Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Cardboard Cowboy Boot Craft

I'm on a mission to create crafts inspired by each of the 50 states. Is there anything more Texas than a cowboy boot? This one is made from the flap of a cardboard box.




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Cowboy Boot Craft



Materials:

  • cardboard
  • scissors
  • ballpoint pen
  • brown ink
  • q-tip


Steps:


Start by cutting out a boot shape from cardboard. I used the flap of a cardboard box and it was the perfect size. I cut mine freehand (and it looks more like a Christmas stocking with a heel than a cowboy boot); you may want to sketch the shape on the cardboard before you cut it out. 


Now, use the CAPPED ballpoint pen to draw patterns and designs on your boot. Use the same amount of pressure you would if the pen were uncapped. 


You'll end up with lines that look like this:


Rub a brown inkpad on the edges and on the heel. 


At this point, I trimmed the boot to make it less stocking-like (curved the top, pointed the toe up) and re-inked. But I didn't re-photograph. Sigh.

Rub a q-tip in the inkpad and use it to trace the indented patterns on the boot. The q-tip will travel smoothly in the grooves you made with the ballpoint pen. 


Here's how my boot turned out. 


It occurs to me now as I'm blogging about this... those straps I drew in as decoration should probably be attached to a spur. Oh well. We'll just pretend it's decoration, or that my cowboy has spurs that camouflage perfectly with the background. 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Camp Lassen, Year 3

I've gotten another step closer to scrapping the remaining photos from Trevor's time in Cub Scouts. This two-page spread is from 2016, his third and final trip to Camp Lassen as a Cub.

Camp Lassen (affiliate link)

Since I scrapped this about 18 months after the trip, there was no way I could remember the details from a trip I didn't even attend. Thank goodness I keep a daily journal about Trevor's life (412 typed pages and counting). I just searched the document for Camp Lassen, then copied what I'd typed onto the journaling block, as good as if I'd scrapped it the day they'd returned home from camp! 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Storing Scout Patches (And My First Time Designing One)

This post contains affiliate links. 

Patches are a big deal in the Boy Scouts of America. On his uniform, a Boy Scout displays the BSA emblem, the US flag, a council patch, unit numbers, his rank patch, his patrol emblem, a badge of office, and merit badges. But for most Scouts, that long list represents only a small portion of the patches he owns. Scouts get patches for outings, events, and activities, too. 

So if most patches don't go on the uniform, where do they go? Some Scouts sew all their patches onto a blanket. Others put them on a backpack or a jacket. I imagine a lot of Scouts just let the patches pile up in a shoebox or drawer. 

The option that made the most sense to Trevor and me is to store them in a binder. They sell binders with a label on the spine specifically for holding Scout patches. While they look very nice, we went a cheaper route and got a plain heavy-duty binder and a pack of trading card pages. We sorted the photos and put them in pockets... which worked well until we turned the pages and the patches slipped out. So frustrating. 

The solution came from a tool that is common in the scrapbook industry:

We R Memory Keepers - Photo Sleeve Fuse Tool

This is the Fuse tool. It functions similarly to a wood burner to melt page protectors to 'lock' the pockets. We put the patches in place, heated up the tool, and did a quick zip to seal them up. It's a bit hard to see, but you can just make out the horizontal lines above the penguin and cake patches, as well as the diagonal line separating the two. 


Here's a typical page in Trevor's album. As you can see, we labeled the page with the rank and year, then filled in the extra pockets with a Cub Scout emblem and strips of cardstock to match the rank color (in this case, Bear is blue). 


The patches are securely locked in place, but if he ever wants to remove one, we can easily cut or slit the pocket and get a patch out. 

Some of the patches don't fit nicely in pockets. For example, the loops on the temporary hanging patches don't fit the pages we bought. We either folded the flap under (as in the 'Knights of the Round Table' patch above) or let it stick out and fused diagonally around it. 


You might have noticed in the title of this post that I tried designing a patch for the first time. Every so often, there will be a contest to design a patch, usually for a special event or anniversary. In this case, the call went out for a commemorative patch for the 90th anniversary of Camp Wolfeboro. There were four specific rules for the design:


       1) The design must be on a circle 3 inches in diameter
       2) The design must promote the theme of "90th Anniversary"
       3) The following must be incorporated into the patch
                a. "Camp Wolfeboro"
                b. Use the Pine Tree from the Camp Logo
                c. "XC Anniversary" or "XC years" or "90th Anniversary" or "90 years"
                d. "MDSC" or "Mt Diablo Silverado Council"
                e. "Since 1928
       4) The design can include up to six colors


I used PicMonkey (of course!) and came up with this design:


It was a lot of fun to put together. They haven't announced a winner yet, but I'll let you know when I do!

PicMonkey Photo editing made of win

Friday, February 16, 2018

Felt Carrot

This post contains affiliate links.

Look at the cover of Kids' Felt Cuties (given to me by Leisure Arts to review) and tell me you are not in love with the Bella's Garden project. It is adorable! Trevor has long since outgrown his pretend kitchen (SO cute), but he would have LOVED this felt garden to harvest before cooking for his diciers years ago. (Where has my baby gone?!)  



Although our days of playing with plastic animals and faux food are behind us, I was inspired to put my own twist on the felt carrot in the book. 



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Candy-Stuffed Carrot


Materials:



Steps:


Cut two identical carrots from the orange felt. Set one aside to be the back of the carrot. 

Using three strands, use the embroidery floss to backstitch partial horizontal lines on the front carrot piece. I made a total of 7 lines (alternating sides, starting with the left), but you can do whatever.


Cut three carrot tops from the green felt. These should not be identical, as they look more realistic when they are different. Put all three carrot tops under the embroidered carrot front and use a backstitch to secure them. 




Place the back carrot piece behind the front carrot piece. Stitch the two pieces together, starting about an inch down from the top left, going around the point, and stopping about an inch below the top right. 


It should look like this before you tie off the floss.


Stuff the carrot with Jelly Belly Sours. (Go ahead and eat the red, yellow, and blue ones since they clash with this project. Yum!) Cut two matching lengths of adhesive-backed magnets. Stick them together, then peel the paper off both. Place them between the two carrot tops. The adhesive is strong enough to stick to the felt, and the magnet will prevent Jelly Bellies from escaping.  



This would make a fun addition to an Easter basket, if I did Easter baskets. Maybe I'll just hide the carrot along with the eggs on Easter morning and let Trevor find it. 

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I really enjoyed making the carrot and am eager to try one of the other projects from Kids' Felt Cuties. The Piggy Coin Banks and Taco Plushie are particularly adorable. Expect to see more felt projects from me in the near future, inspired by this awesome book!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Webelos 1, Scrapped and in the Album

Trevor has been a Boy Scout for 11 months now, which means that it's about time I finished up the layouts from his time as a Cub Scout. This double-page spread covers his first year of Webelos (2015-2016).

Webelos 1 (affiliate link)

As you can see, I included as many photos as I possibly could, showing the wide variety of activities from the year. I made sure to include the other boys as often as possible, but the focus is definitely on Trevor. I used two fussy-cut photos and the sun sticker to form a visual triangle, but that's about it as far as design goes. 

I should add that I had to piece together the blue backgrounds in the upper left and lower right. All I had were small scraps, but I really wanted to use them up. The yellow text boxes and photos are placed very strategically to hide the seams as best I could!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Sweet Potato Sunflower Seed "Frownies"

This post contains affiliate links. 

A recipe for 4-ingredient flourless healthy sweet potato brownies showed up in the Pinterest feed for work the other day. Hmm... I like sweet potatoes. I like brownies. Healthy is good. I pinned the recipe and ended up making it the same day. 

Well, sort of. You know that I'm pathologically incapable of following a recipe without making changes, right? I mostly followed the recipe, but used sunflower seed butter instead of nut butter. And added a touch more cocoa. And one extra tablespoon (ish) of maple syrup. And I decorated the top with yellow sugar pearls and chocolate covered sunflower seeds


They looked and smelled great. The taste? Well, they're fake brownies. (Or, as Trevor calls them "Frownies.") If you're expecting rich, gooey, chocolatey brownies, you will be disappointed. They are not rich, gooey, or all that chocolatey. But if you're looking for a gluten-free, vegan snack with no refined sugars, they aren't half bad. One little bite helps satisfy my chocolate cravings, so there's that. Thanks, Frownies!


Now I need a recipe for healthy chocolate chip cookies!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Cupcake Card

This post contains affiliate links. 

Leisure Arts sent me their Edible Wonders Color Art book and 30-Pack Premium Colored Pencils to try out. Let me say, I love them both! It was hard to decide what page to color first, but the cupcakes and ice cream jumped out at me. (No surprise there.) I love the colored pencils - so smooth, and with vibrant color. 

I turned my finished coloring page into this card:


You could make a card like this with literally any coloring book. It's one of my favorite way to use completed coloring pages. This card works for a birthday or other celebration, a thank you (just write or stamp 'You're So Sweet!' on the inside, or just to say hi. 

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Cupcake Card



Materials:




Steps:


Color in the cupcake page with the colored pencils. Trim the completed coloring page to the size you want your card to be. Back it with blue cardstock, trimmed to 1/4" larger in each direction. Make a card base from the white cardstock that is 1/2" larger in each direction. Adhere the matted coloring page to the card base. Add a message inside and it's ready to send!


   

Monday, February 12, 2018

Scrapping Christmas Eve

Check it out - a layout about Christmas Eve! No, not the one that just happened. These are the photos from 2015.

Christmas Eve 2015 (affiliate link)

2015 was the first year we changed our lifelong family tradition of attending a Christmas Eve candlelight service at church. The times for the two services didn't work for us for a number of reasons, so we held our own service at home. The kids acted out the Christmas story on the flannel board while Grandma read from the Bible. Then we sang hymns, and lit candles for Silent Night. It was awesome.  

I'm glad to have this page in the album. 

Friday, February 9, 2018

5 Minute Cards using Watercolor Pencils

This post contains affiliate links. 

It took less than 5 minutes to make this card.


At Creativation, I received the Thank You Coloring Notecards, the Birthday Coloring Notecards, and the 30-Pack Watercolor Colored Pencils from Leisure Arts. I put them in my carry-on rather than my checked luggage and I am SO glad I did. They saved me from going crazy during Plane Delay Hell on the way home and even kept me entertained on the plane. 


There aren't too many craft projects you can do on a tray table, but these were perfect. I finished half the cards before my peanuts and ginger ale arrived. (I ALWAYS have ginger ale when I fly and NEVER have it any other time, despite the fact that I love it. It's my special treat for airplanes only. Another weird Cindy quirk.)  

I finished up the rest of the cards at home. Proper light, space beyond a tray table, no turbulence, no one brushing my elbows - crafty heaven!


If you've never tried watercolor pencils, I highly recommend these ones from Leisure Arts. They're pre-sharpened, go on beautifully, and blend wonderfully. There are 30 colors (though oddly, no orange). Just use them like regular color pencils, but don't worry about getting into every little area. 


Moisten the included brush and blend the colors. Push the color into any gaps. You can see how the leaf has come to life with a bit of water. The color is so vivid.


I like the cards, but I love the watercolor pencils. They're much better than the previous brand I used. Have you tried watercolor pencils? How do you use them?


Coloring Books 725

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Prime Surprise Sweets

This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for supporting this site!

You know how much the deRosiers like trying new foods, so this gift we received from Jonna was absolutely perfect! 


Sadly, Amazon has discontinued their Prime Surprise Sweets since the time we received our box. I'm bummed, because this was a great gift and we loved the treats inside. 


We particularly enjoyed the Grey Ghost Bakery Molasses Spice Cookies. Hands down, the best spice cookie I've ever had. The Oven Arts brownies were fantastic, too. 


Fortunately, MunchPak is still around. They're my go-to for trying new foods. I've been so happy with each of the MunchPaks I've received

You may be thinking, "I thought you said you were dieting." Yes, I am. My weight loss has been all about portion control, not deprivation. A small wedge of the whoopie pie was enough to taste and enjoy it without eating too many calories. Once I take the portion size I can 'afford,' Trevor and Steve take how much they want. Anything left goes in Trevor's lunchbox for him to eat and/or share with his friends. It's working well. 

MunchPak.com

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Happy 11th


Happy 11th (affiliate link)

As usual, there were a zillion photos to choose from. I kept it simple: a picture of Trevor in the party room along with a group photo from the party room, then a picture of Trevor on the ice and a group photo on the ice. A title, journaling, and a few strips of paper and into the album!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Salads and Crafting

I'm on a weight loss journey to rid myself of the weight that came with the migraine and anxiety medications (... ok, and ice cream). So far, so good. I'm down about 7 pounds and the goal is in sight. Anyway, there have been a lot of salads in my life recently, both on the dinner table and on the craft table.


Mine isn't the first salad craft out there (this might be) but it's the first I've made and I love it. It has pretty much all of the things I like to put in my salads - greens, carrots, tomatoes, nuts, eggs, and croutons. And, of course, the fork is on the left side so you know it's mine.



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Paper Plate Salad Craft



Materials:


  • Sponge
  • Wax paper
  • Scissors
  • Tan paint
  • Paper plate
  • Tissue paper (shades of green)
  • Craft glue
  • Construction paper or cardstock scraps
  • Plastic fork


Steps:



Cut the sponge into cubes that are the size of croutons. Squirt some paint onto the wax paper and roll the sponge bits in the paint. Set them aside to dry. 


Tear the tissue paper into irregular bits and glue them to the plate. I squirted glue all over the plate so I could rip and stick, rip and stick. 


When the plate is covered, add dots of glue randomly. Rip and stick the second shade of green.


Now add your toppings! I started with white ovals and yellow circles, because hard boiled eggs are one of my favorite salad toppers. 


Be creative! You can add whatever veggies, fruits, nuts, meats, or seeds to your salad. Just cut out the shape, add glue, and stick it in place. Finally, wedge the fork into the salad. You can glue it if you want, but mine stays in place just fine without glue, even when I display the salad vertically. 


Wouldn't this be fun to make with kids at a big salad-themed potluck?! Or anytime, really.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Olympics: Ski Jump Craft

The Winter Olympics open Friday in PyeongChang and I'm so excited! My favorite sports are the ones that seem impossible, because I enjoy thinking about the physics behind what looks impossible but obviously isn't. I also like imagining what it must be like to try some of these sports for the first time. I'm thinking that a person doesn't forget their first attempt at ski jumping, for example.

The closest I'll ever get to ski jumping, besides watching the Olympics, is this ski jump craft. I'm excited to add this to my growing collection of Olympics crafts!




If you follow Fun Family Crafts (and you should), this project might seem familiar. Long story short, the site owner (Amanda Formaro) made a ski jump project years ago for a site that is now closed down. When that happens, we host the project directly on FFC so that it's not gone forever. I'm the one who takes the image and instructions and writes them up using our format. 

The completed tutorial for Amanda's project is here. It includes a pattern, which is something I generally avoid. But in this case, I printed out Amanda's pattern and decided to make my own version of her craft, using different materials than she did. My goal would be to stay 100% true to the pattern (very hard for me). 

Step 1 was digging through my scraps of patterned papers. I found a green plaid and used it to cut out triangles. I fit them directly on her pattern before gluing them together to make trees. 


I found a glittery blue and some smooth white. By holding the papers and the pattern up against the window, I was able to trace and get the exact same angles. 


Here's Amanda's pattern on the left and my version on the right (minus the skier). So far, it's a perfect match. (So rare for me!)


I did end up deviating ever-so-slightly with the skier. I cut two skis from silver paper rather than the one shown on the pattern. I removed the scarf from the pattern and added an arm, held low next to the body. I put goggles on the face, mostly to avoid having to draw facial features. 


Make this fun craft by following Amanda's directions, using my instructions, or by creating your own version! If you make one, I'd love to see it!

So what are your favorite sports at the Winter Olympics?