Sunday, May 1, 2011

Tie Dyed Easter Eggs

So do you remember when you used to make those cool swirly colored eggs?  You know the ones, where you had the big bowl of water with special coloring you'd drip on the top, dip your egg in, then scoop off the flim with paper towel?  Yeah, I do too!  The company that made that kit is long gone though, and no other company has brought it back.

To much my heart's desire,  I went searching in cyberspace.  I found some great ideas on how to duplicate it, although not quite the same, but still gave a cool effect.  By far I do not consider this my own, but I combined a couple ideas and this is what I came up with.

Have several glasses of water, I use my coffee mugs.  Mix 1/2 cup water, 1/4 cup vinegar, and 2 tbsp of cooking oil.  The oil will seperate and float on top.  Do this with each glass.  Then add your food coloring, I used the chart on the back of the box to come up with my colors.  Make a different color for each glass.

Now here comes the fun part!  Have some paper towels ready.  Stir the water in the glass then dip your egg in the first color, just quick in and out.  Hold it for a second above the glass, letting the color stain the egg.  Where the oil sits on the egg, it won't color.  Then, wipe off the remaining color and oil with paper towels.  Repeat for a second or third color.

Here's what mine came out like.  Pretty cool huh?

Want a great tip?

color hard boiled eggs all year round.  It helps remind you of which eggs are boiled and raw!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Life of a Painted Lady..

I invite you to join us for the main event, butterfly hatching!  This project is meant to demonstrate the life cycle and metamorphasis of a butterfly.  If you have never done this before, I highly suggest it!  The kids always love this project, and the butterflies can be released into nature once they emerge from the chrysalis.  Take a moment to check out, and they almost always have special offers at   I took advantage of the special offer and got 2 for the price of 1!  I donated one set to My oldest's 2nd grade classroom.  They are in love!

So, these little critters arrived today.  They are about a week old (my guess, they are tiny!).  They are only about a quarter inch long right now, but will get nice and long and fat before they reach the chrysalis stage.  I encourage you to follow along with my blog, as I will be posting updates every couple days of their status, so you can see their growth! The stuff at the bottom is their food..  you'll see little fibers in there, that's the caterpillars' webbing.  Under the lid is paper, where the full grown caterpillars will attach themselves to form into the chrysalis. These little guys will reach that stage in a couple weeks!

Please follow along!  :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Boredom Busters-Salt dough

So, today we had the warmest day of the season this year.  The kids wanted to stay outside forever, but being that it's not spring yet, nightfall still comes early.  I had to coax them all in the house, and decided to set them down with something fun, modeling dough!  A traditional salty dough thats fun to squish, squeeze, shape, or cut, is baked in an oven, and then can be painted, or food coloring can be added while mixing.
Want the recipe? Here goes!

2/3 cup flour
3 tbsp salt
1 teaspoon cooking oil
1/3 cup water

mix the dry ingredients first, then add the oil, then water.  dough shouldnt be sticky or stick to the bowl.  This is so easy and fun for the kids to mix!  After the kiddies are done mushing, squishing, and squashing, bake their creations in a prewarmed oven at 250 degrees for three hours. 

We decided to use cookie cutters.  Dough instructions are to roll out to 3/4 inch thinkness, but I liked mine a little thinner.  We poked a hole to thread some ribbon.  Here they are, just out of the oven.  Tomorrow they will get to paint them. (It's way past their bedtime!)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Adventures in Shirring..

Fabric that is!

I'm on a new quest to create some new cute stuff for my girls.  I've always wanted to learn how to shirr fabric, so I searched through some tutorials and gave it a shot.  I must have gone back at least 5 times, because I'd follow the instructions, but it wasn't stretchy!  Finally I happened upon another tutorial that said to steam iron the fabric after sewing.  Ok, gave it a shot, and POOF! Whaddayaknow.  What a crucial step to leave out!

So anyway, I'm going to leave my simple steps, in layman's terms.  I don't know why I couldn't find clear directions in one place, so I'm leaving them here in case I forget (or you want to know)!

Choose a lightweight fabric. I'm matching mine with a tutu, so I chose a satin. Your cut of fabric needs to be 2.5 times the width.  So for example, a chest measurement is 24 inches.  24x2.5=60.  Hem all sides, or in my case.  I folded over the top 1/4 inch, and zigzag stiched.  You can just zigzag the other edges too to prevent fraying.  You will be working from the right side of the fabric, so you might want to make a starting line about an inch from the top with a marking pen or chalk.  the shirr lines can be anywhere from 1/4 inch to an inch apart.  Some people prefer to use the edge of their foot for a guide, but I found it easier to mark my lines.  For mine, they are 1/2 inch apart.  So starting from the first line down, mark every half an inch.

Now, set your tension to 3 and your stitch length as long as possible, for me, 5.  You will need to wind a bobbin with elastic sewing thread.  You must hand wind it, so you don't overstretch it.  A little tension is ok, but not too much.  Insert your bobbin and get ready!  Make sure the top thread matches your fabric or is the color of your choice, as it will be seen, again working on the topside.

So let's get started!  Line up on the first line, take a couple stitches, backstitch, then follow the line.  Backstitch when you get to the end.  Turn, then do the same on the next line!  do not stretch your fabric or anything, just let the machine do the work. 

So, once you are done stitching, here comes the fun part.  This is the part that was left out and had me soooo confused, because my fabric wasn't stretchy!  Hold a hot steam iron about an inch from the fabric.  It'll do this shrinky dink thing, and woosh! It's stretchy!

Note:  Some people like to use 1/4 inch elastic on the top.  Instead of just hemming the top, create a pocket for the elastic.  Insert the elastic after shirring. The same canbe done for the bottom hem if preferred.

Another Note:  Another method instead of backstitching each start and end of each line is to pull the top thread to the back and tie it and the elastic thread together.  I think it is to prevent fraying the elastic thread, but backstitching worked fine for me. 

So anyway, here's the final product (shirring anyway)!

Now I must say, once I FINALLY got the directions all together, it was so easy!  I was worried that my machine was going to eat my elastic thread, but not once did it get caught up. I am so excited to work on some cute projects now!

Monday, February 14, 2011

You are in Control...

So a few days ago, someone told me that only I can control the things that happen in my life, and not to stress about the things I can't.  Easier said than done, right?  Then I came across this quote earlier today.  I don't know who the author is, but it is something like this:

"When you really matter to someone, that person will always make time for you. No excuses, no lies, and no broken promises."

How true this really is.  I've been on a self-journey of discovery.  I've been learning what is really important in my life, and that I don't need to keep searching for the fulfillment of self worth or approval.  All my life I have always felt like I needed approval, like I needed someone to tell me that I'm doing something right, that I need to do what they want me to do.  The only one in my life that can make me happy and self worthed is me, and not to let anyone take that away from me.  I am in control. 

So back to the quote, these two things sort of relate.  Myself  (and a dear friend that I love so much), both need to keep this in mind when we pick who we hold dear.  I (we) am worth it.  If they don't think so, then they are not worthy of me.  Only I can control how I feel, and who I associate myself with.  If I choose to have people in my life that make me feel miserable all the time, that make me feel like I have to prove to them that I am worthy, than they are not worthy.  They are not worthy of my time, dedication, and unending love.  No person should be made to feel less than a person, less than cared for, adored, respected, and loved.

Happy Valentine's Day to ALL those I love and hold dear to my heart. 

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Power of Prayer

Do you pray?  I'm not one that prays routinely, but I do like to "Keep the Faith".  It helps me get through the long and tough days. A friend of mine made this for me, a prayer book.  Do you pray or know someone that does?  Something like this would make a great gift.  It's made from pretty scrapbook papers and lightweight cardstock.  The first section is lined paper, so it can be written on.. a specific prayer.  The rest of the book is pages and pages of Bible verses. It's embellished with an angel charm and a beaded dangle. Something like this could be easily made, if you have someone in mind!

Breakfast.. It's What's for Dinner!

It's superbowl Sunday.  I'm tired, sick, and really not in a mood to cook.  There's nothing in the house that sounds good.  Then it hit me, I have hash browns and ground pork sausage in the freezer.  I searched around for some recipe ideas on, and came up with my version of several concoctions.   What's better is this recipe is perfect for a breakfast meal or an easy dinner! I do not typically add salt to my recipes, unless I feel it's necessary.  In this case, there's plenty of it in the sausage and crescent rolls. 

Hash Brown Breakfast Bake
1 pkg crescent rolls
1 lb ground pork sausage
3 cups cooked hash browns/shredded potatoes
8 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, mexican, parmesan, etc)

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
2. roll out crescent dough in an ungreased 13x9 glass baking dish. Smoosh the seams together, basically creating a crust on the bottom of the dish.  Prebake this for 5 minutes.
3. Brown up ground sausage in a skillet.
4. Cook hash browns.  I used a cheater kind, Betty Crocker's seasoned hash browns.  It had onion in it, so a little extra flavor.  It comes in a box and needs to be rehydrated.  Worked great for this purpose!
5.  On prebaked crust, first layer the cooked sausage.  Then layer the hash browns. 
6.  Top with 1 cup shredded cheese.
7. Whisk eggs with milk. Poor over the top of the conconction.
8. Top with remaining 1/4 cup of whatever cheese you felt like using at the time.
9. Bake for 25 minutes or until the eggs are set.

Enjoy! Since this is pretty much a full meal, serve with fresh fruit and juice.  Feel free to add whatever else, onions, green peppers, garlic, etc.  Whatever suites your mood at the time!