Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Pet Shop

It's almost time for the annual pet shop for the kindergarten classes at my kids school. I think this is such a fun event, and enjoy helping with it. Since the first of the year the kindergarters have been earning play coins (in penny, nickel, dime, and quarter form) for good behavior. They have also been bringing in "gently loved" stuffed animals to donate. Well, tomorrow the pet shop will be open!! Here is the sign I made for the event:

So tomorrow they will get to bring the coins that they have earned, and they will be able to buy a new stuffed animal. The more coins they have the bigger, or more they can buy. When they are ready to buy their products they have to count their own coins (with a little help from us loving Mom's who volunteer our time ;o) !), and figure how much money they have, and then figure out what they can afford with that money. I just think it is such a fun way to teach kids about money!

I also made little bags for the kids to take their new pet(s) home in:

These bags are SO simple to make! In fact, if you are friends with me on Facebook, you may remember I made a VERY similar bag last year when my daughter was in kindergarten. This year I was really wanting to buy some small animal carriers (made for stuffed animals or even the kind of bugs would have worked), but I was not able to find any. was back to the bags! Anyway, to decorate them all I did was take a simple white bag with handles, and glue a ribbon to the top. The ribbon that I chose is black with pink and white paw prints, and green dots (if you can't tell). Then I cut out dog bones, and wrote each child's name on it and glued it to the bag. I like the idea of putting their name on it, because it helps them to keep track of whose bag is whose. Then I simply stamped on black and pink paw prints to match the ribbon, and added a few glitter glue green dots to match the dots in the ribbon. Here is a close up of a bag:

We also have a Mom bring in a Toy Cash Register (just to make the whole thing feel a little more real), a Mom brining in Price Tags for the animals, and I will likely bring in a few more accessories (food and water bowls, leash, ect) to make to feel more like a Pet Shop. Should be a fun day :o) !!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

More Spring Cupcakes

I made these Spring Cupcakes for one of my good friend's to take to her son's kindergarten spring party tomorrow. I initially wanted to make flowers out of chocolate molds, and have them standing on the cupcakes, but then I found out one of the kids in her son's class had peanut allergies. So, it was back to square one. Well, I had really been wanting to experiment with fondant, and decided this was the perfect occasion to give it a try. As you can see I made VERY basic flowers out of fondant, but it was a great chance to just play around with it (next time I promise something a little more detailed ;o) !). I think they turned out pretty cute, and I hope my friend Heather likes them :o) !

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Daisy Cupcakes


These are some cupcakes I made a couple years ago, but since I had spring on my brain I decided to share them with you :o) ! They are very easy to make!

All you do is bake the cupcakes (any flavor will work, but I used white when I made mine), and then ice them any color you choose. Then you take a bag of marshmallows and cut the marshmallows in half (it is easier to cut them if you freeze them first). Once they are cut place 5 of them on each cupcake. Then put a piece of Dots candy in the middle of each cupcake. I like to only use a couple colors, but you could use as many as you would like. Then I added a black line to each marshmallow with a some black decorator icing. See, I told you it was simple :o) !! Here is a close up of the finished cupcake.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Unconventional Laundry Room Window Treatment

Most people think of drapes, swags, and valances when they hear the word window treatments. But really, anything you add to dress up your window can be called a window treatment. I first had the idea to use clothes to decorate my laundry room window when we moved to NC 9 years ago. My husband loved the idea, but I was nervous to actually try it. Well, I recently revisited the idea, and I am glad I did. I love it! I guess the thing that I like the most is that the project was FREE (well, not totally free..I had to buy some clothes pins for about $1.50, but they can always be used for another project as well), so in a year or 2 if I decide to change it I am out nothing. The other thing that I love is that I used my kids baby clothes, so it makes it feel really personal. Here is the view coming into my laundry room:

And here are some closer ups of the window:

Initially, I had only the lower swag of clothes, but the top looked so empty. So, I decided to add a few more clothes to clothes pins, and simply adhere to the wall. I liked this look better with the high ceilings in this room. Very simple, but very fun!

Another fun idea for a window treatment (I cannot take credit for this, my friend Melissa shared this tip with me many, many years ago, but I really like it and have used it many times!) is to use cloth napkins. Simply drape them over the rod to form a triangle, and layer them down the rod (sorry, I don't have a picture to share :o( ! ). The great thing about this idea is that if you decorate a room seasonally (as many people do), you can change your window treatment to match the season). Again, it is very simply, very inexpensive, and very cute!

So, next time you are decorating your windows, try thinking outside the box :o)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

American Girl Craft

I am sure that any parent of a school age girl is well aware of the craze that is American Girl Dolls. My 7 1/2 Year old daughter can't get enough of them. She has 4 dolls (and is always planning which one to get next), more clothes for them than most children have, a bed, a horse, and oodles and oodles of "stuff" for her dolls. She loves them!! Yesterday she even went to a Doll Party with one of her dolls. Lately she has been telling me that she wants a toy box, and stuffed animal bin for her doll's stuff (Kinda sad that her toys need a toy bin ;o) !) Surprisingly, American Girl does not sells such an item, and even if they did I don't think that my hubby would be willing to pay would they would charge for them. This gave me an idea. I could MAKE her bins for next to nothing, so that is what I did!! It is not a very elaborate craft, but one that is inexpensive, and your daughter can help you with. Here is what I did: I just took 2 small plastic containers bought at Michael's for $1.00 each and dressed them up with ribbon around the top. I then used stickers to spell out "Toys" and "Stuffed Animals" and a few stickers to decorate with (I even used American Girl Stickers), and some matching puffy paint dots. SO SIMPLE!! But I think they turned out pretty cute for such a quick project:

Here they are beside one of her dolls, and I think that they are the perfect height.
Here they are filled with all her dolls stuff:

And lastly, here they are in her dolls "room" ( a small corner of her room she has set up for her dolls).

So, as you can see sometimes when our kids want something, it can be quick, easy, and inexpensive to make it for them :o) !!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Doggie Desserts for AARF

My children are constantly amazing me. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I think my children are pretty wonderful. But the other day, driving home from school my 7 1/2 Year old daughter really made me proud. Out of the blue she said, "Mommy, I really want to do something to raise money for AARF." If you have never heard of AARF it is a local animal rescue group. You can visit to learn more about them. We adopted our dog from them 2 1/2 years ago, and just recently we adopted a kitten from them. I think that is what really raised my daughter's awareness of the organization (plus she has always had a soft spot for animals). But it blew me away that she realized that SHE could make a difference (even if it is only a small one).

So, we thought about different things we could make and sell to raise money, when she (with the help of one of her American Girl Doll books) decided on Dog Treats (or Doggie Desserts as she calls them). Here she is making the labels for her bags, and a finished bag she had made:

Here she is mixing the ingredients all together. I really wanted this to be HER project.

And here is the finished project:

As you can see it got our dog's approval, oh and also one of my neighbors. She has two dogs, and they both gobbled them up.

Here she is heading out to sell them to our neighbors, who quickly bought them up

**She will be selling them for the next week, so if you would like to help AARF, make my daughter happy, and give your dog a yummy treat please let me know and I will get some to you. They are selling for $5 a bag (each bag contains 6 desserts). Also, her Daddy and I told her that we would match Dollar for Dollar whatever she earns.**