Pot Candy and decided to use it to make Shamrock cupcake toppers! If you think you need some special cookie cutter for this, you are wrong my friend. This is a very simple tutorial that anyone can do and you could apply it to ANY shape you want!

Materials:
- Shamrock image printed out on computer paper
- Wax paper
- Decorating bag with circle nozzle or plastic squeeze bottle
- Candiquick
- Food coloring (optional)


Directions:
1. Place wax paper over the printed shamrock image (its best if you print out multiple images on one page)
2. Melt Candiquick according to directions on package. It comes with its own microwavable tray and melts within a minute so don't let this step scare you away.
3. Add in food coloring to melted Candiquick and stir until you have your desired color.
4. Spoon melted Candiquick into decorating bag or squeeze bottle.
5. Squeeze melted Candiquick onto the wax paper as you trace and fill in the image.
6. Let cool completely before peeling off of wax paper.



Simple as that! Ok, I'm not going to take all the credit for this idea. I found this super neat Green Eggs Candy tutorial over at Random Thoughts of a Supermom which uses the same technique.

Have fun making your own Candy Cupcake Toppers. And have a happy St. Patrick's Day :o)


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Monday, February 27, 2012

Crock Pot Tagalongs Mini Cake


I was pretty darn excited when my husband came home with a couple boxes (ok, more like 7 boxes) of girl scout cookies this weekend. I love him :o) I was already thinking about making a crock pot cake but when I saw the cookies sitting on the counter, I had an AH-HA moment! Crock Pot Cake + Tagalong Cookies = A little slice of heaven.

I love making cakes with my 1.5 quart crock pot because they come out in a nice little mini-cake shape and they are the perfect amount of food. You don't end up over-eating or have tons of leftovers that get thrown out. Crock pot cakes are also denser and moister so you don't need a huge slice to be satisfied. Ok enough talk, here is the recipe:

Ingredients:
-1 box of yellow cake mix (+ ingredients on package)
-1 box of Tagalong Girl Scout Cookies
- Crisco shortening
-Vanilla frosting (or frosting of your choice)


Directions:
1. Mix yellow cake according to directions on box. 
2. Grease entire inside 1.5 quart crock pot generously with Crisco.
3. Pour only enough cake mix to fill about 1/4 of the crock pot. (The cake will rise) You can use the rest of the mix to make a second cake or go ahead and make some cupcakes in the oven as I did :o)
4. Lay 4 tagalongs along the top of mixture (it's ok if they sink)
5. Cover with paper towel and set lit on to hold in place. The paper towel will absorb the condensation and keep it from dripping onto the cake.
6. Cook on low setting for about 1.5-2 hours or until toothpick comes out clean. Then unplug, remove lid and let cool for 30 minutes or until middle is set. 



7. Turn over onto a plate. The cake should slide right out! The cookies will have baked in towards the top. You can frost right over any that are peaking through or any other minor imperfection in your cake :o)


8. Frost with your choice of frosting. Crush 3-4 Tagalong cookies and sprinkle on top. Serves 4-6.



9. Enjoy every bite!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Rainbow Ball Toss


Seeing all the rainbow craft projects for St. Paddy's Day has inspired me to do one of my own. I made up a set of 5 crocheted rainbow colored balls for a fun little indoor ball toss. The crochet ball was one of the first crochet patterns I ever attempted. And we still have that first little ball in our toy closet. It makes for a great indoor toy being that it is so soft and light. I honestly don't know why I haven't made more of them!




For our Rainbow Ball Toss, I crocheted a red, orange, yellow, green and blue ball (balls are about 3 inches wide). I found coordinating color boxes and bins around the house and labeled them with their color name. The red, yellow, and blue bin are from our toy storage rack, the orange box is a nike shoe box and the green is a plastic bin we use for bath toy storage. The concept is simple: throw each color ball into its matching color bin. For a challenge, we threw the balls from different distances and mixed up the order of the balls and bins. This is also a great sorting and matching game for little brother!


If you crochet, here is a great ball pattern by Julie-K. If you don't crochet, you could always roll yarn into a ball, or if you are interested, I would be happy to make you your own set of crochet rainbow balls :o) Visit my Etsy Shop to place an order.

Crock Pot Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas


I've actually been thinking about making enchiladas in the crock pot for awhile now, and since I had a bunch of leftover roasted chicken, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity!

This recipe is an adaptation of The Kitchn's Slow-Cooker Black Bean Enchiladas. Here is how I made them:



Ingredients:
2 16oz Jars Salsa (I used La Victoria Thick'n Chunky Medium)
1 can red Enchilada Sauce
1 15oz can Black Beans (drained and rinsed)
11/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cup diced onions (I used frozen chopped onions)
Medium size flour or corn Tortillas

Directions:
1. In a bowl mix together black beans, onions, shredded chicken, and 1/2 cup cheese.
2. Dump about a half of a jar of salsa and about a 1/3 cup of enchilada sauce into the bottom of your crock pot.

3. Scoop about 1/3-1/2 cup of mixture into a tortilla. Roll it up and nestle in bottom of crock pot. Repeat until bottom of crock pot is covered. Cover tortillas with 1/3 cup enchilada sauce, the rest of the jar of salsa and 1/2 cup cheese.

4. Using the rest of the filling, continue to fill tortillas and create a second layer. Cover with more enchilada sauce and salsa. Do not put the rest of the cheese on. Wait until the last 15 minutes to sprinkle the remainder of the cheese on top.
5. Cook on high for 2-4 hours (I cooked mine for 3).

Result: Pretty darn good! These did not turn out too mushy at all. In fact, I liked the bottom layer better than the top layer (I think the top layer didn't get a chance to absorb enough sauce). I was a little cautious about adding too much sauce, but if I were to make these again I would use a little more.

I served them with mexican rice, shredded lettuce and a dollop of sour cream.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thing 1 and Thing 2 Glove Puppets

Next month is Dr. Seuss's birthday which means the blogosphere is already abuzz with Cat in the Hat crafts and recipes. So I decided to join in on the fun!

I spotted some heavily discounted gloves in the checkout aisle of Jo-Ann Fabrics last week and bought a couple pairs with the idea of making monster glove puppets (that project still might happen). But when I saw Little Warriors Thing 1 and Thing 2 handprints, it sparked this idea!

These were very simple to make. All you need are blue gloves, a piece of red and white felt, and a black sharpie pen.
Cut out the shapes pictured above and use the black sharpie to draw on the face and writing. Remember that the circles and other shapes don't need to be perfect. It will look more like a Dr. Seuss illustration if it is a little lopsided. I used a hot glue gun to glue the felt on the gloves... but you could probably use fabric glue or if you are up to it, sew the pieces together.

Now you have Thing 1 and Thing 2 Glove Puppets!

Big brother thought they were pretty cool :o) Unfortunately we were able to find all of our Dr. Seuss books EXCEPT the Cat in the Hat. Figures. But I am sure it will show up soon. I look forward to reading the book with him while using this fun prop.

I bought my boys Thing 1 and Thing 2 t-shirts from Etsy when little brother was born. And then when my nephew was born shortly after, he became Thing 3! I have to share this adorable card that my mom put together and sent out over the holidays.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

New Blog Design!

Welcome to the new and improved Repeat Crafter Me! I am so excited to have a new blog design created by the very talented Lindsay of Happy Potamus Designs. Lindsay was so easy to work with, her prices were extremely reasonable and she works quickly! As a fellow graphic designer, I know how exhausting and time consuming it can be to go back and forth with a client. Lindsay always responded promptly and happily and was there to answer all my questions or make any changes I asked for. If you are looking for a major blog re-design or even just a small change, she has many packages to choose from or pick what you need from her A La Carte menu!

I want to point out a couple of really great things about my new design.

First of all, notice the beautiful navigation bar at the top of the page. There are separate tabs for "Crafting, Crocheting, and Crockpoting."
You can now click on each one to see an organized list of my posts related to either Crafts, Crochet projects, and Crock Pot Recipes. There are sub-categories under each so for instance if you are looking for a dessert you can make in the crock pot, you can easily find one!

Second, you may notice I have social icons that link to my Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Etsy sites!
I would love for you to follow me on my social networking sites and keep in touch on a daily basis!

Third, I am so excited to tell you that my Etsy shop is now open!!
I will be SLOWLY adding new item to the shop this week but you can see a couple crochet hats that are now available and ready to ship. I have been talking about getting my Etsy shop up and running for a long time so I am more than pleased to be able to say that it is finally here!

Lastly, take a minute to browse some other great features in my sidebar such as the "Popular Posts" section. If you are new to my blog, this is a great place to see a list of my posts that have received the most attention. If you are a fellow blogger and like my blog, feel free to grab my button and display it on your site. Let me know you have done so and I will be sure to return the favor! I will also be welcoming sponsorships soon. I am working out pricing and benefits so if you are interested in advertising on my blog feel fee to contact me at RepeatCrafterMe@gmail.com.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think of the new design!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cardboard Box Car


Both of the boys woke up EARLY this morning with bad colds so I immediately new we would be having a "lounge around in our pajamas" kind of day. I wanted to do something fun for them so they could get their mind off being bored and feeling yucky. We've had a Pampers Diaper box (132 count) sitting in our mudroom for a couple days and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to make them a box car!

My husband works for Subaru so of course this had to be a Subaru cardboard box car. First I trimmed the edges into the shape of a car (including the spoiler on the back!). Then we painted it with my sons Melissa and Doug Poster Paint Color: Blue. I worked on the body while big brother painted the headlights.




After the paint was dry, we glued on paper plates for wheels and one for the steering wheel. The horn is a round piece of cardboard. A little longer to let the glue dry and then we hit the highway! They took turns driving cross country on our US road map rug :o)






Friday, February 17, 2012

Elmo Pop-Up Card




Both of my boys are having birthdays next month so I already have birthday crafts on my mind. Today I made an Elmo Pop-Up card for little brothers 1st birthday. I will be mailing it to the Sprout Channel in hopes of getting him an on-air birthday wish! But I thought I would share with you this easy tutorial on how I made it in case you want to make your own for a little boy or girl :o)

Materials:
- Large piece of red poster board (at least 14 x 10 inches)
- 1 piece of white card stock
- 1 piece of orange card stock
- Black Sharpie pen
- Glue
- Scissors
- Ruler
- Elmo template (download it HERE)

Fold your red poster board in half and use Elmo template to trace and cut out your card. The flat top is where the fold goes.


Cut out 2.5 inch circles for the eyes with the white card stock and a 3 x 2.25 oval out of orange card stock for the nose. Use the black sharpie to draw on mouth and eyeballs.

Measure and make a mark approx. 1.25 inches away from each end of top fold and 1.5 inches deep. Cut two slits. This will create the pop-up.



Glue eyes so they are slightly overlapping and nose slightly overlapping the bottom of eyes. When dry, glue eyes/nose combo so that it covers the top notch on the front of the card.

Now glue a picture or message to the pop-up fold! Here is what mine looks like:


Update: I have had a lot of request for the inside image. So I created a PDF printable of the one you see in this picture for a first birthday and second birthday! You can download it here:



I will also add a personal message and picture to the top and bottom of card before mailing it!