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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thanksgiving Advent Calendar- UPDATED

I made my Halloween and Christmas advent calendars a couple of years ago. The supply list and instructions can be used for any of the calendars.

large piece of felt with thick interfacing
several colors of felt
several coordinating fabrics
coordinating thread
coordinating ribbon including one thick to hang it up
coordinating seasonal decorations
thick interfacing for pockets and backing felt
Wonder Under
coordinating thread
ironing board
rotary cutter and mat
1/2" thick wooden dowel and 2 wooden balls to fit the ends
This is the fabric for the letters and numbers.This is the rough sketch I made of what I want my calendar to look like when completed.After making the rough sketch I cut out paper versions so I could use them as a cutting guide for the felt. I cut one feather to see if I liked the size of it in relation to the body. I'm planning to use 5 colors for the feathers.

1. Iron the felt onto the thick interfacing.
2.Trace your shape (feather in this case) onto the interfacing and cut out.
When you're done you'll have a stack of feathers. These will be your pockets.
3. Lay out your pockets with the turkey body. Make any changes necessary before you sew things on. I'm not entirely thrilled with the way this looks. I haven't figured out what to do yet. Any suggestions?
4. Iron the material so it's flat and then iron onto the Wonder Under.
5. Trace and cut out the words and letters from the material.
6. Iron them onto the pockets. If desired stitch around them to make sure they'll stick well.
7. Sew your pockets and the turkey body onto the large piece of felt.
8. Decorate with ribbons (I do top and bottom) and/or other decorative pieces.

** I am too busy to finish it before Thanksgiving this year so I am adding what I have done since I last posted this. Please email me with any questions!
I had to make the turkey smaller and turn the beak and wattle so they faced forward so that everything would fit correctly. The picture above shows how it looks currently. I still need to iron on the numbers, add stitching around them and then sew them to the brown felt. I also need to sew on the Happy Thanksgiving to the top, add the eyes and the ribbon. If I can find it I think I might add rick rack to the bottom. We'll see. I hope to have this done soon, but I have several upcoming activities that I am in charge of in the next 2 weeks so it might not be done before Christmas.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Werewolf Meatloaf

I made Werewolf Meatloaf for my kids tonight so we could have something a little different. I didn't make the meat any differently than usual, just shaped it differently. My 5 year old son wouldn't even touch it. He thought it was really a werewolf paw. Ha ha! My older kids loved it, especially when they got to add the "blood" (ketchup).

Here's my meatloaf recipe:
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef

1 t. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. soy sauce

1/2 chopped white onion

1/4 - 1/2 c. seasoned bread crumbs

1 egg
salt and pepper to taste
5 pecans or almonds

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Mix all the ingredients together by hand until well mixed. Shape into a hand shape, placing a nut on the end of each "finger". Put onto a cake pan and bake for 35-40 minutes. Top with ketchup.This is the cooked meatloaf. I couldn't even get it out of the pan and onto a serving plate before the kids were eating it. The onions stayed at the top which my youngest thought was fur.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Homemade Glass Hurricane Jar

I've seen these all over the place. I have 3 sons, who bring over their friends, who are usually boys, and as mothers of boys know, even though the rule is no throwing balls in the house, something gets thrown, and Mom's expensive glass jars get broken in the process. I figured this out a few years ago after a trip to the Home Goods store to buy apothecary jars and other cute glass display jars was all for naught within 3 weeks of my purchases. I'd pretty much sworn off the idea of buying anything glass until they've moved out... UNTIL... I saw I saw homemade glass hurricane jars that you made yourself from the dollar store! They're everywhere, and I don't know how I missed it until now.


E6000 glue (this will be the most expensive part of the project- I
had some so I didn't have to buy new)
Glass candle holder- I got a votive (dollar store)
Hurricane jar (dollar store)


1. Remove the price tags from the bottom of the jars. Clean well. Rubbing alcohol works really well.
2. Put a dollop of the glue on the candle holder and put your jar on top. Hold it securely for a few minutes. 3. Add candy or whatever you want to put in there. Decorate with a ribbon (I haven't done this yet...) and you can use it for all seasons of the year.

Terra Cotta Mummies

I got the idea from Inspiring Creations. I tweaked it a bit because I liked the mummies being thicker in the middle.
Supplies 2 same size of terra cotta pots White Paint Googly eyes Strips of white material Hot glue/glue gun Black or dark brown ink pad Foam brush Directions 1. Glue together the lips of the pots and press together until dry. 2. Paint the pots white. Use a couple of coats, but they don't have to be completely perfect since you're covering them with the material.
3. Glue the eyes on the pots.4. Take a strip of the material and adhere
it to the top of the pot and wrap it around, gluing every so often to keep it on. Make sure to avoid the eyes!5. When you're done with the material add some ink to it to make it look older. I used a black ink pad and a brown ink dauber to get the colors I wanted. (Here's one that I hadn't distressed next to the one that I had.)Display with your other favorite Halloween decor!

Halloween Wreath

I saw a picture of a cute wreath in a Woman's Day Magazine a while ago and decided that I had to make it. This project was actually pretty inexpensive. I already had the paint, foam sheet, glue and eyes. At the dollar store I found the wreath and the bag of balls. I got the bag of orange feathers from Hobby Lobby for less than $2, and the black pipe cleaners for less than $1 at WalMart. Here's my inspiration photo.


12" grapevine wreath (you can do larger, just get more feathers)

1 bag orange feathers

1 bag of multi-sized Styrofoam balls
Black, orange and purple paint
Black foam sheet
Google eyes
Black pipe cleaners

Glue gun/glue
Craft tweezers


1. Paint the balls purple, orange and black. You may need
to do 2 coats. Set aside to dry.
2. Put glue on the spine of the feather. Place it on the wreath, and press firmly to make sure it's on there tight. Continue until the entire front of the wreath is covered. (The directions in the magazine called for using an orange feather boa, but neither Hobby Lobby nor Joann had on in stock so I used the feathers. If you use the boa instead just do a small section at a time with the hot glue.)3. For the spiders- Cut out small sections of the pipe cleaner for legs. Press them into the balls and bend to look like legs.
4. For the bats- Cut out bat wings from the foam. Hot glue to the back and hold for a few seconds while the glue hardens.
For the pumpkins- Put a piece of green feather or foam onto the top of the orange balls to make pumpkins. 6. Using the craft tweezers pick up the eyes and put hot glue on the back. Place onto the balls.
7. Glue everything to the wreath and display.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Marshmallow Shooters Made from PVC Pipes

If you have a Cub Scout you have probably seen marshmallow shooters at some point.They also sell them at the stores, but they're so cheap and easy to make it's hard to justify the extra cost. These shooters are popular with kids of all ages. These are quick and easy to make, and I got supplies to make three of them for less than $7.

1- 1/2" PVC pipe (They are 10' long so you'll have some extra pipe after cutting out the pieces you need.)
2- 1/2" PVC elbows
2- 1/2" PVC T's
2- 1/2" PVC caps
Hack saw or PVC pipe cutter
Optional- Spray paint or decorative duct tape

Cut four 4" pieces, two 6" pieces and one 8" piece. This is what it looks like when you've cut the one pipe and the fittings you'll need. Assemble according to picture below, making sure fittings are tight. This is how it looks when it's done. You can spray paint it or cover it with decorative duct tape to personalize them.

To shoot them place a marshmallow at the end of the barrel and blow forcefully in the top opening.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Classroom behavior chart

I have been making non-Halloween related items too. I was asked by my daughter's second grade teacher to make a behavior chart for the classroom. They have four different colors to gauge behavior: green= good, yellow= warning, orange= repeated warnings, and red= continued poor behavior. She wanted these on popsicle sticks instead or paper cards. The kids change them according to their behavior. They're still young enough that it is a good motivator. (I'm thinking of making a smaller one and using it at home with my kiddos.)

Supplies for poster
Poster board
8 1/2" x 11" cardstock in various colors
strong adhesive (I used Tombow Permanent Mono Adhesive)
Cricut and font cartridge (or other template for numbers and letters)
Coluzzle library card holder template, cutting mat and blade (or make your own to suit your needs)
Popsicle sticks
Markers or paint in red, yellow, orange and green

Directions for the poster:
1. Cut out the library card holder shapes using the Coluzzle and cardstock. Although the class isn't quite this big I made it for 30 kids. Assemble into pockets.
2. Cut out numbers and words.
3. Figure out the layout you like best for the cards and adhere them on the poster.
4. Put the numbers on the pockets, and the words on the poster.
5. Laminate. Using an Exacto knife slice open the openings to the pockets.
Directions for the popsicle sticks:
Measure the popsicle sticks and mark the midway point on both sides. Paint or color with markers the four colors, 2 on each side. You may need to paint several coats. Seal with Mod Podge.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Halloween Countdown Blocks

I have seen countdown blocks at various craft fairs in recent years, but usually for Christmas. A friend forwarded a link to me with Halloween blocks. It looked pretty easy so I thought I would tackle this project too. I think I'll make one for Thanksgiving and Christmas after I finish this one. (I'm posting complete directions, and when I finish mine I'll put pictures with it.)


4" x 4" wood beam cut into 3 pieces- 1- 8" x 4" block and 2- 4" x 4" blocks


Scrapbook paper
Paper trimmer
Mod Podge
Foam brushes
Vinyl numbers and saying for the bottom block

1. First off I found that the 4" x 4" beam was actually 4" x 3 1/2"
. Grr. So I had my husband cut the wood to 4" x 3 1/2" instead of having him cut it a little smaller. I hope that it still looks good! Once your wood is cut sand it until it's smooth. Make sure to check the edges so you can avoid splinters!2. Paint the wood with your favorite color of paint. If you're using a dark color you may need to do several coats. Some people paint the entire thing. I just do the outer inch or so because I'm going to cover it with scrapbook paper. That's totally up to you. When the paint is dry you can sand the edges to give them a distressed look. Again, totally personal preference.3. While the paint is drying cut out your decorative scrapbook paper. I used 6 different papers so I would have a different paper for each side. Cut them 1/2" smaller than your measurement so you'll have some of the paint showing.
4. When your paint is dry put Mod Podge on one side and then on the underside of your paper. It sticks really well this way. Apply the paper to your block and make sure you rub out all the air bubbles. (I use my Pampered Chef scraper.) Continue doing this on all 6 sides fall 3 blocks.
5. Apply your vinyl numbers and words to your blocks.
6. When you're done apply at least one coat of Mod Podge to the top of all your paper. I have found that it's easiest if I leave one side dry so the others can dry and then I paint the final side.
Once everything dries you're done. Display them however you like!

Halloween Subway Wall Art

After looking around blogland I found several posts with subway wall art. I had the supplies and decided that I could make one too. If you want to make it here are the supplies you'll need: scrap wood (mine was 10" x 24") or a piece of stretched canvas coordinating cardstock black paint Mod Podge Directions:1. Sand and paint the wood. Seal it with Mod Podge and set aside to dry as you do the next step.
2. I used my Cricut to cut out several words and pictures in various sizes and colors. If you don't have a Cricut you can cut things out by hand or use pre-cut embellishments from your local craft store.
3. There are a couple of different ways to do the next part... I ran my cardstock through my Xyron sticker machine and so I could place them on the board without worrying about the paper slipping. You can also just put some MP on the back as your adhesive and apply it to the board. 4. After that all you need to do is seal it with more MP on top. Don't forget to seal the sides! It dries pretty quickly. 5. Then if you used a board put a piece of ribbon or something so you can hang it from the wall. You're done!
The first two are my inspiration pieces, and the one I came up with is at the end.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Quick and easy pumpkin cookies (edited)

This is a super simple and delicious recipe that calls for a total of 4 ingredients. You can even leave out 2 of them and it still tastes great. Best of all you can have 3 of them for one Weight Watchers point. (Or so I'm told...)

1 box of spice cake mix
1 17 oz. can pumpkin
crystallized sugar
1 bag pumpkin spice Hershey Kisses

1. Mix the spice cake mix and pumpkin together. 2. Scoop onto a greased pan about 2" apart.
3. Add a pinch of crystallized sugar on top of each cookie. Or not. It tastes great either way.
4. Cook for 11-13 minutes in a 350 degree oven. While it's cooking remove the wrappers from the Kisses. (TIP- I freeze mine so they hold together better while unwrapping them.)
5. When done remove sheet and put on Kiss on each cookie. Delicious and easy! Enjoy!

Pumpkin Bread

This is a sweet pumpkin bread. My kids love it and ask for it year-round. Enjoy!

3 1/4 c. all-purpose flour

2 t. baking soda
1 1/2 t. salt
1 t. ground nutmeg
1 t. ground cinnamon
3 c. sugar
2 c. pumpkin puree
2/3 c. water
1 c. vegetable or canola oil
4 eggs
1/2 c. chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 loaf pans or 3 mini loaf pans.
Stir together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and spices in a large bowl. Add pumpkin, water, oil, eggs and nuts. Beat until well combined. Divide batter equally and place into prepared pans. Bake mini loaves for approximately 45 - 50 minutes or about 60 minutes for standard loaf pans.

Spiced Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

I can't claim the rights to this recipe. My friend Jenn D. passed this along to me. It's really good. It's not as sweet as most pumpkin breads... it's more spicy. Enjoy!

2 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 16 oz. can solid pack pumpkin
3 c. all-purpose flour
2 t. ground cloves
2 t. ground cinnamon
2 t. ground nutmeg
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking powder
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour two 9" x 5" x 3" loaf pans. Beat sugar and oil in large bowl to blend. Mix in eggs and pumpkin. Sift flour, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda salt and baking powder into another large bowl. Add to pumpkin mixture in 2 additions. Mix in chocolate chips.

Divide batter equally between prepared pans. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Transfer to racks and cool 10 minutes. Using sharp knife cut around edge of loaves. Turn loaves out onto racks and cool completely.

Pumpkin Roll Recipe

Beat 3 eggs on high speed for 5 minutes. Gradually beat in 1 c. sugar, 2/3 c. pumpkin and 1 t. lemon juice.

Mix together:
3/4 c. flour
1/2 t. salt
1 t. ginger
1 t. baking powder
2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg

Mix both together and spread on a well greased and floured cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes at 375 degrees. Remove from oven when top springs back when touched with finger. Turn out on dish towel covered with powdered sugar. Roll towel with cake inside and cool thoroughly in the refrigerator.

Meanwhile, make the frosting. Mix together:
1 c. powdered sugar
4 T. butter (or margarine)
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 t. vanilla

Spread frosting on cooled roll. Re-roll on another towel with powdered sugar and chill in foil for 3-4 hours. Slice, serve and enjoy!

Hamburger stroganoff

1 - 1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 small yellow or white onion

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/4 c. butter

1 t. salt
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 c. sour cream

1/4 c. flour

1 pkg. egg noodles
1. Brown ground beef. Drain.
2. Cook the noodles according to package directions and drain water.
3. Cook the onion and garlic in the butter. Add to the beef.

4. Add the flour, and stir it together. Add the soup and sour cream. If the mixture is too thick add 1/4 c. of milk until it is at a better consistency. Simmer on medium heat until heated through.

5. Add the hamburger mixture to the noodles and serve hot.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Glass etching

Supplies needed: Clear Contact paper
Cricut machine or die cut machine
Glass item- pan, vase, bowl, etc.
Glass etching medium
Foam brush
Rubber gloves

Clean your glass item with glass cleaner.Cut out your word(s) or design. If you're doing it on the bottom of a pan cut the words out backwards (by placing your contact paper opposite when you cut it).
Place contact paper on your glass item. Make sure you rub out all the bubbles and get all the edges placed securely down.
Place your glass etching medium on the glass using the foam brush. Follow package directions for time. (You can sometimes scrape off the extra cream back into the bottle.)
Remove the cream thoroughly with water before you remove the contact paper.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Fabric Headbands

Here is the first project that I mentioned earlier.
Supplies needed:
3 coordinating fabrics. Choose one for the flower, one for the flower base, and one for the
Find two cups (circle cookie cutters also work) of different sizes, one about 1/2" smaller than the other. They should be approximately 2"-3" in diameter. Paper- Trace the circles onto paper and cut out.
Cut one of the larger circles from the fabric for the flower base. Then cut out 4 from the fabric for the flower. Cut the headband from the width of the fabric. I taper them on the ends. Button Needle and coordinating thread After cutting your fabric fold the smaller circles in half and then in half again. Place them in the center of the larger flower and stitch them on. I found that it was easier for me to stitch in a circular motion, close to the center. After you're done stitch your coordinating button in the center.Get your headband. You have a couple of options that I've used. The first one is to iron interfacing to the underside. The second is to layer it with a second piece of material with the wrong sides facing each other. That way when you tie your headband it has bright colors showing. It's just a matter of personal preference. The stitch around the headband, leaving about 1/4" raw seam on the entire thing. This prevents excessive fraying. (If you prefer a more tailored look you can sew under and then sew the pieces together.)After you've completed get your headband get the flower and stitch it on. I put it off-center. You're done and ready to wear it.I ran out of buttons for these last two, but it shows how I sewed the flowers on a bit better.

More Fabric Headbands

The brown headbands
The dark headbands
The pink headbands
The blue and purple headbands
The flowers before I sewed the buttons on and sewed to the headbands.