Monday, November 4, 2013

Mason Jar: Turkey Treat Jars

How fun is Thanksgiving?!?  I love the spirit of gratitude and of course the turkey.  Now, I don't mean eating turkey (although I do love that too).  I mean little turkey crafts.  Over the years I have made hand turkeys, feet turkeys and the like with my kids and they were so awesome.  This year, I decided to make a bit more sophisticated turkey treat jar.

They turned out amazing and were so easy.  First, I filled my jar with M&M's which gave the perfect amount of color and yummy goodness to the project.

Next, I used the feather cut out from the turkey pillow box pattern I had downloaded from Silhouette online.  The size was perfect.  I did, however feel that it needed some color so I took brown, orange/red and gold crayons to add some layers of color to the feathers.

Finally, I used my scallop circle punch to make a face.  Again, using the beak and wattle pattern from the pillow box I created a face with the addition of some googly eyes.  I used hot glue to attach the feathers to the glass and the head to the lid ring.  This allows the recipient to open the jar and still keep the cute turkey.

I just love these and while these were made for the Sunshine Committee, I plan to make some for table decorations at my house as well.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Mason Jars: Soaking Salts

Last week I share with you a fun craft opportunity I have making fun little treats and gifts for my children's schools Sunshine Committee (a group of teachers that are committed to bringing random acts of kindness to our students, teachers and staff who need a little "sunshine").

Part of my bag of goodies provided by the team was a bunch of these small half pint mason jars.

I love mason jar crafts because there are so many possibilities.  I have done a number of gifts in the past with sugar scrubs and bath salts so I decided to mix up a fall version for the Sunshine Committee (note, I totally need to make some of these for my family and friends too because they turned out awesome).

The recipe is quite simple. 

Basic Recipe:
2 cups Epsom salt
1/2 cup baking soda
few drops essential oil
food coloring (optional)

I decided to make a Cinnamon Apple Pie Soaking Salt so I added the following ingredients...

cinnamon essential oil
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cloves

I stirred it up and spooned it into the jars.  I cut a circle of scrapbook paper and designed a label using the Avery website.
Of course, I could also fill these jars with candy.  And I did.  The beauty is they can be filled with any number of types of candies and decorated with a simple round from fun, seasonal scrapbook paper.  For October I also filled some jars with candy corn and Halloween paper.

Come back Monday for my cute turkey treat jars.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sunshine Committee Pillow Box Treats

Recently one of the teachers from our awesome school asked for a crafty parent to assist with the Sunshine Committee.  I jumped at the chance to be creative!  I love to volunteer at my kids school but I must say, I am picky what I will do!  I believe we should work to our strengths and of course, I have some creativity to share!

The Sunshine Committee is a group of teachers who have come together to offer little gifts of sunshine to teachers, staff and students who for whatever reason may need a little boost of sunshine.  They offer encouragement, cheer, a pat on the back and more. I love the idea of this committee because I know how the simplest gesture of kindness can totally make a person's day.

Each month, the committee brings me a bag of goodies and I work my magic.  Since everyone loves a little sweet treat we always have some candy.  This month I was working with M&M's and candy corn.  I decided to make some little pillow box treat holders with my Silhouette.

I downloaded this adorable turkey pillow box from the Silhouette online store.  Perfect treat for the month of November.  I added googly eyes instead of the paper eyes because, well, googly eyes are just plain fun!  Inside, I put a small plastic bag filled with M&M's.  These would work great with the fun size candy bars too as they are the perfect size.

The Silhouette website has a number of other cute Pillow Box ideas including an owl.  Of course, even though the downloads are cheap, I knew I could make my own owl using the Turkey box since it had the same "ruffles" on the chest.  For the eyes, I used a scalloped circle punch that I have used in the past.  A simple yellow beak and some larger googly eyes and there you go.

I love these pillow box owls because they can be so many different colors to fit the seasons.  I will definitely get the use out of this pillow box download. 

A few months ago I had downloaded this fun owl treat holder from the Silhouette website as well.  Using some fall colors, I created a few cute treat packets using the candy corn as well. I just love how they came out.

I sure hope that these fun projects bring some sunshine to our most deserving students, teachers and staff!  I look forward to making more creations in the future.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Halloween Minion

It is that time of year again and the kids have so many ideas about what they want to be for Halloween.  I lucked out with my daughter and found an adorable Children's Place witch costume at a consignment sale for just $5!  My son chose to be a minion so I got to be a bit crafty.

My original hope was to find a pair of cute denim overalls.  However, that was more difficult than I anticipated.  Of course, my good friend Heather from No Business Like Sew Business came to the rescue with a pattern for overalls - she just so happened to create the pattern the week before for her own son, albeit for a different costume.  The boys happen to be the same size.  Woo hoo!  By the way, Heather rocked out 26 costumes this year!  Amazing!

So I headed to my favorite discount fabric store and picked up a couple yards of navy gabardine and whipped up the overalls.  Perfect.  The shirt is from Old Navy - yay, did not have to sew!  I painted the Gru symbol on and then, to make it stand out a bit, I used some glitter glue!  It is a costume after all.

I am not a huge seamstress, in fact, I am pretty bad. The details are not pretty but it works and my boy was ecstatic!  I will NOT be showing you the construction.  It is U-G-L-Y!!!  Speaking of which, it laid there for nearly 2 weeks unwearable because I was afraid to attempt to make button holes.  Confession, I have never done one.  Anyways, Heather came to the rescue again.  She reminded me, it is a costume, use a snap or Velcro and fake it (she did with hers).  So that is just what I did.  Perfect!

The hat and goggles were a ton of fun.  Confession, Heather made the hat!  (Have I mentioned, I LOVE Heather - you should too!)  The goggles were easy.  I used a pair of safety goggles that the kids got at the Lowes builder workshops.  I hot glued a couple of canning lids and added some "eye" circles to the inside.  Easy peasy.  The goggles sit up on my son's forehead on top of the hat.  I simply hot glued some black pipe cleaners on top for hair.

Oh, how we love our little Minion!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Back to School: Sign of Encouragement

With the new school year in full swing, I wanted to give my kids a simple reminder of how awesome their Dad and I think they are.  I love to see our kids grow, learn, struggle, win and blossom.  Childhood is filled with wonderment.

Each day we talk with our kids about their day.  What was great?  What was not so great?  How can we start tomorrow with a fresh outlook.  I wanted to remind them of the words we tend to use when helping them through their struggles and their triumphs.

 I have seen versions of this on other blogs and on Pinterest.  I love how it reminds us that there are many sides to us and that each and every day we should be proud of who we are.  This is a great mantra as the kids leave for school each day and a perfect reminder at the end of the day.

I had the perfect spot for this sign, a small wall right between the kids bedroom doors.  It is right at the end of the hallway so it will always serve a reminder as we reflect on our days.

I used a dark gray vinyl and some craft paints I had on hand.  After painting my board a creamy white, I used my Silhouette to create the words in a variety of fun fonts to help each word stand out.  I placed it on the board, slight off center.  This allowed me to add some color with a simple dry-brush technique using blue, green and gray.

It still needed a little something so I decided to put a banner across the top.  I found a fun chevron card stock in my stash with just the right blues and greens.  I used the Silhouette again to cut out a bunch of 1" circles.  I then pulled out the sewing machine and quickly sewed the circles together.  Gluing the end circles in place the banner was perfect.

I love the reminder for the kids (and for me too - as we all can use a little encouragement).

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Back to School: Teacher Gift

We recently had our "meet the teacher" night, gearing up for the first day of school.  In addition to bringing the plethora of school supplies needed for each of my kids, I wanted to give their teachers something special for them.

Last week I saw this great printable from Skip to My Lou (one of my favorite craft blogs).  I really liked that it was a gift from ME and not the kids.  I enjoy spending time volunteering at my children's school and want their new teachers to know that I am available to help in any way needed. This is one of the many blessings of being a stay at home mom with a flexible schedule.

Living in Arizona, I decided that lotion would be a nice touch.  I printed and cut out the tags and grabbed a couple of bottles of lotion from my coupon stash.  I have hoarded some fun printed card stock packs from Michael's recently.  In addition to plain colors, they have started carrying some very fun prints.  This particular pack was colorful chevrons reminiscent of Missoni.  I loved it.  I used the sheet that was mostly teal with the design only at the bottom.  I adhered the tag to the card stock and cut a hole at the top to go around the lotion bottle.

Volunteering at school is something that is so rewarding.  I am blessed with the time to spend helping out at school as I know working parents are not afforded. I know the teachers appreciate it too.  It is so wonderful to spend time helping young readers and kids who struggle with their math facts.  That small group and one-on-one time can make all the difference for some kids.  I have also spent time in the classroom helping with center work and assisting the teacher who can't be everywhere when the kids are working on independent projects.

We are all looking forward to another amazing school year.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Back to School: Homework Station

Day two of getting ready to head back to school.  Today I am sharing how I put together a simple homework station with the goal of keeping us organized.

Our kids are young enough yet that I still have them sit at the kitchen table after school to do their homework. One of the big frustrations I had from last year is that we could NEVER find a sharp pencil or other supplies needed to complete their work.

I had the perfect thing to create this station - a picnic organizer that I picked up at Target a few years ago in their summer section.  It is designed to hold utensils, plates and napkins but the compartments were perfect for notebooks, paper, pencils, markers, etc.

Using my Silhouette, I cut out some vinyl letters to remind the kids that the items in this bucket are to be used for homework.  I don't know about you, but everything I own gets "stolen" by the kids and hauled upstairs to their bedrooms, never to be seen again.  The kids know that these items may NEVER be removed from the bucket unless being utilized for homework!  I will have to let you know how that goes!  hee hee!

This year when doing our supply shopping, I decided to pick up extra supplies to put in our homework station.  With elementary age kids, the supplies I have included are:

  • pencils (only Ticonderoga - they are the best)
  • markers
  • colored pencils
  • crayons (only Crayola - again, the best)
  • highlighters
  • ruler
  • school glue & glue sticks (Elmers - the best)
  • index cards (to make flash cards)
  • wide ruled loose leaf paper
  • pencil sharpener
  • scissors

I will not be surprised if I need to add a few things once school starts.  As I typed this I thought of scissors.  I will need to head to the store this week and pick up a couple of those.

Now if I can just get the kids to sit down after school and do their homework without whining!  Wish me luck!