Monday, December 9, 2013

The tooth fairy box

We had a momentous occasion take place this past weekend.  My daughter lost her first tooth!  She was so excited when she realized that I had pulled it out.  I knew we had to make something special to keep that little bitty guy from getting lost.  Here is what we came up with:

We dug in our huge stock of craft stuff and found a little oval paper mache box.  It is about 3 3/4 inches long and 2 1/2 inches wide.  Still big for a baby tooth but also big enough to fit a little trinket and some coins from a winged fairy who spreads glitter and magic in exchange for them.  :) 
I negotiated hard for the printed paper.  It is from the Emma's Shoppe Collection Fabrics from Crate PaperI showed my daughter many different prints and she wasn't interested.  She chose the solid pink and blue and I had to tell her I would hardly use the floral at all.  Tough sell!  First, I hot glued 4 plain wooden beads on the bottom of the box to make feet.  I then measured the box and cut the paper accordingly.  I used Beacon's 3-in-1 advanced craft glue to adhere the paper.  It is very tacky and dries very quickly.  After adhering all of the paper inside and out, I used a nail file and used it to soften the edges of the paper where it rose over the edges of the box and lid.  I also roughed up the paper randomly so it would look like it was old.  Using Ranger's Tim Holtz Distress Ink in tea dye, I used my Inkessentials ink blending tool and rubbed it down.  It turned out even better than I thought.  I really think it almost looks like it was painted and the paint rubbed off.  I even used the ink to "stain" the wooden beads a bit. 
Last, I hand-cut a tooth and used my Xyron sticker maker to make it sticky.  Then I glittered it up and adhered it to the lid.  I finished it off with some letter stickers from Echo Park's This and That collection.  Wee!  I am pretty excited with how it turned out. 
Luckily my daughter fell asleep before I went to bed so I was able to pull the ol' switcheroo safely and without fear of being caught.  I wrote an itty bitty note to her from the tooth fairy and inserted it into a teeny test tube along with glitter.  Our tooth fairy prefers gold glitter which is good because most tooth fairies use silver, so she never has to worry about a shortage!  Besides, she knows gold is the new silver which was the new gold hehe.  Fashion conscious, she is!  There were also five $1 dollar bills that were also sprinkled with glitter as well.  Willow was SO EXCITED. 
Guess I better get some more trinkets together because she already has a second loose tooth and scrambling around for gifts is my modus operandi, does not sound like fun.  (I plan on working on THAT for my New Year's Resolution.)  Here is my happy girl. 
Photobombed by a Halloween pumpkin!  Sure do love my cupcake!  Thanks for hanging out with me today!  Cheers!

Friday, December 6, 2013

some card eye candy/is scraplifting ok?

We have another snow day today!  It has finally stopped, but not before giving us a good 8 inches of that powdery stuff.  Hurray!  We played outside twice today before the bitter cold chased us back inside.  It was so much fun. 

Now that I'm back inside and warm, I wanted to share a few cards that I made a while back.  I need to put a disclaimer out there before you see them.  Many times I am not that creative.  I need a jumping off point so I will browse around until I see an idea of what I am wanting to make and then I make it my own with what I have.  It is not exactly scraplifting per se, because I don't make scrapbook pages, but in essence it is because I am getting inspiration from someone else's work.  There are a lot of arguments about whether or not it is appropriate.  Personally I think it is ok because I almost never have the same exact papers or supplies that were used in a particular project.   I usually subtract or add elements as well.  I mean, card-making and scrapbooking has been around a LONG TIME.  Original ideas are still out there, but there isn't always a need to recreate the wheel.  Anyway, that's my opinion.  With that in mind, here are some cards I want to show you.

This card I made with my From My Kitchen Cricut cartridge.  I copied it from a card I saw in Cricut cards magazine from Northridge Publishing.  I added some extra things though, like hand-cut flames and grass and the words.  There wasn't a fork on the cartridge so I cut another spatula down to make it.  I made a handle for the grill and bumped it out with dimensional dots so I could "hang" the utensils.  It was a fun card to make.  When I'm having fun making cards, often I will clap and squeak and giggle like a child.  It is disgusting but I just get so tickled making itty bitty things!!  Do you do that too??  Please don't tell me I'm the only one.

This card I made for my children for Valentine's Day.  I made it because when I tell them I love them, I tell them I love them more than anything in the whole, wide world.  Now after saying it for so long it has been shortened to this:  my son, "I love you."  me, "whole wide world."  my son, "ever and ever."  Sigh, makes my heart swell and ache.  I love them so much!  I used Cricut's Give a Hoot cartridge for the gift wrapped earth.  The font I used is DJ Candy Heart Font.  I used a black paper with white polka dots to represent the millions of stars in the sky.  It is just a piece from a Paper Studios pack that you can get from Hobby Lobby. 
This card I made for my friend Carmen.  The word is mija.  Mija is Spanish and short for "mi hija" which means "my daughter".  I used the Type Candy cartridge from Cricut.  I love the bright colors on this. 
And the last one for today.  This one I completely scraplifted.  Like, 100%.  I think I embellished it a little bit more (me, use too much glitter or rhinestones?  unheard of.)  I am happy to say that the pink chevron paper that I used is by Mel from Mel Stampz.  SHE IS AMAZING.  When I grow up, I want to be her.  She makes awesome digital papers which she loves to share.  I want to print every single one.  Seriously.  Check her out. 
So that is it for now.  Thanks for stopping by!  I hope that wherever you are, you are warm and cozy on this chilly night!  This weather is for the birds!  Cheers!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

a gift for a baby girl

A little over a year ago a sweet baby girl named Lila was born.  I had never met her.  My husband worked with her father and had asked me to make a gift for her.  I quickly obliged since it meant being able to use my craft goodies.  After thinking a while, I decided upon a foot stool and some blocks.  My cousin gave me a stool at my daughter's baby shower five and a half years ago and it is the single most thing we use.  Every day.  So much so that I had to make another one for my son since my children were getting too big to both stand on it at the same time.  Seriously, if you are scrambling for a gift that will stand out and be remembered, a stool will do it.  Even if you aren't creative, you can just paint the thing and be finished. 

I got the stool and blocks at Hobby Lobby.  If you go there weekly, like I do, (did) you can figure out when things will be on sale so you don't have to pay full price, or you can just use that precious 40% off coupon that comes out weekly.  And surely you must know by now that you don't have to print the coupon if you have the app on your phone.  Just show them the coupon and they are good! 

I sanded the stool and painted it an apple green.   I used my Cricut cartridge Fancy Frames and cut out frame #12 at 6 inches in some pink, permanent Oracle vinyl.  I also cut out the name in the font from Winter Woodland.  After applying it to the stool I lightly covered it with a sealer to protect the whole thing.  Here is the finished project. 

Isn't it pretty?  What is funny, though, is that I confirmed her name (thought I had confirmed her name)  and the spelling of the name but my husband said he would double check.  Upon checking again, he said it was spelled Lyla not Lila., we are not finished yet.   He later confirmed, for the third time, that her name was indeed spelled Lila.  Oh.  My.  Gosh.  So I peeled off her name and repositioned the letters again.  It was easy because I had saved the file on my Gypsy and I didn't have to remember what size I had cut it. 
Unfortunately I had already cut the letters for the blocks and made them and those took a lot more work to do.  I also didn't save the file so I didn't even remember what font I had chosen for them.  Now I believe it is the font from Kate's ABC's.  But still, they did turn out pretty! :)
First I painted the blocks with non-toxic, acrylic paint.  Then I sanded the stuff out of them so they wouldn't be too pointy on the edges for sweet, little hands.  It also adds to the look because they look like they've been played with for a generation or two.  If you don't like that look you can sand them first.  I measured my blocks and then cut out paper squares just a little bit smaller than the block size so you could still see some of the paint surrounding it.  Then I cut the letters out and used a shadow underneath to make the letters stand out a bit more.  The paper I used was a little 6 x 6 stack from the Prima Madeline collection.  Super pretty and vintage looking.  After they were finished I used waterproof  Mod-Podge to cover them.  It is non-toxic also and I figured waterproof was the way to go just in case someone decided to taste them.  Hey you know it happens. 
Now flash forward to a year later.  I have now had the pleasure of not just meeting this little love, Lila, but I have become good friends with her mama and daddy as well.  What a beautiful family!  And we just found out that Miss Lila will be a big sister in 2014!  Yaaaay!  Guess I better get to working on something for her baby brother or sister.  I'll wait to put a name on it though, just in case. 
Have a great day and thanks for staying a bit!  Cheers!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Salt dough ornaments for Christmas

We have been chomping at the bit to decorate for Christmas!  Haven't you?  There is only one problem, though.  All of our decorations are at our house four hours away.  We have people living there and we are living here in a tiny house with no room for all of our decorations. :(  Boo....hiss......The only thing we brought was a box with three little tinsel trees in it that I happened to grab during one of our visits to pick up winter clothing and such. 

I wanted my children to be able to decorate the trees but we didn't have any and I really didn't want to buy a whole bunch of ornaments to use for just this year.  So we decided on salt dough ornaments!  This was our first time and it was so much fun!  We had all of the ingredients so it didn't cost us anything to make them.  Like my son always says, Hurray!  My friend always makes salt dough ornaments every year and I used her recipe:

preheat oven to 200 degrees

1 cup flour + a handful for dusting
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup water

1.  pour both the flour and salt in a bowl.
2.  add the water.
3.  mix on low and then turn the speed up and mix until the dough looks like a rough ball.  it will still be a little sticky.
4.  turn it out on a floured surface and knead it until it becomes a little stretchy like bread dough.  I don't remember how long this took for us but it was less than 10 minutes.  My children loved helping with this.  Many hands make light work!
5.  roll out dough and cut with cookie cutters, fondant cutters or whatever else you have handy (soda caps, plastic knives, cups, etc.)  don't forget to put holes at the top so you can string ribbon through for hanging them.  we used a kebob stick for this.  make the hole a little bit bigger than you think you will need.  this will save you frustration later.  take it from a person who knows. :/
6.  assemble on your cookie sheet.  you don't have to space them too far apart from each other because they don't cook up or spread out. 
7.  cook for 3-4 hours.  really you want to cook them until they're hard.  don't let them brown.  ours cooked 2 hours on one side.  i flipped them and then cooked them for an hour on the second side. 

I doubled it because I really wanted to make sure we had enough to paint.  And we did.  I have a great set of little ornament cookie cutters which were absolutely perfect for this.  I don't remember where I got them but these are similar.  

Roll the dough to an even thickness.  While doing this I was really wishing I had those bands that you put on your rolling pin to help with this but we did the best we could.  
My babies really had fun with this, especially my daughter.  If it involves making a mess, she is in!  We cut all of the ornaments out and put them in the oven.

It felt like forever!!!  We kept checking on them, (i know, i know a watched pot never boils.) At two hours we agreed they looked done on the first side and needed to be flipped.  We were anxious to paint!  They cooked another hour and that was about all we could take.  Painting began while those suckers were still warm, let me tell ya!  We used the non-toxic, acrylic paints that you can get about anywhere.  I poured out about 10 colors apiece for each one of us and we got to town. 

It was a lot of fun showing them how to make polka dots with the tip of the paint brush.  They thought that was a neat idea.  I also showed them how to paint stripes so we have a lot of them with stripes too.  After they were all painted I gave them a coat of varnish to protect them.  Then we strung them with ribbon and hung them on our trees.  I also made a star banner to hang on the mantle.
 These above are the ones I painted. 
These are the ones my 5 year old daughter painted.

And these are the ones my 4 year old painted.  Pretty good, aren't they?
 His tree above. 
Her tree above.

And my banner. 
Hope you like our little Charlie Brown Christmas trees!  I know we had a great time making them.  Try it sometime!  You will have a lot of fun making memories with your children.  Guaranteed!  Have a great Monday!  Thanks for hanging out with me today.                   

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Can't Mess It Up Cranberry Sauce's almost here!  Thanksgiving!  Our family will be doing something non-traditional for us.  Usually we go to Georgia to visit my parents or we celebrate with our family in St. Louis.  However, since we moved to Branson we are going to stay here this year.  The family that my husband works for will also be staying here as well so we are going to celebrate together.  I am very excited to share Thanksgiving with them!  They have a great tradition.  Each family member gets to choose any side he or she wishes, so there will be at least one thing that he or she will eat!  Sure, we may have 10 starches and one green bean casserole but this day comes once a year so bring it on!  I am going to adopt this tradition for our family as well as my children don't eat much except maybe rolls and a little turkey. :/ 

We have chosen to split the menu in half, pretty much, to share the cost of this gargantuan meal.  One of the things I am bringing will be cranberry sauce which I made last night.  You can NOT mess this up.  My dad and I make it every time we visit for Thanksgiving.  I switched it up a little bit this time, though and I think it is even more delicious with the tartness from the tangerines!

Can't Mess It Up Cranberry Sauce

*  1 12oz bag of fresh cranberries
*  1/2 to 3/4 cup of sugar depending on preference. I did 3/4 cup
*  1/2 cup water
3/4 cup freshly squeezed tangerine juice (I had 3 tangerines and this is what I got)
*  zest of one tangerine

1.  Rinse your cranberries in a colander.
2.  Zest one tangerine.
3.  Juice your fruit.  I used all of mine, which was almost a cup. 
4.  Combine juice, sugar, zest and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Stir occasionally until sugar dissolves.
5.  Stir in cranberries and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until your desired consistency.  Mine took 12 minutes.  I really like all of the berries to pop and gel. 
6.  Chill completely before serving.


I had to have a small bowl right off of the stove!  It is yummy cold but it tastes so good hot too!  My five year old even informed me she stole a taste while it was cooling and liked it too!  Score!  Most recipes are variations of this so adjust it as you wish.  Hope you enjoy! 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


April of 2012 I quit my job at McDonald's.  I worked for McDonald's for 26 and a half years, starting when I was 16!  Craziness, I know.  It's definitely not for everyone but it was always there for me through high school, cheerleading, college and after.  I didn't know what I wanted to do even when I was in college, so I did what I was good at.  McDonald's. 

I was so excited to be a stay at home mom.  For a while.  Then I started getting restless!  No surprise for me considering at McDonald's I was always running and always had things to do.  During my time at home, my husband and I visited his aunt and uncle in Georgia.  It was there I saw what I wanted to do.  They do direct-to-garment printing, machine embroidery and heat press vinyl.  They had a SERIOUS craft room.  So, I got started and planned on doing all of this from home myself.  But then, I saw the cutest retail location in the little town of Festus.  Had to do it.  On November 9, 2012 I opened my store, FrivoliTees.  Get it?  Tees for tee shirts!  :) 

I really enjoyed doing what I did.  It was slow getting started but it was always fun.  I got to design cool shirts for people and make banners for first birthdays and make personalized tumblers and things.  It was so great.  Then my husband had an opportunity to accept a job in Branson and we took it.  I had to close my store on June 28, 2013 so we could come here. 

While I had the store, I asked my father to make soap just for my customers.  Well, now that the store is closed he is still making it and it is great stuff!  I just began selling it on Etsy so we can share it with other handmade soap fanatics.  I am excited and apprehensive as there are many great Etsy stores selling soap but I hope people will give it a try. 

His uses the cold process method.  This means he uses lye (the base) and mixes it with an oil or fat (the acid).  A chemical reaction occurs and you are left with soap. (salt)  Cold process soap is awesome because you control what you put in it.  Our soaps are fantastic because we put all kinds of good-for-your-skin butters and oils in them.  I wanted to share some of them with you today because I am very proud of what my father does! 

These are only a few of our FrivoliTees Suds! Aren't they pretty?  Give them a try!  I know once you enjoy the wonderful scents and lather and most importantly how great your skin will feel, you won't want to go back to your old bar or body wash.  If you are interested in purchasing some, please visit our shop, FrivoliTees on Etsy!  Any questions regarding our hand-crafted soaps?  I would be more than happy to answer them! (or submit them to my papa :)  Have a great day!

Friday, November 15, 2013

A foot stool for my little man

Hi!  Today's post has been brought to you courtesy of my little man!  Yesterday morning my children were brushing their teeth and were arguing about who could stand on the stool that allows them to reach the sink.  My cousin gave the stool to me and daughter as a baby shower gift.  It was the best gift because over 5 years later, it is a gift we still use!  She hand-painted it and put my daughter's name on it.  We use it to brush teeth and my babies (they're 5 and 4 and I still call them that. not sure why.) like to use it to help prep and cook in the kitchen and those sneaky stinkers also use it to reach snacks on the high shelves in the pantry!  Now that they are getting bigger they both can't fit on it and it got ugly today.  To fix the problem, I promised my son that after preschool we would buy him one and he would be able to decorate it any way he wanted.  That made him happy.  We went to Michael's (one of my favorite stores in the craft trinity-Michael's, Joann's and the king of all.... Hobby Lobby! the sky opens, a beam of light engulfs it, angels sing and my heart swells and all is right in the craft world. :)  We used the Michael's app to get 40% off, aw yea!

                 Then we brought that bad boy home and got to town. 

You will notice my little guy doesn't have a shirt on.  I asked him to change shirts but he insisted on painting shirtless.  Whatever works!  We just used a handful of the million bottles of acrylic craft paint that I have.  My name is Gina Love.  I'm a craft hoarder.  The first step is admitting you have a problem, am I right??   My children absolutely love it though, because we almost always have whatever we need to craft on any given day!
I only helped a little.  He painted and painted! 

                 As you can see, he was covered in paint.  He was so happy!

I helped guide him a little with his name.  I told him we could use the Cricut and cut letters out of vinyl but this is his stool and he chose paint.  I added a little sealer and it was good to go!

Here is the finished product in use by my handsome model and his beautiful sister!  Could that smile be any bigger?  :0  My child?  Happy.  Mama?  Happy!  Thanks for stopping by!  Have a great day!