Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The 1+2 Quilt - Baptism Quilt for Son #1

If you are new to quilting or just looking for a quick and easy quilt to make, check out this free quilting pattern by Samelia's Mum.

I made this simple quilt for my son last summer when he turned eight. (One of my 100 projects)  It was quick and fun to piece and then I straight-line quilted it on my machine. I love how it turned out and I am so happy that I ran onto this wonderful free pattern.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tuesday's Tip - Simple Cake Decorating with Gumballs

For a very cute and simple birthday cake, simply get large gumballs and place them on top of a frosted layer cake like polka dots. Add a number candle to the middle and you will look like a hero. Sooooo easy!!

Linking up with these fun parties!

I Heart Nap Time
Skip To My Lou

Home Stories A2Z


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Yardstick and Clothespin Art Display

I had seen a couple of art displays made of yardsticks and fun colorful clothespins. I thought they were really cute and a great idea, but I wanted to change it up a little. I wanted to make mine a little bit more neutral for a couple of reasons. First, it would be for my 8 year old boy, who is growing out of the more juvenile color schemes; and second, I wanted the art to be the real star. So here is my take on the yardstick and clothespin art display.

First, I got a good yardstick. I picked mine up at Lowe's. I think it was around 75 cents.

I painted the yardstick white and let it dry. When it was done drying I decided I wanted the number and hash marks to show up a bit better and it was a bit too crisp and perfect for my boys' room.

So I combined some gray paint with some water (about 1:1 ratio), and painted over the yard stick again. I let this sit for about 2-3 minutes.

Then I took a paper towel and wiped the paint off. The numbers and markings started to subtly show up. Perfect!!

Then I took nine clothespins and dunked them in my paint/water mixture. (One at a time). I decided to use this mixture, because I wanted the clothespins to be tinted, rather than painted. Plus - it was really easy ;)

I made sure the clothespins were completed covered and then pulled them out and let the excess paint drip off for a second.

Then I put them on wax paper to dry. I turned them over after the top seemed dry and let the underside get some good drying time too.

Next, I took some tacky glue and put a bit of it in the middle of the less pretty side of the clothespin.

I glued my first clothespin down at the 2 inch mark and then glued another one every four inches. (So that is one at the 2,6,10,14,18,22,26,30,and 34 inch marks.)

I let the clothespins dry overnight.

The next day, I flipped the yardstick over and attached some peel and stick velcro to it at the 2, 18, and 34 inch marks. (If you are in a rental, or are worried about damaging your wall, you will probably want to use command strips.)

I marked the wall, to ensure that I put the yardstick up straight and then I removed the plastic, to expose the adhesive on the other side of the velcro.

I matched the yardstick up with my markings and stuck it to the wall.

My son added some of his latest works.

He loves it and so do I.

Easy Map Magnets

I am a Geographer. Yes, it is true. I actually have a BS degree in geography and I love everything about it. These little map magnets are simple and inexpensive and totally me. This tutorial is like many I've seen on the internet, except for the fact that instead of cute scrap paper or images, we use old maps. This results in a fun magnet that can be a reminder of a place that is special to you, or somewhere that you visited. In my husband's teaching days, he did this as an art project with his 5th graders and it was a hit. It also served double duty as a bit of an experience in geography.

For this project you will need the following:

1. Clear Glass gems - I got mine in a package in the floral section at Dollar Tree. You will need to get the larger ones that measure about 1 1/4" across.

2. Old maps or an atlas that you are willing to cut up.

3. Pencil

4. Scissors

5. Mod Podge

6. Small Paint Brush

7. Nail file

8. Glue

9. Strong Magnets (Magnet tape will not work on these. They are too heavy.)

Set the gem over the map in the place that you would like to have showing on the magnet and trace around it.

Cut out the circle. As you can see, it does not need to be perfect.

Brush the back (flat side) of the glass gem with mod podge.

Adhere the piece of the map to the gem, making sure that the side you want showing is face down. Press the paper firmly on the gem and smooth out any air bubbles. Make sure all the edges are also glued down well. Then wipe off any mod podge that might have been pushed out from under the map piece and gotten on the front of the glass. Let it dry for several minutes.

Use the nail file to lightly sand down the edges. This will give it a more finished look. Don't file too heavily or the edges will start to look ragged. Then brush on a coat of mod podge to seal the paper and let dry for a few minutes.

Put a drop of glue in the middle. I have tried lots of different glues and found that tacky glue usually works best for me.

 Put the magnet on the bead of glue and make sure that it is where you would like it to be. Press firmly. Let the magnet dry for several hours in this position.

Once the magnet is dry. Hang it up and enjoy your creation!

For your convenience, I am adding affliliate links below to products that are the same as, or similar to the ones I used for this project.

Cooked Play Dough

When I was a little girl, I loved playing with play dough, but my mom rarely bought the commercial stuff, and I hated the feeling of salt dough on my hands. Then we were given this recipe and all was right in my play dough world. This play dough has a nice soft texture and keeps well if stored properly. Here are some simple instructions to help you make this if you have never made a cooked play dough before.

First, the recipe:

Cooked Play Dough
(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup water
2 teaspoons cream of tartar (or 1 tsp cream of tartar and 1 tsp citric acid powder)
1/4 cup salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Food Coloring

In a medium saucepan, mix all ingredients except the food coloring. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. When the dough becomes harder to stir and gathers on the spoon, dump onto wax paper. Allow to cool until able to handle and then separate into two or three pieces. Add food coloring and knead until smooth and the color is fully incorporated. Store in an airtight container. Will keep about 2 weeks (longer if kept in the refrigerator).

Now, onto the tutorial

Put all ingredients (except food coloring) into a medium saucepan and mix well. It will look about like a pancake batter.

Cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly. It will begin to look lumpy. Keep stirring and cooking.

It will start to look even more lumpy, but you are not there yet. Keep cooking and stirring.

The dough will start getting very difficult to stir and will come together in a ball on the spoon. When it reaches this point it is ready.

Dump the ball of dough onto waxed paper and let it cool until it can be handled. (Your pan will be pretty coated with cooked dough and you may worry that it will never recover. No worries- just get it right into the sink, fill it with water and let is soak. That stuff will come right off.)

When the dough is sufficiently cool, separate it into two or three pieces and flatten them out. Add the desired amount of food coloring to the middle of each disk.

Pull the dough up around the food coloring. (I do this to minimize staining on your fingers from the food coloring.) Knead the dough until the color is fully incorporated and the dough is nice and soft.

Store in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator.

Linking up with these parties

Somewhat Simple button Lil\'Luna
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