May 2014Occasionally Crafty: May 2014

Friday, May 30

Fun in the Summertime Series: Frisbee Tic Tac Toe from One Creative Mommy

Welcome to our Fun in the Summertime series!  You can find the rest of the posts in the series here!  And don't forget to enter our giveaway!

Hi, everyone.  I'm Heidi from One Creative Mommy.  My blog is all about the crazy life of a busy mom.  I love to share crafts, DIY, printables and gluten-free recipes.  I'm so excited to be a part of the Fun in the Sun series with Valerie and Laura!  
School is officially out in my neck of the woods, and the kids are ready for some fun! 
Bored kids?  Shake up Summer with Frisbee Tic-Tac-Toe!  {} #summerfun #frisbee  
We played this creative game at our family reunion last summer (hence the *Survivor-style buff my daughter is sporting in the pictures).  Frisbee is always fun, and so's tic-tac-toe, so we thought we'd combine them for Frisbee Tic-Tac-Toe.  Here's what you need to know to play in your own back yard:

Thursday, May 29

ULTIMATE Summer Kid's Activities Roundup

Welcome to our Fun In the Summertime Series!  You can find the rest of the posts here!
You're going to love this roundup of Summer Activities I've put together for you.  I have three kids home for the summer, and I don't think I could ever find enough ideas to keep them busy (without breaking the bank!)  Read on for some fun (and frugal) activities to keep your kids entertained and you worry-free!

Wednesday, May 28

Fun in the Summertime Series: Stovetop Cherry Crisp from Love In the Kitchen

Welcome to our Fun in the Summertime Series!  You can catch up on other posts here:
Today we're welcoming our friend Susan from Love in the Kitchen.  We'll let her introduce herself below:

Howdy Occasionally Crafty readers! I'm Susan from Love in the Kitchen. I'm a lawyer by day and any given day you'll most likely find me negotiating contracts. But in my free time, you'll find me where my heart lies - either in the kitchen or the garden.

At Love in the Kitchen, I share my passion for cooking easy and tasty homemade food with fresh ingredients with you. Today I'm guest-posting here at Occasionally Crafty for their Fun in the Summer Series. Thanks for having me over ladies!

I love making delicious desserts with the abundance of fruit available in the summer.  But it's hot in the summer and I don't always want to turn on the oven.  So I decided to make a sweet cherry crisp on the stove. Sweet cherries and crisp, nutty topping make this stovetop cherry crisp every bit as tasty as the oven version - in half the time!

Tuesday, May 27

GIVEAWAY! Amazon Gift Card, Jamberry Nails and More!

We're kicking off this Fun in the Summertime Series right!  Over the next two weeks, I'm joining forces with some awesome bloggers to bring you all things Summer: crafts, recipes, decor, and more!
Today I'm introducing you to our two giveaway sponsors.  Go give them a follow/like!  You won't regret it!
Tara at The Purple Pinkie Nail is a Jamberry Nails Consultant.  I first bought some "Jams" from a deal-a-day site, and loved them!  Last month my bestie had a Jamberry Facebook party with Tara, and I bought a few more sets.  They are easy to apply, come in tons of awesome colors and patterns, and last for weeks!  I have been wearing them on my toes for about a month, and they are just now starting to show wear.  You can view all the available styles here, and even sign up to host a party to earn free jams!  (Facebook parties are super fun and easy, with no pressure on your friends to buy if they don't want to).
Here are the ones I picked out:
And I also love these Jamberry Junior sets for my daughter!
There are TONS more, so go check them out!  And of course, you can win 2  by entering below!

Fun in the Summertime Series: Painted Pool Tote Tutorial from Pistachio Road

Welcome to our Fun in the Summertime series!  We've got a whole bunch of awesome bloggers stopping by to share some great crafts, recipes, and other posts that will help you be inspired to put the fun in your summer!

Today we have Natalie from Pistachio Road.  I'll let her continue on from here:

Hi, I'm Natalie and I blog over at Pistachio Road. I'm excited to be part of the Fun in the Summertime series! I am a stay-at-home mom living in Ohio with my husband and two kids. I enjoy cooking, sewing, reading, crafts and decorating our first home. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

Today I'm sharing my painted pool tote tutorial. I've had my eyes on some cute pool totes this spring, but I didn't want to spend a lot. Instead, I set out to refashion a simple canvas bag into the tote I've been looking for with some painted stripes. Then I came across this awesome wicker bag for $5 at at thrift store, and I knew this could totally work for my pool tote. It was well-made and has tons of space! It's a lot bigger than the canvas tote I had in mind, which makes it perfect for packing a ton of stuff for the pool.

Thursday, May 22

Vinyl Charger from IKEA- "The Best Things in life Aren't Things"

FYI- Today's my birthday!  Just in case you wanted to know.  It's also the last day of school!  So, we will be celebrating with a School's Out!/Birthday dinner out tonight.
Anyway, I'm finally getting around to showing you what I made my mom for Mother's Day.  Even though I made it for a present, this would be an easy project to make for any occasion- home decor, seasonal decorations, or a special gift.
This gorgeous charger is actually a large"candle" plate from IKEA.  If you're lucky enough to live near an IKEA, go stock up!  I chose this vinyl phrase from the Silhouette store, though again, you could put anything here.

Tuesday, May 20

Movie Night Teacher Gift!

A lot of schools are starting to finish up. My kiddos get out on May 29th! I am so excited for summer to begin, but I have to thank those who have taught my kids so much this past year.
I'm always torn on what to do for teachers. There are lots of cute ideas out there, but my kids have a lot of teachers. They see a different teacher for reading, a different one for math, music, art, P.E., poetry, language arts, spelling... ack! That's a lot of teachers. They've all had an impact on my children's education so I want to thank them all without breaking the bank. I also like to give the teachers something they'll use. I think I nailed it on the head with these 'movie night' thank you gifts!
If you look on pinterest you'll see a lot of movie themed thank you gifts, but I altered mine a bit to make it more cost effective, and honestly, easier for my kids to carry around and hand out to teachers.
 Putting these into popcorn cups/tubs are cute, but bulky.
So first I found the movie/gift tags here. I printed these out on one side...

And then added a Redbox rental code on the back! If you go to and click on 'gifts', there's an area at the bottom to purchase a bundle of rental codes. We had 10 teachers so I picked 10 codes for $12. (I figured even if we don't use them all, I will use the codes!) I emailed the codes to myself and then carefully copied them onto my document that I was going to print out for the gift tags. I also used my laminator to make it more sturdy and gift card-like.

Thursday, May 15

Q&A with Valerie: All About Blogging

Don't forget to enter our Snapfish Photobook Giveaway!  Click here to enter!
I get asked a lot of questions about blogging, especially from my "real-life" friends.  With SO many blogs out there today, you might be wondering if starting a blog is still worth doing.  The short answer:  ABSOLUTELY!  So today I'm going to answer some of those FAQ's about how I blog, why I blog, and how you can do it too!
Q:  How long have you been blogging?
     Chances are, you haven't been with me since the beginning!  My first post was in April 2010, so it's been 4 years!  I can't even believe it.  You can see my very first project here.  You can see my writing and photography has improved a ton since those first days.  

Q:  Why did you start a blog in the first place?
     I was an avid blog reader for awhile.  I loved to re-create things I saw online and give them my own twist.  When I started coming up with my own ideas, I knew that I could "do what they were doing", and so I decided to give it a try!  
     At the time, I also had three young kids at home (then 5, 3, and 7 months old).  I was in desperate need of a creative outlet!

Tuesday, May 13

Snapfish Photobook Giveaway!

This post was created in partnership with Snapfish. All opinions are my own.
I love taking photos!  But, I can't say I am the best about doing anything with those photos.  So, when I was given the opportunity to partner with Snapfish to create a photobook, I jumped at the chance!  My son had just had his 8th birthday and was baptized into our church, so it was the perfect occasion to create a book for him to have forever.
I worked on the website and used their software to create the photobook just the way I wanted it to look. My favorite part was how many different page embellishments they had. They added the perfect touch to the pictures.

I ordered my book and about a week later I received it in the mail!

Thursday, May 8

Double Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Last week I was at the store and I saw an ingredient that I really wanted to try- peanut butter and chocolate chips.  But for whatever reason, I put them back and went on with my shopping.

But those chips have stayed with me.  Niggled at my brain.

Yesterday I was at the store again, and this time, I put them in my cart.  So, when I woke up this morning craving peanut butter, I knew I had to pull them out.

I love to make cookies for my family.  I rarely bought store-bought cookies because I always have a batch of homemade ones ready to stick in a lunchbox or dunk in a cold glass of milk.

So, when my kids come home from school today, they're going to be really excited to find these delicious Double Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies waiting for them on the counter!

This cookie has extra peanut butter to satisfy my craving, and then on top of that (!) the peanut butter chips bring it over the top.

And of course, peanut butter's best friend is chocolate.  These cookies are perfect.

The best part is, they are simple to make, and only use one bowl!  
Just remember, it's a little bit of a dry dough, similar to play-doh that you can squish together into a ball.  Roll it in sugar, then flatten with the back of a measuring cup or something similar.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until done.  Don't overbake- these should be soft with a sugar-crisp firm outer crust.

For a printable recipe, click here:

Recipe below:

Double Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter ( I use Jif, but your favorite kind will work too!)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
12 oz bag Nestle Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chips
granulated sugar for rolling

Directions:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1.  In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter or margarine until smooth.  Add peanut butter and mix 
until well combined.
2.  Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, and baking powder.  Beat till combined, 
scraping sides of bowl as necessary.
3.  Add the egg and vanilla and mix till combined.
4.  Add the flour and mix until smooth.
5.  Carefully stir or fold in the Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chips.
6.  If necessary, cover and chill dough until easy to handle.
7.  Shape dough into 1 inch balls.  Roll in additional granulated sugar and place on baking sheet.
8.  Flatten each ball using the bottom of a cup or something similar.  
9.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned.  Do not overbake. 
 Remove from oven and let cool for 2-3 minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool completely.
10.  Makes about 36 cookies.

P.S.   I'm linking to some of these parties this week- come check them out!
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Tuesday, May 6

Striped Canvas Wall Art

If you follow me on Instagram, you got to see a sneak peek of my master bedroom that I'm redoing.  I still need to pick up all the finishing touches, like a lamp and some decorative pieces.  I've finished the painting, the bedding switch, and even made some new art for our walls.

Rather than wait until the room is finished, I thought I'd share those projects with you first.  

For years, my bedroom walls have been mostly empty, except for some canvas prints from IKEA.  I have always meant to put something up, but never got around to it.  Now, with a color scheme change, I was determined to get something fun up on those walls!

First up, I made this Striped Canvas Wall Art, and I love it!

I was inspired by this blog post, but I didn't have a large frame to use.  So I improvised.

I bought 2 18x24 wall canvas boards.  They're normally $11.99 at Hobby Lobby, but I used my 40% off coupon, making this a very frugal project!

I don't have any step by step photos, but this is super easy to do.

I measured 2 inch stripes all down the board, then taped them off with painter's tape.

Then, I just painted every other stripe using our new wall color.

I let it dry slightly, then removed the tape.

I let the paint dry overnight, then applied the vinyl decal I designed in Silhouette Studio.

Then, I hung it on the wall using Command strips.  

This picture makes it look smaller than it is- but I really love how it looks on my wall!

This would look great in any room, in any color scheme.  

P.S. I'll be linking up this week to some of these parties!

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Thursday, May 1

Music Dice

Most of you know that Valerie and I teach piano lessons. At the end of the school year we hold a recital and I always like to give the students a little gift. This is what I did last year.

This year I wanted to give them something that would help them in their piano lessons. I really wanted to make them their own canvas bags to hold their piano books, but had a hard time making it economical. Instead I stumbled on these Rhythm Sticks on the Music in Motion website. I often pull out my drum pad and drum sticks during lessons to help them with rhythm, but for a good price I could get them their own sticks to use at home and in lessons! I also decided to get them a pad of manuscript paper to encourage creativity and composition.

One way that I use rhythm sticks in their lessons is by playing a fun game with dice. This is where the crafting comes in. I bought these foam dice at the dollar store. 2 dice come in a package for $1.

Then I printed out different values of notes and rests on the computer, and cut them into squares that would fit onto the dice.

I laminated them.

And then ran them through my Xyron sticker maker, and adhered them to the dice.

Now I have all sorts of rhythmic possibilities for my students to play on their sticks! Roll the dice and tap it out. Also notice that one of the sticks is ridged. Whenever there's a note more than two beats in length I have them drag the smooth stick along the ridged stick for the length of that note. They love it!

I think this is the first time I've crafted for my piano lessons. Hmm.... what else could I make? 

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