Thursday, December 2, 2010

Exciting! More SVGs

Ok, so I am so excited that one of my favorite sites for parties is Lettering Delights- and now they have SVG files! Yeah! and right now you can get 2 of them for FREE!, yep, I said it- FREE (0ne of my favorite words). So go to Lettering Delights and you are welcome in advance.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Another Freezer Paper Shirt

I just can't get enough of Freezer Paper stenciling. This one was too easy: I used the Shadow function on my SCAL software to make the lower layer, painted the darker color. Cut the normal version of and painted the lighter color. It took a little while, but I really liked the outcome.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Quick Sprinkely Gifting

I had a HUGE need for a quick birthday gift (yes, procrastinating is a huge part of my existence) . So anyway, I found this simple little spice jar set at a local store (the packaging was even in English- strange). I added a few little touches, filled it with great toppings for cinnamon toast, cupcakes, etc and VOILA- a birthday present for my sweet friend- who fortunately doesn't read blogs, so I am safe posting this- hopefully

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pumpkins in South America?

Fall is my favorite time of year. Even back in Texas the weather is changing a little. It is no longer 100 plus degrees, you can change your wardrobe, and decorating for the season is just as easy as going to your local Hobby Lobby and buying whatever is 50% off that week. Well, here in Ecuador, living on the equator, the season NEVER changes. Sure there are rainier days, days a little cooler, days a little hotter, but basically we have late spring/early summer all year long. Now, don't get me wrong, during Summer time in Texas, i love the weather here- only because it isn't 100 degrees, but come fall- i get very misty-eyed for some small change in something. So, onto decorating the house- --- - I have had to be very creative with this one, because trying to explain fall to an Ecuadorian is hard enough, but trying to explain fall decorations is even harder. My good friend thinks I just have Christmas early with strange colors. Thanks to crafty bloggers out there, I was able to make some great pumpkins to go along with the few orange-y things I was able to get last year on our trip to the capital to get our drivers license. One store had Orange Christmas decorations--- It worked for me.

So on with the Pumpkin parade:
The first up is inspired by: Make Mine Lime. I didn't have any brads big enough to hold all of the strips of paper, so I just put jute twine through the holes and tied a knot. The twine also worked well as the curly vein on-top the pumpkin. I also didn't put one inside the other, because lets face it my attention span isn't that long. I also used small circle stand to get them to stand up straight, but they are also cute rolling around.

Next, book lovers beware: I did use 3 books that will never again be the same. This idea came from Primp. This was SO EASY! I jusst found 3 old books about the same size, removed the hard covers, traced out the pumpkin design and started cutting a few pages at a time. After they were all cut, I simply glued the books together, stuck a stick in the middle and there was the cutest pumpkin!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Finally Freezer Papering

Ok, so after every other blogger has used this, I finally got around to using freezer paper to paint a shirt- and I have to tell you I think I am hooked. The design I wanted meant I needed to do several different layers, so it took a while, but I found that a hairdryer in between layers sped up the process a little. Just remember that you put the shiny side of the freezer paper on the shirt, so..... for some of the designs I cut out one on my cricut with the shiny side up and one with it down so that I had mirror images without having to change the file..... does that make sense? Anyway, enjoy your super-easy screen printing


Thursday, September 16, 2010


Ok, so i am super excited! I recieved a message today from Melinda at All Things Crafty and Delicious about a request I had made of her. You see, Melinda designed my favorite box to cut out and give, the now famous cupcake box. So, I asked to see if she could possibly design a similar box for mini-cupcakes. YEAH! and guess what, she has said she had a similar idea and will start working on the design soon. Double YEAH! So, as soon as I get the details, you know I will be posting and maybe one of you will be the recipient of a very special box of miniature cupcakes!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Stealing Away with Gummie Sticks

While reading the fabulous Hostest with the Mostest blog this weekend, I saw the most wonderful, easy and inexpensive idea. Simple gummy candies on a stick- perfect for the first day of school.
There is a tutorial on the website. The tutorial calls for using wooden skewers. I opted for lollipop sticks instead since my kids would be eating them and I really didn't want our first visit to the ER to be because of a special "First Day of School" snack.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Cupcakes, Ballerinas and Cookies

Let me just start this off by saying I am a "first-time" ballet mom. I don't know how things work in the states, but here in EC a ballet receital involves much more than little girls dancing. They moms wanted to give each girl a gift at the end, but considering where we live, no one had too much money so.... we decided on simple cupcakes and I added the decorated sugar cookies as a little bonus.
This amazing cupcake box is thanks to Melinda Ford's brilliance over at All Things Crafty and Delicious. I have to thank Melinda for my first thing ever published in the crafting world. Back in October she asked if anyone would have time to cut the files she so craftily (is that a word?) makes and I jumped at the chance. Along with the million other things she was doing at the time, she hadn't gotten a chance to actually cut out many of her files. Melinda was kind enough to like the box I made and posted it on her blog- it only took me a few more months to get up the courage to post other creations.... and now you can't get me to shut up about them (oh, sorry, bad word around here!- good thing my daughter can't read yet).

So anyway, this is one of my favorite things to cut out and here is the fast ballerina version for my daughters first dance recital.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Take Your Pick

This past week we were having some friends over for dinner and I was bored with just about everything I thought of making for dessert, until..... I decided to make several different types of cupcakes and let everyone enjoy the selection. So, I used this very simple cake recipe from my "Woman's Day Cooking Assistant" app:
2 2/3 cup flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup oil
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 eggs

Then I scooped out enough for 1 dozen of each of 7 flavors, added the necessary flavors, and voila, a diverse dessert selection. For the icing, I did a basic buttercream and then divided it up and added, vanilla or almond or mora extract and/or cocoa powder, and coconut. The hardest part of the whole thing was keeping track of what was what (I had a cheat sheet for dinner that night).
This was so super easy, only took one cake mix and is something I will definetly be doing again. Now, I just need to find a SVG file for a mini cupcake box that holds about 6-8 cupcakes.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Ok, so I was doing my daily reading of Bakerella and she was posting about Pillow Cookies and how she had looked so long for a recipe for them. Basically a pillow cookie is a brownie inside of a cookie- yes, i know heavenly, so i couldn't wait to try them out. My favorite cookie recipie right now is for Chocolate, Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter, Oatmeal cookies, which I found around Christmas Time at My
I baked up the brownies from scratch, but for those of you in a developed country, just save the time and buy a boxed mix- really... Once the brownies are cooled off, cut them into 1 inch squares and then the fun begins. Bakerella said to use 1/2 a cup of cookie dough per cookie- now that is a huge cookie even for me, so i sized them down and used 1/4 of a cup and that was pretty big as you can see from the pics below.

All in all, I say the "Brookies" are a pretty great way to waste my time in the kitchen- even my son who doesn't like chocolate (yes, he really is MY son) was asking for them. Now, i just can't wait for school to start so I can bake these up to welcome my little angels home on the first day- as well as a little "pick-me-up" for their teachers the second day!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Star Wars Lego Birthday Party

My son decided that for his 8th birthday he wanted to celebrate in Lego Star Wars Style. I did lot of blog searching and google searching and this is what we came up with- lots and lots of blue.

Thanks to the Lego website I was able to download lots of great SW figures and then hand, stick and print onto almost everything in our house. We even had "Jedi Juice Jolts" to add to the Jedi Juice (aka Crystal Light). The Jolts were courtesy of Kool- Aid Fizzes and were a lot of fun and made the juice a nice strange color.

Thanks to the wonderful food writers a friend brought me a few months ago, I was able to write on cookies and marshmallows. I was a little nervous about my "art-work" (using the term very loosly) on the marshmallows, but when the boys started naming off the characters (Commander Cody, Captain Rex etc) I felt a lot better. The gift bags were finished off with Star Wars Tags thanks to Living Locurto- check out all of her Star Wars Lego things.

The Star Wars plates are a fun little thing I started with my daughters Tea Party in February. They are just clear acrylic plates that I can change out by simply gluing different patterns onto the back of the plate. I start by cutting out a simple circle with my Cricut and then add embellishments. I am realizing as I am writing this that I never went back and posted pictures from Bella's party- stay tuned.

I hate to admit it, but I am just now starting to get into decorated sugar cookies- really it has been over taking me lately, so this party had to have some. Please don't judge too harshly, this was my first attempt at piping decorations. In the past I have always, just painted the royal icing on. The lettering is thanks to the wonderful food markers and a little stencil I made with help of the Jedi font and my cricut- it worked wonderfully and made the cookies more uniform.

Anyway, hope you liked our party- my son did and in the end that is all that matters!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I'm Back..... (Poltergist like)

Well, yes I am back. After a long summer with lots and lots of visitors I have plenty of pictures of things to share, now I just need time to post. So, here we go.

I wanted to show you the end of year/kindergarten graduation party I did for my son's school. I have to say the internet was almost essential for the ideas behind this party, not to mention some downloads that made it much faster to put together.

I decided on a beach theme and "Fun in the Sun" so the Soak Up the Sun graphics from Lettering Delights was great and at just $4 for the whole thing it was worth the time and effort I would have put in cutting and pasting other graphics. Check it out! Right now the set is on sale for only $2. Plus they have a Friday Freebie every week if you friend them on Face Book. You can see their "Fun in the Sun" graphics on all of the cupcake toppers as well as the larger signs and banners hanging in the room.

We used beach towels for table clothes and the great balls hanging from the ceiling I found on Hello My Name is Heather. Heather Bailey is one amazing designer- I would love to get my hands on some of fabrics. Anyway, look here for these amazing globes and a pattern that makes it very easy. These globes were cut out by an art class at the school and then because of time constraints assembled by a few adults. I think these globes in a different pattern would be amazing for a baby shower or tea party.

The Graduation Cupcakes were an idea stolen from the amazing Bakerella. If you need inspiration or want to just stand in awe of an amazingly talented baker, check out her site. Fortunately I had enough time to get a few things brought from the states to assemble the mortar boards, but had to make due with the tassels (marshmallows).

The straw umbrellas are simply printed circles with a little detail that can be printed out on any paper that fits your event. Just cut out the circles, fold in half a few times, snip out the center to fit your straws and voila! Custom Umbrella Straws. They can be found here.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Childrens Homework, Calender and Information Board

We have a very long hallway in our house and I thought it would be the perfect place to display artwork, good grades, and such. I started off by marking off the space and painting the area a shade lighter than the wall. I then put a vinyl boarder surrounding the area. I cut the boarder with my Creative Memories wavy trimmer ( I dont' think they make it any more.) I then added a calender which is just some great 12x12 scrapbook paper I found a few years ago at Hobby Lobby. I covered the calender in clear contact paper to make a dry-erase surface. I left a small boarder of contact paper around the calender to adhere it to the wall. Every month I just print out a Month title and use my trusty glue stick to put it on.
Underneath I ran some jute rope and hang important artwork, amazing tests and other essential items that need to be on display

On my son's side, I used chalkboard vinyl (from Oh My Crafts- great site!) for him to write his Spelling Words and Bible Verse each week. On my daughter side are chalk board flowers (a gift from my SIL who sells Uppercase Living Products.)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Booking IT!

I was wasting time the other day looking around on the internet (yes, I know, its a horrible habit and you would never do such a thing) and saw an amazing deal on a book binding tool- I'm sure you probably know which one I am talking about- you buy their cover, their machine and voila! you have a book. Well, as I started reading reviews and Must HAVE product lists, I started thinking, "I can do this"- a phrase that send fear through the heart of my husband. So, here it is, you too can bind a book, make it personal, and I bet it won't even cost you anything. I am certain you already have all of these supplies.

Start off with some paper. Any paper you like will do. I have used plain printer paper that I have printed cute initials on, but for this book I used some paper that was left over from homeschooling last year. It has a vintage feel. Cut it in half-or to whatever size you would like your book. For these directions you paper will need to end up about 8 inches by 4 1/4.
Now you will need a sheet of 12X12 lightweight chipboard. Measure about 1/4 over the width of your paper and score. Measure and score again for the debth of your stack of paper- ie if your stack of paper to put inside is 1 cm- measure and score 1cm after the last score line. Now all you have to do is make 2 final cuts so the total width and height is about 1/4 inch longer than your paper. This allows for a good lip around the paper.
Now pick out the paper you would like for the outer cover. If you are using a pattern, make sure you take a good look before starting so that you have exactly the perfect placement for the front of your book.
Generously cover one side of your cover with glue- I love just a trusty glue stick. Make sure to ONLY do the front of back cover first. You need to do one side, then crease the paper (especially if you are using a thick paper) before appling glue to the other side.
Now, make a few cuts so that you can wrap the remainig paper around to finish the cover.
At this point (if I am not using flocked or glittered paper) I like to add a good layer of Mod Podge - well because everything is better with Mod Podge. I like to use the Matte finish for this type of project. It gives the book a little extra protection from 5 year olds also.

Then apply a generous amount of silicon glue to the edge of the paper you cut earlier- be careful for paper cuts-ouch! Place the paper inside the cover, close and wait for the glue to dry. After the glue has dried, flip through the book just to make sure every page is secure. You may need to apply a little more glue between a few pages.
The last step is just to embellish however your little heart desires, and then either enjoy or enjoying giving as a wonderful gift! I'm sure the book binding machine works really well, but anything that requires specific items is a bit of a problem where I live, so this is an anywhere, anytime option. let me know how it works for you!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Ok, so I have heard from a few of you that the comments section is not working so well. With all of my vast computer knowledge I have attempted to fix this (ie, I changed a few things and then changed them back and then... well, you get the picture). If you wouldn't mind trying to leave a comment here that would be great, just so I know if it is working. I tried from this end, but that doesn't always mean something.


The Big Countdown!

My daughter LOVES, needs to, has a passion for counting things down. She like to know "how many days until....." fill in the blank. It can be days until someone is coming to visit, days until we are going somewhere, days since we last went somewhere.... well, you get the picture. I have to admit I stole this idea from an UpperCase Living catalog for a Birthday Countdown. This countdown board, however, is very versatile and can be used for whatever fits her fancy that day.
I used a metal tray I bought at a Dollar Tree before we left (yes, I actually planned ahead and brought a few supplies). I covered the inner surface with paper and then cut out these super cute numbers- both from a Love Elsie paper pack. The numbers took a while to cut out by hand, but I think they really fit the project well. I used some Chalkboard Vinyl just under the title board so we can fill in the theme for that particular countdown. I glued a magnet to a large button for her to use to mark off each day. The button gets moved from number to number. Make sure you use a fairly strong magnet especially if you have more than one layer of paper!
This particular countdown was for my husbands (her Papai's return from the states. He was just recently there for 2 1/2 weeks at a training course.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Some Days Life.....

One more note pad stack I made. This one uses Impervious and LoKinger Dingsbums fonts. They read:
Some days life..... is a circus
is a roller coaster
makes you feel like a sucker
is perfect
needs a little lift
is a big ball of gas
has its own rhythm
takes you for a spin
requires professional assistance
is sweet
is ARR-right
is Out of this world

You can download it HERE

Friday, May 14, 2010

Bird Note Pad

Ok, so another note pad set I made. This one if for my friend Amy for Mother's Day. She had to work on Mother's Day because her husband had to work on Mother's Day because my husband is in the States for 2 weeks at a training course- did you follow all of that? You can download the cute bird notes HERE. There are 2 pages using Kfon font(6 total) in a light blue and red. I really love this color combination right now!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Just the Right Thing...

I have been looking for months for just the right thing to put up on this coat rack. I tried everything- after staring at the empty spot for several weeks, I had an idea. I had this plastic serving tray I bought at a local store (plastic stuff is very big here). I painted the back with this deep red acrylic paint and then cut the M and leaves out of vinyl. I think it turned out very well considering it only cost me about $3.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bathroom Reading

When I repainted my kids bathroom I wanted to add something a little special. I painted this frame on the wall, and then every month I change out the saying and pictures in vinyl. Unfortunately I didn't take a picture of Christmas, but it was a cute little nativity scene.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Inspired Note Pads

Ok, so this post at HOW DOES SHE? has inspired me- or rather I have become obsessed with note pads. Alison at HDS? took her paper to an office supply store and had it cut and glued together to make cute little note pads. Well.... since we don't have said store, I went out on my own. We do have access to this amazing silicon glue that worked very well to "pad" the paper together. I printed off a design (don't worry,the silly animal print here isn't what I put in the pretty notepad), cut it to the correct size and simply applied the glue to the edges of the paper. Then I used large binder clips to hold it until it dried. I made the covers out of just plain scrapbooking paper. Give it a try. You can download the funny animal design HERE. I used DB Animal Occasion font.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Contact Paper

Before we left the states, I found a few sales on adhesive vinyl to bring with me, but it was just basic white, and brown. One day early on, we were walking through a hardware store, and there it was a beautiful display of about 20 colors of contact paper- don't ask me why it was in the hardware store. I started feeling the weight and texture and it hit me, I don't need vinyl this will work very well. So, I started buying up colors and since you get 2 rolls (18"x 9 yards/roll) in a package for about $3, I couldn't resist. I have had fun with all the colors and my children love their rooms.
In my sons room, I had the bugs go all the way around his room and then end up crawling into his bed.

In my daughters room I just did lots and lots of flowers. This is when I learned the importance of setting the correct cutting depth on the cricut so it just cuts through the vinyl layer and not the backing layer. These flowers and stems took FOR-EVER to peel and stick up.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Is Carrot Soup Too Predictable?

So, about a week ago I realized I had no idea what I would fix for Easter Dinner. I found this recipe for Carrot Soup on The only problem was that many of the things it called for I just couldn't get- dark sesame oil- greek style yogurt - shallots- but I decided to make due.

Yogurt- the only yogurt we can get here is usually the drinking kind and always has a flavor, so I started making (again) my own a few months ago. We always have plenty of milk because the "milk lady" brings 5 liters twice a week fresh from her cows that I pasteurize. So, I just made the yogurt as usual and then let it drain in a "make-shift" cheese cloth until we had the most amazing greek-style yogurt. I just used 2 strainers seperated by a cloth with a large weave. I dampened the cloth first to make the seperation a little faster. Just remember-if you life in a place like me (3rd world) make sure an use the filtered water to dampen the cloth. It really was easy, just give it a try. The texture of the drained yogurt was completely different and the taste- the tast was exquisite. I am making more right now as we speak! yum!

Sesame Oil- well I did have sesame seeds so... I while sauteing the onions I added some sesame seeds and let those roast. I think it added a nice flavor.
Shallots- this wasn't so hard, I just used a red onion (the only type we can get) and while it didn't have the same flavor, it worked.

So, all in all my family liked it and even the 5-year old ate it all up. We had a little of the yogurt left, so I added it to the dessert plates and it was amazing with the blackberries!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Buen Provecho

I love vinyl on the walls. The only problem I had in planning ahead for our house here was finding saying in Spanish. You can find a few here and there, but just not what I wanted so..... I made my own. Buen Provecho loosely translated mean "Enjoy your meal" and is often said to others as a greeting in restaurants. This is above our kitchen table and is about 3 feet wide. I will post more later on the virtues of Ecuadorian Contact Paper and how it saves me LOTS of money.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Party in The Jungle

My sons school had a read-a-thon for the month of March. To reward all of the kid for a job well done (almost 60,000 pages ready by less than 20 kids in 30 days!) we had an ice cream party. They had over a dozen toppings and we able to eat as much as they wanted with as many toppings as they could fit in the bowls.
For the party, I wanted oranges and blues, but colored bowls, spoons, cups and etcetera are not available here so..... we just worked our magic on what we did have- paper.

Friday, April 2, 2010

First Easter

Well, when we came to Ecuador, Easter decorations were no where on my radar. So, when March 1 hit, I got a little sad that I had nothing to put up. Luckily we do have internet and there were some amazing blogs that gave me some inspiration. I found a cut file for a rabbit that stands up at CHEEKY MAGPIE and just made up the egg files. I was really inspired by the colors she used- thats where I started.
I hadn't given how we were going to die Easter eggs much thought until a friend pointed out- while in a large grocery store in Quito (5 hours away)- that they had WHITE eggs. We don't get white eggs here. All of them are brown and usually the only white is the chicken poop still stuck to them. I was very grateful for her attention to detail and picked up a dozen. My children really don't like to eat eggs so I just blew these out (scrambled up the insides for the dog) and had the children painted them. I then sealed them with Modge Podge so we can keep them and have decorations to start with for next Easter!

We may not have access to white eggs very often, but I did find these cute little eggs and thought they would be cute to display. I blew out the insides of these also- but didn't cook them... they smelled really bad.

We are fortunate to get lots of fresh cut flowers here and they are fairly inexpensive also. I just didn't get to bring any vases, so.... I put 2 of my small IKEA crockery cups together (one upside down on top of another), wrapped with paper and voila - a floral arrangement for the living room.
along with miniature bunnies.