Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Instant Candy Dispenser

Candy is such a wonderful treat  and even sweeter when given as a gift. I was so lucky to receive this unique candy dispenser for Teacher Appreciation from one of my students. They knew I love Duke so my little K student painted it himself (with the help of his wonderful mom) and was very proud to give it to me. My husband seem to claim it as soon as I walked in the door with it by stating he had the perfect spot...... right on his desk. The boys and I still eat the candy so I just let him think he found the perfect spot.  I figured as long as I had access to it and I could see it...... I would let it be.

The boys fell in love with it too. They were intrigued that it was made from a glass bowl, wooden knob, flower pot and saucer (yes - that is it besides the paint and some glue). Thinking that everyone should have their own candy dispenser, we decided to spend a day making some. The old fashion gumball machine was the choice for the boys. Each one of them painted it red, then added the details before putting on the clear coat to make it really shine.  They were equally fascinated that I actually had purchased candy from the 5 cent gumball machine when I was a kid.
"Wow mom, I bet you bought lots of candy!" . Unfortunately I had to break the news to them that I usually only had a nickel when I went to the store.
Everyone agreed that chocolate m&m's should go in them. They are so lucky because their MeMe and Pa had gave them each a bag recently. It filled their dispensers right up. Now we just have the constant accusation of "someone has been in my candy jar mom!!!!". Believe me, if that is the worst I have to deal with, we are doing good. Speaking of Pa, we made one for him too.
He is a Tennessee fan so it called for a coat of white and orange. Pa was diagnosed with diabetes a couple of years ago.  We chose to fill his with sugar free hard candy. He use to eat fireballs all the time. I searched everywhere (in a store, guess I should look on the internet too) for them in sugar free form but it was a no go. Overall he was happy with it. Of course you know how grandparents are, they think everything their grandchildren do for them is special. That is why grandparents are the best! I know mine were. I had the most wonderful grandparents and lots of warm loving memories of how special they made me feel!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Tu-tu Cute!

These are cute, don't you think? One of my friends was given these for her newborn daughter. We were all oohing and ahhing over them while she was contemplating what kind of outfit to put together to match the shoes. I suggested a pink onesie with a lime green tutu with a matching design on the onesie. So that is how this little project came to be. We were lucky she actually already had a hot pink onesie so I just cut a flower design with freezer paper to create a stencil. After adding the flower to the front , I thought I would embroider an A across the flower since her sweet little ones name starts with an A. Not only did I think it would look good, I was so anxious to use my new embroidery machine. Yeah.... I just jumped right on that and I could not have been happier with the result. YAY for embroidery machines! 
Now I just had to attach the Tu-tu. Ok let me just say working with netting , tulle is a pain to some degree. I am sure the more you work with it, the easier it becomes. As a mom with 3 boys, well you just do not have lots of dates with tulle. I keep hoping that one day my boys will marry some sweet girls and give me a granddaughter so I can do all of this on a regular basis. As far now I must live vicariously through my friends. *LOL*
This was the end result and I think it turned out tu-tu adorable for words. I can not wait to see "A" in it for her 6 month pictures.

Now I just need to make a little bow to match for her hair and I think she will be set!

I am linking this little Tutu to the following:

Friday, June 25, 2010

Finders Keypers!

I received so many request for directions on how to make these doo-dads so I made a couple last night. This time I managed to take a few photos so maybe this will give you a better idea. As I stated in a previous post, my mom gave me one as a stocking stuffer this past year. I found out that they are actually called "Keypers". I just call mine key clippers. I made these key clippers to wrap around  purse handles for the teachers as end of the year gifts. They are very handy to have, the catch is to actually utilize it though. Honestly I kick myself when I do not. Oh how regretful I am that I did not just clip those keys so they would be hanging right on the inside. Digging in the bottom of my purse is like a landmine.  Fortunately I think I have finally made it a habit to use it.
I used the stamped washer as the decor piece but you could actually use anything: the scrabble tiles, charms, old jewelry pieces, watches, lockets, glass tiles, dog tags.....I think you get the idea. You will need some satin cord or ribbon, jump rings, crimper beads with ring to attach, stamped washer and a clipper.

The first thing you will do is to cut your cord to the desired length, fold it in half and  crimp the ends with the crimper bead so they are enclosed. You will attach a jump ring to the crimper bead. Once that is done, you may attach the stamped washer to another jump ring as well as any little beads or charms you like. I added a little pink bead to this one. Now you just attach the two jump rings together so your end result will look like this.

Attaching the clipper is really easy because you are looping the cord through the ring at the bottom of the clipper.  I wish I could tell you what this knot is called, maybe a slipknot, I don't know but hopefully you understand what  I am saying.

Pull the cord through till the knot is tight and firmly secure. I usually tie another knot to keep it from slipping.

You are done. All that is left is to use the same looping knot to attach the clipper to whatever bag you are using that day. It should look like this when after you have attached it to your tote. I always arrange it so the decor piece is hanging on the outside and the clipper is on the inside. 

Absolutely no reason to ever misplace your keys again!
 Happy crafting everyone!

I am linking this purse key clipper to 

Friendly Friday Feature

Today I would like to share with you a wonderful giveaway that my friend is offering at her new blog Soggy Bottoms Baby Duds . Robin is a kindergarten teacher who makes the most beautiful quilts. She is expecting her first two grandchildren this year and decided it was time to buy an embroidery machine. Since then she has been stiching up a storm and has made some adorable bibs and matching burp cloths. In honor of her new blog, she is offering a giveaway of a monogrammed bib. She has the cutest ladybug font. I love it! 

In addition to all the wonderful baby items, she also provides a fun learning activity every wednesday for you and your tot to do on the weekends. As a K teacher she has a great deal of insight as to the little things you can do to promote your childs literacy development. This week she did a delightful activity involving a ladybug book and making ladybug crackers. 

Robin will give you some great questions to ask your child while you are reading.
So hop on over and take a look. I am sure you will enjoy it as much as I do.
Have a Fabulous and Fun Friday Friends!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Summer Reading Challenge

Well I have tried to post 3 times this week but my blogger account has been acting up, actually my whole google account has been hit or miss this week. That just means I have some catching up to do with you. We did make it to the library the other day to sign up for the summer reading program. We are lucky, we have a city and a county library so we signed up for both. We also swung by Borders and Barnes & Nobles Bookstores to pick up their summer reading sheets. As happy as I am to have my boys in all of these programs, this is alot of sheets & events to keep up with. 3 boys, 4 programs.....hmmm....get the picture?  The boys are still working on their organization skills. I tend to hear "Mom, where is _______? " at least a hundred times a day (ok, I am blowing that out of proportion but honestly it FEELS like it). So I created our summer reading binder. I am a vertical filer. I tend to think better this way and have a lot less of a chance to misplace it if it is in a binder or on a clipboard. So this is what is in the binder: 10 vinyl sheet protectors, one for every child to keep his reading sheets, a sheet for each locations summer events and a sheet for me (They offer an adult summer challenge too) . I put our receipts from the libraries in the front pocket of the binder. This is great to doublecheck that all books are accounted for before we leave to return them. I use the back pocket to store the book review sheets that the boys fill out so that we can discuss the books and I can monitor their comprehension. 

It has been great to utilize this system. I feel so much better knowing that all the info is in one place. Which by the way is always stored on my desk. You do not want this little fellow walking all over the house. They must come to it to record their info. When we are ready to go to the library, I just grab our binder and basket of books to go. A lot less headaches and nobody can say they have lost their sheets!  If you are interested in the book review sheets,  you may find them  at Super Teachers Worksheets . Hope everyone has a great day! :)
I am linking to the following parties, be sure to check them out.

Get your craft on Thurs.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The love of books

Before you say anything, I know that I am addicted to freezer paper stenciling but I have to share how cute these Sk8r shirts turned out for the boys. I have an entire journal devoted just to tshirts designs now. I am trying to draw them out and paint a couple a week so as I do I will be sharing them with you. You have been warned ,*LOL*.
The boys have actually put in request for some designs from their favorite books. I am sure some find that funny. I am absolutely  lucky that my boys LOVE to read. My children get excited about going to the library and the bookstore the way most children react to visiting the toy store. I get so many questions of how I managed to raise readers. It is an excellent question but one that is easily answered. My husband and I love to read. We have books, magazines and newspapers everywhere in the house. Our day usually starts with everyone reading something and always ends with reading. It is always the last thing we do before lights are turned out. My children think it is just very common that you read the newspaper in the morning. They do not know any other way of life. I think the thing that is amazing is that I actually have a son who is dyslexic. Reading did not come easily to him but we dug in and found what worked for him. He never gave up and has a genuine love for books. When the boys were little I read to each of them every night. Once they were able to start reading, they would read to me. Now that they are all older we pick books to read and discuss. It is one of my favorite things to do with my boys. I love to hear their perspective on the stories. I have also been delightfully surprised by some of the stories they have chosen to read together.
Which is why I must wrap this post up. We have got to go to the library and the bookstores today for them to sign up for the summer reading programs. They keep giving me the look...you know the one....  MOM come on, lets go look! 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Whew, school is over!

I really meant to post several times this week but the time just kept slipping away with the last week of school activities running full force. I had such mixed emotions this week, one moment I was excited but then I would have an overwhelming feeling of anxiety and sadness. I had decided before spring break that the school environment was not working for the twins anymore so we are venturing into the land of homeschooling. I am excited about it because I do think our home life will greatly improve but sad that we are leaving behind some wonderful teachers and friends.
As you can tell it was just a rollercoaster of a week but I did manage to put together some great gifts for their teachers and my grade level.
I found these totes and immediately knew I wanted to monogram them with my new embroidery machine but I needed a smaller hoop. UGH! I had to order it and it would not be here in time.  Ok back up plan.....I freezer paper stenciled them instead. Even though it was not the original idea, I do love how they turned out.

I was lucky enough to find an eyeglass case in the turquoise shade to match the stenciling. I also made key clips to tie onto the straps. My mother had given me a key clip for xmas and I love it. I am sure some of you have seen the stamped washers floating around craft blogland.  If not, Helping Little Hands has a nice tutorial of how to do the stamped washers. Be sure to check it out if you want to make some, http://helpinglittlehands.blogspot.com/2010/05/stamped-washer-projects.html . I love the stamped washers and started out making  keychains but then I decided  I would make it a key clip for their totes.
 I hope they find it as useful as I have.

 The last thing I made for them is a game. This is my version of the LCR game. The boys and I have recently discovered LCR and we love it. It is usually a quick game and portable so I always have it in my purse for instant entertainment.

Well I am sure you will hear from me on a regular basis now. The boys and I have  alot of wonderful projects we want to do this summer. As a matter of fact I have a whole project notebook going on and we plan on setting our goals and timelines tonight over dinner. What do you have planned for your summer?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

New spin on old attire!

I love this shirt so much I bought the boys 4 of them last year in different colors.
Now they have grown and the shirts are too short on them.

The boys love these comfy jeans. They are just now that soft jean texture but they are too short for them, they hit mid ankle now. All of us were sad to see these favorites depart but then I decided we could transform them into these:

Did you catch what we did? First , we cut the jeans off into shorts and added the emblem from the shirt to the shorts over the biggest hole in the jeans. Next we cut the bottom of the shirt off  and added it to the bottom of each leg of the shorts.
 Because I am so addicted to freezer stenciling now, we took the design of the emblem and made tshirts to match it. Everybody is happy because some much loved clothing is hanging around a little longer. Oh yeah, it also helps stretch the clothing budget, lol!
 I think that is what DH loved the most!

These are the other emblems I cut off some old shirts that we are planning on reusing
soon. Maybe I can finish them up this weekend.........

I am linking up to these cool parties.



Thursday, June 3, 2010

Got skill!

With 3 boys, we really have lots of marbles (seriously we have them everywhere, in jars, bags, and boxes!) rolling around our house. So I went bonkers when I saw a rug in a toy catalogue. I knew my boys would enjoy it. Unfortunately the frugal side of me just could not justify spending $60+ on it.  I kept thinking I would make a floorcloth out of canvas but time marched on and I did not get around to it because I knew the floorcloth was not the same as the rug. Last year I ran in the dollar store (Family Dollar, I think) to pick up containers for the classroom  and guess what??? I found this for $5!!!!! I instantly knew I could work with this.... a little paint and it would be gametime!
We laid out the lines and circles where we wanted them. Next we added color by taping the sections off and we spray painted the sections in. We just used whatever colors of spray paint we had hanging out in the garage from left over projects.  I added the words and numbers with a sharpie. I would suggest using a new one not a dull one. I did have to switch to a brand new Sharpie to get it as dark as I wanted it.
Here is what we ended up with.....

Now the boys have a rainy day activity and can work on their skills unplugged.
It definately does not get any better than that!
On a side note we have decided to make the back of the rug into a putting game.Stay tuned for that update.

I am linking this game rug up to these great links .Check them out if you would like more cool ideas to do with your family.

Join us Saturdays at tatertotsandjello.com for the weekend wrap up party! 

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Target on a little transformation!

I needed to come up with something quick for my niece. I had let her birthday slip up on us. How this happened, well I am not quite sure. I think a great deal has to do with the time of the year. I also have the same issue with the twins birthday. They all fall during extremely busy months for us. Anyhow I came across this swing style shirt at Target hanging on the clearance rack. It was so cute  and how could I resist the price but the more I looked at it.... hmmm... I really thought I could do more to it. Ya know, just take it up a notch. Before long I decided to stencil her name on it and a crown because she is a princess in our eyes. I had seen freezer paper stenciling on http://iammommahearmeroar.blogspot.com/ . Let me just say, it is EASY and ADDICTING!!!!!! Please check her out, I am positive you will enjoy her blog as much as I do.  She has a wonderful tutorial on how to do freezer paper stenciling. OK...back to the princess shirt. I drew a crown and printed her name in a font I like , got busy cutting the stencil and adhered it to the shirt. I chose white paint but looking back I think I would have chosen pink. Overall I was pleased with it but it still lacked something so I pulled out the bedazzler (Doesn't everyone have a bedazzler? LOL) and attached some bling to the crown. Now I am really happy with it.  We are hoping the princess will like it as well.

I am linking this little transformation to the following :