Saturday, July 30, 2011

Tic-Tac-Toe Tute!

Tic-tac-toe is one of those games we turn to when we're waiting to kill some a restaurant, doctor's the car. It is an easy visual game for toddlers to understand. 

So in keeping with my tradition of finding creative things to do with all of the cork I accumulate...I present you with a DIY tic-tac-toe stamp tutorial. 

Find two corks. (very fun!)

Using a serrated knife, CAREFULLY carve out an O shape on one and then an X shape on the other. I found it helpful to draw the shape I was going to cut out first. 

You can draw the shape on the other side of the cork for identification.  

Now just make some lined cards on card stock and you're set!

I think the set would look great neatly packaged with a few ink pads as a birthday gift!

Friday, July 29, 2011

I'm a bit of a tease...

Is your interest piqued yet?? Stay tuned for September!!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Clutch Kvetch

So I completed my first clutch! And from the outside, it looks pretty darn cute, if I do say so myself. 

But there are some fabulous mistakes here I'd like to share....

It's good to have pocket to store things in a clutch. But look! I made an extra one by accident on the other side that points downward, so all of your stuff will fall out when you open it!

It's also wise to include a snap on your clutch so it will stay closed. The sew-on snaps I bought were very easy to use. Too bad they ended up on the inside of that random pocket, rendering them totally useless!!

Oh well! You live and learn. Clutch round two is coming your way! 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Free Giveaway!! Sequels and Schedules

As of late, I feel as though I've been neglecting you, dear followers!

I haven't had a tutorial in ages. I have a lot of ideas, I just haven't had time to execute them. 

So I thought I'd have a giveaway to make up for it!

Since summer is a time to relax, get lost in a book, watch a cheesy movie......I thought I'd offer up a brand new (still in the wrapper) copy of Legally Blonde 2 for your enjoyment!

I can't say that I've seen this movie, but I saw the first one. Who doesn't like Reese Witherspoon?

To Win:

All you need to do is become a public follower! (Oh so easy!)
If you are already a follower, then just leave a comment! (If you're screen name is different than your follower name, be sure and tell me your follower name in the comments)

The contest closes on Sunday, August 7th at 9pm Pacific Time. 
One winner will be announced Monday, August 8th. 

And, if you are one to look ahead, here's what's coming up in the next few weeks:
1. My birthday!!
2. kids' activities tutorial
3. Purse clutch tutorial
4. A Back-to-School MONTH LONG celebration complete with 15 guest bloggers, giveaways and tutorials galore in September!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Kid-Friendly Activities Roundup

In a few weeks, my son will be out of summer camp and home for three (long?) weeks until he starts kindergarten, which means that I'll be home full time with 2 kids under 5. 

I asked what Mr. P. wanted to do during this time, and without hesitation, he proclaimed, "home school!" We live in Los Angeles - a booming metropolis where home school is not a very common alternative, so I wondered where he even learned this term. 

Then I remembered! He learned it from some of you! Yes, as I scour the web visiting all of your lovely and inspirational blogs, I often come across homeschooling families who post about all of the amazing things they are doing with their kids! There are moments when I feel like I want to home school (being an ex elementary school teacher - I miss creating a curriculum and I love the idea of stepping away from traditional schooling. 

But I also love the idea of my son going off to Kindergarten, truth be told. 

I digress....

My point is, that I did one day explain to him the option of homeschooling and he really took to it, so much so that he is now requesting his three weeks off to be spent "homeschooling." Even after I mentioned that electronics of any kind are banned from my home school. 

He is still on board. 

What is my point? I've forgotten....but here is a list of activities to do with small kids - should you be looking for some time to fill.....

A very long winded, 

Do it yourself pinwheels with Style Me Pretty

Nature Bracelets with Maya Made

Make your own Sidewalk Chalk with Art Mind

Homemade Scented Finger paint with Almost Unschoolers

Homemade Kite with Made by Joel

Leaf Prints with Lilly Ella

Make Your Own Bubble Wand with While She Naps

Your kids now have no excuse to utter the dreaded words, "I'm bored!!!"

Happy crafting!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

New Baby, New Sewing Projects

My husband's sister had a baby girl last week!! Making me an auntie for the third time!

In celebration, I made her this burp cloth (thanks, Craftaholics Anonymous for the inspirational tutorial!)

I remember when I had Doodlebop, Mr. P. looked so sad when people came to the door bearing gifts for the wee one, but nothing for him. So I decided to make my 3-year old nephew a superhero cape as he has just become a super big brother. 

I followed The Long Thread's free, printable tutorial. 

Doodlebop models

And I used my Silhouette to cut out the iron-on vinyl shapes. (I still have a million Silhouette questions, which I will address in a later post. Apparently, I am Silhouette-challenged.)

And I even used the Silhouette to make this birds-in-a-tree card. 

I'm feeling extra tired this week....besides coffee (and getting extra sleep), what do you all do to help with fatigue?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ahora, yo hablo un poco de español

At the beginning of summer, some friends of mine from grad school and I made a pact that we would take Spanish lessons and then meet up once in a while to practice speaking, eat tapas or burritos and drink tequila. 

We each ordered The Rosetta Stone. 

There was a choice between Catalan and Latin American Spanish....we went with Latin American (much to the chagrin of our British friend whose vote was for Spanish from Spain.) 

I am completely embarrassed that having lived in Los Angeles my whole life, a city where well over 40% of the population speaks Spanish, I never learned this language! Shameful!

I did however spend many a year taking French and have found that since they are both Romance languages, they have a lot in common (word roots, verb conjugation, etc.) So I am finding that I am zipping right along in my classes. (My husband has already put in his request for Rosetta Stone's Vietnamese classes.)

I take one class (lasting anywhere from 5 - 25 minutes) each day if and when Doodlebop naps. I wear a special headset that I can speak into in order to perfect my pronunciation. In three weeks I feel as though I've learned so much already: colors, verbs, food vocabulary, animal names and greetings and salutations. 

You can also play online language games with other people from around the globe as well as brush up on your conversational skills with free one on one tutoring. 

Sadly, mis amigos and I have all been too busy to get together and drink I mean..practice. 

Maybe next week??



Monday, July 18, 2011

Pizza on the Grill

We had a fun Carmageddon barbecue / pool party here (by the way, that was all hype as there was NO traffic in L.A. this weekend! A welcomed anomaly!!)

The boys had fun dressing up on a play date.....

And while Mr. P. was yucking it up at soccer and a birthday party, I took Doodlebop to see the new Winnie the Pooh movie. I think he liked the popcorn better than the movie.....

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Does Oak Park Really Hate Veggies?

Can you believe the nerve of Oak Park, Michigan resident Julie Bass? She had the audacity to plant a vegetable garden in planters in her front lawn. I mean…the nerve!!!!!

Okay, that was sarcasm…but in all seriousness, this veggie-loving neighbor is now facing 93 days in jail!

photo courtesy of Julie Bass
Who knew vegetables could be so subversive!

You can follow her blog and this story at Oak Park Hates Veggies.

Meanwhile, we’re hunkering in for Carmaggedon here. It’s kind of like waiting for a snowstorm without the snow. 

Just a flurry of traffic.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pick Your Plum (instead of your nose)

That past week has been insanely busy! Husband was out of the country, little was sick with a nasty sinus infection, there was a Canadian cousin invasion, pool parties, dinner parties and beach parties to boot! My kids are now waking up asking, "Is there a party today?"

Well, it's always a party on the Internet, isn't it?

Have you heard of Pick Your Plum?

It's a deal-a-day website geared towards crafts! And I'm completely addicted! I received my first purchase the other day - wax paper treat bags in pink and white (they even threw in a little Laffy Taffy to make me smile.)


Everything available is ridiculously cheap and it pays to order multiple quantities because the shipping stays the same. I have also ordered a set of iron-on vinyl (superhero capes, here I come) and chalkboard sheets. 

Using my new silhouette machine, I drafted up this logo for a treat bag. (Perhaps for the next time I make my granola

And for the white ones, I came across this fantastic stamp set over at the Urban Craft Center in Santa Monica. 

Doodlebop (age two) had fun helping me draft serene city scenes (quite the opposite of what will be happening here during this weekend's "Carmaggedon" - has that news reached you yet?)

Again, not quite sure what I'll fill them with, but I'll be car-less all weekend, thanks to "Carmageddon" so hopefully I'll whip up something! 

Monday, July 11, 2011

We Have A Winner!

Thank you to everyone who participated in my giveaway!!
We now have an official winner thanks to

The winner is....... Laura, who wrote, "I'm a follower!"

I will contact you (if you don't contact me first - my contact info is on the front page of my blog) to get your shipping address.

Congratulations! And happy listening!!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

My Boys are Tatted Up!

So the silhouette machine came with two sheets of tattoo paper. Let me just say that you DON'T need a silhouette machine to use this tattoo paper....just a printer! It's so fun!

I jut did a quick Google search for a smattering of some of their favorite images:
Captain Underpants, The Wizard of Oz, Beauty and the Beast, Star Wars, Humpty Dumpty.....and then printed them on to the tattoo paper and applied!

Think of the possibilities!(I mean the practical jokes alone are endless!)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Sihouette Machine!

Mr. Postman brought me a new toy!!!

A silhouette machine!

I've been watching various bloggers make some amazing things using the Silhouette and I wanted in on the fun!

I will say this so far.....

I find it kind of complicated!! I'm hoping it's just the newness of it all, kinda like learning a new language (did I mention I'm taking Spanish lessons this summer as well??) I remember I had the same feeling of "I'll never learn how to use this" the first time I used a sewing a year and a half ago. 

I also have a variety of questions that perhaps you, dear readers, can help me sort out. But I'll leave those for another time. 

For now, I will present to you the only thing I've successfully been able to cut with the Silhouette: A tree. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Lentil Burgers

Looks like Mama is serving up a bowl full of mush for dinner. 

But this mushy mess actually transformed into these delectable lentil burgers! 

Here's how:

3 cups cooked lentils
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
2 garlic cloves chopped
1/2 cup carrots chopped
red onion

Once chopped, mix first six ingredients in a bowl. Form into patties and saute in olive oil. 

yes, i realize this photo is sideways. The 4th of July has made me very lazy today. 

Plate and cover with a slice of onion, avocado and tomato. Cover with a spoonful of pesto. For added verisimilitude, place in bun. 

Healthy, filling and yes.....gas-tastic!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

Spending this one at the beach! Have a great 4th, everyone!!!

photo courtesy of our dessert