Mystery Machine Little Tykes Remake (An Eventful Summer)

It has been an insanely busy summer. We traveled a lot, and I spent a lot of time planning for a personal goal (I hope to have ready to launch in the next two weeks).  We went to New Orleans in early August, and a few weeks later we drove down to Florida and enjoyed the theme parks and Daytona.

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Jack loved meeting his heroes, Mickey, Spongebob, and Shrek and Donkey. Daisy was less than thrilled about the characters, but had fun. We ended summer with Daisy’s first birthday. Oh I just can’t believe my baby girl is one!!

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One thing I was able to do this summer in the craft realm was make this awesome Mystery Machine for Jack (and eventually Daisy). It was originally a pink and purple Little Tykes that my niece Myla long grew out of and donated to me.

Honestly, the hardest part about making this Mystery Machine was cleaning it because my hose was broken so I had to use a bucket of water. You have to take it apart to clean it well. All pieces come off easily except the tires. Instead of taking them off, I just tied bags around them.

Little Tykes Redo

After it is clean, just spray paint. For the tire wheels, eyes, and steering wheel, I sprays paint into a bowl and used a brush. Once all the pieces are dry, put it all back together. I made the Mystery Machine logo and flowers with my cricut and cut them from Oracle 651 vinyl.

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Jack loved it so much he kissed it! So of course I dressed him up like Shaggy and had a mini photo shoot with it.

Jack Mystery Machine

Cute right? I hope your summer was wonderful!

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At the Movie Theater Concession Stand Halloween Costumes

Halloween is over all ready. November 1 starts my unofficial boycott of Christmas. Not that I have anything against Christmas. I love it! But I’m sure like many others, I like to enjoy the fall and Thanksgiving, rather than rush into the holiday. It gets old by the time December 25th comes around.

So my boycott begins by again dwelling on Halloween. This year we were “At the Movie Theater Concession Stand.” The weather was beautiful this year. Jack joined in with Trick-or-Treating with his older cousins. I think he enjoyed the walking better than the candy, although he did dip into his bucket a few times during the walk. I took Daisy along too. Her costume was so good, most people didn’t even know she was there!

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Like last year, I made costumes for almost everyone so we could walk as a theme.  I based the theme off Daisy’s costume: the popcorn bucket. I saw a version of it on Pinterest and knew I wanted to do it months ago, but my version was a bit more extreme. My version was made with a felt blanket I painted as a popcorn bucket using stencils I made from my Cricut. I used tissue paper as the popcorn and glued it to the blanket and to a baby hat for daisy. I just wrapped the blanket around Daisy’s carrier and tucked it in the sides. Her little head stuck out but was covered with the popcorn hat. I put on some 3D glasses and it looked like I was just walking around with a giant tub of popcorn at the movies.

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Jack went as a movie ticket and Matt was the Box Office Ticket collector, both costumes made with cardboard, Cricut cut vinyl, paint, and ribbon. The “over the shoulder” type costume was good for Jack because it was easy to put on and take off when he was fussy.

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The rest of my nieces and nephew also joined the theme. I made 3 of their 6 costumes. I made Laila a cardboard Kit-Kat bar costume (I have a lot of cardboard on hand between boxes of diapers and wipes.) Olivia was Button candy, made with an old dress and painted Styrofoam balls. Myla was our cup of Coca-Cola, made from a small hamper, craft paper, paint, and vinyl. I especially liked her straw hat (complete with “Diet,” “Regular,” and “Other” buttons).

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The store bought costumes were cute too – Craig was also popcorn, Angelina was an M&M, and Jenna was Nerds. I think we made a really cute concession stand!

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Using Transfer Paper to Make Freezer Paper Shirts

I went on a bit of a shirt making kick. I made maternity shirts, the baby shirts, and shirts for my husband, father, father-in-law, and brothers-in-law for Father’s Day. I learned quite a bit making them, and I like how they all turned out.

I made the baby a shirt for the 4th of July and a Finding Nemo inspired shirt, even though we probably won’t get to the movies to see Finding Dory with him.

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I also went a little crazy with Maternity shirts. I also made use of some glittler iron-on material I had for my heart and NJ shirts. My favorite is the watermelon shirt. The watermelon is in the Simply Charmed  cartridge for Cricut.

Maternity Shirts

I even made a Goonies shirt for my future little Goonie. I downloaded The Goonies font on Dafont. I think that one is Jack’s favorite.

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I created the Hockey Dad silhouette in Photoshop and uploaded it to design space. It’s my favorite! For the vintage looking dad/grandpa shirts, I found the Marcelle Script font on DaFont.com. It downloads with letters and different style swooshes.

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The thing with making freezer paper shirts is that it is really annoying putting all the tiny pieces in the proper place. (Especially with the “worn vintage” look of Marcelle Script, as well as characters like e, o, g, p, a, 4, 8, etc). When working with vinyl, most people usually use contact paper, plastic sticky paper used to line shelves, to transfer my cuts onto the surface. The problem is freezer paper isn’t actually sticky like vinyl. You have to iron the freezer paper onto the shirt for it to stick. Heat + plastic = bad,  so contact paper is out. Transfer tape is actually made to transfer vinyl to walls and objects, but a lot of brands are also plastic. I wasn’t sure if transfer paper would word or if the glue would ruin the shirts, but I figured I’d test it out and see. I made sure to get transfer paper made out of actual paper, not plastic.

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1 I cut the designs on the Cricut shiny side down on the mat. 2 I placed the transfer paper on the whole design 3 and rubbed well. 4 Figured out placement of design, 5 Then I ironed the design on low, dry heat. 6 After I removed the tape, 7 I ironed the design again with parchment paper, and it worked like a charm!

I was actually able to reuse the tape and transfer the design to 6 different shirts. I am sure I could have transferred more, but I only made 6 shirts at a time. The stickiness tape did not change much either. In fact, the transfers were easier the more I used the same piece.

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It seems obvious,  but I learned that it’s a lot harder to paint on a dark shirt than on a lighter colored shirt. I expected to have to use a few layers of paint for the dark shirts, but not as much as I actually used.  I think I’ll stick to painting designs on bright and light colored shirts, and using heat transfer vinyl on dark shirts.

Using Acrylic Paints on Clothing: The Best Fabric Medium.

I’ve seen so many cute baby and maternity shirts online, but at $15 (on the low end) for something a baby will grow out of so quickly seems like too much for me. But there is some hope for cute onsies! I’ve seen that you can use the Cricut, freezer paper, and paint to create clothes yourself. I’ve never heard of using freezer paper before, and I know paint makes clothes stiff, so I tested out it all out on an old t-shirt before trying it out on baby clothes.

You might think that fabric paint is a paint option I’d consider, but it is a little pricey (I’m cheap), and there aren’t nearly as many colors available in fabric paint than acrylic (I love color). Now I know from unfortunate personal experience that acrylic paint will permanently color clothes, but it will make your clothes hard, stiff, and scratchy. So did some research and found that you can add fabric medium to paints so avoid the problem. There are tons of different kinds you can find online, but I decided to go with the 3 I found at Jo-Ann’s so I could use coupons (and not pay shipping).

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I found 2oz fabric medium from Folk Art ($2.99), Americana ($2.49), and Delta ($2.49). All three had the same instructions: mix one part medium to two parts paint. I made sure to use the same brand of paints for consistency. Using Apple Barrel paints and a plastic spoon for measuring, I made a mixture of each medium in a different color.

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Folk Art: Green

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Americana: Pink

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Delta: Orange

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I put newspaper inside the shirt so the colors wouldn’t bleed through, but you could use cardboard too.

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I first just free painted a few squares onto the shirt.

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I tried out freezer paper to see how it’d work. I didn’t use my Cricut to make the stencil for this practice run; I just cut a few diamonds onto the paper.

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Iron the paper shiny side down onto the shirt.

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It worked!

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Paint over the stencil, then peel it away after a few minutes.

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The paint doesn’t have to be dry, just not soaking wet.

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Now the hardest part of anything you make is waiting.

Let the paint dry for 24 hours.

After 24 hours, heat set  the paint. In order to do this, I put the shirt in the dryer for an hour. You can also do this faster with an iron, but the dryer is easier and you don’t have to worry about the paint bleeding.

I wore the shirt after this, and there was a definite winner, but just to be certain I washed the shirt inside out on the delicate cycle, and I was sure to use fabric softener. This softened all the paints considerably.

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So what’s the verdict? All three paints are wearable, but for a baby onsie I wanted the paint to feel like it wasn’t even there. The Folk Art medium has, by far, the best texture of the three. You really can’t feel the difference between the actual shirt and the painted area. I think for 50¢ more this is the best bet, especially for baby clothes.

Folk Art

The Americana Medium worked really well too. The painted area was not scratchy or tough, but you can distinguish where the painted area is on your skin. A lot of store bought shirts feel this way, and it’s not uncomfortable at all. The Americana brand is also cheaper than Folk Art, so if you don’t mind the texture or  are wearing an undershirt, this is a good choice also.

Americana

I did not like the Delta Medium at all. The painted area was a much more stiff and scratchy on your skin. However I was reading reviews for this online, and many people used this medium for outdoor furniture. I could see using this for the cushions or pillows of a patio set, as outside textiles need to be a bit tougher to hold up to the weather. This brand also is  often sold in big bottles rather than the 2 oz bottles, so you could use it for larger area projects. So for clothing, this is a definite no, but for outside things, I might use it.

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My first baby onsie project isn’t perfect, but oh I love it, especially the back (doo-doo)!

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Besides my Daisy, I know 5 other babies being born this year! I’ll be making lots of custom onsies now, like this one:

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We’re having a Daisy!

Recently we had an abnormal blood test come back for the baby, so we had to have a few more screening blood tests done. They all came back great, and I finally did get back the baby’s gender. I wasn’t going to find out, but when they called with the results and everything was fine, I was so excited I didn’t really care if I knew or not so I just let the nurse tell  me. We are having a little girl! I was so happy that everything was OK and my baby girl is coming I just started crying and had to hang up the phone. Then I headed to the craft store to get some daisies.

We always said if we had a girl, we’d name her Daisy. I bought a bunch of daisies from Lowe’s and set them up on our kitchen table with my Daisy figurines around it and “Daisy Cutter” on loop. I told Matt there was a surprise at home for him, and as soon as he saw the daisies he knew we are having a girl!

Daisy Reveal 1

I decided since I majorly disappointed my mom with my fake gender reveal, I’d do a smaller, real version for her. I bought a tiny round wooden box and painted it yellow and green with pink and blue polka dots. I printed out a simple tag to tie to the lid to open for the reveal. I left a giant pink fabric daisy inside. Had Daisy been a boy, I’d have filled it with blue confetti.

Reveal Box

Everyone was so excited for another little girl in the family, especially the kids.

Gender Reveal

Today we had the 20 week ultrasound, and everything looks great! We can’t wait to meet our little Daisy!!

Daisy

My New Favorite Kitchen Gadget: Pineapple Corer and Slicer

We have a small red hutch in our kitchen that houses what Matt likes to call UKGs, or Unnecessary Kitchen Gadgets.
Some gadgets he just doesn’t understand, like what a baster is.

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Or why we need a happy face pizza cutter when we already have a regular one (because the kids like it, and sometimes I use a pizza cutter to cut dough and the regular one is in the dishwasher 😜)

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Other gadgets I can’t deny have little use. I don’t really eat grapefruit, so a grapefruit spoon isn’t necessary (let alone 4). But then again one who knows. I might use them to scoop out citrus fruits for a salad or dessert or something.

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But for real I found an extremely necessary gadget this time. It is a pineapple corer and slicer. It does exactly that, cores and slices pineapple.

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So easy!

OK, so in all honesty I could take or leave pineapple. But you know I’ll be eating a lit more if it with this! My first time using it I accidentally went all the way through the pineapple, making a hole in the bottom.

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It wasn’t really a problem, but this summer I’ll need to avoid doing that. I see myself filling the cored pineapple with some frozen drinks (virgin drinks for me for this summer).

I saw this at Bed Bath and Beyond for $20, but then I checked online and Amazon Prime had this one for $6.99! I obviously went for the $6.99 version.

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I’ve gadgets and gizmos a plenty, and I love them all, necessary or not. I don’t know why, I just do. If you have a favorite gadget, let me know about it!

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We Haven’t Found Out the Gender Reveal

Happy April Fools! It’s no secret that I like to bust my family’s chops. I’m kind of surprised that they didn’t see this coming. Every since my family found out that the baby’s gender could be determined by a blood test much sooner than an ultrasound, they’ve been hounding me about finding out if Giacomo will have a brother or sister and having a gender reveal party.  They have been convinced that I already know the baby’s gender. At my last visit, my mom came to the Dr with me only to be disappointed. The results weren’t in yet. She convinced herself that me and my Dr are in cahoots and we do in fact know the gender. We don’t, but because it’s April Fool’s Day I had a gender reveal anyway, only we used white balloons instead of colored balloons to reveal…nothing.

Now I’m not so mean. I did call my Dr. today to see if the results came in, but they still haven’t. We didn’t find out about Giacomo, and I still don’t know if we are going to find out about baby #2, but we did have fun pretending we would.

 

Glittered Wine Glasses for President’s Day Weekend

After a break of a few years, we finally resumed our annual President’s Day weekend family reunion ski trip (or, for many of us, sit in a cabin in the mountains and hang our trip). My sisters, parents and cousins rent two side by side houses so we can bounce back and forth from the houses.

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I used to go snowboarding with my husband several times a winter, but I haven’t been able to since I hurt my knee. I’m so glad that this year all my gear was finally put to use; Matt took my niece Jenna out to try boarding. She had a great time with her dad and uncle on the mountain.

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To celebrate the re-start of our festivities, I made some pretty wine glasses for all the ladies in the trip.

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The glasses are pretty easy to make, and as with anything with glue, the hardest part is the waiting between layers. I used the Cricut machine to cut out everyone’s initial and name in vinyl lettering for the wine glasses. I also glittered the stems of the glasses. If you don’t have a Cricut, you can still make glasses with glittered stems. We had a great time, and the glasses were a hit!

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For the monogram glasses:

  • I wanted contrasting fonts for the monogram letter and the full names, so I went with a full, swirly monogram and a thin, hand written font for the names.
  • I applied the whole name on the glass in gold vinyl in MV Boli (a system font already on my computer).
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  • I applied the first initial on the opposite side in purple vinyl (to match the glittered stems) in a monogram font I found on dafont.com called Monogram kksc . You can download the same font here. 

 

 

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For glittered stems:

Note – you want all of your coats of glue, glitter, and sealer to be thin. If your layers are too thick, they will eventually crack

  • First, wash and dry your glasses and use rubbing alcohol on the surface of where you are going to apply the glitter.
  • Apply a thin coat of Mod Podge to the stem and base of the glass.
  • Sprinkle on superfine glitter.

Purple Glitter Stems 1

  • Allow to dry for several hours or overnight. You will know the glue is dried by looking at the underside of the glass. If you see any white, the glue is still wet.
    Purple Glitter Stems 2
  • Apply another thin coat of Mod Podge and reglitter.
  • Allow to dry again.
  • If you need to, repeat the glue and glitter layers until your desired coverage. I only needed two coats of glitter, but you shouldn’t need more than 3 or 4.
  • When your last layer is dried, apply a very thin coat of Dishwasher safe Mod Podge*** and allow to dry. If you think you need to, you can apply a second coat after the first has dried.

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***Many people seal their glitter glasses with Triple Thick. I tried it with my glass, but it reacted with the dark purple glitter I used. I wasn’t sure if I did something wrong, so I asked about it on a crafting group page. Apparently certain glitter brands/colors will muddy and react the way mine did. I really like the feel of the triple thick sealer (it feels more like glass) so I will try to use it with another brand/color of glitter in the future and post if there’s a difference.

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Grinch Ornaments for Giacomo’s 1st Birthday

It’s crazy to believe a whole year has gone by since my Mr. Man came into the world. I always say that the day he was born it felt like an explosion, that my heart grew 3 sizes that day like the Grinch. So for his first birthday, we had a Grinch themed party. Giacomo had such fun playing with his cousins, family, and friends.

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I would have just had pizza and subs, but my sisters and mom took over and insisted on cooking a feast of antipasto salad (Truffula Salad), chicken cutlets (Roast Beast), sausage and peppers, kielbasa, pierogies, baked beans, pasta, potatoes and peas (Who Hash), and a 6 foot sub.  For I took over and went crazy.I couldn’t have done any of this without their help. I definately have the best family!

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For dessert nieces made chocolate dipped marshmallows and decorated sugar cookies, while I went nuts making cupcakes, chocolate pretzels, Rolo pretzels, Oreo balls, pumpkin cheesecake, Rice Krispie Treats,  a regular cake and a smash cake for Jack, and Who Pudding. The kids even enjoyed a Hot Cocoa bar.

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To thank everyone for celebrating, I made Christmas ornaments of the Grinch and his heart.

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For the Grinch ornaments, I swirled green paint inside the ornaments and left them upside down to dry. After two days I had to recoat. I let them dry about a week before adding the Grinch face.

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I layered yellow vinyl over black vinyl cuts for the ornament. Using the Cricut Explore, I cut the Grinch face by uploading  as a simple image. (I uploaded it twice, once for the face and once for the eyes). grinch clipart

I’ve made glitter ornaments with Glitter-It in the past, but I finally decided to try the mop & Glo method I’ve seen on craft sites and Pinterest. It does work, and it’s super quick! Just swirl the M&G in the ornament, drain out the excess, add in glitter, shake it up to coat, and tap out the extra glitter. Glitter-It works great, but so does M&G, and the giant bottle is way cheaper.

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I feel like the heart ornaments went with my whole year’s theme. All year I’ve been writing about the joys of the heart as well as heartache. The year started with my heart growing with Jack’s birth, and since then I’ve written about the joys of being a mom, the heartache of leaving baby, The Mighty Quinn’s Heart surgery, my dad’s heart attack, and now again, the joys of being a Mom.

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I was driving home from the party, I was thinking how it was the first time I did something really “Mom,” and it was the first time I felt like Mom. Feeling like mom is subtly different than feeling like a mother or a mommy, and I’m not sure how to explain it, but giving my son a fun birthday made me feel like a Mom, and I loved it.

Simple Halloween Wreath

This week has been one of the most emotionally, physically, and mentally draining weeks of my life. One day I’ll be able to write about it with enough composure for a public blog, but in the meantime I’ll share my other stress coping mechanism: crafting of course. I made a very simple light up wreath for Halloween.

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I started with a black wreath and wrapped it with berry garland. The berries are orange, black and purple, and some are glittery. I made sure all the berries were arranged towards the front of the wreath.

You could keep the wreath just like this, but I found these LED lights in the floral section. They have a lot of different colors (and I might have stocked up on a variety), so I used purple for the wreath.

One strand of the lights are not long enough to wrap around the wreath, so instead I only kept the lights to the front of the wreath by threading the lights around the berry garland.

I hid the switch in the back and it’s all finished.

I could definitely add to this, but I haven’t decided what yet. Maybe I’ll cut some cute things out with my Cricut, but in the meantime it’s ready to go.

I couldn’t go all out with the Halloween decorating, partly because of a hectic life but mostly because we are going to be on vacation for Halloween. That’s my other crafting project. I’ve been making costumes for everyone. My parents, nieces and nephew, Matt, the baby, and I are all going to be characters from The Nightmare Before Christmas. When I’m finished all be posting the costumes. We’re going to Florida and will be in Disney for Halloween. It’s the only time of year adults are allowed to dress up in the park. I am so excited! I’ve been having such a great time making the costumes not to mention that I definitely could use a vacation!

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