Friday, March 30, 2012

The Peeps Project

Happy Alnost Easter!! I can't believe it's right around the corner! Crackers and I have been looking for cool and fun ideas and we decided to do a Peeps Project. We are going to link to all the Peeps ideas we can find and then come up with some of our own. We want you to do the same. If you find a cool Peeps idea, send us the link and we will post it. And if you make your own Peeps project, send us a photo and basic instructions and we will post those, too, with your name. If you send us an idea, Crackers will send you a Peeps-inspired Easter card! So here we go........

Easter Smore's from Pittypat Paperie

Peep Wreath from tried and true

Peeps centerpiece from Mix Mingle Glow

Peeps Topiary from The Hungry Mouse

Peeps in Nests from your homebased mom.
She has five or six ideas for Peeps in this post!
Another cute Peeps wreath, this one from Spatulas, Corkscrews and Suitcases

Easter Peep-Kabobs from Warning Sugary Goodness

Bird's Nest Cake from Better Homes and Gardens

Peeps-on-a-Straw from The Autocrat

Another Peeps topiary, this one from Not Mack's Knick Knacks

Peepin' in the Grass centerpiece from Gather and Nest

Bouquets for my Peeps, also from Gather and Nest

Peep houses from Tip Junkie

Peeps topper from Eighteen 25

There are the first 14 good ideas to start you off. Crackers and I will work on some of ours this weekend, and we want you to do the same. Be creative and crazy. Email us those photos and ideas! We are waiting......

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Memory game and my first Giveaway!

Good Morning! I hope you all had a nice weekend. I have spent the last few days trying to catch up! I have a cute project for you today, though. Do you grandparents have grands that live away from each other? Do you grands have cousins that you hardly ever see? Well, here is a fun way for all the cousins to be able to remember each others faces, so when they DO get together, they know who is who!  It's a matching game, with photos of the cousins on one side and cute scrapbook paper on the other side. It's really easy to make, so let's get started.

We used to live in a little, tiny town that only had a couple of restaurants and they both had bars in them. (It was, after all, Nevada.) I myself do not go to bars, I am LDS (Mormon). But there isn't much choice when that's all there is, and the bar was separated by a wall, because they were family dining establishments, too. Anyway, a few years ago, when the beer companies started furnishing them with these neat coasters, I started collecting them. I didn't know what I would do with them, but they were so cool that I knew I would find a use. Well, I have. I get to use the cool coasters and cover up the beer advertisements, all in one fell swoop! Now, if you don't have access to the whole alcoholic beverage coaster thing, you can buy chipboard coasters at Target or Michael's or even at JoAnn's, and sometimes four for a dollar! I don't know about the dollar store - I never thought to look fort them there. (BTW-I have round and square and rectangle ones, but I chose to use the round ones to make it more fun.)

Anyway, decide how many you need for your game and choose some nice scrapbook papers to cover one side.I am using 16 coasters so the game will be square when all laid out. I didn't have enough paper to do them all in one design, so I chose two coordinating prints, eight coasters each. I actually thought at first that I might do each one a different paper and use up some scraps, but then I remembered that my little ones are very good at memorizing. The two little grandsons had a Backyardigans memory game, and some of the corners got bent, the backs a little scratched, etc. and they knew exactly what was on the other side of every one of those dinged cards! So I decided different papers was NOT a good idea. I think it will be a little harder with just two prints. Lay your paper with the right side down and glue your coasters onto the paper. Put them close so you can as many on one sheet as possible and don't waste paper. I used decoupage medium to glue mine. I let them dry for a little while I worked on the can.

The can is a little cookie can from the dollar store. It's like those Danish cookies that you can get in the giant blue cans, only these are miniature! I didn't know what I would use it for when I bought it, but I bought one just because I knew I would need it for something, I cut a strip of one of my papers to go around the can ( it actually took a part of another one) and a circle from the other one to go on the top. I attached them with scrapbook adhesive, the permanent kind.

Then I cut around my coasters and sanded the edges. I sand the edges for two reasons: one, I like the way it looks, and two, it seems to keep the edges from lifting. After I was finished with the patterned side, I started looking for photos of the kids that I could use for the game side of the coasters.

Print your photos and glue them to the coasters the same way you did the scrapbook paper. Sand the edges just a little and let them dry over night. Now, if you want them to be a little more durable, you can give them a coat of decoupage medium or make a mixture of 2 parts glue to one part water and use that. Give them at least two good coats, drying completely between coats. And that's it! A cute memory game that will help the cousins to know one another! (Or at least to recognized one another.)

Now, I didn't put family photos on mine, because I am going to have a giveaway! My very first one!Leave me a comment and tell me what you like or don't like about this blog and your name will go into a drawing for this game. You can put your own photos on the coasters and have a cute family game! Or you can email your photos to me and I will do it for you. And you will get a personalized card from Crackers, too!  So everyone go - NOW - leave a comment! I really want to give this game away to someone who will love it. Be sure to leave me your name and email address so I can get in touch with you if you win.

Crackers is my crash test duck!

I have another coaster project coming up, and you will really like this one, too. It will actually be two games in one! Crackers is so excited about this one, so keep a watch out for it. Goodbye and love to all,

Linking to these linky parties:
linky party

Friday, March 23, 2012

More activities.....

I'm sorry. I've been a slacker this week. Grandpa's test are finally over for now, we just have to wait for results. I haven't been sleeping well and I'm on the verge of exhaustion, so this is going to be a short one. I promise to get back to business now.

Crackers has been adding to her list of things for grandparents and grandchildren to do together.
  • Share family history. Look at old family photos and tell stories of the people in them.
  • Build a bug box (tutorial is upcoming) and look for bugs together. When you find one that is unfamiliar to you, look it up on the internet or at the library.
  • Draw pictures together.
  • Have them tell you their favorite story.
  • Cut pictures from magazines. Use them to teach colors, shapes, counting, etc.
  • Write a funny story together. One of you starts with a silly sentence and then build on it. Take turns adding to the story.
  • Build with blocks or legos. Tinker toys are fun, too. They will be thrilled that you took the time to build with them instead of just watching.
  • Talk about fire safety. Draw a plan of your house and map out your escape routes. Choose a place to meet ion case everyone has to leave the house in a hurry.
  • Make a menu and a grocery list together.
  • Make a card for someone.
  • Look up the events that happened on the day you were born or the day your grandchild was born.
  • Put an ice cube in a bowl outside and see how long it takes to melt.
  • Cook dinner together.
  • Hide a treasure together and then draw a map to lead someone else to it.
  • Practice printing or cursive with your grandchildren. Keep a sample from each year for them to look back at someday.

    That's it for today. That dotee doll tutorial is coming up right away, so don't give up. And some more rock projects, too. Lots of fun! Goodbye for now and love to all

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A new cousin for Crackers

I apologize for not posting today. Another doctor's appointment for the hubby. I can't keep them straight. If they didn't give reminder calls, we'd probably miss most of them! And there are going to be more. A CT scan of his heart and an ultrasound of his lower chest/upper abdomen. Some more blood work....yada yada yada. So, I will be posting, but I may not be regular. And the dotee doll tutorial will have to wait. For now, let me show you the latest creation. Introducing Crackers' cousin.......


She is a work in progress, but she is almost done. When she's done, she's going to go live with a little girl named Hannah and her mommy, LoriAnn all the way in Indiana!  We'll be giving her a farewell party at the end of March, and you can send her your good wishes by leaving a comment. It's a long way from home, and she's just a little scared to travel so far. But, she is excited to go there,too, because she knows she will be loved and have a good home. And she hopes that Hannah and her mommy will build her a nice, soft nest so she will feel right at home.

Well, that's all for today. I promise I will get back in the groove soon, but grandpa comes first. See you all next time and love to all,

Saturday, March 10, 2012

St. Paddy's is coming!

Just a quick post. I suddenly realized that St. Patrick's Day is next Saturday and I haven't got any decorations up except the wreath I made! So I dug out the box of decorations and got out what I could find (and found St. Paddy severely lacking) . Crackers and the bug wanted to help, so we put out a few thing and definitely need to make more! Anyway, Crackers and the bug wanted to show you how they were getting into the holiday spirit. So without further ado, I give you............

And this leprechaun, along with three Irish flags, were all I found in the box.

Sorry it's kind of blurry. I forgot to turn on the macro.

And here is the wreath I made. A dollar store special. If you want to see how I made it, go to . You'll never guess what I used for the wreath form.

So, I'm going to use the 3 flags and make a cute decoration. I'll post it here so you can see. That's is for this time. Goodbye and love to all,

Friday, March 9, 2012

Dotee Dolls

Good morning to you all! Crackers and I have a new hobby, and a new project for all of you! Have you ever heard of a Dotee Doll? I had never, until I joined a group at and they were all making these "dotee dolls". I had to message someone and ask what a dotee doll was, and she told me to Google it. Guess what? There is a lot of information out there on dotee dolls. They are small hand-sewn cloth dolls with a sack-shaped body and an appliqued face. Dotees are supposed to be therapeutic to make, be kinda crazy looking, and are meant to be traded or given as gifts, not sold. The original was made by a Russian lady named Dot, hence the name "dotee" doll. Well, I made my first one and I'm hooked. I just finished my second one, that's 2 in 3 days! And I'm giving them both away to ladies at swapbot.

I think these little dolls are a good beginner project for little hands that want to learn to sew. They can be made from fabric or felt, beaded or not, embroidered or not. The styles for hair are limited only by your imagination. So girls, get grandma to help you make one (you can both make one at the same time) and get started swapping them with your friends. Here are some pictures of dotee dolls, and there is a group at Flickr,  where there are literally thousands of them to see.

 Now, here are the two I made.

 As you can see, they come in all kinds.......pretty, ugly, funny, cute, even well-known characters. I saw a Jack Skellington, from Nightmare Before Christmas, that was adorable! Okay, this was your introduction to dotee dolls. Next week, we'll make one! Hope you'll join me, young and old, as we create our very own dotee dolls. And I'm going to keep that one! Crackers will be making her first dotee doll, too, so this ought to be interesting.

Here is a list of supplies to gather before we start.
Several different colors of felt
Embroidery thread in lots of different colors
An embroidery needle
A sewing needle and thread
Assorted beads and buttons
Yarn for hair
Anything else you want to use for decoration
A small amount of stuffing

Come back on Tuesday and we'll get started. Until then, goodbye and love to all.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Making a nest......

Hello, hello! Sorry about no post yesterday. Doctors' appointments for the hubby. Everything looked good. I'm so happy!

I'm trying to make Crackers a nest. Some place where she can rest her cute little body when she gets tired. Right now she spends all her time on top of the entertainment center, but she says it's too hard on her bottom, so I'm trying to make her something that I can add a little padding to. Here is my first attempt. A handmade basket.

 I started with a large, old atlas. I tore pages out and cut them into strips about 2" wide. I got a bamboo skewer and started making my weaving strips.

Start by putting some craft glue on one corner of one of the strips.

Fold it over a bamboo skewer and roll it into a skinny little tube.

Put glue on the last corner and seal the tube shut. And know this..........try as I might, I couldn't get the tubes to roll evenly. They all turned out with one really skinny end and one end that was a little fatter! But I just alternated them when I wove them to keep things even.

Put the strips on a hard surface and flatten them. (I was in bed on the heating pad, so my hard surface was a lap board.)

Continue until you have all the strips rolled and flattened. Now, you use these strips to weave the basket! They are really very strong, but you can't pull on them as hard as you would a piece of reed or other fiber. If you don't know how to weave a basket, Google basket weaving and you will find all the info you could possibly need.

Here is the basket almost finished. I wanted it to be higher in the back and lower in the front, so I had to experiment, because I've never made one that way. And it is still only almost done, because I decided it wasn't what I wanted. So I'm off on another hunt for the perfect nest. And Crackers is still sitting on the hard entertainment center. Poor baby!

A reminder to all of you. I haven't received any ideas for naming the ladybug yet. I need some help! She can't keep being called "the bug." She needs a name of her own, so leave comments with name ideas. Do it now!

She needs you............goodbye and love to all,

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Crackers is learning to cook!

Do you like to cook? I do, and Crackers is learning. We tried a new recipe last night and it was delicious! I bought some Heath toffee bits before Christmas but never used them, and my son has been threatening to eat them, so I had to find a recipe to put them in. Crackers and I found a nice little website called Shugary Sweets, and man, she has some good recipes! (And her pictures are so pretty, too.) Anyway, here is Aimee's recipe:

Chocolate Chip Toffee Fudge Cookie Bars
Ingredients (16 servings)
For the Crust:
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
For the Fudge Layer:
  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate morsels
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup Heath toffee bits
For the Cookie Layer:
  • 3/4 cup butter flavored Crisco
  • 2 TBS milk
  • 1 TBS vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 12 oz milk chocolate morsels
  • 1/2 cup Heath toffee bits
In small bowl mix melted butter with graham cracker crumbs. Press firmly into bottom of a parchment paper lined 13x9 baking pan. (If you don't have parchment, DON"T use wax paper. Take my word for it.)
In small saucepan, mix condensed milk with semi sweet morsels and butter. Heat over medium heat until smooth. Pour over crust. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup toffee bits.
In large mixing bowl, beat Crisco with brown sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth. Beat in egg. Add flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Fold in milk chocolate morsels. Spread over fudge layer. Sprinkle with remaining toffee bits.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30-35 minutes. Cookie dough may appear slightly under cooked. Allow to cool completely. Slice and enjoy!
And when she says it will look under cooked, it really does! Don't cook it any longer, though,
 because it turns hard when it cools if you cook it too long. We found this out. But it still tasted good.

It doesn't look as good as it tastes, nor as good as Aimee's photos, but it was YUMMY!
Go to Shugary Sweets and check out the rest of her recipes. And they're not ALL sweet, just most of them.