Saturday, March 31, 2012

Star Wars Apron Tutorial

My son has this adorable robot apron from Old Navy. It was starting to get too small, so I told him I'd get him another. I wish they still sold those cute boy aprons, but I bought it years and years ago. He just loved the cute screen printing on it, though, and didn't want a plain "manly" apron. So, I thought I'd try the freezer paper stencil technique I've seen around blogland and make a cool Star Wars Apron.

First, I bought a basic apron from the craft section at Walmart.

Then, I found a pumpkin carving stencil online.  (Found here.)  He has been super into Star Wars lately, so I thought a Storm Trooper would be fun.  I printed it onto freezer paper.

I taped it down so it wouldn't wiggle while I cut, then cut out the black areas with an exacto knife.
I then positioned the stencil where I wanted it on the apron and ironed it on (shiny side down).  Make sure your iron is hot enough that the stencil is tightly stuck.  The first time I tried this (craft fail!) I didn't iron it well enough and paint seeped underneath the edges.  

I used fabric paint and a sponge brush to paint the openings in my stencil.  

I put on a couple of coats, until it didn't look pink anymore.  When it was nearly dry, I peeled off the stencil. I let the paint dry fully, and then I ironed over it to set the paint.  (I have no idea if that is even necessary, but I figured it couldn't hurt.)  

I think the Storm Trooper apron turned out really cute.  It's perfect for my boy. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Scientist Birthday Party

My twins turned 9 this month. It's my official policy that they only get a birthday party every other year.  Except, I never enforce this policy.  After throwing their Harry Potter birthday party last year, I decided that this year they were going to do something simple for their birthday.  No more parties.  Too expensive, too much stress.  Right?

And then birthday time rolls around and I just have too many good ideas for a party.  :)  I threw them a Science Birthday Party this year.   I was reminded of my idea to throw them a science party (it was in the running for last year's theme) when I came across fun little science-y things (like safety goggles and test tubes) in the dollar section at Target.  I love the dollar section at Target, don't you?  So, I broke my rule (again) and told my boys that they could only invite a few friends each and that this was going to be a simple, cheap party.  And, it was.  I love parties that are cute, but also easy and inexpensive.

A science party is a perfect party theme for this age.  They're at such a fun age--they're so excited about everything. They're Cub Scouts and love doing fun scout things like building and experimenting. They were super excited about getting to do some science experiments with their friends.

In keeping with the must-be-easy rule, I didn't start from scratch.  For invitations, I used these adorable printable invitations from Living Locurto.


The favor bags contained the safety goggles and test tubes from Target, some gloves, Nerds (because scientists are nerdy, right?), and glow-in-the-dark slime!
For the slime (which we made at the party, in addition to the ones I put together before hand), I used this "recipe" at Science Bob.  I love Science Bob!  There are so many fun experiments there.   I added some glow-in-the dark paint to make it glow in the dark (though I'm not sure if it worked...).  I made my own labels, too.  

I packaged the favors in white lunch sacks, with Living Locurto's caution stickers.  

I went with basic cupcakes, with orange frosting to match the decor.  I pre-scooped the ice cream into cupcake liners, so I didn't have to scoop at the party.  Such an awesome idea, courtesy of Real Simple

The only decorations were the yellow tablecloth and "The Lab" poster that I whipped up by printing out words and clipart and gluing to a piece of poster board.  

The supplies for the experiments kind of worked with the color scheme, though.
 The experiments (demonstrations, really) were a huge hit with the kids, even with the kids who came in saying they'd be boring.  The Oobleck was a huge hit.  

The fireworks in a jar were pretty fun, too.  
My personal favorite was the one where we blew up a balloon with a bottle.  It's the same vinegar and baking soda experiment as the old volcano eruption project (did you do that one in 5th grade like I did?), except without the mess.  
It was a fun (and inexpensive--I only spent about $15) party.  And, of course, my favorite part was when one of the party guests told me it was the best birthday party he'd ever been to in his whole life.  :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

1940 Census

I love the 1940s.   So much so, that every year I go to the 1940s WWII Era Ball.  I've made three 1940s dresses (and one vintage-style Staff Sergeant uniform for my husband) to wear to the events.

I also love history--I always have.  And, I love learning about my own family's history.  Combine all these, and you can see why I'm so excited about the 1940 census, which is going to be released in a couple of weeks.   It will be a wealth of information for people studying their history.  

It won't be indexed when it is released, though, and the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project needs YOU to help index it!

1940 census

I'm a blog ambassador for the 1940 U.S. Census and I'm asking you to sign up to help index the 1940 Census.  Head over to the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project website to sign up to become an indexer.  

Indexing is actually pretty fun.  It's almost like a game, "Can I figure out what this name says?!"  :)

As a little extra incentive to get you to sign up to index, the folks at the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project have come up with a little contest.  One entrant will be chosen at random to win a $100 Visa gift card and two entrants will be chosen to win $50 Visa gift cards.

To enter, download the FamilySearch Indexing software and complete a practice batch that will simulate what indexing the 1940 U.S. Census will be like.   See more on the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project Blog.

Disclosure:  As part of ambassador program this blog post enters me into a drawing for an Amazon Kindle Fire.  

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Blog Card Holder

As I was preparing to go to the Colorado Bloggers Meet-Up last weekend, I decided I wanted some blog cards to have available if anyone asked what my blog was. Being a firmly entrenched DIYer, I didn't buy them (didn't have time, anyways!), I made them!  I put my blog logo at the top, typed up my URL and email address, printed them out myself, and cut them out.  Easy Peasy.

Now, though, I needed somewhere to put them.  I didn't want them loose in my purse; they'd get all wrinkled.  I've never had business cards or anything before, so I don't have a holder for them.  I've seen cute ones you can sew, and I thought of doing that.  But, this was the night before the meet-up and I just didn't have time (or, really, the inclination to pull out my stash and try to find the fabric I wanted).

I thought about using an Altoids tin and looked in my drawer where I thought I had one stashed.  When I looked, I saw a package of gum and inspiration struck.  

It would make a totally cute card holder.  It was just the right size, too.  Perfect.  
I covered it with pieces of scrapbook paper I had laying around.  I love this measuring tape paper.  This was the perfect time to use it, too, for my crafty/sewing blog blog-cards.  

I mod-podged the paper onto the gum package, doing a few coats to make it more durable.  

And before you knew it, I had a super-cute, functional blog card holder.  Love it!


Friday, March 9, 2012

Quote Boards

I've mentioned before that I LOVE pinning pretty (both in word and design) quotes to my Pinterest. Well, I got tired of only getting to see them on Pinterest. But, who has enough space for all the cute printables out there? I sure don't. So, I made a place to display whichever ones I'm in the mood for on any given day.

Normally, I'd frame them, but it's not super convenient to pry off the back of a frame, position it just right, and put it all back together.  I mean, it's not super hard either, but I wanted a space where I could quick-as-a-wink switch out printables.  So, I made some quote bulletin-boards.

I bought some cork at the craft store, traced the glass from the frame as a pattern, and cut out the cork.  Then, I put it in the frame.  Pretty simple.  I used frames I already had, spray painting them to update them a bit.  Plus, the space needed some color so it wasn't just black and white.

Now I have cute decor in my front entry and I get to see inspiring quotes all day long.  If you'd like the same ones in your house, you can download them here:

You Matter Quote, by Reliving the Moments
Charity Quote, by Simply Fresh Designs
Have I Done Any Good Quote, by Me  :)

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