Category Archives: crafts

Kanon’s Homemade Carnival

You all know I mentioned wanting to have a carnival for Kanon’s first birthday. Well, we did it. And it was a blast. 

Now before I share the pictures I want you to know that there were SO many things that weren’t finished in time for the party. This is not an unusual occurrence in my life; usually, as the party draws near I lose excitement and think that it would be better to just cancel the party instead of have it unfinished. And after the party, I usually think how wonderfully well it went, but it would have been better had it been all I had planned. Kind of a perfectionist like that. HOWEVER, that was not the case with this party. 

Now on to the photos. I’ll start with our carnival games. These pictures are not good at all, many blurry, but it’s all I have. Since I wasn’t going to have any family around at the party to help out, I was going to hire a girl to photograph the party, but that was one of the things that didn’t work out…. So look beyond the quality of the pictures please. 


bean bag toss

knock ’em down

pick a duck

make a match

face painting

strike a pose

The bean bag toss: made the day before the party out of three pieces of foam core, with a free hand circle cut out with a kitchen knife in each one, then wrapped in some wrapping paper I had in our giveaway collection in the basement, the three boards taped together and propped up with scrap wood

Super cute candy bean bags: courtesy of our neighbor

Knock ’em down: cans are empty yogurt containers that I started saving for this very game, once washed and dried Karston and Kyrie helped by putting a handful of beans in each container (to add a little weight so the wind wouldn’t knock them over), I then glued the lids on and spray painted them

The polka dots on the table: Karston and Kyrie’s creation (I tried to include them in party preparations just enough that they felt they had a part but not so much that they weren’t surprised by the party as well)

Pick a Duck: rubber ducks picked up on my second trip to a Super Wal-Mart in 2010, letters written with a sharpie on the bottom of each duck

Pick  a duck, tell me what letter is on the bottom, get a prize

The younger kids just loved playing with the ducks…and the water.

Make a Match: a classic memory game, I spray painted clothes pins a golden yellow, glued them to the poster board, in about 10 minutes on Friday afternoon, I drew and colored six pictures on the computer, printed them out, adhered red cardstock out of my stash to the backs of the pictures, cut them up, and arranged them under the clothes pins

The older kids enjoyed this game. 

Face Painting: face paint (!), jar of water, mirror for the kids to see their cheeks

I started out face painting. However, on one of my trips up to take care of something else, the kids started to paint each other’s faces. This turned out to be a genius idea. Why I didn’t think of it when Kyrie was painting her own face before the party started, I don’t know.

Strike a Pose: a red tablecloth which should have gone higher (and lower) adhered to the garage door about 10 minutes before the party, props included: silly glasses found in party section of Target, mustaches cut out off cardstock 2 minutes before the party, a headband with strips of cardstock folded in a zigzag and taped on made about 30 seconds before the party

This was A LOT of fun. Each family had their picture taken in the silly props!



The Prizes (no pictures):

glow-in-the-dark dinosaurs (pkg. of 8 in the dollar section at Target)

animal shaped foam capsules -you know, put the pill in the water and a shape appears (party section of Target)

glow stick bracelets (pkg. of 15 in the dollar section of Target)


The Food:

Hot Dogs

Mini Corn dogs 


Animal Crackers


Buttered Popcorn Jelly Bellies



This was my favorite part of the pre-party: “creating” the food table.

The stripes were made the afternoon of the party using duct tape. I would so be a person to paint a wall or stripes or a mural for a party, but since this is a rental, duct tape will have to work. Don’t they look so happy? I wanted to leave them up.


And you can’t forget….

The Cake:

Meg’s Rainbow Cake

It was a HUGE hit! People were surprised it actually tasted good. Hello, I’m not all about looks.

Do you think he enjoyed it? He ate the whole purple layer in one bite, and the rest of the piece, and then went after Kyrie’s. 


Wow that was a long post! We enjoyed celebrating Kanon, the year we’ve had with him, and the year we’ve made it through! 



Filed under birthday, crafts, food

DIY beach bag

Ok, I told you how I made the kids beach bags instead of cleaning house before our trip to Florida. I told you how super cute they were, right? Well, now I have pictures for you and somewhat of a tutorial. 

I first saw these grocery bags Dana made while she was in the first  So-You-Think-You’re Crafty competition. I loved them. Aren’t they adorable? Well, I didn’t really need reusable grocery bags at the time so I filed the idea into the “projects to do later” part of my brain. Then came our trip to the beach, and I thought how fun if we had beach bags to give to the kids filled with sand toys and stuff. They could tote their little bags down to the water each day. It was the first time the kids were going to be spending time with their cousin, and we wanted to celebrate. The grocery bags came to mind as the perfect material to use for beach bags. They are made out of plastic grocery bags melted together!!!

Here are a few pictures of how they turned out. 

Aren’t they cute? I just love them. 

There is no need for me to rewrite the tutorial, so I will send you to the original tutorial HERE. From what I read (I admit I didn’t read the whole tutorial), the steps were all very clear. I just read long enough to know that she used eight layers of Target bags, you use parchment paper underneath and on top of your bags to melt them, and that she used cotton setting on her iron.

I used seven layers of Wal-Mart bags with the shiny side of a Target bag on the top and bottom. I also used the setting below cotton, maybe wool?, on my iron. I ironed my bags from the middle going out to release the air bubbles. Originally I had wanted the bags to be pretty small so the kids could carry them, but my sister-in-law and I found so many great sand toys and pajamas on sale that we ended up with a lot of stuff that need to fit! So here’s the sizes of the panels I cut:

I was originally going to laminate some fabric to use as handles, but using ribbon cut out MANY steps. Time was precious. Hence no photos of the process of me making them! I also opted to make my handles go all the way to the bottom of the bag to add support. And I did sew my handles on before sewing the bag together.

I really like these bags and have other ideas for things to make using this technique…like wet bags to hold our wet swimsuits after a visit to the pool. I’ll be sure and show you pictures once I make those!

One last thing, I want to say Happy Birthday to my Grandma Mary! Thank you for sewing with me on my summer trips to your house. I love you and wish I could drive down and eat some cake with you. Have a wonderful day.


Filed under crafts, Tutorial

Becoming Home

Today I’m guest posting (sounds so fun to say that!) over at Becoming Home. My sweet friend, Diane, asked me to help in a celebration week over at her blog. She’s celebrating 200 posts.  She’s got DIYs, guest bloggers, and a giveaway scheduled this week so make sure you check back with her all week long so you don’t miss anything!

 Go check out my little project and how-to I came up with. I hope you like it! It was fun for me and despite the end project looking like it takes some work, it is really quite easy. Here’s a little sneak peek of the end product:

Mark paid me the high compliment of saying, “If I didn’t know better, I would’ve thought it came from Anthro.” Is that sweet or what? And I’ll take it even if he was just tired of me asking, “Do you like it?”


So go see the whole tutorial over at Diane’s. While you’re at Becoming Home be sure to check out Diane’s archives. She’s got some great projects; she’s super creative. I was quite honored and ecstatic when she asked me to guest post (and that may be an understatement). Thanks Diane!

Leave a comment

Filed under crafts, Tutorial

In lieu of

our weekend in photos, I present to you: Our Cow Family

(saying “moo”)

How cute is that baby tail?

Well we proved to Chick-fil-a that we were no chickens and got free breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That’s right three full meals. We made a day of it and have so many good memories to look back on. Karston’s excitement kept him up pretty late Thursday night. Thursday day I let the kids paint spots on their shirts and told them I would finish their costumes after they went to sleep. Here are some quotes from Karston as he lay in bed in anticipation for Friday.

“We’re gonna be a family of cows!”

“I am so excited!”

“Mommy, can you make me horns?”

“And a nose and mouth. I want a cow nose and mouth.”

“Oh, and I want milk.”

Me: “Milk? You mean an udder?”

Karston: “Yeah! An udder! I want an udder.”

Me: “I’ll see. I’m not sure I’ll have time to make you an udder.”

Made me laugh. And no, I didn’t have time for an udder. I made shorts for Karston and a skirt for Kyrie out of an old white sheet I had. Spots on a onesie for The Manon. Spots on a white t-shirt and black construction paper spots taped onto long underwear pants for Mark. Spots on a drop waist dress with ruffles around the collar made out of two white t-shirts for me. I actually really liked the style of my dress and plan on making me some more (in non-cow print fabric of course). We all wore cow tails made out of braided black and white yarn. We also printed out the cow ears off of Chick-fil-a’s website and taped them to headbands we already had. SOOO much fun. I’m already thinking of costumes for next year!

I also DID NOT have to go into a gas station to prepay for gas dressed like a cow. And the guy behind me DID NOT ask me, “What is it dairy day at work?” And I totally DID NOT give the guy a look and say, “Umm, no it’s free food at Chick-fil-a, of course.”

I also DID NOT have to answer the door to the mailman dressed like a cow. And I DID NOT have to turn around and show him my cow tail as I was running to the kitchen to grab a bill I needed mailed…….


Filed under crafts, everyday, food

try again

Last May, during part of our hiatus in Longview,  Karston and Kyrie painted birdhouses at their Nonna’s. Karston chose blue paint; Kyrie chose pink but ended up mixing the pink and blue together making purple.

Don’t they look so much smaller?

Well, they painted them in preparation for moving, as something to look forward to hanging up at our new house. And we hung them pretty soon after we got here. And then we waited. And waited. And waited. They really wanted a bird to make a nest in at least one of them, but it never happened. And a year later, their birdhouses looked like this.

No wonder a bird didn’t make a nest in the blue one. It had no bottom! Nonna bought Karston a new bird house to paint, and Kyrie repainted hers.

They chose the same colors this year.

Pink and Blue.

The birdhouses are waiting on a coat of sealer before being hung. We will wait again. And pray a little birdie or two decide to make those colorful houses their homes.


Filed under crafts, everyday

The Voting is Up

I posted three DIY projects here, here, and here that I entered in this contest. Well, turns out the contest ended up being quite a bit bigger than they had expected. They received over 200 entries, and only 24 were chosen. And I’m so excited that my DIY Vintage Wedding Book was one of the 24 chosen!

Now, I need you to go HERE to vote for me. Vote for #16 in the comment section. (or I guess you could vote for another project- the Photobooth Wall was probably my favorite) 

So go vote! You have until Thursday, April 8.

1 Comment

Filed under crafts, everyday

The Tomb

This weekend is Easter. And while there will be a lot of egg dying, egg hunts, & easter baskets, we as Christians want to focus on celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus. The book Treasuring God in Our Traditions by Noel Piper (that I gave away not too long ago) really helps you think about how to use the holidays to drive home Truths that you try and teach your children on a daily basis. And that book is exactly where this idea came from. 

These pictures are from last year when we created the tomb. We were on hiatus in Longview during that time, so we just picked up some air dry clay from Wal-Mart. Any homemade play-doh or salt dough recipe would work. 

The idea is to create a hill where you could place a cross, a tomb, and a place for other people to stand. You would recreate the the events of the cross. 

We simply made the tomb. We place Jesus in there on Friday. Then the kids check on Him everyday (multiple times a day) to see if He’s still there. Then on Sunday, before the kids wake up, Mark or I roll the stone away and take Jesus out. And the kids come out and say, “Jesus is Alive.” Instead of making our people or Jesus out of pipe cleaners as recommended, we simply photocopied the images from the kids’ Bible. This ended up being a great project last year as I’m sure it will be again this year. Noel Piper also states that this is a project for smaller children as older children tend to get a giggly over it. And we never want to make the cross a laughing matter. It’s not too late to do this with your children. Let me know if you do. 

On a whole other note, doesn’t Kyrie look like such a baby in these pictures. Ah, the difference a year makes!

Leave a comment

Filed under crafts, holidays