This week was brought to you by: Leftover Easter Candy

It seems I bought an insane amount of Easter Candy… which is what fueled this week… Here is a little of what we’ve been up to…

On this blog, I shared what we did for Easter.
Thanks to the Home Depot, I shared my yard embarrassment (with a commitment to get it fixed up!)
We’re preparing for Baby B’s first birthday… so I shared my thoughts on Birthday Invitations.

Over on CraftSnark, I shared my weekly inspiration on crafting.

Earlier this week I got my ears re-pierced. The back of my holes had closed up, and I want them to be earring-ready by SNAP conference in less than two weeks! To celebrate my soon-to-be earring-ready ears, I made the Easiest Earrings Ever over at 30 Minute Crafts. If those are too easy, I also shared the Second Easiest Earrings ever on that same post.

Today on 30 Minute Crafts, I shared a Flower Pin Corsage Brooch. It is a corsage that will last for more than a few days… and has some pretty CZ and crystal sparkle!


Speaking of Sparkle… If you missed my {{awesome}} April Fool’s Prank, I made a fictitious conference! Some friends helped me come up with the perfect speaker list, and I created a whole website of funny conference info… go check out SparkleCon when you have a minute!
(bonus points to those of you who got the “pun” of it being a “Con”!)

In my non-online life, I voted in our city elections on Tuesday, and yesterday the kiddos and I went on a bouncy playdate, played soccer, and got stranded in the parking lot with a dead car battery (and an expired AAA membership). Our membership has been updated, and we were stranded for less than an hour… so all-in-all things could have been MUCH worse.

One more exciting bit of news… this week it is official… I’m THE crafts expert on Answers.com! In related news… I really need a new headshot photo.

I hope you had a fun and busy week!

Who do I send Birthday Invitations to?

I made my son’s birthday invitations for his upcoming birthday party…

I have sent out about half – to the out-of-town folks. I’m in the process of sending out invites to the in-town people.

Sending out invitations brings up a great question: Who do I send birthday invitations to?
I have an entire address book of people, and a phone filled with even more people, and a facebook profile with even MORE people. My house couldn’t

Here is how I choose. I invited the people that I would LOVE it if they came. I invited all the family… even my husband’s auntie and uncle out in Alabama. My aunt and cousins way up in Northern California. Even my BFF from way back in Jr. High. I was sure that none of these people would be able to come. They live far… too far to make it practical for them to come to a birthday party.

But I wanted them to know that they were invited.

And guess what? That Jr High BFF? She, her hubby, and three kiddos are coming out here for the party!

Some of the rest have already sent in their regrets. And even that is pretty cool. Because it gives me a chance to talk to them on the phone, or by e-mail, that I might not have had otherwise.

Who do you invite to parties?

I’m getting my yard ready for Spring!

Recently, I was asked to work with the Home Depot on their Spring DIY program, and I got SO EXCITED. Like, jump-out-of-your-chair-and-dance excited. Because my yard is awful. And since the weather has been warming up, I’ve really been wanting to get my hands dirty.
Three years ago, we spent thousands putting in a covered patio and flower beds. The following spring, I planted veggies and roses. The roses are thriving, and we got some amazing zucchini, lettuce, and pumpkins from our yard that year. But the yard is showing the neglect. With a tough pregnancy, and now staying home with two littles, the back yard has taken a backseat. Though my front yard is kept up to HOA standards, my back yard is a blight. Don’t believe me? Let me take you on a little tour…
When I look over the fence to the East, this is what I see. This is a sweet young couple who have built an oasis for themselves and their dogs.
When I look over the fence to the West, this is what I see. This couple has two young boys, each about a year older than my boys. They have a fun area for their kids to play. 
This is my yard.
Yes, in the bottom right hand corner of that picture is lettuce that seeded itself into the lawn area. I could mow myself a salad right now…
To be fair, this is the middle of my yard, and there are some bright spots, thanks to the yard work I did a couple weeks ago. But our “lawn” is appalling. And I have yet to plant vegetables in my garden patch.
The Home Depot is teaming up with this amazing weather to get me excited about working in my yard. Sprucing it up for my son’s upcoming 1st birthday. Spending time outdoors with the boys, getting dirty together. Showing them how to tend a garden. Bringing in fresh cut flowers and home-grown veggies. I know with help from the Home Depot, that I can do this.
I’ve taken my next steps by signing up for their Garden Club. I just entered my e-mail address and zipcode, and I got a $5 coupon! And access to all kinds of awesome information. I don’t have to agonize about when to plant my veggies, how much sun they’ll need, or how to feed my roses… all the information is right there!
They’ll be sending me savings information all year long, and give me sneak-peeks at the new tools I should be considering as I plan my garden to last through the seasons.
And thanks to the regional to-do list, I know what veggies I should focus on this month (Cauliflower – yum!) and that I need to get my tomatoes in the ground this month if I want slicing tomatoes (and I do!).
On the Garden Club site I also found expert advice and videos to help me along. I come from a long line of green-thumbed women, so it is nice to know I have experts like these at my fingertips so that I can let my inner green thumb come out to play!

I’m off to spend my coupon on new garden gloves, seeds, and some tomato plants… what’s growing in your garden this spring?

It’s home improvement time, and The Home Depot has everything you need for spring. No matter what projects you want to tackle, The Home Depot has you covered and can help you #DigIn to Spring. 
Spring is the perfect time for all your outdoor home renovations. Shop The Home Depot for terrific values on new patio furniture, landscape supplies such as fertilizer and potting soil and outdoor grills. Keep your lawn and garden looking great, too, with the huge selection of lawn mowers, edgers and trimmers, and garden tools. 
Visit The Home Depot Garden Club for product ideas from kick-starting your Spring with seed starter kits to building a window birdfeeder. 

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Home Depot.

Happy Easter!

I hope that you had a wonderful Easter. We celebrated ours by…

Decorating our Lamb Cake, which was the first time Little Moore uses frosting all by himself.

We dyed Easter Eggs as well… Baby Moore managed to knock over a cup of dye in less than 30 seconds. No pictures of that, though…

We hunted for eggs… using baskets that I stayed up far too late the night before making for my sons. But it was worth it.

(yes, my yard still needs some sprucing… more on that soon!)

And we discovered the chocolates hiding inside the eggs…

There was also monkey bread, and beef dip. Hard boiled eggs. Phone calls to family. Time spent playing, and watching movies. Hanging out.

I hope that your Easter was whatever version of wonderful that is just perfect for you.

Modern Quilt Guild Meeting

Last night I went to the first Modern Quilt Guild meeting I’ve been to in a year. It was so awesome to go! I’ve missed connecting with my fellow quilters. I’ve missed being inspired by their projects. I hope to go more frequently, if only I can find balance in my schedule!

Here is some of the awesomeness that was shared last night…

Americana Star Paper Quilt Block

Hello, my name is Carolina, and I’m a quilting addict. For those of you who are regular readers, you know this already. I love to sew and quilt. When I started playing with these Core’dinations papers, I realized all the possibilities! Because the color goes all the way through to the center of the paper, no matter how much I cut, tear, or punch these papers, I’ll never get a white line! Which also means no white “halos” around my stitching. Perfect for quilting on paper!

I decided to make a simple star quilt block. If you want to follow along, I should warn you that there are a lot of similarities when quilting on fabric and on paper… but many differences as well. Paper doesn’t have the “give” that fabric does, so if you are not super accurate, your mistakes will show more. But to me “flaws” are part of the process, so I try to embrace them! There are also some tricks to quilting on paper, but I’ll cover those as I go through this project…

What you need:
2 colors of Core’dinations Cardstock (2 patterns is even better)
Paper cutter
Bone Folder
Small pointy paper scissors
Freezer paper
Sewing Machine
Glue Dots
Frame

I started by cutting my pieces. From the blue, I cut 4 squares, each 3″x3″, and 4 squares each 2.5″x2.5″. From the red I cut 4 squares each 3”x3″ and 1 square 4.5″x4.5″

I drew a line from one corner to the other, across the backs of the 3″ blue squares.

Putting a red 3″ square underneath with the textured sides facing eachother, I stitched on either side of the line, 1/4″ away. Note: NOT on the line. Then I cut down the line and folded my seam open with a bone folder. This makes a half-square triangle.

Note when stitching on paper with a sewing machine: Nothing dulls scissors quite as fast as paper does… and the same holds true for needles. Once you have used a needle to sew on paper, do not use it to stitch on fabric.

I trimmed the block down to 2.5″, and repeated the process with all the 3″ squares, turning them all into half-square triangles.

I stitched the half-square triangles into pairs, and again pressed the seam open.

Then it was time to stitch the block together. I laid out all the pieces, then stitched the pieces into rows, then the rows into a block.

It was about this time that I was having trouble with all my folded seams on the back getting caught on the stitch plate of my machine. Most machines have different layers, levels, and plates that are not normally an issue, because fabric just glides right over them. To help the paper quilt block glide more smoothly, I covered the base of my machine in freezer paper, with the shiny side up.  I just cut a rectangle in the middle so the feed dogs could still do their work, and so the paper wouldn’t get in the way of the actual sewing going on. The shiny, plastic side of the freezer paper helped my quilt block feed over my machine much better!

Also, all the layers of cardstock created a lot of bulk in the back of my block, so I cut away the excess. I could NEVER do this when quilting fabric, but for paper it is just fine.

Once the quilt block was put together, it was time to add some fun! I used the Core’dinations sander to distress the paper a bit…

And then I added quilting stitches on top! I purposely left long threads when adding the quilting.

I attached the whole block to the mat that came with the frame using glue dots. I used glue dots on the back of the mat to secure the loose ends of the threads. I could have trimmed them, but I like the extra touch that says “I really was stitched on a sewing machine”

Baby seemed to like the result too.

My Core’dinations Creative Frenzy

I’ve been crafting up a storm here with Core’dinations colored cardstock, and wanted to share with you what I’ve been up to!

This cardstock is awesome for so many projects because it comes in great colors and the color goes all the way through the core of the paper – no white lines when cutting!

I made this checkerboard in fun colors to play checkers with my games-loving preschooler.  It was simple to make, learn how to make this checkerboard.

I love simple projects, so I cross stitched a heart card. It took less than 30 minutes, and I love that there are no white circles around the holes I poked for stitching!

You know how much I love to quilt, so I quilted up and framed this Americana Quilt block with the Core’dinations papers. The distressing… the topstitching… I LOVE how it turned out!!


Have you had a chance to play with these papers? What would you make?

ps – This post is a response to a Design Team Call by Core’dinations. If I get the gig, I might be doing some fun videos… if you haven’t already seen my love for video crafting, you should check out my other project – Craftyhangouts.com!

Make a T-Shirt Quilt (Part 2 of 3) VIDEO

I’m making progress on my t-shirt quilt! Last week in our Video on how to make a t-shirt quilt, we talked about interfacing (again, a BIG THANK YOU to Therm-o-web for providing us the Interfacing).

Today we’re talking about how to piece your quilt. So much fun here! Watch all the way through for different piecing methods and make sure to come back next week to learn how to finish it all!

Craft a Checkerboard

My oldest son loves playing games. We’ve introduced him to Chutes and Ladders, Candy Land, Memory, and even play a very basic version of Parcheesi with him. He’s been asking to play checkers, so I thought it would be fun to teach him on a special checkerboard!

Making a checkerboard turned out to be much easier than I thought it would be! Here is what I used:
Black Foamcore (a piece at least 13.5″ by 13.5″)
Core’dinations Cardstock in orange, purple, and green
1 1/4″ wooden disks (you need 24, but make extras just in case some get lost)
Black paint
1″ scallop punch
Glue Dots
Paper Cutter
Ruler
Pencil
Craft Knife
Glue Stick

I started by making my Checkerboard pieces, I painted the disks on all sides, punched scallops from my green and purple Core’dinations cardstock, and attached the scallops to the disks. Half the disks got purple scallops, half got green.

Since my wooden disks were 1 1/4″ in diameter, I wanted the squares on my board to be 1 1/2″. I drew lines on my foamcore to mark the layout – each line is 1 1/2 inches from the one next to it on all sides. I cut 32 squares out of the orange cardstock – each 1 1/2″ square.

I used a glue stick to secure the squares. I love using the Core’dinations cardstock for projects like this where the sides of the paper are visible, especially against a dark background. With other scrapbook papers, you see the white edge where the paper was cut. These Core’dinations papers have color all the way through, so there is no ugly white line! Yay!

Once all my squares were secure, and after I had erased any stray pencil marks, I trimmed my foamcore, giving my checkerboard a 1/4″ border.

I waited to do this last for two reasons. The first was just in case I mis-measured or my squares didn’t line up perfectly, trimming it last ensured that all my borders would still be the same size. The second was to protect the edges. If I dropped or banged the board while making it, I’d still have beautiful, crisp edges on my finished project!

Now the board is all set up and ready to play!

5 Tips for Painting with Kids

This weekend I spent some time in the backyard painting a play kitchen with my son. He is 4 and LOVES to paint. If you plan on painting with your kids, here are some tips:

1. Let them know the rules up front.
If you’re using “real” paint, let them know that this paint is only to be used with an adult. Let your child help put down a dropcloth or newspapers, and learn why they are important.

2. Dress them in clothes you don’t care about.
Kids will get paint everywhere. Dress them in old clothes that can be thrown in the trash. I had my son wear an ancient pair of pj shorts.

3. Paint right before a water activity.
We painted right before bath time. Painting shortly before a trip to the pool, or planning to play in the sprinklers afterwards is a great idea.

4. Let them do it.
If you’re going to paint with your kid, let them paint. Know that it is not going to be perfect, and that’s ok. If you want some more control over the final look… give them a part that isn’t as significant. I let my son paint the inside while I painted the outside. I also quickly did a once-over of his work to remove any paint drips or lumps.

5. Put everything away afterwards.
Even if you’ve explained the rules, leaving paint out is so tempting for little hands. Even if you’re not finished with the project, if you are finishing up for the day make sure to put the paint out of reach and out of sight. I had to learn this one the hard way.

Keep these tips in mind and make sure to keep it fun and your child will remember the project that they painted with you long after the paint is chipping off!