3/31/21

Easter Egg and Jelly Bean Mandala Coloring Page

I know that I never shut up about PicMonkey, but that is because I love it. In addition to using it for photo editing and creating graphics for social media and elsewhere, recently I've been using it to make my own coloring pages. My latest is a mandala of Easter eggs and jelly beans, which I colored by hand using Prismacolor art markers (which I also love). Affiliate link here and throughout the post. 


You are more than welcome to print and color my mandala. 


Better yet, read on to learn how to make your own. I'll show you how I made my egg and jelly bean version, but you can use any shapes or objects you want. 



---------


How to Make a Mandala Coloring Page in PicMonkey



1. Open PicMonkey, then create a new blank canvas (square). 

2. Click on the wheel at the bottom to open Alignment. Check Show Grid on Canvas. Set it to 2 rows and 2 columns. 


3. Enter the shape you want (in this case, an egg) in Search All Graphics. There isn't a plain outlined egg, but that's no problem. I chose a polka dotted one, then used Effects to add an outline. 


4. Use Adjust to change both colors to white (if you'll be printing on colored paper, change them to Transparent). Now you have just the outline of an egg. 


5. Drag the egg into the upper right quadrant, then rotate it the way you want it. 

6. Right click and select Duplicate Layer. 


7. Place your duplicated egg where you want it and then duplicate again until you've filled the upper right quadrant with eggs. I fit eight in the space, with some sitting directly on the grid lines. This works because eggs have vertical symmetry. If you choose a shape that doesn't, keep the shapes within the quadrant.

8. Duplicate the egg one more time, then shrink that duplicated egg down to the size of a jelly bean by clicking and dragging on one of the corner dots. Drag the jelly bean into a space between the eggs. 

9. Continue to duplicate and place jelly beans until you're happy with the design. I have 22 jelly beans. 


10. Highlight all the eggs and jelly beans at once. Multiple Layers will pop up. Click Group. (Ungroup is showing in the screenshot because I've already grouped them.)


11. Now it's time for the magic! Duplicate the layer, then use the tool to flip it vertically. Move it into the upper left quadrant. 


12. Now group those two layers together, just like in Step 10. Duplicate the newly grouped layers, then flip it vertically, and slide it into place. 


Now you have a complete mandala, ready to print and color!

Get a 7-day Free Trial at PicMonkey

3/30/21

A Quintet of Cross Cards

On Sunday, our family celebrated a significant milestone - Trevor's confirmation. In this religious ceremony, a person (usually in their early teens) who was baptized as an infant publicly affirms that baptism. After over a year of study, Trevor's confirmation was scheduled for Palm Sunday: April 5, 2020. Then the pandemic hit and we postponed. We waited to reschedule until Trevor's grandparents, godparents, and others were able to safely join us to celebrate, but as the pandemic raged, we decided not to postpone any longer. We scheduled Trevor's ceremony for Palm Sunday again: March 28, 2021. The three of us, Trevor's mentor (Stu), and a small portion of the congregation were physically in the church while our friends and families watched via live broadcast.

Obviously, I'll be scrapping photos from Trevor's confirmation and will post the layout here when I do. Today I'm sharing five cards I made: one which I gave to Trevor's mentor as a thank you from me, and four more that Trevor is using to write thank-you notes for gifts he received. Affiliate links below. 

This is the card for Stu:


I used a white card base, layered a piece of brown cardstock on that, then added a white layer embossed with swirls. Finally, I adhered a die-cut cross. On the inside, I used a heart punch on embossed white cardstock, then layered a die-cut sentiment on top. 

Here are the cards Trevor will be using: 


By happy coincidence, my friend Ann hosted a virtual cardmaking class for the congregation the same day as Trevor's ceremony. She provided kits that we picked up from her front porch, which made it so easy for crafters of all levels of experience to create along with her. They're intended as Easter cards, but they work just as well as thank-you cards for confirmation gifts. 

The top cards each feature a die cut over patterned paper. The bottom left is also a die cut over patterned paper, with iridescent sequins on it. The card on the bottom right is a stamped cross, heat-embossed in white, with watercolors painted over it and more sequins. It was a lot of fun making them, and even more fun chatting with my fellow congregants as I did. 

3/29/21

Creativation+ 2021: What I Did and the Trends I Saw

Normally, each January I travel to the Creativation trade show, along with thousands of manufacturers, retailers, designers, and fellow content creators in the craft industry. Obviously, nothing is normal now. Creativation was moved to March, renamed Creativation+ and co-located with Namta's Art Materials World, and took place entirely online. I attended the 5-day conference from my own home. 


A digital experience can't match seeing and touching new products in person and connecting with friends and business partners face-to-face, but I was pleasantly surprised by how good Creativation+ actually was. Sure, there were a lot of downsides to being virtual, but I chose to focus on the positives. And there were plenty. I saved a lot of money I'd usually spend on plane tickets and a hotel room, I didn't have to pack anything (I hate packing), I slept well in my own bed and kept my usual hours, and I was able to eat dinner and spend time with Steve and Trevor each day. (The show was on Central time, which meant everything started around 7:00 or 8:00 am here in California and concluded by around 3:00 pm.) Most importantly, I wasn't exposed to the germs that follow many of us home from an in-person trade show.   

Another major upside to a virtual show was that recorded content made it possible to attend multiple classes that were scheduled at the same time, impossible to do at an in-person show. And the chat feature let us network and ask questions immediately. The content will be live through June, so we can watch anything we missed, rewatch the most valuable stuff, and continue to browse the booths and meet with exhibitors. 

Creativation+ ran for five days. I took around 4 classes a day, most on business topics. They were interesting and valuable, as the education always is at the show. Between classes, I visited all of the exhibitors' virtual booths and had meetings with both familiar brands and those that were new to me. I attended networking events and even hosted one that brought together manufacturers and influencers. Product samples have started showing up in my mailbox. 

One of my favorite things to do at Creativation is to look for trends. It was a bit harder since I wasn't physically in booths taking photos, but I did spot some things that are definitely trending in 2021, including: 
  • geodes and painting techniques to mimic geodes
  • stacking blocks that aren't cubes
  • tall, narrow rainbows with non-traditional colors
  • resin, paint pouring, and marbling
  • sublimation
  • cosplay
  • 'Colors of the World' products and greater representation of human diversity
  • mandalas
  • high gloss paints, often painted leaving some bare wood exposed
  • ready-to-use kits
  • paint by number
  • potted plants
  • vinyl / DIY tumblers
  • shibori 

Some of last year's trends are still going strong, particularly lemons, bees, and gnomes. 

As successful as the virtual trade show was, just about everyone is eager to return to an in-person show. That is the plan for 2022! That show will repeat some of the changes made for this year, including co-locating with Namta's Art Materials World and moving the date to spring. It will be even later next year, April 10-12 (with education added on one end or the other) and will take place in Orlando. 


I'm looking forward to it. 

3/26/21

All Things Rabbit (Bunny Week 2021, Day 5)

Welcome to the last day of Bunny Week 2021!  

Steve requested that I put all my Bunny Week material from over the years in one location so that it's easy to share. I did one better: I put absolutely everything on my blog having to do with rabbits in place. There are 50+ craft tutorials, dozens of scrapbook pages, a gift guide, and links to all the informational posts I've done about rabbit behavior and care. It was a ton of work, but I am so glad that All Things Rabbit are now in one spot.  


You can visit the All Things Rabbit page by clicking the graphic above, which now appears on the CRAFTS BY HOLIDAY / TOPIC tab. I'd originally used the bunny donuts for my Edible Crafts icon, but I switched things up. Now there's a new icon for Edible Crafts. 


I made both of them in PicMonkey, of course. 

Having an All Things Rabbit page makes me so happy. I especially love seeing all my bunny crafts and scrapbook layouts about Trouble together. Going through the entire blog to find all the rabbit posts was a great way to remind myself what's here and get ideas for what else I can add. Even though this is the end of Bunny Week until next year, I can guarantee you'll be seeing a lot more bunny content before 2022!

3/25/21

Rabbit Trivia (Bunny Week 2021, Day 4)

Rabbits are fascinating animals. Over the past 10 years since we adopted Trouble, I've been sharing all sorts of information about bunnies and what makes them special. It's time to test yourself to see what you've know!




1. Rabbits belong to the Mammalia class. What is their order?
A) Dermoptera 
B) Edentata
C) Lagomorpha
D) Rodentia

2. How many toenails does a rabbit have?
A) 12
B) 16
C) 18
D) 20

3. Rabbits can see nearly 360°, with one blind spot. Where is it?
A) Directly in front
B) Directly in back
C) On their left
D) On their right

4. Rabbits are missing a physical feature other mammals have. What is it?
A) sweat glands
B) a pancreas
C) a dorsal nerve cord
D) pads on the soles of their feet

5. Rabbit ears are excellent at detecting predators and serve other roles. Which is NOT a function of rabbit ears?
A) regulating temperature
B) attracting a mate
C) communicating emotion / mood
D) maintaining balance while running

6. In the wild, a cottontail lives less than a year on average. Well-cared for house rabbits live significantly longer. How old was the longest-lived known rabbit?
A) 9 years
B) 12 years
C) 15 years
D) 18 years

7. Approximately 15% of a healthy human's weight is bone. What percentage of a healthy rabbit's body weight is bone?
A) 8%
B) 15%
C) 23%
D) 28% 

8. A healthy human's body temperature is around 98°F. What is a healthy body temperature for a rabbit?
A) 90°F
B) 94°F
C) 98°F
D) 102°F

9. Adult humans have 32 teeth. How many do adult rabbits have?
A) 4
B) 12
C) 28
D) 32
10. A rabbit's teeth never stop growing. How much do the average rabbit's teeth grow in a year?
A) 0.5 inch to 1 inch
B) 1 to 3 inches
C) 3 to 5 inches
D) 5 to 7 inches

 ---------


ANSWERS


1. C) Rabbits are lagomorphs. Other members of this order include pikas and hares. 

2. C) Rabbits have four toes and a dew claw on each front foot. They have four toes on each back foot.

3. A) Rabbits have a blind spot directly in front of their nose. 

4. D) Rabbits do not have pads on their feet. Instead, they have a thick cushion of fur. 

5. B) Rabbits use their ears to regulate their temperature, communicate their emotions, and maintain balance when they run. Ears do not play a role in attracting a mate. 

6. D) The longest-lived rabbit reached 18 years old. 

7. A) A rabbit's skeleton makes up approximately 8% of its body weight. 

8. D) A healthy rabbit's body temperature is around 102°F. 

9. C) Adult rabbits have 28 teeth. 

10. C) Rabbit teeth grow from 3-5 inches a year. 

3/24/21

Bunny by the Craft Stick Fence (Bunny Week 2021, Day 3)

It's Day 3 of Bunny Week 2021 and I have another craft for you. Not only is it adorable (if I do say so myself), but this project uses up the craft sticks that have knots and other flaws that kids (and craft bloggers) usually reject. Affiliate links below. 


Dig through the craft sticks and find the 14 worst ones you can - knots, uneven, visible grain, etc. 


Mix a small amount of nutmeg brown paint with water to make a stain. Brush it over the craft sticks and let them dry. 

Meanwhile, prepare the cardstock grass. The three steps are show in the photo below:
  1. Cut cardstock pieces approximately 1" x 3", then snip to create fringe. (I don't have any, but fringe scissors will speed up this process.) 
  2. Snip the ends of the fringe on an angle at random heights. 
  3. Bend the fringe to mimic the look of grass, then fold a tab at the bottom. 


Glue the dry craft sticks together to make the fence, then glue the tabs of the grass onto the bottom of the fence. Glue an extra strip of green cardstock to the back of the fence, just peeking out below the grass tufts. Finally, glue the bunny in place.

3/23/21

Rabbit Postage Stamps (Bunny Week 2021, Day 2)

It's Day 2 of Bunny Week!

You already know that I'm obsessed with postage stamps, so it should come as no surprise that I particularly love rabbit postage stamps. In January, the United States Postal Service issued a stamp honoring the brush rabbit. It is exciting simply because it is a rabbit, but even more so because brush rabbits are native to our area. You can read more about the stamp and its design here


I was pleasantly surprised to see a rabbit on a postage stamp so soon after the previous appearance. In October 2020, the USPS released Winter Scenes, which includes an adorable rabbit as one of the ten designs.


The next most recent US stamp featuring a rabbit was issued in 2016. It's part of the Pets series, one of my all-time favorites. 


I had to go way back to 1987 to find the next USPS rabbit. Who else remembers the days of 22 cent postage? That's how you know you're old!


I wasn't able to find any other rabbit stamps issued by the United States, other than a rabbit in a hat as part of the 2018 Art of Magic set, a stylized Year of the Rabbit stamp from 1999 (the 2011 Year of the Rabbit stamp features kumquats), and this 1997 tribute to Bugs Bunny (affiliate links). If you know of any other realistic rabbit-themed US postage stamps, please tell me in the comments. 

Interestingly, all four of the realistic rabbits featured on our stamps are brown. I get that wild rabbits are typically brown, so that makes sense for three of the stamps, but I'm surprised they didn't choose a different color for the pet rabbit. I'm partial to grey, but house rabbits come in many beautiful shades. 

Speaking of house rabbits, I would love to see a postage stamp honoring House Rabbit Society, which does so much to help rabbits and educate their caregivers. I looked up the stamp selection criteria and found that, while HRS does technically qualify, criteria #10 indicates that "it would be difficult" but that a commemorative postmark is a possibility.

3/22/21

Paper Bunny Quilt (Bunny Week 2021, Day 1)

Welcome to Bunny Week 2021! Bunny Week is an annual tradition here at My Creative Life where we celebrate All Things Rabbit. (Catch Phrase: It's Like Shark Week, but Fuzzier!) 

I'm starting off Bunny Week 2021 with a bunny-inspired paper quilt.


I really like quilts and admire the work that goes into making them. I used to think I wanted to learn to sew a quilt, but over time I realized I just like designing quilts. I love the process of picking the colors and shapes and arranging them to make something beautiful and unique. It gives me another way to play with paper, which is one of my very favorite things to do. 

My primary goal for this quilt was to feature grey rabbits in a soothing, gender-neutral palette. One of my longtime pet peeves is that many rabbit fabrics, patterned papers, and other craft items that feature rabbits are predominantly pink, and often over-the-top girlie. The worst are the ones that say Baby Girl on them. Ugh. Rabbits are loved by people of all ages and genders, and the rabbits themselves are not all female. (Steps off soapbox....)

My inspiration for the design came from photos of fellow rabbit owners who have bonded pairs, trios, and quads. Trouble is an only rabbit and is bonded with us, but many rabbits prefer to have a lagomorph companion. Bonded rabbits spend much of their day snuggling, sometimes side-by-side and other times face-to-face. My favorite bonded trio, sadly now over the Rainbow Bridge, are Bunya, Ethel, and Lucy from the Rabbit Ramblings blog

I started my project with a sketch, as I often do because of my aphantasia. I pulled out grey cardstock for my bunnies, cream for a background, and several shades of soft greens, blues, and peaches, which you can see at the top of this photo:


I ended up using just the grey, cream, and two shades of green. I cut the greens and cream into 2" squares, then cut those in half to make triangles, then cut some of those in half to make smaller triangles. Then I played around with the design. In the photo above, you can see that I'm trying out pinwheels (complete in bottom two squares) and the blockier design I ended up using (partially done in the upper two squares). Then I cut out grey bunny bodies and ears, plus cream-colored cottontails. Once I finalized my design, I glued all the triangles in place, added the bunnies, gave them Sharpie eyes and noses, trimmed the background paper, and matted it with grey. 


I love how my paper quilt turned out! I'm going to continue to play with this motif on PicMonkey (affiliate link), digitally switching out the colors and tinkering with the arrangement to see if I can design something I love even more. 

3/19/21

Spring Felt Bird Family: Finger Puppets and a Wall Hanging

Did you know that some penguins live in warm climates, one species as far north as the equator? I mention this because we've somehow decided as a society that penguins only live in very cold places (not true) and thus are a winter bird, as if they cease to exist in spring, summer, or fall (also not true). There's an unwritten law that penguin crafting must take place in December and January only. Likewise, owl crafting is for the fall. Flamingo crafts should occur in the summer. None of this makes any sense, since the birds obviously live year-round, but I don't make the rules. 

March is when we make bluebird crafts. 


Today's tutorial will teach you how to make the wall hanging above, but it you stop midway through you'll have a fun set of finger puppets. Affiliate links below. 




Felt Bird Family: Finger Puppets and a Wall Hanging



Materials:


Steps: 


Layer two pieces of light blue felt together, so that when you cut out the birds' bodies and wings, you'll get two of each piece. It's an easy shape, so I cut mine freehand but you can make a pattern on scratch paper first if you'd like. 

Next, cut out one yellow triangular beak for each bird. Cut a handful of leaves from the green felt. Wrap the brown felt around the cardboard tube and cut off any excess. 


Glue the brown felt around the cardboard tube and set it aside to dry. 

Now it's time for sewing. Use three strands of green embroidery floss and a simple backstitch to add the midrib to each leaf. Orient the seam of on the cardboard tube to the back, then glue the leaves in clusters to the front. 

There are three steps to sewing the birds together: 

  1. Separate the two blue body parts of each bird and set aside the back pieces. Use two strands of yellow embroidery floss and a running stitch to attach each beak to the front piece of each bird. 
  2. Sew the INNER portion of the wings to the front piece of each bird, using two strands of blue embroidery floss and a running stitch. The wingtips extend below the birds' bodies; continue the stitch in that area for a uniform look. 
  3. Pair the bird fronts with the backs. Sew around the perimeter, starting at one wingtip and ending at the other wingtip. Don't sew the bottom parts together!



If you stop here, you have finger puppets! To keep going and make the wall hanging, add fiber fill to each bird, then sew along the bottom, leaving the wingtips free.

Drop the cord down through the tube and tie a knot to make the hanger. Hang your newly-created branch, adjusting the hanger until it is level. Add glue to the bottoms of the birds' bodies and to their wingtips, then position them on the cardboard tube. The wall will support the birds as they dry.

You can use the same technique to make a wide variety of bird finger puppets or wall hangings. (Even penguins, owls, or other 'seasonal' birds.) Just change out the felt color and other details as needed and craft away!

3/18/21

Book Poetry and a Virtual Gallery Talk from The Carle

I have a lot of favorite children's authors and illustrators. If I were forced to pick my very favorite, it would probably be Eric Carle. I absolutely love the artwork in his classic books. 
  
A few years ago, I learned that about The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, located in Amherst, Massachusetts. I've been following them on social media ever since and look forward to when I can eventually visit in person. For Valentine's Day, The Carle posted this:


When you read the titles of these picture books from top to bottom, you get this poem:


I love everything about this and have been wanting to make my own Book Poetry ever since. Unfortunately, I don't have enough picture books in the house to do this and I'm not going to go to the library (open for 1-hour appointments only) and touch a bunch of books that will then have to be put in quarantine. 

Anyway, back to The Carle. Because I stalk their calendar for special events I would attend and exhibitions I wouldn't miss if I didn't live 2978 miles away (according to Google Maps), I discovered that they are hosting virtual events that I can attend. In fact, I've registered for what sounds like an amazing (free!) event on April 22:



You can register here. I can't wait! I'm a big fan of Andrea Davis Pinkney (and her illustrator husband Brian Pinkney) and this is such an important and interesting topic. While I'm much rather view the exhibit in person, I am so grateful for museums holding virtual events like this one. 


3/17/21

Scenes from Quarantine

The Punch it Out challenge during the Victoria Marie Designs crop required us to knock out the challenge by using punches. Here is my page:

Scenes from Quarantine (affiliate link)

I grabbed six photos representing different things we've been doing (or not doing, in the case of haircuts) during our time in quarantine. I put them in a grid, then used a circle punch to create journaling spaces. What I like most about this page is that I told six small stories that, when together, give a look at life in Casa de deRosier during the lockdown. I wouldn't necessarily have given any of the photos their own page. 

I'm also happy with how I did the title. I started with this journaling card and blocked out the words I didn't want by covering them with red cardstock and then layering the stickers on top. I love when I'm able to take product and adapt it so that it works for me. 

3/16/21

April Fools' Day "Bowl of Cereal"

For a long time, I didn't like April Fools' Day because I don't like mean-spirited pranks. I am not a fan of tricking someone in order to make them look or feel dumb, to create a giant mess, to get their hopes up and crush them, or to get them to eat something disgusting. None of that is fun to me; it feels a lot more like bullying than an appropriate way to 'celebrate.'

I am, however, a big fan of the creative ways that businesses have celebrated April Fools' Day in the past few years, introducing such novel inventions as the Polite Horn, Beautiful Bond Salon, and Tranquility High Adventure Base. I'm also a huge fan of positive pranks - tricking someone in a way that delights them. That is the spirit behind my April Fools' Day "Bowl of Cereal."


Spoiler: It's not a bowl of cereal. 

There are a lot of not-funny food pranks out there, like serving cream-filled donuts that are actually filled with Miracle Whip or Oreos with the filling replaced with toothpaste. This is the opposite. The kids think they're getting an ordinary bowl of cereal for breakfast, but they get something even better. When they lift the spoon to have some cereal, they'll find yummy chocolate cake inside instead! 


Read on to learn how easy it is to make. Affiliate links below. 

---------

April Fools' Day "Bowl of Cereal"


Materials:



Steps:



Make a single-serve microwave chocolate cake (Recipe A) in a microwave-safe cereal bowl. Let it cool completely. While it is cooling, sort through the Alphabits to spell out "APRIL FOOLS."


Insert a spoon into the cake so that it sits the way a spoon would sit in a bowl of milky cereal. Follow the package directions to prepare the candy melts, then pour them over the top of the cake so that the surface is completely covered and no chocolate shows through. It should self-level with some gentle jiggling. 

Place the Alphabits onto the melted candy to spell out APRIL FOOLS. 

If you serve it within 15 minutes or so, it will be easy to eat and enjoy. If you let it set much longer, the candy melts can harden to the point that it can be difficult to get the spoon out. If that happens, use a heat gun or hair dryer to warm up the candy melts enough so they soften. Don't put the bowl into the microwave with the spoon still in place!

3/15/21

I Love Big Stuff

While digging through the box of printed photos that hadn't made it into the scrapbook for the I Love You the Whole World layout, I found six photos with Trevor and/or me posing with ridiculously-oversized things. I put them together to make this layout:

I Love Big Stuff (affiliate link)

I made this layout for the Follow the Playbook challenge during the Victoria Marie Designs crop. In it, we were asked to use this sketch:


As you can see, I dropped the left side of the sketch and just used the right. I doubled the number of photos, moved the title onto the dark strip across the bottom, and extended the journaling to fit the space where the title had been. 

This is my least favorite layout from the crop. I don't hate it, but looking at it now there are a few things I'd tweak to improve it. 

3/12/21

Famous Font Name Art

Today is my birthday, so I'm sharing something that is very Cindy (literally)! I made the design for this name art digitally and colored it in with actual markers for a really fun hybrid project. Each of the 13 Cindys is made with a different famous brand's font. Do you recognize any of them? The answers are at the end of the post. 
 


Making your own name art coloring page using famous fonts is really easy, thanks to FontMeme! This free site has dozens (hundreds?) of free fonts featuring your favorite brands, movies, TV shows, bands, games, and more. Affiliate links below. 


---------

Famous Font Name Art



Materials:


Steps:


Open FontMeme and click on their Text Generator. Type in your name, then choose a font from the drop-down list. Choose a font size (it doesn't really matter since you can adjust it in PicMonkey), then select the Style-OutlineGB effect. Keep the color on FFFFFF (black), then click GENERATE. Here's an example using the Coca Cola font:


There are embedding options if you want code for blogs or forum posts, but all you need is a jpeg. Right-click on the name and save it. Now switch ONLY the font, leaving everything else the same.


Save the name, then repeat the process until you have at least a dozen different versions of your name saved. 

Open PicMonkey and create a Blank Canvas. I made mine 8" square, but 8.5" x 11" is a great choice. Now add your graphics to the canvas one by one, adjusting the sizes until they fill the space and fit together nicely. 

As you can see, I added a few Basic Graphics to three of my names in order to better match how the brands use their fonts. This is, of course, optional. 


Print your completed design, then color it in, matching the colors of the brands you used. I don't know if it's just the brands I chose, but they heavily favor primary colors. I'm not surprised, but now that I see them all together, it makes me think that a clever brand would use secondary colors to stand out from the crowd. My eye goes to that tiny bit of green in a sea of red, yellow, and blue. 

So how did you do with guessing the brands I used? Ready for the answers? 


---

---

---



How many did you get right? Let me know in the comments! And when you make your own name art, let me know so I can try to guess which fonts you used. 

3/11/21

I Love You the Whole World

For the Slam Dunk challenge during the Victoria Marie Designs crop, we were required to find a layout we had made ourselves that could be considered a slam dunk, then use it as inspiration to create another scrapbook page. This is what I made:

I Love U the Whole World (affiliate link)

And this is what inspired it:

I Love Your Smile (affiliate link)

It's not a direct lift, obviously, but it does have a lot of elements in common. Beyond the square photos, grid design, and mixed font title, both layouts are made using photos I printed but never used on a page. It was so much fun going through the extra photos and seeing my beautiful boy over the years. 

The title comes from something Trevor and I used to say to each other when he was a toddler. I would say, "I love you!" and he would say, "I love you a lot!" and we'd go back and forth until he would say, "I love you the whole world!" and that ended it because there was nothing bigger than the whole world.

Trevor is 14 now and I still love him the whole world.

3/10/21

Pretzel Butterfly Lunch

I met a mom recently who told me she is frustrated because her 5-year old daughter never wants to stop playing in order to eat. She asked if I had any suggestions to help her get her daughter excited about mealtime. I suggested she look through my edible crafts for ideas, but I also wanted to dream up something fun for that little girl to combine her love of play with her need to eat. I think these butterflies might be just the thing.
 

I chose the ingredients and quantities based on what a 5-year old might eat for lunch. You can, of course, substitute other ingredients and change the amounts to suit your child's needs and preferences. Affiliate links below. 


---------


Pretzel Butterfly Lunch

 

Ingredients:



Instructions: 


(Note: Before giving the ingredients to the child, an adult should use a sharp knife to cut 2 antennae per butterfly. If the child is younger than school age, an adult will need to help spread the ricotta; older children can do this themselves.)
 
Line up pairs of pretzels to make butterfly wings. Spread ricotta on the front side of each wing, then decorate it with peanuts, dried fruit, and candies. Continue until all the wings are decorated. 


Place a baby carrot between each set of wings, then add a pair of antennae at the top. Eat your butterfly creations and any leftover toppings right away while they are fresh and delicious.



This would be really fun as part of a full day of butterfly crafts!