Monthly Archives: January 2012

There’s “snow” ice cream like Snow Ice Cream!

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Now, I am the last person to ever get excited to see snow… But I have been waiting all winter to try this out! So I have to say that when I saw the snow tonight, I got a little excited… (especially when I know it’s going to warm up and melt tomorrow!)
I found a couple snow ice cream recipes on-line one night when I was aimlessly surfing for something, probably totally unrelated, but I have been holding onto the idea of snow ice cream ever since. So, for the last couple of weeks, I keep putting bowls and pans outside in hopes of catching a little snow, but instead I have been dumping out water and scraping out ice… What a winter!
As you can see, I put out a few containers as soon as I saw the snow tonight. This is a much cleaner option than trying to scoop a layer of clean snow from the ground. The metal bowl is also great, because it keeps the ice cream cold.
We started with five ingredients; snow, milk, vanilla, condensed milk, and sugar

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Once I had all of the ingredients ready to go, I brought two of the bowls of snow inside, it takes a lot of snow to make a little bit of ice cream!

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I started by adding about 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla, and about 1/2 cup of milk.

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The kids loved helping to stir, but we had to work quickly! Then we added about 1/4 cup of condensed milk. I didn’t end up adding any additional sugar, the condensed milk was sweet enough.

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It was pretty cool how quickly it froze and turned into an ice cream consistency!

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We of course had to sample it, just to make sure it tasted good and we had the right ingredients… I think it passed the taste test!

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So, we tried another batch! This, time we added a little chocolate syrup to make chocolate ice cream! I think the next time I make chocolate ice cream, I will add a little less condensed milk, and a little more chocolate.

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So, then I started thinking… My baileys recipe would make amazing ice cream! (i think i posted the recipe on new years) So I made us a special baileys blend of snow ice cream for after the kids are in bed!

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We had so much fun making this, it was quick, easy, and the kids loved it! And, the Bailey’s ice cream is amazing!

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I have to say that tonight I am looking at snow in a much more positive light…Maybe it’s the Bailey’s talking, I did have a second bowl!

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Painting the bedroom

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Here is what my daughter’s bedroom looked like before we started redecorating…

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When we moved into the house, we discovered that the previous owners had simply hung pictures where there were holes, or patches in the drywall, and Sam’s room was patched all over! So, my temporary solution was to stick up a set of wall stickers I found on sale at winners… But it has been almost three years now…
So, if you have been reading my blog, you know that the theme she has picked for her new room is cupcakes, and the colours are black and pink. Now that i have the quilt done, I am ready to paint.
I know my mom is going to hate this, but we started by painting one wall black…. I know, I know, what am I thinking… my daughter is 7… I wasn’t allowed to paint my room black until I was 17! But, don’t judge yet!
Here is what the wall looks like…

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Then, we painted the rest of the room “watermelon pink”. I picked the colour from the pink in her quilt.

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And… Thanks to modern technology, I can try out some different ideas for one of the walls… What do you think? How can you go wrong with pink leopard skin?? I think I like the pink background better, but I will have do do a little test on the wall first to figure out the scale and design… These are just really quick sketches.

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I think I might do something to update her dressers too…

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I’m back to work tomorrow, so I’ll keep you posted…

Contest

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I have entered my cupcake quilt in a contest… Check it out and vote!

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Here is the link for the website. contest website
I entered in the category sew warm…. If you click on the Sew Warm contest, then “view entries” (look at the left side of the screen for a tab at the top), you can scroll through the entries until you see my cupcake quilt.
While you are browsing you have to check out the website, it has amazing instructions for anything you can think of, and amazing ideas you have never thought of!
Thanks!

Making bookmarks

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I needed a small gift for guest speakers at work, so I thought bookmarks would be a nice idea…

It took a while to figure the materials, but here is what I came up with. We started with shrinky-dinks. You can buy it at most craft stores, it is the plastic that shrinks when you put it in the oven.

I cut out rectangles with rounded corners, punched a hole, then wrote, “thanks” with a permanent marker. Then I put them in the oven at 325, for about 5 minutes. When they shrink, they curl right up, but leave them in the oven until they flatten back out.

The kids love making these too. Both of the kids made a couple small pieces, that I am going to attach to keychains to use as zipper pulls, or on their back packs. I’ll show you a picture when they are done.

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After they cooled, I used pliers to attach a jump ring (fancy name for the little metal ring) to each one.

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Then, to make the bookmark part, I actually found a plastic binder with a bit of a texture and cut it into pieces. I started with an exacto knife, but learned that scissors work just as well. I rounded the corners with the scissors. Then, I used a single hole punch to punch a hole in the top of each bookmark.

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To make the decorations on the end of the bookmarks, I used a variety of black, silver, and crystal beads. I threaded them on a head pin (a head pin is like a normal pin, but meant for jewellery because it is bendable) cut the excess wire off and bent a loop. Then I attached the loops to the jump ring with the shrinky-dink tag.

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Then I cut lengths of black ribbon a little less than a foot long. I threaded the jump rings on the ribbon and tied a knot.

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The final step was to thread the loop of the ribbon through the hole in the bookmark and pull the ends back through the loop to attach it to the bookmark.

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I also needed a few extra, so I cut up a grey plastic duo tang cover, and made a few grey ones too. Done.

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Grass heads!

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So, I made it through the week…i haven’t been feeling too well because I have had a headache for five days now… But I went to the chiropractor this afternoon, and since then, my headache is much better, and I had a little extra energy… So here is what we did tonight…
Most of the time I am sharing my personal projects and family crafts, but now that I am back at work, I might share some of my school crafts too. My kids have the pleasure of not only participating in family crafts, but they often help me get things ready for school too.
Today we worked on making grass heads!

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I will have to post a picture in a week, when the grass has sprouted, they look a whole lot better with grass!
I bought everything to make 20 grass heads at the dollar store for about $20.00. My shopping list was; nylon stockings, soil, grass seed, small hair elastics, google eyes, pipe cleaners, and plastic cups.

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The first step is to fill the nylon stockings with about 2-3 teaspoons of grass seed first, then about a cup and a half of soil. Sam helped me discover that this is a very messy job (once again, I am so lucky to have extra help!) so, after we cleaned up all of the soil from the floor, we stretched the nylons over a plastic yogurt container. This was much neater, and much easier to fill!

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After we filled the stockings, we found that we had to pack them like a snowball to compact all of the soil. Then, we picked a side for the face and pinched a little of the soil for the nose, and wrapped it with an elastic band.

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After we had done this 20 times (I had to make 20 for school), we were ready to decorate the faces. I purposely made the noses different sizes and shapes because I want the finished heads to have different personalities.

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Next step is to glue on the eyes. I think the only glue that would hold and dry with all of the moisture is hot glue. I don’t know what I would do without my hot glue gun!

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Once again as you can see in the photo, I purposely used different sizes of eyes and positioned, and spaced the eyes in different places so they all looked different. Sam expressed her concern that they all looked like boys, and there were no girls, so we added some eyelashes using bugle beads, earrings, and hair bows. For most of the mouths, I clipped pieces of pipe cleaners and glued everything with my hot glue gun.
The reason I wanted to make these heads is because it is national family literacy day next week. What do grass heads and literacy day have to do with each other? The idea I had was that throughout the week, the younger kids would be able to sit beside the grass head, read to it and watch the grass grow…. Last year I sent a fish around to visit the classes so the kids could read to it and the kids loved it, so I figured why not read to a plant?
When i deliver these guys (and girls) to the classes, I wrote a letter for the teacher to the teachers and made a folded card that will sit beside them in the classroom. I’m not sure if you can read it or not, but here’s a picture.

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And here is the picture again that shows the heads fully decorated. I will post another picture next week, when they have some hair!

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Making purses with the girls

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So, on the weekend, Dylan went to a birthday party playing lazer tag with the boys, while we looked after Sam and her friend from across the street.
The girls were playing with their stuffed animals and decided that they needed a way to carry them so they could have their hands free to do other important things. Sewing a bag is a very simple project, if you do not sew, this is a great project to start with… Why not make a reusable grocery bag, or tapestry purse, hmmmm?
Here is what the finished product looks like…

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We started by picking some scraps of fabric. We laid out their stuffed animals on top of the fabric and they cut out a square a little bit larger than their animals. Then, they drew patterns of flowers onto a paper, and I pinned their patterns to the fabric, and they cut it out. I pinned their flowers onto their fabric and sewed around the perimeter, then clipped around the polar fleece to neaten it up.

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Then I turned under the seams to finish the top edges…

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Then, putting the right sides together, I sewed around the sides, leaving the top open..

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Then, because I knew the bags were going to hold three dimensional stuffed animals, while the bags were inside out, I sewed a diagonal seam across the corners, I hope you can see how to do it in the picture…

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This is what the corners look like when is turned back right side out….

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We cut out a couple long strips of fabric for the straps, and I sewed a seam, right sides together down the length of the strap

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Then to attach the straps to their bags, I sewed a little square on both of the side seams. The square makes it a little stronger and less likely to rip. Because I know my daughter, I realize that most likely, at some point in time, this bag will probably be filled with rocks, or marbles, or other treasures…so it’s better to reinforce it now. (You never know what a girl is going to need to put in her purse….)

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After we clipped the threads, the girls were ready to go (and played quietly while I started on my next project…stay tuned!)

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Pimping out a mirror

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Ok, so it’s Sunday, which means we have a little bit of spare time….which means, it’s craft time!

So, one of Sam’s favourite things to do is to look in the mirror… So why not make her mirror a little nicer?
We are using a plain full length mirror (this one was actually left in her room by the previous owners of the house), we bought some plastic flowers at the dollar store (I spent $8 on 8 bunches…I’ll let you know how many we actually needed) and a regular glue gun.

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Sam and Dylan helped out by pulling all of the heads off of the flowers.

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Then we pulled apart the flowers….

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I clipped off the “stems” from the middle of the flowers, so that when I glued the flowers on the frame, they would lay flat.

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Because there was nothing holding the flowers together now, because i chopped off the “stems”, I added a little bit of hot glue between each layer of the flower, then glued them around the perimeter of the frame. It took five of the bunches of flowers to cover the who.e frame.

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Then, I used some of the leaves to glue in between the flowers to cover where the frame was showing through.

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As you can see, she has been using it already! I am looking forward to seeing it up in her room.

Shop day with uncle Scott

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So, can you tell we are no longer on holidays…i think i have posted once this week!
I wanted to share with you what we did last weekend. My brother is a professional artist and has a few times (yes, surprisingly we have been invited back more than once!) invited my kids over to create an artwork in his shop. We have made amazing sculptures, designs and one year, we even made the titanic!

This time, he invited us over to try making some art using his routing machine…wait until you see what the kids made! I know most people don’t have machinery like this at home, so this is not the type of project you can follow along and try and home, but we had fun and I thought the process was cool.

The kids started at home, by doing line drawings where we tried to make sure all of the lines were connected. Dylan’s is the square design and Sam cut her swirls out of construction paper.

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So, I took pictures of their designs and emailed them to Scott. He then played around with the design using some of his software…sorry Scott, I really should have written down the name… Anyways, Leo also did a drawing using circles. Then, at Scott’s shop, we got to see the machine in action! We looked at our designs on the computer, then turned on the machine…the kids loved pushing the buttons and watching it warm up!

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Sam’s design didn’t turn out to be the easiest to cut out, so she improvised and did another quick drawing which ended up turning out really well!
I forgot to mention that we ended up picking an 1/8″ Masonite for their designs. It is strong enough, light weight and also looks really nice in its natural state.
Here is what it looked like as they were being cut out

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Here is them proudly showing off their finished products!

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Snowflake manicure anyone?

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As a parent, I often think that my kids have no clue what life is like for other children…. And in some ways, I find that comforting. In other ways, it’s also disturbing, but in this case, I’m going to go with comforting.
When Sam was younger, while my son and husband would be playing soccer or basketball, we would have our “girls time” where I would do her hair, or nails, or other girl stuff. Sam, at times has been very specific and detailed in her requests for her manicures, wanting every nail a different colour, or happy faces on every nail, then progressing to a happy face on finger #1, sad face for finger #2… Etc. (she thinks that this is a completely normal request…) So, during our most recent girl time, she requested a winter manicure, with snowflakes on every finger…

So far, both of my kids have enjoyed seeing themselves on my bog, so Sam’s first comment was, “hey mom, why don’t you write a blog about my nails?” and I thought, why not? So here goes…
How to do a snowflake manicure
Here is what the finished product looks like:

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Begin by painting the nails with two coats of you base colour. We picked a light blue.

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For the next step, the trick is to use a nail polish with a really thin brush. You can buy them at shoppers, or the dollar store.

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Begin the snowflake by using the thin brush to draw three intersecting lines like shown…

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Then, because a 7 year old has very small nails, I put on my glasses and on three of the lines, I added a v. See below…

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We finished the manicure by giving it a few minutes to dry, then adding a clear top coat to seal in the design.
I ended up using the exact same design when I made cookies a couple days later. I used white icing, then sprinkled on a coarse sugar on top.

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