Do You Want Some More?

Hello Friends! Today I have a quick and easy DIY s”more kit project for you using inexpensive supplies from Papermart:

SAM_1621

I occurred to me that folks outside of the US and Canada might not know what the heck a s’more is, or how to make them so I’ll tell you! S’mores are an American campfire tradition, they call them s’mores because they are so tasty after you eat one you will want some-more! First you roast a marshmallow over the fire, then you take a graham cracker and add a piece of chocolate on top, place the roasted melty marshmallow on top and top with another graham cracker.  Yum! These little DIY s’more kits make wonderful party favors for a camp-out or bonfire (that is probably another American tradition too!) I have even made these kits with Christmas themed marshmallows or “Peeps” and called them “Santa S’mores” and sold them at craft fairs for $1 each and they sell out every time! Watch the video to see how it is done:

supplies for this project:

Directions:

  1. Place food items in clear bag. Seal closed.
  2. Fold scrapbook paper in half, add doily and tape to bag.
  3. Decorate with twine, buttons and die cuts.

I hope you make some of these DIY s’more kits but you better make extra because everyone will want some-more! Happy crafting!

Tutorial: Make a Sleeping Bag and Tent for an American Girl Doll!

Did anyone get an American Girl doll for Christmas? Or any other 18″ doll? I made my twin 8-year-old daughters sleeping bags and a tent for their dolls this year.

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I did not use a pattern, I made it up as I went along. The sleeping bag was easy, I made 2 in an hour. I used double-sided quilted fabric that I found at Joanns. This stuff is pricey ($20 a yard normally) but it was on sale and you only need 1/2 yard to make a bag and pillow. you will also need a 18″ zipper, some bias tape, fiberfill and a sewing machine.

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To make the bag cut 2 rectangles of material 13″x20″. Insert the zipper then top stitch it down on the front side before you sew up the bag. Then sew up the bag and sew bias tape over the raw top edge. I like to use bias tape here rather than hemming it because it looks neater and has less bulk. For the pillows I simply cut two rectangles out of the leftover scraps, sewed them on 3 sides, stuffed it with fiberfill and sewed up the open side, easy as pie!

Tip: Rub the zipper with a bar of soap so it will be easy to open and close!

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For the tent I bought 1 and a half yards of two cotton fabrics from the clearance bin, cut it down to 27″ wide, pinned them right sides together and sewed it up on 3 sides (both short sides and one long side is sewn). Tip: If you sew it so the selvage edge is the un-sewn edge you won’t need to hem it! Turn it right side out, it will look like a huge, unruly pillowcase. Cut two 20″x26″ pieces of cardboard or foamcore and one 16″x26″ piece. These are the tent wall and floor supports. Now with the fabric right side out you need to sew 2 dividers in the fabric. I placed one of the large boards in the fabric and marked along the edge to get a line to sew on. You want the material to be tight against the boards.

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The flaps are tricky, after I made the tent I assembled it and traced the end onto newspaper and used it as a template to make the flaps then I sewed each flap to the front end. I kept the back-end open because I wanted to be able to remove the foamcore piece and replace it if it got bent or if I needed to wash the tent.

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Best of all the tent is reversible and can be folded up and tucked in a closet or under a bed when not in use!  You will need ribbons (or velcro) at each end of the tent as well as on each side of the flaps to keep the tent up and to tie the flaps back. It is probably better to catch the ribbon in the seams as you work but you can just as well sew them on afterward. It is up to you!

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This was a fun project and the sleeping bag and pillow would make a great sewing project for your child! thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

My thoughts on scrapbooking…

Happy Sunday folks! I always think the Sunday is a great time for scrapping, especially during football season. Working on a page with the “game” on in the background and the family milling about is just kind of nice. I was putting the finishing touches ona pile of scrapbook pages I made at a crop last month and I was getting ready to photograph them for my blog when I thought “Nah, no one want to see 10 pages of summer camping” well, no one except my family and that is OK. I did photograph one layout to share because I thought someone might find the paper pocket I made useful to stash maps and other ephemera on a page:

 

I used to approach each scrapbook page like it was a painting, it had to be completely different, artistic and take hours to complete…Did I mention that was back when I had one kid? Now my priority is getting the photos printed and in books. Sure, I like to try new techniques and play with cool crafting product but If I don’t have a perfect embellishment or paper I still scrap it and put it in my album. Why? Because no one who is interested in my pages will care if I used 5-year-old paper and buttons or if I ran out and spent $20 to make the page. They want the photos and the story. I wanted to write this post today for all of the “collectors of scrapbook supplies” out there who think that every page has to be perfect or it is not worth creating. It is worth creating! The products mean nothing it is your special personality that will transform your photos, story and supplies into a meaningful memory. Don’t worry about being perfect, just do it! I was reminded of this when my daughter Maizy asked me if she could make a video after seeing me film a scrapbook page video. I said sure. I think it represents the fun carefree way we should all approach our scrapbooks, like a child, with no judgements just joy, have a look:

I’m so proud of her! And I love how she makes double-sided tape work for everything LOL! thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Let’s Have a Backyard Campout Party! {a cautionary tale}

Famous. Last. Words. Just kidding folks :) My son wanted to have a sleepover for his 10th birthday (in October) but we live in a tiny house so I said maybe he could have it early (in the summer) and have a campout in the backyard. Boy, did he like THAT idea because A. it meant her would have his birthday early and B. camping out is his favorite thing. Add a bunch of 8-10 year old boys and it is a recipe for fun…or disaster…I’m not sure which LOL! So if you are reading this blog post hoping to see a professionally photographed party you can stop right now. It was such chaos that I didn’t even dare to stop supervising the madhouse to take a picture until 8:30! Luckily I took a photo of my lovely S’mores bouquet before the yahoos arrived:

 

My son said to me “Mom, I hope you aren’t going to put that out until it is time for s’mores, otherwise we’ll just hog down all of the candy” straight from the mouths of babes. The S’more fixin’s went out at 8:30, that’s when I spotted my camera and thought “Oh no! I have not taken one picture of the party!”

 

I only took 2 photos that night…and I left my camera out in the rain…

BTW I put the marshmallows on barbecue skewers, they look great but are a bit short for roasting marshmallows. On the upside they were too short for the kids to stick them into the flames and make dangerous marshmallow torches with. Small favors.

We also made doughboys (AKA donuts on a stick) at the party. I bought 6 dowels at the lumber yard (smartly I realized that I did not want more than 6 kids around the fire trying to cook at once) and some refrigerated biscuit dough. I bought Grands biscuits by Pillsbury but any brand will work. The original seems to work best. Cut the one biscuit in half and stretch it out and wrap it around the end of the dowel and cook it over the campfire. Keep it in the heat but out of the flame. It is done when it puffs up and it sounds hollow when you tap on it. The full size grand biscuit will not cook, just use a half. Then roll the doughboy in butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Yum!

 

I also came up with a Vegan/Kosher s’more. Roast a piece of banana over the fire and place it on a graham cracker that has been spread with peanut butter and chocolate chips. Top with another graham cracker.  

Another fun activity to keep the campers entertained were homemade marshmallow shooters:

 

The idea came from the blog Come Together Kids. I used 12″ balloons and large plastic cups. Buy an extra package of balloons so you can repair the shooter if need be. I put out a bag of mini marshmallows and that was plenty, I had the kids re-use the ammo so I would not have a yard full of marshmallows to pick up (or for my dog and chickens to get sick eating LOL!) Here is a quick video on how to make them:

If you are still reading, thanks! I originally thought I’d let the boys stay up until 10 and then have them settle into their tents to chit-chat and read. (I also thought that the boys would be sitting around the campfire singing folk songs but that didn’t happen either!) but by about 6pm I realized that these boys will be going into the tents at 9.  By the time the boys had all used the bathroom, brushed their teeth (hopefully?) and settled into their tents it was about 9:30. At 10 it started to rain…pour actually…and the tent was leaking! Camping in the rain, why that’s my specialty. I tarped the tents and got the boys settled, again.  All in all the boys were asleep around 1am.

 

My son and I silkscreened T-shirts for the guests. All the boys made it though the night and I did too! They all had a blast and they were all good kids but If I told you that having a campout party was a piece of cake I’d be lying. I’m keeping it real, folks.

 

Oh, I forgot to mention, the quest list was small compared to the other birthday parties. Jackson invited 9 boys in his grade. It being summer I was not sure if they would all make it to the party. I invited siblings to come over for a cookout supper and smore’s. I wanted to have a little party favor for them when they left and made these, I got the idea from girl scout swaps:

 

I made a wood grain stamp with my Stampmaker and used it to stamp on tags, then stamp a little tent and the word thanks. The flashlight pin was made from golf tees cut short and painted, then I glued on a gold pony bead (for the light) and scrap of funfoam for the switch and a pin back so it could be worn.

 So, if you are STILL reading you are probably thinking about throwing your own backyard campout. Here are some tips and friendly advice:

  • Keep the party small. 6 kids is a good amount. Put 3 each in a tent and they might get to sleep before midnight. Maybe.
  • If by some lapse of reason you decide to invite more kids enlist some other moms to help. Maybe have a few organized games to keep the kids from running wild.
  • Get emergency contact info from every parent before the day of the campout. Find out if anyone is on medication, needs an inhaler or has any food allergies.
  • Also I asked that pocket knives and video games be left at home.
  • Don’t forget the prefect invitation! I used free tourist maps to make envelopes and the printable Backyard Party Campout kit for the interactive invitation.

 

Well, that’s how you host a backyard campout sleepover. And I lived to tell about it…I think I should have made myself a T-shirt too, ha ha!  :) Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting! 

 

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