heart Valentine card crafts

We LOVE hearts for Valentines, but why not get a little creative with the kids this year?! We used the simple heart shape to make this adorable butterfly. And yes, those are candies for the segmented body. {NOTE: Many red cherry chews were consumed during the crafting of this card.}

 

But I think my favorite is this heart balloon card. It’s so super simple. We just cut three pieces of cross-stitch thread, tied them at the base, cut out three hearts and glued it all into place. Done!

And don’t forget that we’re also giving away dinosaur and owl cello toppers because we “heart” all of our fabulous customers and friends!

Happy weekend everyone and as always, I hope you’re inspired!

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DIY spring art project

It was negative one here this Saturday when I woke up… needless to say I’m done with winter and so very ready to move on to spring. So I thought I would share with you a little spring 3-D art project I whipped up for my office bookcase using a new craft tool I picked up about three weeks ago. I wasn’t sure what I was going to use the Martha Stewart fringe scissors for at the time, but I’ve since come up with many uses over the past several weeks. Some you’ll see in an upcoming collection! 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 white frames (8×10 and 5×7)
  • real tree limbs/branches
  • Martha Stewart fringe scissors
  • Martha Stewart Dalia and Dogwood 3-D stickers
  • Coordinating scrapbook paper
  • Coordinating tissue paper (grass, bird wings and mini leaves)
  • Hot glue

You’ll see from the pictorial of each frame how they came together, but here’s a quick step-by-step:

8×10 frame

  1. Insert scrapbook paper into frame, leaving glass off
  2. Hot glue a limb or two into place
  3. Trim out a simple shape bird, fringing the back tail feathers
  4. Cut out four raindrop shapes for the wings, stack and then fringe to form feathers
  5. Attach the bird to the limb with hot glue
  6. Decorate with Dogwood stickers adding tiny tissue paper leaves to some

5×7 frame

  1. Fringe six rectangles (length of frame) of green tissue paper for grass. Tip: Tape the tissue paper to the back of the scrapbook paper and fold over. Fringe the front only
  2. Insert scrapbook paper and grass into the frame, without the glass
  3. With a dot of hot glue insert small limbs under the grass
  4. Top with Dalia sticker flowers

Wallah! Simple and just the touch my office needed to get me in the mood for spring! As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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Valentine gift for you!

Again this year we’re giving away Valentine cello toppers! Owls for the girls and dinosaurs for the boys! And if you like these designs we have full party collections of both in the shoppe: owl couple and dinosaur.

My boys enjoy gathering up little treats for their friends and packaging them for the big Valentine Day party at school. This year we chose to go the route of more toys and less sweets. I LOVE these mini flutes, slinkies, bubbles and dinosaurs, all from Target. The modern colors make me smile and the boys have already started to dip into the bags for themselves. I’ve been able to protect most of them… but it might get dicey if we don’t fill and seal our cellos soon!

DOWNLOAD NOW!

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake, create and celebrate!

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sparkle this New Year’s Eve

I’m still reeling from a fabulous Christmas with my family so when I sat down this morning and realized that Monday was here I of course immediately thought of next weekend. Just like every other Monday, right?! Well this coming weekend is a little bigger than most, because this Friday will be New Year’s Eve. I’m honestly astonished that the year is almost over, but over the top excited about what is coming in 2011.

But I digress… so although I’m not personally throwing a New Year’s Eve party, I thought this Pistachio Cake with White Chocolate Frosting from Better Homes and Gardens was just beautiful! Then when I went in search of other sparkling star table ideas I ran across this 3-D Star Streamer Centerpiece from Martha Stewart Weddings, which led me to the rest of these images. They are all so lovely and they’re just the beginning. I love how simple several of them are. Hop over to see all the details.

As always, I hope you’re inspired and I hope you have a warm and happy Monday (snowing… again… here)!

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kid craft: hot plate artwork

I just want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and share with you my first gift of the holiday season {proud mom moment}. My kindergartner surprised me on Tuesday with a hand-painted tile. He explained it to be a hot plate, but I’ll never put anything hot near it (and my hubby better not either!). It’s just too lovely. Plus, the back has an outline of his little hand and his signature!

He explained to me the process and the tools you’ll need:

  • smooth white glossy tile from the home improvement store
  • Sharpie markers
  • spray sealent (Update per his teacher: Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic Coating)
  • marbles for the feet
  • wood glue (Update per his teacher: she attached the marbles with regular wood glue)

How tos as explained by my six-year-old. {wink}

  1. Draw your favorite picture with Sharpies {I of course am in love with his snowman and snowflakes}
  2. Spray the picture (with sealant) and let it dry
  3. Attach marbles for the feet
  4. Write your name on the back (and outline their little hand so you can always remember how small they are)

And now you have a precious keepsake! I have to write his teacher a sweet note because this is one of those things I’ll have in my “happy box” and proudly diplay every year for the rest of my life, much to his chagrin in his teen years I’m sure. {giggle}

Merry Christmas to you and yours! Talk with you all next week and as always, I hope you’re inspired!

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baby Jesus’ birthday cake

My boys schools celebrated Jesus’ birthday in the last few days before the Christmas break and I signed up to bring the cake for my youngest son’s class party. After I signed up then it hit me what a tall order it was going to be: it had to have meaning to the kids and I couldn’t use anything fancy because let’s face it… what four year old is going to eat a fondant cake… plus that seemed a little over the top for a preschool class. 

So in the end I iced a normal homemade cake and adorned it with the manger scene. I tried to keep it simple so I chose to make the stable from graham crackers with a party mix roof and pretzel posts, the manger from pretzel sticks, the lamb from marshmallows (four for the body and one for the head) and coconut (I wish you could see the coconut ears better!) and the beautiful baby Jesus was made of Cheerios. My son liked that part best!

And of course there had to be a star, so I swiped another ornament from their playroom tree (it’s going to be bald soon if I don’t stop crafting) and I tied it to a piece of floral wire and a lollipop stick, which I stuck in the cake behind the stable, so that it could hang in the sky. Last, but not least, I wanted the little lamb to be looking up in awe of the glorious glow (his little face was drawn on; you can find food dye pens at your craft store or bakery supply shop).

For the stable, cut the back graham cracker on a slant with a serrated knife. If you use a sawing motion they won’t break. Then bond the pieces with icing, allowing dry time before finally assembly. All other items can be assembled with icing as well, just allow dry time. I would recommend 30 minutes just to be confident they won’t break when you pick them up. If you need the process to be quicker, refrigerate.

I hope you’re having a very Merry Christmas season and as always, I hope you’re inspired!

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“allergy-free” Santa pops

I love weekends when I just get to play in the kitchen and the craft room without any looming deadlines. This weekend was a bit of half-and-half, but I still managed to watch a few Christmas movies and make a few goodies with my boys. And for those of you with little ones like mine, that suffer from severe food allergies, this goody is for you. It’s easy, fun and completely dairy and egg allergy-free.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Double Stuff Oreo cookies (Vanilla is best when you’re using light colored icing and Double Stuff makes it much easier to apply the lollipop stick without the cookie breaking)
  • Pillsbury white icing
  • red Starburst candies for the hat
  • sugar crystals/sprinkles for the trim
  • red and blue mini icing tubes (not gels) for the eyes and mouth
  • resealable plastic bag
  • lollipop sticks
  • wax paper
  • cooling rack (very helpful if you have one)
  • optional: #46  icing tip, connector for mustache (or you can just slit the resealable bag)
  • optional: 4″ cello bags for gifting

Here’s how you make the pops:

  1. Open your Oreo cookies and place a lollipop stick, longways, into the filling. Press down so that the lollipop stick is even with the filling.
  2. Place white icing in a small bowl, a heaping tablespoon full for each cookie you plan to dip (I recommend no more than two to three at a time), and microwave it for no more than eight seconds. Remove from the microwave and stir. It should be completely melted. (Don’t overdo it or the icing will dry with a crystallized look and won’t be as yummy.)
  3. Using a spoon, place a small amount of warm icing on the cookie over the lollipop stick and put the top back on. Allow the icing to set for at least 30 seconds.
  4. Tilt your bowl on its side and dip each pop. Again, I recommend only doing two to three at a time because you don’t want your icing to cool and you don’t want to have to reheat it.
  5. Place the cookies on the cooling rack with a piece of wax paper underneath for easy cleanup.
  6. Quickly spoon another tablespoon full of icing over each cookie. If the icing is still warm enough it will coat, drip and dry flat.

Embellishments:

  1. On a sheet of wax paper, gather your goodies: Starburst, sprinkles, tube icing, and a small amount of white icing in a resealable bag. I used the flat side of a #46 icing tip with a connector for the mustache, but you could slit your resealable bag in a straight line. You’ll just want to play with it on the wax paper a few times before applying to the cookie to make sure you have the cut correct.
  2. Heat one red Starburst on a small piece of wax paper in the microwave for eight to 10 seconds. Each one will make one Santa hat. While warm, careful not to burn your fingers, mold the Starburst into a triangle. You can dampen your fingers if you need to work with it a bit.
  3. To apply the sprinkles, lightly dampen the bottom rim and the top point of your triangle with your finger. Add the sprinkles, pushing any that landed on the center section back into place before they dry. 
  4. Pipe on a few drops of red icing for the mouth.
  5. Pipe on the mustache with the resealable bag (if using the icing tip: cut corner of bag, insert connector, attach tip to outside of bag with closure and fill with white icing).
  6. Attach your hat with a small amount of icing. (Tip: Use a flat spatula or butter knife to lift it off the wax paper so the candy doesn’t stretch.)
  7. Pipe on eyes.
  8. Allow Santa to completely dry for at least three hours before inserting into cello bags.

If you’re not up for the Santa pops, my boys loved the simple snowflake sprinkle ones just the same. Just add your sprinkles before your icing dries and you’re all set.

I’m so excited to be able to serve my youngest, who as most of you know has a severe milk allergy, a super fun treat that all the kids will want. Please share with any other moms who have little ones stricken with food allergies and as always, I hope you’re inspired!

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prepping for Santa

We likely all spend little time mulling over what we leave out for the big guy on Christmas Eve. So this year with my little boys in tow and their blue eyes bright, we gave it some thought. After some debate we agreed on a woodland theme and started wandering the house looking for natural items that we could use. Our first find was several huge pine cones the boys had been given by their uncle over the summer. We strung popcorn for the garland, and then we hot glued on the candy ornaments and the tiny star that we plucked from their playroom Christmas tree.

Taking the popcorn string one more step, we added chewy cherry sour balls and threaded it with green cross-stitch thread. (Tip: I recommend cleaning your needle between each candy chew with a moist paper towel.) Admittedly there was much more eating than threading on the kids’ part, but there were lots of giggles. My very favorite sound!

My oldest loves powdered donuts so we skewered a few on a lollipop stick (he of course had to test one out for his dessert that night) and tied it with a pretty red ribbon. We also chose some sugared tea cookies and a butter snowflake cookie from our partners at Sweet Tooth Cottage.

 

And what better beverage for Santa placesetting than a bottle of Coca-Cola (since, after all, our modern day Santa is based off of the image they presented in their advertising from decades ago)?! We embellished the bottle with a lovely snowflake ornament and it was all set!

 

Next we made this yarn pom pom Rudolph-the-red-nosed-reindeer. I’m just in love with how he turned out, especially his acorn nose. The boys were so giggly while he was coming together. Admittedly a few pom poms ran off during the process, but he finally came together. Here’s a quick tutorial on how you can make him too.

Last, but never least, the Christmas list must be very prominent near the plate. We wouldn’t want Santa to miss it! {wink} Merry Christmas everyone and as always, I hope you’re inspired!

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DIY pom pom Rudolph

My darling friend Kelly at The Party Dress asked a few of us to participate in a holiday series on her blog this month. We could style a dessert table, a dinner table or a child’s table. Since my 2010 Christmas collections, Mod Candy Cane and BELIEVE, were already styled and in the shoppe, Kelly let me bend the rules a bit. I worked with the two most important (shorter than 4 feet) men in my life to style Santa’s cookie placesetting for Christmas Eve. For the most part I let them lead and they chose a woodland theme with the initial inspiration coming from a huge pine cone they had been dying to decorate like a Christmas tree.

More to come on the placesetting, but for now I want to share the DIY pom pom Rudolph-the-red-nosed-reindeer craft we came up with. I’m just in love with him! I was inspired by Jenn at HWTM and her recent use of yarn in several Christmas crafts. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • brown yarn for the body and neck
  • large acorn for the reindeer’s face/snout
  • 4 dark brown pipe cleaners for the legs
  • 2 light brown pipe cleaners for the antlers
  • small brown pom pom for the tail
  • red paint for the tip of his nose
  • glue gun
  • sharp scissors

And here’s how you make him:

  1. You’ll need two medium size pom poms for the body. Wrap the yarn around your hand (just below the knuckle) 45 to 50 times, cut and tie in the center as shown in image A. You’ll need two small pom poms for the neck. Wrap the yarn around two fingers (above the knuckle) 45 to 50 times, cut and tie in the center.
  2. Cut all the loops in each of your pom poms. You may need to shape them a bit, clipping off any stray strands and condensing his body a bit as shown in image B.
  3. For the antlers, cut a pipe cleaner in half and form a “V” with one piece. Next cut the remaining piece in half and twist them around each side of the “V” as shown in image C.
  4. For the legs, you can twist the pipe cleaners to give the legs more dimension as we did as shown in image D, or you can leave them straight.
  5. Now it’s time to hot glue. Start by gluing the two medium size pom poms together for the body and then add the tail.
  6. Glue the two small pom poms together for the neck and glue the acorn on as the snout with the point out.
  7. Attach the neck to the body (at  about 10 o’clock on the body pom poms) so that the head is up. You may need a few dots of glue at the back of the neck to the body (easily hidden) if your acorn is heavy.
  8. Attach the legs.
  9. And finally paint the tip of the acorn red.

As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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fabulous DIY felt ideas

I love playing around with felt and I ran across two fabulous ideas on Liz Stanley’s blog say Yes! to hoboken. This first project is this set of hand-made ornaments from Dana at MADE. Monograms are the perfect “personal” gift and you don’t have to worry about your treasure being regifted… at least not easily. {wink} Dana gives a wonderful 16-step pictorial (I LOVE pictorials) on how to make these pretties. Hop over and see all the how to details!

The second project via Liz are these fabulous felt bows from Twig & Thistle. Again, there is a pictorial! Hop over and check out all the fabulous details.

As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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