Tuesday, July 24, 2012

"Cloud Sand"

I found this recipe for "cloud sand" on pinterest and of course in typical Me fashion I just copy-pasted it into Word and didn't save the site. So...this is not my recipe and a big thank you to everyone who shares their creative ideas with all of us.

5 cups flour
1 cup baby oil (I didn't have that much baby oil so I used vegetable oil)
 And because I didn't think flour and vegetable oil would smell all that great I added a few drops of vanilla extract...now it smells just like cookie dough...Mmmmm , LOL.

Abby and Syd had a great time with it, were very excited to show it to Dad when he got home from work, and asked to play with it again today. So I think it's safe to say it's a winner :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

My kitchen scraps are growing!

For the past 2 weeks or so here it has been unbelievably beautiful outside. Seriously feeling more like July than March and we were sure taking advantage of it knowing it wasn't going to last long. Sure enough it's -12 with the windchill this morning and I'm hoping the garden isn't going to suffer too much. Meanwhile I still have my indoor plants to visit. Hubby thinks I've gone insane because I've been saving bits of food and trying to re-grow them...but hey if it's "free" I'm there! Unfortunately the beans and garlic have bit the dust but everything else I've tried is doing well. Actually got to use some of the green onions for cooking already and threw them back in the water to grow again :)

Green Onions


Green Pepper

Sweet Potato

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Livingroom floor....what's that?

When we bought our house 9 years ago we bought it because it was a fixer-upper with a great yard. Thankfully the last 3 years there has been room in the budget for some pretty major house repairs/renovations. Our latest project has been our living room floor. When we moved in it was a blueish grey carpet that wasn't in the greatest shape even then. One day this past Fall our eldest daughter was pretty sick and upchucked right in the centre of the room. Okay not a great thing but I was thinking I'll just bust out our carpet cleaner and get this cleaned up in no time. Haul it up from the basement only to discover that the darn thing doesn't want to work. That's when I lost it and demanded that hubby help me rip the carpet up and get it the H-E-double hockey sticks out of the house. I was sick of looking at it, smelling it, walking on it and most of all cleaning it! So long story (sort of) short we've been living on subfloor and a crappy area rug in the living room since that day. Totally my fault so I have nicely been keeping quiet about my hatred of the subfloor :) But for the past week we've been slowly (does anything get done quickly with kids around?) installing our new laminate flooring. This is a first for us so we've had to rip back and fix a few mistakes but we're getting there....

I'll be soooo glad when my dining room no longer looks like this:

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Update: Sweet Potato Houseplant

Our sweet potato has grown quite a lot since putting it in some potting soil and giving it a home in front of a west facing patio door. I took this picture of it a few days ago...

It is turning out to be quite a nice looking plant, I think anyway. Abby and Syd love checking on it and are super excited if it's opened a new leaf or started a new vine nub.

When we put it in the pot it had no roots started at all and now we can see a few white roots around the edge of the potato where it meets the dirt so we know it's got a good system growing in there :) It was a bit of a slow start when we switched it's environment but now there's noticeable new growth every day.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Finger Paints and Slime

We have some crayola "washable" finger paints for the kids but I rarely let them use these paints in the house. Not only do I find that these paints aren't very washable I can't stand the smell of them. It's an overpowering soapy smell that makes me sneeze if I even open the cupboard that they're in let alone when the containers are actually open. But Abby and Syd have been getting a bit bored of the watercolour paints that I will let them use in the house so I went on a search to find some homemade paints and I sure found lots of recipes. Decided to give this one here a try. I have to say it worked out great although I still think the kids would have had more fun with it outside on their easel (come on Spring!) and they needed a good bath afterwards, LOL.

This weekend it was once again bitterly cold and we decided to stay indoors. Chose to pass some of the time by making some more Slime. This time we used a different recipe and it made a different kind of slime than our first one. The cornstarch/water slime was a little easier to clean up off their clothes but this one was an easier clean up off of everything else...I'm a little torn as to which I prefer but the kids seemed to like this one better because it didn't "melt" as quickly. Randomly picked this recipe here

Monday, February 20, 2012

"Family Day" Entertainment

Today is "family day" here. Abby's home from school and wanting to be entertained. It was also a very chilly -16 degrees outside this morning so that meant inside entertainment for us seeing as we're just finally getting over a particularly nasty cold. So we busted out our trusty homemade playdoh recipe and also tried a new homemade "slime" recipe. Our playdoh recipe is one that we got from Abby's teacher at school and changed a bit to make it less sticky and goopy. After making this stuff I'll never go back to the store bought stuff...this playdoh I find is softer, works better in the playdoh machines and is a way easier clean-up when it ends up on the carpet.

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 cup water
5 tsp vegetable oil
food colouring

In a medium sized saucepan, combine flour, salt and cream of tartar. Over medium heat gradually stir in oil and water mixed with food colouring. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until mixture forms into a (not too) sticky ball. Make sure you keep stirring or the mixture will burn! Remove from heat, let cool 5-10mins. Knead until smooth. Store in airtight container (I use small margarine tubs, perfect fit for one batch).

I scribbled the slime recipe down in a rush this morning and forgot to bookmark where I got it from...so I take no credit for this recipe. There are a ton of recipes out there for slime but I liked the idea of not busting out my box or borax and having it be an easier clean-up so we went with this one:

1/2 cup hot water (i warmed it in the microwave for 1 min)
1 cup cornstarch
food colouring

Slowly mix cornstarch into your bowl of water with food colouring. Mix with spoon until too tough then mix with fingers (as you play with it the colour mixes better...I just didn't end up getting a pic of that). That's it....and this was equally entertaining for my 2 and 4 1/2 year olds as well as their Grandma and Pa so you gotta love that!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I love rabbits but......

They are eating my weigela, euonymus, barberry, and my poor rose of sharons that I started from seed!!! I'm used to them snacking a little bit but this year they are just going nuts out there. Sigh. My shade garden is really going to look awful next year while it recovers. Looks like next winter I'll be going this route....

Picture is from: www.gardeningblog.net

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Cheerios For Bird Food?

Yesterday while I was working on my wreath Abby and Syd worked on bird feeders....well sort of. Found a post somewhere of course I didn't bookmark it but she had twisted some wire into hearts and strung cheerios on them for the birds. I thought that was something the girls would enjoy doing...especially Abby who loved stringing popcorn for the Christmas tree this year. So i found some old wire hangers and poured them a bowl of cheerios....more ended up in their tummies than on the hangers....but Abby managed to fill up one hanger. Didn't take a pic of the finished project but here's a progress pic:

And of course quite a few ended up on the kitchen floor...thank goodness for little Mason who came sniffing around and ate them all up while I ran out and hung the feeder on the tree...what a good dog!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Book Pages Wreath

At the moment I'm really trying to declutter our house. Bags and bags of stuff have already made their way to Goodwill. Borrowed things have made their way back to their rightful owners. Several bags of garbage have already hit the curb. In all this cleaning I have come across things that I can't help but look at with a crafty eye and say "could I use this?". An old dictionary (that I had picked up from a thrift store) was stowed away in my closet and was begging to be re-purposed. I decided to make a book page wreath with it....

-2 large pieces of cardboard
-Book pages curled into cones ends folded so as not to unroll
-glue gun, glue sticks and a small bit of white glue
-staple gun, staples, small piece of picture wire and a nail to hang from

First I glued together the cardboard pieces and cut into a wreath shape. Covered one side with a few pages attached with the white glue. Made the paper cones and glued them in rows around the form (from the outside in) folding up more of the ends of the cones on each row. On the last row I folded them around to the back and glued them there as well. Folded my picture wire in half and stapled to the back once folded it back over the staple and stapled a couple more times just to be safe. Hung it on my diningroom wall and hoping that Hubby doesn't hate it :)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Winter Plant Experiments

I love plants. I love playing in the dirt. I love watching seeds and bulbs growing. Come Springtime I seriously check every plant in my gardens daily to see how they're doing. I feel cooped up in the wintertime...which has led to us having quite a few houseplants that I can visit with daily while all the outdoor plants are having a good sleep. Abby and Syd also love all things outdoorsy and enjoy helping in the gardens especially our small veggie patch. Abby loves to see plants rooting in water (which is how I propagate my plethora of pothos and Chinese Evergreens) so we decided to experiment with a few beans plucked from a bag of dry soup mix. Started them in clear plastic cups with napkins holding them in place. In no time at all some of them had roots. Once they started to get leaves we took out the napkins and gave them some potting soil. The kidney beans are doing the best...they are currently flowering and have little pods forming from the spent flowers so cool!

Here it is taking over our kitchen window:

Also giving some apple seeds a go:

I've also been wanting a sweet potato vine for awhile. I wasn't having good results with rooting it in water so I threw one in a plastic bowl and put it near the furnace in the basement....and sure enough it started growing!
Decided to pot it this weekend and move it to the livingroom. Fingers crossed that it will survive.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


My Mom recently made quilts for Abby and Sydney which, of course, made me feel like my bed needed a bit of handmade love too. I'm sure that if I asked she would have made one for me too...but I know that if I applied myself I could shrug off my earlier failed attempt and make a beautiful quilt to be proud of. So I watched a ton of videos on YouTube and borrowed a quilting book from my Mom. I watched and watched and read and read until my eyes were sore and my brain hurt in typical Crys style. Finally after much consideration (and to be completely honest a little out of spite because of the doubters) I decided that hand piecing my quilt was the way to go....yep, that's how I roll! I have to say so far I'm really loving it. Much more portable and peaceful....well as peaceful as it can get with 2 kids running around (at least they're not tripping over my sewing machine cords...right?). And well I have to admit I love proving people wrong. One more strip of the green squares pattern then I'll have to buy the black fabric for a wide border around the whole front and full back (still need to decide which stuffing I'll be using...bit more research to do on that one).

But here's a sneak peak...

String Art

I desperately needed something to replace a mirror in my bathroom that was relocated to a better spot in my front hall. So off to google images I went for a bit more crafty inspiration. And I sure found some here .

-1/4" plywood
-Handful of smallish nails
-White yarn
-picture wire
-staple gun

(I ended up not having enough to nails to place them every 1/2" so mine are 1" apart...it makes mine a bit different at least)

Monogram Door Signs

Been checking out lots of crafty sites lately and getting lots of inspiration from some very talented people out there. Love the monogram wall art I've seen and decided it was time for my girls to have some gracing their bedroom doors. First things first I checked around the house to see what I had laying around and if I could turn it into something beautiful....gotta love things that cost next to nothing to make right?

List of Materials:
-picture wire, a few staples and a hot glue gun
-a button stash that I inherited from my Grandmother-in-law
-some letters from a previous failed door sign
-left-over mosaic tiles from our kitchen reno
-a fairly large 1/4 plywood board (cut into 12" squares) that was left jammed in the rafters of my garage by the previous owner 10 years ago! Here are my crafty results...