Bow Storage

There is a little secret behind my daughter's bedroom door.

door

I've collected a few bows over the years that I've been raising 2 girls.
I've tried to take care of my bows and keep them in pretty good shape.
I didn't want to stuff them in a drawer and so I made this little bow hanger years ago.
I think it has kept them in pretty good shape.
However, some of these bows are like 7/8 years old, so if they aren't perfectly perky, you know why.

bow storage

I just bought a little peg strip from IKEA and painted it white.
Then I bought some grosgrain ribbon and sewed a little loop at the top.
Then I took another piece of ribbon through the loop and tied it on the peg.
loops

Over the years I collected a few more, so I cut the ribbons longer and attached them to a metal ring.
ring

Then I just put these rings on the pegs, so the bows are now 2 deep on some pegs.
full bow storage

Not too genius, but it is very functional. My girls know where to put their bows when they're done with them.
This little system has worked for a while and it is tucked away in an unused space.

I thought I might not be the only one who gets grumpy at the sight of a smashed pancake bow!

I'm linking to Blue Cricket Design... take a peek!

A Tribute to Our Mom, and her Projects

Ashleigh and I came by our love of projects honestly. We don't craft, bake or sew to keep up with the Jones' or even to impress you all in blogland. We do it cause it's in our genes!

Our Mom was a jack of all trades, completely multitalented and I think we both wanted to be the kind of mom she was. We started this blog, in part, because we wish that we had a record of the projects we did with our mom over the years.

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We lost our Mom to cancer 8 years ago. Today would have been her 60th birthday.
So, in her honor, we wanted to share with you some of her many talents. Like...

Painting

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Kathryn: I shudder to think that I passed off my monkeys as "painting". This is actual artistic talent. She was way ahead of her time since birds are so hip right now and she loved to paint birds. This one is in my family room and it makes me happy every day.

painting

Ashleigh: This is one of her paintings that I put in my ocean/beach themed bathroom. She oil painted mostly when we were really young, but I always loved to hear the stories behind each painting. She also had a surplus of acrylics that she would bring out for painting pots, ornaments, and any kind of craft imaginable.

Baking

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Kathryn: Way ahead of her time again with the genius birthday cakes. The best was the alligator cake she made for my brother and the green frosting turned all of the kids' teeth, lips, and (ahem) something else green for days. Good times!

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Ashleigh: I loved reminiscing through pictures of the many cool cakes she made. She often taught a cake decorating class here and there. She used the old school parchment triangles as her frosting bags and whipped those up in no time. Apparently I went through a little "Big Bird" phase because we found a cake, party and costume that I had all in the same year.

Sewing

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Kathryn: Here is the totally fabulous Big Bird costume mom made for Ashleigh. Looks like our dog Poosey was trick or treating, too. Mom attacked sewing projects like blankets, costumes, outfits, comforters, and window treatments. I also inherited her sewing = frustration gene and my kids know to keep clear of mama when the sewing machine comes out.

doggie blanket

Ashleigh: This is a picture of the much loved and well-worn "doggie blankie" she made for my oldest daughter when she was born. She was the only one of my kids to get something that grammie sewed, so we both treasure this so much.

Gardening

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Kathryn: This is in our backyard for my brother's wedding Open House. Can you see the hanging baskets? They are a huge ball of Impatient lusciousness. At one point I counted 42 pots of plants in the backyard which she loved up and wantered by hand. I used to get so weirded out when we were out on a walk and she would say, "Oh my goodness, their lobelia is just thriving right there!" or "That blue salvia looks so great next to the foxtail fern." Now, I wish she was here to help me make my yard beautiful and actually remember when to add the bluing agent to my hydrangeas this year.

Ashleigh: This is the talent that I didn't learn from my mom. She was great at it, but I wasn't interested in learning at that phase of my life. Now, when I have a horribly bare backyard, I wish so much for just a fraction of her gardening knowledge. One thing that I loved about our house was that it usually had at least one vase of fresh flowers cut from our yard. I can also remember her doing the flowers (free) for so many weddings. She was a flower arranger extraordinaire and if you were her friend, you likely saved money on your kids' weddings.

Teaching

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Kathryn: Mom was a teacher by profession, spending most of her career with a gifted pull out program. She had 150 kids a week from third to sixth grade and did enrichment activities. It was so embarrassing when my friends and I would reach for some ice cream in the freezer only to find 200 cow eyes staring back at us. "Oh, honey, those are for the dissection Monday, just move the eyes to the left and you'll find the ice cream." She didn't stop teaching when she came home, she used her skills to enrich and teach her kids and grandkids. This was a little "scrapbook" she made with my son and each page has simple sentences that he learned to read. It may not be acid free but it is a real treasure to him.


Ashleigh: Mom truly made her creative mark on her family and everyone she taught. She put on plays and made the costumes. She sang french songs, made french crepes, french bread, and creme puffs when she taught her "France" unit. She taught linoleum block printing, tessellations, and don't forget the "brain unit." Yes we also had sheep brains in our freezer from time to time. SOOOO many people have expressed to me their love for her, their "favorite teacher."

Kids Projects

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Kathryn: Mom was always able to whip out a project when we claimed boredom. The funny thing is that our Mom didn't just do projects with her kids. One year she hosted a neighborhood summer art camp. One friend of hers told me, "When I had Ashleigh over to play with my daughter, they just played Barbies. When your mom had my daughter over, they made a stained glass window, or hand dipped a candle or made a salt dough ornament." P.S. I don't know which is more of a treasure, my dress or those drapes. Sorry to assault your eyes that way.

handprints

Ashleigh: I can't forget to include a few ceramics. Mom would bust out the clay quite often and go fire them up in my grandma's kiln. Yes, our grandma was quite crafty too, but that's another post. I made some really crooked bowls and vases, but my favorite has the be the "Loch Ness Monster" I sculpted for a report. That doozy is in my treasure box.

I don't think I have any more ability than the next girl, but my mom gave me the confidence to try new things. We were always encouraged to develop our talents and express our creativity. She encouraged me to be a life-long learner and in college, she thought my calligraphy and pottery class were just as important as all of the others. I actually remember soon before I was going to be married, I panicked to her that I wasn't going to be a good wife because I didn't know how to cook really well, sew, garden, etc. She assured me that she didn't know those things at a young age either and that I could look forward to refining my domestic skills as I went along my journey. Mom passed away not too long after that, but I think she would be proud in how far I've come. Thanks for teaching me the value of a project, Mom. I love you!

Kathryn: I take a little more after Mom in the "It doesn't need to be perfect, it just needs to be done" category. I also inherited a little problem called "saving random things in case I may one day need them for an art project." Only she would understand why I've been saving soda can pop tops for a year and she will love what I do with them....eventually. Even though our projects may be silly, I know our Mom would be totally impressed. She would probably even comment on every one of our posts. And, we would be making her one of the contributors. After all, she was the original wonder woman with a bee in her bonnet. Love you, Mom!

Heavenly Dessert

This is the perfect summer dessert.

This is the perfect dessert for me.
angel berry trifle

My favorite cake is angel food cake and I have a small obsession with berries.
angel food cake
berries
So when I combine the two.... I fall in love.

I just wanted to recommend a couple recipes to all of you out there.

First is this homemade angel food cake recipe from Martha.
You can buy one in a hurry and make this dessert really easily.
You can also make it from a box mix for just a couple of dollars.
Or you can go all out and make it like my Martha. It is heaven. Period. End of story.
Once I made it this way, I haven't gone back.

Okay, let me get back to the main idea here.
You need to "cube" your heavenly cake.
layer 1

Now layer your pudding-ish goodness.
I made the pudding layer according to a this recipe.
(I cut the amount of sour cream in half and I like it a little better).
layer 2

Then the berries. Oh... the berry goodness. {Sigh}
These were from the grocery store and were great, but the fruit stand's berries are even better.
layer 3

Layer it on up, until your trifle bowl is full to the brim.
Top it off with some good old cool whip, more berries and some mint leaves.

I also had some that didn't fit in the bowl, so I made a little personal one.
Even though my husband calls this a "chick dessert," he didn't complain when he ate this:
individual size

How fab would these babies be at a shower or get-together?

I love to pass on the yumminess I've discovered! Enjoy!

p.s. Did I mention this is low fat! You now have official permission to make this. :)

p.p.s. If you're a berry lover like me, also try Pioneer Woman's blackberry cobbler. Yum!

Gettin' Around to Some Scrappin'

Miracles do happen... because we both got around to some scrapbooking!

I thought we'd share some pages with ya!

Kathryn is a fast, creative genius. She whips out pages at a serious rate.
She prefers not to go into it with a sketch, a layout, or any preconceived notions.
She is in her zone when she sits down with a few miscellaneous supplies, pictures of all sizes, and scraps.
She is not deterred by phone calls, messes or mistakes.
In fact, she can turn a mistake into the cutest embellishment you've ever seen!

Here's some of her recent stuff...
k1

k2

k3

k4

k5

k6

I on the other hand.....

I like to have a layout or sketch to go by.
I am in my zone when I have thought about the page before I printed the pictures.
I work best when I sit down with a plan, a clean work space and all the right supplies.
If I don't have this environment, I still have fun, I'm just distracted and slow, slow, slow.

Here's just a few of my recent pages...
a1

a2

a3

Yep, our methods are quite different. She channels Elsie and I channel Becky.
(For those of you who follow scrapbook celebrities).
But, any way we do it, we are glad when it is done.
Our kids love looking through books full of memories, journaling, and pictures.

And that's what really matters. :)

You Rule!

Just a little "teacher appreciation" gift to share.
you rule

A sugar cookie, a cellophane bag and a cute tag..... my kind of "gift."
bag and tag

Making a little ruler cookie was as simple as cutting the dough in rectangles with a knife,
and icing some straight (kind of) lines.
I did get out an actual ruler to guide me because that's the kind of structure I need.
I tried not to be a perfectionist. Imperfect is what makes it look handmade, right?
That's what I'm telling myself.

Seriously though, when I realize how many hours my kids spend with their teachers,
I realize the profound impact that they have on their lives. A great teacher really is a treasure.
Though they deserve much more than a simple cookie,
I hope they know that I really do appreciate the time they take with my children.
done

My mom was a teacher and she told me that appreciating the school secretaries,
principals and janitors is also very important. So I appreciated them with a sugar cookie too.

Then, after I appreciated my kids, and a few others, I appreciated myself with a sugar cookie.

I'm linking this to bake at 350.
If you haven't checked out that site, you must go now!

Butterfly Bean Bag Toss

I got a jigsaw from my dad, for my birthday last year.
I've had great intentions to step up my crafting game into the world of woodworking,
but it has remained untouched... until now!

I started by projecting a little butterfly image onto a half sheet of plywood.
(I don't have faith in my freehand abilities. I never took an art class, ever).
Then, my husband gave me a lesson on how to use my saw and we both cut this baby out.
It wasn't too hard after all.

Then I painted...
butterfly toss copy

After I was done painting, I added some pearlescent highlights for some shimmer.
I also outlined it with a permanent marker to make it pop out.
Here's a close up:
close up

Isn't she a beauty? I feel like she should have a name.
I've spent so much time with her, you'd think I'd know her name by now.

She's all ready for her debut at the upcoming church activity.
The kids will toss their hearts out at the "Spring Fling."

Then, the part I'm dreading...... storing this beast!
I'll be so tempted to get rid of it because I don't want any more garage clutter.
But I'll try to keep it with the hope of using it again at a school carnival.
Or maybe one of my friends will ask me to borrow it for their butterfly party.
Or maybe it will prove to be the most time consuming jigsaw lesson ever!

I better not name her, just in case we have to part ways.
I wouldn't want to shed a tear.


I'm linking this little project to:
A Soft Place to Land
Today's Creative Blog
Blue Cricket Design
and Domestically Speaking.

It's a Hat.. it's a Uterus...it's a Cocoon!

So, my baby was a week old and I needed a little project. I had seen these hip things in baby photos, so in my postpartum haze, I decided to dig out the crochet hook and some yarn from the garage. I was crocheting my little heart out and my kids were all...

"What IS that?"

I let them guess and well, it didn't go so well.

I'm now doubting my fabulous (I learned in the 5th grade and haven't learned anything new since) crochet skills.

Personally, I wanted to call it a uterus, but then the little ones started asking questions I wasn't quite ready to answer so I settled on cocoon.

_MG_5068

I found some instructions online but then realized I have no idea how to read a crochet pattern. But, if you crochet like a 5th grader like me, here are the instructions.

Chain about as long as fits around your newborn baby.
Crochet back in the first chain so it makes a circle.
Single stitch for maybe 12 rows and then when it looks right, start skipping stitches so it gets smaller. I started by skipping one every seven for a few rows and then one every 5 for a few rows. Etc.

I made it too shallow the first time and had to pull rows out, and I didn't even cry about it.

(Only your baby's backside will ever see the bottom of this so cheating is allowed. :)

Next, make sure your baby cooperates for the photo session. Mine didn't get that memo, but I got one cute picture and have now retired the crochet hook for another 5 years. And, I think the uterus wants to be retired, too.

Instead of Flowers...

Give candy!
cb 1

If you're like me, you will go to your fair share of recitals, performances and graduations this season.
If you are going to see a little ballerina, a mini concert pianist or maybe a "pre-school graduate,"
they might be even more excited about a candy bouquet!

These were from last year's ballet recital.
They are for my kids, nieces, neighborhood friends and family friends that were dancing in the show.

You can make them with fun size or full size candy bars. This one is a combination of both:
cb 2

You can attach your candy to a simple bamboo skewer (that you get at the grocery) with scotch tape.
(Thank-you to my sister-in-law Amy who showed me this).
I use two pieces of tape, (three for a full size bar).
One over the sharp edge, and one toward the base of the candy to secure it.
Hot glue will melt the chocolate and some plastic wrappers.
But no one I know would be silly enough to try that. (me)
cb 3

Then you can situate the candy, so it looks presentable.
Now scotch tape the sticks together toward the bottom. Wrap it tight enough that the sticks don't really move.
cb 4

Now you pull out about 2 feet of cellophane from your roll and cut.
Place the candy in a corner and swaddle this candy bouquet like little baby.
Now wish you were smelling baby lotion instead of chocolate and proceed to feel very baby hungry.
Oh wait, that last step is optional. That's what I do.
Now secure your swaddle with one more piece of scotch tape.
Tie a bow around that spot to cover up your tape trick.
Add a tag that says something like, "Here's a sweet treat for a sweet dancer!"
cb 6

This group of bouquets was for Nutcracker performances, hence the chocolate Santas and Nutrcackers.
But the thing I like most about this is that I can make them up a few days in advance and have them ready to go!
That way I'm not worried about going to the florist at the same time I'm curling hair and finding costumes.
cb 7

Kids do love getting flowers, but my kids seem to get them from other people and this just adds a little variety.
I have them delivered backstage along with all of the other flowers, so it is still very exciting to them.
The only trick is getting them to wait to eat them until they take their costume off.

Chocolate on a tutu is definitely a "no no."

p.s. These would work for teacher appreciation week too! :)

Zebralicious

I've been known to allow some artistic expression of my kids in the form of paint color and room decor. Last time this resulted in my 10 year old choosing a turquoise bedroom that required sunglasses.

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038 (2)

I know, it's alarming. But, she loved it and I awarded myself the Best Mom of the Day award.

Now, she's 15 and had to move bedrooms so little monkey could have a room.

This time it's Zebralicious.

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This bed fits into a funky niche in the walls so I tried to do something grand and exciting over her bed. She said she wakes up with glitter on her face every morning. That's the price of being fancy I say.

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This zebratastic corner features a chair that I splurged and a garage sale, spray painted mirror. I figure it all evens out.

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We got this hand me down desk which fits in this weird spot in the room.
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I changed out the knobs and fabric on the seat so it's zebra-sassy.

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To complete the wild animal preserve, we have my IKEA frames from my previous post.

Even though I'm not sure it's any less obnoxious than the turquoise train wreck I have a happy 15 year old and don't have to wear my sunglasses in the house.

And then I gave myself another Best Mom of the Day award in the form of 5 pieces of Almond Roca.


I'm linking this to parties at:
The Girl Creative
A Soft Place to Land
Making the World Cuter
Today's Creative Blog
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