Thursday, September 22, 2011


So after a long long hiatus, I have returned to blogging. The kids have started school, so I actually have a few minutes to myself these days! My oldest daughter started Kindergarten this year, so I decided to continue on with the German tradition that my Mom did for us. Schultüten! These are large cardboard cones decorated and filled with sweets and toy, anything you like. I put candy, a few school supplies and mini Play-Doh in ours. Mine turned out a little larger than planned, don't be deceived, they are not totally filled. Basically I filled up the empty space with tissue paper.
Children in Germany traditionally receive these when they start Kindergarten. The other kids in the family get a small version when it's not their turn to start Kindergarten. The kids usually get these in the morning and get to take them to school and open them there. SInce that is not the way it's done here, we had the kids open them at family home evening the night before school started. They loved it! My mom also sent pictures of my first day, and hers as well. That was really fun for everyone to see. Well, here are the pics of how the Schultüten turned out, and a sketch of how to make one yourself.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Teacher Appreciation

Looking for a gift for my daughter's teacher, I came across this really cute idea from blog eighteen25. You can find complete instructions and even print out her design here. Instead of a hand-held punch, I used my Cricut for the shapes, and also slipped a Michael's gift card in the back. I think it turned out pretty well, next time I think I'll get some of that stamping stuff to make the edges look all awesome and worn.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Printable Chore Chart

So lately I've been trying to get my 3 1/2 year old daughter to start putting away her toys, and in general just getting a sense of helping around the house. I've been giving her a nickel and a dime here and there for little jobs, but that idea is quickly getting old, as she wanted to save for something big (a night at Jumping Jack's!) and isn't seeing the results quickly.

I thought about buying a chore chart, but was so excited to stumble on this free printable one from ModEcoKIDS. You can customize it and then print it out. I just printed mine, and am going to try it this week. I think I'll give her some allowance at the end of the week as long as she works on something every day. Wish me luck!

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Felt Playhouse

As we've been living in a 2 bedroom apartment with 2 kids, our space is at a premium. We needed to squeeze a twin bed and a crib into the same room and found the perfect bed so that we could still have some space for storage: the Ikea Kura Bunkbed. My daughter sleeps on top, and the toys go underneath. Since the toys being stored are none too pretty, I thought changing it into a felt house would hide the mess as well as create another fun space to play in.
So here's what I ended up with:

The girls love to go in and out the door, and pick the flowers which have velcro on the back. I think the project turned out pretty well, but I think I would change the shingles a bit as they didn't turn out quite as planned (my daughter also disapproved as they didn't have pink). Also, I like having the door open so they can play easily, but it doesn't look so great to have them just hanging there. If anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Sweet No Candy Valentine

As my daughter always comes home from her school parties carrying more cookies and candy than she can hold, I thought it would be fun to try something different. I started with some inspiration from Family Fun and created some of their Crayon Hearts. They used a metal heart-shaped pan which I didn't have, so I thought I would experiment with my plastic heart-shaped ice cube mold from Ikea that I did have. It worked! And my mold didn't even melt :). I think that's probably because I kept the oven temp. to about 200. Here's a shot of my somewhat tedious process of breaking down crayons into little nibs.
After the hearts were finished, I had a great find at Target. In their Valentine's Day section they had a little bag of heart-shaped pads of paper, only $2.50 for 16! Then to tie it all together, I made a simple card in Word and placed it all together in a clear cellophane bag. If you're interested in my template, leave me a note and I'll be happy to send it out to you as I haven't figured out how to post it quite yet.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Modern Quilt Pattern

My latest quilting project was a baby blanket for a friend. Since she's having a boy I needed something that wasn't too cutesy, so I opted for a more modern looking arrangement of rectangles. I had a hard time finding inspiration for it, so I thought I'd post the pattern I came up with in case someone else out there can use it.
After sewing the blocks together, I simply laid it on a piece of soft and cozy fabric (the super fluffy kind) with right sides together, and stitched around it leaving a small opening to turn it inside out. After it was right sides out I stitched a small border around the whole thing in order to close the opening.
Since I didn't think traditional ties would really go with it, I decided to machine stitch through the whole quilt on either side of each seam.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Christmas Gifts Updated

So I know this update is super super late, but I thought I 'd post it anyway cause I'll probably forget by next year. Since my last post gave ideas I wanted to try, I thought I'd show you what I actually tried. I ended up making a few sets of countdown blocks and they turned out really cute. I definitely like this idea, and still need to make one for our own house. Since my husband gave me an awesome Cricut for Christmas this project will be much easier next time. No more little tiny scissors to do the cutting!
My next idea for neighbor gifts worked really well, and was easy to keep on hand. I made a chocolate cake roll and filled it with store bought mint-chip ice cream. Then I wrapped it nicely with tin foil and added some cute ribbon and Christmas picks from Michaels. Then I stored it in the freezer until I needed it. This was really tasty and actually pretty quick to do.