Happy Sunday night everyone! Tonight we have a short little blog about a fun project my mother and I worked on last week, some cute decor frames which feature some fabric and iron-on patches. I recently bought some patches from Amazon that were meant to be either iron-on or sew-on and was looking for something to do with them. Here's a few of the patches I got to give you an idea of what they look like:
I also had some frames that my mother had given me recently as she had not yet thought of something to make with them. They were originally from the Dollar Tree and have wooden beads along the top for hanging. The frames already had some art/words in them, but that ended up being covered up.
Once I picked the iron-on patches I wanted to use, my mother and I had a brainstorming session about how to best make the patches look like they made sense in the frames. The answer was fabric! I went shopping in my mother's fabric stash and then we went to Walmart's fabric section as well to get some fun pieces to use. Here are the patches I picked, along with the fabric to go with them.
My mother really took the reins on the fabric piece which I appreciated! She cut a piece of cardstock that fit into the frame and then attached the fabric to the cardstock with some heat-activated fabric adhesive.
I also went ahead and painted the wooden beads on each frame to match the colors of the frame.
We then felt that the frames needed a little extra something so we picked some ribbon that matched each frame.
The ribbon was attached with some double-sided tape and then the patches were glued down with some hot glue just to ensure they were really stuck on there. Four frames have been done and here's what they are looking like:
I didn't quite know where these frames would go, but I am happy with how they turned out! Thank you again to my mother for the creative consultation :)
I got some additional patches and have a few other frames left so am excited to make a few more! I think I'll be putting these on the Etsy shop when I've made a few more so I will let you guys know if I do!
P.S. Today's photo on the homepage is from Pexels user Digital Buggu:
Floral Notecard Sets: Part 2
Happy Sunday everyone! Today I am FINALLY back to show you how the floral card sets I was making turned out. My apologies for how long it took ... As I've mentioned I really don't enjoy making cards so it takes me a long while to do them. But we are back!
In part 1, I had ended with all the cards stickered and paper in an accenting color that had been embossed and cut into strips. Here is part 1 if you would like to catch up: floral-notecard-sets-part-1.html
Next step was to use the Cricut to write out some sentiments for the cards. I picked out a Cricut pen that matched the colors of each card set: brown for the leaf cards, blue for the blue flowers cards, red for the yellow flowers and mushrooms and green for the purple flowers and lilypads.
Fun little story time: I showed my mother how to use the Cricut to write out sentiments and she HATED the process of doing it! She said that she would much rather use a stamp and ink pad to stamp out sentiments than use a Cricut in the future. As I mentioned in part 1 of this project, she often helps me with cutting paper as that's a task I don't enjoy doing at all, but she loves to do. All this to say that you don't have to love every single aspect of crafting. It's okay to push yourself out of your comfort zone sometimes to try new things, but its also fine to find what you enjoy doing and stick with that!
I used a handwriting script to write out the sentiments. For each set of 4 cards there were the following sentiments: Hello, Thinking of You, For my Friend and Just A Note.
Now it was time to mount the sentiments on some paper that matched the paper that was used for the embossed detail. I cut a rectangle around each sentiment using a straight edge, but then for the colored paper mount I used something called a deckle-edge cutter. I had actually bought this for my mother for Christmas as she had been wanting one so it was fun to give it a try! A deckle-edge cutter has a blade that looks like this:
Instead of creating a straight edge, it leaves the paper with a ruffled, hand-torn effect. The nice thing about using a cutter like this is that it allows you to get that more organic look while still being able to be intentional about where the cut is made. Once the sentiments were mounted, I then attached them to the cards with some foam mounting squares. These lift something off of the front of the card slightly to give the card a little more visual interest.
Finally, I went back into my sticker book to find a small insect sticker for each card, glued them to some cardstock for extra support, cut them out and used foam mounting squares on those as well.
And here are the six sets all done! These took me so much longer than they needed to, but I am very happy with how they came out! Now that I've pushed myself out of my comfort zone with these I can safely say I won't be making cards again for a while :)
I then took each set of 4 and packaged them up in a clear plastic box with some envelopes that had a matching sticker on them.
If you happen to like any of these card sets, they are now available on the Etsy shop! Feel free to take a look if you are interested: www.etsy.com/shop/patternedpaperplate?ref=shop_sugg
I hope you have a good week everyone! Talk to you soon!
Today's photo on the homepage is from Pexels user Irina Iriser:
Healthy Apple Cake
Hello! It’s Suzanne, Rebecca’s Momma, happy to be back on the PPP. Today, I’m taking a little detour into the kitchen. At the start of the new year, everyone is feeling like it’s time to get healthy, so I thought I’d try to modernize one of my Mom’s tried and true recipes to make it just a little healthier.
The original recipe for Apple Squares is a simple one that makes a delicious cake-like treat. Beat 1 cup of sugar, 2 eggs, ¾ cup of vegetable oil and I teaspoon of vanilla until smooth. Add 1 ½ cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of baking soda and some cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Mix in 2 cups of chopped apples and 1 cup chopped nuts (if desired) and bake in a 9 X 13 pan in a 350-degree oven for approximately 45 minutes.
The 1st thing I did was to peal, core and chop up two apples. The recipe calls for two cups, but a little more than that has never been a problem in the recipe.
Next, I substituted apple sauce for the oil and creamed together the wet ingredients. Apple sauce can be substituted 1 for 1 for oil, meaning you use the same amount of sauce as you would oil.
For the dry ingredients, I wanted to cut down on the flour and add some protein, so I added one cup of flour and replaced the other ½ cup with unflavored protein powder.
Some online research suggested replacing each cup of flour with 1/3 of a cup of protein powder and to not exceed 1/3 of the flour content of the recipe overall. Since I needed to replace ½ a cup of flour, I need 1/6 cup, which is the same as 2 2/3 tablespoons. A tablespoon is 3 teaspoons, so I needed 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of protein powder. And that, my friends, is more math than I have done in a really long time! I sifted the flour and protein powder together with my spices to make sure everything would mix in well.
My first concern was that the batter was much thinner than the original recipe makes. After mixing in the flour, you are usually left with a very stiff batter. I’m not sure why, because all my research indicated that the protein powder is denser than flour would be, but I’d come this far, so I decided to forge ahead.
I mixed in the apples and some chopped pecans and turned everything into my 9 X 13 pan that had been prepared with some baking spray. It went into the oven and took only about 35 minutes to cook.
I was suspicious of the results because the cake did not rise as much as the original recipe. Some additional research after the pan was in the oven baking (when it was too late!) suggested that the leavening agent (baking powder) should be increased when baking with protein powder. Ah ha!
The cake was also much darker that the original recipe. I can’t find any reason why that might be, but perhaps it is just because the cake didn’t rise as much.
The real test, though, was a taste test. Rebecca and her husband had both had cake made with the original recipe, so they had a good basis for comparison. They said this cake was very moist (thanks to the apple sauce substitution) and much denser than the original. They said the flavor was good as well – no discernable taste difference from the original due to the substitutions.
I brought half into the office to share with my coworkers and the cake got good reviews there as well.
Overall, I think my experiment was successful and created a delicious, if not identical to the original, apple cake. Taken on its own, I’d call the experimental version more of a bar than a cake, since it was quite dense. I will try again – next time increasing the leavening agent and perhaps seeking out a protein powder expressly meant for baking (if there is such a thing).
If you have ever tried to update a recipe, I’d love to hear about your results in the comments. Until next time, happy baking!
Thanks to my mother for the lovely spin on a dessert that's been made quite often in our family! I hope to be back next time with a part 2 to the floral card sets. Talk to you soon everyone and don't forget to check out the Etsy shop if you are looking for any Valentine's Day gifts for that special someone or for yourself ;)
P.S. Today's photo on the homepage is from Pexels user Mareefe:
Floral Notecard Sets: Part 1
Hello everyone! So today we are here with Part 1 of a notecard project I started recently. I want to preface this by saying that I generally do not enjoy making cards. I don't really enjoy stamping or cutting paper or folding paper or pretty much any of the steps involved in making cards .... so let's just say this project was heavily inspired, assisted and motivated by my mother who does in fact enjoy making cards! Despite not enjoying card making, I have been wanting to make some recently for the Etsy shop.
Recently for Christmas I received this beautiful book of vintage-looking floral stickers which seemed like the perfect first step towards these cards.
The page above is just a small example of the many varieties of beautiful stickers in the book! The stickers have an off-white edge around the images so my creative consultant cut some card bases for me in a very similar shade.
Once I had the card bases, I was then able to focus on picking the stickers! I decided I would be doing sets of 4 cards so I found 4 stickers for each set that looked good together but did not match too perfectly. Here is an example below!
In terms of adhering the stickers to the cards, although they are sticky already (duh), I did also put some glue all over the back as well. When I put the stickers down with no glue, the edges were peeling up slightly which I did not want so I used an all purpose white glue to ensure they were very stuck down. The process was a bit tedious but very worth it!
We then picked a corresponding color to use for some additional details on the cards, For these blue flowers, we went with a nice yellow.
To add some visual interest to the paper, we ran it through my mother's Gemini Junior which is an embossing machine. It is the same concept as the Cuttlebug, only it automatically feeds the paper through as opposed to having to be hand-cranked.
We then cut this textured paper into little strips to be added to the front of the cards. And that is where I will leave you! The next steps in these cards are to use the Cricut to draw out some sentiments and add those to the front and maybe add some additional small stickers if I feel like they need them. Next time I will show you the final product of all the sets as well! For someone who does not enjoy card making, having these beautiful stickers already really helped make the process much easier for me. Having a mother who enjoys cutting paper also helped :)
Have a good Sunday everyone!
P.S. Today's photo on the homepage is from Pexels user Natasha Babenko:
Homemade Vanilla Extract
Hello everyone and Happy New Year! I'm back with the first blog of 2023 and today I am sharing a simple gift that you can make for anyone you might need to this year. This year the annual Christmas party with my mother's side of the family was able to happen again for the first time since 2019 and I wanted to have a small gift to give to my aunts/uncles and cousins. My mother had the idea to do homemade vanilla extract which seemed like a great idea as it is not too difficult to do and hopefully something that everyone would use. I read a few blogs about making vanilla and the advice ranged from needing 2-3 vanilla beans per 8 oz of alcohol to 10 beans per 8 oz. I ended up going with about 5-6 vanilla beans per 8 oz to keep the project a little more cost effective. I bought two packages of these vanilla beans from Amazon. The beans were already split down the middle; if they had not been, I would have had to cut each bean individually which frankly seemed like something I did not want to do! There is also a difference between Grade A and Grade B vanilla beans, the Grade B are usually a little less "pretty" which is why they are great for using for extract.
It's better for vanilla extract to be in amber bottles where it is protected from light so I purchased this set of 8 oz amber bottles on Amazon as well.
I wanted to make cute tags for these bottles so I pulled out some wooden tags I have had for a while but not used yet. I used some brown wax to give the tags some color and also provide a protective coat on the wood.
I then added a flower sticker to one side of the tag and a label that I made using my DYMO handheld label maker. On the other side I added a little note about when the vanilla could be used. In my research I also found a variety of opinions on how long the vanilla should infuse for ranging from one month to a full year. Because I ended up using a good amount of beans in my vanilla, I made a tag that said it could be used in about 2 months but would be best if left to infuse up to 6 months.
I used 80 proof unflavored vodka for this extract as it has very little flavor on its own and will let the vanilla flavor really come through. I did however make a bottle for my husband and myself where I used spiced rum instead of vodka as I wanted to experiment and thought it would be fun to try with rum. Hopefully it's good when we end up using it! I ended up needing about 3 regular sized bottles of vodka to make 10 8 oz bottles of extract. As I mentioned, my beans were already split so all I had to do before putting them in the bottles was group them in bundles of 5-6 and cut down the middle so they would fit. And that's really all! Once the beans and vodka were in the bottles, I closed them up and then used some twine to attach the tags to the bottles.
I was really happy with how these bottles came out and I think this is a great gift that allows you to make many gifts at once without having to think of a specific gift for each person. Everyone seemed to like it!
Here's hoping everyone has had a great start to the year so far and that it continues to go well!
P.S. Today's photo on the homepage is by Pexels user Qwirki & Co.
Simple Pom Pom Garlands
Happy Sunday evening everyone! Today we are here with a quick and cozy blog project. I have a cute pom pom garland from Target in my office/craft room and have always been interested in making some of my own for the Etsy shop. I saw these pom poms at the Dollar Tree and knew I had to give it a try! My mom provided the string/twine for the project and was my creative consultant throughout!
The first thought was to use a needle and string the pom poms on the twine, but we discovered that there was no core to these pom poms so trying to pull a needle and string through was actually just making them unravel. My mom then had the smart idea to tie the string around the pom poms and tie several knots tight enough around the pom poms that they re-pommed around the string. This didn't work on the tiniest of the pom poms in the pack so we stuck with the medium and larger sized ones. I wanted the garlands to be about 6 ft long so it really helped me to line up the pom poms in a row to keep the sizing correctly. The photo below was from before we had to take out the smallest ones!
I finished the garlands off with a loop on each end for hanging and then tied some smaller pieces of twine/string in between the pom poms to add some additional interest. I also added a dot of glue on each knot to keep everything secure.
And here are the 2 pom pom garland varieties! I bought 6 packs of pom poms in all so I was able to make 3 of the darker-toned ones and 3 of the pastel ones.
I packaged these up with some clear bags and a topper with a label.
And that's all for today friends! This was a very quick and satisfying project if you're looking for a crafty project that you'd don't have to get too invested in. These garlands are up on the shop now if you are interested!
P.S. The photo on the homepage today is form Pexels user Алекке Блажин:
Perpetual Calendars Part 3
Hello everyone! Sorry its been a while but it has been a crazy week or so in my life. But we are back with another blog! This is the final part of the perpetual calendar project that I have been working on for a while. I have already showed you the house calendars, but today I will be showing you how I turned some little wooden boxes into calendars! If you are interested in Part 1 and Part 2 of this project, here are the links for that:
Part 1: perpetual-calendars-part-1.html
Part 2: perpetual-calendars-part-2.html
I gave a small intro to the box calendars in the other parts, but here is a quick refresher. I was making two wooden box calendars, each of which use the wood pieces below: 1 wooden box with hinges and a latch, 2 wooden cubes, 1 wooden Jenga piece and 6 wooden large popsicle sticks that had been cut down to size. I want to apologize in advance and say I don't have the best photos of this project as it was completed over such a long period of time, but I will do my best to explain what I did!
I started off by painting the wooden boxes and the Jenga pieces a dark brown and then finishing them off with a brown finishing wax.
The wooden Jenga blocks got attached to the back of the boxes to allow the lid to stand more upright. Without this piece, the lids of the boxes would have fallen down and not allowed the calendars to work correctly. As you can see in the photo above, the lids of the boxes have an indent in the wood in the center. I thought this would be a good place to do something fun with resin. I had some golden three dimensional stickers that I placed into the indents and then I filled them with clear resin up the rim of the indent.
The wooden blocks are for the days of the month and the wooden popsicle sticks are for the months, with the idea being that the sticks would sit in the open cover of the box and the blocks could sit within the box. If that doesn't make sense yet, you'll see the calendars in action later! I liked the lighter wood color of these, so I just covered them with a light tan wash of paint to let the wood grain show through rather than a dark brown like the boxes.
For each set of sticks and cubes, I went for slightly different style. For one set I used black and gold rub ons in all different styles. There are numbers on all sides of the blocks and the month pieces are reversible so on the back of the Jan piece is Feb, on the back of the Mar piece is Apr etc.
For the other set, I used a stencil my mother had found at the Dollar Tree and some black paint for a simpler look. All of the pieces for both calendars got a coat of varnish overtop to seal them as well.
And here they both are in action! The box can fully close with all pieces inside of it, then you can open it up and place the month in the cover of the box and the numbers on the body of the box. The extra month pieces fit perfectly in the bottom of the box under the number blocks.
And this perpetual calendar journey is finally complete! Which type of calendars did you guys like better? Let me know in the comments below! My hope is to get these on the Etsy shop in the next week or so as well so keep an eye out if you are interested!
P.S. Today's photo on the homepage is from Pixels user Александар Цветановић:
Jenga Block Ornaments
Hello Friends – It’s Suzanne, Rebecca’s Momma, and as always, I am happy to join you back on the PPP with some cute Christmas ornament ideas. These adorable ornaments are all made with a foundation of pieces from this “Tumbling Tower” game from the Dollar Tree. This is their version of a Jenga game, but the pieces are much smaller than a traditional Jenga game, as you can see.
We are going to also use a few other items readily available at the Dollar Tree right now, as they are fully stocked with Christmas items. For less than $10, you can outfit your tree this year with a new batch of ornaments or whip up a few to gift to friends and neighbors.
The first step to these ornaments is to glue the game pieces together into one of two configurations. For this step, I use a combination of gel super glue and a touch of hot glue. The hot glue gives an immediate hold while the gel glue dries and gives a long-lasting hold. I also use a metal square to ensure that the game pieces are lined up evenly.
The first configuration is to glue three of the game pieces together side by side on their long, thin sides to form a small block. The second configuration is to glue two game pieces side by side and then glue one game piece across the bottom with the set of two centered on it.
Once these are all set, it’s time to get creative.
Let’s start with the small blocks. For the first one, I paint one bright red and one bright green. Once the paint is dry, I add some polka dots in white.
From there, I wrap some black and white gingham ribbon around the blocks like a package and add a bow to the middle. To hang these, I add a wire ornament hanger into the ribbon, and they are done.
For the next set, I go back to the red paint and give two more of the blocks a coat of paint. For these, I’m using these gift tags.
Since the tags are 2 inches square, which is roughly the same size as the block, I remove the raised element, cut the colorful background down to 1 5/8 inches square and return the element to the center of the colorful background with a drop of hot glue to secure it.
One gets glued to each side of the block and to hang, I tie a couple of knots into the center of a piece of jute twine and glue that to the center of the top of the ornament. The knot gives a little more surface area for the glue to adhere. I then tie the ends together for hanging.
These next two are a bit of variation of the earlier set. Rather than a paint brush, I use a baby wipe to add brown paint to the block to give a stained look. These thin wooden shapes are also from the Dollar Tree. To give then a little sparkle, I add some glitter glue to them. These also get the knotted jute hanger like the ones above.
Next up is the other configuration. If you thought those looked like a top hat, you are exactly right! I paint those black and add a length of red gingham ribbon just above the brim. I also cut a tiny piece from a pine bough and a pip berry garland to decorate the hat.
To hang these, I glue a length of twine to the back of the ornament. I also cover the ends of the twine with a small circle of cardstock so it looks neat.
For the last ornaments (and by far my favorites) I paint one with a stripe of red, a stripe of peach and a stripe of white. The other gets one stripe of black and two of white. Can you guess where we are going here?
If you guessed Santa and Frosty, you are correct! For Santa, I just add some tan gingham ribbon and a snowflake sticker to define his hat and a furniture plug for his nose. The tip of a paint brush to make polka dots are all it takes to make eyes.
Frosty just takes some black and white gingham for his scarf and a flat toothpick painted orange for his nose. He also gets a snowflake sticker on his cap and the polka dot eyes.
Both get the same twine hanger glued to the back of them as the top hats above.
I hope these ideas have gotten your wheels turning. It’s never too early to start holiday crafting!
Thank you mom for the adorable ornament idea! Let us know what you think in the comments below!
P.S. Today's photo on the homepage is from Pixels user Ketut Subiyanto:
Perpetual Calendars Part 2
Hello friends! So I would love to be able to tell you that I got all the perpetual calendars completed, but alas that is not the case. The little trunks are still in progress but whenever those are completed and up on the Etsy shop I will let you guys know! So for today, I wanted to show some more in depth photos of the house calendars with some additional information on how I made them. For a refresher on the first steps to this project, you can check out part 1 here: perpetual-calendars-part-1.html
So here is calendar one:
The striped background was already part of the house shadow box, so I went ahead and painted the edges of the house and the wooden blocks for the cup hooks a matching pink. I also attached a sawtooth hanger to the back. For the tags, I painted them a matching orange color. The months tags have a gold shiny paper as a layer, while the day tags have a pink shiny paper. I then used colorful stickers for the month tags, and cut out paper numbers for the day tags out of matching paper using my Cricut. They are all reversible so here are both sides:
And here it is in action! It can either be hung on the wall with the hanger or stand up on its own on a table/desk.
Calendar two! Same idea, the pink paper was already there so I painted the edges and blocks purple while also adding some flowers inside and a sawtooth hanger to the back.
For these tags, I painted them a pale pink and used shiny pink paper as a layer, then finished with gold stickers/rub-ons for the months and days. I love how the gold looks on the tags!
Number three! I loved the succulent/cactus paper this box already came with so I painted the edges and blocks a fun dusty blue to match and added the hanger to the back.
For these tags, I painted them a bright green, used shiny blue paper on the months, shiny pink paper on the days and then finished them with words/numbers that I drew out using my Cricut.
And here's the final one! I did the edges and blocks blue to match the striped background and added the hanger on the back.
For the tags, I painted them lime green with blue paper as a layer and then black sticker/rub-ons for the months and days.
And there they are! These calendars are an idea I've had in my head for a while and I'm so happy to see them finished. If they weren't making sense to you before, I hope they are now! Just as an FYI, they are over on the Etsy shop for sale if you are at all interested. You can check it out over on my shop tab. Happy Monday everyone!
Today's photo on the home page is from pixels user Pixabay:
Perpetual Calendars Part 1
Happy Sunday everyone! Today will be part 1 of a larger project I've been working on, some perpetual calendars! For those who don't know, perpetual calendars are calendars that can be continuously used year to year as you can change the month and day as needed. I originally got the idea to make these as I had some wooden gift tags that seemed like they would be good to hang on little hooks. I had given these tags to my mother as she thought she might use them for a craft, but she ended up not needing them. I removed the jump rings from the wooden tags so that I could use the small hole in the wood to hang them.
With these tags as a starting point, I then went shopping in my mother's wood storage to see what else I could find to make these work. In the end we were able to find the supplies to make 6 different calendars. 4 of them will be generally like this - wooden house with wooden blocks to screw cup hooks into and wooden tabs to hang off of those hooks for the interchangeable months and days.
The other 2 will be like this - wooden chests with blocks for the days, wooden tabs for the months to sit in the top of the chest when it is open and a wooden block to keep the chest open.
My mother had some other wooden tags that I could use for this project as well, but for the longer pieces we cut down some large popsicle sticks to size and then I drilled a hole in the top. I covered the area that I was going to drill into with painters tape as it helps the wood not splinter or break.
The wooden houses already had a paper background which was great, so I then went ahead and painted the front-facing edge of the houses in a matching color. I left the sides of the house as plain wood veneer.
I also painted the wooden blocks for the cup hooks the same color as the edges of the house. Here is an example of the wooden blocks with cup hooks in place. I just drilled a small pilot hole into the wood block and then screwed the cup hook in. I then used a combination of Gorilla Glue and hot glue to attach the wood blocks to the back of the house. If you are looking for something to adhere really well, I would highly recommend using a combination of fast and slow drying adhesive. In this case, the hot glue dried quickly to keep the wood block in place while the much stronger Gorilla Glue dried.
I then painted the wooden tags or tabs for the months and days in another complementary color. For example, the blue cactus/succulent house above got some green tags. Originally I thought I would like to try and freehand the writing on them, but once I had tried it I didn't like how sloppy it looked. So I instead brought out the Cricut and drew things out in a pretty font which I liked much better. For other calendars, I used some letter stickers or rub-ons as opposed to the Cricut. I also made these tags double-sided so they you could flip them over for a different month/day.
Finally, I screwed in some sawtooth hangers on the backs of the houses so that they could be hung on the wall.
And that's where I am going to leave you for this part 1! If you are not seeing the vision at the moment, that is okay. I promise it will all come together when I show you the completed house calendars and how the chest calendars all turned out. I will also work on getting some better photos so you can really understand how the calendars should be used. What do you guys think of this project so far? Let me know in the comments below!
P.S. Today's photo on the homepage is from Pexels user Bich Tran:
I am a 26-year-old crafter and baker from New Hampshire!