Occasionally Crafty

July 3, 2015

Find Me at The Lake Vinyl Sign


If "summer" to you means spending days on the lake, you're going to love this Easy Vinyl "Find Me at the Lake" Sign!
I'm over at one of my favorite blogs, I Heart Naptime, sharing the tutorial, for this cute sign!  Head over to get yours now!


Smores Cupcakes + Polka Dot Smores Dessert Table

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #LetsMakeSmores #CollectiveBias #sponsored

Summertime means camping, parties with friends, and definitely Smores!  I'm going to show you three different ways to do Smores indoors!

I am part of the women's organization at my church called the Relief Society.  In addition to providing service and welfare assistance in our community and congregation, we also meet for fun activities as a group once a month.  One of the things we've learned is essential for these meetings is some sort of dessert.  If the women know something delicious will be waiting for them, more people magically show up!
My latest idea was to have a Smores Dessert Table.  It's summertime, and what else is a more classic summer treat?  The only problem is, we aren't allowed to have any sort of open flame in our church building where we hold our meetings.  So that means we have to be creative and show you don't need a campfire to make delicious Smores!

For this idea, I came up with three different ways to serve Smores indoors!  Luckily, Walmart has everything you need for Smores this time of year, and it's all put together in a fun display.  Here's where I found mine.


Now, on to the Smores!

1st- Classic Smores


You can certainly build a Smore without a fire.  All you need are the three classic ingredients:  Honeymaid Graham Crackers, Jet-Puffed Marshmallows, and Hershey's Chocolate bars.

I spiced these up a little by including Jet-Puffed Stacker Marshmallows with Chocolate middles, and by including Hershey's Cookies and Cream Bars for another option.

2nd- Indoor Smores


 If you love Smores the most when they are ooey-gooey, then you'll want to make these!  I used Hershey's Chocolate Spread, Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Cream, and of course, the Honeymaid Graham Cracker Squares.

3rd- Smore Cupcakes


The classic Smore ingredients are used here in a slightly different way!  Read on for the recipe, or click here for a printable recipe.

Ingredients
1 box cake mix-- traditional Chocolate
1 cup water
1/2 cup oil
3 eggs
1-2 sleeves Honeymaid Graham Cracker Squares
2  Hershey Chocolate Bars
1 cup Jet-Puffed Mini Marshmallows

1.  Make cake batter using cake mix, water, oil, and eggs, according to the directions on the box.
2.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare cupcake pans with liners of choice.
2.  Crush the Honeymaid Graham Cracker Squares in a food processor or by placing in a bag and rolling into crumbs with a rolling pin.
3.  Place a few teaspons of graham cracker squares at the bottom of each cupcake liner.
4.  Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full with cake batter.
5.  Bake according to box instructions.
6.  Remove from oven and let cool.
7.  When cupcakes have cooled completely, frost with Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Cream.
8.  Slice one Hershey Bar into individual pieces as marked, then cut each piece diagonally so you have two uneven pieces.
9.  Place one piece of Hershey Bar into the marshmallow "frosting" towards the back of the cupcake top.
10.  Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs over the "frosting".
11.  Finish by placing 2-3 mini Jet-Puffed Marshmallows in front of the Hershey piece.

We finished off our dessert table with some chocolate cookies for those who might not be Smores fans.  

The theme of our table was Black and White Polka Dots to play off the contrast between the chocolate and the marshmallows.  I brought in little touches like some fun signs, 



and some classy containers to display all our treats.  I transferred all the spreads into pint-size mason jars, and I used larger glass jars to hold all our treats.




We are somewhat limited in space so the treats will be restocked as needed as everyone loads up their plates!

I know this is going to be a huge hit!  What is your favorite way to eat Smore's?  

Be sure to visit Kraft for more summer recipes!

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July 2, 2015

The Handmade Hangout #55 + FEATURES!


Welcome to the Handmade Hangout- where you can link up all things made by YOU!




This week I'm featuring three of my favorite projects from last week's linky.

1.  Berry Almond Tart from Sobremesa Stories

Berry Almond Tart


Salvaged wood headboard


Mickey Mouse String Art

Great projects, everyone!  Now, on to this week's linky.  Remember, just a few rules!

1.  Become a follower of the blog where you linked up.  Of course we'd love it if you follow all our hosts on whatever platforms you use most!

Allison from A Glimpse Inside

Christina from Christina's Adventures

Becca from From Gardners to Bergers

Kim from Too Much Time on My Hands

Heather from Twin Dragonfly Designs

Valerie from Occasionally Crafty

Tracie from Cleverly Inspired

Alli from Made with HAPPY


2.  Share our button or party link in your post or wherever you share your linky parties

Occasionally Crafty






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June 29, 2015

Summer Pinwheel Banner Tutorial

The bright colors in all the stores are calling my name for summer!  I knew I wanted to put together something for my mantel that would bring those bright colors into my house.

So, I made this Pinwheel Banner to display, and I'm going to share the tutorial with you.


To get the full tutorial, head on over to Kenarry: Ideas for the Home, where I'm sharing this today as part of the Contributor Team!

Have a great week!

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DIY Puppet Show Theater: Helping Children Express Emotions Through Play

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #InsideOutEmotions #CollectiveBias


Have you seen Inside Out  yet?  We saw it as a family on opening weekend and absolutely loved it.

I may have (silently) shed a tear or two.

Riley, the main (human) character, is eleven years old, and is struggling with new emotions after a move to San Francisco.

I have a ten year old daughter who is also struggling with some very tough emotions.  Seeing Riley struggle brought all those mommy feelings of worry and fear come out strongly as I thought of my daughter.  I'm thankful that we have an open dialogue between us where we can talk about feelings and how to handle them, and Inside Out gave me a new tool to use with all my kids!

A few days later, we were shopping at Walmart (which is not exactly fun with three kids), when we spotted the brand new, exclusive Inside Out plushes.

I practically had to hold my kids back to keep them from diving headfirst into the bin!  They each picked out their favorite and started re-enacting the movie!  My daughter grabbed Joy and Sadness.  My youngest son grabbed Disgust.  And my middle child, always the diplomat, grabbed Anger and said "someone needs to hold Fear, too", and picked him up.

We headed home and put together a stage for them to use with their characters.  You can make one too!  Here's what you need:


Tri-fold cardboard display board (like you use for a science fair project)
Paint and paintbrush
Stickers
Fabric for a curtain
Brads or fasteners
Jute or twine

1.  Trace out where you want your stage opening to be.  I wanted to make sure the plush characters would mostly fit into the window, so I used Fear as my guide.  Lightly trace your lines with a ruler and pencil.


2.  Paint your scenery on the display board.  I wanted my kids to be able to use this for any "show", so we kept it simple- a sky and a field of grass and flowers.  Poster paints would be perfect for this, but I just used some watered down craft/acrylic paint.


4.  Use a box cutter to cut out your stage window.  I place a ruler over the lines I had measured, then cut as I pushed the box cutter against the ruler to help keep it straight.

3.  Add embellishments as desired.  My daughter chose glitter flowers to represent the Inside Out characters.  

4.  Make a curtain.  We kept this as simple as possible.  Cut a length of fabric (I used burlap) to go from the top of the board to about 2 inches past the bottom of your stage window, and about 2 inches wider on each side.

5.  Fasten your fabric at the top with large brads or other fasteners.

6.  Roll up your curtain and tie with jute or twine pieces, fastening through the top of your stage window.  This will keep the curtain out of the way for a long afternoon of play.


The kids jumped right behind this and started playing.  Note- we did not make the plush into puppets- we just let them be the characters on the "stage".

They loved re-enacting scenes from the movie.  Once that wore off, we started role-playing some different situations.  They would sit behind the "stage" and I would go through a scenario with them.

"You are playing a video game.  You're in the middle of a level that you've spent a lot of time on. Mom tells you that you have to turn it off and go to bed.  Which emotion are you feeling?"

         - My son would pull up Anger and re-enact his histrionics from the  movie, and we'd all laugh.

"Good- it's okay to feel angry, but what would happen if you acted like that to me? "

     "I'd probably get in trouble for being disrespectful," he said.

     "That's right.  So you can feel angry, but you still need to show respect to your parents.  What should you do instead?"

      "  I could say 'Mom, if I quit now I'll lose my progress- can I please play until I hit a save point?'"

      "That's a much better idea!"

That's just one example of how you can use these plush to help you talk about emotions with your kids.  I have several very spirited children and one thing I have learned over the years is that it is SO important to be able to put feelings into words.  It helps me be a better parent when I can understand what they are feeling, and it helps them to control their reactions better when they can understand some reasons behind why they are acting the way they are.

P.S.  They love to do the same thing with their Inside Out fruit snacks.  This is one time I don't mind if they play with their food ;)

My daughter is at that pre-pubescent stage where emotions are running all over the place. I'm glad that we can sit down and talk through the emotions and some reasons behind them.  Knowing her emotions are "normal" helps her bring up her self-esteem, where otherwise she thinks there is something "wrong" with her.

"Puppet" shows are  a great insight to see what your children find funny, tidbits of knowledge they have that you didn't realize they knew, and otherwise develop physical skills as well as emotional and language skills.  



What was your favorite part of Inside Out?  Or, if you haven't seen it yet, do you plan to?

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June 25, 2015

The Handmade Hangout #54 + FEATURES!

Welcome to the Handmade Hangout- where you can link up all things made by YOU!


This week I'm featuring three of my favorite projects from last week's linky.

1.  Industrial Farmhouse Table Makeover by Anderson + Grant



2.  Ombre Dresser from Divine Lifestyle

DIY Ombre Dresser 4


3.  Peanut Butter Chocolate Trifles from Three Kids and a Fish.


peanut butter chocolate trifle

Now, on to this week's link-up.  Just a few easy rules:

1.  Become a follower of the blog where you linked up.  Of course we'd love it if you follow all our hosts on whatever platforms you use most!

Allison from A Glimpse Inside

Christina from Christina's Adventures

Becca from From Gardners to Bergers

Kim from Too Much Time on My Hands

Heather from Twin Dragonfly Designs

Valerie from Occasionally Crafty

Tracie from Cleverly Inspired

Alli from Made with HAPPY


2.  Share our button or party link in your post or wherever you share your linky parties

Occasionally Crafty

 
Link up your projects!




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June 24, 2015

Draw Rainforest Animals with Chalk Pastels

Has boredom set in for your kids yet?  Are you looking for a new activity to do with your kids?
Your kids will love the art activity I'm sharing today:  Draw Rainforest Animals with Chalk Pastels.


I'm all about finding fun and inexpensive ideas to keep my kids entertained in the summer.  When they learn something along the way, it's even better.

Read the rest of this post over at The Crafting Chicks, where I am guest posting today as part of their Endless Summer Series.  

(P.S.- that boredom thing?  Totally cured by checking out all the Endless Summer Posts!)

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