Sunday, October 28, 2012

Rub-A-Dub-Dub Three Ducks in a Tub--Baby Shower Cake

My friend Toni asked me to make this super cute cake for a baby shower she was hosting.  Most of the cakes I'm asked to do are covered in fondant so it was fun to do a cake without it for a change.  The cake was yellow cake with vanilla frosting.  The sides of the cake were covered with staggered Pirouette cookies (I may or may not have eaten the broken ones--SHHHHH!) and the water was tinted piping gel.  Everything was edible except for the ducks and the ribbon.  Thanks for checking it out!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Name Skeletons!

I promise, I don't get paid anything for mentioning Pinterest.  I just love it.  Wholeheartedly.  I found this project on Pinterest about 3 months ago and became pretty obsessed with it.  I knew this was a Halloween must.  I'll go ahead and show you the finished result!  (My camera is still broken.  Bummer.  Had to take these with my phone.)


Cute, right?  You only need a few basic materials:
*A few sheets of plain white paper.  The stuff you use in your printer works awesomely.  I cut out hands, heads, and feet in groups but one skeleton would probably take 2-3 sheets.
*A pencil or pen
*Scissors
*Glue
*Poster Board (if you cut these smaller you could probably fit them on construction or scrapbook paper.  GAH!  These would be cute in a scrapbook!  Now I have to make them again in miniature.)

The first thing you want to do is take one sheet of the white paper and fold it in half lengthwise with the open end at the top and the folded end at the bottom.

Next, write your name (or your kid's name, dog's name--whatever floats your boat) in cursive on the folded sheet of paper filling up the sheet.  You can see I stretched "Mom" out but I also tried this with Jennifer and I was able to fit it on there too.

Cut out around the top and sides of the name leaving a bit of space around the pencil marks.  Don't chop up that folded side just yet!

Now, cut around the bottom.  But be careful.  You want it to stay joined with just some parts cut out. You don't want to go around the letters like you did on the top.  Just a snip here and there should do it!

Open it up and marvel at how much your name looks like a skeletal torso.  Does that sound creepy?  HA!

You'll want to cut out the head, arms, and legs next.  I free-handed those but the head is basically an oval with two circles and a semi-circle cut out.  The hands are just L-shapes with 5 digits on the end.  The legs are long skinny rectangles with triangular shaped feet.  You could make these more detailed if you'd like but I thought this was kind of cartoon-y cute. And since A is freaked out by Halloween this year, this was a safe bet.

Dry fit the pieces on the poster board.  You can see in the top photo that our skeletons have different poses.  This gives you a chance to play around with placement before you glue the skeleton down.

All that's left to do is glue these on to whatever back piece you'd like.  We used orange poster board but you could use whatever.  Two of these skeletons fit on a regular 22 x 28 sheet.  As I was gluing these down I had the idea that you could paint over these with glow-in-the dark paint.  That would be fun!
 
And there you have it!  I was able to crank out four of these in about an hour.  This would be a fun project for Halloween or for a class studying the skeletal system.  Older kids should be able to do this with very little guidance.  Younger kids will need some help.  I noticed in the original pin that they also did it with the capital letter of the name at the neck.  We did ours as the pelvis.  It's totally up to you.  Whatever you thinks looks best is probably best!
One more look at the finished project.


If you don't know us personally, do you have any guesses as to what our kids' names are?  Don't go peeking at other posts!  Try to figure it out!

I'd love to see these if you make them, so try it out and then link to your post in the comments!  Or email a picture to me (our email address can be found in the "Contact Us" tab on the right hand side).

Happy crafting!


Jen

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Pinterest Challenge--Holiday Edition

By now, my love of Pinterest is well known.  I actually try to do some of the projects that I pin, but I realize that I'm in the minority there.  But why?  Most aren't hard.  Heck, most of the time there are even tutorials to help you out.  I think it's a motivation thing.  It's easy to sit at the computer in your pajamas and pin things while you sip on a cup of coffee (which I may or may not be doing at this very moment!!) but actually getting up and doing it...eh...not so much.
My sister Jamie and my cousin's fiance' Rachel are also proficient pinners who like to do the projects they pin.  So I had this idea.  What if we turned Christmas this year into a handmade affair?  What if we pinned something, made it, and then gifted it?  Cray cray, right?  I kind of thought they'd give me that whole, "Girl, you've lost your mind" look, but they didn't!  They jumped right on board!  So we're going to be handmaking Christmas gifts and decor items this year!
Now...your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to create at least one holiday gift or decoration from something you've pinned on Pinterest.  Just one.  It doesn't have to be a verbatim copy.  It can just be used as inspiration (I like those best anyway!).  Then I want you to photograph your project and send me the photo as well as the original pin.  You can send it via Facebook or email (follow the link on the sidebar).  That's it. The photos will go live on my blog after January 1, 2013.  Join us?

Disclaimer:  We are in no way affiliated with Pinterest.  I'm just a girl who likes to pin and craft.


Happy pinning AND accomplishing!

Jen

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fall Bucket List 2012





We're almost a month into fall already and I'm just now putting together a bucket list.  What?  I have four kids and time is a luxury...and I kind of forgot about it.  OOPS!  Oh well, better late than never!  Here is our Bucket List for the rest of Fall 2012!




I'll update as we make our way through the list!
Jen

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Sweet 1st Birthday Party for Our Princess

Our sweet baby daughter turned one in July.  Between the madness of our oldest niece getting married and the fact that I haven't been in much of a party mood since my sister passed away, her birthday party got put on hold.  We got to October and I realized that if I didn't get on it, she wouldn't have a first birthday party.  And I'm really making an honest attempt to "Choose Joy", so what could be more joyful than a super cute and pleasantly plump little angel smooshing around in pink cake frosting?  Answer?  Um...NOTHING!  So here it is, D's first birthday party!

The dining room table set up with flowers, the cupcake tower, and yummy sweet treats! 

We added bowls of Starburst candies, platters of white chocolate and sprinkle covered pretzel rods that we made, and plates of Oreo fudge creme cookies that we drizzled with pink candy melts.
Sweet butterfly napkins, lavender garden trellis plates and wispy flowers say "garden party" to me.  
Her smash cake covered in dainty ruffles.
Pennant name banner that I made.
My girl and me checking out the gift from my parents.
Happy birthday, Princess!
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that she approves!  HA!
She had a fantastic day!  Thanks for checking out her party!

Jen

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Nursery Reveal!

Our daughter will be 15 months old tomorrow.  I actually started writing this post in November and somewhere along the line I got distracted and never got around to photographing the room so it was never posted.  MY BAD!  This is not a terribly lost post (I'll post some project tutorials separately later on) but there are lots of photos!
(Disclaimer:  First of all, let me apologize for the quality of the photos.  I am a rockstar at a lot of things but photography is not one of them.  I do well to operate my point and shoot digital camera and the camera on my phone.  And of course, when I decide to photograph the room, my digital camera doesn't want to cooperate.   I'm sure it's user error!  Second of all, let me apologize for the lighting in the photos. For some reason, I've never been able to get the light right in here to photograph it.  Light on, light off, shades open, shades closed...I've tried it all.  I'm sure this goes back to not being a photography rockstar.  And there you have it!)
Let's take a counter clockwise tour of the room, shall we?
When you stand at the door, this is the view you get.  The bed was A's when he was a baby and Barry and I also refinished the chest of drawers and dresser at that time. 

This is a straight on view of the canopy above her bed.  I didn't want anything she could remotely get tangled in but loved the idea of sleeping under a gauzy canopy!  It's nothing more than a sheer curtain panel.  I'll post a tutorial to that project later on!

I was inspired to add a little flower chandelier under her canopy.  The best part?  All of these flowers and the letter "D" were items my sister used to decorate for my baby shower.  I love that there is a bit of sentiment to it.  And it's cute. ;-)  Tutorial coming on that soon as well!


This chest of drawers and the matching dresser that you'll see in a moment were mine when I was a girl and they were old then.  They just needed a little TLC and a fresh coat of stain!

The basket was part of a gift from my baby shower and the flowers were picked up at Hobby Lobby at 50% off the regular price.  We LOVE that little round sound machine.  It was also a gift and quite arguably in my top 5 baby gifts ever.

My friend Sherry painted the name plaque for the room.  Isn't it precious?  She's so talented!  It always photographs washed out.  It's much more vibrant in person.  She used a photo of the bedding to get the colors.  She's never even seen it actually hanging in the room!

In the corner between the chest and the dresser is the rocking chair.  It's Amish made, super-comfortable, and very well-built.  It doesn't really go with the style of the room, but it's been used to rock every one of my babies to sleep and for that reason I love it and it stays.  My mother got that sage green throw at Sears when I was still pregnant and it is the softest blanket I've ever felt in my life.  It's perfect for snuggles during those late night feedings.  The teddy was C's and he has since deemed himself "too old" for it, although I do occasionally find it in his room.  Hmmmm...  That little pillow came with the bedding set.  The paper lanterns were used at my baby shower.


This is the dresser that matches the chest of drawers.  It used to have a giant (and exceedingly heavy) mirror that went with it, but I sacrificed that as a young teen when I found myself more in need of a desk than a vanity.  When the time comes, I can just remove the changing pad and it's a desk for her as well.  Perhaps she'll be a budding young author like her mother was at one time!

This shelf was black in a former life!  It used to hold the letters used to spell A's name when the nursery was his.  A few coats of ivory spray paint (Krylon's Dual Paint + Primer) gave it new life and filled the gap above the changing table.  The photos of my girl are ones that I took when she was 4 or 5 months old.  The silver frames were quite inexpensive (I think I picked them up at Walmart) and I added the pink flowers (from the scrapbooking department at Hobby Lobby).  The "D" is actually hanging on the wall and is covered in scrapbooking paper from Hobby Lobby.  The cross was attached to a gift at my baby shower and I love that little pop of something other than pink up there.  The piggy bank was a Christmas gift.  The vase is not a vase at all but a crocheted baby bottle cover on a baby bottle.  I took off the nipple and filled it with more flowers from my shower.

My mother found this sign on clearance at Hobby Lobby (we love the Hob Lob around here!).  I attached some ribbon and it became a cute bow hanger for her closet door.

This is the "Whomp! Whomp! Whomp!" wall.  It's the only thing still not finished.  I'm working on something for that spot, it's just not ready for its closeup yet.  It will hide a lot of that toy clutter.


Rosa centifolia = Blush hundre... Digital ID: 1111008. New York Public LibraryRosa damascena = Great royal r... Digital ID: 1111026. New York Public Library

I posted about free artwork that you could get from the New York Public Library here.  Just hop over there, read about how to get it and then follow the link to the NYPL.  Here is what I chose for the nursery.  It's from A Collection of Roses from Nature from 1799.  The frames were gold and were given to me.  A few coats of Krylon's "Ballet Pink" did the trick.

 Two straight valences came with the bedding set.  I got a little crafty and came up with this!  A tutorial will be forthcoming, but trust me when I say it is super easy.  I added a pair of sheers and stitched a shade to cover the window.  It was also a super easy project.  You could even do it "no-sew"!  I like that even though the shade is pink (which is obviously all over the room) there is difference in pattern with the gingham.

This little quilt rack isn't a quilt rack at all.  It's a towel rack!  I wanted a small iron quilt rack to go between the bed and the window but they were way more than I wanted to spend and much too big.  I only needed it to hold baby blankets, for Pete's sake!  During a late night feeding, inspiration struck me and this little guy was picked up for less than $20.  The little baby crib at the foot of the bed was built by my Uncle Bill for my Nanny who collected dolls.  Uncle Bill and Nanny are singing with angels now and never knew my daughter.  I love that my girl has had this passed on to her and will have the opportunity to cherish something my uncle built and my Nanny loved.
I know you probably can't get an idea of the bedding because we don't use it "properly" but here it is:
Riley's Roses Floral Baby Bedding
We used bedding from that company for A also and can't say enough good things about their bedding.  We don't use the bumpers in bedding sets but even at the 8 pieces we do use, it's still a great deal!
That concludes the tour!  I hope you enjoyed seeing my gal's room!

Jen