Monday, July 30, 2012

July features

I'm watching the Olympics with my girls.  It is great to see how excited they get over what they are watching.  Their favorites?  Gymnastics, swimming, and shooting.

I want to pass on a big thank you to my fellow bloggers for the following features:

My July 4th Patriotic cake was featured at


the Grant Life
The Grant Life

My post on Using a Tracer Jr. was featured at


A Creative Princess

My post on Blog design on a budget was featured at

 

My post with my Rainbow headband crochet pattern was featured at



Friday, July 27, 2012

Organizing project, yarn stash

Yesterday we were able to register Boo for kindergarten.  We got to meet her teacher and Boo even got to do a little craft while she was there.  At the beginning of August will register the Princess for second grade.  I hope to hear from her teacher next week.

I also got an order for crocheted flower barrettes and I am starting on those now.  Trying to get those finished, I am finding myself with a bit of an organizing problem.  It involves my yarn. I have an entire shelf dedicated to storing yarn.


It doesn't look very nice does it?  And do you want to know something else?  The shelf isn't big enough to hold it all.  Here is another box and a bag sitting near the shelf.


That bag has the rainbow yarn stash I've been using for the scarf, headbands and tote bag I made as well as wrapping some gifts.  I still have a good bit of rainbow left.  I have another full box and two more bags full of yarn.

Want to see how I've organised them?  Well, you kind of just did.  I need suggestions on organizing all of my yarn.  Here are the stipulations, I don't have a lot of room, I don't want to buy anything (or at least not spend more than $20) and I need to be able to easily move them from room to room as I crochet wherever I am at the moment.

Give me your suggestions, please.

This post was featured at



Please check out my Link Parties page to see the blogs where I may have showcased this post.  Thank you to the bloggers who host such wonderful parties.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Labeling school supplies

Last week I showed you the bags of school supplies I'm packing up for the girls (and how I saved money on them).  We are still getting ready for school to start here.  Tomorrow I take Boo to the school to get her registered for kindergarten.  Last week she went to Kindergarten Jumpstart, which allowed her to get a little taste of what school will be like.  I think she ad a lot of fun.  The Princess and I spent that morning getting just a few more things ready for school.  I had to get her some more uniform bottoms because she outgrew the ones she used last year.  It was too much to hope that she didn't go through a growth spurt.

The time I wasn't at work or spending time with the girls I was still getting familiar with my Silhouette Cameo.  I bought two binder bags from Walmart for a $1 each and cut their names out of some white vinyl and applied it to the window.




The font I used is Boingo.  We were having a play date that day and my friend watched me cut it out with the Cameo.  Watching it be cut was a lot more fun than watching me weed around all of those little swirls.  I think they turned out really cute.

Here is a close up of the pink bag.



Now the girls want me to label all of their supplies.  I think I might have to pick a different font, one that is a little easier to weed.

And, now you know who Boo and the Princess are.

How do you label school supplies?


Linked up to:  Lovely Crafty HomeWhipperberryTatertots and JelloCraft EnvyBe Different Act NormalSerenity YouNifty Thrifty ThingsI Heart NaptimeFlamingo ToesDIY ShowoffC.R.A.F.T.Craft-O-ManiacSew Can DoKeeping it SimpleMad in CraftsSumo's Sweet StuffMaking the World CuterSkip to My LouNew NostalgiaSugar Bee CraftsNot Just a HousewifeLil LunaThe NY Melrose FamilyTales of a Trophy WifeSew Much AdoCreations by KaraHandy Man, Crafty WomanPolkadots on ParadeA Creative PrincessBeyond the Picket FenceLive Laugh RoweThe Shabby Creek CottageYesterday on TuesdayFireflies and JellybeansHouse of HepworthsSuzy's Artsy Craftsy SitcomThe 36th AvenueDelightful OrderSomewhat SimpleAt the Picket FenceThe Grant LifeChic on a Shoestring DecoratingOne Artsy Mama/Happy Go LuckyThe Shabby Nest, IHeart Organizing

Monday, July 23, 2012

Curbing cookie cutter chaos

I have finally had a chance to use the chalkboard vinyl that came with my Silhouette Cameo.  I used it to help find cookie cutters when I need them.




A few months ago I decided to gather all of my cookie cutters and try to organize them.  I had them in various places all over my kitchen and I could never find the one I wanted.  I gathered them all up and put them in simple plastic containers I got for a dollar at Walmart.  I shoved them under a cabinet and have dealt with this for a while.


Even though they looked more organized, they weren't.  I had divided them evenly into categories in the boxes, but it still wasn't easy to find what we needed.  We would have to pull out each box and look at it to see what it was.  And, I found that the cutters were being returned to the wrong box after they were used.  I wanted a non permanent way to label them because I tend to change things around quite often (don't tell my husband, I keep telling him he is imagining it).

I decided to test some of the label designs I made in the Silhouette software.  I opened one of my files where I had just played with different shapes (and some brackets) trying to make some nice labels.


I picked one of the more simple designs I had made and copied it into a new file.  I made it with a rectangle, then just used a circle to cut the corners out.


I just resized it to around four inches by two inches and rotated it.  Using the duplicate feature I just fit as many as I could into two rows.  I only needed six, but I now have a few extras.

Then it was just a matter of sending them to the Cameo to be cut and applying them to my containers.


I just hand wrote the contents with a chalk marker.  What I use most are the sandwich cutters when I make lunch for my girls.  I also use circles/hearts/flowers and the leaves so I put those on top.  I actually use almost all the cutters more when I am making lunch than for making cookies.

You are only getting to see about two thirds of the top shelf of this cabinet.  I had to crop the rest of it out so you couldn't see the jumble of cords and appliances that I use.

I plan to make some more things with the chalkboard vinyl soon.  I'm thinking of one of those _________ many days until ___________ signs I've seen on Pinterest.  The kind you fill in the blanks yourself so it changes with what is going on.

What would you make with the chalkboard vinyl?


Friday, July 20, 2012

Rainbow tote crochet pattern

It has been raining here nearly every day for over a week.  It isn't just a light rain every now and then, it is torrential downpours and lightening storms that are causing flash floods in the area.  I worked this last week to make a crochet pattern that was a little more involved than all the short patterns I have posted.  I'm still working through all of the yarn I bought to make Boo's rainbow scarf.  I also used it to wrap her birthday presents and last week I posted a couple of rainbow headbands I made.  Today I have a rainbow tote bag.  With all the rain, the rainbows are needed.



I tried to do something different from the plain single crochet of the headbands, but I also wanted the weave to be tight so things wouldn't slip through.  I settled on just slight modifying the single crochet to make a ridge that runs along the chains.

Boo's Rainbow Tote
Personal use only please.

I used an H crochet hook and I Love This Yarn in fire red (1), orange (2), yellow (3), limelight (4), turquoise (5), royal (6), grape (7) and white (8).

Ch - chain
sc - single crochet
dc - double crochet
sl st - slip stitch
st - stitch

Tote:
Ch 101
Row 1:  sc in 2nd ch from hook and each ch after, ch 1, turn
Row 2: (working in front loop only from now on) sc in 2nd ch from hook and each st after, ch 1, turn
Rows 3-5: repeat row 2
Row 6:  (still working in front loop only) sc in 2nd ch from hook and each st after joining color 2 in last st, ch 1, turn
Rows 7-11:  repeat row 2
Row 12: repeat row 6 changing to color 3
Rows 13-17:  repeat row 2
Row 18: repeat row 6 changing to color 4
Rows 19-23:  repeat row 2
Row 24: repeat row 6 changing to color 5
Rows 25-29:  repeat row 2
Row 30: repeat row 6 changing to color 6
Rows 31-35:  repeat row 2
Row 36: repeat row 6 changing to color 7
Rows 37-41:  repeat row 2
Row 42: repeat row 6 but finish off last st

You should have a rectangle that looks like this.


Notice that the starting yarn will be on one end of the rectangle and all of the other ends will be on the other end of the rectangle.  At this stage, choose which side you want to show on the outside and mark it.  Work the loose ends into the piece.  Fold it in half so the outside is on the inside.  Use the color (red or violet) that blends in to the edge.  Using a tapestry needle, sew  the edges together tightly so it will hold.  After both sides are done, turn it right side out.  The seams should be on the inside.

Now to work the edging.

Edging:
Round 1:  Starting at one of the seams join the white with a sl st.  Working evenly around the top, sc, ch1 all the way around, join with sl st in first sl st
Round 2:  ch 1, *3 dc in ch 1 space, sl st in sc, repaet from * all the way around, join with sl st to first ch 1 and finish off

This will cause the edge to pucker, but I wanted that to happen so it looked more like ruffles.


Strap:
Ch 101
Row 1:  sc in 2nd ch from hook and each ch after, ch 1, turn
Row 2: (working in both loops from now on) sc in 2nd ch from hook and each st after, ch 1, turn
Rows 3-6: repeat row 2, but don't do last ch 1 on row 6
Row 7:  (still working in both loops) sl st in 1st ch from hook and each st after finishing off last st (this adds a little strength)

Attach straps to the inside of the bag as shown in picture (the square and cross), sewing it on with the color that will show on the outside.  Just make sure each stitch goes over yarn on both sides to make a strong hold.



This what the finished bag looks like.


Here is Boo with her bag.  She can't wait to use it.  A simple fabric lining can be inserted if needed.




Please check out my Link Parties page to see the blogs where I may have showcased this post.  Thank you to the bloggers who host such wonderful parties.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Preparing for change

Today I am the queen of procrastination for this post.  Well, maybe not the queen but at least a Duchess.  I've changed my mind on the topic several times so I decided to just share why I've had trouble settling on something.

This week has turned out to mark a lot of changes for our family.  I'm more than a little nervous about some of them (those I can tell you more about on August 1st) and excited about some others.  I can share with you some of the exciting things.

Here it is in mid July and I am working on getting my girls ready for school.  School you say?  Yep, school.  Our district starts school on August 8th, so it isn't far off.  It seems like a short summer but they get out in mid May so it works out.

I got a call from Boo's teacher this past Monday night introducing herself and letting me know what to expect for her upcoming kindergarten year (my baby will be in kindergarten!).  She is going to be in a slightly accelerated class that will move a bit more quickly than the other classes.  This is because she already knows a majority of the basics that she would learn in the first few months of school.  We have already had experience with this class as her sister was (and is) a part of it.  The class loops and she will continue with her classmates into first grade as well (if it continues as her sister's class did).  The biggest thing for this class is that there will be a bit more work involved, and more homework each week.  We are confident in her abilities and I look forward to working with her new teacher on my volunteer days.  She registers on July 26th and we will see her classroom and deliver her school supplies.  Between her and the Princess, I have three bags of supplies ready to go.


The red and green bags are for Boo and the white is for the Princess.  I saved a lot of money because I bought half this stuff last year when all the supplies went on clearance.  I just used the supply list to pick the things I thought I could save easily.  I would have had more if the list hadn't changed a little this year.  Even with that, I still saved more than enough from the clearance, and now have a few things floating around the house if they are needed.  The teachers always seem to add a few extra things to what is needed so I bet there is still a little to buy.

The Princess is looking at some changes of her own, also.  She will start her second grade class with most of the kids she has been with since kindergarten (or so I've heard).  If so, it means I will see a lot of the faces again when I go to volunteer in her class.  I'm not exactly sure what is happening with her class yet and am still waiting to hear from her teacher.  That is understandable because she doesn't register until August 6th so there is almost a two week lag between the kindergarten and second grade registration.  She is also starting the gifted program, which I'm guessing is going to be extra work added for her also.  I haven't had any experience with it personally, but my niece was in it from second through sixth grade.  My biggest concern is that she will start thinking she is better than other kids while in the program.  We have worked very hard to to prevent that type of attitude in either of our children.

Today they have been trying on uniforms for school.  Boo is trying on the old clothes passed down from the Princess and the Princess is trying to determine what still fits from last year and what I will need to buy.


This is about half of what I have, ranging from size 4 to 7.  Turns out that Boo has bypassed right through the size 4 and is already in a size 5.  The Princess can no longer fit in any of the size 6 she has, and the 6x aren't going to last long.  She has a couple of size 7 so I will need to get her a bit more for sure.  I hope to save money at garage sales and the upcoming local consignment sale for kids clothes.  Last year I made $400 and only spent $130 on new (used) stuff for the girls.  I also scored some barely used pants last year for $2 a pair at a garage sale. A couple even still had tags on them.

I have already started some start of school surprises for the teachers.  I'm not going to share those just yet because it may ruin the surprise if they happen to come across the blog.

I also have one end of my dining room (which doesn't have a table and is used as my crafting area) packed with garage sale items.  I'm hoping to have everything ready for a garage sale in September, unless the weather cools off suddenly and I can do it in August.  I do understand that  I live in Mississippi and it rarely cools down that early around here.  I'd show you a picture, but I've been forbidden from posting a picture of "the junk pile."

I'm also trying to finish a project I want to post Friday.  it is taking me a little longer than I hoped because of all the other things going on.

Aside from all of this, I can feel my severe allergies (opposed to my normal allergies) starting up.  They are pretty bad twice a year, in mid spring and in late summer/early fall.  It starts with a headache that won't go away and ends with no voice, a nasty cough that won't go away and the ability to breath through my nose at all.  Last spring my doctor put me on a nasal spray and an inhaler during the worst of it and it cleared up fairly well.  That was the first spring I didn't feel feel horrible so I am looking forward to seeing how the spray and inhaler work this time.  I'm also glad that my allergies aren't so severe that I have to do that year round as well, just one pill every day is enough for the rest of the time.  It's days like these that make me want to curl up on the sofa and take a nap.  I can't even do that, it is already occupied by sleepers.




I'll tell you the rest on August 1st.

I know this post is much more personal than most of the ones I do.  I just wanted you guys to know I am still committed to the blog and hopefully won't be so late with the posts for long.

Tell me, what are you doing to get your kids ready for school?



Please check out my Link Parties page to see the blogs where I may have showcased this post.  Thank you to the bloggers who host such wonderful parties.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Emails from Snickety Things

I found out from a friend that the Snickety Things email has been hacked. Please know that I never send emails without a subject, without a message, or with a link to anything other than the Snickety Things website. Please double check the actual from email address before clicking any links. The email sent out just mimicked my email, but was not sent from me.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Dog treat jar

I ordered and received my Silhouette Cameo almost a month ago.  It his been so hectic at our house over the last month, I haven't been able to do more than just play with the software and cut some practice things out of some old scrapbook paper I had left over from some other projects.  This is my first real project I've been able to do.



We love our dogs and one of the ways we have shown them love over the years is through dog biscuits.  We got the dogs eight years ago, and shortly after we bought this treat jar to store the biscuits.




It stayed pretty plain until around six months ago when Boo decided to put a little sticker on the front to show it was for the dogs.

I decided to make something for it with my Silhouette.  I had the opportunity to upgrade to the designer software recently with a special giving me half off over at Craftaholics Anonymous.  I was able to import a SVG file of a paw print I had.


I also wrote out the word "TREATS" in Oogie Boogie.  I also made a few smaller prints that I am going to use on another project soon.

I cut it out of some white Paper Studio vinyl I already had from some other projects.  I just had to buy a roll of transfer paper at Hobby Lobby with the gift card my mother-in-law gave me for my birthday.

It is hard to see on the backing paper, but here is everything cut out.


I cut a strip of transfer paper and put it on this, then cut out each individual item I wanted cut.  I thought that would be easier than trying to cut a piece of transfer paper to cover each shape after they had been cut apart.

Then I just applied them to the treat jar using the transfer paper.


What do you think?  The girls thought it looked great, but Boo was a little disappointed her sticker was removed first.  The dogs really didn't have an opinion, but they did get a treat out of the deal.

I've also been playing with my light box.  Here is the treat jar on the black background I made for it.



I can't wait to show you my other project with the smaller paw prints.  It will be a few more weeks at least before I can show you though.  I can't wait to do more projects!

What would you make?



Please check out my Link Parties page to see the blogs where I may have showcased this post.  Thank you to the bloggers who host such wonderful parties.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Crocheted rainbow headbands

I still have a lot of the yarn left in the rainbow colors and Boo keeps asking if I can make her this or that.  I have been working on a few things for her, but one of the easiest I have done is a rainbow headband.




I've actually made two of them, one for Boo and one for the Princess.

Here are the patterns I used for each headband.

Rainbow Headband

Ch - chain
sc - single crochet
sl st - slip stitch
st - stitch

Note:  I made one with a G hook and it was a bit snug.  I used the same yarn, pattern and an H hook and it was much better.  The G hook fit Boo snugly (age 5) and the H hook fit the Princess loosely (age 7) and me slightly snug.  Leave long tails at the ends of each color on both headbands.

Yarn used was I Love This Yarn! from Hobby Lobby.



G hook headband:
Chain 60 (more or less depending on the age of your child.) with color 2 make one more ch. (61 chs total)
Row 1:  sc in second ch from hook and in each ch after, work color 3 into last sc, ch 1.
Rows 2-5:  repeat row 1 with colors 3-6)
Row 6: sl st in first ch from hook and each hook across.  Finish off.

This leaves the red and violet rows capping the edges without being thicker like the sc rows.  This was because a majority of each color gets covered by the next color and only a little shows.

H hook headband:

Chain 60 (more or less depending on the age of your child.) with color 2 make one more ch. (61 chs total)
Row 1:  sc in second ch from hook and in each ch after, work color 3 into last sc, ch 1.
Rows 2-6:  repeat row 1 with colors 3-7) finish off last sc.

I had intended on making the violet row of this headband narrow like the first I just got carried away crocheting.



To complete headbands:
To finish off both headbands, choose which side you would like to be the outside (on G band the one with more violet and red).  Fold the outside of the band in and carefully tie each tail to its matching color yarn in good knots.  This will create a bit of a seam so just make sure it is under the hair.  Apply a bit of glue to each knot if desired.  Mine have not come undone without glue though.  Flip headband to be right side out.

Here they are on the girls.



I hope you enjoy your headband if you make it.  Please, personal use only.

I hope to have another rainbow accessory for you next Friday so stay tuned.


This post was featured at


Please check out my Link Parties page to see the blogs where I may have showcased this post.  Thank you to the bloggers who host such wonderful parties.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Adventures in cake, a twist on dinner

Way back in 2010 I made dinner for a friend who just had a surgery.  I needed something easy and also something my family would eat since I would make enough for everyone.  I settled on what I call dinner with a twist.




Making food that is not what it looks like is one of the creative ways I try to get my girls to eat new things.  Especially, a couple of years ago when they were just three and five.

Dinner that night consisted of cupcakes.


Those aren't just any cupcakes though.  They are actually meatloaf iced with mashed potatoes. I used one of my large star tips to squeeze the potatoes through to give it more of a decorated feel.

Want to see them before I put the potatoes on?


They came out very moist.  I just used a standard meatloaf recipe and adjusted the cooking time for the pan.  I think I did it for about 30 minutes at 400F.  Just check to make sure it cooks through.  These freeze well and are the perfect serving size for little ones or big ones watching their weight.  To freeze, I wrapped in two layers of foil. When I reheated, I placed them in a covered container with just a touch of water to keep them moist.

For desert, we had pimento cheese sandwiches.


You guessed it.  They aren't really pimento cheese, just made to look that way.  They are actually white cake baked in a loaf pan and cut to look like thick bread.  The cheese is just butter cream icing tinted with Wilton golden yellow gel and just a touch of Wilton no taste red to get that orange pimento cheese has.  I didn't put pimento in it either, the red you see is chipped up maraschino cherries.  These are best when eaten within a few hours so the cake does not dry out.  Or, if needed later, wrap them in plastic wrap to keep them moist.  They don't hold up well for more than a couple of days.

My girls ate every bit, and my friend's family did too.

What fun things do you do for dinner?





Please check out my Link Parties page to see the blogs where I may have showcased this post.  Thank you to the bloggers who host such wonderful parties.
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