Friday, June 28, 2013

The Best Carrot Cake Bars Ever

This post doesn't have anything to do with crafting, crocheting or crockpoting, but this recipe for carrot cake bars is one of the best I've ever had! Growing up, our neighbors used to make these and last week I suddenly had a strong pregnancy craving for them. Would you believe that the secret ingredient is baby food?! Yes, 3 jars of carrot baby food make these cake bars super moist and tasty and there aren't any yucky carrot, raisin or nut chunks. It's almost like a spice cake. You must try it!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Crochet Zebra Hat Pattern

I would like to introduce you to Zoe the Zebra and her friend Zack the Zebra! This is my latest animal hat pattern and I'm pretty excited about how it turned out. I hope you enjoy this pattern. Keep in mind that although I chose to embellish with felt and buttons, you can always leave those parts off or crochet them if you are worried about choking hazards. The ones I made are more for photo props or supervised wear.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Easy Homemade Finger Paints

I wanted to do something fun with little brother when big brother was out with daddy. A project he could have all to himself. So I quickly mixed up some easy homemade finger paints! I knew he would have fun getting messy and it was something we could set up outside. This paint is washable and edible as well!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Crock Pot Strawberry Cobbler

We went strawberry picking at one of our favorite local farms (Baggenstos) last week. Big brother spent the whole time looking for the biggest strawberry and little brother kept eating them before he could get them in the box. So even though I did most of the picking, it still made for a fun family outing!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Rainbow Ripple Crochet Blanket

I came across this lovely ripple blanket pattern from Attic 24 and knew it would be perfect in rainbow colors. I made it small: 24" x 24" so that it would be a good size for a car seat blanket, lovey, and photo prop for my baby girl (due in September). I also think this would make a wonderful gift for someone who is expecting their Rainbow Baby (a "rainbow baby" is a baby that is born following a miscarriage or still birth).

Friday, June 14, 2013

Patriotic Crocheted Stars

Today is June 14th! It's my birthday! AND it's a national holiday: Flag Day! I was actually due to be born on the 4th of July but ended up entering this world a few weeks early. Either way, it seems as thought I was destined to have a patriotic birthday :) So I am celebrating with some patriotic crocheted stars. Of course you could make these in any color you want but I think they would be fun for your 4th of July celebration. I can see these as table decorations, bunting, keychains, hat appliqu├ęs and more!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Krackel Candy Father's Day Gift

My husband's favorite candy bar is Krackel. Since it's Father's Day on Sunday, I wanted to get him a special treat. He's been asking me to find him a regular size Krackel candy bar instead of those mini ones that come in the assorted bag. Turns out, they don't make regular size Krackel bars :( Apparently they did a long time ago but stop selling them and now they are only available in miniature form. So I decided to make him a little candy jar of only mini Krackel's especially for him!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Wooden Cars Activity Kit and Giveaway!

We were so excited to discover that has wonderful activity kits that are perfect for keeping my boys busy over the long summer break. We received the Build & Paint Wooden Cars kit which comes with 3 real wood cars that you build, paint and customize yourself. My oldest was especially excited about this! Thank you to and the Horizon Group USA for providing us this kit for free.

The kit came with easy and clear directions. There are only a handful of pieces that first need to be glued together. Big brother loves "reading" the directions and helped glue all the parts together. Glue, paint, paint brushes, stickers and sand paper are all included in the kit!

 After the glue had dried, he painted his car. He was concentrating so hard and made sure the whole car was covered in the right color combinations. Once the paint dried we added the stickers.

I created a race track for the boys by cutting a tall skinny cardboard box in half lengthwise.

I taped the two halves together and used a sharpie marker to draw on the road lines. I rested them up against our stairs and printed out start and finish line signs.

Now the boys were ready to race their cars!

Ready, Set, Go!

You can purchase your own Wooden Car Kit along with many other activity kits for kids at as well as in Walmart Stores. (presented by the Horizon Group USA) is a source for photo and video tutorials to inspire and educate kids through arts and crafts! Find projects for preschoolers to tweens, holidays to rainy days, in the classroom or at home, using affordable products easily available at major retailers.

Be sure to follow on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube to be inspired by their crafting community!

That's not all... has generously agreed to GIVEAWAY
Wooden Cars Activity Kit 
to one lucky winner! 
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Monday, June 10, 2013

DIY Wood Buttons

Our house backs up to a gorgeous natural wooded green space with hiking trails and creek. It was one of the selling points of this house for us!

But this time of year the trees and shrubs start to grow like weeds and so we had to do a little trimming of overgrown branches. Looking at some of the cut branches gave me an idea: Wood Buttons! One of the cut branches was a perfect round 3/4" and it had the most gorgeous bark around the edge. I love the way homemade buttons can add a real organic feel to crocheted hats and other craft projects. 

I had my hubby cut about 1/4" pieces off the branch. He used a handheld Makita saw and then switched to a circular saw. 

Then he drilled two holes (which I pre-marked with a pencil) with a 1/16" drill bit.

Then I sanded the buttons with a combination of 220 and 150 grit sandpaper. I sanded the edges to get some of the moss/dirt off, but still left a nice dark wood edge.

Then I rubbed a little bit of Linseed Oil (although you could use tung oil, regular cooking oil, natural beeswax, or leave them plain!) over the buttons to create nice wood stain. I also left a couple of them raw as I liked the light wood as well.

I love the way my buttons look on these Button Flap Beanie crocheted hats! Pattern is by Alli Crafts and you can find it HERE

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Maternity Photo Ideas

I had maternity photos taken last week by my very talented friend and photographer Shannon of Shannon Erickson Photography and thought I would share some of them with you! If you are pregnant and debating on whether or not to get maternity photos taken, DO IT! You won't regret it! I never had maternity photos taken with my first baby and really wish I had. But I have the most beautiful photos from when I was pregnant with #2 and now I will always cherish these photos of me and baby #3.

This gorgeous maternity sash is from Kutie Tuties. But it's more than a maternity sash. It can be a great newborn photo prop or a headband when she gets older! You must stop by the Kutie Tuties Etsy shop and see all of the cute baby girl accessories they have for sale like headbands, rompers, tutus and more!

Me and my boys! They never smile when I want them to but I still love this picture :)

I ordered these wooden alphabet name blocks from Lilly Letters Etsy Shop. I originally was going to buy a set of Alphabet blocks and paint them myself, but this shop only charges .60 a letter so it was much cheaper just to order the blocks I needed and get them custom painted by choosing from her large selection of permanent and non-toxic acrylic paints!

This blanket was crocheted by my grandmother and given to me when I was a baby! My mom saved it and gave it to me a couple weeks ago. The stitching is perfect and the quality of yarn is top notch. I wish she was still alive so we could crochet together.

I think this last picture is one of my favorites. This was taken in our backyard! I would have never thought of using the fence gate and vines as a backdrop but it was perfect. I am only 24 weeks pregnant in this photo so you can imagine how big I am going to be when I am close to 40 weeks. Yikes!

If you missed it, be sure to check out my GENDER REVEAL and also stop by and see the GENDER REVEAL PARTY I help my friend Shannon with last year! (yes, the same Shannon who took these pictures!) 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Yarn Wrapped Letters for Baby's Room

Last September I made Yarn Wrapped Letters for Fall and I just loved how they turned out! The project started out with a craft fail and then turned into one of my favorite projects to date. Shortly after I made them, a friend asked if I would make a set for her baby girl (see picture at the bottom of the post) and I loved how they turned out as well. So as soon as I became pregnant again, I knew I was going to have to make a set for my baby as well!

I started out with lowercase craft alphabet cardboard letters from Paper Source. Unfortunately I have some bad news. Apparently Paper Source has discontinued their lowercase cardboard letters :( But they will still carry the uppercase letters and last time I checked they still have some lowercase left on their website and in stores. You can also find cardboard letters at craft stores like Michaels. 

First, wrap the letters in yarn. You will need your glue gun with plenty of extra glue sticks. Start on an edge. I like to save the side ends for last. Also make sure you start the yarn on the back of the letter so you don't end up seeing a frayed yarn end on the front. You will need to glue the first 3-5 rows down (depending on the letter shape). I used a lot of hot glue on the "Z" because it had so many angles. I used barely any glue on the "O" because I was able to wrap the yarn around tightly without it falling off or leaving gaps. I also need to mention that I love this new Surebonder 6100 Clear Glue Gun Pad, 8-Inch by 8-Inch I bought from Amazon. It protects your work surface and the glue gun drips peal right off!

Here are my letters after they were wrapped in yarn.

Next I added some fun flower embellishments using felt and burlap. 
The rosettes are very easy to make!
Start with a circle of felt (larger circle for larger rosettes). Then cut the circle into a spiral. Starting in the center, roll up the spiral and use dabs of hot glue here and there to keep it secure.

I cut out a daisy shaped flower out of felt as well as leaves. I used a tapestry needle and 2-ply yarn (separate your 4-ply yarn) to stitch around the edges of the flower and leaves. The felt leaves were glued to burlap shaped leaves to give an extra dimension. 

When you have finished all of your embellishments, hot glue them to the front of your yarn wrapped letters.

Here are some close-ups.

Next, I mounted them on 8x10 frames. I discarded the glass and mod podged burlap on to the back of the frame (the cardboard part). I purchased my burlap HERE and found the frames at Michaels craft store (be sure to bring your Michaels coupons! These frames only cost me a couple dollars after using my coupons!). You can also find burlap in most craft and fabric stores.

When the burlap dries, you can hot glue your letters to the center of the frames.
But first I added a little extra touch. I used sheer pink wire ribbon to make a bow. I hot glued the ends to the back of the frame. You will NOT hang the frames from the bow. There is not enough support. This is just for decoration.

You will want to hang the frames from the hardware provided, or attach extra secure mounting hardware for peace of mind. I taped the top of the bows to the wall with some heavy duty double sided tape. But I would like to get some command strips so I don't completely ruin the walls.

Now hang your letters in the nursery!

This is still little brothers room and this is his crib. Zoe will have big brothers old crib which is white. I will take better pictures when I put her room together!

Here are the letters I made from my friends baby Jane (they call her Janey). The butterfly is my favorite!

And if you missed it, here are my Yarn Wrapped Letters for Fall

I hope I have inspired you to create your own yarn wrapped letters!