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Monday, June 25, 2012

Make a Splash POOL NOODLES

Welcome to the June edition of Make a Splash.  This month I assigned everyone to work with pool noodles.  There are oodles of ideas around on the internet, and I think you'll like these too.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dyed Coffee Filter Wreath for the 4th

 We currently have a ton of projects going on around here right now, one of which is having our hall bathroom remodeled--always awesome right before you go out of town, right?  It should be finished up today, and we'll be back to having 2 toilets in the house.  Woohoo!

But I've wanted to throw this wreath together for a while now, and not being able to leave the house (since we've had workers here) gave me the opportunity to get it done.

I made colored coffee filters the same way I did for my yellow wreath in my porch makeover.  

I used paint to make red and blue colored water and dipped the filters down in it.

When they dried (helped by my hair dryer) I cut them into flower shapes (several filters at a time).

I cut a circle out of cardboard (doesn't even have to be perfect, but the rounder the better of course :) and painted it white.

Then to assemble it, I made blossoms by pinching the center of each coffee filter and pulling it down into a "badminton birdie" shape.  Then with my glue gun I glued 3 of those together, just at the point.

Then I glued 4 blue blossoms down on the top left part, and filled in the rest with red ones.

It's now hanging from the same burlap strip that the yellow one was--and I attached it using a small binder clip!

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How's your 4th of July decorating coming?  (To be honest, this is probably all I'll do--ha!)

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

DIY Large Frame

Are you one of those lucky folks who manages to stumble across huge frames for cheap at thrift stores or garage sales?  I am not that person, so when I wanted to frame our family picture from last summer, I got to work.  I posted this tutorial on HoneyBear Lane as one of her new contributors last month, but if you missed it, here it is again.

Here's what you'll need to build a frame:

a piece of moulding (or baseboard, or trim) about 10 feet (my 10 foot piece of mdf cost under $7)
a piece of beadboard (see if you can get a scrap from someone. I had this left over from a previous room redo)
miter box
measuring tape
liquid nails and caulking gun
clamps or heavy books
wood filler
sawtooth hanger
picture hanger and hammer

Ok, I know it looks like a long list, but it's not too bad.  And don't be afraid of the miter box either.  I had never used one before this project, and it's a piece of cake!   

Decide how big you want your frame to be.  It helps to have your photo available, then cut out a large piece of paper around it to get a visual on the sizing.  I had an 11x14 picture I wanted to display, so here are my measurements:
2 boards (measuring longest points)-- 23 inches
2 boards-- 19.5 inches
beadboard (you want it a little smaller that your outer frame measurement)-- 21.5 inches x 18 inches

Cut moulding pieces using saw and miter box.  You will be cutting at a 45 degree angle, with the longest side being the outside edge of the frame.

 Sand any rough bits of the cut.  

And be sure to do it over a black table so your kids can come along later and write you messages in the dust.

Paint frame pieces.  TIP: rest boards on top of plastic caps to keep them off the table while you paint the edges.  I painted each one yellow (using just regular craft paint--DecoArt Lemon Yellow) and when they were dry I added a coat of this cool coastal-blue (DecoArt Bahama Blue).  When the blue was dry I lightly sanded with a fine grit sandpaper to faintly distress it and let some yellow show through.  This would look really cool layering another color or two in there as well for a more dramatically distressed look.

Paint beadboard piece.  I painted two coats of high gloss white trim paint that we had from painting new baseboards all through our house.

When everything is thoroughly dried, spread a line of the liquid nails around the edge of the beadboard and press down your frame pieces, clamping or covering with books to ensure a good bond.  Let it dry for a day--you want it to be solidly secure.  

If the joints at the corners seem obvious, fill them in with a little wood filler, smooth out and paint when dry.

Find the center of the top back and hammer in the sawtooth hanger, then hang on your wall.  Attach your picture to the center of the beadboard using small pieces of double sided tape.  (There's no glass for this frame of course)

And there you have it. There's so much potential with this process.  I hope you've been inspired to try it out on your own--I'd love to see! 

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Easiest Corn on the Cob

Do you love corn on the cob, but hate shucking it?  Me too!

We tried out this technique last night and it worked great, so I wanted to share. 

Put your corn, husk and all, in the microwave for 4 minutes.

Remove it with a hot pad (seeing mine in the photo makes me realized it's in pretty bad shape :) Cut off the bottom end of the corn.

Squeeze the cob out of the husk, and it will be nearly silk free!

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There were a few pieces to pull off still, but so much easier and faster than doing it first.  Now just add your butter, salt and pepper and it's ready to eat!

Have you tried this before?  What's your favorite way to eat corn?

And if you're feeling more crafty than hungry today, visit Flats to Flip Flops to see my fluffy flower headband (made from an old shirt and sheet fabric!)

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Friday, June 15, 2012

Are You in Southern California?

I kind of feel like this is a shot in the dark here, but I'd love to have a tiny little meetup while we're on vacation there in July.  I'm a little out of my comfort zone even mentioning this (cause what if no one would want to!), but I had such a blast meeting all the people and bloggers at SNAP that I've decided to be courageous here.

We'll be staying in Riverside, and I wouldn't mind driving in to Orange County or something one day for lunch or Italian sodas, or ice cream in the evening--whatever!   (just hopefully not in the worst traffic times--are there ok traffic times there anymore?  It's been too long since we lived there.)

The catch is that I have no idea really right now when I'd be available.  We know we'll be at Disneyland at least 2 days, the beach one other day, and then we have some just hang-out-with-family time.

So I guess, if you'd be interested, then leave me a comment or email me, and then sometime between the 1st and 9th I'll give you a time and a place and if you can make it, then great!  If nothing else, wish us luck on our 18 hour drive :)

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Instagram Got Me

Want to check out random pictures of food, funny signs, and  feet?  (That's what Instagram is for, right? :)

Come find me and follow along!

Leave me a comment with your username so I can come see your mirror self-portraits too!

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Flag Candles by A Bakers House

Hey everyone--Happy Flag Day!  Today I'm at See Vanessa Craft with instructions for a magnet bookmark, and I have Holly from A Baker's House with a patriotic project for you--which is great, since I haven't really done anything around my house, knowing we'll be out of town for the 4th!

Thanks so much to Steph for welcoming me to Crafting in the Rain today. I blog at A Baker’s House where you’ll find a collection of recipes along with some DIY house projects and crafts. I’d love for you to stop by and join me sometime!

flag candles 3

I’m happy to share this simple project to add a patriotic touch to your home this 4th of July. This trio of candles would look at home on a shelf, a table, or a mantle too. Where would you put them at your house?

Start with three white candles. Use star stickers on one candle then paint over it with blue paint.  (I used a star punch with a sheet of adhesive labels because the stickers I had were slightly too big.) On the other two candles make stripes with painters’ tape or washi tape. I found the washi tape just a bit thinner than my painters’ tape and wanted to fit at least 4 stripes on the candles so that worked well. Paint the two candles with red paint. Let them dry then carefully take off the tape and stickers. You can touch up any mistakes with a small paint brush if you’d like.

flag candle suppliescandles taped

painted candlesflag candles red 1

Love it Holly--I think I'll try this with my kids!

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Welcome to Summer Bag

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I hope you're enjoying some nice summer weather where you are!  We finally have our last day of school on Friday (though we don't have to go back til Sept 5th) , and here's my take on the summer fun bucket or bag or basket that I've seen on some other blogs.

I actually asked for help from you to find a specific one with a letter to the kids about all the fun stuff in the basket.  A lovely reader came through for me and found it at Organize and Decorate Everything.  I planned on just copying it exactly (why do more work, right?)  But, like my husband has pointed out to me before, I can't leave things alone.  Plus, on examination, Leanne's talked about swimming, and my kids still don't want to get their faces wet.  (Yes, we've done summer swim lessons before, but we need a new plan)

Anyway, I took a couple of her ideas, added my own and here's what I got.

I'm guessing most people are out of school already, so if like it, be sure to pin it for next year!

Download the Summer Fun Bag letter here  (it will print without my blog name on it of course)

**as a little update, I'm sure glad I had this put together for the last day of school!  On Friday, my sweet kindergartner cried all the way home on the bus because school was ending.  Having fun stuff to do right away helped cheer her up pretty quickly!  I have since reminded her that her best friend lives just  a few blocks away, I'm friends with her mom, and we see them every Sunday at church too :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Father's Day Pictures

I admit to being behind for Father's Day this year.  Though I've donated several days of my life to helping to build a shed in the backyard with my husband, so that has to count for something!  I will have the kids work on some stuff for him, but I thought it would be fun to show a couple of cute pictures of my kids that I've used before.

Last year we used the template from Positively Splendid.  And a couple years before that I bought DAD letters.  The funniest pictures were the ones of Asher chewing on the letter "A" and Emily looking disgusted by it.

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Drawstring Backpacks

I recently participated in Brassy Apple's Summer of Skills.  I actually got to meet Megan at SNAP, so it was extra fun to post on her blog.  I showed how to make backpacks from towels.

These bags will hold activities, books, and treats for them while we're driving to California this summer, and then they can carry their own snacks and water while we're traipsing around Disneyland.

Kitchen towels (1 for each backpack...$1.25 at Craft Warehouse...make sure it's kind of sturdy, don't use flour sack towels for this)
Thin cording or thin ribbon 2 pieces for each bag (I used 1/8 inch ribbon) Each needs to be twice the width of your bag plus 14 inches.  
Fabric paint or fabric medium to add to acrylic paint
Freezer paper for stenciling

Step 1: Fold towel in half (hamburger way...top to bottom :) with right sides together and sew up each side, stopping about 2 inches from the top...back stitch.

Step 2: Where you stopped sewing, fold each side back and sew it down on itself.  Fold the top down about half an inch, so it meets up with where you stopped the side seam.  

Pin and sew close to the edge. (This is your casing for the ribbon)  Turn bag right side out.

Step 3: Measure how much ribbon you'll need--Twice the width of the top of the bag plus 14 inches.  My bag was 16.5 inches wide (so 16.5 x 2 =33 + 14 =47)
Pin a safety pin to the end of your ribbon and start feeding it through the casing--One piece will go clockwise through the front and back, the other piece will go counter-clockwise.  You'll end up with the two ends of one piece coming out one side, and the two ends of the other piece coming out the other side, like this.  
Step 4: Attach ribbon to the side of the bag by unpicking a small part of the seam about 6.5 inches down from the top and sticking the ribbon ends in.  Sew them in securely (stitch over the section a few times)  This will also close up the hole you just made.  Do this on both sides of the bag.  When you pull on the ribbons to close the bag, you now have the shoulder straps to wear it as a backpack.

Step 5: Add stencil if you're doing one (if not, your bag is done--pull on those strings and feel quite satisfied that it works to cinch up the bag!)  I cut my stencils with my digital cutter. You could also cut one using scissors or an exacto knife. Make sure you design your image with the shiny side of the freezer paper down.  With a medium hot dry iron, press the stencil down on your bag.  Put a piece of wax paper inside your bag so the paint doesn't bleed through to the back.  

I bought some DecoArt fabric medium so I could use paint colors I already had at home.  Mix 2 parts paint with 1 part medium.  Paint the fabric inside the stencil using an up and down motion so you don't accidentally force any paint under the stencil.  I'm always impatient and hurry the drying with a hair dryer.  Peel off the freezer paper and admire your work!

I let each of my kids choose their shape and color they wanted, and they're so excited to get to use them this summer.   

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