Friday, December 19, 2014

Hand Built Pottery Crosses

These are gifts that I made for my grandparents and my husband's grandma. I made them to hang on the wall and used a stick on hook on the back and included a self-nailing wall hanger to put in the wall (it is kind of backwards since normally you would have the hanger on the picture and the hook on the wall, but I needed something to stick to the back of the pottery.)

On the left is when I first hand built the crosses. I used a variety of flower stamps to fill in the middle of the slab rolled clay. All the little stamps are a collection of 3 holly berries on a stamp. I also used the edge of a Pic comb to make the little lines on the horizontal bar. The center has a hand built heart.

I am pretty pleased with how the details turned out in the picture above. I have been having to experiment a bit with figuring out how to make the prints show up and I feel like I toyally lucked out with these because they turned out just how I was hoping.

I had actually made a third cross, but that one didn't dry flat and curled a bit. They can't all turn out just how you hoped.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Hand Print Manger with Baby Jesus Craft Project

Every year my kids make a new ornaments for a variety of trees, including their grandparents, godparent, parents and their own little trees.

This is the one that my son made this year. He's getting close to growing out of doing hand print crafts, but I am going to do them while I can to keep remembering those little hands. It won't be long until they are big hands.

I even did this project as the craft project I did this month with his classroom and their ornaments were added to the Christmas tree that is for all the preschool classes and for the church congregation to see.

As you can see on the left, I drew a bunch of swaddled Baby Jesus'  that the kids cut out and colored.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Easy Kids Felt Bow Tie

I thought this turned out so cute! My son has been asking me for weeks if I could make him a bow tie to wear instead the ties that came with his dressy outfits. I finally made one for him when it was a "dress-up" day for Homecoming week at school.

It was really easy to make and requires very minimal sewing (no sewing machine needed!). Pictured above is all the supplies I had that includes a piece of felt, which you can usually buy on sale for 4/$1, thread, a needle, scissors, and sticky-back velcro (which you only need the rough side of.)

To start out with, I cut 2 rectangles to the desired size, then pinched them together in the center and ran thread through the folds in the center and wrapped it around the center next.

Next, I cut 2 strips of felt that would reach around his neck and a small rectangular piece that I wrapped around the center and stitched in to place. I stitched the 2 long neck pieces together in the center and stitched them to the bow. Then I wrapped the small rectangular pieces around the center so that the spot for the ends meet were in the back of the bow and them stitched it to the bow tie.

Lastly, I took a piece of  sticky-back velcro (just the rough side is needed since it will stick to the felt just fine, but go ahead and use both sides if you want) and pressed it in to place where I wanted the ends to meet and them just trimmed the excess felt from the ends.

This only took me about 10 minutes to make, which included gathering the supplies from my craft room. This would make such a cute little bow for the holiday season. My son is requesting a striped tie next, so I am going to have to think about how I will make that, it might include some hand painted stripes on the bow tie using fabric paint.

Monday, December 15, 2014

#ad GIVEAWAY and Review: A Butterfly Without Wings Book

My Thoughts

A Butterfly Without Wings is a darling book by David M.F. Powers. It's a story about a little caterpillar who decides to go after what he wants and comes up with a plan that involves convincing others he is something other than what he is, a caterpillar. He takes a risk and in the end it pays off for him and he does get to eat the tasty leaf he wanted. I did keep expecting it to take a bit of a Gingerbread boy turn, but it didn't and the main character ends up with his happy ending.

My son enjoys having this book read to him and gets excited whenever the caterpillar meets another creature who wants to eat him and manages to escape as a butterfly without wings, which seems to baffle all the characters who want to eat him.

The artwork is wonderfully drawn by Natalia Nesterova and will be sure to delight any child reading this book.

Book Description from Pants on Fire Publishing

When a caterpillar spots a green leaf waving from the top of a tree, he doesn't think twice about the dangers lurking about. Instead, he comes up with a plan and doggedly inches his way towards the leaf.

A Butterfly Without Wings is the charming story of a hungry, self-confident, and determined caterpillar that refuses to let obstacles stop him from reaching for his goal. The caterpillar proves that if you believe in yourself and set your mind to it, you can accomplish anything. With snappy dialogue, humor, and perfect pacing, award-winning author David M. F. Powers captures the spirit of determination and self-confidence.

Powers' spirited text is perfectly paired with artist Natalia's colorful and very lively artwork. Parents and their children will love reading and re-reading this celebration of confidence.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was given a copy of this book to review on the blog. All thoughts, opinions and pictures belong to me. No monetary compensation was received.

#ad Review - Ozeri 3x Tower Fan with Passive Noise Technology

My Thoughts

The feature I was most interested in with the Ozeri 3x Tower Fan with Passive Noise Technology was the Passive Noise Technology. My husband has a home office in the attic area of the house and it doesn't have good air flow and can get hot up there in the warmer months. The thing is, like I said, it's his home office and he is on conference call for almost 8 hours a day and can't have a lot of background noise. Background noise in a small space can sound really loud on a conference call causing people to ask what is going on in his office, but that is not the case with this fan. It is quite soft and is perfect for a home office.

The other feature we really like is that it is a tower fan and has 3 different fans which can be turned on individually or all of them to get the amount of blowing that you want and at what speed you want and in what direction. This has really helped with the air flow in a space that doesn't have very good air flow.

Other features that this fan has is that it has a remote control, but sometimes the remote can be a little finicky and it can be just as easy to walk over and switch the controls. Although, I can see how this feature would be a blessing to someone who has limited mobility or is bed-ridden. Another feature is the ability to choose different fan pattern types if that is something you like. My husband likes just a regular fan, so he doesn't really use this feature.

Product Description from Ozeri

Featuring unrivalled technology, the new Ozeri 3x 44" Tower Fan defines the latest in stylistic innovation and digital d├ęcor with its visually stunning design, slim form factor and elegant glass base stand. At less than 3 inches thick, the 3x Tower fan is one of the world's thinnest fans and boasts 3 independently controllable fans with passive noise cancellation technology for remarkable airflow velocity at less than 50dB. The 3x Tower Fan's passive noise reduction technology utilizes the physics of blade curvature to generate mitigating sound waves that reduce blade noise and help isolate the soothing sounds of the airflow itself. The 3x Tower fan is engineered with 3 independently controllable fans and 3 fan speeds, offering up to 9 levels of cooling and the ultimate in customized airflow. It also features 3 preprogrammed airflow patterns designed to foster sleep, relaxation and comfort with 90 degree whisper-quiet oscillation for optimal air circulation for timely relief on a sweltering summer day or for refreshing circulation all year long. The Ozeri 3x Tower Fan also features a 7.5 hour timer that can be programmed in 30 minute increments with ease. All of the Fan's features, including programmable timer, easily controlled via the included extended-range remote or via the touch sensitive LED control panel. The 3x Tower fan features a dismountable design that only requires the hand assembly of fan base using an included large nut, with no tools required. Satisfaction guaranteed.

I was sent this product to review on this blog. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are my own. No monetary compensation was received. 

3 Ingredient NO BAKE Oreo Truffles & Review of Smarty Pants Grater #ad

Oreo Truffles
1 package of Oreo Cookies
8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
1 package of ivory/almond bark
grated chocolate (optional)


  • Put the entire package of oreos in a food processor and process until everything is in small crumb pieces
  • Using a hand mixer, mix together cookie crumbs and cream cheese
  • Shape mixture in to 1" balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with a silicone baking sheet or with wax paper
  • Place in the freezer for 15-30 minutes
  • While balls are freezing, place ivory bark in a double boil and slowly melt
  • After bark is melted and balls are frozen, dip balls in bark and cover completely
  • If desired, grate chocolate over the top with a Smarty Pants Grater after each few you have dipped
  • Place back on the covered baking sheet and place in fridge or freezer
  • Keep refrigerated until serving
  • Makes 50-60 truffles

My Thoughts on the Smarty Pants Grater/Zester

We have been using this grater for everything, chocolate, cheese, citrus zest and I am sure we will find more things to use it for. It is sharp and cleans easily. I have not had any problems with the holes clogging at all, which is usually something that happens with graters, so I have been pleased with that. I have only used hard cheeses on it, so that might be why it doesn't clog because softer items can become squishy and stick. I just love how when you add grated or zested food on top of your foods it instantly makes them look even more appealing and gourmet.

This would make an AWESOME Christmas gift for any foodie on your Christmas list, or wannabe foodies.
Product Description from Smarty Pants

Effortlessly turn your meals into masterpieces with the Best Premium Zester Grater! Picture yourself whipping up delicious, flavor-packed meals that please the whole family - and no hassle with messy cleanup.

Use your Zester to ...
- Grate Parmesan cheese over soups and salads
- Add chocolate garnish to a chocolate-drizzled angel food cake
- Mince hot peppers to make a spicy guacamole for game day
- Grate lemons, limes, and oranges to add zest to pesto sauce, dressing, pound cake, and more
- Create an enticing marinade for seafood, chicken, and meat

And the best part is, the Best Premium Zester Grater is safe, easy-to-use, and a breeze to clean up! - Super thick handle for a safe, comfortable grip - it just "feels right"! - Extra long, 8 inch stainless steel blade means your zest is the perfect length every time! - Toss it into the dishwasher when you're done for easy clean up! - Durable, built-to-last design is backed by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee

I was provided with the grater for the purpose of reviewing it on the blog. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are my own. No monetary compensation was received.