Thursday, January 28, 2016

Valentine's Service Idea

Here's a service idea that would be great for a family, church group, school class or a group of friends - make Valentine's for residents at a nursing home! Our family is making 75 Valentine's for a local nursing home. Each resident will receive one of our creations on February 14th. Because we are making so many, here's an idea to help the process. Buy pre-cut foam hearts and stickers from your local craft store. As a family, we are decorating the foam hearts with stickers, words, drawings and ribbon. We all sat down last Sunday and after we each decorated five hearts, we were almost half-way done. You can do this! With a large group, folks only need to make a few hearts each. Once our hearts are completed, we are delivering them to the activity's director at the nursing home for her to pass out (or may be we'll get to hand out a few!). So, if you want to spread some love, give your local nursing home a call and see if you can make some hearts!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A Valentine Gift that Rocks!

Here's a Valentine treat that will ROCK their socks off!
Fun for teens and tweens to hand out to friends. 
I'm taking some to the seminary class I teach.
You need:
Pop Rocks (3 packs sold at the dollar store)
3"x4" plastic bags
card stock for our fold over tags

You can print the tags here: Valentine You ROCK!

Cut out the squares and fold down the middle

I put two different flavor packs in a bag. 
Making sure the front logo faced out on each side.
I like the nice snug fit of the bag.  
You won't be able to zip the bag closed but that's ok,
just cover the tops with the tag and staple in place.


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Valentine Board

Will you be my valentine?
Check out our newest holiday board.
You'll need:
a 4'x5" pine board
5" letter stencils
wood stain
stencil brush, painters tape, rag, gloves
Craft acrylic paint: we used Americana Snow White and Razzle  Berry

Just follow the directions from the from one of our other holiday boards:

You can even put it on the back of a board you have already made. 
Saves storage space!
Before you start, lay out your letters.
It's a tight squeeze to fit "Valentine" on the board
and you want to make sure you know how to space the letters so they all fit.

You can even embellish your board a bit.
I tied some bakers twine and a heart ornament on mine.

With or without the added heart,
love this little sign by my front door.
Happy heart day!


Monday, January 25, 2016

Tie Dye Waffles

I was driving in my car one day thinking about fun breakfast recipes - random, I know - when this waffle idea popped into my mind. I was really excited to give it a try and the results are exactly how I imaged they would be! I'm calling them, Tie Dye Waffles. They are fun to make, fun to look at and fun to eat! My kids loved making them as did I!

First, mix up waffle batter. I doubled the recipe so I would have enough batter for each color. Then, divide the waffle batter into individual bowls. Each bowl will be its own color. Mix in food coloring and watch as the colors of the rainbow appear! I chose red, orange, green, blue and purple as my colors, but you can choose whatever colors you'd like.

When your waffle iron is hot and ready, spray with some cooking oil. Using one color at a time, begin drizzling the colored batter onto your waffle iron. Layer the colors until your iron is covered. Then, close your waffle iron and finish the cooking process.

I LOVE these waffles! They are bright, colorful and cheery! My kids and I admired the swirls of colors. These waffles really do look like a tie dye t-shirt.

These waffles would be perfect for a rainbow themed birthday party, a St. Patrick's Day breakfast, a PJ party, a Dr. Seuss celebration, or any time you're looking for a family activity. These waffles are a party!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Valentine's Love Sign

This Love Sign was really fun to make and it is a fun way to decorate for Valentine's Day!  The heart pops out which gives a fun look!

What you will need:

Wood Block (I used an 11X7 inch board that was 1 1/2" thick), Wood Drawer Pull, Sand Paper, Mod Podge, White Paint, Several pieces of Craft Paper, Ribbon, Glue and Glue Gun, and lettering (if desired).  

Sand your board to get  the rough edges off.  Add a little paint to a bowl and thin it with some water to make a white wash to paint the board.  Paint the board and wooden drawer pull and allow to dry.

Select paper to cut hearts out of, cutting each a little smaller then the last.  I chose to use 5 different pieces of paper to build out my heart.

Mod Podge your board and drawer pull entirely.  Next, after the board is dry, Mod Podge your largest heart flat onto the board.  Allow to dry.

While the board is drying, I Mod Podged my paper hearts to make them more durable and stronger so they could stand out better when I curled them out.

Once your large heart and board are dry, start gluing on your other hearts one at a time, only in the center of each heart and gently bending the edges up.  This will make the hearts pop out and create a kind of 3D effect as the edges could stand out.  

I had some glitter letters that I bought at Micheal's awhile back that I thought would be cute to add at the bottom with a little glue.  Attach your drawer pull up top with glue and finish with a bow!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Fabulous Finds

Wanted to share some of the fabu"less" deals I've found lately.

You can't beat a turquoise zebra mini glue gun! 
My college daughter will love this.  Found at Marshalls.  
All the other pictured items were from the Target dollar spot.  They have so many fun things for Valentines day, but here is what I picked up: The cutest pink flag pushpins, even comes in a corked bottle.  Wood spooled ribbon, glitter heart and arrow tags, chip board tags and a fun wood arrow banner.  

Updated my kitchen dish towels with these from Marshalls.  Packs of 3 to 5 in these great grays and taupes, with a splash of color.  Love the chickens and plaid!


This is my favorite find of all, 
taupe herringbone chair.
Love it!  
It's perfect for my little craft area as a computer chair.
Stylish and comfhy!
Found it at World Market in store.  Have only seen it in black online. Right now all furniture is on sale and look to find an additional 10-15% off coupon online.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Valentine's Door Decoration

I've been wanting to make this Valentine's Day door decoration for a year now ever since I saw something similar last winter.  I love the simple design!

First, I bought the below wood hanging from Michael's for just $5. I used a 50% off coupon so be sure to grab a coupon before you go. You can always find coupons online by searching their weekly ads.

Or, you can easily make your own wood hanging. From the backside, you can see how it's done.

Now, it's time to paint. I really wanted to see the wood grain through the paint so I diluted my gray acrylic paint with water. The below picture was taken after two coats of paint. I ended up doing four coats.

Next, find your heart pattern by searching heart images online. You can find any shape and size. Or, make it yourself. Trace your heart onto your wood.

Paint your heart. I chose pink, but you could use red or white. I did not dilute my pink paint. I wanted it to "pop" a little. I did three coats of the pink.

Tie on some red, white and pink ribbons. Ribbon is on sale right now at Jo Ann's - 60% off! And, hang it up. It's cute and festive! I keep admiring it from the street :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Hugs and Kisses Stenciled Board

I'm excited about this XOXO (Hugs and Kisses)
board to put up with my Valentine decor
and it's super easy to make.

You'll need:
a pine board about 5 1/2" wide x 19" long
(at the hardware store it will be listed as 6" wide but is really shorter.
They are usually great about cutting it to your 19")
2 colors of craft acrylic paint
sand paper/wood stain

Sand any rough edges of your wood.
Paint your base color just on the front.
I'm just using your basic black.

After it dries, sand the front edges and the front itself to distress.
You can leave it just like this if you want. 
OR add some wood stain, just to give it more of an antiqued finish.
Normally, I would stencil the letters on, then sand everything and stain last,
but I really want this gold to shine.  So for this project,stain first then add letters.
Stain outside or in the garage, it can get smelly.
Take an old rag and rub on the wood stain.
I'll stain the back first, then sides and then front.
Leave your board on an old drop cloth or lean up against a wall to dry.
I usually let the wood dry overnight.

Get out your X and O stencil.
This is the same set I've used on all our holiday boards.

Tape down at least one side of your stencil.
I like using blue painters tape.
The key to stenciling is to not have very much paint on your brush.
This helps you avoid having the paint go under your stencil.
Dip your stencil brush in the paint and dab off some of the paint on a paper plate.
Tap your brush up and down on the stencil cut out.
Don't worry if it looks like it isn't that dark.
You can layer with a second coat, but it is darker than you think.
I'm using this metallic gold paint that I just love!
It's thicker than most gold paints and has a really pretty shine.

Got the X now the O. 
The O will be close to the X. 
Make sure you space out these 4 letters so they'll fit on the board. 
I wanted the O to be connected, so I just filled in the space with a brush on the top and bottom of that letter.

I love the black and gold combination.

Hugs and Kisses to you for Valentines Day!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Homemade French Bread

This is one of my family's favorites and it is so easy with your bread machine!!

French Bread

1 1/4 Cups Warm Water
1 Tbsp. Sugar
1 tsp. Salt
3 1/2 Cups Bread Flour
1 Tbsp. Yeast

Add ingredients in order to your bread machine and set to dough setting.

When dough is done, place on a floured surface and roll out until stretched to about 1/2 inch thick- not too thin.

Starting at one end, roll your dough up like a cinnamon roll.

Cut slits into bread and allow to rise in a warm area for about 45 minutes or double its size.   When done rising, mix 4 Tbsp. of water and 1 tsp. salt- this will be your glaze.  Paint glaze all over your bread- will give the bread a nice brown crunchy crust.  
Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.  Enjoy!

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