Archive | February, 2011

Updated Family Tree

21 Feb

I’ve been looking for something to place above the TV in our family room. What better place to display a family tree than a family room! I scoured the web for modern takes on family trees. There are a ton of great ideas and a few in particular that I liked…

This one is from Cozyblue and can be purchased from their Etsy shop. I think this one in particular would be great as a gift for anyone starting their own family. This obviously not the family tree for you if you are looking to include several generations.

Le Papier Studio offers family trees displaying up to 4 generations. Everything is customizable. You can even choose from a number of silhouettes or send in photos to have personalized ones made. I love silhouettes and find these both beautiful and classic. Whatever your design sensibility may be this family tree will add a timeless touch.

Martha Stewart always knows how to do it right. This family tree is more playful and looks great as a wall mural. She offers templates and a step by step guide to DIY. The idea to add owls as well as birds instead of just leaves gives this tree an updated look, as do the bright, fun colors. Since owls are often a symbol of wisdom, it’d be really significant to include the elder members of the family as owls.

Many of my crafting is born of my “gotta have it now” attitude….for better or worse. Since I find it difficult to wait for the shipping and handling process to play out I am more like to make my own rather than purchase online. So this morning I made a small family tree to hang above the TV.

I found a modern tree for inspiration at Byrdiegraphics and decided to carry the faux woodgrain contact paper from the dining room over to the family room. I found some scrapbook paper that was patterned with flowers and some beautifully glittered leaves. I cut the leaves out to be used on my tree. Once I had everything in place I used a fine tip Sharpie to write in everyone’s first names.

The Finished Product:

Project One Hundred Animals

18 Feb

Need some animal art? Check out Stuart Wade’s Project One Hundred Animal high quality prints! You can even request an animal print and watch him create!

Re-Style File #1

16 Feb

I have a tub full of clothes that are too big, weird, out of style, etc. Today I tackled a dress. This dress was given to me and it just didn’t work. It had some fit issues. Also, the before pic wasn’t the original before pic. By this point, I had already seam ripped off half of the length.

I decided to make a cute spring time skirt. I seperated the top of the dress from the skirt. I took the bottom length of the skirt and added it as an extra layer for fullness. I had a lace trim in a box of goodies and used it for a subtle detail just below the elastic waist… and viole!

Crafty Project #1

15 Feb

I spent the weekend behind the sewing machine. I have a sick family, so it wasn’t easy. I completed the first of my crafty sewing projects, The Quilted Lunch Bag!

It’s a fun project. I completed mine with some fabric that was given to me by my grandmother. I think when the kids get ready for school, I can create some fun lunch bags with a little of thier personality put in.

Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies

14 Feb

Our large and spread-out family gets together once a month to celebrate all birthdays that fall in that month.  It saves a lot of back and forth since there is almost always something to celebrate with our bunch!

Over the weekend we headed to Grandma’s to celebrate the February babies (Happy Birthday Summer, Nathan, Caitlyn and Lucas!).  We typically enjoy potluck style meal.  My contribution is almost always dessert.  So for February I brought whoopie pies!  I made Chocolate Chip Whoopie Pies and Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies. 

This was my first time trying out the peanut butter recipe.  They taste similar to peanut butter cookies.  I paired it with milk chocolate frosting.  They are simple and not over-powering.  Honestly, they aren’t my favorite, but my family seemed to enjoy them.  Trying new flavors and combinations is part of the fun of Whoopie Pies though, isn’t it?!  What’ll be next?

Just a little planning…

13 Feb

I sat down the other night and went through the bin full of fabric. I don’t know why, I was in a planning kind of mood… I kind of did an inventory and chose my next projects. On Friday night, I sat down and cut my patterns. I like to cut a couple projects at one time so that when I am ready, I can just sew it all together.

I have decided to make wine bottle gift bags, quilted lunch bags, oven mits and a kid’s craft apron. The projects are very crafty.. for a reason though. I was given a TON of quilter’s fabric from my grandmother recently. I’m not a quilter, but I didn’t want the fabric to go to waste. These projects are small in size, so fabric quarters will work great. Also, if I’m short on one fabric, I have a coordinating color that won’t look out of place as trim or a pocket.

To be continued….

Flower Power

12 Feb

I have had an empty flower bed since we moved into our house two summers ago. It never really bothered me before, I never knew what to put in it. It’s a partial sun location and I couldn’t find any plants that I liked that much to put there. Also, I’m lazy. I said it! Yard work is LAME! 

It became apparent that something had to be planted there. My 17 month old son LOVES dirt! He’s such a boy! This flower bed became his favorite play spot. After chasing him away, numerous times, it was decided something had to be done.

Last Saturday, I planted new flowers in the flower bed as little boy repellant. So far, it’s successful! No more dirt throwing/eating! Now the ultimate test.. can I keep the flowers alive? That is to be determined…

Hold all calls, please.

9 Feb

This Valentine’s Day I think we all need this bluntly told phonekerchief by designer Ingrid Zweifel and for only $15 why not let everyone know that quiet time is good for all.

Exclusively at Uncommon Goods and printed in the USA. Spread the word.

Chocolate Chip Whoopie Pies

8 Feb

Last weekend my son had a playdate with a friend from school.  The whole family was kindly invited over for dinner as well.  Taught never to show up empty-handed, I did what I do best…I baked.  Since we also had T-Ball practice earlier that day, I had little more than an hour to throw something together.

I stared at the pantry for about ten minutes.  It seemed that I was missing at least one ingredient for every recipe that I considered.  Literally, the only recipe that my kitchen could accommodate was that of Chocolate Chip Whoopie Pies with milk chocolate frosting.

The Chocolate Chip Whoopie Pie recipe is actually the same as the Vanilla Whoopie Pie recipe, but with the obvious, chocolate chips, added in at the last moment.  Since whoopie pies are small, it is best to use mini chocolate chips.  Unfortunately I only had only about a 1/2 cup of mini chips.  I used regular sized semi-sweets for the other 1/2 cup and they turned out just fine.

I think the best part about this combo is that it’s basically a classic chocolate chip cookie.  You really can’t go wrong with these treats and finally I got an enthusiastic response out of my husband.  These, he says, are his favorites so far!  Mission Accomplished!

The Poor Man’s Photoshop

3 Feb

While scouring the web for new photo related projects I discovered my new favorite toy…

Picnik is a website providing online photo editing.  There are a ton of different options available to jazz up your photos.  You can purchase a premium membership as well to provide many more effects to fancy your family photos. 

For the everyday sort of use, I don’t think a premium membership is really necessary but there are definately a lot of cool features that would be nice to get my hands on! 

I actually have Photoshop and Illustrator on my home computer, but, sadly, I don’t have a clue how to use them.  Worse yet, I don’t have the time to learn how to use them!   The best part about Picnik.com is just how user friendly it is and the fact that you can use it anywhere.  You don’t need to sign up for anything (its completely free!) and if you have a picassa or photobucket account you can upload your photos in seconds.  You can add borders, text in a variety of fonts, stamped images and colors to any photo. 

Or, you can take any photo, add a rectangle and essentially cover the entire photo with it and then, viola!  You now have a blank canvas!  You can create anyhing without the need for complicated software.  I did just that to create a valentine for my son to pass out to his classmates later this month. 

You can then print out your creations at home, or send them to your local print source (i.e. Target, Fed Ex Kinkos, CVS, Walgreens, Costco).  Since you can save your image as a .jpg it uploads just like a regular old photo. 

You can make invites, cards or even wall art!  Check it out, play around and I promise you won’t be disappointed!

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