Thursday, April 16, 2015

Silhou...what? Silhouette Time

Recently I purchased a Silhouette Portrait machine from Silhouette America and I am in love! For those of you who may be unaware of this machine, it enables you to cut paper, card stock, vinyl, fabric, heat transfer vinyl to make the most wonderful projects. It is similar to the Cricut machines but you do not have to purchase cartridges for your machine. You simply have to download the software to your computer (which is free unless you decide to upgrade to their Designer Edition). I was super intimidated by the machine but with the help and power of YouTube, I have watched some awesome video tutorials. Granted there are some hiccups along the way (very far from a pro here) but I am excited to post some cool projects that I have been working on and will be working awesome time for some homemade goodness with Mother's Day, Father's Day, Graduations and end of school teacher appreciation gifts all coming up. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

It's my Shark Boomius!!! (GoldieBlox Blox + Bits Expansion Pack)

So all the promos for Sharknado, Discovery Channel's Shark Week and Disney Junior Octonaut's Shark Episode have filtered into my daughter's creative brain. I decided to open the Blox and Bits from GoldieBlox. I received this from the NYC Blogger Bash Sweet Suite event in my swag box. The expansion pack is for use on it's own to make projects but also can be used with other Goldie Blox items.

She decided to make something for the sharks, she calls it her Shark Boomius! Not really sure what the Boomius does even though she mentioned it spits out cheese sticks to the sharks in the water. Who knew they liked mozzarella and colby jack??

The kids really enjoyed the kit and it kept them entertained for quite a while. Even the little one wanted to partake in the fun (the recommended ages for these toys seem to be 4-9) so I kept a close watch on him. 

It's a great little kit and although I never had one as a kid, reminiscent of what Tinker Toys seem to me. I would definitely think of adding onto the kit to make bigger objects and getting one of the story book sets. The expansion kit comes with 32 pieces (3 wheels, 8 blocks, one crank, 4 washers and 16 axels) and it gives you some ideas for things to start making.  It retails for 9.99.

The product was given to me as part of the swag but the opinions are 100 percent mine.

Thanks all!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

NYC Blogger Bash Sweet Suite 2014 #SweetSuite14 #BBNYC

So excited to share the amazing box of swag from this year's Sweet Suite! Lots of amazing things and tons of great items coming to shelves this year. The event was amazing and a great opportunity to speak with various brands. I am really glad I went this year and hope to go next year as well!

So upon opening the great box, there were tons of great treats so I tried to group by categories. 

The first group was a variety of arts and crafts materials and since I have shown a few crafts on here, I thought this would be a good starting point. 

Crayola Ultra Clean Markers are first on the list for trial! The kids love markers and coloring and drawing and anything that is easy to clean gets a grade A in my book. Also excited for the Sands Alive and Blok and Bits and will give a follow up on those two items. 

The second batch of art and craft items were from Faber-Castel. I had a fun time at their booth at #SweetSuite14 and they had tons of amazing crafts and art materials. 

Those gel sticks and crayons look pretty cool and always looking for new art materials for the kids. 

There were a great bunch of games included.

I am excited to open the Bananagrams!!! It seems like a great way to build skills while playing! I also can't wait to play some of the other games as well. 

There were some items for the younger set. Who doesn't love TMNT?? And Paw Patrol is becoming a new favorite in the house too. 

For the little girls, some cute items as well

I think we might have to open that manicure kit pretty soon! 

There were lots of other great items included in the box:

Can't wait to try the Tiggly product! The people at the booth were super informative and it seems like a great product too.

And this seems like a great rainy day quick craft project. Perfect!

Thanks to all the staff at The Big Toy Book! I am looking forward to seeing some of the great products from the event like the adorable Lum Lum dolls, a cute new product that I saw at the event which should be hitting stores soon. Plus lots of cute items from Lalaloopsy, Disney, Leapfrog and Vtech for the holiday season!! 

Blogger Bash Recap

And check out recaps from other Blogger Bash attendees:
Here's the link - /

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Yummy Yummy in my Tummy

So, the past month has been a busy one and when I started this idea, I thought that making a weekly entry on a blog would be easy peasy. But trying all these new things, finding the time remembering to take a decent picture and write about it, has been a bit of a challenge (I guess that's why I started this in the first place, huh?). But I have been pinning and will be adding some cool things but in the meantime, I wanted to address the deliciousness I find on Pinterest.
My bookshelf is stocked with dozens of cookbooks with hundreds of delicious recipes, but I never crack them open and always find dinner to be a chore. What am I going to cook seems to be a nightly drama and I constantly wish for the Dinner Fairy to leave me magic pots that cook on their own (and do their own grocery shop too, and dishes). Now I think I am a pretty decent cook but I find myself in a dinner rut from time to time, making the same dishes and being so bored with the meal the first time that I don't even want the leftovers. Enter Pinterest.....
I have pinned soooo many yummy meals from there and in the midst of crafting, I thought, wait a second, why am I not making any of these recipes? Is this board my online bookshelf, that I will never crack open? So I printed a handful of them, made a shopping list and have been trying a new one each week. Tonight, I went for broke and made two new ones, lasagna roll-ups and low-cal artichoke dip. The dip was so good, my darling picky eater kept coming back for more. I have just printed out a few new ones, plus pinned a few so I am excited to see what comes next.
What are your favorite Pinterest recipes??

Monday, March 19, 2012

Ribbons, Ribbons Everywhere

So in continuation of the baby shower theme, this next project was inspired by an item I saw online and I decided to see if I could find a tutorial and do it myself. The ribbon topiaries came out amazing and exactly like the ones I wanted to order but each one took me about three hours, a ridiculous amount of straight pins and about 60 feet of ribbon per centerpiece. You can find some amazing tutorials like the one I found on Polka Dot Birthday (Ribbon Tutorial). I changed things up a little by using an all-in-one topiary form that included the ball, dowel and base that I found at AC Moore (see here). I trimmed the excess of the form and placed it in a painted terra-cotta pot that I painted with acrylic paint and kept them in place with a little hot glue gun.

I will say that I think using these forms made the centerpieces a little larger than I originally thought and if you are planning to make a smaller version, then I think you will probably use a little less ribbon and will have to use the styrofoam ball, dowel and foam base as mentioned in the tutorials as I found the pre made forms only in the size. So I cut 6 rolls of ribbon into 3" pieces. Each roll of ribbon was roughly 9 feet of ribbon and I tried to pick a variety of ribbon that complimented each other and had three solids and three prints for the first piece and then switched it up for the subsequent pieces. 

I started in little clusters and then kept adding making sure to not keep too many of the same color in one spot and make things even. It is a little time consuming and the larger you make the balls, the more time and more ribbon you will need. Lastly, I hot glued some of the same shapes from the lollipop boxes to the pots so it would continue with the nautical theme.
They came out a lot better than I expected and they were a hit at the party!!!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lollipop Lollipop Oh Lolli Lolli-Pop!

In keeping with the baby theme, this next project was inspired by a pin I found from 320 Days of Sunshine. She gives an excellent tutorial on how to make the lollipop itself (Lollipop Tutorial) and her photo at the end gave me an idea on how to make these lolli's into a baby shower centerpiece for a nautical themed baby shower for a baby boy. 

First I went looking for nautical washcloths and found these adorable little ones at Target. These were quite reasonable since I would need quite a few of them for all of the centerpieces. So I used them and made a bunch of little spoons like so....
Next I found some tote bag wooden boxes from AC Moore and some wooden painted shapes from Hobby Lobby. I had to order from Hobby Lobby since there isn't one close to me but the shipping was reasonable and the prices were good. 

The boxes were originally unpainted so I found a nice blue, painted two coats of the acrylic paint and then once they were nice and dry, sealed them with a coat of ModPodge. I then glued the shapes onto the boxes with my glue gun.

I then added some weights to the bottom of the box by using some river stones I had from a previous project and then cut some styrofoam on top so I have some place to insert the spoons into. I found some cream colored Easter grass to cover up the styrofoam so it wouldn't show and added the spoons. Here you go......

So off these little lollipops go for their grand debut at the baby shower. They look so cute all in the box don't they?

I'll add a photo of how they look at the shower and will be adding some additional projects as well. Thanks for tuning in.......

Monday, February 13, 2012

No sew, no problem

Ok - So my first entry took a little longer after dealing with a very nasty cold but here it is.....

This craft challenge is a combo of Pinterest and Joann craft store inspired. I saw so many wonderful blankets on Pinterest for babies and with several upcoming baby showers, I wondered how could I cut/sew all those blankets and having a short window of time and a LO who is petrified of the sewing machine noise.

Enter Joann's.

While strolling down the aisles- more like running after a small child, I came across these No-Sew kits. They seemed quick and manageable, but I wasn't crazy about some of the print combos and none of the kits were very baby-ish. So I went to the counter and asked the sales person how much I would need. And it goes a little something like this:

1. The average size blanket I have seen for the No-sew style is 1-1/2 yards. You can go longer for a teen or adult but the following is for a finished size of about 1-1/2 yards. I got two yards of no-pill fleece which were on sale. Apparently the word on the street is that Joann's has the fleece on sale quite often so if you can wait or score a coupon, then hold off until then. I got one adorable print and then one solid fleece to match.

2. Match both pieces together and make sure that they are equal sizes. If by chance one of the fleeces is a little larger than the other, then trim the excess. It's best to use a rotary cutter as the cuts come out looking a little cleaner than with scissors or shears. Oh- one more super duper extremely important part. NOW is the time to make sure that you have the right side of the print facing out.. You don't want to get stuck halfway through your blanket and realize that the wrong side is facing out. Not that this happened to me or anything (but if you happen to do this then it isn't the end of the world just an extra hour of work).

3. Cut 7" squares at each of the corners of the blanket. It's easy if you have a Right angle ruler or possibly a t- square.

4. Beginning on one side of the blanket, cut 1" wide strips along each edge of the blanket. I found using two rulers really helped me on this one. One ruler to guide me so I didn't cut past the 7" mark and one ruler laying perpendicular so I could measure out 1" wide for the strip. I used both rotary cutter and fabric scissors for this and the lines came out much better with the rotary.

5. Now there are two methods for knotting the fringe together. One is to double knot the two pieces of fleece. Or my personal favorite method is to take both pieces, create a loop and pulls both ends through, then pull gently so the knot it at the top. You dont want to pull too hard but tight enough so its secure. It creates a much more uniform look. Both ways take about the same amount of time. Do this all the way around.

The first time I did one of these blankets, it took me a few hours. But after that, it got easier and easier and now about two hours on average. I even break it up and start it one night and get to the point where two sides are knotted and fold up and then unfold, straighten the pieces out and finish the next night. I'm sure you could even embroider one side with a name or an appliqué. I haven't gotten that advanced though but personalizing it adds to the wow factor especially for your non-crafty friends.

So here's the finished product:

Thanks all for tuning in....I hope to have my next challenge up very soon!!!!