Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Easter Craft Countdown

Happy Wednesday!  Easter baskets pose a challenge to me.  Is it just me?  Am I just not thinking outside the basket (heheheh)?  Sure, candy is the star, but one little munchkin can only eat so much sugar (I'm sure he would disagree with me on that).  Bunny bum's basket will have some requisite candy (Sarris mmmmm), but we'll also be including cars (stuffed into the plastic eggs), books and a nice chunk of his basket will be filled with sidewalk chalk.  Now, I couldn't just put a plain old box of sidewalk chalk in :) 

I started with a plain white pail from the Dollar Store

A little chalkboard spraypaint and now it's bunny-worthy:

And just because I can't have less than a hundred projects going at one time, here's a list of the other things that I'm trying to get wrapped up before the weekend:
Whew!  Well, I'd better get busy - have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Quick & Easy...3 Words to a Happy Life

Happy Tuesday!  This is not a tip, per se, but more of a philosphy of mine (yes, I'm quite philosophical, ha!).  Quick and easy is just better.  Yep, that's my claim.  Maybe I am just really late to the quick & easy party, but I've spent alot of time over in the 'slow and crazy-labor-intensive' camp (hello Martha) and it is not much fun.  I'm way more over-scheduled and under-rested than I've ever been, but I'm also way happier and having more fun than I've ever had too.  If something (crafting, cleaning, working out) isn't quick and easy, it's not getting done (sorry walls, I'll wash you down another year).  I just don't have time for total burnout!  Soooo, in the spirit of quick and easy, here's a super quick & easy spring craft (10 minutes!):

I took 1 Dollar Store black frame, mixed in a piece of scrapbook paper and a dash Spanish moss. Garnish with three jelly beans for a crazy-fast piece of home decor:

I removed the glass from the frame and cut the piece of scrapbook paper to size.  Using hot glue, I glued a bit of Spanish moss in a circle to form a nest:

Hot-glue your jelly beans, give your unruly moss a little trim and viola - instant awesomeness:

ps - I saw a BRILLIANT idea from Rebekah over at All Thingz Related yesterday - she made clay eggs (soooo much better than jelly beans!!)  I plan to replace my jelly beans with clay eggs just as soon as I pick up some clay :)

Linking to:

Creations by Kara

Decor Mamma

Monday, March 29, 2010

Hoppin Down the Bunny Trail...

The Munchkin Theme this week is Easter (of course!)  Here's a list of our bunny plans:

Letter of the Week: E
Crafty Creative and Sensory Fun:
  • Marshmallow Egg Craft (from No Time for Flashcards - Allie is a tiny tot creative GENIUS!)
  • Easter Egg Collage
  • Planting Easter (aka wheat) Grass and a windowsill herb garden while we're at it :)
  • Jelly Bean Counting Game
  • Dying Easter Eggs
  • Here Comes Peter Cottontail
  • Ten Little Bunnies (like Ten Little Indians)
For more Munchkin Fun hop on over to Sweet Little Munchkin

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Whoa! Who moved my calendar ahead!

Wow - where did that time between Valentine's Day and Palm Sunday go?  I swear some one's playing a trick on me - it's still February, right?!?  Where, oh where, has the time flown to?  I have a few things on my Easter crafty to-do list completed, but I'm really going to have to go into overdrive this week.  I only had a few things planned for my little nooshkin (oh yes, I just make up nauseating words as nicknames) and those are all finished.  I'll be posting sneak peaks of his goodies through the week.  Now I just have a gazillion home crafts and something to whip up for my mom & mom-in-law. In the meantime, here's a little preview of the happy home decorating that I have been able to accomplish...

The ceramic bunny is a cookie jar from Target (last year).  The ceramic lettuce/cabbage is from Tuesday Morning years ago - when I bought it I had NO IDEA what the heck I would do with it, but I loved it.

Here's a little vignette that features my newsprint eggs (in the little basket) and my Dollar Store tin tray redux.  The little chicks are salt & pepper shakers that I bought at Kmart last year (aren't they the cutest little things!)

Here's a basket that the munchkin received from Mimaw (his pronunciation of Grandma) last year.  I love the basket - I have claimed it as mine (hehehe)

This is a ceramic egg candy dish from JoAnn's (last year) and a package of Dollar Store mini glitter eggs in a small glass apothecary jar (I bought mine at Garden Ridge, but I've seen them at Michael's and JoAnn's too)

And you may remember the instant gratification Easter Tree and Shabby Chic Easter Wreath

Well, that's about all I have up at the moment (which is why I have the gazillion home crafts on my list).  How do you decorate for Easter?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Nachos Grande

Most often when we go out to dinner, we end up ordering an appetizer.  The hubby and I have different tastes when it comes to the appetizer menu, but the one thing that we can always agree on are Nachos.  To keep us from going out every time the Nacho bug bit, I came up with this version of our favorite 'tizer.  Salty, savory, a little bit of heat...mmmmmmmm.

Nachos Grande

1 pound ground meat
1/2 packet taco seasoning (I use Old Elpaso)
1/4 cup of water
1 1/3 cups shredded cheese (I use a fiesta blend)
1/2 red onion, chopped fine
1 bag corn chips

sour cream
sliced jalepenos
scallions, sliced
tomatoes, chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 325
  2. Brown ground meat in a large skillet
  3. Drain excess fat from the pan (I use lean ground beef and find that there is little to no fat to drain off)
  4. Add taco seasoning and 1/4 cup of water to the pan & stir, let simmer for 3-5 minutes until thickened
  5. While meat is simmering, layer corn chips onto a large baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes
  6. Line a large baking pan with foil (skip this step if you want a messier cleanup)
  7. Add approximately one-third of the corn chips to the baking pan
  8. Layer approximately one-third of each, meat, cheese and onion on top of the corn chips
  9. Repeat steps 7 & 8 twice more to build a nacho lasagna (or you could bake 1 layer at a time - I just stack it up to save time)
  10. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is nice and bubbly
To serve, pile nachos onto a HUGE serving platter and sprinkle liberally (or to taste) with tomatoes, jalepenos and scallions. Add a dollup of sour cream and bowl of salsa on the side.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Ballard Typewriter Key Inspiration for Cheapity Cheap Cheap Cheap

Yay it's Thursday :)  I'm finally getting around to making my own Ballard-Inspired Typewriter Keys.  I saw these in the catalog in, eh, December or so and made a little note to copy use them as inspiration. 

I've seen some other, inspired, versions out there and I decided that it was high time to create my own.  Now my challenges are - I need much smaller circles for the space I have in mind and my budget is considerably smaller than the $300 these babies would cost me (who pays that!?!)  Enter these from Walmart:

These little guys have about a 1 1/2 inch radius (wow, who knew I remembered geometry!) so each one is roughly 3 inches across.  And although they have the lovely basketball design (which is raised), the backs of them are a clean slate!  Oh yeah, and the BEST part...they were 25 cents apiece.  They set me back a cool $1.50.  And now for the letters (thank you JoAnn's) for $4.50 (anyone else think this is a little pricey for little wooden letters??). 

I painted the backside of the basketballs with black spray paint (gloss finish), nd then I painted the letters with cream spray paint (satin finish):

Now, it looks fine like this, but I was looking for a little more pizzaz...modge podge here I come!  I took some scraps of scrapbook paper from my stash (does the word stash make anyone else think of moustaches?  No?  Ok, must just be me) and did the old trace once, modge podge twice routine...waited for them to them to the disks...aaaaand we're done:

I'm thinking of mounting them to a nice piece of distressed wood or maybe a little beadboard...but until then I love 'em as is :)

So let's do a final cost breakdown shall we:
  • Round (previously basketball) discs from Walmart: $1.50
  • Letters from JoAnn's: $4.50  (I really need to find a cheaper source)
  • Paint from Walmart (because I was out of black spray paint): $3.50
  • Scrapbook Paper: $0 (on hand)
Grand Total: $9.50  Saving $290...PRICELESS!

Keeping It Simple

The Girl Creative

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Shabby Chic Nest Wreath

All of my recent blog-browsing has infused my crafty projects with new shabby chic flair.  For this wreath I used a few of my newsprint covered eggs, a Dollar Store wreath, black paint and a lovely blue pillowcase that has been just waiting for a project.  I finally remembered to take some pictures DURING the crafting process so I actually have a bit of a tutorial :)
I started out with a small wreath from the Dollar Store and painted it with a few coats of black spray paint (satin finish):

Then I cut two strips of the pillowcase about 4 inches wide and 12 inches long.  I left the edges raw because I like the way it looks.  If I was using a satin-type material, I probably would have finished the edge.  I fiddled (technical term) with making loopy swirls it until I liked the was happy with the effect.  Once I had the general pattern of loopy swirly-ness to my liking, I used hot glue to affix it to the wreath.  (I set an egg on there at this point to make sure I would like the nesting idea).  Here's the wreath with one strip of the pillowcase and an embellished egg hot glued into place:
I used the same technique to add the second strip of pillowcase and second embellished egg.  Here's a close up of the nest detail:
And here's where the wreath is currently living in my house (amongst the bevy of cheap crafty delights):

And just because I love a cost breakdown...

  • Wreath from the Dollar Store:  $1

  • Newsprint Covered Eggs:  $1  (actually more like 15 cents since I only used 2 of them)

  • Pillowcase fabric:  $0  (on hand)

  • Embellishment for Eggs:  $0  (on hand)

  • Black Paint:  $0  (on hand)

Linking to:

Creations by Kara


Keeping It Simple

The Girl Creative




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