Monday, January 30, 2012

Five Useful Mending Tutorials

I’ve got a pile of of my girls’ clothes (with a few of mine thrown in) that if not for a hole here or there are otherwise still very wearable. I can’t put them away in a drawer or bin because I’ll forget about them. So instead, I move the pile all around my craft area when I need to access other supplies. Ai Yah.

I think it’s time I tackled that pile. Here are five mending tutorials I found that you might find useful as well!

Martha tells us how to mend knits with a running stitch and using a “darning mushroom”


Stylepint shows us how she mended a split seam on a beloved sweater.


Living Lorcuto made Monster Knees out of a hole in her kiddo’s jeans.


Sally Ann repaired her boyfriend’s torn jeans and saved them from the giveaway pile.


I Am Momma Hear Me Roar not only fixed a hole in her Toms, but she made them extra cute in the process.

toms pic

I’m looking forward to this book coming out as well: Mend It Better: Creative Patching, Darning, and Stitchingby Kristin M Roach.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Crafted by YOU: Chinese New Year Firecrackers by Pendants by Steph

My bloggy friend Steph @ Pendants by Steph made my Chinese New Year Firecracker Wall Hanging with her kids last week.

20120121-IMG_3620 (1)

Here was Steph’s take…I think using pipe cleaners is absolutely genius! Makes it so much easier for the kids to tie, plus it provides a little fun pop of color.

Thanks so much Steph for sharing!


Friday, January 27, 2012

Free Printable: Valentine You Melt My Heart

After I finished Sophie’s “Hogs and Kisses” Hershey’s Kisses Valentines, it was time to make Sarah’s! She wanted to give out M&Ms. I always think of their slogan “Melt in your mouth, not in your hands” so I came up with this: Valentine, You Melt My Heart! The link to the download is at the end of the post.

Valentine You Melt My Heart Free Printable

It wraps around a fun-size M&Ms pack and secures in the back with double-stick tape.


There’s a “From” at one end so when you tape it down, make sure the “From” end is overlapping on top. But before you wrap it around the candy, you or your kiddo can write his/her name on it. Sorry, I gave you the instructions backwards!


Print it out on light-colored cardstock.


The printables are just fine on their own, and this would be the easiest to do if you need to give out a lot of Valentines.


But for special friends, you can take the time to embellish it more. Here’s what I came up with so far. I have more ideas swimming in this crazy brain of mine…if I get the chance, will update this post!

You Melt My Heart Valentines Day Printable

I used a heart punch and some mounting tape to give this one a sort of 3D effect.


I also tried tying satin ribbon…


…and jute twine for a more rustic look.


For this one, I emptied out my small heart hole punch and found all these little hearts to glue on.


And for this one, I used some stick-on gems I had on hand.


You or your kiddo can do the embellishing with whatever you like or whatever you have in your craft stash. If you try something else, please please please take a pic and show me what you do!

Valentine You Melt My Heart Embellished Printable

Click here to download the Valentine, You Melt My Heart Free Printable PDF on Google Docs

You Melt My Heart Valentines Day Printable

I love it when photo props are edible!

Linking: The Frugal Girls :: Petite Hermine :: Tip Junkie::Sassy Sites :: Rook No. 17 :: The Trendy Treehouse::Tidy Mom :: Creation Corner :: Whipperberry ::Sassy Sites :: Tatertots and Jello :: Lolly Jane Boutique ::Flamingo Toes :: Homemaker on a Dime :: The Gunny Sack :: Love Affair With My Brother :: Craft Monkey :: Someday Crafts


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Five Reasons to Save Those Empty Toilet Paper Rolls

When my husband comes to the end of a toilet paper roll, I know he secretly wants to throw it into the recycle bin. But he knows I will just fish it out. To show that hoarding empty toilet rolls can benefit everyone (not just silly Mama), I’ve gathered five (of many many) things to make with toilet paper rolls…for the whole family.

1) For kids: Make a toilet paper roll snake at Playpennies.


2) For kids (and Mama): Make a Valentine’s Day bracelet with Fine Craft Guild


3) For Dada: Make a cord organizer at Instructables


4) For Mama: Make a pretty doily scissor holder at Creative Balorina


5) For everyone: Make biodegradable seed starter pots from Mother Earth News.


Now to figure out how to store the toilet rolls, before I make stuff out of them!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Free Printable: Hogs and Kisses Valentine

My girls are giving out Valentines at school again this year. Sophie chose to give out Hershey’s Kisses and I knew I wanted to create a silly (and so fitting) printable to go with them.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Crafted by YOU: Year of the Dragon Firecrackers by the L-T Experience

Last Chinese New Year, Tawny @ The L-T Experience created a lovely display for her dining table using my Chinese New Year Firecracker Wall Hanging tutorial.

This year she’s mixed it up even more, using my printable DIY Red Envelopes. She took one of the printables and applied it to the firecrackers, so that each one has the dragon and “Gung Hay Fat Choy” message. LOVE it!

Tawny Year of the Dragon Firecrackers

Thank you so much Tawny for sharing! Check them out on her blog here.

And if you celebrate, Happy Chinese New Year! As parents usually say as they give red envelopes to kids, “Grow quickly and be healthy!” (or something like that).


Friday, January 20, 2012

Five Products to Help Get Your Kiddo in the Kitchen

As a kid, I was afraid of cooking. Yikes, big meat cleaver! AAK, hot wok! Because of this, it took me a long time to get comfortable in the kitchen. I’ve been writing the Multiples in the Kitchen series on the Multiples and More Blog Network for about six months now. A year ago (or less!) I would never thought I was eligible for that gig. But we just jumped in, and I realized that it wasn’t hard to get them cooking, even for me!

I thought I’d search for some tools to further help with getting our kids interested in food and cooking. Here are five things available on

The Melissa & Doug Food Groups surprisingly got my girls talking about different types of food when they were about 2.5 years old (they’re 4.5 now). When they held up the toy head of garlic, I showed them the real thing. We also talked about where food came from (the sea, the farm) and what they were made of (milk, grains) -


I loved Annabel Karmel’s Top 100 Baby Purees: 100 Quick and Easy Meals for a Healthy and Happy Babywhen my girls were babies, so I’m excited to check out her book for bigger littles, the Mom and Me Cookbook-


I have been wanting to give my girls their own set of kitchen utensils. This Kuhn Rikon Kinderkitchen Setlooks pretty interesting. It includes the very popular Kuhn Rikon Kinderkitchen Dog Knife with Teethwhich they say is able to cut, but is not sharp -


Here’s another super cute cooking set with lots of stuff in it: Playful Chef Deluxe Cooking Kit for Ages 3-5 Years-


We are only a hop, skip and a bridge away from San Francisco’s Chinatown, but the girls would probably be more excited about exploring the different food markets if they saw this DVD first. Cooking with Kids: Exploring Chinese Food, Culture, and Language-


I hope that tools and resources like these, along with the girls’ continued involvement in shopping for and cooking food, will provide a good foundation for love and respect of food and good nutrition in the future. Let me know if you have tried any of these products, or if you have other suggestions on cooking with your kids. Favorite recipes are welcome!

Check out what the girls and I have made together, here.

Oookay, maybe this isn’t the best example of good nutrition.


Disclosure: Affiliate links in effect.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Free Printable: 2012 Year of the Dragon DIY Red Envelopes

Year of the Dragon DIY Red Envelope Printable

Last Lunar New Year, I DIY’ed some lucky money red envelopes using Jenn @ Rook No. 17’s free printable. They were so cute and my niece and nephew loved them. And I couldn’t believe it was the first time I had thought to make them myself, especially since I had long grown weary of the old-fashioned bling-bling ones from Chinatown!

So this year I took the image I made for my 2012 Year of the Dragon calendar, and created a printable to make DIY red envelopes of my own.


To make the red envelope, you’ll need to download two files:

1) Click here to download the PDF for the red envelope template. This template is plain, so you can use this year after year and for birthdays, holidays and red egg and ginger parties (to celebrate baby’s first month).

2) Click here to download the PDF for the red envelope front dragon design. There are two designs…one with the dragon by himself with “Gung Hay Fat Choy” written on the front, and the other is a more whimsical design with dragons dancing alongside some other Lunar New Year symbols (tangerines, cherry blossoms and fireworks).


2012 Year Of The Dragon Red Envelope

Here’s how I assembled my

2012 Year of the Dragon Red Envelopes!

Materials and tools needed: Color printer, red and white paper (either cardstock or printer paper will work), scissors, paper cutter, double-stick tape or glue, glitter (optional).


Print out the envelope template onto red paper. I had cardstock on hand, but thinner paper (like printer paper) is just fine. Or…you can always print out the template on white paper, cut it out, and then trace onto red paper. Then, print out the dragon designs onto white paper.


Cut out the envelope with scissors. For the top flap, cut inside the black line so it doesn’t show when you open the flap. The rest of the edges will be hidden.


Then following the diagram, fold to form the envelope, first folding in the sides and adhering with double-stick tape or glue down the middle of the back. Then fold up the bottom flap and tape/glue. Finally make a fold for the opening flap but don’t stick it.



Now you’re ready for the dragon design. Choose which one you’d like on the front and cut out around the red square if you want the red border to show, or you can cut inside of it.


Tape/glue onto the envelope, and you’re done!



1) You can also add some glitter. The border can also serve as a guide line.

2) If you print one of the dragon design page and two of the envelope page, you can make four envelopes.

3) If you have extra of the dragon design, you can use it for other things like greeting cards, bookmarks, or wall art to accompany your lucky money gift!

4) And don’t forget to include my Year of the Dragon printable calendar too. :-)

Year of the Dragon Red Envelope DIY Free Printable

Lunar New Year is on January 23. If you celebrate, Gung Hay Fat Choy, or as my girls say, “Gung Hay Bok Choy! HAHAHAHA!”

My girls, age 11 months (and the last time they willingly posed in their Chinese New Year outfits…barely!). Photography by Loic Nicolas.


And many thanks to Jenn @ Rook No. 17 for the inspiration. Thank you Jenn for acknowledging Lunar New Year on your blog!

Linking: The Frugal Girls :: Petite Hermine :: Tip Junkie::Sassy Sites :: Rook No. 17 :: The Trendy Treehouse:: Tidy Mom :: Creation Corner ::Whipperberry::Tatertots and Jello::Lolly Jane Boutique :: Flamingo Toes :: Homemaker on a Dime :: The Gunny Sack :: Love Affair With My Brother :: Craft Monkey


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