Archive for June, 2011

DIY Mustache Mugs


After seeing these mugs here at Nap Time Crafts (one of a million projects of hers that I would love to replicate) I knew that I had to make a few for Father’s day gifts.  They are so cute and definite conversation pieces!!!


I snagged up some mugs at Michael’s because I already had the glass paint along with the step 1 and step 3 coats that go with it.  They sell all three steps at Michael’s and the paint is for ceramic or glass.  Once you apply all three steps the pieces are supposed to be microwave and dishwasher safe!

My mistake here was not reading the mugs until I got home!  These mugs pictured above specifically say on them that they are for decorative purposes only.  It may only mean if you use the markers on them (they came with markers), but I didn’t want to chance it and have a mug blow up in grandpa’s microwave!

I hopped it the truck and headed to Target where I found these mugs.  They were $3.99 each which is more than I thought that I would be spending on these, but still a pretty cheap gift since I already had the glass paints.  These are microwave and dishwasher safe too!


I made a stencil using SCAL on my cricut with vinyl.  I prepped both mugs with step 1 conditioner and let them dry.  I then placed the stencils on both mugs, painted the black on, and let them dry.  Mistake number one.

I read in the post above that her mustache was pulling off a bit when she pulled the stencil.  Mine was not just coming off a bit.  It was completely coming off and I was unable to just pull it.  It was ripping and stretching horrible.  I had to pull both stencils with the mustaches completely off the mugs and recondition them.

On my next try I made new stencils and painted.  I then immediately pulled the stencils off while the black was still wet.  I did this slowly and carefully, but it worked!!!  I let them dry.

I then put the step three on the mugs and set the mugs standing up to dry.  Mistake number two!  Do not stand them up and apply the glaze and expect the mustache not to slide… smudge.. wrinkle.. crease… ugh!  I had to quickly and gently move the mustache back to where I had it and lay the mugs down to dry.  (No pics of this because I panicked and just tried to quickly fix it… with tears in my eyes… 😦  )

Even after I did this the mugs dried a bit weird.  One had a few bubbles and one got a few cracks in the black where you could see the white through if you looked really close.  These were for my husband’s father (grandpa) and my mom’s husband so I gave them to them anyway and they still thought that they were great!


Here is my little man trying one out!  He thought they were super!  You should have seen his face when Grandpa was holding the mug up to his own face!


I think that these make a super cute gift and now I know what not to do for next time!


DIY Wooden Firecrackers Fourth of July Decor

I found a post here at Nap Time Crafts where she made these because she saw the post here at Poppies at Play and I decided to have a crafty day with my mom.

I had the hubs cut me some pieces of wood that were squared and about the same dimensions as stated on the Nap Time Crafts post.  Mine came out to be about 1 1/2 in. squared and 4, 6, and 8 inches tall per set.

Mom and I each made two sets.

I got red, white and blue acrylic paint.  I made some card stock templates on the cricut (because I was being stingy with my vinyl and didn’t want to waste it… bad idea.. more info on that to come.).

We took everything outside… including my three kiddos three and under… and set up shop in the yard.

So… we did the base coats and let those dry while tending to small people.  When we tried to just hold the cardstock stencils… um… they didn’t work all that great.  In the end…. they aren’t that bad because we were able to fix them up a bit, but the regular cardstock stencil bled and leaked even when I tried to just lightly do it and do it slowly.  FYI.

I would use vinyl or at least something plastic like if I did it again.


Here is how my two sets came out…

I kept mine quite similar to the ones that Nap Time Crafts did and did both sets the same.  I have a bit of a matchy matchy… ocd-ish type issue going on.

Mom is a bit more out of the box.  She used an old toothbrush that I keep in my paint stuff to make one set speckled and she did some different designs.  She made a speckled set and a non-speckled set.  Here is how hers came out.

So… we decided that we aren’t so sure ours look like “firecrackers” and didn’t end up putting the wick in the top of them.  I still might, but I am unsure if they should just be red, white and blue Americana decor or if they should be firecrackers.

I think they came out cute either way.

What do ya think?  Wick… or no wick???  (See the links to the others if you want to see what theirs look like… with wicks.)


Father’s Day Personalized Snack Six Pack

I found this idea on Sisters’ Stuff a bit back and knew that I had to try it out for hubby since he is a super snack-aholic.  I also found a version on Nap Time Crafts.  She has a ton of great stuff.

It turned out to be a bit more than I planned on… with time and energy… and money really, but I think it came out cute and that he will like it tomorrow.

I used a six pack of Corona.  We “disposed” of the beer and I washed the bottles out with soapy water.  It takes quite a few times of rinsing to not get suds anymore.  I rinsed them in super duper hot water so that they would dry better, but still needed to jam rolled up paper towels up in there and twist to get them dried a bit better.

I got out a pack of coordinating scrapbook papers that I had.  All of the paper shown here was in one pack that I got for a buck at our dollar store called Real Deals.  They have super deals on paper packs once in a while.

I put the paper down and just traced the box leaving a bit around the edges to fold over.  I basically wrapped the box… present style.

I got all of the pieces cut out and ready to cover the box and made labels for each side.  I also realized that the paper with the bigger circles on it… happened to be perfect for the pieces to cover the caps.  The circles fit perfectly.  Nice.

I used the same sayings that she had on her labels.  I just wrote them on this paper with fine tip sharpie and cut them out by hand.

I covered the box and attached the labels. (I just used double sided scrapbooking tape to cover the box, bottles, and attach all labels.)

Then I covered the bottles with pieces of paper that I cut after just measuring around and adding a bit for overlap…. filled the bottles with my hubby’s favorite goodies (popcorn, mixed nuts, m&m’s, mike and ike, whoppers, and Reese’s pieces)… put the tops back on (that I was sure to carefully take off before)… and used a glue dot to stick the circle on.

I didn’t bother putting pictures on each bottle or doing different papers.  I think it was cute enough like this, but you could always switch it up.

Place all bottles in box… and Waalaaa!

So… There it is… different… cute …. creative….  I think it came out nice and even if it took more than I thought it would… he is worth it.  He is an amazing hubby and daddy!!!

Happy Father’s Day!!!

Bubble Station

I saw this post here on It’s Always Craft Time where she took one of those lemonade-ish pitchers that have the little spout on them and turned it into a bubble refill station.  I thought the idea was super cute and something that the kids would love.  She said how she only spent five bucks on the container so I was sure I had to make one of these.

The very next day there were village wide sales in a village very close to mine and I happened to find this baby.  For THREE BUCKS!!!  Score!


The base is separate and has a little bowl area to put ice if you were to use it for drinks too. .. I did not get salad dressing at the sale… I put it there to show the scale of this thing!  HUGE!

So…. I had a few smaller bottles of dish soap that I had stashed away from couponing= FREE, some Karo syrup leftover from holiday peanut brittle making= essentially FREE, and water= FREE to make our own bubbles (this is a recipe I found online somewhere and I guess the karo syrup can be substituted with glycerin so I think it is to hold the bubbles shape for longer once in the air.)  The kids love helping with this step too, of course.  I ended up using an entire small bottle of dish soap and some of another and almost an entire bottle of karo syrup trying to get the rope bubbles to work better.  I ended up not filling the container with water because I was trying to concentrate the bubble solution more for the rope bubbles.

I had also come across an idea to make rope bubbles at one point.  You put bubbles in some sort of try and then use a rope tied into a loop to make huge bubbles.  So…

I found one of those aluminum foil toss out pans that I had leftover and a piece of rope.  The rope bubbles were a bit harder for the kids to do.  You have to hold the rope just right… leaving your fingers out of the way enough that the bubble won’t pop hitting your fingers when it is releasing from the rope.  My son was still really good at it, though.

I also just gave the kids those bubble wands that you get at the dollar store.  These are great.  You just twirl around or let the wind blow it and don’t have to hyperventilate to get some real bubbles going.

Helping make the bubbles….

Bubbles in progress…  This pitcher also has a great top that just pulls off.  When the kids are playing… if they let a ton of bubbles into the pan and they didn’t get all dirty… I just pour it back in to use next time.

Bubble wands…

He is making a rope bubble here….  (and yes that is a pile of clam shells… we had a cookout the same weekend and the kids were playing with the shells taking them in and out of the water table aka “the sea”… 😛  )

So… while we can still use this to refill smaller bottles of bubbles… my smaller kids are loving the big pan of bubbles and wands at the moment.  I am so glad that I found the original post and got the great deal on the pitcher.

I finally got some black vinyl the other day and want to make time this weekend to cut out “Bubble Station” on my cricut.  I will update with a pic when I finally do so.

*Update—  Here is the pic of the pitcher with more water and the vinyl!  I think it came out pretty good.  I am really new at the whole vinyl thing.  This was the first time I tried to put vinyl on anything using the transfer paper.

Are your kids into bubbles???   Any great bubbles recipes?  or unique ideas for fun with bubbles???

DIY Japanese Zen Wall Art

I recently realized that my whole house basically has a different area of the world as it’s main decor theme.  I didn’t really know what the bathroom theme was until I found some examples of Japanese Zen decor and decided that I already basically had that going on.

I wanted to change up the wall art in there and I am still not sure what I wanted on the walls.  I am thinking foliage, greens, grasses….

So… for the time being at least…. I found some faux fern and leaves that I had in my craft stuff and framed them in some white dollar store frames on top of some scrapbooking paper that came in a big pack from the dollar store.  This is what I came up with… for now at least.

I wanted to include the widened out picture to show that the white frames were to bring everything together with the white appliances, fixtures, and cabinets in my bathroom.

I bought these white frames and used the same brown paper previously to frame out sepia toned photos of my kids playing in the tub.

Spring Wreath Turned Summer Wreath?

I picked up a few bunches of flowers from the Dollar General in white and purple to coordinate with the hurricane vases that I did.  They were a buck a bunch and I ended up only using one bunch of white and one of purple here.

I wanted to add something to this wreath to be able to use it all through summer too and get my moneys worth out of the pretty yellow wreath.  I used some wire snips and clipped each bunch of flowers from the main bunch and just spaced them evenly around the wreath doing the purple first and then putting the white in between each purple bunch.

My orange butterfly has been fading from the sun… so I am wondering if I should remove it.

I only stuck the flowers in for now and plan to attach them with floral wire once I decide that they will stay for a while.

So… what do ya think?

Before- (spring wreath version)


*Update-  I didn’t like the butterfly on there still… both due to the fading and because the orange seemed out of place so I removed it and the hummingbird.  Now do I leave it like this… with just these flowers?  Do I add a few.. say three bigger flowers of either purple or white?  Do they have to be the same type of flower .. though…?  Do I add some sort of ribbon… bow… other embellishment instead???  hmmm….




Aunt Rae’s Catchy Clam Chowder

We had family over this past weekend and bought a bushel (300) clams to steam on the cooker outside with corn on the cob, hot dogs, relish tray stuff, potato salad, chips, pretzels, etc…. and ice cream cake.  With only six adults actually eating the clams we ended up with quite a few leftover clams.

I couldn’t let them go to waste… so my lovely mother did me the favor of plucking all of the leftover clams out of the shells and popping them in the fridge for me.

I heard that my husband’s Aunt Rae makes the best clam chowder so I got a hold of the recipe and made some up today.

I had to make a few minor changes to use what I had, but followed the recipe pretty closely.  It turned out super yummy and I will definitely make it again!!!


Here is the recipe!

Aunt Rae’s Catchy Clam Chowder—


1/4 lb bacon cut into small pieces

1 lg onion chopped

1/2 sliced carrots

1/2 head chopped celery

3 to 4 medium size Idaho baking potatoes, skinned and cubed

2 tbsp butter

1 c. dry sherry

salt and pepper

2 (24 oz.) cans clams in juice

1/2 qt. light cream

1/2 qt. half & half

1 qt. milk

1 1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning


Melt butter in heavy, large kettle.  Add bacon.  Layer on top of bacon: onion, carrots, celery and potatoes.  Cover and simmer for about 1/2 hour.  Stir and continue to cook until tender, then add sherry, salt, pepper, clams, light cream, half & half, and milk.  Simmer about 20 minutes.  Add Old Bay.  Increase heat to medium.  Thicken with butter/flour paste (1/4 cup melted butter and 1/4 cup flour, blended).


* I used fresh clams chopped with a super sharp knife and heated in a saucepan with a bit of unsalted butter instead of the canned clams in juice.  I used some white cooking wine that I had in the fridge instead of the dry sherry.  I also didn’t have cream or half & half so I just used the 2 qts of milk.  I am sure it would be a bit nicer and creamier with the cream, but it came out just delicious the way I made it. (just in case you are thinking you have to run out and get cream just to make this…)



Do you steam clams over the summer?  Or don’t you do shellfish?