Monthly Archives: September 2011

Super Easy No Sew Halloween Table Runner

As seen on Roots and Wings Co blog
no sew halloween table runner
Who doesn’t like super simple? I know lots of our followers aren’t fans of the sewing machine. How this can possibly be, I just can’t understand. I mean, doesn’t everyone dream in fabric like I do?  I start to wonder about non-sewers and my mind just goes into a blank dark place and I have to have a Pepsi Throwback STAT to come back to normal. But I guess there are people who don’t like to sew. Ouch. That hurt to even type out.

This was so easy, that I won’t fault you for wanting to try it. It was super simple and quick. The hardest part was wrestling with the contact paper. I am not kidding. It should be a sport like putting a sports bra should be a full exercise, but I digress.

Get yourself some contact paper, a ruler, paper cutters, paint, stencil brushes or dauber, and your material. (This would also look super cute with black rick-rack glued around the border, but you know I don’t like glue, so I didn’t do it…although, I REALLY was tempted to buy a glue gun to try it out.) When I did my little post about Smart-Fab, I was left wondering if you could really paint on it. Yes, you can! If you don’t have Smart-Fab, don’t worry. This would be totally cute on burlap or any other coarse weave fabric.

Start by making your template with your contact paper. I am a huge fan of pinwheel quilts so I went with a pinwheel pattern for this. Essentially, you could do any kind of design. I drew out a square on the paper side of the contact paper. Then I drew diagonal lines and then a horizontal and vertical lines intersecting in the middle. I just cut out every other triangle and left the negative ones attached.

1 make a template with contact paper

Since the contact paper wanted to roll on me, I used a (gasp) glue stick (it is my kid’s glue, honest) to the cut contact paper to hold it for positioning. Think about transfer tape used to install vinyl. That is basically what I did here. Apply the contact paper, sticky side down on your fabric.

2 use paper to back for a minute

Using a fairly dry paint, carefully daub the paint on. I just used acrylic craft paint. Make sure you have a washable surface under the fabric incase it bleeds through. When stenciling, make sure you don’t shove the paint under the stencil. Move the paint away from the edges of the template.

3 using dry paint, paint

Remove the contact paper and admire you quick paint job! It was super quick for me because I didn’t make sure it was perfectly painted on.

4 take off contact paper

I added some polka-dots to every other pinwheel and Viola! You are done! Took less than an hour. Most of the wasted time, as I stated above, was wrestling with the contact paper to make it lay nicely on the fabric.  The edges are not stitched one bit. Just cut evenly with the dimensions I wanted for my little table.

no sew halloween table runner 2

You could totally do this with freezer paper, or vinyl if you have either of those. I just happened to have contact paper handy.

Enjoy! Let me know how much you loved this quick project and send me pictures of your finished projects. Hurry up. You could totally have one (or five) of these done in a jiffy!
~Anjeanette

This is another project using Smart-Fab! I have to say what a fun medium this is turning out to be. I don’t have to worry about the edges unraveling on this and there was no sewing needed!

Savoring Spring with Dump Cake

(As seen on Roots and Wings Co blog)
This spring, we went and picked cherries for the first time.
Have you ever been cherry picking? It was a great family activity. We picked about 15 pounds in just over half an hour. Next time, we need twice that.

As it turns out, my kids really like cherries. They ate more than they pitted. After they filled their bellies with cherries, we made some yummy desserts then froze the rest.
 3 helper eating the cherries
We have made lots of things with the cherries, but this just may be my favorite because it is so simple. I am sure you probably know what a “Dump Cake” is. You open a few cans of fruit, dump them in a pan, cover with cake mix and bake. You can still do that with this recipe, but I kind of upped it a little by making my own cherry pie filling with cherries my family picked. It seems like the more times my kids hands touch something, the more likely they will eat it. (But maybe I don’t want them eating this because that means there is less for me. Hmmm. I’ll have to rethink this one;)
I froze the cherries in 3 cup servings and this works well with the recipe I tweaked for this.
I mix in a saucepan:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 Tablespoons arrowroot starch (you can use cornstarch)
Add:
3 c frozen cherries
1 teaspoon vanilla (homemade is best…It is time to start mine for Christmas this year but that is another post)
4 cooking down the frozen cherries
Simmer for 25 minutes. Then cool completely.
5 mix in some crushed pineapple
In a pan, mix together a large can of crushed pineapple and the cherries.
6 mix butter and a cake mix
Take about 3/4 of a box cake mix and mix it with 4 Tablespoons of butter until all the mix is crumbly. This part is important to me because I don’t want to eat dry cake mix if it doesn’t have enough butter to saturate it. Blech. Spread the mixture over the fruit and bake for 40-50 min on 350.
7 make sure it covers the pan
It is ugly, it is heavenly, it is easy. Go forth and make some dump cake!
 8 dump cake is done
Of course, if you don’t have frozen, handpicked cherries, you can use a can of cherry pie filling and still enjoy this super easy and yummy treat.
~Anjeanette

Smart-Fab!

(As seen on Roots and Wings Co blog)
Something fun about blogging is getting to learn about things that I may otherwise not have known about. The kind people from Smart-Fab contacted us and asked if we would like to try their product. Uhm…you had to ask? Of course!

Smart-Fab 1

I looked at the Smart-Fab website to see just what it was they were going to let me play with. It looked like a perfect product for schools, PTA and churches. You could make the most amazing 3 dimensional bulletin boards with this stuff. It isn’t fabric and it isn’t paper. It is a combination of the two. Once I got my hands on it, I have to say that although it is PERFECT for schools, PTA and churches, it is also an awesome crafting and creating medium.

If you know me, you know I dream in fabric. Yes I do. So when I saw that you could sew with it, I was ready to create. I received lovely fall colors just in time to decorate my house for fall. And now that I live in Maryland, I actually do get to enjoy and experience Fall!

Smart-Fab 3

For starters, Smart-Fab cuts like buttah! It isn’t as hard on my scissors like paper is (although I didn’t use my good sewing scissors). It is stretchy and doesn’t seem to want to rip or tear. It has a texture almost like a fabric paper towel. Sounds strange, I know, but it is a lovely cross between paper and fabric. It stitched up nicely and was so much like working with fabric. Ooh I love it!

Smart-Fab 2

We have only painted one room in the house (and it isn’t even quite finished yet.) My half bath is really drab and needed some seasonal color. It is small and strange to take pictures in there so stick with me here. I stitched up some fall leaves freehand and I love it! My bathroom is happier now too.
  
Smart-Fab 4

I would never have found Smart-Fab had they not sent me some samples. But I am happy to be able to suggest to you the use of Smart-Fab. You can purchase it online through their website. It comes in long rolls like you would see in schools. There are a lot of different colors to choose from. The colors aren’t supposed to fade. It is supposed to be water resistant so you can use it in a lot more ways than just paper. You are supposed to be able to paint on it and that is my next challenge.

The two bummers I see about it are:
#1 it isn’t available in craft stores or local teacher supply stores. But I find I order a fair amount of my supplies online now days.

#2 I am not sure how well it would work with glue. I am guessing white glue wouldn’t really work. (I did not try to use glue with it at all.) I don’t actually own a glue gun anymore and I’m not a fan of glue anyway. I think it would work with some real crafting glue like E-6000. But that is just a guess. Since I’m not a fan of glue anyway, this isn’t a downer for me.

Thanks so much Smart-Fab for turning me onto a great product. I’ve only just begun to figure out what it can do.

~Anjeanette

Slow Cooker Applesauce with Little Hands

(As seen on Roots and Wings Co blog)
5 drag crackers in and enjoy your slow cooker applesauce
It is Fall here in Maryland. The leaves are just starting to loose some of the beautiful green. The air is crisp in the evenings and the mornings are often foggy. I didn’t get to enjoy real seasons in Arizona. It always seemed like we had two seasons: Hot and Hotter than HOT!  I am totally enjoying each season and each change of the season now that we are in Maryland.
I thought it would be fun to smell applesauce cooking  the other day while I was doing some other baking for a Sunday dinner. I had my 9 year old make the applesauce. He loves to help and this was something he could almost completely do by himself.
We started with a bag of about 10 large apples. I just used what we had. My little helper cut and cored them. I did a quick rough chop and we put the pieces in the slow cooker.
1 core and cut the apples
He sprinkled some cinnamon on top of the apples and added about 1/2 inch of water to coat the bottom of the cooker. We set it on high for 4 hours.
2 chop and sprinkle with cinnamon
Oh, it smelled so good! My guy kept peeking in on the apples to see if they were breaking down yet.
He said he didn’t want lumpy applesauce so we scooped them into the food processor and pureed them a little.
3 put in food processor
We put them back in the slow cooker to keep warm.
4
Oh my! Have you had warm, homemade applesauce? It is heavenly. Two ingredients: apples and cinnamon. No sugar needed. My kids like to eat them with animal crackers.
5 drag crackers in and enjoy your slow cooker applesauce
The best thing about this, is my son felt like he really contributed something special to our dinner.
What do you like to make with your kids?    
~Anjeanette

Pinterest is calling

(As seen on Roots and Wings Co blog)
No silly, we aren’t just discovering Pinterest. But I thought I’d share our boards with you so you can see what we are loving right now.
My most favorite recent pin is all about making your own Pumpkin Spice Syrup for Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Cook like a Champion blog. I personally should not even have it, but it does smell divine! (I was in Starbucks the other day and managed to escape there without a single thing for me! Now don’t start thinking I have great will power…I can’t have a lot of the stuff in there;)
Find me…Anjeanette on Pinterest pinning everything from stuff I can’t eat, to things to help me with my quilting obsessions. My profile says it all “I love pinterest because I hoard ideas already;)” So glad they aren’t only being kept in my head. It is getting out of control up there. Now I can keep ideas and inspiration on someone else’s computer! Brilliant.
Rebecca is still the one mostly pinning under Roots and Wings Co’s Pinterest. She is stacking up a ton of resources for teaching kiddos.
For Erika and Rebecca’s birthdays this year, I went through their pins to get their birthday gifts. So much fun! “I was doing research, Honey.” I said after spending oodles of time looking through their pins.
We are getting rained out here in Maryland. We are hoping for a break for two soccer games tomorrow. soccer  Hope your weekend is great. What are your plans?
~Anjeanette

Send a hug to a far away family member!

(This post has been a hit on Pinterest. As seen on Roots and Wings Co blog)
Last year, we moved from Arizona to Maryland. That is just about as far as you can go in the same country, don’t you think? My kids miss their cousins and I miss my family a lot. We would love to be able to reach right through the phone or Skype and give them a hug. But as you all know, that just isn’t possible. Instead, we thought we would mail some hugs!
I had this nice roll of paper in the kid’s art stuff. I rolled out some paper and had them lay down on it. With their arms outstretched, I traced around them with a pencil. With little ones you may need to hold their arms and fingers still so they don’t end up with monster limbs.
1 trace with arms stretched out

I went back over it with a Sharpie to kind of *tidy* things up.
2 go over the lines with a sharpie to make them darker and fix any mistakes

Then the kids got to make their hugs.
3 let the kids draw the details and color

They got to add any details they wanted and color however they wanted.
4 color

All colored in.
5 all colored in

Then I carefully cut the hugs out.
6 cut out around sharpie line

We folded the arms in like a hug.
7 fold arms in like a hug
7 fold the arms in like a hug

I wrote out a little note on the arms.
8 write a note

And we packed it in an envelope with some drawings.
9 mail it away
I guess my nephew loved his hug from his cousins. He came out of his room with the hug around him and told everyone he was getting a hug from my kids. Sweet! Years ago (when my son was much smaller and fit on the paper better) I traced up his whole body. He colored it in and we mailed it to my Grandma. She had it on her wall for a long time and thought of my son every time she walked by his outline. I love that. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to let someone faraway know you love them and miss them. Send them a hug!

Wouldn’t you love to get a hug in the mail? I know I would;)

~Anjeanette

Back to School Tradition

(As seen on Roots and Wings Co blog)

I moved from Arizona to Maryland a year ago. Both my kiddos started school this year. The kids wrote what they wanted to be when they grew up, like I shared with you a two years ago. This year, the 4th grader wants to be a singer.
20110824_999_9

The Kindergartener wants to be a scientist. Don’t let that cheezy smile fool you. He even has his evil scientist Mwa ha ha laugh.
20110824_999_6

And here I am. I was so busy getting the kiddos where they needed to go and all the right pictures, I barely was able to run a brush through my hair. But after the kids were in school, I was a little homesick for our usual traditional Boo Hoo Breakfast I used to host. Mom
Both my boys were in school for the first time. So I wrote out the one constant thing I wanted to be when I grew up. I’ve wanted to be lots of things. I still do. But I’ve always wanted to be a Mom.

~~Anjeanette