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Cup ‘o the day coasters

This was not originally my idea.  It was “pinspired” by a pin I saw a while back, where somebody let their kids decorate their own tile, which they then turned into coasters.  They kept the coasters on the counter and each family member had to keep their cup of the day stored on their coaster.  The idea is that it helps to keep track of everyone’s cup, and reduces the amount of cups that are brought out everyday.  I know in our house, it seems like there are at least fifteen cups littering our kitchen by the end of every day–it’s a constant frustration for A.T. and me.

Enter the photo coasters that Laura gave me for my birthday.  (Check out her post on how to make your own.)  I lined them each up on our kitchen counter, and now the boys will have to keep their “cup ‘o the day” on their coaster.  We will see how it works, but I thought I’d pass along the idea in the meantime.  Laura had some other great ideas for these coasters on her post, check them out!


DIY 10-Minute Cardigan

Cardigan made from a sweater

Spring came in like a lion around here, and then summer arrived the next day.  We are having some crazy warm weather, so I may have already missed my chance to sport my new DIY 10 min cardigan.  But, I discovered this pinteresting find a couple weeks ago.  I really like cardigans for the layering option they provide and the flexibility to take it off if I get warm without having to pull it over my head and mess up my hair (that last part was a joke, you can hardly mess my hair up more than it already is).  I stumbled across these clearance sweaters at Old Navy last week for $10 each and was pretty excited to give the 10 min cardigan a try, since I really could use a couple extra cardigans.

Kelsey at Vanilla Joy did a great job with this tutorial, so I’ll just refer you to her site for the complete tutorial.  Essentially, you take a sweater, cut it down the center, do a couple more simple steps involving an iron, some iron-on adhesive tape, and a sewing machine, and voila!  Pictured here is my finished product with the gray sweater.  I haven’t done the white one yet that I purchased, but will add a picture when I do that one too.

You won’t have the option to button it up since there isn’t enough fabric left over to overlap once you’re done.  But, it stills makes a great top layer, just with a little more restrictions than a real cardigan.  For the price, and the short amount of time that it took to make it, it’s worth its limitations.  I highly recommend this project!

My two ON clearance sweaters


Finished gray cardigan


Fabric Hoops Decor

I found this great post and couldn’t resist sharing. Such a simple idea, yet so beautiful. I did something similar in my daughters room with scraps left over from a quilt a friend made, but used square frames instead. I like the round hoops better.



For a great way to incorporate it into a nursery, check out this blog


Hand-painted Christmas Ornament

So this is the last you’ll hear from me before New Years.  It’s been a busy season of Etsy sales, which I just wrapped up with a final shipment of six orders today.  My husband and boys learned how to make due without me a lot over the last couple weeks, but it was well worth all the effort.  Thank you to all my wonderful Etsy customers, it was wonderful to finish out my year with such a bang!

In the midst of the chaos, the boys and I stole this Pinterest idea last week to make some teacher’s and grandparent’s gifts.  I’ve learned that people actually do read my blog, which means when I post this stuff before Christmas, it’s not a surprise for their intended recipients any longer–but I make the sacrifice to offer you these last-minute ideas before Christmas is upon us, because they wouldn’t be much use after. (:

So, I will offer another before and after picture here, in the spirit of my Candy Cane Flops that I posted about last week.  Of course, our hand-painted ornaments didn’t turn out nearly as beautiful as these, but they were fun to make anyway, and if life is more about the process than the product, then this project fits the bill.

So, here’s the idea we were trying to recreate:

Handmade Painted Ornaments

Here was our version:

We bought a pack of clear, glass ornaments from a craft store (pretty sure you can find them at Walmart too) and I let the boys pick out a selection of acrylic paints.

Then, we opened up the top of the ornaments and started squeezing the paints inside, letting it run down the sides of the ornaments (to reiterate, on the inside of the glass, not the outside).

Not a great picture above (hard to focus on something clear), but you get the idea.  Then, we started shaking, rattling and rolling, trying not to break the glass.  I didn’t let my four-year-old participate because of how delicate of a process it is, but my 5-11 year olds did.  It was a bit of a slow process, we found it was helpful to tap on the glass, roll the ornament around in our hand, and add more paint a little at a time till all the gaps were filled in.

This was one of my favorites, achieved with a lot of tapping against the palm of our hands

The best part of all of this was that the paint was inside the ornament through the whole thing, so there was not a lot of clean up involved–that’s my kind of kid-friendly art project!

Here is a link to another post with directions on doing this, though she didn’t do it with kids, so the process turned out a little different for us.

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas, I look forward to time with friends and family reflecting on the birth of our risen Lord and Savior.  See you next year!


Gift Idea: Rice Heat Therapy Bag

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Dec 2, 2011 | Free-for-all Friday, Sewing | Tags: , , , ,

A few years ago, I made a rice bag out of some bright red corduroy pants that I found at a second hand store.  I simply sewed two rectangles together like a pillow, left a hole and filled it with rice and then finished sewing it up.  (more…)


Homemade Powder Laundry Detergent

The ingredients

Used stand mixer to shred the soap

After processing it

A few weeks ago, my sister shared how to make homemade laundry detergent.  Well, I made it and it turned out to be thicker than I wanted and I didn’t have a stock pot big enough for the experiment so I decided that perhaps, a powder was a better solution for us.  I don’t mind powder and my machine has a special place just for the powder so that plenty of water rushes through the detergent to dissolve it.  (more…)


Containers for Homemade Salad Dressing

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Oct 12, 2011 | Tips and Tricks, Topics | Tags: ,

Kikkoman Soy Sauce container with homemade caesar salad dressing

We love homemade salad dressing, but since my salad dressing containers don’t have shaker tops, the dressings go fast because the boys tend to dump out far more than they need.

Problem: How to make the homemade salad dressings go further

Solution: reusing Kikkoman soy sauce containers. (more…)


Rainy Day Activities

Great rainy day activities from Pinterest

Some fun rainy day activities made with household ingredients

Okay, so I mentioned in a recent post that I recently discovered Pinterest.  I was a skeptic at first, and ignored several people’s recommendations to try it, but soon gave in and am glad I did.  I’m amazed at the wealth of ideas and resources for grabs in one convenient place, and how easy it is to “pin” ideas of your own.

Today we are being affected by Tropical Storm Lee, and the entire day here has been a deluge.  We are grateful for the rain, as we just came out of our driest month in history, and it gave me a great opportunity to try some of the ideas I’ve pinned to my Things to Try board with the kids.  I’ve tried five or six different ideas posted to this board and have had mixed, though mostly positive, results.  So, I thought I’d mention a few of the successes here.

One benefit I’ve already gained from the ideas I’ve found on Pinterest is that I’ve learned a list of essential rainy day ingredients to have on hand, listed here:



DIY Recipe Books and Day Planners

Mini Binder Recipe Books and Planners

I have a new product this fall: the Mini Binder. If you’ve never seen this size binder before (8 1/2 in x 5 1/2 in) and don’t know what’s it’s good for, do not despair! I am here to show you a couple ways to make productive use of this cute little binder and maybe even come up with a few gift ideas for you in the process.  (Don’t freak out, but Christmas is closer than you may think…).



Let there be light!

Velux 14' Sun Tunnel

The outside dome isn't too intrusive

Bright light filters in from 8a - 5p

Our house is dark.  It’s surrounded by trees (which we love), but that doesn’t provide much light into the windows nor are there ample windows in our living room area.  We often have to turn on a light during the day to see what’s going on.  As a result, we spend a lot of time in the sun room, which I’m very thankful for!  I’ve often thought of installing skylights, but I thought they’d cost thousands of dollars to install and since we had an attic, it may not work. (more…)

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