Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Dawson's Day Challenge

Have you ever had an idea come to you that you were so excited about and you couldn't wait to share it?  Have you ever watched one of your ideas blossom into something better than what you could have imagined?  Well...the Dawson's Day Challenge is one of those ideas!  I can't wait to see how the joy it can bring will spread and grow every year.

What is the Dawson's Day challenge?  
Take flowers to a parent spending the day at the hospital with their child!     

Dawson was an amazing little boy that brought joy into anyone that met him.  His parents are amazing people that bring strength to anyone that knows them.  You can read the story behind this challenge HERE.  You can also go to Your Life Uncommon to read more about Dawson and his amazing family!

In the past year we have moved back near my hometown so I will be taking flowers to the same hospital I was born in exactly 33 years and 2 days ago!  

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pinterest Party

My cousin is having a 'Pinterest Party' - GENIUS!!!  A bunch of women getting together to craft fun stuff found on Pinterest.  I was going to make a cute magnet board with stove covers but quickly changed my mind when I saw these trays.  SO CUTE!!!  I guess it's not actually a Pinterest idea but it was Pinterest inspired! 

Just drill some holes, add some ribbon and find some cute magnets.  You can always paint them and mod-podge some paper on it too if you want. 

I think I'm going to use them to hang pictures but they would be super cute for recipes holders in the kitchen too.

Friday, March 25, 2011


THIS was worth the wait!!!  You’re going to LOVE these!!!

I first got this idea from The Thrifty Chick blog.  I tried and tried to find the link but the blog has since been removed as I learned the author sadly passed away.  You can see the picture of her Yahtzee set HERE.  I had them on my “TO CRAFT list” for quite awhile and when I mentioned what I wanted to do to my great friend Amy Lindstrom she got so excited and inspired me to get going.  I go through all the steps we took briefly here but she was planning on doing a tutorial sometime.  I’ll let you know when it’s up!  UPDATE...***IT'S UP HERE!!!***

These ended up being way more work than I thought.  Mostly because I made 9 sets and she made 10.  SHEESH!  They turned out WAY CUTER than I imagined though so it was worth it.  Everyone that got one LOVED them!!!  Just look how CUTE they turned out!!!
Family Yahtzee
If you are only make one or two sets then I would suggest you just go to a craft store and buy 5 wooden blocks.  If you are making MANY sets then that gets expensive pretty fast.  I had a long list and so did Amy so I headed to the lumber yard and picked up some 2x2 sticks of wood.  Did you know they’re not really that size?  It’s true.  They’re really more like 1.5 x 1.5.  We measured to make sure we cut them into cubes.

The cutting…now that was an adventure!  We busted out my husband’s chop saw and safety goggles and went to work.  The only problem…well, we didn’t know EXACTLY how to use the saw.  I’d seen it used many times and it looked simple enough.  I knew how to be safe with it but just didn’t know how to turn it ON.  Problem?  A little!  ***DISCLAIMER***DO NOT USE POWER TOOLS if you do not know what you are doing!!!  As I was looking all over to figure out where to turn it on I was showing Amy where you hold to bring the blade down and suddenly it turned ON!  Scared the CRAP out of me!!!  Amy snapped a picture of that exact moment as she jumped but I don’t have the picture.  I’m sure it’s lovely though!

Now that I knew how to turn on the saw I knew how to use it.  We CAREFULLY chopped enough to make 19 sets of these Yahtzee sets.  Well...almost carefully.  Don't try and cut the last couple on the stick.  They may fly across the garage.  Just sayin'.

Once they were chopped then it was time to sand them.  OH MY!!!  Sanding almost 100 blocks is EXHAUSTING.  Luckily we had a circular sander.  We still had to split it over a couple days.  Boy were we happy when we made it to the bottom of that pile.

Then came the painting, sanding, staining, paper cutting, corner rounding, modge podging, photo collecting, photo editing, photo formatting, photo printing, photo cutting, more corner rounding, and more modge podging.

Can I just say that I would DIE without Publisher.  I use it for EVERYTHING!!!  It is the most used program on my computer BY FAR!  That's what I used to make all the pictures 1x1 to fit on the sides of the dice and add the numbers.  I all six pictures onto a 4x6 page and sent them off to the photo printer.  5 copies of that picture and I had all I needed.

I didn’t stop there.  I found a bunch of Christmas tins at the thrift store and spray painted them and then modge podged paper and photos on the front.  Some of them also got “JUNIOR”games complete with a scoring board modge podged on the inside of the lid.  To keep score I made little magnets.  I used buttons and modge podged a hole punch circle on the top of it and then glued a magnet on the back.  A magnet that small?  I used the roll of magnet that you can cut to your own size.  It worked great on the tins.    Each set had to have 5 sets of 5 different colors.

The bottom of the tins got one of my family pictures that said “We LOVE you!”  It was an easy way to add my ‘signature’ to the gift.

I made score sheets for each game with their family pics and names on them.  It was fun to come up with the names for each game.  My mom has a wall of family pictures with a sign that says “Leaving a Legacy” so the set I made for my parents was named “Lega-zee”.  I got fun old pictures and then so more current ones.  It turned out so cute!  Have fun creating the names.
Yahtzee Scorecard 4
Depending on the size of the tin I had to reformat the scoresheet to fit.  Here’s the one I made with my cute family.  Of course ours is the one game that never got a box.  I was DONE!!!  Funny enough it ended up in a tin that says ZOO.  Funny...or fitting?
Yahtzee Scorecard 3
I told you they were CUTE!!!  Lots of work for 9 sets but TOTALLY worth it!  I made one later with my sister and it wasn't bad at all.  These were LOVED by everyone that got them and totally cheap! 

These are perfect presents for any occasion… birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, happy day presents!  Who wouldn’t love one of these?  Completely unique and personal.

Monday, February 28, 2011

French Bread Pan

I had a question about where to buy a French Bread pan to make the YUMMY Hawaiian Bread I've posted on here.  Well, I have some strong feelings about my pan so I figured I would share for any of you that may go out and buy one.

DO NOT buy a French bread pan that looks like this...
You can see that this pan is just a solid piece of metal.  I had one of these at first and I HATED it!  The bottom of the bread would bake great at the ends but the middle was always a little undercooked.  If I baked it longer to brown the middle then the ends would be overdone.  Don't do it!

You want to search out a pan that looks like this...
You can see that it has little holes all along the bottom of it to help the bread bake more evenly.  My bread turns out SO MUCH better in this pan.  It even makes cute little polka-dots on the bottom to make me feel professional.  haha!  

This pan is a little more expensive than the solid one but it is definitely worth the difference!  My mother in-law bought mine for me but I have found they should be pretty easy to find...according to Google Shopping anyway.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Easy and Cheap Photo Holder

My daughter wanted to make something for her two good friends for Christmas...and they ended up being more of a Happy Day present because we didn't quite have them done for Christmas.  They turned out pretty cute.  The best part is that they cost less than $1.  Of course it would be more expensive if you don't have craft supplies already but once you buy them they would last a long time.  I only had to pay for the pictures.  I got the wood from a friend that is a contractor.  I just asked him to bring me some scraps.  We used some paper I already had and ribbons from my stash.  The wire was also some I had left from other craft projects.  A little paint and mod podge and you have a CUTE and personal photo holder.  I also made some like this before Christmas for Christmas card holders.  You can personalize them with words, stickers, wood cut-outs.  Whatever you want.
You just need to drill small holes at the top of the 2x4 and twist a wire around the end of some needle-nose pliers.  You don't even have to glue the wire in the holes so it can be taken apart and stored easier.

This is a PERFECT project to do with kids because you really can't mess it up.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Valentine Rice Bags

We received a wheat heating bag from a friend for Christmas and my kids have LOVED it!  They fight over who gets to take it to bed with them.  I decided it would be fun to make little rice bags for each of the kids in my daughter's class for their valentines this year.  She has been SO EXCITED and has loved helping.  Her job has been to sew one side of the bag and then fill them with rice.  I'm sewing them shut so we don't end up with rice everywhere.  I just used some fabric I've had stored forever but never found anything to use it for.  PERFECT!  I thought about making them heart shaped but decided for the quick method since I was making 22 of these things.
I found a cute poem and modified it to fit better and tied it on with a little curling ribbon.  Blue for boys and pink for girls.  We're not quite finished with the girls yet but you get the idea.
Instead of giving something sweet,
I made a pillow for your Valentine treat.
This little pillow filled with rice,
is such a comforting device.
Microwave 1 or 2 minutes on high
and kiss those aches and pains goodbye.
Apply it to a troubled spot
and the heat will help ease the pain a lot.
Or, warm those little toes so cold.
You'll find this nice to have and hold.
Or, freeze it for a little while,
and fix that boo-boo up in style.
Instead of a bag filled with ice,
use this pillow filled with rice. 

I was surprised how quick and easy these came together.  I didn't try anything fancy to cover up the stitches.  I'm sure the kids won't mind and it will be fun to get something other than just candy and cards.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Valentine Chocolates

What says "I LOVE YOU!" better than homemade Valentine chocolates?  These are DELICIOUS!!!

My husband LOVES Take 5 candy bars so I decided that's what I would make this year.  They are pretty simple and they even end up looking somewhat like a heart.  I'm sure they would look more like one if you really work at it but I didn't have the patience.
Unwrap caramels and place in a double boiler with a couple tablespoons of evaporated milk (I used regular milk because I didn't have any evaporated).  I also don't have a double boiler so I just put a canning ring at the bottom of my pan and then a glass bowl on top of it.  You could also use the microwave, just make sure you don't overheat it.

Place pretzel knots on a wax paper lined cookie sheet and spoon about a teaspoon of melted caramel into each of the pretzels.  Place in in the freezer to cool.  If you want to make them into suckers, place a sucker stick in the caramel before it cools.

Mix up your favorite peanut butter ball recipe but don't add quite as much powdered sugar.  You want the dough to be a little sticky and not crumbly.  (Let me know if you want my recipe and I'll share.  I just don't have it on me right now.)

Place about a tablespoon of peanut butter mixture on the caramel pretzels and form into a heart shape.  Put back in the freezer.

Melt chocolate in your double boiler and dip cooled pretzels and place back on the waxed paper to set.  You can use milk or dark chocolate.  I did some of both.  If the caramel is sticking to the wax paper, place back in the freezer for a few minutes and it should come right off.

I've also made some without the caramel and they were still YUMMY!!!  If you have any leftover chocolate, just dip plain pretzels in it.   You can make them pretty by drizzing white chocolate over the top.