Thursday, December 13, 2012

More Elf on the Shelf

Even with all of the ideas out there, it is still easy to get stuck in a rut with your Elf.
Here are a couple of ideas that I have not seen on the internet. Sparky found a perfect shelf in the tub to remind my forgetful little one to pick up in the bathroom.

Our sneaky elf got into my nephew's diaper bag and tried to steal some puffs. My daughter got a kick out of this one.

One night, Sparky got the envie (cajun for craving) for some candy. He tried to wheel the Christmas parade stash away in Marie Grace's shopping cart.  Marie Grace is our American Girl doll.  She is good at sharing. But I am not. Gimme back my banana tootsie pop. You don't find those every day.
What was your Elf on the Shelf up to last night?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Stationery card

Cross Stitch Joy Holiday Card
Turn your family photos into holiday cards this season.
View the entire collection of cards.

You know I don't normally try to sell you stuff, but Shutterfly offered to pay me (a VEDDY VEDDY small sum) to share my card with you. I actually like and use Shutterfly regularly, so I am okay with sharing.  They are professional, quick to get back to you with problems and I am very satisfied with them. So if you haven't already made your Christmas cards, its super user friendly to use their site.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

DIY Dollhouse

Want a gift your little girl will remember forever? 

Get started now if you want the dollhouse complete by Christmas.  These kits take some time to complete. We bought one from Hobby Lobby (with a half-off coupon.) My husband did most of the work, but I did paint most of the small pieces. Want to get your mind off of something? Take up painting very small pieces of wood. If you ask me, it is worth the effort. This is the sort of thing people truly appreciate and keep forever.
I chose realistic paint colors instead of pink and purple. I even went to Lowe's to look at paint cards. I know, its ridiculous.

What dollhouse bedroom is complete without a custom bulletin board? Scraps of cardboard, ribbon, and fabric were used for this one. The fabric was left over from my daughter's real bedroom.  I used scrapbooking mini brads for tiny buttons. I just snipped the backs off and glued them on. We cut out index prints from online picture orders and they fit perfectly.

The same fabric was used to cover the crib mattress and make curtains. It doesn't take much fabric for all of this. (If you look closely, you can see where my daughter decided to "trim" the sides of the curtains. OCD is begging me to fix that, but I won't.) The rods are balsa dowel rods, but I haven't found anything that works better for finials than the little plastic pieces. The search is still on.

The miniature painting was done on a small piece of chipboard from my scrapbooking supply. It's a teeny tiny bird on an alligator's snout. I may or may not have copied from a real painting in a catalog.
Why is the bedding and fabric on dollhouse furniture so outdated?? No wonder more people don't buy real dollhouses. I might have to recover and reupholster some things...

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Yoda Pumpkin

Does your school or community host a Pumpkin Light Night? or Pumpkin Shine? All of the classes and individual students decorate pumpkins and line the track around campus. The kids get another chance to wear those expensive Halloween costumes and jump in the bounce houses and eat junk food.

I am always amazed at the creativity that comes out that night. Folks go all out.

Pumpkin Light Night theme for my daughter's class is Yoda this year.  Not Star Wars. Just Yoda. Here is our version. We even added foam ears and white feathers from a boa, all from Dollar Tree.  Gotta love Dollar Tree.
The key to painting faces is not to use black paint for the outlines. A better choice is a darker hue of the face color. I ran out of the green paint, so I ended up using a light brown color, which still works better than black. Black is too harsh and unnatural.

P.S. One tip for decorating pumpkins:  Wash the pumpkin first to remove the waxy coating.  The paint sticks much better. And use krazy glue, not hot glue. 
OK, that was more than one tip.  It's your lucky day.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Glittery BOO Banner Party

One of my friends had the idea to have a "Pinterest Party" and it sounded like fun, so I did. Inspiration for this DIY banner came from creative chaos. That girl is good with glitter.  

Each guest found her seat by looking for her initial in the glitter tray.  I made little bags to put all of the ingredients in.  

What's a craft party without lots of candy?? In fall colors, of course!

I even wrote the steps to make the banner on my ginormous Ballard Designs Knockoff chalkboard.  If you don't know why the first two steps are crossed out, you may need to check out Youtube more often. 

For some reason, I have made a new banner for Halloween every year.  I don't have banners for every holiday, but Halloween always gets one. I guess Halloween is the only holiday I am not too busy with other things to make crafts. Here is the 2012 version.  I used old book paper, orange crepe paper streamers, scrapbook paper, silver  white gold glitter and letters cut with my Slice machine. I love all of the fonts you can get with Slice Machine cartridges.
This would be cute to have kids hold up for Halloween costume pictures.  Especially ghost costumes.
Check out last year's banner here.

We had a blast! Much more fun than bunco!

Lil Mrs Tori

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Rag Wreath

Rag wreaths are all over the internet, so I decided to make one. Out of real rags. Learned how from a tutorial at

This process would probably be a lot easier if you bought fabric, but I like to be authentic, so I used old t-shirts.  Consider it my contribution to the Go Green movement. Which means it wasn't finished for my daughter's birthday party, which is what it was intended for.  That's ok though, because I never did find an owl for the center. With all of the cute owl stuff out there, I could not find anything suitable for this wreath.  Seen anything? 

For some reason, this thing reminds me of Snuffalupagus...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

DIY Owl Costume

Speaking of Pinterest, I saw this cute pink owl costume and thought, "I could make that."  Well, I made it, but I am not itching to do that again.  The instructions said it would take fifty "feathers."  So I cut out fifty out of felt and flannel.  Yeah, it took WAY more than fifty. I felt like I would never get to stop making feathers.  I think fifty must have been to fit a two year old (not my seven year old.) The mask was surprisingly easy to make.  Overall, I would say this was doable, just time consuming.  Start early. The good thing is, this was probably the least expensive costume we have ever had for halloween if you can find a pink jacket for $3 like I did. You can find instructions and even templates here.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Owl Party

Yoo-hoo!  It's that time of year again!  Time for a birthday party! 

With all of the cute owl stuff out there, I could not resist doing an owl party.  I made these owl invitations to match.  I love how the wings move by using mini brads.  (I actually had to do that so they would fit in the envelope.) 

                    Foam squares under the eyes make them pop.  Inspiration came from here.

So glad I decided to use a round table this year.  I found the plastic tablecloth at Target and was so happy that it was long!  (That is not a cute table under there.)  The napkins were held down with a wooden 8 from Hobby Lobby.  The forks were contained in a small flower wall vase, which I have a small collection of.  My sister, Jena, and I made the  circle streamers with a circle punch, scrap paper,  and sewing machine.

Good thing my mom knows how to make cakes, cause I am not prepared to dish out big bucks for something that gets eaten!  The owl on top was a cookie. 

This is one of my favorite birthday banners ever.  I used real doilies under the letters for more texture. The letters were cut with the "Vintage Findings" cartridge for the Slice machine.  I love this color scheme.  Love the long satin ribbons (my sister's idea.)  The best part?  I already had all of the supplies for it! 

Treat bags this year were a lot of work, but I loved them!!   I stole the birdcage idea from a friend at work. She had a very similar cage with a chalkboard stuck in at a baby shower. I thought it would make a perfect spot for the goodie bags (since owls are birds, after all). 

Party favors were paper owls sewn together to form a pouch with friendship bracelets and bottlecap magnets inside. The kids had to rip them open to get the treats.

You can't see it, but the little card said, "It's been a HOOT!" My daughter wrote those, and made the magnets with owl stickers and Glossy Accents (sold at Michael's.)

This "Use Your Noodle" game didn't work so well.  Turns out, balloons don't like heat or dried out spiky grass.  The kids had other games to play, thank goodness.  But man, that was a lot work putting "M" stickers on those and cutting noodles. The important thing is, it was cute, right?

Owl Make and Take

I found this idea on Pinterest.  I tried to make a link, but could not find this project.  You just hot glue the top of the toilet paper tube down to make the shape of the owl.  The kids get to paint and decorate.  I used scraps of paper for wings and beaks and bought colored eyes from Michaels. 

The ice block was a hit!  I filled a plastic container with enough water to cover several trinkets and let it freeze.  I then added another layer of water and toys and let that freeze.  The problem was that the sides would melt when you poured more water on it, so we had to lift out the block, put toys and water under it, and then freeze again.  This takes several days to complete.  I bought a meat tenderizer for the kids to take turns breaking the ice.  The tool broke after a few hits.  I bought the $5 one from Target.  Maybe a more expensive one would work or just a hammer.  I didn't think an ice pick would be a good idea.  An adult (or several) needs to stay close to supervise so that no one gets hurt.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Gift Bucket

Why is it so fun to get or give a gift basket?  Or in this case gift bucket?

I made this for a friend in the hospital after delivering her baby girl.  Someone told me about a recipe for chicken soup using 6 canned goods.  I tried it and liked it.  So, I thought maybe it would make a good gift.  Especially if it is wrapped in a super cute green bucket from the dollar bins at Target.  (It was actually $2.50, but still a great deal.)  You'll never guess what I made the monogram with.  Shelf liner!!  Shhhhh! don't tell my secrets!  It was on clearance at Michael's so I bought several different patterns because I just knew it would work like vinyl cut with my Slice machine or Cricut.  

I added a bag of Fritos and a cute recipe card to the basket.  You could even add shredded cheese to the gift basket if you are delivering to the recipient's home. Everything for a complete meal without having to try too hard.  Everything goes in one pot. No need to remember to thaw something or dirty lots of dishes if you seriously don't feel like cooking OR going out.  Or having pizza delivered.  Am I the only girl in America that doesn't care for pizza much?

6 Can Taco Soup:
Whole Kernel Corn
Black Beans
Chicken Broth
Can of Chicken
Cream of Chicken soup
+ Taco Seasoning packet

Mix all ingredients in a pot and simmer.
(Most of the time, I actually cook chicken in the pot first and then add all ingredients except canned chicken. In a pinch, it works with canned chicken.)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

January Coaster

"No fair.  You get to miss school to go look at my new cousin and I don't."

Welcome to the world, Baby M!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


THE gift for Christmas this year was an Easy Bake Oven. 

If a girl is gonna bake, she needs an apron, right?

If a girl has an apron her dolly will definitely need one, too!

My sisters made these for my daughter and her new American Girl doll.  I don't even think they had a pattern.  Pretty cute, huh?  I am just a little jealous of their mad sewing skills.  But not really cause my new Instax mini camera should come in by Friday and it's gonna be awesome!  Stay tuned for more on that. 
And get your little self ready to Smash with me.  (You don't really need a mini instant camera, but it might make it even more fun.)