Wednesday, April 23, 2014

DIY:: Party Crowns

Is it just me, or is the popularity of the party hat dying? 
My son is 4, my daughter just turned 1 and I have to say, this is the first party hat for us..... weird....
I remember having them at EVERY party when I was a kid!
Maybe it's how plain they have become? Or flimsy... and feeling like a useless waste of money?

Well, let's spice up the party hat and do a little up-cycling at the same time!

My inspiration came from Helena at Craft and Creativity. Her tutorial can be found here.

 I instantly fell in love with this idea instead of the ones you get at the store, and how she used washi tape instead of paint. I ended up using Sparkle Tape by Darice for mine. It seemed perfect for the look I wanted for my crowns.
Not to mention, a crown is quite fitting for a Very Merry Un-Birthday!! Boy or girl! 
So, let's get started!


To start, I cut all my strips of tape that I would need. 
For the toilet paper roll, I used 5.5" strips. The paper towel rolls needed to be a tad longer.

Next, I layered the strips of tape on the toilet paper roll, starting at the bottom/top, creating a stripe pattern. 
Feel free to make whatever design you want. I just used the stripe pattern for this post :)

Continue adding strips of tape until the entire roll is covered. 
Note: I used 7 strips on every toilet paper roll. Some rolls ended up having a little bit of extra cardboard showing at the top, no fear, just trim that off! 

Now, cut the points of your crown. I cut a 'V' down to the third strip from the top.

Grab your hole punch and punch a hole on each side of the crown. (Make sure the seam of the strips is in the back! Don't want that bad boy showing...) 
Also, if you have a lazy hole punch, like mine, you may need an Exacto knife to help guide that hole out a little bit...leaving a slightly sloppy hole. It works though!!

Next, cut the elastic cord to the size needed. 
I used 17" for the smaller heads and 19" for all the larger ones.

Finally, put an end of the cord through each of the holes, meeting in the middle of the hat, and tie a knot. Trim the excess from ends and you're done!

Quick, easy and cute! Just the way I like it!

There are so many different ways to decorate your crowns:
Duct tape, washi tape, paint, stickers, jewels, stencils, markers, pom-poms, crayons.........

You can make them for a party, like myself, or have the kids create their own. Even using this as a rainy day craft or Earth Day project is great as well!  (Too bad I didn't post this yesterday!!)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

It's Almost Easter!!!

I feel like I slack in the holiday entertainment department once Christmas is over, but I am definitely trying! And, in case you are feeling just like me, slightly overwhelmed with how fast things keep sneaking up on you, here is a round up of Easter themed projects we are going to be doing around here.

That's right, she has two because she is *that* crafty!
I absolutely love the modern, chevron twist to the traditional Easter egg! And the bunny hat with a link to a matching diaper cover? Yes, please!!

What a great way to use up some potatoes, entertain the kids and make some art!! There are examples on how to create bunnies and chicks too!

Is there really anything that needs to be said here? I mean, it's a bunny scene tucked away in an egg!! Why wouldn't you want to make this??

Cayley is turning in to a lover of dolls and this Easter Lily Doll is my favorite out of the entire line-up that Yarnspirations has. I can't wait to see how it turns out!

Carson is going to go crazy when I let him make this yarn bowl!! Great way to use up scraps, let the kids get messy and get a pretty awesome looking bowl out of it in the end!

Well, that's all folks! Just enough to keep everyone busy for the next few days and get in the groove of Easter festivities!! 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Hello! My Name Is.....

~*~ Lucille ~*~

Breed: Ameraucana (Silver Bantam)
I picked this pretty little lady because she was standing so tall and eyeing me at the store. Something about her said, "pick me"!! 
When I got her home, I noticed she already had some personal hygiene issues and she needed a nice little butt scrub. I think she appreciated it because she's been one fiesty chick ever since. She does love a good ear pet, though.
For her breed, Ameraucana, she will be my only blue egg layer. She is also considered to be the more aggressive of the breeds I got, so that explains her pestering the others.

~*~ Gladys ~*~

Breed: Red Sex Link

With Gladys, I am slightly confused on which breed she really is. She expresses traits of a Buff Orpington, but she was picked from the Red Sex Link bin. I think I will be able to tell more when she is older. She will be a large, brown egg layer and have a sweet personality. I, personally, think she already shows her sweet side. She is very shy and is always snuggling with Pearl.

~*~ Delilah ~*~

Breed: Black Sex Link

Hey there, Delilah! We have two black dogs already, so why not a black hen? She loves being snuggled and cupped in your hand. Falls right to sleep! Fits right in with her friendly and affectionate personality that Black Sex Links are known for. Unfortunately, they are also known for being very vocal, especially when laying eggs. Which, apparently she will be egg-cellent at! I *knew* chickens were a great idea to get back at my noisy neighbor legally ;)

~*~ Pearl ~*~

Breed: Buff Orpington

Last, but far from least, we have Pearl. Formally known as "Nana", since Nana picked her, she is considered a "dual purpose" breed. Great for eggs and meat!! Not sure I want to think about the meat aspect of this adventure quite yet, but good to know. Pearl is known for being another egg-cellent layer of medium to large, light brown eggs. She is also known for being the very first escape artist! With her cries of separation being heard at 4:30 am, I came to her rescue and put her back in her temporary home. Being a Buff Orpington, she gets picked on a lot, mostly by Lucille, and Gladys tends to comfort her. She is super jumpy now, but with time, should be extremely calm and friendly.

So, there you have it! The newest additions to our family and tiny homestead! If you didn't think I was crazy yet, you are now! I am beyond excited for these hens to join our family, clear these bugs from my yard and gardens and of course, lay us some eggs!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Call Me Crazy......

But I am doing it again!!
What is that, you ask? Oh, just another attempt at a birthday party for a little girl who deserves it more than anything!! You can't pass up this sweet face without feeling guilty that she was sick for her 1st Birthday and her party needed to be cancelled :(

It's the perfect excuse to throw an.......can you guess it???

Here is my super simple, last minute invitation. You can see her original invite here.
(I say last minute because we decided to do this party about 3 days ago.... I quit thinking and just did it!)
Using leftover card stock from her original invitation and some stamps I already had, I printed these out really quick, stamped them up and they are on their way to the mailbox this afternoon!

Nothing fancy, but just right!

We are hoping for some great weather to bring out all the fun kid stuff, have a BBQ and just enjoy a great day for a sweet little girl.

 If it rains, well so be it, I have a plan for that too!!
Now, it's time to get back to crafting... eh hem, I mean, um, cleaning.....


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

What Is A Weed?

"A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Two years ago, when I came across a 'pin' about a dandelion salve (which I can no longer find for some reason...), I had no idea that I would be embarking on a journey of information.

If you are like me, you had to do yard work as a kid and one of my tasks was to pull weeds. My mother would offer me $5.00 for a garbage bag full of dandelions. That's a pretty rough deal if you ask me...
But think of this:

Who, exactly, decided that a dandelion was going to be a considered a pesky weed??

I mean, I understand that they *are* quite hard to get rid of, especially since their seeds get blown everywhere and digging them up is a chore with their roots being anywhere from 6-18 inches deep!
But, if you understand exactly what that little dandelion does, then you might think twice about calling it a "weed." 
"Make a wish!"
Let's start with some history.... don't worry, it's quick.
The Native Americans used dandelions to help with kidney disease, swelling, skin problems, heartburn and upset stomachs. The Chinese used it for stomach problems too, as well as, inflammation of the breast and to help with milk flow in nursing mothers (wish I knew that then...). In Europe, dandelions were known to be used for fevers, boils, eye problems, even diabetes.

image: Vintage Printable
Now, getting back to the present, I am sure most of you know that you can eat dandelions. But, did you know that it is high in Vitamins A & C and contains more iron than spinach?? 
Or how about making it in to some tea.... maybe wine perhaps?
Dandelion juice has also been known to help control insulin in diabetics!!! (taking notes for the husband) 
Use dandelion extract to relieve symptoms of PMS and lower blood pressure, or an oil/salve as an anti-inflammatory. They have dandelion cream for psoriasis, acne and eczema!
Even the milky liquid that comes out of the stem after you pluck the dandelion has uses.... treat warts by applying it daily or put it on bug/spider bites to help them heal faster.
These are all things you can get or do yourself today!!

Crazy, right?? Who knew!!

And all this time, we have been taught that they were evil..... makes me sad.
We use herbicides to kill them (cancer causing agent), yet, dandelions are being studied as a cure for cancer!! Here is an article from 2012 I found from CBC....there are many more if you Google.

Makes you wonder what else we are destroying just because we don't take the time to learn what it actually does?
I am definitely pocketing all this new found knowledge!!

Finally, to what started this all, the dandelion salve! I found a couple of posts, one from Little Seed Farm and the other from The Nerdy Farm Wife. They are two different options, I will most likely try both, but am starting with Little Seed Farm's first since I need to order beeswax still.

Last night, Carson and I plucked all the fully opened dandelions that we could find out in that yard!
There he is! Plucking away!

After we gathered all that we could, we put them on a paper towel and let them wilt overnight....

There are plenty more dandelions that haven't bloomed yet, which is good if this turns in to a learning process and not an instant success.

~*~ Stay tuned for the full process of making the dandelion salve!!! ~*~

Now that we learned all of this, let's start thinking of dandelions, in all it's stages, as more of a beautiful creation and less of pest.......

image: Piano Central Studio

For more information:
Organic Facts

NOTE: In case it wasn't already obvious, I am not a medical professional. Please speak to your doctor and do your own research before you try and/or use anything I have mentioned on here for medicinal purposes. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sunday Project: Hooded Shark Towel

This week has been quite chaotic..... yet again, it's a house with a 4 year old and a toddler, of course it's chaotic!! Even with all the madness, I was glad to finally find some time to work up this Hooded Shark Towel from Amber @ Crazy Little Projects

Next, is the Butterfly Hooded Towel!!
You may remember me talking about making these 'oh, too adorable' towels awhile back in this post here.

And just to brag some more about what I did this weekend, I was invited to see Young the Giant play a small, acoustic, End Session sponsored by a our local radio station, 107.7 The End. 

What an amazing experience, let me tell you. If you have never heard of this band, please give them a listen! You won't be disappointed!