Thursday, July 4, 2013

My Thoughts On Cooking: Past and Present

I remember this scene from Spiderman 3 and thinking "Wow, cooking looks so fun." Laughing and dancing around in a light and spacious kitchen, and having all of the ingredients prepped. (So what if they're just making omelets?) Go ahead, watch the clip.

(Case in point of ambitious recipes-popovers. Popovers used to frighten me, they always seemed so tricky.)
Back then (circa 2007 when Spiderman 3 came out) I enjoyed cooking because it was a novelty to me, you know pull out a special recipe here and there when I was feeling ambitious (homemade bagels or marshmallows or how about a whole filet of salmon stuffed with herbed butter with ratatouille on the side?) and all the other times I would just eat vegetables, eggs and cheese. But now that I have a little family, cooking has kind of become a dreaded chore and I find myself staring into an open fridge waiting for a prepared meal to materialize before my eyes - come on fridge, help me out! And my kitchen, well, unlike the one in the Spiderman clip, it is kind of a dark hole that hasn't been updated since the Brady Bunch was really groovy. Not to mention there are always bits and bobs of toddler toys (and non toys that he just likes to play with - right now there is about 30 clothespins on the floor) strewn about and a pile of dishes in the sink. Inspiring. I hope the cooking fairy comes and sprinkles magic cooking dust on me because I have to eat for the rest of my life so I better get my act together! I hope this cooking apathy is just a temporary thing...

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Dinosaur and Caveman Quiet Book Page

My goodness, I've been having a fun time making quiet book pages for little G. And with the Paleo diet being all the rage right now, what better than a Paleo page? Ha, ha! I kid, I kid.

Many, many moons ago I thought it would be a good idea to buy a yard of Easter egg fabric. What the heck was I planning on doing with it? I have no idea, but I finally found a use for it after toting it around for far too long. The best type of felt for quiet books is wool and the second best is wool blend. The absolute worst is the crap-o synthetic stuff that they sell at craft stores and Wal Mart, it just doesn't hold up to wear and tear and it's pretty thin. The only problem with the wool blend felt is the price, so I decided to mix and match fabric and felt for the background. I decided on my Easter egg print because I liked how the brightly colored eggs matched the dino egg. (Buy good wool blend felt here).

It's a baby dinosaur surprise!
 I used this dinosaur page (her website has sooooooo many great quiet book page patterns and they are all free, hooray and thanks!) and added a little caveman fishing unsuccessfully.  On the original pattern the bottom left corner had embroidered words but I wanted to fill the blank space with a little something extra. I thought a caveman might be fun so I googled "caveman" and decided on this photo and then because I bought some clear plastic vinyl I wanted to make some fish swimming in a pond. 

I couldn't bear for the fish to actually be caught and eaten so he is escaping from the clutches, err spear, of this grumpy Neaderthal ala "Braveheart" style. FREEDOM!!! Oh I did have fun with this page.

Danny boy got in on the quiet book too, I asked him to draw a shouting fish (so I could make it out of felt) and this is what he came up with - he labeled it himself. Thanks D.!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Soap Packaging

My latest little project has been soap making, I've always been curious about soap making but the use of lye is what scared me off for a long time. No need to be a fraidy cat though, all that is needed is care when using lye and you're good to go. Now that my soaps are made, I needed a cute way to package them. In the future I would like to get more elaborate but for now I like this simple way.

Supplies needed: wax paper, scissors washi tape, and of course, soap.

Cut wax paper to size, wrap soap like a package, and secure with washi tape. Easy peasy.

Ready and waiting to be shipped out.

If you want to make your own soaps too, you can buy all your goodies from Mountain Rose Herbs.

Monday, April 15, 2013

My hope is in the Creator of the universe, he has shaped desires in my heart which no one but he can fulfill. When I have tried to rationalize and take out truth apart from Jesus, it cannot stand - because there is no truth apart from him. It is because of him that anything is beautiful, and it is our sinfulness that has corrupted that beauty. Through the saving blood of Jesus Christ are we made whole as we begin to realize his beauty and grace.

State String Art

Wow, the last time I've posted was January 1st! But I am happy to report that I am right on track with my new year's resolutions, and having much fun completing my goals. Here is some state string art that kept me busy for awhile.

Most of these supplies were purchased from a hardware store (I love Ace!) the silver thread is from here.

I googled images of whatever state I was looking for, then I changed the scale when I printed them.

This is the island of Oahu, way easier to just do one island instead of trying to squeeze the entire island chain on a 12"x12" board.

I liked making the Texas art because you know, Texans love Texas.

For the most part, I followed this tutorial. I changed it up a little bit, and I really like the way they turned out. All of these were gifts, but I was thinking about maybe making one for every state I've lived in; but that would be a whole lot...not sure if I'm up for the task!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Every year I enjoy making New Year's resolutions -- though keeping them can be hard, making them is quite fun. January 1st is like a fresh sheet, a blank slate to set goals for yourself, it's like each year you're given a second chance for yourself. I know that you can choose to change whenever you want, but there is something just so symbolic about the changing of the year, the old one is passing and the new one dawning on the horizon. With that being said here are some goals/resolutions I am making for myself.

1. Since I have a membership to the Y, I am going to drop little G. off in child watch and go to the classes. I would like some little muscles, and "Women with Weights" is just calling my name...

2. Create something every week. I enjoy crafting but I have this habit of crafting mostly around Christmas, than I go into crafting overdrive and burn myself out. Too much crafting in much too little time.

3. Make one quilt. I've wanted to quilt for ages, and I found a simple one on pinterest that I would like to try my hand at making.

4. Pick up my knitting needles again. Just do it!

5. Okay, okay so every year I say "Learn to crochet" but this year I am actually going to give it the ol' college try

6. Be better at taking photos for this here blog. Often I think "I should blog about that!" But I don't have my camera with me to take pics.

7. Learn to give myself manicures. I got my first gel manicure yesterday and I'm in love!

8. Write down recipes. I like to try out new recipes that I find online, but then I seldom write them down. I like things to be tangible so this just seems like a logical thing to do.

Okay, so there's my resolutions, please feel free to ask me from time to time how I'm doing. It'll keep me on track.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fingerprint Ornament DIY

I'm sure many of you have seen this fingerprint ornament floating around pinterest. When I saw it, I wanted to make it soooo bad to commemorate our first Christmas with little baby. Well, technically our second Christmas with Little Baby, but he was born so close to Christmas that it is was all a blur to me, but I digress. Anyway.... on pinterest the comments claimed this ornament could be made with salt dough. Excuse me, but if you actually click on the picture, you find out that the ornament is cast in bronze (hence the hefty price tag) and you are NEVER going to get such fine fingerprint lines from salt dough. Believe me, all you get is a blob of an indentation which could have been a grape that you pressed into the dough.

Now, this is by no means perfect, but I am pretty satisfied with the result, and it sure beats the $210.00 price tag of the one I linked to above!

Supplies: Sculpey clay*, circle cookie cutter or lid/jar/glass, straw, stamps, dark ink (or dark crayon), fine tip Sharpie, Sculpey gloss glaze, and piece of ribbon.

*Note, Sculpey is NOT food safe, only use tools with Sculpey that will NOT be used with food.

1. Sculpey comes in a little square with 4 segments, remove a segment and roll in your hands to form a ball. Flatten ball with a rolling pin until it is 1/4" thick. (I sandwiched my clay between 2 pieces of parchment so it wouldn't come in contact with rolling pin)

2. Cut out circle shape with cookie cutter. Mine is a bit wonkey shaped because I used an exacto knife to cut around a jar lid.

3. Use a straw to poke a hole in the top of the ornament.

4. Now this is the fun part -- fingerprint it up! Be sure to press firmly enough to leave a print, but not so hard where you squash the clay flat. Little baby didn't want to cooperate at first with his finger, but later he willingly gave me his little pointer finger and let me squish it into the clay. Then he smiled, looks like I have a crafting buddy!

5. Use stamps to put the year in the center, or even your family's last name. I used these metal stamps that I have.

6. Bake according to package instructions and cool.

7. Rub a little ink into the fingerprints. I used calligraphy ink and a q-tip to lightly rub it into the impressions. I used a fine tip Sharpie to fill in the year. Let dry.

8. This is an important step, I think it gives a more finished look to the ornament. With a paintbrush, coat the ornament with Sculpey gloss glaze. Let dry.

9. Finally, tie a piece of ribbon through the hole. I used a pre-tied ribbon ornament hanger, just because I had eleventy-million lying around.

A close up: Not perfect, but it is a sweet memory of my little family -- Papa, Baby, and Mama.
Another fun idea is to make smaller, individual prints of your child, with their name on one side and the year on the other. You can make them into ornaments or skip the step with the straw and make them into magnets instead. 

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