Salt Dough Sun Catcher

My dear friend Jenna has guest blogged for me before, with her butterfly footprints. She had another fun night, so she told me I could re-blog this. Her blog is mostly about daily life, with some things similar to mine (crafts, recipes, etc.), but I did want to share with my followers!

Enjoy:

I was feeling creative last night after dinner so I made a pin that I pinned on Pinterest awhile ago. This is something that I should have done while watching a movie on a Friday night while the children were sleeping. The original blogger had her children help her but sometimes I like to make things myself first and do it with the kids a second time.

You can read the original blog here.

YOU WILL NEED:
2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 cup water
transparent pony beads
parchment paper
cookie tray
string or wire
2 cookie cutter (1 large, 1 small)

The dough felt a bit gritty and salty so the next time I make this I will use 1/2 cup of salt.

After you mix the dough and roll it out cut with the large cookie cutter and then the small one in the center. This is where you will place your beads. Then transfer to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Fill the center with beads. DO NOT LEAVE SPACES! That is where I screwed up!

Loosely cover with tinfoil and bake at 375 degrees F for approximately 1- 1.5 hours or until the beads are melted together. Remember oven temperatures can vary it may take a longer or shorter amount of time. The salt dough will turn a light to dark brown color. Let cool completely.

Here is the finished product that I made:

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Pretty!

Here’s what they should have looked like:

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The original blogger’s sun catchers

Crayon Heart Canvas

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This was an interesting pin that wasn’t so much specific instructions as a general idea of things to do with school supplies. I did fall in love with this crayon heart, so of course I had to try it! When buying the kids school supplies this year, I already had to buy four 24 packs of crayons for Arthur. I was a little peeved that he needed so many for first grade! For this craft I bought myself:
•96 pack of Crayloa crayons (I like the brand name on the wrapper, and let’s be honest, the wax is higher quality!)
•Some mini hot glue sticks for my glue gun
•One 2 pack of 12×16 canvases
All of my supplies, of course, came from Walmart.
You will also need
•Your hot glue gun
•A sheet or newspapers to cover your work surface
•A  hairdryer

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The first thing I did was to lay out my crayons in a color fan. It doesn’t have to go in order, obviously, but it will be easier if you have your chosen order laid out.

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I did have enough crayons to do both canvases with the 96 pack, that’s why the colors are different in the pictures.
I tried points in first, but it didn’t work as well as I had hoped.

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I ended up creating a stencil, to help with the heart shape, and it looked much nicer with points out.

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After all of your crayons are glued down, you will need to use hot glue for staying power. Be sure to lay a sheet or newspaper down to prevent wax buildup on your surfaces. Then you start melting with a hairdryer.
I did have the kids help, but they got bored quickly, as this is time consuming!
Prepare yourself for some monotony!

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The kids and I were quite pleased with the finished product, despite the time put in.
This one has survived since creation, but unfortunately, the other one fell victim to a dog that eats crayons. ZUKO!!
The photo included in the first picture was added much later, as this one will be a gift for my mother. I feel no guilt in posting this pre-Christmas as she specifically asked for this, after seeing my crafting pictures.
It’s a lot of fun, and I’m thinking that it wouldn’t be as time consuming with a newer hairdryer. Mine is 10 years old and doesn’t get much use.
Happy crafting all!

Keepsake Memory Jar

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As I was completing this craft, I looked up the original pin and realized I scaled this craft down a lot! The original idea was a lot more fancy, with more scrapbooking type stuff in it. I was still very happy with my final project!

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When we were in Surfside, SC for my friend Mia’s seaside wedding, I gathered a bunch of shells and sand, with the intent of completing this pin when I got home. The above picture is my kids’ yellow bucket full of sand.

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Once home, and after inventory at work was past, I raided my stash of glass jars. *I have some tips on recycling old pickle jars and such that I’ll be covering later* I also got 2 wallet sized pictures of Tony and I to feature in my memory jar, I taped the pictures together, back-to-back so the picture would be visible no matter how the jar is positioned. The lid is just spray painted white. When I start making some of these up as gifts,  Tony will be doing the spray painting, as I still suck at it!
After getting your supplies together, it goes pretty much as you would expect. Sand in the bottom, picture set down into the sand in the center, shells scattered around the top of the sand and some scrapbooking stuff to reference the date and location of the trip. Then you seal it up!
I can’t wait to make up some more of these, but sadly, I am dependant on Tony to complete the painting. Until then……..
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A few weeks after completion, I decided to add Tony’s brightly colored boutonniere to my memory jar. It is artificial flowers and peacock feather, so I didnt want to get rid of it, and most importantly, it adds a bright spot of color!
Happy crafting folks!!

Chicken Parmesan Casserole

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Why is it, the best tasting food, looks so gross? This was something found on Pinterest and the original recipe seemed easy enough. I love chicken, and have fond memories of my mom’s chicken parmesan so this was a must try.
You start by cooking and cubing 4 cups of chicken. Pour it into an 8×8 casserole dish. Then you pour a jar of pasta sauce over the chicken. We used Hunts.

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Arthur really wanted to help, so that was another positive about this recipe, simple enough for kids to help! And yes, that’s my wine glass in the background.
Next up is a layer of mozzarella cheese (1-2 cups), and since Chiara is a big fan of cheese we went with 2 cups!

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Lastly you layer about a cup of bread crumbs on top.

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After your dish is complete, place it in the oven (preheated to 350°), for 20-25 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when it starts to bubble up the sides.

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When first trying this, we just scooped it up and tried eating it. That doesn’t work as you will be inhaling bread crumbs. What you want to do is stir it up until it looks like the gooey mess featured up top. Then it becomes delicious!
Happy dining!

A Seaside Wedding

I was glancing through some old posts and realized I haven’t posted anything for the month of September! Shame on me! In my defense: we’ve had to prep our store for inventory, which is an absolute adventure. My dear friend Mia also got married! That was an adventure, but in a beautiful way!

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My friend Mia is anything but traditional, as you can probably tell ^.^
Through the wedding process I was introduced to the beautiful Surfside Beach, SC. It’s south of Mrytle Beach and a lot less commercial.

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Mia, the beautiful pink haired girl in the middle was our bride of the day. I am wearing the strapless dress on the right and Mia’s friend from forever, Mary, is on the left.

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The flowers of course had to be bright to match Mia’s personality and color palette. They featured lillies, the beautiful orange asiatic lillies and the bright pink stargazers, white roses, Mia’s favorite birds of paradise and peacock feathers because Mia likes to say cock feathers. There were some other filler flowers that I can’t name. There was also some glittery tulle attached to them.

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The guys were also casual in golf shorts and polos. When I saw Kevin, the groom’s, outfit choice, I did have some doubts about how well it would go, but Kevin, like Mia can make things work that probably shouldn’t! ^.^

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I should’ve remembered that love makes everything work!

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In lieu of a traditional alter or aisle, Kevin and Tony, my own sweetie, traced a heart in the sand, along with the happy couple’s initials. It was very sweet. And let’s be honest, a beach wedding, you have to draw in the sand!

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Mia had another brainstorm, the morning of the wedding, about using the hibiscus growing around the hotel for our hair. Mia and Mary, both being single, wore their flowers on the right, while mine was on the left, where the married women wear it.

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Chiara, seeing our flowers insisted on having her own. We found her some hydrangea, in two shades of pink, to carry.
Some might say this wedding was thrown together, but it was sweet, charming and absolutely Mia. Sorry Kevin, but the wedding does flow from the bride, and this was spot on!