Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mother's Day Cards

I recently got a Cricut machine.  Oh wow, is it ever a great machine!  I have tons of great ideas of things I can do with it.  However, my pocketbook vastly limits these possibilities.  As you are aware, the cartridges are pretty expensive, so I only have 3 of them.  These Mother's Day cards were created using the Jasmine and Home Decor Solutions cartridges.  For the first two cards, I used photos from a recent trip with the kiddos to see the wildflowers (please excuse the blurred images, but I have a strict policy of not letting the kids pictures be on this blog). 

For this card, I used tiny colored brads to hold the letters, they are not glued down which makes them loose, and gives a fun whimsical look.
These last two cards were from the kids.  They are two variations on the same idea.
For all these cards, I make a full sized insert with the sayings printed on my computer.  Needless to say, everyone loved their cards, and I had a great time making them and learning about my new Cricut machine.  I can't wait to save up enough money to purchase more cartridges...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Teacher Thank You Gift

My oldest daughter graduated from preschool this year.  I wanted to do something different for her teacher because everyone always does the same things, and really, how many "teacher" things can one person have?  Needless to say, I was excited to see this Chalkboard Planter over on The Crafters Filebox.  I thought it was the cutest idea, and with a few changes, we came up with the planter above.  It was easy-peasy, completely done with spray paint! 

After the pot was dry, I took my daughter to the local home improvement store to pick out the plant (that is why it looks a bit sad...she always picks the sad flowers, I think she feels sorry for them).  Then we traced her hand on cardstock and glued 2 pieces together to make the pick.  I wrote a message on the front, and she colored a picture for her teacher on the back.  We gave it to her teacher on the last day of school, and she loved it!

These are so versatile.  Because the pot is sealed before you start the project, they should last, and would be great for growing herbs or other small plants.  The chalkboard paint makes it easy to label, and to change the labels when you change the plants.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Stained Glass with Gelatin

Yes that is right, I said stained glass with GELATIN!  I saw these super easy and fun stained glass shapes in the April issue of Family Fun.  They could not have been any easier to make, and they were great fun with my 5 year old daughter.  The (simplified) instructions from Family Fun were as follows:
1.  Boil 3 tablespoons water.
2.  Add 1 envelope unflavored gelatin and a few drops of food coloring
3.  Stir slowly until combined (if you stir too fast, you will get air bubbles)
4.  Pour mixture onto a 9-inch plastic plate (we used a paper plate covered with plastic wrap, it created some wrinkles, but they added interest)
5.  Sprinkle with glitter, if desired
6.  Set aside until completely dry
7.  Once dry, cut into desired shapes (we only got 1 shape per plate, because the edges were pretty thin)
8.  Poke a hole at the top and hang in a window with fishing wire (or ribbon ,or string, or whatever you have around the house)
9.  Step back and enjoy your handiwork :)

Some other notes: 
*  Make sure you do not remove your stained glass from the plate until it is completely dry.  If you remove it too soon, it will stick to EVERYTHING and will not be easy to cut.  You will know it is done when it is like hard plastic.  It took a couple of days for ours to completely harden.
*  If you find that your stained glass curls, put it between 2 pieces of parchment paper and put it under something heavy (we used a case of paper, nothing else seemed to work for us)

Here is what they looked like close up:

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