Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hockey, Please Come Back

With the NHL lockout continuing, it has been hard to think about blogging, but I have been supporting my local junior teams and listening to Brett Kissel's latest song "Hockey, Please Come Back" on repeat.

You can watch the video here: YouTube "Hockey, Please Come Back"

You can also get this great song on iTunes here: iTunes "Hockey, Please Come Back"

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sunflower and Ladybug Cupcakes

My friend loves sunflowers, so for her birthday I decorated a bunch of cupcakes to look like sunflowers.

- cupcakes
- yellow icing
- chocolate "kisses" or Oreos
- chocolate chips and red icing OR red candies and chocolate/black icing
- chocolate icing (optional)

1. After baking the cupcakes, stick a chocolate kiss upside down into the center. This will be the center of the flower. If you prefer to use an Oreo, you'll want to stick it down with icing.

2. Using a flat decorating tip, apply the yellow icing in stripes out from the chocolate center to form petals.

3. Stick a chocolate chip upside down into the yellow petals and add a red dot of icing, half on top of the chip and half off (or put a dot of chocolate icing and stick a red candy to it). Add accents with chocolate icing, like spots on the ladybug and seeds around the center of the flower. DONE.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Hockey First Birthday

For my son's first birthday, I threw him a hockey themed party. Here are some photos and details:

- invitation = ticket
- cake = foam finger
- Oreos = hockey pucks
- sugar cookie hockey sticks and foam fingers
- arena food menu: pizza, hot dogs, burgers, popcorn, nachos, pretzels, chips
- foam finger pencil toppers and mini Zamboni souvenirs
- scoreboard
- custom water bottle labels and stickers on pop cans
- glass trays = ice
- silver bowls = the Cup
- first star selection
- first draft pick
- pendants banner
- replica Stanley Cup filled with silver candies
- hockey card "thank you"s

1. MINI FOAM FINGERS: I printed off a picture of a foam finger and traced it onto cardboard. After cutting it out of cardboard, I used it as my template to trace onto thin craft foam in various colors. I used Sharpies and paint markers to outline the shape and to write big number 1s on them. I rolled strips of foam into tubes and glued them to the backs, turning them into pencil toppers.

2. SCOREBOARD: I downloaded a picture of a scoreboard that I liked and edited on my computer to add my son's name, make the score 1-0, and make it the first period. I printed four copies of this. I covered an almost cube-shaped box with black wrapping paper, leaving the top open so I will be able to use it as a keepsake box later, then glued a scoreboard to each side. I added a picture from The Hockey News magazine to the bottom, some NHL team logo stickers around the sides, and string to the top so I could hang it from the ceiling.

a. HOCKEY STICKS: After rolling out the dough, I cut out simple hockey stick shapes with a knife, then decorated them with icing.
b. FOAM FINGERS: Using the same template as the craft foam fingers, I created my own cookie cutter from an aluminum baking pan, then used it to cut the shapes out of the dough. Each cookie was decorated with colored icing first, then had a number 1 added in white or chocolate icing.

4. MINI STANLEY CUP: I printed off a simple picture of the Stanley Cup for reference, then stacked up two plastic containers (with lids on), a center piece from a roll of tape, and a little bowl. Once I was happy with the configuration, I drew 4 evenly spaced lines around each of the plastic containers and put a line of hot glue on these lines to create ridges. I also did a line of hot glue around the bottom edge of both containers. After stuffing the containers with balled up newspaper and chunks of cardboard to make them solid, I used more hot glue to seal the lid on and fill in the gap between the container and lid. I covered the individual parts with aluminum foil and foil tape, doing my best to keep it smooth on the two plastic containers but letting it be rough on the bowl to mimic the embossing on the real Cup. The last step was to use hot glue to stick the parts together.

5. PAPER ZAMBONI FAVOR BOXES: I designed a pattern for a paper zamboni and printed it on colored cardstock. After cutting and folding them, I secured the sides with staples (you could use glue or tape) and filled them with candy before tying a ribbon around them. These would be fun for older kids to color as a party activity. NOTE: I believe that Kinder Surprise, Eggtopia NHL Eggs and other similar chocolate eggs with toys inside will fit inside these. I filled them with mini chocolate bars.

a. CONCESSION SIGN: I typed up the concession sign in Word, using black capital letters and red punctuation/numbers and printed it on white cardstock. I added pieces of a Coca-Cola box to the center page, then glued all three pages to a large piece of cardboard that I wrapped in black wrapping paper.
b. FOOD LABELS: I printed off the labels on white cardstock and drew/colored the pictures. After cutting them out, I glued them onto colored cardstock.

7. BANNERS: I printed out the letters in my son's name on colored card stock and cut them out in the shape of hanging banners (rectangle with the bottom 2 corners cut off to form an arrow shape). I glued these onto slightly larger pieces of colored cardstock, then strung them together on ribbon.

8. CUSTOM BOTTLES OF WATER: I set up a sheet of "labels" in Word that were as wide as I could make them and 1.88" high (5/sheet). I downloaded images of NHL team jerseys and inserted them into the labels, then typed my son's name and "1st BIRTHDAY" in a coordinating color. I printed them on regular white paper, cut them into strips, and attached them with a long strip of clear packing tape that covered the paper completely and was sticky at both ends to stick onto the bottle. I recommend removing the original label first.

9. NHL DRAFT BOARD: I printed a 1 (black printing on white background) and my son's full name (white printing with black "highlighting") on white cardstock and cut it out. I also printed the logos from the most recent NHL draft. I glued these to a large piece of black poster board. I also glued photos of my son to the board.

10. FOAM FINGER CAKE: I baked a 9"x13" cake and trimmed it in the shape of a foam finger, leaving the pointer finger quite wide to avoid having it break when I moved the cake to the tray. I decorated it with red and white icing and used a matching 1-shaped candle.

11. HOCKEY ICE TABLE: Since our kitchen table is a white oval, I used red and blue duct tape and red and white paper with clear mactac to create a rink on the top of it.

We own a lot of hockey memorabilia, jersey, blankets, etc., so I used those throughout our kitchen and living room to decorate.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Artist "Shout Out" - Eileen Gidman

This evening I thought I would check up on what my super-talented artist friend Eileen Gidman has been up to - WOW HAS SHE BEEN BUSY!

Check out her website here: Eileen Gidman

And view her blog here: Eileen Gidman's Blog

Eileen has pioneered this fantastic technique of painting on fabric with permanent dyes. You have NEVER seen stuff like this anywhere else. Each piece is 100% unique and they are all beautiful.

Don't these raspberries just look good enough to eat?!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

DIY Shelf From Broken Hockey Sticks

- 2 L-shaped shelf brackets
- screws
- tools
- strong glue
- pieces of hockey sticks (tape removed, washed, etc.)

1. Decide on the size of shelf, based on the size of the brackets, and determine how many pieces of stick are required and how long to cut them. Cut the sticks to length.

2. Lay the sticks out face down and side by side. Place the brackets on top. Screw the brackets to the 2 sticks that the holes line up on. Lift up the brackets and apply glue to the top, then place them back on the rest of the sticks. Put something heavy on the brackets until the glue is dry.

3. Once the glue is dry, screw the brackets to the wall. Use a level and use drywall plugs if you can't find studs. Glue on one last stick to fill in the gap at the back - mine had to be up on edge to fit. Use a piece of tape to hold it while the glue dries. DONE!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

DIY Easy Woven Friendship Bracelet

Lately I've been making these fantastic and easy woven friendship bracelets: They are fun to make and handy to have along while waiting at the dentist office or wherever. I've got some tips on colors/patterns for those of you who are interested.

Rainbow Spiral (7 Colors)
For a rainbow bracelet, start with the 7 colors (blue, green, yellow, orange, red, purple, violet/pink) in this order:

Stripes (3 Colors)
For a striped bracelet with 3 colors (3 of the first color, 2 each of the second and third), start with the 7 strands in this order:

Here is a photo of what this one looks like:

Monday, July 23, 2012

DIY Hockey Player Rock Art (Using a Broken Stick)

I've decided to dedicate one of my small flower beds to my favorite hockey team, the Edmonton Oilers. I have started gathering seeds/plants for blue and orange flowers, as well as blue and orange rocks to go around them. I will also include some broken hockey sticks as decoration and to keep the dog out of the flower bed.

It occurred to me to include a little hockey player in the bed, so I built an inukshuk, or rock person, using two round "leg" rocks, an oblong "body" rock, a round "head" rock, and a piece of aluminum hockey stick for "arms". I added a water-less Oilers logo tattoo to the "body" rock and a couple stickers on the "shoulders". I glued it all together using GOOP, and had to use a black pop bottle cap behind the legs to get it to balance properly, but I think it turned out pretty well.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July to my American friends and family! Stay safe if you are out to a party - don't drink and drive!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Happy Free Agency Day! Happy Canada Day!

To all my Canadian friends and family: Happy Canada Day!

To hockey fans worldwide: happy free agency day!

To all the NHL players who are now free agents: best of luck finding a new team! Hope everything goes well for you, the teams, and your families!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Interview with CBJ Forward Mark Letestu

Last night I had the pleasure of chatting with Columbus Blue Jackets (NHL) forward Mark Letestu, who was signing autographs at the minor hockey registration in Elk Point, AB (our hometown). I asked him about a variety of topics and here's what he had to say:

Me: Did you watch the NHL Draft today?
Mark: I think I got to pick 6 or pick 5 - Toronto just selected Morgan Rielly - so I saw a little bit of it [before I had to leave to come here]. A few trades, pretty exciting, seemed to be a good atmosphere in Pittsburgh.

Me: What do you think of Columbus' selection (defenseman Ryan Murray)?
Mark: I think they got the guy they wanted. It sounded like Murray was somebody they were happy with. Obviously the new coach (Associate Coach Hartsburg) coached him in junior so they had some background on him and by all accounts the [CBJ management] seem to think he's ready and someone we can rely on for help, which is great.

Me: Do you feel like this season you'll get to play a bigger role since you're not a rookie or "the new guy"?
Mark: I don't know. I'm hoping for a bigger role. In the last little bit of last season I played a big role, I played a lot of minutes, so I'm hoping to stay in that role, but we weren't a winning team last year and I expect them to make a lot of changes, to shuffle things up, to get a winning combination, so if [I end up in] a smaller role or a bigger role, I'm happy to be a part of it anyway.

Me: What are your expectations for yourself and for the team this season?
Mark: I think it's obvious to say that we want to be better than last place. [I hope] we give ourselves a chance at the end to be in the playoffs. We finished strong and we'd like to continue that, and hopefully it gives us a chance at one of those 8 spots. For myself, I'd like to get a healthy year. It's been two years now that I've been hurt at some point. I'd like to play all 82 games.

Me: What are you focusing on this summer?
Mark: It seems the cliche is [to say] to get stronger and faster - you're always trying to do those things - but this year I've been trying to loosen up a little bit. The injury prevention is big now. You're always getting stronger or quicker throughout the season but you're just trying to prevent injuries and hopefully have a strong year.

Me: How has becoming a father changed your game?
Mark: I don't know if it has changed my game a lot but it definitely changes the way you approach things. Obviously it's another person relying on you and your success. It's something [my wife] and I have talked about - wanting [our son] to see me as a hockey player, to hopefully stay in the league long enough that he gets to understand what dad does and hopefully he gets to experience a little bit of hockey and maybe take it up on his own.

Me: What are your thoughts on the new CBJ coaching staff?
Mark: I don't know them personally. I haven't had an opportunity to talk to any of them. I think obviously with the draft and free agency coming up, the current players kind of come after all that, so from what I've seen, they seem to be more than qualified. Craig has head coaching experience in the NHL and Keith will fill in that penalty killing role and really help there. We struggled on that this year. As many coaches on the bench as possible, with a young group, as many people teaching - if you can pick up a think or two along the way, it's great. I'm happy they brought in as many guys as they did.

Me: Are you tired of switching jersey numbers?
Mark: I didn't want to switch this last time. Probably the toughest part is [remembering to sign the correct number and] not screwing up somebody's hockey card. This time 10 wasn't available. I would have liked to stay with 10. At the time I think I was given 6, 12 or 17 to choose from and 17 seemed like the right one. I won't change it [back to 10 if it were available] now - somebody has probably bought [a CBJ jersey with 17] so [I'll stick with it].

Me: I see Tim Hortons is popular in Columbus - are you a fan?
Mark: I'm not a huge fan. I'll have it if I have to. But it's kind of a friendly reminder of where you're from.

Me: Are you on Twitter?
Mark: I am but I'm not "out there". I'm kind of under the radar. I like to get my baseball and my hockey news [on Twitter] but I don't like being followed. It seems like a lot of guys put themselves out there for some criticism and at the end of the day sometimes after a bad game you don't need to hear any of that.

Me: What is the best part of coming to an event like this?
Mark: It's pretty cool to see all the kids and to help minor hockey. I've always been proud of being from Elk Point so any chance I get to come back and help out, whether it's at a small level like this, just minor hockey, or any kind of event the town needs, it's just really gratifying and it's happy. It's a perfect compliment to the career.

Thanks again Mark for your time! Hope we can chat again next summer.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

NHL Awards Done, Draft on Friday

I've never paid much attention to the NHL Awards - I usually disagree with the selections - but I tuned in for a bit since there were two Oilers players nominated this year (Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins). Alas, neither won, but I'm still proud of both of them for their great seasons and the nominations.

Now for the draft! The first round goes Friday and the rest of the rounds are on Saturday. I'll be tuning in to see who my Oilers select with their 3rd consecutive 1st-overall pick. I read a great article about top prospect Nail Yakupov, so I won't mind if they take him, but I'd really like them to take one of the great Canadian defensemen. I guess I'll see what happens Friday.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

DIY Custom Keyboard - NHL Team Logos

Using my favorite magazine, The Hockey News, and some packing tape, I customized my keyboard with NHL team logos. You can do it with any magazine or laser-printed pictures you like. It's easy and durable but shouldn't damage your keys if you ever want to remove it. It would be fun to do with a large picture that's cut into key-sized pieces, especially on a white keyboard. You could also do large letters if you have trouble reading your keys.

- magazine
- packing tape
- scissors
- dish of warm water
- keyboard

1. Cut out the pictures slightly smaller than the keys.

2. Stick packing tape to the fronts and rub it down so it's stuck really well.

3. Soak the tape in warm water and gently rub the paper off the back, leaving just the ink on the tape. Let dry.

4. Trim around the pictures, leaving a thin edge of tape. Stick onto your keys. DONE!

Monday, June 11, 2012

30 NHL Team Pocket Schedule Project

I've been working on this post for months and will continue to update it as responses come in, but since the season is now over (congratulations to the LA Kings on their first Stanley Cup), I thought I'd post it.

As the 2011-12 NHL season began to wind down, I had an idea: since my son was born at the beginning of the season, I would try to collect pocket schedules from all 30 teams for his keepsake box. I went on the teams' websites to find their contact information and any specifications for requesting pockets schedules and/or fan packs. Some teams accept e-mail requests, some require a SASE, and some don't give any information, so I just hand-wrote them a nice letter and fired it in the mail. Here is what I got back:

Anaheim Ducks: 1 pocket schedule, 1 player card, 2 decals
Boston Bruins:
Buffalo Sabres: 1 pocket schedule, 1 magnet, 1 window decal
Calgary Flames: 3 player cards, 6 stickers
Carolina Hurricanes: 1 sticker, 2 tattoos, 2 cards
Chicago Blackhawks:
Colorado Avalanche: 4 pocket schedules
Columbus Blue Jackets:
Dallas Stars: 1 pocket schedule, 1 player card
Detroit Red Wings: 1 tattoo, 1 sticker, 1 decal, 2 player cards
Edmonton Oilers:
Florida Panthers: 3 pocket schedules
Los Angeles Kings:
Minnesota Wild:
Montreal Canadiens: 5 player cards, 1 sticker
Nashville Predators: 1 pocket schedule
New Jersey Devils: 2 pocket schedules
New York Islanders:
New York Rangers: 4 pocket schedules, 4 wallet card schedules
Ottawa Senators: e-mailed to inform me that they did not produce a paper schedule
Philadelphia Flyers:
Phoenix Coyotes: 2 pocket schedules
Pittsburgh Penguins: 2 pocket schedules
San Jose Sharks: 1 pocket schedule, 1 magnet, 1 sticker, 3 tattoos, 5 cards
St. Louis Blues: 3 pocket schedules, 2 decals
Tampa Bay Lightning:
Toronto Maple Leafs:
Vancouver Canucks: 5 players cards, 1 decal
Washington Capitals:
Winnipeg Jets:

Friday, June 1, 2012

DIY Zamboni (Papercraft)

I designed this to use as party favor boxes with the intention of having kids color and asssemble them. I printed them on different colored cardstock.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

DIY Mini Stanley Cup Replica

'Tis the season... for fan-made Stanley Cups to make their appearances at parties, parades, and arenas. Here's how I made mine, which is about half the size of the real cup and MUCH lighter.

- plastic containers
- small bowl
- center piece from a roll of tape
- aluminum foil
- aluminum foil tape
- hot glue gun and glue sticks
- ruler
- marker
- cardboard scraps
- newspaper

1. I printed off a simple picture of the Stanley Cup for reference, then stacked up two plastic containers (with lids on), a center piece from a roll of tape, and a little bowl.

2. Once I was happy with the configuration, I drew 4 evenly spaced lines around each of the plastic containers and put a line of hot glue on these lines to create ridges. I also did a line of hot glue around the bottom edge of both containers.

3. After stuffing the containers with balled up newspaper and chunks of cardboard to make them solid, I used more hot glue to seal the lid on and fill in the gap between the container and lid.

4. I covered the individual parts with aluminum foil and foil tape, doing my best to keep it smooth on the two plastic containers but letting it be rough on the bowl to mimic the embossing on the real Cup. The last step was to use hot glue to stick the parts together. I used two circles of cardboard covered in aluminum foil - one between the tape roll and the purple container and another on the very bottom. DONE!

The top of the cup can be used as a bowl for serving silver-wrapped candies at a party or holding a beloved souvenir from your favorite team as a good luck charm for the playoffs. What other uses can you think of? I'd love to hear your ideas and see photos of your creations.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

DIY Hockey Puck Baby Toy

I've seen these shaped as cubes and balls, but the basic idea is a soft toy with tags sticking out for babies to chew on, and since I love hockey, I decided to make one shaped like a hockey puck for my son.

- black fabric
- thread, sewing machine, notions
- ribbon, tags, patches, etc.
- stuffing
- crinkly plastic (optional)
- rattle (optional) *I used 2 buttons inside a tiny plastic container that I glued shut and sewed into its own fabric pouch.

1. If you are making a rattle to go inside the puck, start by making that. I used a scrap of fabric that I sewed on three sides before inserting the rattle and hand sewing closed.

2. Cut out two circles of black fabric. Measure around them and cut a strip that length plus seam-allowance and sew it end-to-end.

3. If you want to sew a patch on, do it now. Lay one circle on your work surface right side up. Place several ribbons/tags on top of the circle with the ends that you want sticking out aimed into the center. Carefully place the strip of black face down on top of the tags and pin in place. Sew around the circle, backstitching at least once every time you cross a tag/ribbon.

4. Add another layer of tags/ribbons to the strip and top this with the other circle. Pin together and sew almost all the way around, leaving a space for turning.

5. Turn the puck right side out and stuff it with crinkly plastic, stuffing, rattle, more stuffing, and more plastic.

6. Sew up the opening. DONE!

I have NO idea why EVERY picture came up sideways. I've been trying to post this for a week now and I'm finally just posting it with the pictures sideways because I can't get them to work properly.

Friday, May 11, 2012

DIY Mountain Range Ice Cream Cake

My husband loves the mountains, cake, and ice cream, so for his birthday I made him this cake.

- 2 cake pans that are the same size
- cake mix or ingredients
- ice cream
- icing: white, dark green, light green, yellow
- large chunks of chocolate
- baking and decorating supplies

1. Bake the cake and let it cool.

2. Leave the ice cream out for about 20 minutes so it's just a bit soft. Spoon some into a cake pan the same size as your cake and smooth it as much as you can. Refreeze it for several hours.

3. Slice the cake in half horizontally and carefully remove the top half. I flipped it onto a plate. Use a flipper to lift the ice cream out of the pan and place it onto the bottom half of the cake. Replace the top half. Cover with plastic wrap or tin foil and put back in the freezer until you are ready to do the decorating.

4. Prepare the icing and decorating materials. Break up the chocolate into rough chunks that look like rocks.

5. Work quickly so the ice cream doesn't get too soft. Spread some light green icing on the entire top of the cake, with lots in the middle. Stick your chunks of chocolate into this icing in a rough line across the cake. Use a star tip to make dark green icing trees around and between the chunks of chocolate. Add more little chunks of chocolate around the trees. Spread yellow icing around the rest of the cake, leaving a little light green border around the trees/mountains and drag a fork through it to create rows so it looks like fields. Add a few blobs of white icing on the tops of the chocolate chunks to look like snow.

6. Use toothpicks to keep the plastic wrap or tin foil from sticking to the icing and put the cake back in the freezer until just before you want to serve it. DONE.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I ♥ Ladybugs!

I love ladybugs - both live ones and decorative ones. I have ladybug glasses, a magnet, wind chimes, tea towels, a table cloth, a dish for my pot scrubbers... My mom also painted some ladybug rocks for me, along with a rock that says: ladybugs welcome. I have other ladybug decorations in my flower beds and my library contains the fantastic book Ladybugs of Alberta by John Acorn.

As a teenager I had the unique experience of discovering what I can only describe as a ladybug nest. At first I thought the ground was bleeding, because it looked like red veins flowing out from a bubbling, raspberry-like center. I cautiously moved closer and found that it was thousands of pin-head-sized ladybugs, bright red with two tiny black spots each, rushing up out of the ground and off into the world in little trails. It was amazing.

I came across this wonderfull ladybug-themed party and am posting the link here in hopes that someone will host one for me for my next birthday: Hostess with the Mostess.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

DIY Dog Tie Out

We're lucky enough to have a fully fenced back yard for our dog to run in, but sometimes we need the gate open or don't want the dog into something, so I designed a tie out system to keep her out of trouble.

- two fence posts that are securely in the ground
- a length of strong aircraft cable that will reach between the posts
- 2 eye hooks
- 2 cable clamps
- 2 cable tighteners
- 2 quick links or carrabiners
- 1 short length of chain or cable, or a chain dog leash
- tools

1. Screw the eye hooks into the fence posts, facing each other. Make sure they are at a height that will allow the dog to lay down comfortably, but high enough that you don't have to dig it out of the snowbank or mow around it or whatever.

2. Attach the tighteners to the eye hooks.

3. Attach the cable to the tighteners. Tighten it as much as you can.

4. Secure the short chain to the cable with one of the links/carrabiners. Put the other link on the other end of the chain (use this to attach it to the dog's collar). DONE!

The dog can be clipped to the cable quickly and can have the full length of the yard to move, without the risk of getting wrapped around something. In my yard the dog can get from the sun to the shade.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Candy Wrapper Pouch

I saw this fantastic tutorial at Punkin Patterns and knew I would have to try it. I used two Skittles wrappers that I covered with clear mactac rather than iron-on vinyl and it worked fairly well.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Stanley Cup Party

Even though my team didn't make the playoffs this year, there's always next year. Until then, I can still dream about the Stanley Cup party I'll throw, and I'll share my ideas with you in case your team is still in the running (or you'd like to dream about next season too).

Serving bowls: silver like the Cup
Platters/trays: glass to look like ice
Coasters: pucks or circles of black felt/foam

For decorations, use temporary hooks, like 3M Command hooks, and coat hangers to display jerseys, banners, and flags on your walls. Add your team's logo to things with stickers or print it out and glue or tape it on. Ribbon can also be tied around things to add color.

You can label cups or wine glasses with player names/numbers so that guests can tell them apart. You can also cover or replace the labels on bottles to look like jerseys.

For activities and games, I recommend keeping actual hockey or street hockey OUTSIDE to avoid damaging things in your house. Air/table hockey would be appropriate, and there are lots of hockey trivia games and NHL themed board games like Monopoly.

Many things are available in your team colors: table cloths, napkins, plates, cups, streamers, drinks, Jello, icing for cookies/cupcakes, candies... For other snacks/flavors, I've been thinking by color:

- strawberries
- raspberries
- red licorice
- salsa
- watermelon
- tomatoes
- red delicious apples
- garlic sausage, pepperoni sticks
- cherries
- cranberry
- ketchup chips

- cheddar cheese
- cheesies
- cheese nachos
- carrot sticks
- cantaloupe
- crackers
- chips
- orange slices
- peach

- chips
- golden delicious apples
- yellow pears
- crackers
- bananas
- lemon
- nachos
- buttered popcorn

- pickles
- melon
- broccoli
- celery
- green apples
- green grapes
- lime
- kiwi
- guacamole/avocado
- mint

- blueberries
- blue raspberry
- bubblegum
- blue cheese

- saskatoons
- red/purple grapes
- black cherry

- black licorice
- dark and milk chocolate
- chocolate pudding
- chocolate cake
- chocolate ice cream
- Oreos
- pretzels

- vanilla ice cream
- whipped cream
- mozza cheese
- white chocolate
- popcorn
- crackers
- chips
- white cake
- cheesecake
- nachos

Don't forget to decorate your garbage can with the opposing team's colors and logo. ;-)

Friday, April 13, 2012

DIY Chocolate Kiss and Cookie Acorns

There are a tonne of "recipes" for these on the internet, so I'm not going to go into great detail on these cute little treats, but I had fun making them and wanted to share them. Basically you melt some chocolate (in a double boiler or in the microwave) and use it to stick an unwrapped chocolate "kiss" onto a small cookie, then to stick a chocolate chip on the other side of the cookie, and voila - tasty little acorns!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Modifying Solar Lights

I was given two little dragonfly solar lights a couple years ago and I love them to pieces (I love dragonflies), but they are on stakes that are meant to go into the ground, which doesn't work when you have a dog that insists on chewing everything she can reach. I had used twist-ties to secure them up in my tree, but the wind blows them crooked all the time and the twist-ties break. This evening I used my drill and drilled a hole into one of the dead branches on the tree and stuck the stake into the hole - voila! The light is still high enough that I don't think the dog will bother it (although I did put a piece of wire fence around it just in case), the ugly stump now serves a purpose, and the light will be easier to see and get more charging sunlight once the leaves are on the tree than it did before. Now I just have to decide whether I'll risk doing the same thing with my second light in my tree in the front yard - I'm a bit worried that someone might walk away with my light if I do...

I've previously modified other solar lights to get them up off the ground. They are little lanterns that were meant to hang from hooks that were poked in the ground, but instead I hung them from "quick-links" (used for joining chains) and eye-hooks that I screwed horizontally into the top ends of my fence posts. They work great for lighting up the path still, but we don't have to mow around them or worry about the dog eating them. And they won't blow off in the wind because of the eye-hooks and "quick-links" rather than just hooks.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Happy Keyboard

I am DEFINITELY trying this: Happy Keyboard. I think I will do it with some packing tape transfers. I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Origami Easter Flowers

I just folded an origami sunflower with blue paper and put a 2" square photo of my son in the center to send as a thank you for an Easter present. It's super cute and easy. Here is the link to the pattern again: Origami Sunflower.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Origami Flowers

I found this cute origami sunflower pattern the other day and had to try it. I used a 6" square of yellow origami paper and a 2" square of brown for each flower. These are also cute in other colors, and I think they would be adorable with a photo in the center.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Showers Bring May Flowers

It's raining here this morning, which should get rid of the last of our snow and hopefully clean things up and "green" things up as well. I'm hoping to get more rocks arranged in our yard this summer. We did a stone path from the house to the garage, which really cut down on the spring mud. I'd like to do along the back of the house, where nothing really grows anyway, to stop the dog from digging and cover some of the barren clay. It's a lot of work, since we use "found" rocks, not nice even purchased ones, but I love how it looks when it's done.

Monday, March 26, 2012

DIY Packing Tape Transfers/Stickers

My mom reminded me about this technique on the weekend. I had seen this fun project on How About Orange and had been meaning to try it, so Mom and I did some experimenting...

- pictures from magazines or printed with a laser printer (photographs and inkjet images don't work)
- clear packing tape (clear mactac also works, but not quite as well)
- a dish of warm water
- stuff to stick your images on (vases, candle holders, greeting cards, picture frames, basically anything)

1. Cut out the image (or tear around it for a different effect). Keep in mind that anything that is white will become clear.

2. Cover the image with packing tape. If it is bigger than a single piece of tape, overlap the tape a bit. Rub the tape down firmly (use your fingernail).

3. Soak the entire thing in water for a few minutes. Carefully rub the back side, rubbing away the paper. The ink will stay on the tape.

4. The tape will still be a bit sticky, but you can use mod podge or a similar glue to help it stick. DONE!

This is really fun and the possibilities are endless. I did a bunch of NHL team logos to decorate my son's hockey stick headboard. I'm going to try writing on paper with markers and see if that works too - I'll keep you posted.

Friday, March 23, 2012

More "Hidden" Floor Vent Covers

I used sunflower yellow spray paint and wood-grain mactac to cover more of my floor vent covers, transforming them from this... this.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

DIY Turn a Broken Hockey Stick into a Keepsake

I got this idea last summer when I was at an autograph session and saw a guy with a completely white hockey stick with a small Oilers logo on the blade. In my collection of broken hockey sticks I had several that were complete sticks with broken blades, so I decided to "repair" them.

- hockey stick (tape/stickers removed, washed)
- strong glue
- spray paint
- hockey tape
- stickers/decals
- acrylic craft paint

1. Use glue and tape to put your broken stick back together.

2. Spray paint the entire stick the color of your choice.

3. Wrap hockey tape around your repaired areas to hide them. You can use tape with a design on it or paint the tape with acrylic craft paint (stick the tape on a plastic container and paint it before you wrap it on the stick). Add decals if desired.

a. On the white stick, I used tape with Oilers logos on it - 5 strips, one for each Stanley Cup.

b. On the blue stick, I painted the tape to match the CBJ third jersey's stripes and added a decal on the blade.

c. On the red stick, I stuck with just plain tape, again mimicking the jersey stripes, and will add a Team Canada decal on the tape on the blade.

*If you plan to get autographs on the stick, test your marker on a spot where you will be adding tape or a decal. You want the marker to show up well, write easily, and dry quickly. I recommend Sharpies.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

DIY Referee Bib

My cousin is a hockey referee so I thought it would be fun to make bibs for his kids that look like referee uniforms.

- white fabric (I used a t-shirt)
- black fabric (I used denim)
- thread, sewing machine, notions, etc.
- acrylic craft paint (black, orange), brush
- masking tape
- bias tape, ribbon, or cord

1. Cut out a bib shape from both the white and black fabric. I traced around another bib.

2. Apply strips of tape to the areas of the bib that you want to stay white, including the areas that will be orange. Make sure that the tape is stuck down well from edge to edge.

3. Paint the exposed areas black and let the paint dry. Remove the tape.

4. Outline the area that will be orange with black paint. Let it dry.

5. Paint the orange area. Let it dry.

6. Lay the painted/white piece on top of the black piece, wrong sides together, and tuck 2 pieces of bias tape/ribbon/cord in between the layers on either side of the neck opening.

7. Sew all the way around the edges of the bib. Clip the edge fabric approximately every inch to create a "rag-time" look. DONE!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Another Beautiful Spring Day

It's hard to stay inside and craft when the weather is so beautiful - needless to say, I still have a pile of projects waiting for me.

I have to add another project to my list: referee toddler bib. It's started and I'll post photos and instructions once it's done.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Creativity Stymied

My creativity has been stymied lately as a result of a vicious battle with a stomach flu, so I apologize for my lack of posts - I'm hoping to be back to crafting and sewing (and blogging about it) soon. Some projects that I'd like to get done in the next little while are:
  • turning a broken hockey stick into a display stick to collect autographs on
  • mending a quilt that the dog chewed a hole in
  • making more floor vents disappear
  • sewing a hockey puck shaped baby toy
I'll keep you posted on what I accomplish...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Shoebox Full of Trading Cards

It's not an unusual sight; shoeboxes full of trading cards are common in basements, closets, attics, and garages across North America. My house is no different, I have several shoeboxes full of hockey cards, but I also have one very special shoebox.

This box is going to bring smiles to the faces of kids. This box is full of carefully repackaged cards that I'm going to give to a local children's hospital or charity. I was inspired by Cards 2 Kids, an organization started by a teenager to give sports cards to sick kids. I knew that between my own collection and the cards I had acquired at garage sales, that I could do something similar myself. I got a bunch of zipper bags at a dollar store and sorted through my cards, making up packages that contained an even mix of modern and retro cards, rookies and stars, current and former Edmonton Oilers, and, of course, lots of Upper Deck cards (because they're my favorite). I also packaged up some of the non-sports trading cards that I had.

My next step is to contact some local hospitals and charities to arrange for the distribution of the cards. I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Mobile Blogging

I just downloaded the Google Blogger app on my smart phone and wanted to try it out. It should allow me to blog from anywhere, even when I don't have my laptop. Could come in handy. ;-)

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

It comes but once every four years...

Happy Leap Day! I figured I should post today since I won't get to write another February 29th post for 4 years.

The last couple days I've been transforming photo mats with acrylic craft paint. I started with mats that came in frames that I picked up at garage sales and painted them to match my photos. It's simple but effective, and certainly a lot cheaper than buying custom mats. You can easily match cheap mats to team colors, wedding colors, school colors, or any other colors you want with just a couple coats of paint.

Monday, February 27, 2012

DIY Toy Car Play Mat

I was inspired by this wonderful toy car play mat over at Punkin Patterns to create one of my own.

- sewing machine, notions, etc.
- a button
- a hair elastic
- 6 toy cars
- a piece of thin quilt batting 18.5" x 30.5"
- fabric:
  • 1 of back side 18.5" x 30.5" - this is what will show when the mat is rolled up
  • 1 of garage 18.5" x 10" - can be anything; mine is bricks
  • 1 of black 18.5" x 6.5"
  • 4 of black 18.5" x 2.5"
  • 12 of black 4.5" x 2.5"
  • 12 of feature 4.5" x 4.5" (square) - fabrics featuring things to drive on or around (buildings, rocks, grass, etc.)
- thread:
  • bobbins matching back side fabric
  • top thread matching garage fabric
  • yellow top thread
1. Pre-wash, iron, and cut the fabric. Lay out the feature blocks 3 wide and 4 high. Interspace 3 of the short black strips into each row, alternating which end of the row you put the black strip on:
B-F-B-F-B-F   F-B-F-B-F-B   B-F-B-F-B-F   F-B-F-B-F-B

2. Sew 1 short black strip to the side of each feature square (6 on the left, 6 on the right). Iron.

3. Sew the rows together. Iron. Sew one long black strip to the top of each row. Iron. Sew these new rows together. Sew the wide black piece to the bottom of your rows. Iron.

Fold your garage piece in half (right side out) so that it is now 18.5" x 5" and iron the fold. Line the open side up with the bottom edge and baste it on top of the wide black piece. The top is now complete.

4. Layer the batting, the piece for the back side (right side up), and the top (right side down). Place the elastic between the top and back on one side approximately 3.5" down from the top edge, with the majority of it inside and just enough sticking out to catch in the seam. Pin all the way around. Sew around the edge, leaving an opening for turning.

5. Trim the tips off the corners. Turn the mat right side out. Sew the opening shut.

6. Mark the center of the garage piece. Mark 2.75" and 5.5" from the center mark on both sides. Using top thread that matches the garage fabric and bobbin thread that matches the back side, sew lines up the garage at these 5 marks (from the bottom outside edge up to the black), turning 1 big pocket into 6 car-sized pockets. Backstitch at the ends.

7. Using yellow top thread and bobbin thread that matches the back side, sew down the center of all of the black strips. Backstitch at the ends. I sewed 1 big long line zigzagging across the mat on the long strips and down the short strips on the ends of the rows, then did the short strips in the center of the mat.

8. Put the toy cars in the garage pockets. Fold the mat in half top to bottom, then in half again the same way. Roll up the mat from the end opposite where your elastic is. Mark where you need to sew on the button so the elastic will loop around it and hold the mat closed. Sew the button on - be careful not to sew all the way through to the front side. DONE!