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.

New Orleans

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!!

Florida

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.

Mystery Machine

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!

Advertisements

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!

moviefamily

 

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.

angelaanddaisy

 

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.

matt-and-jack

 

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).

lailaoliviamyla

 

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!

movies

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.

Shirts 2

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.

IMAG1538_1_1

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.

Shirts 4

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.

Shirts 1

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.

Shirts 3

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.

Jack’s Room: 3 Must Have’s for a Baby’s Room

Jack is on the move! Almost out of nowhere he started crawling and pulling himself up in his crib. As soon as he started, I immediately saw all the dangers in my house that needed to be baby proofed. I ran to Babies R Us, bought just about everything, and spent a weekend altering doorknobs and locking toilets – something I thought was ridiculous in the past, until stories of toilets clogged with race cars and towels were brought to my attention. I baby proofed the whole house, and the only thing I have left is to redesign the items on Jack’s bookshelf. The way they’re arranged now, he can easily pull them off and break them.

Jack's Room

We didn’t know if Jack was going to be Jack or Daisy, so we chose driftwood finish for furniture and painted the room a rustic yellow which goes nicely with the pumpkin butter color of our hallways. I figure we can reuse everything whenever baby #2 comes along.

I realize I never introduced you to Jack’s bookshelf or all the work I did in Jack’s room. Initially, it was a craft room/ guest room. Now, guest sleep on the couch, my crafts take over the house, and our recliner rocking chair is no longer in the living room, but that’s OK. One day we’ll figure out where to keep everything.  At my shower, I was given an IKEA bookcase that matched his bed set, and it was filled with books from everyone. Santa, the Easter Bunny, and I have since loaded the bookcase up with more books.

This is Jack's book corner. The walls have these cute Winnie the Pooh book plaques my MIL got for her future grandchild years ago (like before we were married). I'm thinking of making some kind of book piece for the adjacent wall. 

This is Jack’s book corner. The walls have these cute Winnie the Pooh book plaques my MIL got for her future grandchild years ago (like before we were married). I’m thinking of making some kind of book piece for the adjacent wall.

The thing I love most about his room is the tree decal. I ordered it and the window tree decals from TheWhiteTreeStore by LittleLionStudio.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheWhiteTreeStore?ref=l2-shopheader-name

The original tree looks like this, but there’s no law that says that’s how you have to apply it. Instead, I made the leaves look like they are blowing away. The decals are beautiful and easy to apply, and they really make his room charming. White Follow the Little Rabbit Tree Wall Decal by LittleLion Studio

The bed set is forest animals. Jack loves it. He uses the “bedspread” as a play mat, and he loves to talk to and touch the soft wall hangings as we pass them by. It has matching decals, but they were too small for the wall (for me at least). Instead, I used them to decorate his furniture. I used some of them for the sides of this storage bin I use for spare sheets, blankets and other baby odds and ends. I also decked the bookcase out with the rest of the decals that came with his bed set. I think the decals look so charming, and they can easily come off when he’s older.

Decals

I also decorated his room with my book bird houses.

Birdhouses2

So far I’ve made 3, but I think as he gets older I’d like to make some with his favorite books.

PLP

In the meantime, I made one with one of my favorite childhood books, The Monster at the End of this Book.

M@EOTB

My favorite birdhouse, though, is the Peter Pan house.

PPan

When you open the door, you can see Pan’s tree club house! Good thing I have small enough hands to do it.

Birdhouses

We have old doors which I thought about updating, but they actually match the style of our house and I’d rather spend the money elsewhere. Above his door is a simple cross, decorated with the finger rosaries I used as a favor at his christening. Next to his bed is a canvas quote I made using my Cricut and love best of all.

Jack's Room2

Now that you’ve toured Jack’s room there are a few things you should know. Every baby list will tell you about things you need for baby’s room, but here are the 3 things I always keep in here that weren’t on any list.

1) Extra blankets behind you on your chair. Babies spit up, and sometimes you don’t even realize it. Don’t ruin your furniture. Drape some receiving blankets over the backs of your chairs.

Blankets

2) A Rubbermaid bin. Jack grows so quickly and sometimes it feels like its overnight. I always keep a bin in his room so as I struggle to put on a tight fitting shirt, I can just pack it away into the bin for storage. I used to hid the bin behind the rocking chair, but now I got to lazy for that and it’s out all the time.

Storage Bin

3) Tissues and a trash bin next to your chair. This is completely  separate from the diaper bin and wipes, and it is essential. I realized their importance the day I got home from the hospital. When you bring home your baby, you will cry and for a variety of reasons. Maybe you’re overwhelmed, or maybe you’re insanely happy. Either way, you get home and you have no idea how raging your hormones are.

Tissues

I remember hearing I’d be hormonal and emotional during pregnancy, and I really wasn’t at all. It came after. For me they were all happy tears, and I cried over everything from feeling such deep love for my baby to Suburu commercials. Even reading baby books brought on tears. (Oh my God! He says he loves his puppy! *sob* *sob* That’s so beautiful!) You’re body is going nuts, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Eventually you’ll stop crying and you’ll need those tissues to wipe up baby boogers, but until then wipe your happy and your sad tears, toss the tissue in the trash bin, and if you’re lucky enough to get a colicky baby like me, rock on until the sun comes up.

Jack was always cryingRocking all night long

DIY Necklace: Wearing the Beach all Year

Beach Necklaces

I grew up here, ten minutes from the beach. I can’t imagine having to plan on going to the beach. It’s something I do so casually that I still forget what a special place it is. I usually go to the beach during the week, after work, and alone. We love Island Beach State Park. If you drive past their first two bathing beaches, there is some amazing scenery. I don’t think people realize there is so much beauty right in NJ. Pictures of the walk to the ocean rival some you can find on a tropical island. I love the walk to the ocean. As you walk through the trees and sand, at first all you hear are birds. Then the smell of the ocean comes and you start to hear the sound of waves, and finally you get to the view. When I head to the beach most people are leaving it, so it’s like my own private oasis. I always keep a blanket or chair in my trunk, and if I know Matt will be late coming home from work I just head to the beach and read for an hour or two.

Walk to the Beach

But I didn’t really get to do that this summer. I was afraid of going to the beach alone. I’ve never had fainting spells or anything, but I didn’t want to risk overheating by myself while pregnant. I only went to the beach a few times, and I did have to plan around it. It made me appreciate my proximity more. I don’t think I’ll ever want to live far enough away where I have to plan a beach trip. I know that with a baby I’ll have to be more structured with my beach time next year, but I’m glad that if I ever am bored and we have nothing to do we can always walk to beach to pass the time.

Beach

September is a great time to go to the beach. There aren’t many people and the water is super warm. Matt and I went recently for no reason other than we were bored.  We collected seashells, put our feet in the water, and watched as the tiny clams and sand crabs burrowed into the sand. It made me sad that summer is pretty much over. I can still walk the beach in the fall and winter, but it’s not really the same.

SeaShells

So I’m going to wear the beach all year long. I made these simple beach bottle necklaces to keep the sand close to my heart. I found a set of tiny bottles at Michael’s. Attach the ring to the cork (You might have t trim the metal with some wire cutters. put some sand in the bottle. It’s easier to scoop the sand rather than pour it. Then I used needle nose tweezers to put in a tiny sea shell, apiece of sea glass, and a piece of faux moss (to look like seaweed). Use some leather cord as the necklace, and you viola!

beach necklace

I made a second charm as a message in  a bottle. With less sand, I added some small shells, and I wrote a note on a piece of scrap paper (I ripped the paper so the edges weren’t so straight). I realize I could have just scribbled or not have written anything at all, but I like an ocean quote for my ocean necklace. I know it’s there, after all.  My message is from Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic.” I rolled up the scrap and put it in my bottle. How sweet!

message in a bottle

If you don’t live near the beach, you could make your necklace with sand and shells from your favorite vacation destination and keep it close to your heart too.

Love Letters

I love decorating for each holiday, especially because it gives me a reason to be crafty. The love letters are the easiest Valentine’s Day decorations you could possibly make. They are very similar to the Noel letters I made for Christmas.

Love

Here, I used a sequence heart for the O in LOVE, and Mod Podged scrap book paper to the other letters. I also added some embellishments to the letter: felt hearts on the L, “pearl” beads on the music notes of the V, and purple and pink rhinestones on the E. I also used different sized letters for a whimsical look.

Most of my Valentine decor is pink and purple, but my friend Sara made her letters in more neutral colors with red accents. Same idea with a totally different look!

Image

 

I put my “L-O-V-E”  at my entryway table with pictures of my adorable Valentines, my nieces and nephew.

 

 

I’m also on a penguin kick. I just painted some ceramic penguins and decided they are my new, unofficial mascots of Valentine’s day. How could you look at adorable penguins and not feel love? 

 

 I’m not an overly mushy, romantic person, but I do love Valentine’s Day.I think the idea of celebrating love is a wonderful thing. Many people don’t like Valentine’s Day because it can be superficial, materialistic, cliche, just a reason to spend money, all of the above. But I think we should look at Valentine’s day a bit differently. I know Valentine’s Day is a couples holiday, and I’ll certainly be spending it with my Cheese, but even before then when I didn’t have a boyfriend I’d find ways to celebrate. My Dad would always give me a card and me and my friends would buy each other chocolates. Last year my friend Meg and I hosted a root beer float social at work with pretty heart straws and paper goods.  I’ll bring in some cupcakes this year. I’ll probably pick up some special treats for my pets and some flowers for my Mama.

There are all different kinds of love, and maybe if we focused less on “romance” (and the commercialism attached to it) and more on real, actual LOVE, people would appreciate Valentine’s Day more. Be sure to show the people in your life how much you love them, that goes for your significant other and your friends, family pets, and anyone else lucky enough to have your love. 

 To quote the amazing Jane Austen: 
“There are as many forms of love as there are moments in time.” 

I hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

Quick and Easy Valentine’s Day Wreaths

I’m trying to keep to my new year’s wreath resolution with a Valentina’s day wreath. Usually, I just have a branch heart wreath on the door, but that isn’t as fun as making something. I made two different wreaths, the first is a topsy, turvey owl frame.

20140130-001302.jpg

I painted a laser cut wood frame and heart for the main elements, and tied the two pieces with pink ribbon so the heart dangled in the middle of the frame. I tied another ribbon at the top of the frame for hanging. I then dressed up the piece by hot gluing a sparkly pink her, ribbon, crystals, paper flowers, and a wooden owl ornament. It was really simple and came out really cute!

20140130-001939.jpg

You don’t have to make the frame crooked, and having the inner heart centered more traditionally is just as sweet.

20140130-001552.jpg

It turned out that I liked the owl frame better on the wall than on the door, so I decided to fix up the branch heart wrath I already had. It was very simple and only took a few minutes.

20140130-001701.jpg

I first wrapped the wreath in heart tinsel garland, and then with beaded garland. I adjusted she beads so they all faced the front of the wreath. I then hot glued some felt owls and hearts to the front. How stinking adorable!

20140130-002037.jpg

Sara’s wreath is very similar, but instead of wrapping her wrath in beaded garland, she glued on some beaded bushels. Quick, easy, and pretty!

20140130-001822.jpg

My Wreath Resolution

I already started my wreath goal with the help of team punctuation. We made burlap rose wreaths. They were pretty easy (right ;?) but making all the roses is time consuming. There are about 6-7 large roses and 8-9 small roses on each wreath. I had to hold Alexis hostage so she could help us make roses to get them finished faster.

We painted and cut our burlap. You can also buy colored burlap that is already 3″-4″ wide from Michael’s. Of course we discovered this too late, but at least our wreaths are 100% customized. Start by cutting burlap strips: 24″ for small roses, and 36″ for large roses. If you are cutting from a sheet of burlap, the strips can be anywhere from 2″-5″ in width. Fold each strip in half and iron to keep the fold. If you are painting your roses, paint them after you iron.

Make a long stitches alone the open ends of the burlap strips. Don’t tie a knot at the end of your stitches, just a leave long trail of thread on both ends.

Image

When you’re finished stitching, hold one end of the burlap and  push the other end of the strip towards the end you’re holding. The burlap will bunch and gather to form the rose.

Image

You can also bunch the burlap as you stitch.

Image

Tie the ends of the thread to hold the rose together.

We embellished the roses by hot gluing beads, buttons, and little leather flowers we got from Michael’s to the center of the roses. I also made little burlap leaves. Cut the burlap into a square, fold over to make a triangle,  then fold the 2 corners to meet in the middle corner to make a leaf.

Hot glue the roses and leaves to a twig wreath. My wreath was more oval shaped, and Sarah’s was round.

I love how the wreaths were made in the same style and at the same time, yet they look totally different.

Texas Craft House

blood, sweat, and glitter y'all