Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Problem with Fruit Flies in the House?

This time of year fruit flies are a huge problem. If you are tired of shooing those pesky gnats all the time, set a small glass of wine on your kitchen counter. The flies can't resist it and soon drown themselves. No swatting or clean up involved, simply pour the contents down the drain.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Corset Hair

I saw someone pinned a similar hairdo, and I loved it, so here's my version with my beautiful little model, Madi.

The trick is getting them even!!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Crayon on Canvas - Part 3

Here is the other leftover crayon piece I did. This one has a fall theme, which is nice, because fall is my favorite season.

See original post for instructions. Happy melting! Stay tuned one more time for my final melted crayon art piece, with a Halloween theme. Gotta use those leftover black, silver, and greys!
Crayon on Canvas - Part 2

With the leftover crayons from my last project, I have created new crayon on canvas art! These are gifts for my kids' teachers for teacher appreciation week. What a great piece to put in a classroom!

For instructions look back to the previous post, only this time I made it with blues and purples, added an extra butterfly, and some additional flowers I had. It looks like a field of lavender to me. Stay tuned for the next one!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Birthday Pup-Cakes

Make your dog SUPER happy on his birthday!

This treat is made of dog-healthy ingredients:
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 6oz jar chicken flavored baby food**
1 cup shredded carrots
1/3 cup spun honey
1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 package low-fat cream cheese (neufchatel cheese)
1 small container vanilla greek yogurt (buy the one with the least sugar)
1 tsp vanilla

Mix together flour and baking soda, then add rest of ingredients. Mine made enough for 4 jumbo muffins (the tin with 6 slots for making giant cupcakes) Of course, you could make smaller ones if you have a smaller pup, but my giant dog eats giant cakes.

Bake at 350 for about 20-30 minutes until set and toothpick comes out clean. While the cakes cool, blend frosting ingredients. Top with small dog treat or bone.

**My dog dislikes peanut butter, but the original recipe I found called for 1/4 cup peanut butter instead of baby food.

Keep refrigerated

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Crayon on Canvas?

I saw a simplified version of this idea posted on Pinterest, and I thought, hey, why not improve upon it?

Small canvas (mine is 12x18)
3 - 64-pack crayons
1 butterfly
several small craft flowers
1 large craft flower
blue craft paint
clear tacky glue
craft fencing
embossing gun

So, for me, the only thing I had to buy was the canvas and the embossing gun. I've always wanted one, so I used this as an excuse to buy it.  I suppose you could use a hairdryer, but that blows much more and would be messier.

Start by washing the canvas with the blue paint.  I put a silver dollar sized amount in a plastic cup and added about 1/4 cup of water.  Mix it together and use a large brush to paint it on the canvas.  Let dry.  While it's drying, sort your crayons. It took all the yellows, greens, and some light tans from 3 boxes. Using the tacky glue (I use Eileen's clear) glue each crayon down with a strip of glue. I decided not to uniformly place the crayon labels. I thought it would look better at random.  Let dry for several hours so the glue is completely dry.  Turn the canvas upside down. Place newspaper around your canvas, and work in an are where dripped crayon can be scraped off. I used the newspaper, and still managed to get some on the table. With the embossing gun, begin melting the crayons.  The papers will discolor slightly.  Continue melting until you reach desired drip length.  The wax dries pretty quickly. Be sure to trim off excess plastic on the flower backs with a wire cutter before gluing.  With the tacky glue, glue down the flowers and butterfly. Measure out the lengths of fencing. Cut with wire cutters or craft knife where needed. At my son's suggestion, we made an open gate on ours. He said it looked inviting that way, like someone would want to go in and play.  I thought it was cute, so we went with it.  Leave the finished piece for a few hours to dry completely.  In order to prop the gate open, I glued it, then placed the glue bottle under it while it dried, leaving it at the angle I wanted. 

Next, I am planning to experiment with the leftover crayon color groups to make different scenes. Stay tuned!


Friday, April 6, 2012

3-D Shadowbox Art from a Coloring Book!

Do your kids have a favorite coloring book they don't want to part with? A special page they colored just for you? It doesn't have to sit in a file somewhere, it can become 3-D art for your wall! With a few scraps from your craft supplies, a craft knife, sticky dots, and a deep frame, you can have a beautiful piece in no time at all.

This is a scene from Cinderella. The dress, mice and birds were cut from the coloring book page. A sheet of scrapbook paper is the background, and ribbon, paper blossoms, seed beads, and a needle complete the 3-D look. Position sticky dots to raise the parts you want raised. It's really quite simple to make a picture a treasure to keep! It's very inexpensive, completely unique, and your child will love seeing their artwork "come to life."

This one was made by my mom, who always has amazing ideas :)

Winnie the Pooh's Rabbit Ear Hat

As in the previous post with the Sally ear hat, here I made a Rabbit ear hat!

Front and back

You start with a plain black Mickey ear hat. Paint the ears with craft paint, letting dry completely between coats until no black is visible and it looks smooth.  Spray with clear laquer.

Using fleece material, cover ear hat and sew down. Make ears by sketching out ear shape on fabric, sewing front sides together, leaving a little room to turn it right side out.  Hand sew ears onto hat.

Sew puff ball onto the back for a fluffy tail, and use white felt for a tummy. Use yellow yarn for hair tuft on top, separating strands and brusing with a stiff-bristled brus so it becomes fluffy and doesn't look like yarn.

Stitch eyebrows onto the front for the last Rabbity touch.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Defrosting by Pixar

My defroster made my car look like something from Disney/Pixar Cars... His name is "Speedy"
Cool Pic of SF Bay Bridge at Sunset

We took this picture out the sunroof while stopped at a traffic light on Harrison near First. Pretty cool shot.

Grinch Gloves

These gloves are super easy to make!

You need 1 pair of green gloves, green marabou, needle and thread.

Cut marabou into 10 pieces about 3 inches long each.

Put your finger into the glove finger you are going to sew - but not all the way so you don't poke yourself. Being careful, make a loop of thread and stick the marabou in. Tighten the loop and then repeatedly sew through the fabric in the middle of the marabou to secure it. Knot.  Repeat 9 more times and Voila!

Gringhy goodness at your fingertips.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Fall Table Settings

Fall is the perfect time of year for apples! What better way to set a festive table than using apples?

Start by purchasing enough large apples for each of your dinner guests. Using heavy green craft paper, cut out leaf shapes (two per apple). Use double stick tape and affix lengths of craft wire between two leaves. Write the guest's name on one side of the leaf. At the end of the leaf, bend the wire at a 90 degree angle, and stick the wire into the apple next to the stem.

Next, get enough small apples for each guest. Use a melon baller to scoop out enough pulp to fit a votive candle in the apple. Make sure the votive has a metal or plastic holder so the wax doesn't spill all over.

The table setting is festive and smells wonderful. Additionally, guests can take their personalized apples home to enjoy!

"Sally" Ear Hat

Making a "Sally" ear hat from a plain Mickey ear hat

One of my favorite characters is Sally, from Nightmare Before Christmas. I knew Disney would probably never make an ear hat for Sally, so I decided to create my own. I intended the hat to make you think of the character by using notable features of the character, instead of trying to recreate the character on the hat. I made this Sally hat in early 2011. People keep asking me to make them and sell them on etsy, but I like that mine is unique.

I mixed acrylic paint into a color resembling Sally's skin. I painted the ears with several coats, allowing complete drying between coats. Once coverage was complete, I used black paint and a fine brush to create "stitches" on the ears.  Last, I used a clear coat spray to seal the paint and make the ears shiny.

Next, I cut strips of fabric and sewed them in a patchwork over the head portion. Also, using felt, cut circles and sew them down onto different patches so it looks more like Sally's dress.

Next, using yarn seaprated into individual strands, I sewed "stitches" onto the hat.

Finally, using thin binding tape, finish the edge of the hat. Stitch the binding tape down.

Ear hats usually come with an elastic strap that goes under the chin. I cut that off and secure the hat with bobby pins instead so it doesn't fall off.

Here is the final product:

Making a Rainbow Cake for St. Patty's Day

Cake Supplies
2 boxed white cake mixes
2 cans of Sprite (diet is ok, too)
gel food coloring
6 small bowls
1 large bowl
wire whisk
nonstick baking spray

Icing Supplies
See link below for icing recipe
pastry bag (or sandwich baggie with corner cut off)
something to spread the icing with

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (click for conversions)

You can prepare the cake mixes as directed, if you like. I would have, except that I had boiled all my eggs a few days prior and begun the project without double-checking my supplies. Therefore, I used the old can-of-soda trick.

In the large bowl, pour 2 cans of Sprite. Empty both cake mixes on top. Use wire whisk to mix them together until the batter is not lumpy, and no more foam is left.

Using the ladle, divide batter equally among the 6 small bowls. Add gel food color to the first bowl. Mix well. You may need to add more depending on how vibrant you want the color. I added a dime-sized amount of each color.

Spray two 8-inch round pans (20cm) with baking spray. In one pan, pour in the color that will be the bottom layer, in the other pan, the next layer color. There should only be enough batter to cover the bottom of the pan. Bake for 16 minutes. Cool in pan for at least 10 minutes. Invert onto cooling racks. Wipe out pans and repeat with next two colors. As the cakes cool, begin stacking and icing the layers. I do it this way because I only have 3 cooling racks, and 6 cakes won't fit all at once.

Icing Your Cake
I use the Wilton recipe for buttercream icing and triple it for this cake. Storebought icing is not stiff enough and you will have a runny mess. Don't even attempt it, you'll be sorry. Using a pastry bag with no tip (or a sandwich bag with the corner cut off), pipe a thick ring of icing around the edge of each layer, then fill with a thin layer of icing. Begin with the bottom color, then stack accordingly. The ring of icing will assist the cake's structure and prevent the icing from squishing out the sides.