2.26.2013

Project for the day: Painted Easter Eggs

I'm a sucker for cute little decor items. Especially of the seasonal variety. (If I had to guess why, I would say it would stem from the lack of seasonal items I had growing up...but I don't know where we would have put the stuff as there were 12 of us.) I've never been a fan of a lot of knick knacks - probably because it just something else you have to clean, but seasonal decor never feels that way to me.

I've also always been a fan of the intricately decorated Easter eggs I've seen in fancy shops, but I've never purchased them because:

1) I can't afford to spend that much on 1 decoration used for a few weeks at most
2) They are very fragile and breakable and I get nervous with that sort of thing
3) I like the personal pride in having created decorations myself.

My little girl and I were on the hunt looking for the perfect egg shaped items so we could paint them ourselves when I found bags of wooden hen's eggs at Joann Fabric. This was perfect. They aren't breakable. They can be easily painted and they aren't super expensive (especially if you get the coupon flyers). So I got 10 eggs for just over $5. I'm sure you can probably find them online as well.

I was contemplating painting them all a bunch of base colors and then drawing designs on them, but I decided that unless I had the background colors pre-mixed I shouldn't do that as I wouldn't be easily able to fix a mistake...so I drew designs on them with a pencil first. Then I filled them in. (This was tough to focus the camera on without an extra hand, so excuse the tissue box holding the egg). This one is a rose design.

That one is mine (if you couldn't guess), but I also let my daughter draw on a few as well. She did lots of swirls - which I think might make a fun, stained glass like look where I paint each closed section a different color or tone. We'll see what she decides when I get that far.

To paint these, I am using the Martha Stewart craft paint. It works wonderfully on the wooden surface and dries quite rapidly, so I had minimal issues with trying to hold an egg with wet paint. I painted one color at a time on the eggs so I wouldn't mistakenly hold a wet color while painting another as well.

I have thus far (mostly) finished three eggs. You can see the rose one, that is the drawing above, a geometric design that is similar to some candle holders I have. and a cute little bunny (similar in style to the Beatrix Potter characters). This is the one one that isn't completely finished. I discovered I don't own any brown craft paint, and I wanted to make the bunny a lovely light brown, but I'm not really a fan of any of the complimentary color mixed versions as they all appear too muddy... So I will be going out to buy some brown paint so I'll be able to finish that one.

If you have been really observant you'll see I have quite a few to go on this too... I have 7 more eggs that don't have anything on them as of yet, so I'll post the whole bunch as I finish them up.

Have a great day!




2.25.2013

Mini tarts: Snow day treat!

Last week, my husband got a surprise half snow day due to the crummy weather, but that meant we got to have fun while he was home.

So we decided to make little fruit pie/tarts.

This is an easy and fast snack...mostly because it's refrigerator pie crust, and canned pie filling.

My daughter helped by selecting the cookie cutters we used for the pies (she wanted a dinosaur - which was super cute) and then we did circles for all the rest.

First, you cut out an even number of all pieces. (so we had two dinosaurs, and 10 circles out of one pie crust). Then you spray the tray or stone with non-stick spray, put down one half of the pieces and spread with melted butter. You then put in a small amount of pie filling (for the circles we could do 4 cherries, the dinosaur could fit two cherries). Then the other half of the pie crusts are put on top, crimping the top and bottom pieces together to make little enclosed tarts.

Then you cook according to the pie crust directions...but not quite as long. We did well with about 10 minutes, but we started watching them after a few minutes since they are significantly smaller than a full sized pie. It still smells wonderful as you cook it, so that was an added bonus.

We had decided to eat our pie/tarts with ice cream while still warm which was fabulous! My little girl was thrilled to have her dino-tart :)

Hope you find your snacks as wonderful as she does :)

2.20.2013

Project for the day: Luck o' the irish garland

Top o' the mornin' to ya!

My little girl so enjoyed helping me make our valentine's garland that I thought we could tackle a second one to get in the spirit of St. Patrick's day.

I discovered I really don't have any decorations for St. Patty's. I would guess it's because I like all the spring colors and such associated with Easter, so I tend to skip right over it and decorate for the later holiday...but it can't hurt to have some four-leaf clovers around :D

First I cut out a bunch of clovers using a template I drew and then tracing it on green paper.

Then I got out a large hole punch and proceeded to make a bunch of "gold coins".

Afterwards, my daughter and I glued them all on some green and white baker's twine.

I probably should have stopped there, but I thought it would look cute to have some design on the clovers, to make them look a bit fancier...so of course, I decided to emboss them. (this was sadly, not a good project to try to do with a 2 year old) so I put it away and returned later in the evening. It went much smoother, but I can't say that I love the way they turned out...they look fine and it's pretty cute, but not nearly as cute as the valentine's day garland we made.

Ah well :) It'll only be up for a few weeks anyway.

I'm sure my daughter will be tickled that she helped make it - so really it's a win regardless!


2.18.2013

Project for the Day: Convert the closet

Good evening all!

I've been busily trying to organize my life a bit more, so that I can actually find items with relative ease.

Enter the front closet make-over!

I discovered I was having issues fitting everything in the front closet, which of course makes sense as I also kept all my shoes there....

So I decided to tackle a re-do inspired by, of course, pinterest.

 First I started pulling everything out...(sadly this is after about half the re-usable grocery bags, two mops, a broom, rain boots, one pair of roller blades, a drum stick case, and roller blade pads had been removed from the floor and 5 coats (yes, 5)). As you can see we used both the front and the back of the closet door to store stuff, and had additional stuff piled as high as possible inside.

Following the removal of everything inside, I got rid of the hanging shoe bags (opting for wooden ones that stick close to the ground). I then removed the rod from the center of the closet, repainted the area where it had been removed from, and installed double hooks all the way around, including one at my daughter's height for her coats, hats and scarf.

Then, I installed some command hooks inside to hold roller blade pads and such off the floor. Following this, I went through everything and removed all re-usable grocery bags that were torn or had the handles falling off, one bin of old make-up, a few former files and forms that I never ended up needing, and moved the mops out to the hanging storage in the garage (as I don't use them daily or even weekly).

Then I went through the coats and put the ones that we had kept purely for sentimental reasons like HS letterman jackets away for safe keeping and reduced the massive numbers a bit.

Everything including the bags and purses from the front door fit inside, and my daughter has a spot she can reach for her items, so all is much nicer. Also, my husband's shoes were able to be cleaned up using one of my old shoe hanging bags.

Ah! So much better!

2.05.2013

Project for the day: Spreading the love

My little girl and I got our craft on. We needed some valentine's decorations to brighten up the place.

First I cut out a ton of hearts (using a cookie cutter as a guide). I used some pretty scrapbook paper I had laying around that was embossed with flowers.

After I finished cutting them all out, my daughter assisted me with gluing them all onto some baker's twine.

We glued two to each spot (with one on the front and back).

Then we hung it up and had a look. It was quite lovely and she is thrilled she helped make it.



Don't you think you would love one too :) Have fun!