Monday, September 1, 2014

Fabric Pom-Pom Mobile



Way back, a couple months ago, we had a great little series all about projects for babies,
called "Little One". Some fabulous bloggers shared thier amazing ideas and projects. Part of the reason for the series was so we would have posts all lined up and ready to go so I wouldn't have to worry about blogging right after having a new baby.  Well, the baby came early and guess who wasn't quite prepared.... yep. Me. So, I'll be sharing a couple projects in the next few days that were intended for our little series then, but are just getting finished now. 'cause, we're keeping it real here right?


These fabric pom-poms were so fun and easy. The type of project you can do while watching a movie after the kids go to bed (or honestly you could even enlist your kids to help.) My son thought these were so cool he insisted on making his own... with much cooler colors of course. And not to hang up and admire, but to throw around.


For mine, I used up scraps from the nursery set I made years ago. That way I could use the pom-poms as a mobile amd they match perfectly!


I really think they turned out cute, and you can't beat free. If you didn't want to make a mobile, these would be great for any kids room or party decor.
Try using differrent colors, fabrics, textures, whatever. Just make it fun.


So. here's what you do. 
Cut 2 'donut' shapes out of cardboard and stack them together. I think mine were about 10 inches across. 
Cut several strips of fabric, 3/4 - 1 inch wide. 


Start wrapping the strips around the cardboard donuts.


When one strip runs out just add the next. 
Don't worry about being perfect. I was a little OCD and tried wrapping it perfectly even, but when my 6 year old made one (wrapped not so perfectly) it actually worked better.


Keep going til you've covered the entire donut with 3 or 4 layers of fabric.
(This is the mindless part where I warned you that a movie might be needed.)


Lay the donut on a flat serface, insert the blade of your fabric scissors between the two layers of cardboard and cut along the edge, all the way around. DO NOT pick it up yet. You don't want all those little fabric strips to fall off! 



now take a strip of fabric and slide it between the 2 layers of cardboard. Tie the strip into a knot, sinching everything in at the center. Tie it a couple more times just to make sure its nice and tight.


Now fluff and twist and pull till you get all those little strips standing up to create a nice sphere.
You may need to trim some long pieces here and there.


Tie a ribbon or string around the center to hang your pom-pom.
If you want tu turn yours onto a mobile,  just wrap an embroidery hoop, or any 'hoop shape' with cooordinating fabric and hang your fabric pom-poms from the hoop.
That's it!





Friday, August 29, 2014

Layered Jell-o

My kids SO loved the rainbow Jell-o treats I made for my 4-year-old's rainbow birthday party, that I wanted to do a version of it again for my 7-year-old's cowgirl party.

I decided to just try and match the color scheme of pink and turquoise and make it more wild and random than the nice, orderly rainbow Jell-o I had done previously.
So here's what we created!


 Super fun and colorful!

Rather than make individual treats this time (I figured the kids didn't need, and wouldn't want, a whole cup with all the other treats available), I made these finger-food size--just right for stuffing one in your mouth. 

To make the layered Jell-o bite-size, I made it all in a big 9x13 baking dish then cut it and scooped it out. Some of the layers fell apart when scooping it out, but I didn't care--I wanted a big pile of jiggely Jell-o!


 You can get the whole recipe from the rainbow Jell-o post, but here it is again with the modifications for the bite-sized pink-and-turquoise style.

http://www.our-everyday-art.com/2014/03/individual-rainbow-jell-o-treat-recipe.html

 

 

Layered Jell-O

Ingredients:

For the Jello Layers:
1 3-ounce box green Jell-o
2 3-ounce boxes blue Jell-o (or 1 6-oz)
1 3-ounce box pink Jell-o (like watermelon)
1 3-ounce box dark pink Jell-o (like raspberry)
5 cups boiling water
2.5 cups cold water
For the White Layers:
3 cups milk
3/4 cup boiling water
3 envelopes Knox gelatin
18 ounces vanilla yogurt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
 

Directions:

1. Get 3 bowls out to start (2 small and 1 medium). You will be mixing 1 box of Jell-o with 1 cup boiling water and ½ cup cold water. Make the pink Jell-os separately in the small bowls. To make turquoise, mix the green Jell-o with the 2 boxes of blue Jell-o in the medium bowl. To this add 3 cups of boiling water and 1 1/2 cups of cold water.

2. Heat the milk in a saucepan over low heat just until it reaches a lukewarm temperature. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together 1 cup boiling water with the envelopes of Knox gelatin. Whisk together until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Add the warm milk, yogurt, sugar and vanilla extract and whisk until thoroughly combined and completely smooth with no lumps.

3. Pour the first color into a 9x13-inch pan and refrigerate until set (about 45 minutes but can vary depending on the temperature of your fridge and how full it is). Once it's set, very gently pour some of the yogurt mixture on top. If you want your layers to be uniform, then measure equal amounts for each layer. I wanted mine to be random, so I just poured it on, trying to make thin layers and thicker layers. Return to the refrigerator for 45 minutes, or until set. Repeat with the colors and yogurt mixture until the last color is used (you will have some mixtures leftover). When finished, refrigerate for at least another hour. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve; refrigerate leftovers. Before serving, cut the Jell-o into cubes and scoop out. It will be impossible to keep all the cubes in tact, but this recipe makes a lot, so don't worry about it. If you are serving this somewhere warm, then it helps to chill the serving plate.



Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Cowgirl Bark

As I was brainstorming (aka surfing Pinterest) for ideas for my daughter's cowgirl party
I came across some yummy-looking cowboy bark, and I thought, hmmm, I wonder if we can cowGIRL this up?

So, I swapped out the traditional chocolate for white chocolate and went from there. 


It turned out cute and yummy--nothing like sweet and salty together. 
It was like eating those white-chocolate dipped pretzels at Christmas time, only totally decked-out.

We had pretzels, white chocolate, salty peanuts, crushed berry Oreos and even of blue almond bark to go ahead and color-coordinate to the utmost. 


Also, did I mention, easy? 
I went crazy and offered more treats than I'm sure I will ever do again, BUT the were easy, so it was no biggy. 


This is one of those, there-isn't-really-a-recipe sort of things, but here's what I did:
  1. Melt yourself some white chocolate (or almond bark...whatever you are into).
  2. Pour this onto a piece of parchment paper or one of those silpat baking mats. (Have I mentioned yet how great those are? Love mine. Alas, I found out the hard way they are not good for cutting on....mine of slits in them, and yet they keep working wonderfully.)
  3. Now, chop up some salted peanuts and scatter it over the melted chocolate.
  4. Break up some pretzels and scatter them on.
  5. Break up some berry Oreos (or plain, but the pink is fun for cowgirl) and smoosh those on. 
  6. Sprinkle with some sea salt.
  7. Keep going until the whole thing is covered. Wait until it hardens, break it to chunks and voila! Cowgirl Bark!
Personally, I'm not much of a white chocolate fan. Yes, yes, I completely made this for looks alone. The cowBOY bark looks fantastic and if you really do like those white-chocolate pretzels that are so ever-present around the holidays, then you'll probably revel in this. I know my kiddos did. :) 

Go ahead, spend 10 minutes and make some for the cowgirls in your life. :)

Here is the link to the cowgirl party for other great ideas:

http://www.our-everyday-art.com/2014/08/cowgirl-birthday-party.html




Sunday, August 24, 2014

Cowgirl Birthday Party

Yee haw!
What a fun cowgirl party we had!

This was the year of big birthday bashes around here.
Ever since my 4-year-old's rainbow party, my soon-to-be 7-year-old had been trying to come up with a party theme for herself. She was pretty convinced she was just going to do a different rainbow party (couldn't blame her there--that was one cute party). I tried different ideas on her--a luau, an art party, a scientist party, but when I suggested a cowgirl party, she immediately jumped on the idea and we had a sure winner. 

Cowgirl Mania here we come!
I wasn't too surprised really; for about a year now she has had great fun dressing up in cowgirl hats and swinging ropes around like they are lassos. 

We went with her two favorite colors and planned out all sorts of fun games and yummy treats.

 

Lucky for me I have Emily, who likes to design me printables whenever I need them. :)
And lucky for me because good ol' Party Pail let me have some free stuff to decorate with. 
yay!

I was able to find everything I wanted to decorate with at Party Pail:
(have I ever mentioned how very much I like to shop online and not hunt around at stores?)

So, I got all the decor stuff, printed out the printable stuff and made a plan.

 First up: cake. 
No surprise to anyone who knows my 7-year-old, but she knew exactly what kind of cake she wanted. 
Her specifications? 
rectangular
white frosting
green on top for a grass meadow 
some blue frosting for water 
real horses ("well, not REAL horses, but like toy horses" she said).

check, check and check. Not professional, but pretty darn cute by my standards (and lack of know-how).


Now we needed some party food. Can't have a good party without party food, right? 
I think this was my favorite part--coming up with cowgirl names for all the party food. :)

Here's what we got:

Lil' Doggies



On the Ranch Veggies



Giddy Up Grapes



Happy Trails Mix



Cowgirl Bark
(here's the recipe)



Pardner Popcorn



 By Jimminy! Jell-o
 ha! I crack myself up more often than is normal.



 and because I just plain like treats, we decided to make the party favors be treats too. 
(no one left this party hungry)

Mosey Down Marshmallows



Yum-o! We ate lunch and played games and ate popcorn and candy while presents were opened. Then we ate even more sugar and had cake and ice cream and the Jell-o. I think the party favors were eaten before the kids got out the front door too. 
So, yeah, plenty of food. 
We had a small problem of the sun shining for the first time all week and melting most of the chocolate stuff, buuuut oh well. :)

The party games were fun too. 

We "Lassoed" a horse. 
aka, we threw embroidery hoops around a stick horse head. 
Here's the birthday girl giving it a go.



We played "There's a Snake in my Boot!"
The kids had to climb on top of the jungle gym and drop plastic snakes into one of my boots. 
If they were successful at getting the snake in the boot they were supposed to say, "There's a snake in my boot!" Most of them did with a big fat grin on their faces. 


And last but not least, we panned for gold!


A few days before the party my girls painted rocks with gold toll paint (which entertained them all afternoon I might add. "Can we do this again someday even when there isn't a party we are getting ready for?")
Then I had them go bury the "gold nuggets" in our sandbox. 
For the panning, we took a trip to the local D.I. thrift store and picked up a handful of old tin pie pans and then drilled holes in them so they could sift through the sand. 

I was also able to pick up jean skirts and cowgirl shirts for whichever of my girls needed them to round out our cowgirl attire. 


 whew! 
What a day. 

It was super fun to dress up like a cowgirl and do our thing. 
I loved having all of our friends come and meet each other! Neighborhood friends, church friends, school friends and friends through my husband's work. So fun. We had 14 or 15 kids there, I forget, and I can't believe how well-behaved and fun they all were. No problems at all, just having fun. cheering for each other at the games, thrilled to death to be eating so much treats and digging in the sand. It was kind of hard to believe it was over when it was. 
We finished her birthday off quietly with family gifts and a trip to iHop--she had requested we go there for her birthday MONTHS ago. easy to oblige. 

Happy Birthday to my sweet 7-year-old!
(don't you love that picture of her with her front teeth missing and her cast on?  What a great age.)






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