Monday, November 28, 2011

Meatless Monday! Rice Noodle Salad

I'm making this tonight for Meatless Monday. I'll let you know later how it was! It's found in Cooking Light, Aug. 2011.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Fibers on Friday: Monkey Business

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I did, despite being the first one away from our family in years. We have fabulous friends who helped us have a relaxing, easy, enjoyable day!

A delicious smoked turkey

A super cute kid's table

And lots of fun playing Ninja Fruit!

I thought I'd show you all the sock monkeys my Daisy Troop made to send off to Craft Hope.

No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

More Capri Sun Projects

So, while I was playing around with Capri Sun pouches making this bag, I decided to throw together some notebooks, too. My kids LOVE having their own little note book/journal/sketch pad/diary.

These were so simple. Just a matter of punching some holes, sandwiching a few sheets of paper between, sewing up the sides with embroidery thread and adding some beads for extra bling! If you'd like to see a video demonstration, visit textiles 4 you on her YouTube Channel.

(I love their spelling. The picture on the left is of their trampoline. She spelled it "chraplen". Are my kids the only ones who hear a "ch" for "tr" and "dr" words?)

But then, my kids took it one step further. They created their own little wallets....a bi-fold...complete with teeeeeny tiiiiiiny I.D. card and a key....check them out:

They did this by cutting 2 inches off the bottom of the pouch and cutting up one side to make it open out. haha! Genius kids I have :-)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Meatless Monday! Treats

I've had two treats pinned on Pinterest for a while now and I finally got around to making both of them last week.

First, I made these no-bake energy balls. Yum, yum, yum!! I guess my mom must have made something similar to this when I was a kid because they're very familiar and they bring me back. They're healthy and they are the perfect little something to grab when you need a little nibble. I think they even give me a little extra boost when I go out for a run. The recipe can be found here, Smashed Peas and Carrots, and that's where I grabbed the image, too.

Then, I made my own granola bars. Another huge YUMMM! Kids even agree on this one (the energy bites are only so-so for them). I first had to make granola, so I chose this recipe, although there are several more I'd like to try. Then I proceeded with the granola bar recipe found on Back to the Cutting Board. Huge hit. We polished off the whole pan in 2 days, so I made more this evening!

They turned out extra chocolatey because I stirred in the chocolate chips while the mixture was still warm. On the pan I made this evening, I just pressed them on top. We'll see how we like it that way.

Anyway...I highly recommend these two healthy snacks!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fibers on Friday: Peas and Carrots

Hello wonderful people! Happy Fibers on Friday! I come to you today with knitting and crochet....side by side....happy as peas as carrots!

The vest that I'm knitting is for Afghans for Afghans. I'm knitting the Keep Me Warm Vest. And get this....I'm trying my hand at cables for the first time! You all assured me last week it was really easier than it seems. And I must say, it's pretty easy! In the picture you'll be able to see my first twist.

The afghan I'm crocheting is the Offset Shell Pattern by Oh My Good Knits.

My excitement this week came in the form of the Kindle Fire that I pre-ordered a couple weeks ago. I was on the fence for so long about using an e-reader, but I finally dived right in and went for the Fire. I just got it yesterday...there are definitely some kinks to work out, but so far it's fun! Have you read anything you'd recommend lately?

Monday, November 14, 2011

School Files: Year Two

Last year I showed you this idea that I saw on Blue Cricket Design. A really cool way of saving school papers from year to year.

Well, the other day I put together my files for my kids' second year of school.

I love having these pretty little files tucked up in their closets. When there's something I want to save, I just slip it in. And you get the added bonus of having their handwriting saved AND their school picture. So cute!!

Capri Sun Tote Bag

I'm so behind the times when it comes to crafting with Capri Suns! Wayyyyy back in 2004, before blogging and sharing all our crafty goodness, my friend and neighbor went crazy with capri suns! She made tote bags and beach bags and pencil bags. Everywhere she went people wanted to buy one....especially school kids!

I finally decided I wanted to do something "reusable" with them. So, I sat down with some Textiles 4 You and got to work on a zippered bag.

Nothing makes me happier than when I work on a craft like this and my kids want to snatch it and use it right away. And Paige claimed this one as her book bag:

The perfect was to re-use those pouches! We don't go through too many here at home, but when we do, they're really easy to just cut the bottom and pop them into the dishwasher....dry them....and save for a project like this. And when you're conducting some sort of group activity where the kids all have one to drink, what a perfect chance to take them all home and make a bag!!

I also think it's the perfect craft to stock pile. So when your kids' school is soliciting for craft fairs or fundraisers you can pull some out and donate or sell. Cool!Link

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fibers on Friday: Crocheted Apron Complete

Fibers on Friday comes to you on this fine Veteran's Day. I'll remember and honor all who have served today. And I'll be a little sad to miss my annual Veteran's Day dinner with my dad since we're now living so far away. Here we were two years ago on Veteran's Day:

I finished my apron earlier in the week. I LOVE it!!

The pattern comes from Oh My Good Knits. It's called Tessa. It's perfect!! In fact, I'm kind of on a roll with her patterns. I made her Mary Jane slippers, which I'll show you soon, and today I started her Off Set Shell Stitch afghan.

It's also that time of year again for my annual knit for Afghans for Afghans. This will be my third year! I've done two sweaters (seen here and here), so this year I'm going to make a vest. I'm excited to announce that I'll be taking this opportunity to learn cables, a feat that's been on my to-do list for way too long!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Collecting Bottle Caps

I re-publish this post every time I package up my bottle caps and send them off to Aveda as a reminder to everyone else who may have started doing the same thing and also to let the new followers of my blog know about this program.

In light of this recent article on NPR, I find it especially important to do our part in recycling as much plastic as possible.

So, on and consider saving and recycling your bottle caps.

It was probably a year ago that I started saving bottle caps for a fundraiser. A friend was collecting them to fund a child's chemo treatment. The fundraiser finished, but I was unable to start throwing bottle caps away again. So, I continued to save them knowing I'd eventually come across another fundraiser or something.

Somewhere along the way I heard that Aveda (the beauty company) collects and recycles these bottle caps and turns them into their own shampoo/conditioner/beauty product bottles. I did an internet search and only came up with information about taking them to an Aveda store. I don't have an Aveda store, so I e-mailed them.

I was happy to get a prompt response telling me I can, in fact, send a box or bag full through the mail. Here's the response and the address:

Thank you for your interest in the “Recycle Caps with Aveda” Program. You may bring your caps in small amounts (1 shopping bag or 1 paper box) to any participating Aveda Experience Center (store) or send them in by mail to:

ACA Waste Services
40 Eads Street
West Babylon, NY 11704

Caps included in this collection are any plastic “twist on” caps. Some examples are; water bottles, soda bottles, laundry detergent bottles, ketchup bottles, and shampoo/ conditioner bottles. Caps that are NOT included are any metal caps and any “snap fit” plastic caps. Some examples of snap fit caps are; margarine and cottage cheese caps. Thank you for your help with the “Recycle Caps with Aveda” Program.

Have a great day!

Kendra Fleischer
Aveda Cap Collection Program

Isn't this GREAT? Won't you get yourself a cute little container and collect these bottle caps? I'm telling you I've collected at least 5 paper lunch bags full over the past year. It makes me feel good that they're not in a landfill. It's not that hard to keep a little collection and mail them in maybe twice a year.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fibers on Friday: Día de Muertos

Hello and welcome to another Fibers on Friday!

I recently participated in my first ever craft swap! My cousin invited me to join a group of her friends who swap every year for the Day of the Dead. Have you ever learned anything about this Mexican Holiday? I really never read too much about it, but after being a part of this swap, I have to say I can really embrace this tradition of honoring and celebrating those we've lost. You can read more about it here, if you'd like.

There were five people participating in this swap. I received a lovely bracelet in meaningful colors associated with the Day of the Dead. I also got two pot holders (hot pads) which MATCH unbeknownst to each of the senders! Cute! And lastly, so far, a gorgeous felted pin in the shape of a sugar skull. One item is still en route to the U.S. from Ireland (read no further, friend, if you haven't gotten mine yet or the surprise will be spoiled).

So, in keeping with the textile theme of the swap, I decided to crochet my project. Check it out.

Aren't they great? Little crocheted skulls with decorative flowers. They can be hung as ornaments or placed on a mantel. I found the pattern for purchase on etsy here. They were very fun and easy and the pattern was written perfectly. I hope these special skulls have found their special place in the lives of their recipients!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Craft Hope Spreading seeds of hope one stitch at a time

Do you wanna play with me? I sure wish you would!

Have you read about Craft Hope's latest project; Sock Monkeys for Texas? When I saw it, I knew I had to do it. And then I figured out a way to get my Daisy Troop involved. It's a little complicated for the little girls to do all the steps involved, but with a little planning, we'll take a couple weeks to get them completed.

Last week each girl brought in one pair of socks. Next week I'll have them all cut and ready to stuff so the girls can do that fun part. And then the moms who are willing to sew will all get together and complete the finishing touches. Right in time for sending them off by Thanksgiving.

Yesterday I made a practice monkey. I wanted to get my feet wet, figure out the quirks, and discover any problems that might arise. I am quite please with how he turned out!

So.....monkey see, monkey do??