Tuesday, February 28, 2012

tissue paper shamrock art

It is hard keeping up with Claire, every time that I put Simon to bed she asks if we can do another project. This one was nice because she was able to do parts of it on her own while I was busy in the kitchen. Two separate projects inspired this one. My blogging friend Jill, made this for Valentine's Day and then I saw this project on Southern Lovely blog and I thought that a similar project would be perfect or St. Patrick's Day.

To start this one I used regular old masking tape to tape off lines on the canvas. I used a piece of masking tape as a spacer. Then Claire painted the whole thing green. Two coats probably would have had better coverage, but I was so anxious to see if the paint bled that I couldn't wait.

Once the canvas was dry, I traced a shamrock using a pencil. I used this template. I cut light green tissue paper into small squares. Then Claire squirted some glue on the canvas, and used a paint brush to spread it all out. Then she balled up each piece of tissue paper and stuck them on the canvas. She did a great job doing this part by herself. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

printable scratch tickets

With Claire's party over and done with for another year, we've started working on a few St. Patrick's Day projects around here. As I mentioned last year, my Mom's from Ireland, so we make a point of celebrating March 17 here! I've seen these make your own scratch tickets on Pinterest, and I thought this would be a perfect time to try it out. I used this tutorial to make the tickets.

I used a piece of packaging tape to cover my scratch tickets. Then, mix 1 part Dawn dishwashing liquid, and 2 parts grey paint. I painted the part of the ticket that I wanted people to scratch off. I used a dark grey paint, so it only took one coat for me. Also, I used a foam brush, which gave a much nicer coverage than a regular paint brush (trust me, because I tried both brushes).

Want to download these and make your own St. Patrick's Day scratch tickets? Click here to download. I included a few blank scratch cards so that you can write your own messages on the tickets. If you make these let me know, I'd love to hear from you.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

St. Patrick's Day crafts

Who wants to start making some St. Patrick's Day now? While I put the finishing touches on some of my current projects, I thought that I'd dig into my archives (you know, all 1 year of them) and pull my projects from last year.

1. Why not start by making some thumbprint leprechaun bookmarks?
2. Followed by some wee little shamrock men.
3. Make a shamrock bouquet.
4. Top it all off with these amazingly delicious chocolate mint brownies. So good!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Claire's giraffe party

My first baby is turning four this week. 4?!?!! I can't believe it. But then, I'm sure I'm not alone in how fast our kids grow. When I asked Claire what kind of birthday party she'd like this year, she insisted on a giraffe party. Seriously? A giraffe party. We ended up making almost all of our decorations. I'm not sure how many of you have tried to throw a giraffe party- but there's not a lot out there to be purchased for one!

One of my favorite decorations were the circles behind the food table. I picked up a few sheets of 12x12 scrapbooking paper and cut them into circles. On the yellow ones Claire painted some handprint giraffes. (A more detailed post for another day!) My Mom and I tried to make the same ruffled streamers that we made for Simon's birthday party last year, but my sewing machine was having nothing to do with ruffles. They ruffled until I answered the phone, and then we just ended up sewing them together. They still looked pretty.
 In an effort to make her party more giraffe-y, we made some homemade graham crackers. We used a small cookie cutter to cut out small giraffe shapes. The kids LOVED these crackers. It was so hard to get them to stop eating the crackers so that we'd have some left for the party. This morning the kids ate the last of them. Recipe to follow shortly. You will want to make them.

 I also make some giraffe labels for the juice packs and water bottles.

I saw this cake in a Martha Stewart Baby magazine, way before I was even married. (I've always loved Martha, so I used to flip through her mags, even though I wasn't even thinking of babies yet.) I made this chocolate cake recipe, which I have used many times before. It's one of my favorite Martha recipes. The cake was baked in a 9x13 pan, and then using the template in the back of the magazine you cut the cake to form the giraffe. Unfortunately, this cake isn't on Martha's website.

 Here's the birthday girl! Mom and I made giraffe shirts for Claire and Simon. I cut the giraffe out using the cricut (thanks Sylvia!) and then just traced it onto the fabric. My Mom sewed them onto the shirts.
These pics were taken after the party was over. Simon is seen here holding the bowl that held the graham crackers. He ate them all afternoon.

It was a fun party. I ordered these giant (although I didn't know they were going to be quite so giant) balloons from Bargain Balloons. There's a flat shipping rate, and since I have already planned Simon's party, I was able to order balloons for his party too. I bought party hats and then covered them with construction paper. I printed out the giraffe image that I used on the water and juice packs to glue to the front of the party hats. 

Out of bristol board, I cut a giraffe (use your imagination!) so that the kids could play pin the tail on the giraffe. We also played a game called pretend you're eating like a giraffe. We my very awesome Sister, just threaded timbits (donut holes) on string and then hung the string from a broom handle. Then the kids had to try to eat the timbits without their hands (like a giraffe). 

Lastly, I made a spiced punch in the slow cooker to have on hand for the adults. It was so tasty. If you're going to make it, make sure you remember to take out the cinnamon and cloves after it has been in there for a few hours. By the time that I sat down to have some it was a little too clove-y.

There you have it- a full fledged giraffe birthday party. I love planning my kids birthday parties, but I'm a litle excited to have a bit of a break before the next party.

Friday, February 10, 2012

puppy love Valentines

Looking for some last minute Valentine ideas? These puppy cards are a cinch to make. I had done the prep work before we sat down to make them so that Claire wouldn't get annoyed with cutting out hearts. I did give her one to cut out, but she didn't get quite close enough the outline of the heart, so when you flip hers over it just looks like a blob of paper :)

Supplies needed:

dark and light grey paper (of course you could use brown paper too)
cardstock for the Valentine (I used purple)
googly eyes
sequin or jewel for the nose (optional, you could of course just draw on the nose)

heart template

1. I cut up a sheet of 12 x 12 paper into 4 inch squares. Then I used my punch to round the corners.
2. Cut out several light and dark grey hearts. I used a white piece of paper, folded it in half, and drew my heart. Then I cut that one out and used it to trace onto the grey paper. I cut out a few hearts. I cut all of the dark grey hearts in half to make the puppy ears.
3. Glue the light grey heart on the piece of square paper. (Use a glue stick for this part. If you use school glue, your paper may or may not get bubbly. Not that I know this from personal experience or anything.)

4. Glue the ears on either side of the heart. (You can use the school glue here.)

5. Glue on the eyes, and nose.
6. Draw some freckles on the dog (cause all dogs have freckles, right?)
7. Once dry, add your Valentine message.

There you have it- the most adorable little puppy dog Valentines. The best part of these, is that with all of the prep work done ahead of time, each Valentine only takes a minute to make.

Hope that you all have a lovely Valentine's Day.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Peanut Butter Valentine cookies

After seeing these cookies all over Pinterest, I decided to make some myself. They were so easy to make, and I didn't have any problem getting rid of leftover cookies either :)

Super Easy Peanut Butter Cookies 

1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup of sugar
1 egg

That's it! Pre heat oven to 325°F. Mix all ingredients until blended. Form into balls and place on cookie sheet. I used a glass to flatten the cookies, so they'd be nice and smooth for the hearts. You could use a fork to flatten them too. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. (I'm pretty sure I baked mine for more like 15 mins.) 

While cookies are baking, unwrap chocolate hearts. I used Comet brand ones, because that's all I could find here. 

Transfer to cooling racks as soon as you take the cookies out. Then quickly and gently press a heart onto each cookie. After just a few minutes the chocolate heart will have melted enough that you can press it down a little further.

These cookies would be the perfect accompaniment with a sweet little Valentine.

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