October 2013Occasionally Crafty: October 2013

Thursday, October 31

Three Things Thursday #12

Three Random Things About Me (Laura style)

1. Most of you know that both Valerie and I teach piano lessons, but did you know that my main instrument is percussion? I am a drummer girl! My whole band life I grew up around boys (gross boys at that) and thrived in the percussion world. My favorite percussion instrument is the marimba. I don't get to play much any more, but I've been so blessed to be able to play with the band my husband is assigned to at Fort Carson. They're trying to get me to enlist, but for now I'll just volunteer and play some drums!

2. I have had a Silhouette since 2008. I was ready to hop on the Cricut wagon, and even ordered one when my friend told me about her Silhouette. Both cutting machines have come a long way since then, but the idea of no cartridges really appealed to me. I haven't stopped using it since, and upgraded to my Cameo a few years ago!

Old School Silhouette :)

3. My number one actor crush is Christian Bale. From Newsies to Batman to Swing kids, he is the one I swoon over! 

Hope you're having fun getting to know us better! We recently reached over 2000 fans on Facebook, so welcome to Occasionally Crafty and stick around for awhile!
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Tuesday, October 29

Dinosaurs Galore! A Craft Kit for Kids: Review and GIVEAWAY!

Disclaimer:  I was asked to review a craft kit for the Two Kids Cooking Shop and was provided the kit to review.  I was not compensated in any other way.  Any thoughts or opinions are 100% my own!

I've had three extra people in my house for nearly a month now.  We're doing a bit of service to help out a friend and her family, and while we've been happy to help, having a few extra kids in the house certainly has thrown a few wrinkles into my life.

I really wonder how you moms of multiples do it.  One of the children staying with us is nearly the same age as my youngest son.  She's 3 1/2, and my son just turned 4.  It feels like what I imagine it must be like to have twins.  

By the way- here is some Earnest family trivia for you. My husband is the last of 4 brothers (and he also has three sisters).  Every brother, except for my husband, has twins.  And two of his brothers have TWO SETS of twins.  That means, for those of you who stink at math like me, there are five(!) sets of twins in the Earnest extended family.  Cuh-razy!  

Sets #3 and #5 live in Boston and couldn't make this trip.  Boo.

I think God knew I could not handle twins.  Thus, our children are all singletons.

Anyway- I have been desperately trying to find things to keep my faux-twins busy this month so they don't a) kill each other or b) destroy my house.  So when Kelly at Two Kids Cooking contacted me and asked me to participate in their store's launch, I jumped at the chance to try out one of their awesome craft kits.

By the way- you HAVE to check out the Two Kids Cooking blog- there are so many kid friendly crafts and recipes, plus some great parenting advice.  It is a lifesaver for people like me who enjoy doing things with kids but don't always have great ideas of what to do with them.

So, the Two Kids Cooking shop sent me this Dinosaurs Galore kit to try out.  It comes all wrapped up in this cute package!  (Sorry for the poor lighting in this photo- I got it all out, then realized at the last minute that I needed a picture of it for the blog! )

It comes with everything you need.  

I was impressed with the quality of the dinosaurs.  I have gotten craft kits where the cutouts are flimsy plywood sheets.  These are thick, heavy pieces that will stand up to lots of playing.  As you can see, it also includes sandpaper, paint, and brushes, along with the instructions.

I set the kids to work sanding their dinosaurs (though ours were pretty smooth already).  They loved this part!

Then we painted the base coat.  I definitely had to help the littles with this, or they would've used up all the paint one one side.  Also, I am glad they chose different colors for the dinosaurs.  I don't think there would've been enough of one color to paint more than one dinosaur.  That's about the only con I found in these kits.

Once the base coat dried, we got to work decorating the dinosaurs.  One child wanted me to help them- the other wanted to do it herself.  Betcha can't tell which is which ;)  (you totally can!)

We let our dinosaurs dry, then let the faux-twins play away.  My kids LOVE dinosaurs.  They watch Dinosaur Train, Dino Dan, The Land Before Time, and anything else that has dinosaurs in it.  So this kit is right up their alley.  I have two more dinosaurs that I'll let the older ones decorate.  Someday.  When my life is a little more organized again.

Now, I want to let you know that you can win a craft kit of your own.  Two Kids Cooking is giving away 5 Dinosaurs Galore Kits, 1 Falling Leaves Garland Kit and 1 Curious Chef 5 Piece Pizza Kit.

Simply enter via the Rafflecopter below.  The giveaway runs through November 9th, and a winner will be drawn on the 11th.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Friday, October 25

Stenciled Trick or Treat Bags

Okay everyone- this is a REALLY easy project and a super cute (and frugal!) way to get some custom trick or treating bags for your kiddos.  If you're like me and put things off until the last minute, this tutorial is for you!

You need: Canvas Tote Bag, Freezer Paper, Xacto Knife, Painting Supplies, Iron
Time: >1 hour

First up- if you don't know how to use freezer paper as a stencil, learn the technique over at this tutorial.  (But please come back!)

A quick explanation:  
Draw your design on the paper side of your freezer paper.  I used pumpkin stencils I found online.
Cut out the negative space (or the part you want painted) with an Xacto knife.  I just do this on a cutting board.

Use your iron to iron the shiny side onto the tote bag.  Make sure to get all the little pieces ironed down tight so the paint won't bleed.

Use fabric paint (or you could use regular old craft/acrylic paint with some fabric medium mixed in) to paint in your design.  Don't load up your brush with too much paint or it will bleed!

Let the paint dry, then peel off the freezer paper to expose your beautiful design!

I just realized that my best shots are all of different bags.  I made three-one for each kid.  I have to warn you- the black had some freezer paper "residue" left on it.  That's never happened before!  I think maybe my iron was too hot.  So be careful, kay?

Enjoy your custom treat bags, and enjoy your trick-or-treating!

We will be using ours at our church's "Trunk-or-Treat" party this weekend.  Anybody else doing some Halloween activities this weekend?
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Thursday, October 24

Three Things Thursday #11

Three Random Things About Me

1.  I am totally a band geek.  I started playing the flute in 5th grade, and never stopped!  I was in marching band and concert band in high school, then continued in college to major in music. I was in the Cougar Marching Band at BYU, and was even a drum major!  Then I TAUGHT high school band, including marching, concert, and jazz bands.  So, yeah.  I'm a band nerd.

BYU Spell at Pregame

2.  My favorite movie- Pride and Prejudice.  The BBC, six hour long version, not the Kiera Knightly version.   My college roommates and I pretty much wore out the tapes (yes, tapes!) watching that movie.

By the way, if you're a fan, you have to see Austenland.  I DIED laughing.  Especially during the "play" they put on.  I don't know- maybe I needed sleep that day, but it was seriously a funny movie.

You should also check out this plate I made with the above quote on it.  

3.  Guilty Pleasure Treat:  Milk Duds.  Every time I go to Walmart, where they sell those movie box-style candies for $.79 cents, I have to fight the urge to load up on Milk Duds.  I probably buy a box once a month, then eat them in one or two sittings.  (Don't judge me- they're just too yummy to resist!)  Unless of course I pull a stale box out of there.  Boo.


Me too, me too.

So there you go- three random things about me you never wanted to know, but I decided to tell you anyway!  Happy Thursday!

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Tuesday, October 22

Halloween Printable

I've been a little MIA on the blog for several reasons.  But I'm checking in today to share a quick  printable for Halloween.  I originally shared this at Pocket Full of Pink last year, but thought all my new friends would like to see it.  This would make a great decoration or even a card for a friend, with a bunch of Halloween treats!

I have mine displayed in my home and everyone comments on it!

If you'd like one for yourself, simply click here.  From there, you can print it our download it.  You can print this up to 8x10 with great quality!

If you have any problems getting the file, comment below or email me, and I'll send it to you.

 Happy Halloween everyone!
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Thursday, October 17

Three Things Thursday #10

My Three Favorite Occasionally Crafty Posts

Occasionally Crafty has been around for awhile, and has been through a lot of changes over the years. My sister originally started the blog by herself and then later asked me to co-author with her. It has been GREAT having something to work on together since we don't live near each other. We really are both crafty girls who just love sharing our stuff with you, if only to have a collection of all the things we've created, though we hope we've inspired you along the way. 

I thought it would be fun to share my three favorite posts we've done so far, but picking just three is hard! To make it easier, here are three of Valerie's posts that I love, and then three of mine. :) Enjoy!

1. Interchangeable Pillow!  I love anything that can be used again and again. This pillow is so cute and perfect for all seasons!

2. Poppy Play Dress! Valerie is such a good seamstress. It's one area of crafting I have never dared to enter. Maybe if I had a little girl I'd be more motivated, but it still intimidates me. I love this dress she made for her daughter! 

3. Bow Tie Baby Shower and Purple and Green Baby Shower! I needed to have Valerie around for my baby shower. I love how cute everything is, but not over the top. I'm sure these ladies felt special and had an amazing day! 

And now for mine, not to toot my own horn, but if you don't like what you make, no one will, right? :)

1. Vinyl USA Wall Mural! This was a labor of love that is still a favorite for my kids and guests!

2. Valentine's Day Card! I love making cards, and this card for my husband was one our favorites. Click over to see the rest of it!

3. Making My Own! I have loved doing this series of posts of things we usually buy, but can easily make on our own, making them healthier and cheaper! 

I hope you've enjoyed looking back at some of my favorite posts from us here at Occasionally Crafty. What are some of your favorite things you've seen here? Please comment and share your favorites too!

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Tuesday, October 15

Halloween Specimen Art

It's time for the next seasonal installment of specimen art! This time I used some foam stickers, googly eyes and fun scrapbook paper to create a web effect. Halloween is such a fun time of year to craft!

Check out the rest of my interchangeable specimen art here!

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Thursday, October 10

Three Things Thursday #9: Pumpkins

Our church has a Pumpkin Decorating contest at our yearly Halloween party.  I might just make one of these:
1. Cinderella Pumpkin Carriage by Let's Go Fly a Kite:  This is so sweet, and perfect for the princess lover in your family.  I think it is really creative!

2.  Minions!  (No link, and a fruitless search for owner!)  I love this minion pumpkin set.  I've seen quite a few minion pumpkins popping up, but the detial on these is just perfect!    My kids love Minions!  (Plus, this way you don't have to carve anything! Bonus!)  Great job, whoever you are! (Please let me know if you know where these came from!)

3.  Grumpy Cat from The Swell Life:  Okay, honestly, probably not many people at my church would get it, but I just love Grumpy Cat, or Tardar Sauce, who is actually from my state- holla!  !

What are you doing with your pumpkins this year?  Carve or no-carve?
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Tuesday, October 8

Halloween Ghost Wreath

I'm not sure why I never made a Halloween wreath last year, but it was long overdue. I browsed pinterest for awhile to look at different themes for a wreath. I typically love the candy corn colors, but was quickly drawn to a more simplistic gray and black wreath with a spooky character. I decided on ghosts! Here's what you need (plus black felt not pictured):

First I spray painted the wreath, making sure to get all the nooks and crannies.

While that was drying I got to work on my ghosts. I google searched images for ghosts and found a few silhouettes that I liked. I printed them out and pinned them to my felt and cut around the edges. I used black felt for a back ground, white felt for the ghosts, and my sparkly ribbon between the two felts for their eyes and mouth.


Then I assembled the wreath by adding some more of the dark sparkly ribbon, and pinning the ghosts to the wreath. It took a few tries, but I found a spot where I liked them. I used my orange and black ribbon to hang the wreath and add a bow. 

How do you think it turned out? I love the simple colors and the ghosts really pop! 

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