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 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:

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" 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...