Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Painted Stick Heart

Do your kids love painting "stuff" as much as mine?
We've painted rocks, egg cartons, milk jugs, dried modeling clay sculptures, toilet paper rolls, you name it. 

Well, we decided to paint something different: sticks. 
Hadn't done that one before. :)

And while we were painting sticks, I figured we might as well paint them in the colors I'm decorating the deck: lime green, turquoise and blue. 
And while we are painting sticks, we might as well have some extra fun and put fun little stripes and polka dots on them. 
And why not whip out a little twine (and hot glue) and make a heart?

Fun little craft for my girls and I to do together. They had a blast painting the sticks and feel quite proud that I'm actually hanging it up to decorate our deck.

Do your kids have a favorite thing to paint?


Monday, July 29, 2013

Butterfly Birthday Cake

My daughter had her 6th birthday party the other day. 
Me: "So, what kind of cake do you want this year?"
Her: "A butterfly cake!"



 Butterfly. check.
Favorite color (blue). check.
Candy embellishments. check.

And may I just say, decorating a cake with candy is THE WAY TO GO!
I mean, it's candy, CANDY. So the kiddos are super happy.
And you just set it down on top of the cake, and you're done. No messy frosting bags, time, etc. 
It's awesome. :)


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Hot-Air Balloon Baby Shower

My little sister recently had her first baby. An adorable little boy.
 So of course we had to celebrate!

We chose a vintage hot air balloon theme and got to work.
We made hot air balloons using paper lanterns and helium balloons with folded origami boxes (like the ones Jaime made for chocolates here) tied them together with twine and hung them from the ceiling with fishing line. Then added a paper banner, (made by sewing papers together with the sewing machine), a white table cloth and some fabric squares. All in all pretty easy.

Here are the invitations I designed.
And I made printables to share :)


The original invite had the new baby's name across the banner and a message at the bottom...
"come help us welcome to the world a new baby boy" plus party info. 

and here's a version without the 'welcome' in case you wanted to use it for another party, say birthday.

Thanks to everyone's help we also had some fabulous refreshments.
Chocolate Chunks...
all sorts of chocolate and candy bars chopped into snitch-able sized pieces on a large
wooden cutting board...

Fresh Fruit...
because really, who doesn't love it.
Not only is it delicious, but the colors are always refreshing.

Jaime's Rhubarb Bars...
You HAVE to try these!
Here's her recipe.

Lemon Bars...
Classic. They really are one of my favorite things.
I'll have to share the recipe later.

here's where we link

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Seasoning a Chalkboard + Chalkboard Quote

We moved into our current home a little over a year ago. At the time, we did quite a lot of "fixin-up."
 I have loved our new kitchen, (check out the before and after pics). I've been completely undecided about what to do for my one wall though. 
Leave it empty for clean-ness and simplicity? 
Cute china plate display? 
Wall art?

In the end I finally decided I wanted to jump on the chalkboard bandwagon. Mostly because 1) they look cute and 2) I keep reading these inspiring quotes or thinking of inspiring mantras that I want to try and remember throughout the day. You know, things, that will inspire me when I need it--motivate me to respond better to my kids, put a smile on my face, whatever. I've tried writing them in my planner, but that only works so well. A friend of mine says she puts sticky notes up on her bathroom mirror. Totally what I need, but I wanted something in the hub of the house. 

Enter the kitchen chalkboard.

So I was going to make one. Took a few trips to the thrift store to find a frame, never found anything.
Then I went to TJMaxx to go dress shopping for my daughter and bam! super cute chalkboard that matches my kitchen perfectly. So I bought it. :) Easy peasy. 

First step for the chalkboard: season it!


Well yes, you should "season" your new chalkboards. I've read this a few times out in blog land with all the chalkboard craze going on.
Basically, your newly purchased or newly painted chalkboard needs seasoning in order to make it erasable. If you write directly on your new chalkboard without first seasoning it, then your writing will saturate the chalkboard in those areas and be very difficult to erase. (It's called ghosting). Don't want that. 
So, ya season it. 

How do you do it? 
Easy. Just talk a piece of chalk, lay it on its side and cover the entire board with chalk. Go back and forth and then up and down. Once it is covered as shown above, erase it with an eraser or cloth and it is good-to-go. 

Ah! now what quote to write on it? There's only about a million that I love. 
Well, I decided to start with a good one about having love and peace and kindness in our home. One from our very own prophet, President Thomas S. Monson

"May your homes be filled with love and courtesy and with the Spirit of the Lord." 
-Thomas S. Monson, May 2012

Now, want to know something funny? 
The chalkboard is upside down!!! That's why I didn't show it to you on my lovely kitchen wall--the hooks to hang it from are on the bottom. Alas. All that work.... 
It'll be propped up for the next few days (at least) until I build up the motivation to erase it and write a new one. :)

Also, p.s. sneak peak at the picnic table I'm working on... Oh, it's going to be so fun a cheery!!

Have a great day!


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Make a classic rope swing

 This fun rope swing was a super simple project to do. One of those rare quick-and-easy but lasts-forever fun projects.

My mom has a wonderful yard
The only thing missing was some classic wooden swings for her grand kids to play on! Enter Mr. Everyday Art, aka, my hubby. He's so handy! I mentioned to him that my mom was interested in some wooden swings for her back yard. "No problem," he said. He's been working on finishing our basement and had some leftover 2 x 6 pieces that would work perfectly. I'm still kind of amazed at how quickly and easily he made these swings for her yard. And, as expected, my girls love them, especially because they are a little more rare to find these days.

Here's how to make your own:
1. Cut a 2 x 6 to be about 20 inches long. Anywhere between 18 and 22 inches should be great. 
2. Acquire some rope. We used 5/8-inch rope that is was rated to hold 300 pounds. Not that we thought it would actually be holding a 300-lb somebody, but by the time you get centrifugal force involved, it's not a bad idea to aim high. Obviously, it's a good idea to have an idea of where you are going to put the swing so you know about how much rope you need.
3.   Drill holes about an inch from either end that will fit the rope you purchased.
4. Insert the rope, loop it up around the tree branch, tie knots on the bottom of the swing until they are even and presto, you have a fun swing.

Kid-tested, mother approved. 

Have a great tree limb?
Make your kiddos a classic rope swing this week. :)