Friday, March 30, 2012

Paper and Pipe Cleaner Flowers


Here is a quick little Spring craft that I wanted to share. We made paper and pipe cleaner flowers with a cute little flower punch I found on sale at Michaels the other week.  I've been having so much fun with this punch! Actually, big brother has been hogging it now that I showed him how to use it.

First I (ok we...errr...mostly big brother) punched out a bunch of flowers using a couple different colors of card stock. I then pricked a hole in the center of each one with a thumbtack.

I cut green pipe cleaners into 3 sections and poked it through the hole in the middle of two flowers, then folded over the tip of the pipe cleaner to create the center of the flower.


Lastly, I folded up the petals of the top flowers only. That's it!
I couldn't resist making a mini bouquet :o)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Pennant Flag Parachute


I tore down the last of the birthday party decoration yesterday. I am sad that the festivities are over, but happy to get my house back in order. As I was untaping the pennant flag banner from the mantel, it's shape and vibrant colors started to remind me of the parachute we used to play with at The Little Gym when big brother was a baby. And so sparked my next crafty creation: The Pennant Flag Parachute.

I had two of these flag banners that I bought for a $1.00 each at the Dollar Tree. I cut the triangles from the line and started arranging them together to form a circle. I unfortunately didn't have enough to complete the second row, but it worked out ok, because the single flags hanging in the second round became the "handles." I used painters tape to tape the triangles together because it was thick enough to hold everything together, but overall a lighter tape.



Now for some fun! Big brother and I grabbed two "handles" on either side and as we turned in circles, sang Ring Around the Rosie.

Then we put little brother in the middle of it and made waves.


Just think what we could of done if we had more people holding on! We could put a ball in the center and bounce it on top of the parachute to see how long we could keep it afloat. And if only I had one more banner. It could have been bigger and better!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Monster Party

The party came and went in a matter of hours but all the crafting was worth it! The party was a success and  the monster theme was a big hit! Here is a round-up of all the monster crafts I worked on for the past couple weeks. And some party pictures as well!

Monster Cakes and Cupcakes:
I took the shortcut and ordered the cakes and cupcakes from Albertsons. But I did decorate the cupcakes with monster faces using the same technique as my Shamrock Cupcake Toppers. I melted Almond Bark (or Candiquick), put it in a pipping bag and traced an image of the mouth. I made circles for the eyes and used M&M's for the eyeballs.

Monster Goodie Bags:
You can read all about how I decorated and what I put inside the goodie bags HERE. At the last minute I found these awesome Monster Name Tags created by Will Strong who is giving these away for FREE on his blog! Thank you Will! I picked out a couple that I liked and colored them in Photoshop. Printed and cut them out and glued them to the back of the goodie bags. Now everyone had their own bag that wouldn't get confused with anyone else's. 
Monster Party Hats:
I never did get a picture of someone wearing a party hat, but I guarantee you they did! These were so easy and cheap to make! You can read all about them and find a tutorial HERE.
Monster Piñata:
Remind me to have a Piñata at every party! It was so fun to see the kids swinging and trying their hardest to smash it open. You can read about where I bought the piñata and how I transformed it into a monster HERE.
Monster Birthday Number Shirts (as seen above):
No need for a sewing machine with THESE easy DIY no-sew birthday number shirts, decked out in monsters of course!

Here are my boys with their matching monster shirts having some fun in the bounce house! Thank you Portland, OR for giving us a nice day to play outside!!

Monster Birthday Invites:
Not much to brag about HERE. But you may get a good laugh reading all about how this project went all wrong. I didn't mention this in my original post, but one reason I chose to send out invitations instead of an Evite or e-mail was because I wanted to included a note and pictures about a special boy and family friend named Hank. In lieu of gifts, we asked for small donations to 24 Hours for Hank, a nonprofit foundation established by friends and family of Hank Sturgis to raise money for Cystinosis research. You can read all about Hank and the rare genetic disease he lives with every day at www.24HoursforHank.org.


Monster Crochet Hats:
One of my first monster themed projects were crochet monster hats. I used a picture of my boys wearing their hats for the invitations. Check out how I made them and find links to the patterns I used HERE.


I hope you've enjoyed all of these monster crafts. Maybe I've inspired you to throw your own monster party!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Monster Piñata


Ok, I'm going to admit that I am getting a little burned out on monster crafts. Are you sick of them yet? Fortunately the party is in two days so this is the last of it! I actually had much grander ideas for the monster piñata but I'm tired, and time is short, so I really did the bare minimum with this one. But I thought I would share anyway.

There is a great piñata store here in Portland called Boom Boom Balloons. It actually isn't anywhere close to the suburb we live in, but my Aunt who lives in North Portland, happens to be neighbors to this wonderful place. I called her up last week, desperate for her to find me a round, green piñata that I could embellish into a monster.  I spent a good hour looking at my phone as she texted me pictures of all the different handmade piñata's that were hanging in the store. The shop owner makes all of them herself and she will do custom orders as well! Despite a little bit of a language barrier with the owner and my aunt trying to figure out picture and text messaging, she came through with flying colors!

Here is what she ended up buying me (BTW it was only $13!):

My initial idea was to leave two spikes on top and then create hands and feet with the other spikes. And of course cover up the Green Lantern with a monster face. Well, it turned out that there were too many variables and complications in turning spikes into hands and feet. So I went ahead and just made a cyclops monster face. I think it still looks good and goes will with the theme, so I'm happy. Besides, it's not about me, it's about the boys and they will had a great time smashing this to smithereens.


If you live in the Portland, OR area and want to check out this store, here is the info:

Boom Boom Balloons
http://www.boomboomsballoons.com (Go to their website and check out all the cool pinata's!)
2739 N Lombard St
PortlandOR 97217
(503) 289-7807

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Crock Pot Baked Potatoes


I love discovering all of the different foods you can cook in the crock pot! I found this idea for crock pot baked potatoes over at Skip To My Lou. They are so simple and saved me time and energy. Wrap them in foil and pop them into the slow cooker in the morning and they will be piping hot and baked to the perfect softness by the evening. Sure you can microwave your potatoes (gross) or put them in the oven. But then you have to monitor them and time it just right. I hate trying to calculate when to start dinner and then make sure and be home at that time. Ok, enough convincing. Here is what you do:

-Wash the potatoes (I used Russet Potatoes) and dry them.
-Wrap each one in aluminum foil and stack them in the crock pot.


- Cook on low for 8 hours.
- Top with your favorite toppings such as sour cream, bacon, cheese, and chives!


I served mine with a small bowl of broccoli cheddar soup. This dinner was hit! Big brother especially loved being able to "decorate" his own potato.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Monster Goodie Bags


You can't have a monster party without monster themed goodie bags! I just finished these yesterday and am really happy that everything seems to be coming together. This project is pretty self explanatory, but to give you some specifics, here is what I used:

I found the bags at the Dollar Store. They were 2 for $1 which seemed like pretty decent deal to me. The only disappointment was that they didn't have any green bags. That would have really completed the color scheme.

I used Recollections 5.5 inch white card stock circles (found at Michaels) for the big eye and then with my Cricut, I cut smaller circles for the second eye and eyeballs.

The horns and mouth were cut freehand from scraps of card stock paper that I had leftover from my Monster Party Hats.

I set everything up in an assembly line on my dinning room table and used a hot glue gun to glue everything on.


Now you may be thinking to yourself, what kind of goodies do you put in a monster goodie bag? Monster themed goodies of course!


The monster tattoos, paddleball game, and pop-ups were all purchase from Toy Connection. They have really great bulk pricing on novelty gifts. The lollypops are from Birthday in a Box and the squishy monster toy is from the $1 section at Michaels.

This was a last minute decision, but when I saw all these monster-themed books at the Barnes and Noble, I had to include them in the goodie bags as well! SHHHH...don't tell my husband I spent more money :o)


These bags will also be used to hold the candy that will be flying out of the monster piñata! Keep your eye out for that post coming soon!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Emotional Stress Ball Balloons


I've seen this project on a couple other blogs and thought it would be a great way to teach my son about emotions. I found a bag of all yellow balloons at Target and it reminded me of the classic smiley face. I thought this would make the perfect canvas for all of our different faces/emotions.

All you need to make stress balls are flour, a funnel, a black sharpie and balloons. I couldn't find our funnel (figures) so I cut the bottom off of an empty water bottle and it worked just as well.

Stretch the opening of the balloon over the end of your funnel. Scoop flour into it and shake down till it fills your balloon. Tie the balloon off and draw on your face with the black sharpie!


I added on colored yarn to make some fun crazy hair. The hair is just an untrimmed pom pom. Google "how to make a yarn pom pom" for simple tutorials. The colored hair came in handy because I also printed out each balls emotion in its coordinating color. This made it easier for my son to match up the ball to its emotion.



I asked him which ball feels "happy" and then explained, when we are happy, we smile!


Our little game worked well and we played it over and over again. When we were done, I threw out the little pieces of paper, but ended up having to print more out when he wanted to play again later that evening - I should have known better :o)

When not talking about emotions, these little guys are fun to squeeze, squash, smash and smoosh. Perfect for sensory play!

Monday, March 19, 2012

No-Sew Birthday Number Shirts


If you don't own a sewing machine (like me) but still want to make your child a birthday number shirt, you can! It is simple and only requires a little ironing. Follow these easy instructions and you will have a custom birthday shirt in no time.

Materials:
Shirt for your child
Steam-A-Seam Sticky Back Fusible Web
Fabric for your number
Printed number from a word processing program
Iron
Pen
Sharp Scissors

I started by washing the shirts. I am throwing my boys a monster-themed party and just happened to find these monster shirts at Target for $5 each! So in this instance I am going to be placing the numbers on the back of the shirts.


Measure the space you will be putting your number and with your word processing program, print out bold numbers to fit in that space. The shirts I used are sizes 18 months and 4T and I used a 5x7 size letter for both of them. Arial Black is a good font to use (that is the font I used for the 3).


I had a hard time choosing my fabric so I ended up buying a couple different fabric quarters and scraps. But since this is a monster themed party I had to go with the monster fabric.

Cut out your number and take out a piece of Steam-A-Seam webbing.


You will notice that one side of the Steam-A-Seam has the webbing and the other side is piece of waxy paper. You want to trace your number IN REVERSE on the WEBBING side of the paper. Without cutting along the lines of the number, cut it out of the webbing (see picture below).


Remove the webbing from the wax paper and stick it to the BACKSIDE of your fabric. Don't worry if you need to readjust it. You are able to easily reposition it until it is ironed on.

Now cut out your number.


With the webbing side down, position it on your shirt. Iron for 10-20 seconds with steam on cotton heat.


Now your Birthday Number shirt is ready to be worn!


You can machine wash and dry without fabric softener or dry clean it.



Friday, March 16, 2012

Crochet Rain Boots



Spring is only 4 days away! And here in the Pacific Northwest, Spring usually brings a lot of rain showers. So get your rain boots on, we are going puddle jumping! Ok, we won't be jumping in any puddles with these crocheted rain boots, but they are a cute accessory for your pre-walker.

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I've been working hard all week on this pattern and although I have edited and fine-tuned it numerous times, it may still have some kinks. Please let me know if you have any suggestions or corrections when working it up. I would love to hear your feedback!


Crochet Rain Boots
Size: 6-12 months

Supplies:
Vanna's Choice® medium worsted weight yarn
Crochet hook size H-8 (5.0 mm)
tapestry needle for weaving in ends

Abbreviations:
ch - chain
SC - Single Crochet
HDC - Half Double Crochet
SC Decrease – Single Crochet decrease (I used the invisible decrease)

UPDATE 9/26/2012. It has come to my attention that there was a glitch in this pattern. I am happy to announce that I have reworked it and it looks like the problem area was in Round 3 and that is what was setting the rest of the pattern off. I have updated the entire pattern and am pretty confident that this will be much easier to follow and that there are no errors!

Please be sure to follow these tips on where I start, stop and join my rounds!
Start your rounds in the same stitch as your chain.

Join your rounds to the first crochet stitch, NOT the chain.
Your last stitch should be in the stitch before your chain with the exception of round 3 where you will end in the stitch where your chain is. See picture below.


Here is the updated pattern!

Chain 11, SC in 2nd chain from hook, SC in next 8, make 5 SC in the last chain
Now working on opposite side, SC 9, join, ch 2.
Round 2: HDC, 2 HDC, HDC in next 6, 2 HDC in next 2, HDC in next 3, 2 HDC in next 2, HDC in next 6, 2 HDC, HDC in last, join, ch 1.
Round 3: SC 10, 2 SC in next 2, 2 HDC in next 6, 2 SC in next 2, SC in next 10, join, ch 1. (in this round only, your last sc will end in the same stitch as your ch 1).
Round 4-5: In back loops only, SC around, join, ch 1. (40 SC)
Round 6-7: Now working in both loops, SC around, join ch 1. (40 SC)
Round 8: SC 12, [SC decrease, SC in next 2] 4 times, SC 12, join, ch 1.
Round 9: SC 14, SC decrease, SC, SC decrease, SC, SC decrease, SC 14, join, ch 1.
Round 10: SC 10, 6 SC decreases, SC 11, join, ch 1.
Round 11: SC 10, 3 SC decreases, SC 11, join, ch 1.
Round 12: SC 8, 4 SC decreases, sc 8, join, ch 1.
Round 13-16: SC around, join, chain 1. (20 SC) (at the end of round 16, change color)
Round 17: SC around in new color, join, ch 1. (20 SC)
Round 18: SC 3, ch 8, skip 5 stitches, SC 5, ch 8, skip 5 stitches, SC 2, join, ch 1.
Round 19: SC 3, SC 10 in 5 chain space, SC 5, SC 10 in 5 chain space, SC 2, join to first SC, ch 1.
Round 20: SC around, join (30 SC)
fasten off and weave in loose ends.

Optional: With the same color you used for the top of the boot, slip stitch around the bottom of the boot. I did this along the first “rim” that was created from crocheting in the back loops.

Fellow crocheter Sarah Craven of Barehooks Crochet, adapted my rain boot pattern into these adorable slippers! And she was willing to share the pattern with me and all of you! Thank you Sarah!! You can find more of Sarah's projects and patterns under Barehooks on Ravelry. Also be sure to follow her Facebook page Barehooks Crochet!

Chain 11, SC in 2nd chain from hook, SC in next 8, make 5 SC in the last chain
Now working on opposite side, SC 9, join, ch 2.
Round 2: HDC, 2 HDC, HDC in next 6, 2 HDC in next 2, HDC in next 3, 2 HDC in next 2, HDC in next 6, 2 HDC, HDC in last, join, ch 1.
Round 3: SC 10, 2 SC in next 2, 2 HDC in next 6, 2 SC in next 2, SC in next 10, join, ch 1. (in this round only, your last sc will end in the same stitch as your ch 1).
Round 4: In back loops only, SC around, join, ch 1. (40 SC)
Round 5-6: Now working in both loops, SC around, join ch 1. (40 SC)
Round 7: SC 12, DC 16, SC 12, join, ch 1. (40 SC)
Round 8: SC 12, SC decrease 8 times, SC 12, join, ch 1.
Round 9: SC 12, SC decrease 4 times, SC 12, join
fasten off and weave in loose ends.
Using contrasting color slip stitch around the outside edge.




*** You may make and sell products from my patterns but if you do I ask that you link back to my post. Please do not copy and post this pattern and claim it as your own. Please do not re-publish photos as your own.***

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