Sunday, March 9, 2014

Pre-K Week 29: Under the Sea

The Under the Sea theme was one that I had been looking for all year, and it finally came this past week!  

We started by talking about fish on Monday, and we read 'The Rainbow Fish'. It's such a great book to teach about sharing and seeing how the Rainbow Fish not only shares his scales, but he also shares his happiness when he becomes friends with everyone.

The kids made these Rainbow Fish from a CD by gluing sequins and paper pieces onto the back of old CDs to make them really shiny. It was also a great activity to practice glue dotting. 

On Tuesday, we talked about sharks and read the book "Great Sharky Shark".  The kids did cutting practice by making these Paper Plate Shark Jaws from DollarStoreCrafts. I prepared the plates by cutting the oval out of the inside of the plate and drawing lines where I wanted the kids to cut (the jaw line of the shark and the teeth). It was a looot of cutting for such little kids and a lot of them needed quite a bit of help, but it was great practice and the kids loved their scary sharks!

The kids also got to play with water in their rotations that day. In one center, they did water play including measuring, feeling, listening, etc to water. In the other center, they water painted the letter U, which was our letter of the week. 

On Wednesday, Octopuses were the main topic. I didn't have any Octopus-specific books, so we read Finding Nemo, then the kids watched the movie while being pulled to work on their adorable Counting Octopus Project from Mrs. Karen's Class. I loved this activity because the students practiced recognizing their numbers, one-to-one correlation and fine motor skills by sticking the correct amount of stickers on each leg, counting to 8, ordering the numbers, gluing, and drawing on the face. 

On Thursday, we talked about whales (sorry, I don't remember what book we read). For our art project, we made these 'Whale of a Bag's from abcand123learning. Aren't they freaking adorable? The kids stuffed the bags, painted them, and added eyes, mouth, and a tissue for the blow hole. 

Finally, on Friday, we talked about crabs. We read a book called 'Gabby the Crab' about a crab who becomes a superhero, and then the kids made my favorite craft of the week... these ADORABLE Crab Hats from FamilyFun. These were made from painted paper plates, construction paper, clothespins, and balls. 

My favorite part was that hung all of our animals from the ceiling in groups so it looked 
Iike we were under the sea.we had a school of fish, a pod of whales, and a consortium of octopuses. I think this would've a really fun project to do with older kids who are learning about groups of animals!!

Sky scarf, T-shirt quilt, and recent recipes

Quite awhile ago, I found the idea of concept knitting on pinterest. This 'concept knitting' is where you knit to represent something in your life.  The post I saw was a Sky Scarf.  The idea is that you knit the color the sky every day for a year. I had been meaning to do this for quite awhile, and I finally decided that I would start it at the beginning of 2014 - the year of our wedding! The colors I bought to make the scarf are light blue, dark blue, light grey, dark grey, and white. I knit the two colors that best represent the sky everyday, or I write them down and update the scarf every few days to a week. 
This is the scarf at the end of January:

And this is the end of February:

I'll make sure to continue posting throughout the year!

Another project that I worked on last month was another Tshirt Quilt for fiance's friend.  This was a big one - it covered a whole queen-size bed!

I also made a recent sale on etsy - another Wedding wreath! I customized the people to look like the bride and groom based on a picture, and I love the little birdcage veil that she requested I add!

Finally, I worked on a few new recipes:

Recipe #168: Chicken Crescent Roll Casserole from Tastebook
These crescent rolls were yummy, creamy, cheesy, and delicious! I wouldn't say they're the healthiest things... they DO have lots of cream cheese and regular cheese, but they were yummy for sure!

Recipe #169: Greek Salad Bites from YumSugar:
These greek salad bites were slices of cucumber, feta cheese, and tomatoes on a toothpick sprinkled with salt, olive oil, and pepper. They were supposed to have olives on top, but when I finished them all and saw the jar of olives still sitting in the bag I remembered that I had forgotten them. They were just as delicious!!  I brought these to school for a pot luck.


Recipe #170: Stuffed Pizza Cupcakes from FoodSweet:
These pizza cupcakes, though they don't look perfect in the picture, were delicious and convenient! The recipe was a little messy, but after cooking everything the dough expanded and they weren't quite as messy to eat.

Recipe #171: Buffalo Pretzels from atasteofthebest:
Warning! These pretzels are addictive and delicious! I made a huge bowl and they were gone in a few days. They're so easy to make and they are sooooo good!!!

Baby Shower Gifts

Another friend with another baby means another baby shower and another opportunity to make some new baby gifts!  My friend from elementary school had her baby shower last month, and it was so hard to choose the gifts to make to match her personality, just because she has so many interests.

First, I made some Gator Onesies with Tutus and Headbands inspired by Etsy. To make these, I cut the fabric out using the cricut (whaaa!?), ironed & sewed it on, added a removable tutu by tying strips of tulle on ribbon and adding velro.  For the headband, I made a blue and orange flowers out of fabric and glued them on a baby headband.
I made two in different month sizes and different colors.


For the diaper cake, I couldn't help going with this adorable Baby girl John Deere Tractor diaper cake inspired by babyfavorsandgifts. To make this, I used a set of two John Deere blankets from WalMart and rolled them up, and shaped the tractor with diapers.  I played around with it, using chopsticks, craft tape, ribbon, pins, and more to put it all together. The headlights are white craft fuzzies.

Finally, I made some Monogrammed Pacifiers inspired by Etsy. To make these, I used... you guessed it!... the Cricut to cut out baby's initials and stick them on.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Wedding Projects

9 months to go until the wedding, and I'm filling my time with projects and planning... of course I want to share them all!  I already shared my brooch bouquet including a tutorial, so here's a few more things I've been working on.

For guest favors, I decided to make each guest an Altoid tin suitcase inspired by It's All About Me. To make these, I traced and measured scrapbook paper to fit on the top outside, bottom outside, top outside rim, bottom outside rim, top inside, bottom inside, and bottom inside rim. I ended up cutting them on the cricut to make it even easier! For the outside, I used a brown patterned scrapbook paper that looked like a vintage suitcase. For the inside top I used pink and white scrapbook paper with a demask pattern, and for the inside top I used matching white and pink striped scrapbook paper. I mod-podged it all in the right location, putting a layer of modpodge under the paper and another one on top to seal it in.
After cutting the brown scrapbook paper but before modpodging it, I added brown stamping ink to each of the four corners and around the edges to make it look more vintage.
For the handle and the strips, I just used a darker brown scrapbook paper cut into strips.  I also added sticky pearls to each side of the handle for extra decor.

The hardest part about this project was collecting the altoid tins! I still have about 80 of these left to make, but I'm out of containers, so I'll be finding some blank tins online pretty soon! Here's part of my collection drying before making them into suitcases.

For the wedding, I'm going to add little tags that say thank you, as well as something inside, though I'm not sure what yet. Originally, I wanted to put macarons inside, but couldn't find any at a good price and certainly couldn't figure out how to make them! (Below was my best attempt):

I sent out our Save-the-Dates just the other day, and they were quite the project! I really enjoyed making these and adding all the little details.
Our wedding has a kind of vintage Parisian theme, as that's where fiance proposed and it's super romantic. The vintage suitcase favors and attempted macarons fit in with that, so for the save-the-dates, I decided to go with a luggage tag shape. 
I made these using a mix of photo shop, Microsoft Paint, Microsoft word, our personal pictures, our engagement pictures, and the Cricut.
First, I found the pictures I wanted to use, edited them to make the background ones a little lighter and had them fit the exact right size, and put them together in Microsoft paint. After that, I copied the picture into Microsoft word and added the text using a simple text box.  I put two save-the-dates on each page and printed them all out on shiny cardstock at OfficeMax. Finally, I cut the tags out using the Tags, Boxes and More 2 cartridge on the Cricut and added either a pink or black ribbon to the top. 

On the back of the dates, I put an address label with our website information (we used AppyCouple). 

In our engagement pictures, we took two 'official' save-the-date pictures, one with a football and one with a burlap sign.  We kind of saw it as one for me and one for fiance.  Unfortunately, the pictures we added to the bottom of the luggage tags were so small that we couldn't include either of those save-the-date pictures while still being able to see the date clearly, so I had to find a different way to use them... that's when I decided on doing these Picture Envelope Liners inspired by this picture on tumblr and this tutorial from peterlovesjane.

To do these liners, I printed off the pictures to be the same size as the flap of the envelope, I cut them out, and I glued them in with a glue stick! Easy peasy and SO cute!!! 

 I used the football picture for half the dates, and the burlap date for the other half.  I also either addressed the envelope in blue or pink, and because I used both pink and black ribbon, there were many different versions of the save-the-date that varied based on the person.  I thought this was a cool way to personalize it... for example, Logan's groomsmen were more likely to get a blue addressed envelope with a football picture and a black ribbon so it wasn't QUITE so girly.  My friends were more likely to get ALL girly... pink address, pink ribbon, and burlap picture. Then I mixed and matched throughout.

Did I overthink it? Most likely. But, hey... I finished school and this is how I'm filling my void.

Another thing that I finished were our french table numbers that I developed with the help of my wonderful roommate and honorary maid of honor!!  To do these table numbers, I bought black 5x7 frames from the dollar store.  I found this awesome silver sequin scrapbook paper at Michael's... it literally had hundreds of real sequins glued on the paper! I cut down the sequin paper and put it inside the frame like a picture, putting the glass and backing back on. Then, I used the cricut to cut out table numerals from black vinyl and stuck them on. Finally, I used the cricut to cut out the french words for each number in smaller pink letters, and I stuck them on top. 

I love these and I'm so excited to see them on the tables! 

Another thing that roomie helped me make were these Madame and Monsieur chair signs inspired by OurHobbytoYourHome on Etsy.  To make these, I bought the signs at Michael's for like $3 each, drilled two holes (one on each side) and painted them black. Then I cut out the letters on the cricut onto silver vinyl, and stuck them on the boards.  I haven't added the ribbon yet because we need to figure out what the chairs look like and how we're going to attach them, but when we get to that point I'll add big thick light pink ribbon.

Our venue has very strict rules on what we can and can't throw both inside and outside the venue. I really wanted to make music cones and fill them with something to throw on our departure, but we are only allowed to do bubbles and sparklers outside, so I had to re-think that idea. Finally, I found this picture from Weddingwire on pinterest and I decided to make French Music Confetti Cones for our recession back down the aisle. Roomie helped me a lot with these, too. 
For the cones, I used this book of french sheet music. I think it was $15 on Amazon and it had 150 or so pages.

I tore out each page and cut it into a square (which made it easier to roll into a cone).  I then rolled each into a cone and hot-glued the edge. 

When trying to figure out what to put inside, we joked about the idea of using glitter and how cool it would look in pictures. Unfortunately, everyone in the household has learned first-hand how if you even open a jar of glitter it suddenly sticks to everything in your life for the next year, so that wasn't the best idea.  Then, roomie came up with the idea that we could punch hearts out of glitter scrapbook paper so it still looks really cool in pictures, but it's MUCH easier to clean up!  We each bought a hand heart paper punch and spent a few nights infront of the TV punching out about 200 pages of scrapbook paper. 

To save our sanity, we only punched enough heart confetti to put about a handful into each cone, but that meant I needed something else to fill the bottom of the cones.  Before I added the confetti, I stuffed a piece of white tissue paper in the bottom of the cone and put the confetti on top. The way I saw it, it's like what Roadhouse Grill does with its big bins of peanuts... that whole bin isn't full of peanuts, it's only like 3 inches deep and it has a false bottom. 

So, I made the cones, added the tissue paper and confetti, then I decided to actually seal them like in this post from the36thavenue. I decided to seal them instead of leaving them open and adding ribbon because I decided it would be way easier on the day of to just have a basket of confetti ready at the door instead of having to fill each cone and hang them on the chairs before the ceremony. 
To seal them, I used monogram envelope seal stickers from Hobby Lobby, and I sealed in a little note like in the picture that says 'When the newlyweds walk your way, toss the confetti and shout hooray!'.  I don't have any pictures of that right now, as I finished them and sealed them away in satisfaction, but I'll post a picture of the finished product soon!

The final wedding project that I've completed to date is a Paris Vintage Suitcase Card Box inspired by Etsy.  I found the suitcase at Michael's and got it for $17... it's pretty big, too! I was going to use a real vintage suitcase, but when I saw this one I thought it looked really nice and was cheaper than any vintage one I might just happen to find in good shape. Plus, it was already decorated in a Parisian way!  To make the banner, I used the cricut and various colored scrapbook paper, using (of course) glitter silver scrapbook paper for the letters! I hot-glued the letter pieces together, then to a ribbon, and tied the ribbon around the top of the suitcase. It was honestly the easiest project I am going to do for the whole time!