Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Celebrate Good Times C'mon

Happy Wednesday!!  Last week I celebrated my thirty third birthday and my 7th wedding anniversary.  Wowsers I'm old!  In my head I will always be 28 and it feels like we were married only yesterday :)  How did I celebrate?  I let the peanut vacuum the living room.  Now THAT's a celebration!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Yippee Ki Yo Ki Yay

Happy Monday!!  This week's Munchkin Theme is Cowboys!  Rootin, tootin, shootin cowboys.  Munchkin hasn't had much exposure to Cowboys (fictional or real) and it seems high time the lil pardner gets in the saddle.  Here's a round up of our planned Cowboy activities

Letter of the Week: H
Crafty Creative Sensory Activities:
  • H is for Horse letter craft (since Cowboys ride horses)
  • Bandanna matching game
  • Horseshoe sponge painting
  • Dowel rod 'hobby horse' races
  • Gold digging sensory tub
  • Home on the Range
  • I'm a Little Cowboy (I'm a Little Teapot tune)
    • I'm a little cowboy here's my are my spurs and here are my chaps
    • When I get up, I work all day...then get on my horse and ride away

Friday, August 20, 2010

Mini Cheesecakes

Happy Friday!!  If you ever happen to attend a wedding in western Pennsylvania, you will most likely be introduced to the cookie table.  The exact origin of the cookie table is not known, but according to Wikipedia:
Cookie tables are included in primarily Italian or Catholic wedding receptions. Other groups that also have cookie tables or cookie platters are the Greeks, Slovaks, Serbian Orthodox, Austrian/Hungarian, and Scandinavians. The inclusion of a cookie table is more widely known where those of Italian ancestry settled, and also in some cases, of the other groups mentioned above.
It wasn't until I got married that I found out cookie tables were a regional thing.  My mom baked most of the cookies for my wedding and the same is true for my sister's recent wedding.  My contribution to the cookie table were these delicious little mini cheesecakes.

Mini Cheesecakes

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (12 ounce) package vanilla wafers
1 can blueberry (or any flavor) pie filling


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line miniature muffin tins (tassie pans) with miniature paper liners
  2. Add one vanilla wafer to the bottom of each liner
  3. With an electric mixer, cream together the cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla
  4. Fill each liner with the cream cheese mixture 3/4 full
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 15 minutes
  6. Cool and then top with a teaspoonful of blueberry (or any other flavor) pie filling
One batch made about 50 itty bitty cheesecakes

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Baby Cakes

Happy Thursday!!  I was recently invited to a baby shower and wanted to give some of those needed registry items, but turn them into something a little more special.  Using the same technique that I used in the Tea Towel Cake, I took a few packages of receiving blankets and a few infant toys to create my first Baby Cake:

I absolutely love how it turned out :)  And here it is all packaged up...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Color Magic with Photoshop Elements

Happy Wednesday!!  Sorry my posts have been really sporatic - life is hectic and when something has to give, blogging is it....

So then, back to our regularly scheduled programming.  Today's whatever is one of my favorite Photoshop Elements tricks - colorizing part of a black and white picture.  To be fair, this is a bit of a cheat since the beginning picture is colorized.  But you say potato, I say patahto.  And the results looks so professional that I have to regularly sign that they are indeed my photos and not a professional photographers (when picking up the pictures from printing).  This is a bit of an abbreviated how-to because I'm making the assumption that you already know the basics of Photoshop Elements.  If anyone has any questions about the process, I'd be happy to help.  Ok, on to the tute...

I took a ton of pictures on my sister's wedding day.  One of my favorites is this one of us girls before heading to the church:

Our bridesmaid dresses were each a different color (rainbow wedding) and I wanted them to really pop.  I started out with a regular full color picture and opened in for editing in Photoshop Elements and created a duplicate layer:

Then I converted the top layer into black and white and hid the top layer to switch back to the full color layer

I selected my Magic Wand Tool on the left toolbar and started selecting the dress colors

After I had a bit selected, I would unhide the top black and white layer and simply delete the area in the Magic Wand

Wash, rinse and repeat until all of the desired area has been deleted from the black and white picture, then simply save the image as a JPEG

It took a few hours to get all of the dress parts selected in the colorized layer and then deleted in the black and white layer, but the result was well worth the effort!  I've done this technique with every possible type of picture, from pictures of Munchkin to pictures of wildlife - and everytime I absolutely love the end print!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Alphabet Soup

Happy Monday!!  We've been doing the letter of the week thing for awhile now.  I'm not sure if the letter knowledge has really been sinking in with Munchkin, so this week I decided to do a full alphabet theme.

Letter of the Week: All of them
Creative Crafty Sensory Activities:
  • Alphabet hop game (I spread foam letters out and then call out a letter for Munchkin to hop to)
  • Letter tracing
  • Letter fishing (with foam fish having a metal brad eye)
  • Letter hunt (during weekly errands)
  • Alphabet collage

Monday, August 9, 2010

Beep Beep, Honk Honk

Happy Monday!!  It's no secret that Snugglebug's favorite plaything are his cars.  Lots of cars.  He loves to drive them around... crash them... build parking lots...  So we're devoting an entire week to cars :)  Here's a look at our vroom-tivities for this week:

Letter of the week: C

Creative Crafty Sensory Fun:
  • C is for Car letter craft
  • Paper collage stop light
  • Car color sorting
  • DIY car mat
  • Cardboard box city (to go with our car mat)
  • Car wash water sensory tub

  • The Berenstain Bears and the Big Road Race by Stan and Jan Berenstain
  • Everything I Know About Cars by Tom Lichtenheld
  • Cool Cars by Tony Mitton and Ant Parker
  • World of Cars by Disney Storybook Artists
  • Cars and Trucks and Things That Go by Richard Scarry
  • Cars by Ben Smiley
  • Ready, Set, Go! (Cars Series) by Annie Auerbach
  • Car Wash Kid (Rookie Reader Series) by Cathy Goldberg Fishman
  • Cars by Anne Rockwell
  • The Life of a Car by Susan Steggall
  • Rattletrap Car by Phyllis Root
  • That's Not My Car by Fiona Watt

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wedding Card Gazebo

Happy Thursday!!  My sister's wedding is tomorrow and I've been a teensy bit busy over here baking cookies (we have full-on cookie tables at our weddings) and making some gifts for the soon-to-be-mr-and-mrs.  Since I can't show the gifties yet, here's a peek of the decorated card gazebo (yes, card gazebo)

The gazebo is pretty on it's own, but since everything else is going to be decked out, why not gussy it up too.  I started with the gazebo, tulle on a roll, a nifty LED wired floral spray and a silk hydrangea bush.  I found the LED lights in the floral section of Jo Anns.  According to the packaging, they're meant to be added to silk vase arrangements.  Maybe it's just me, but I think that's kinda odd - when was the last time that you had a floral arrangement come with lights?  But anyway, I liked that the lights are battery powered and figured that I could do something with them.  And after playing with them a little, I thought they'd look lovely going around the gazebo, softened with a bit of tulle.  Here's how the decorating was done...

Bend the LED light spray into a crown/halo shape and use the tulle to bind it to the gazebo - go around twice with the tulle to really soften the lights and create a bit of pouf

Insert ugly green battery case into a standard white jewlery box (the kind you get when buying earrings or bracelets at a department store) to hide the ugly green-ness

Tie the ends of the tulle (used in step 1) into a pretty poufy bow

Hot glue three hydrangea sections onto the gazebo above the door and add a little tulle pouf to the very top (I forgot to take pictures of this part - I simply cannot hot glue and operate a camera at the same time).

Stand back and admire your work :)  I like this so much that I'm trying to find a spot in my house to put one.  I'm thinking a Halloween one would be fantastic - imgine black tulle.. orange lights..  I feel another project coming on ;)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What The...

Happy Wednesday!!  Just thought I'd share a little silliness - here's what happens when you're almost-3-year-old gets bored with 'helping' to bake dozens of mini cheesecakes

Monday, August 2, 2010

More Mail Fun

Happy Monday!!  Things were a little crazy here last week, so we're continuing our Mail fun Munchkin Theme for another week.  Here's a recap of our mailtivities:

Letter of the week: M
Creative, Crafty, Sensory Fun:
  • M is for Mail letter craft
  • 'Writing' some letters for the Grandmas
  • Letter matching game
  • Match the stamp to the letter game (I'm making some felt envelopes with shapes on them and matching stamps to be adhered with velcro)
  • Color stamp sorting (using foam 'stamps')
  • Pretend Post Office play - complete with big mailbox (aka cardboard box), letter carrier bag, 'letters', small mailboxes and rolls of 'stamps' (aka stickers)
  • Millie Waits for the Mail by Alexander Steffensmeier
  • Post Office Book: Mail and how It Moves by Gail Gibbons
  • Word Family Tales: Snail Mail by Maria Fleming
  • Bunny Mail by Rosemary Wells
  • Delivering Your Mail: A Book about Mail Carriers by Ann Owen
  • Sadie the Air Mail Pilot by Kellie Strom
  • Post Office: Active Learning about Community Workers by Carol Wawrychuk
I've been a little (ok alot) slow at posting our Munchkin Theme activites over on Sweet Little Munchkin, starting this week I'm working on that backlog.


Related Posts with Thumbnails