Salt Dough Handprint Snowmen

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This was a hassle. Fun for the kids and super cute, but salt dough is such a pain in the butt! If anyone has a better salt dough recipe than this one, please let me know!

•1 cup flour
•1 cup salt
•1/2 cup water

It’s easy to manipulate, but it takes forever to dry! I’ve tried letting it air dry, baking it in the oven at 200° for a few hours, but it still takes forever! This particular project ended up sitting for almost a week before I was content to paint it.

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Rant over! Mix your ingredients together until you have the consistency of play dough. Roll it flat and get your kids handprints in the dough. Then you cut out around your handprints and use a straw to cut out a hole for you to string it up.

After it has set to complete hardness, you are all set for the next phase. I put several layers of white paint on them, giving an hour between coats, to dry.

Once you are sure it’s dry, it’s best to let it dry overnight, outline the handprints with a sharpie. Afterwards, let your kids go to town, making snowmen out of their fingers.

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Arthur was content to draw the snowmen and be done. He wanted to get back to his toys. Make sure you have enough room to put the kids name and year, unless you want to put it on the back.

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Chiara just colored away. She did make snowmen, but by the end they were obscured by the amount of color. It’s totally her though!

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This is Chiara’s masterpiece. I think the most important thing to remember is to not stifle the kids creativity. Let them be them!

After the coloring is complete, the sharpie ink having had time to dry completely, sprinkle a little white glitter, think snow sparkle, over it and spray it with lacquer. I personally went with spray mod podge. Now I have a beautiful and unique keepsake that remind me how small their hands once were.

Craft on all, craft on!

Memories of a Shirt

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This was the result of a weird coincidence. I was looking through old pictures a few months ago, reorganizing mainly, when I realized that, completely by accident, Tony had worn the same shirt to the birth of both of our children. Three years apart and what are the odds? Pretty low actually, as Tony has about 70 t-shirts. As luck would have it, the shirt was still in one piece. M honey is hard on t-shirts. He finally asked me if I wanted him to set the shirt aside before it got ruined. I agreed, and set the shirt with my craft supplies. Well, there it sat for several weeks until this idea came to me.

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I picked up this 12×12 shadow box at Wal-mart, along with 4×4 pictures of Tony holding the kids when they were born. It was also sweet looking at the differences in him between the kids being born.

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Holding Arthur he was so amazed, that wonder on his face. We were both young when he was born, I was 21 and Tony 23, so he still had his baby face! Sorry about the glare on the frame, there was no good angle, I tried them all!

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Then here, three years later, he’s all, “Yeah, they gave me another one!” I made up little slips of paper with the kids names and the date they were born.

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When putting the shirt in the frame, I folded it around the fabric backdrop that came with the frame and used safety pins to hold it in place. I couldn’t bring myself to cut the shirt. Then I used more safety pins to attach the pictures. I was going to use straight pins, but I apparently don’t own any. None that I could find anyway!

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For giggles, I also added another slip of paper with the date of the project. Tony found this especially amusing.

So what about you? Do you have shirts that hold special memories? Maybe a concert t-shirt? This would work well for a way to display the shirt and a picture of you meeting the band!

Time Stood Still

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This is an idea I’ve had pinned to my decor board forever! I’ve wanted to do this for a long time, but finally found the clocks and frames I wanted for it.
I’m sad to say I can’t reference the original blogger. This is a beautiful idea, but Pinterest won’t connect me because it’s ‘spam’.
To start with, you need clocks you like, frames you like and an open expanse of wall. I found these beautiful and inexpensive clocks at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Only $9.99 a piece! That’s $1 more than Walmart’s cheapest, and it’s so much prettier! I found my frames at Walmart.
I also dug out my Cricut for this project! It’s been packed away for far too long. I had to order adhesive vinyl from Amazon, apparently no one in this area carries it in store any longer. Amazon has better deals anyway!
I had the clocks first, and I couldn’t resist setting them to the correct time right away!

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Tony and I were married at 1pm, Arthur born at 1:43, Chiara at 2:35.
Then I took my Cricut and adhesive vinyl and cut out letters for:

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To top everything off:
In these moments time stood still.

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Anthony & Stephanie
6 10 06
Then I picked a favorite picture from our wedding day.

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Arthur Blaise
4 13 07
I chose a sweet picture of Arthur the day we brought him home.

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Chiara Yue
5 3 10
And of course a sweet picture of Chiara when we brought her home!

I apparently suck at putting words in a straight line, but I love how this turned out!

Do you think something like this would work for you?
Happy decorating!

Framed Family Hands

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I love the way this pin turned out! Such a simple idea and so cute! As the original blogger pointed out, it’s an inexpensive idea as well!
My husband, silly man that he is, questioned why I was doing this pin when I had already done a handprint pin only 4 months ago. I answered him “because it’s our hands!”
I’ve always had a thing for hands. For some it’s the eyes, or the lips, but I’ve always been fascinated by hands. You can tell a lot about a person by their hands. Chiara has picked up on it too, as she keeps holding her hand up to mine, asking, “do you love my small hands?”
I’ll probably do something like this every year until Arthur’s hand gets bigger than mine. It won’t take long, as I have small hands and my children are growing too fast!
This was a very simple craft for me, I have a ton of scrapbooking supplies, including paper and stickers. I did have a few false starts, trying to use the stencils of the kids hands I used for their valentines.

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The picture may be a little difficult to see, but the easiest way I found to do this was to start with the smallest hand. Lay the next biggest hand over that outline, keeping the hand outlines lined up. It makes a better visual if the fingers line up, at least mostly.

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After you have all of your outlines, cut out the biggest hand and trace it onto your chosen paper. Then cut down to the second largest, trace onto chosen paper, cut again, etc..

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When you’re done, you’ll have a hand family like so. There’s no rules about the paper you use, just pick patterns or colors you like together.

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Then choose a background in the size of whatever frame you’re using. I cut mine to 8×10, this left plenty of room at the top for the family name as well! If you have someone in your family with a hand big enough to palm a basketball you may need to go 11×14.

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You may have nicer hand writing than I do, if so you could hand write the name at the top, but I wanted to go a little fancier than my handwriting would allow, enter my sticker collection!
You can barely see it in the first photo, but I wrote the year at the bottom of Chiara’s hand. For posterity’s sake, put the date on!
Happy crafting all!

Christmas Family Photo

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I’ve mentioned this before, but I love Pinterest. Not just for the ideas they have posted, which my blog is based on, but for how it sparks your own creativity. The original idea for this photo came from here, and it depicts two young children in a bed, dressed in jammies, oversized ornaments on the bed and they are reading a book. I fell in love with it!
I started by buying a prelit strand of greenery from Walmart and wrapping it around my headboard. I love my bed frame! We put on our most Christmas-y bed sheets and comforter and dressed in our jammies.
We used the book The Polar Express as it is a family favorite and the edition we have is beautiful.
I set my camera up on a small tripod and positioned my family with the book opened. We took many photos, as little kids are prone to wiggle. I didn’t want to use the flash, keeping the light muted. No fancy techniques for that, I just unscrewed a few of the lightbulbs in our ceiling light to get the right light levels.
At first I tried getting everyone to look at the book, but quickly realized Chiara couldn’t handle it. Arthur and Tony were watching the book, Chiara needed a focus, so we smiled at each other.
After I finally got the winning shot for our Christmas card, I wanted to try another one, for fun.

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I loved the way this turned out, although I did have to do a little fiddling around to lighten it up. I don’t know what I will do with this photo, but it turned out so beautiful, I’m sure I’ll find the perfect spot. I love how close we are in this one moment in time. I think this is why I love taking photos, because a moment can never be recreated exactly. You can come close, but never perfectly recreate, but a photo can at least preserve the moment forever……..

Salt Dough Family

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Pretty cute, yes? My friend Jenna has been pinning and blogging a lot about salt dough. I pinned a few of the pins and decided to try this one a few weeks ago with the family. Yes, it took a few weeks to finish this one. I love the smell of it, it held the design well, but this took forever to dry. I mean it, FOREVER!!
Original recipe from here is as follows:
•1 cup flour
•1/2 cup salt
•1/2 cup water
•1 tbsp cinnamon, this is optional, but gives a nice color and smell

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Mix your dry ingredients together, you’ll start appreciating the smell as soon as you add the cinnamon! Mix in the water and knead everything together. It can be very soothing, so just dig in, let the kids take turns, until you get a texture you like. Something like playdough is what you’re after.
Once you get the right texture, use a rolling pin, or a wine bottle, as I’ve used in the past, to roll the dough flat. Hopefully you’ve figured out what you want to make by now, but I adapted an idea, from Pinterest of course, for family handprints.
Taking turns, we placed our handprint on the dough:

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Tony first.

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My turn next, and yes, those are my jammies because we were having a family day at home!

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Arthur.

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Finishing up with Chiara.

You will need to press down firmly, we actually pushed the kids hands down to make sure we had a good impression. Just start with the biggest hand and work down, one on top of the other.
After we had the impressions done, I tried to figure a way to put our name on it, but I didn’t want the edges dug up, like sand. Tony showed me how to poke the letters into the dough, using a chopstick, to avoid that problem.

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I went simple and just did our name and the date. Don’t forget to poke holes so you can hang it up.
I had found two methods of drying the dough. Tried 250° oven, and it hardened it a little, but not completely. Let it sit out, a week later it was mostly hard, but still a little bendy. Tony and I came to the conclusion that because it was so big, the dry time was much longer!
Finally, it was dry enough to paint! We all selected colors we like, and Tony went to work.

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My painting skills, like my spray painting are not the best, so he took care of it.
Only concern with this first attempt was that during the drying process, the dough bowed up.

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Still love the finished product, just something for you to look out for during your own project.
Happy crafting all!

Baby in a Truck

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I recently found this pin and was reminded of this picture I took of Chiara when she was only a few weeks old. When Arthur was born he was an absolute brute. He was 9lbs 10 1/4 oz. See? Brute! Chiara, on the other hand, was a petite 7lbs 1oz.
She was so tiny! Everyone kept telling us, oh you just forgot how small Arthur used to be. Then I got to inform them that Arthur was never that small!
Arthur has been collecting toys since he was born. First grandchild on my side and first grandson on Tony’s side. It was bound to happen! When he got this truck, I think Tony was just as excited with it. They don’t make a lot of metal toys anymore so this was a nice toy. He still has it and it is holding up great!
We were sitting around, watching tv one night, and Tony just got up and laid Chiara, blanket and all, in the truck. I had the initial OMG reaction. She didn’t even wake up. Arthur was fascinated and he just started scooting her back and forth. He has always been very sweet with her.
I know my shot isn’t as posed and ‘cute’ as the original pin, but mine was a quirk. We still find this to be a cute photo today, even though Chiara is now 3 and scoots herself around on this truck.
I think the most important thing to remember about pictures of kids, take a lot. This is the digital age and if the pictures are crap, you can delete them. Sometimes bad pictures are worth keeping too. I have pictures of my kids in complete meltdown mode, and they are funny to look at now.
Enjoy your camera time!
Original pin and picture can be found at http://www.inky-dinky-do.com/tonka-trucking-along-bakersfield-ca-newborn-photographer/