Saturday, August 31, 2013

Cereal Box Party Hats

Hi everyone! 

I don't normally post on weekends, but I just had to make this exception.  Guess what?  Guess what?

I'll give you a moment.

Ok, time's up.   I'm going to be a craft contributor at Handmade Charlotte

*Insert girly-high-pitched squeal here.*

Handmade Charlotte is a lovely DIY, craft, and design blog.  I'm so thankful for this opportunity to try something new.  Here's my first contribution:  A Cereal Box Party Hat.

DIY Recycle Cereal Box Party Hat

Cereal boxes and packing tape make up the backbone of this cute bear visor. If you'd like to make yourself one, click here for the instructions and template.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Orange Peel Canola Oil Candle

Did you ever watch MacGyver?  I was introduced to the show by an older cousin, and I loved it. MacGyver was my hero.  Give him a paper clip and he could do anything, unlock handcuffs, start a car, or even disarm a bomb.

Last week, I definitely channeled my childhood hero when I made this orange peel candle:

Can you believe that it was only made out of two materials?  1.Orange peel and 2. Canola oil.   Yup.  That's it.  Super duper easy and it stayed lit for over an hour. 

  • Orange
  • Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Canola Oil (or probably any oil, really...)
  • Lighter


1.  Slice around the circumference of your orange, trying your best to not slice the fruit inside.  Then, use your finger to carefully peel off the two halves.  One half should have a white membrane stem sticking out of it.   Keep that stem intact! It's going to act as your candle's wick.  The other half will become a decorative "hat."

2.  Cut a design out of the half without the wick.  Now you've got a little "hat" for your candle.  (Note:  This hat is more for looks than function.  It makes a pretty light design, but ends up getting quickly singed by the flame.)

3.  Pour oil into the bottom half with the "wick."  Then, light the "wick."  It'll take a little while for the stem to light, but once it does, you've got yourself a lovely, long lasting candle.

 Happy MacGyvering!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Tattoo A Banana

I went a wee bit crazy....
and turned our apartment into a fruit tattoo parlor.

(I simply just followed the temporary tattoo directions and pretended that the banana was my child's arm.)  

Who knew that temporary tattoos would stick to bananas?

Hey!  What's this on my banana?

Happy Wednesday!

(Interested in another way to decorate your beloved yellow fruit?  Click here)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Spiked and Braided T-shirt Bracelet

I can't believe that September is just a week away.  Eeek!  Is it just me, or does every store sign seem to scream "Back to School?"

Growing up, I loved this time of the year for two reasons.  1)  I loved school. (Yeah, nerds!) and  2)  I loved back to school shopping.  New blank notebooks?  Swoon.   New clothes and shoes?  Double swoon. (Was anyone else like this as a kid?)

But, buying a ton of new items gets costly quite quickly. 

Fueled by my thrifty nature, I made these spiked and braided t-shirt bracelets.  They came out pretty cute. I like to imagine some creative, quirky gal wearing them to the first day of school. 

The colors are quite girly, but the spikes show that you've got some spunk!

  • Multicolored T-shirt
  • Fabric scissors
  • Spikes with screwbacks
  • Pen (Optional)
  • Needle and thread
  • Tacky Glue

Monday, August 26, 2013

What's up, Chuck?

This weekend we went into the city and visited Chelsea Market.  There were so many interesting things to see and eat.  But,  oy vey! I forgot just how crowded New York can get.  It was a wee bit overwhelming to be constantly surrounded by a sea of people.

Here are a couple of photos from our adventure that day... 

Exposed brick and large industrial fans give the place such character
Butcher's shop
Chuck and I were dying to run our hands through the mountains of spices...
Lunch time!
Super adorable cookies... but unfortunately, not gluten free. :(

Yurmmmmy fresh seafood...
We were all super tuckered out by the time we got home
Happy Monday! 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Fancy shmancy massage

For all those hard-working, long suffering, bone weary people out there.... I recognize you... and I salute you.  You are doing a wonderful job.   

And with this week's epic potty training battle, I join you.

To celebrate the end of the hard week, I decided to treat myself to a massage.  What fancy spa did I go to?  What masseuse did I hire?  Ehhh... well... see for yourself.

"Just relax mom.  I'm working out a knot right here."

"Ok lady, time's up.  Now you massage me."

Hope you have a great weekend!  I'll see you next week.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Perler Bead Zip Tie Statement Necklace

Ok, ok.  I'm still on the Perler bead kick.

I can't help it!  The jar is still practically full of beads.... and it mocks me whenever I walk by.  I tried hiding them in a craft drawer, but it didn't help.  I hear tiny colorful voices crying  "Leslie, Leslie.  Use us.  Use us!"

So like any crafter, I caved in to their siren calls.

Inspired by Mark Montano, I used zip ties to make these quick and easy Perler bead statement necklaces.  Tada!

I think the right one looks really cute and fresh.  I was on the fence about the left one... but it was a hit with Chuck.  He decided to wear it to church on Sunday (along with a backwards basketball cap, purple exercise shorts, and sneakers.....oi!) 

So if you too find yourself taunted by Perler beads, you could try making these necklaces too.  Let's begin!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Make Party Blowers

When we go out to eat, one of Chuck's favorite things to get is bubble tea. 

It's so cute watching him order.  Too short to reach the counter, Hubby has to lift Chuck up so that he's eye level with the cashier. 

Of course, it's the same lady behind the counter every week.  Even though she already knows what he's going to say, she always asks Chuck what he wants.  And without fail, he gives the same response:  bubble tea with a blue straw.  (Blue is his favorite color.)

The lady then giggles when she hears his little voice.  When she's done, she hands over the drink and a couple extra straws.  (He loves straws.)  Typically, Chuck just blows and chews on the extras... but this time he generously gave them to me so that I could craft with them.  

I saw how much he loved blowing on party blowers at another child's birthday party.  So, of course I had to try making them for him at home.  

  • Magazine paper (Cut into 5x9" rectangles)
  • Bubble tea straws cut in half
  • Scissors
  • Tape

1.  Fold your paper in thirds lengthwise.   Tape your paper where the two sides meet. 

2.  Fold over one end of the paper and tape that down too.  (Make sure your tape all the openings closed.  You want your party blower to be air tight.) 

3.  Starting from the sealed end, tightly wrap your magazine paper around a pen.   (Do this a couple of times with the pen and then without the pen to make sure that the curl stays.  I've also seen some other bloggers, like Design Mom, wrap their rolls with rubber bands to help the curl to stay better.)

4.  Now stick your straw in the open end of the paper.  Fold your paper over the straw and tape it down.  (Again, make sure that everything is air tight.) 

And that's it!  Hand your party blowers over to your kid and watch them have fun!

We just used magazine paper, so our blowers only lasted for about a couple of minutes before they stopped recoiling or ripped.  But not to worry!  I washed, dried, and cut up the straws to make some "beads."  Chuck then enjoyed stringing them onto some pipe cleaners. 

Happy crafting!

Monday, August 19, 2013

What's up Chuck?

Hi everyone!  Happy Monday!

This weekend we ventured out to Hoboken to enjoy the lovely, sunny weather.  It felt so nice to get out, stretch our toes, and take in the last couple weeks of summer.  

We've started potty-training Chuck.  It's been a bit more difficult (and messier- eek!) than anticipated.  But, this guy's been a real trooper about it all.

We're also pet-sitting.  Isn't Henry cute?

Sun-worshippers enjoying the day in Hoboken

Heart-attack on a plate....but wow... what a delicious way to go...
Have some bacon, mom!
Bicycle riding with daddy
Even Pink Pig got a chance to enjoy the day.  Can you spot her?

Hope you had a good weekend too!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Make your own Tupperware Spin Art (Method 2)

Today is the last day in our toddler painting series.  Boo hoo.  Sob sob.  There, there, no need to cry.  I'm leaving you with my favorite painting technique of the week.  Now you can make spin art with Tupperware and coins!

- Tupperware
- Tempera Paint
- Paper cut to fit inside of plastic container
- Masking Tape
- Clear Tape
- Coins (We used quarters and pennies) 

1.   Use clear tape to attach your coins to the bottom of the Tupperware.  (We used quarters first, but then found that we had a nicer result when we added some smaller coins like pennies to the bottom of the pile.)
2.  Tape your paper inside the Tupperware container.
3.  Add drops of paint.
4.  Cover your container and spin it around and around.

That's it! Open up your container and admire your lovely spin art.

(For those of you braver folks with older children, you could also try leaving the lid off.  Then, you could try to drip paint into the container as it spins.  I'm not sure if this would work... but it would be fun to try.  Just make sure to cover your work area to keep everything clean!)

And so ends our Toddler Paint Series.  In case you missed the beginning of the series, you can find other cheap and easy ways to paint with toddlers by clicking the links below:
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Make Spin Art using Tupperware (Method 1)

One of my clearest childhood memories was attending a birthday party and getting to make spin art t-shirts.  I remember carefully dripping beads of paint onto my shirt and then watching my artwork spin around and around.  Once the spinning stopped, voila!  All my beads of paint spread out and made a lovely sun burst design.

It was magical.

For some reason this particular memory popped into my head this past weekend  I felt inspired to try making our own spin art with Chuck too.

But how would we do it?  We didn't have a spin art machine, or a salad spinner, or a lazy susan. 
I was stumped.  Luckily, clever hubby came up with two ideas to make spin art using materials that we already had at home.   

- Tempera paint
- Tupperware
- Paper cut to fit the bottom of your Tupperware
- Yarn
- Packing tape
- Masking tape (optional)

1.  Cut a piece of yarn.  Tie it together to make a loop.

2.  Use packing tape to attach the loop to your Tupperware.  Congratulations! You now have a human powered spin art machine.
3.  Place drops of paint into your Tupperware.  (Optional:  You could also tape your piece of paper down into the Tupperware first and then place your drops of paint inside.)

4.  Close the lid and spin your Tupperware around and around. 
 5.  Open your Tupperware to reveal your spin art design.  (We placed a piece of paper over the design to capture the paint.  Alternatively, you could have also just put the paper inside first and then add the paint.)

Really, really easy, right?  The only problem was that our design wasn't really sunburst looking. So clever hubby got to thinking and came up with another solution....

which you'll have to read about tomorrow!
(Can you guess what it is?)

Happy toddler crafting!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Toddler painting with toys

Ok, the title of the post pretty much says it all.

1.  Get some toys.
2.  Dip them in paint.
3.  Watch your kid go to town.
4.  Remind your child to not paint the floor... or wall... or you... or...
5.  Pat yourself on the back for entertaining your child. 
6.  Wash toys and child in bathtub.
7.  Watch your kid go to town cleaning the toys.
8.  Pat yourself on the back for keeping the fun going.

What can I say?  Entertained child = happy child = happy mama

Happy toddler crafting!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Toddler Tupperware and Ball painting

This past weekend, Hubby, Chuck, and I spent a lot of time in the apartment.  To help pass the time, we read lots of books, played lots of games, watched lots of movies, and did a lot of painting. 

This week I thought I'd share four different ways that we painted with Chuck

(Who knows?  Maybe these posts will come in handy if you're ever stuck at home with a toddler too...)

Today we'll start off with method 1:  Tupperware and ball painting 

- Tupperware
- Piece of paper cut to fit inside the Tupperware
- Masking tape
- Tempera paint
- Small ball 

1.  Tape your piece of paper onto the bottom of the Tupperware
2.  Drip drops of paint inside of your container
3.  Add a ball into the container
4.  Close the lid
5.  Shake your container!

6.  That's it!  Open your container and reveal your toddler's Jackson Pollock-esque work of art.

I definitely give this activity a thumbs up.  It wasn't very messy (hooray!) and Chuck enjoyed squeezing the paint and shaking the container.  (Personally, I found shaking the container to be very therapeutic.)

Happy toddler crafting!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Using crafts to encourage others: A look at a Crafting Ezine

It shouldn't come as a shock to you... but I love crafting.

Oy.  How I love crafting.

I love making stuff and I love the idea that my stuff can bring a small smile to other peoples' faces. 

And that's why I'm super thankful that talented bloggers Amy (AmySullivan1) and Lisa (AboutProximity) included my galaxy umbrella in the first issue of their new ezine, Impact.  This is a quarterly magazine that will focus on different ways that we can positively influence others' lives.

Their first issue shares some great ideas for encouraging others through crafts.  You can check it out below!

(Ooh.. those cute winter gloves and foot scrub recipes are calling my name.  Happy crafting and have a great weekend.)

Note:  If you're having problems viewing the embedded magazine, you can also click here too.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Perler Bead Safety Pin Bracelet

And so the Perler bead craze continues!

(You know how they have "Shark Week" on tv?   Maybe I should have called this "Perler Week..."  Hmm...)

Last night while watching tv, I strung a whole bunch of black and white Perler beads onto some safety pins.  Why?  Well, because I wanted to make this bracelet...

The black and white design makes it quite graphic, the Perler beads make it fun, and the silver safety pin bits make it a bit edgy.  When I wear it, I imagine that I'm a hip preschool teacher going out to a club.  (Wow.  I really need to get out more....)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Perler Bead Statement Necklace

Yes.  I'm still on a Perler Bead kick.  I'm sorry.  I can't help it.  I'm the kind of person that likes to finish things off... and so far I've been thwarted from doing just that.  Boo.  Even after all this crafting, I still have like a billion beads left.

A billion!  Ack!  What do people do with all these beads anyway?

So today I'm going to share how I made this statement necklace using Perler beads.  But, full disclaimer here... honestly, I'm on the fence over the results.  Cute?  Or kind of crappy?  I'll let you decide....

- 1/8" wide ribbon, cut at 72 inches
- Scissors
- Masking Tape
- Perler beads
- Ruler

Monday, August 5, 2013

What's up, Chuck?

How was your weekend?  Ours flew by way too quickly. A college friend came up from Maryland to visit us.  We hung out at home on Friday and Sunday, but on Saturday I put on my non-mommy clothes and explored Manhattan with her.

Ooh la la.  I felt like I was in college again.  It was so nice having her around....
 and I miss her a whole bunch already. 

Here are some photos from our weekend:

Chuck and I attended a friend's birthday party.  As you can see, he kept the party going as we walked home.

My friend's a pretty good storyteller....

and artistic to boot.  (Can you believe that she doodled this shirt freehand with fabric markers? Whoa.)

We tried Xi'an Famous Foods' hand-pulled noodles... Yummy oxtail...

and watched a Broadway show...

 and toured Soho (which, by the way, is really just way too glamorous for me....)

I also found out that Topshop teamed up with Project CANVAS to raise funds for art programs in the city.  If you're interested in supporting art programs (and getting a pair of one-of-a-kind kicks), visit Topshop's Soho store.  Local artists will personally decorate your purchased shoes until 8/8.

Happy Monday!