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Monday, April 30, 2012

Blog Updates

Just a drive-by to announce some blog updates...

I noticed that my profile said I had a two year old.  Um...he's four now.  doh.  I rewrote that little intro ditty ; )

I also updated the Crafting for Charity page with Craft Hope's newest project.  Due to website issues, they announced this project as an event on the Craft Hope Facebook page.  I shared the project theme here, with a link to the fb page for more info.  I also rounded up several pattern/tutorial links in case you want to participate!  It looks like a fun one!

Awhile ago, I started using one of my tabbed pages as a rotating directory for seasonal or holiday posts.  This week, I took down the Easter page and replaced it with Mother's Day.  Quick and easy place to find any and every Mother's Day post I've shared on Craft, Interrupted!  Well, there aren't too many (yet)...but now you have a heads up for where to look for current-themed projects, since this page now changes every month or so as we pass holidays and seasons.

I also added a new page - Contributors!  The amazing Ms. Tiffany has that page all to herself at the moment, but if anyone out there is interested in contributing to Craft, Interrupted, the contact info is there.  I'm open to one-time guest posts, repeat guest posts, or if you want to pitch a regular idea to me, I'm open to considering that, too.  The more crafty goodness the better, in my opinion : )

...I think that's it.  OH!  No, there's one more thing - Craft, Interrupted's facebook page now has a photo album for reader submissions.  If you've ever used an idea or tutorial from one of my posts and created your own crafty goodness with it, I'd love to see it!!  And I'd love even more to let everyone else see it!  Ha!  Seriously, snap a pic, email it to and I'd be delighted to add it to the album.

Coming this week:
Ninjago Party Prep
& Reader request - Monkey Ear Headband & Tail Belt tutorial

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Picnic Party

We had such a good result with our Picnic Party yesterday!  I think I mentioned, that this was an outreach event that our church did for residents at a local motel, who have been displaced from their homes for one reason or another.  Some have been there for many months, and are struggling.  For others, our picnic was likely the only meal they had that day.  We brought all the food, tables, chairs, activities, and decorations, and set up a picnic for them in the courtyard.  Craft, Interrupted was in charge of the decor.

If you missed any of my preparations, click here to see how I used locally donated paper grocery bags for some picnic fun.  See how I made use of more inexpensive supplies here, for table baskets, and here for hanging decorations.

What I didn't show you were the bandanna table runners.  I simply sewed the ends of a few bandannas together to make a long runner for the buffet tables.  I found some coordinating plaid fabric in my stash and there was just enough to add several touches here and there throughout our picnic decor.  I put a plaid square in the center of each runner.  The skinny runners for the eating tables were made with more bandannas that had been squared up on the sides and cut into equal fourths.  Don't mind Thing 1, he's always a photo bomber ; )
I try to make the absolute most of my supplies.  SO, with all the thin strips that I had trimmed off the edges of the quartered bandannas, I made a raggy knotted garland.  I cut the lengths in half, and added in torn strips of the plaid fabric.  I knotted them all onto red grosgrain ribbon.  It's about 36" long, and was enough to hang across the front of the activity table.

The centerpieces were made from tin cans I dug out of our recycling bin, that I filled with a few Dollar Tree faux sunflowers, and decorated with brown paper, fabric, and some picnic printables that I made in My Memories.  
Eight centerpieces for $4!
The picnic ware came from the church.  I wrapped them into little sets with leftover strips of paper grocery bags and punched printables that I made.  I put these all in two plastic washtub-style bins from Dollar Tree.

For the dessert table, I used a mini wood crate from my office, and jars from my recycling bin wrapped in strips of fabric.  

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Plastic Tablecloth Poms!

My post on creative ways to use cheap plastic party tablecloths is one of my most popular.  If you missed it, you can find it here, and see how these disposable table covers can be made into backdrops, swags, banners, chair covers, shaped into table runners, cut into streamers...and something I've been waiting for an opportunity to try - party poms!

I made some poms out of tissue paper for the Blue & Brown Baby Shower.  And while they did look nice, they were kind of a hassle to fluff out.  The tissue paper is thin and tears easily, and it took quite a bit of time to get several of them opened up.  Plus, my poms came out more egg-shaped than nice and round.  Well then I came across the idea to use these plastic tablecloths to make the poms!  Genius!!

I tried it.  And I have to say - it was SO much easier!  And faster!  AND cheaper?!  I know what I'm making my poms out of from now on ; )  Let me show you...

You can buy these plastic tablecloths for as low as 97 cents each (depending on where you go), and find them in a boatload of colors.  All you need is a tablecloth (or two), scissors, and string or ribbon.

I took one table cover, opened it partway 
and cut it in half at the center fold.
I did this with two separate ones,
so that I'd have two colors of poms,
and still have the other halves leftover to 
cover tables with.

I took the half, and cut that into thirds.
Measuring is not necessary - just eyeball it!

These pieces were only partially unfolded at the start,
so you have to find the sides that still have a fold,
and slide your scissors through those creases
to make a stack of separate layers.

For the red ones, I had four layers in each stack.
I had unfolded and cut the first round differently
and ended up with six layers, but it didn't make as
many poms.  Not a noticeable difference in their fullness
either, so this method is the quickest and easiest.

A Tip
Cut your string before you do the accordion folds.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Fun Jar Friday #3 - Frozen Yogurt Pops!

This week on Fun Jar Friday - 
Frozen Yogurt Pops!

Recently, my son got his adenoids out.  There was a possibility of him getting his tonsils out as well, so I had promised him all sorts of cold treats when it was over to ease his anxiety.  Even though the tonsils stayed, he still experienced a sore throat.  I wanted his throat to be soothed, but I wanted to make sure he was getting more nutrients in him than what popsicles and ice cream had to offer.  I came up with this idea for a fun treat and thought it would be even funner as a post-operation fun jar activity!  That said, this is an anytime treat.  Spring, summer, whenever.  It’s healthy, fun, and pretty!  It’s yummy for parents too!  I know, cause I keep treating myself to them!

You will need:
Blended yogurt
Paper lollipop sticks
Candy lollipop mold

I ransacked my stash for whatever molds I had.  I had purchased a spring candy kit a couple years back that had a couple mold in it that worked great for my spring theme.  I also used some hearts and fishes because I thought they were cute!  Doesn’t matter what size or shape you use.  I had some rather large flowers and some tiny bite sized shapes for my little guy and a quick treat.

As far as yogurt goes, you can use whatever flavor, brand, type you like.  I’m cheap, so I went with my store’s generic brand that they had on sale for 10/$4.  I got an assortment of flavors and colors.  How many you get really depends on how many you want to make and the size of your pops.  My 5 flavors made about 30 in assorted sizes. I also used paper lollipop sticks simply because it was what I had on hand and the heart pops required a designated stick size so I had to cut it down.  If you don’t have that problem, a plastic stick will work fine.

So, first thing you need to do is create the piping bag.  I’m going to let you in on a little secret.  I do a lot of frosting, chocolate, and food piping.  And I never use a piping bag.  I find them messy and they give me more hard to clean dishes which I would rather do without.  Instead, I use a ziplock baggy.  They are disposable, small, and you can seal the frosting in so it doesn’t go squirting out the top.  And I am a ziplock queen and have an assortment of sizes at all times.  That said, I have a little trick for filling my baggy.  I use a glass or cup.  Place the ziplock in the cup and then fold the baggy edges over the rim.  Then I can dump what I need to right into the bottom with no mess.

When you are done filling your bag, zip it up and cut the tip off the bottom corner.  How much you cut off depends on how thick you want the stuff to come out.  If you want finely detailed lines, cut a teeny tiny bit off.  If you just want a filler, cut a bigger amount.  For this project, because you might be dealing with some fruit chunks that might cause problems, cut about a half inch off the corner.

Now you are ready to fill your molds.  Just fill it in, squeezing your bag gently.  If fruit comes out, that’s okay.  Don’t overfill though.  Just to the top of the mold.  Excuse my son’s pajamas.  He’s the one recovering from surgery and supposed to be taking it easy. It doesn’t matter what you are doing. As long as you are wearing pajamas, you are “taking it easy.”

Then lightly tap your mold on the counter a few times to fill in all the areas.  You can keep tapping until the yogurt is flat, but we got impatient and decided it would taste just as good with a lumpy back.

Now comes the sticks.  Just place them in the groove, fairly far up the mold and give it a couple spins until it is completely covered.  

Here comes the hard part.  Finding space in your freezer.  I had a very difficult time with this and ended up doing it in shifts, keeping the waiting ones in the fridge.  You need a large flat area.  Flat enough that the yogurt doesn’t shift, and large enough that the sticks don’t get bumped.  Freeze them for about 2 hours, give or take a few depending on the size and thickness.  Really until they can pop out easily.  Then you just pop them out gently like you would and ice cube.  Wrap them in a candy bag or cellophane and store them in the freezer.  My boys have been obsessed with these!

Lickers like my little guy do best with smaller pops.  Or it could get messy!

Aren’t they pretty?

Tiffany!  I can't tell you how much I love these!!  
What a fantastic, easy, fun, healthy, cute activity!?!?
Thanks for sharing this with us : )

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Paper Plate Baskets

Paper plate basketsI saw these awhile ago and filed it away in my mind - super cute (and genius) little bins/baskets made from paper plates!

These came from Sarah Hearts, and she now has a video tutorial for how to make them.  Super easy!

I thought these would be perfect as little crayon holders on the tables for our picnic party this weekend.  Paper plates are cheap!  And I happened to have some on hand, so I went for it.  I've been wanting to try these for months anyway ; )

Only downside for me, I don't have any of that cute washi tape to wrap the sides with.  I tried a rubber band, but it wasn't the right size and pulled it in funky.  So I ended up just hot gluing the corner tabs.

Sarah shares a fantastic tutorial to make these, but I thought I would show you a little time-saver trick I came up with, since I was making several of them at once.

Instead of drawing out the lines on each and every plate, I made a square template for the size that I wanted the finished basket to be - in my case, 3 1/2".  I centered this on one plate and traced it, then used a ruler to extend the four lines to the edge of the plate.  Then I cut out the corner tabs completely.  It looks like this.

This is what I used as a pattern, tracing the corners onto a full plate.

I whipped right through a bunch of them and didn't have to 
mess with the ruler and trying to get even, centered lines!

From there, I just followed Sarah's method.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Picnic Fun with Paper Bags

I mentioned last week that I'm working on a picnic event that our church is putting on, for some families who are living in one of the extended-stay hotels near us.  This is the pic I shared of my Dollar Store/Hobby Lobby picnic party supply stash...

One of my ideas for activities for our picnic event was to put crayons on the tables and let our picnic-ers draw and color on the table cover.  Instead of shelling out for rolls of kraft paper, I hit up our local Publix store for donating a stack of paper grocery bags.  The main front/back pieces are the perfect size for placemats!  And I have made use of the rest, too.  I'll show you...

Most paper grocery bags have something printed on one side, but this doesn't matter - you can use the backside of it.  The paper is heavy enough that you can't see through it at all.  First, I cut down the length of one corner edge, and around all four sides of the bottom, removing that piece.  
It's the only section I didn't find a use for.  

You can save a bit of time in the next step, by using the creases of the edge corners to rip off the narrow side sections.  You just have to rip a teeny starting point, then lay it flat and slowly separate it.  
It will rip straight down that firm side fold.

This gives you the front, back, and two side pieces, all separated.

I stacked front/back together and trimmed 
around the outside with shaped scissors.

I then ironed each piece with a hot, steamy iron.  As long as you keep the iron moving, it doesn't damage the paper at all.  The steam helps flatten the creases, and you'll have nice, heavy duty paper placemats : )

But that's not all!  You can still use those side pieces of the bags!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Fun Jar Friday #2 - Make Your Own Bouncy Eggs!

Welcome back Tiffany!

Make Your Own Bouncy Eggs

I’m starting off with my Easter themed fun jar activities simply because it was just Easter.  But the good news is, they don’t have to be just for Easter!  You don’t have to shape these into eggs, I just happened to do it because it was seasonal.  They are made from a very simple science experiment to make your own bouncy balls!  And it uses typical household products that you have on hand or can get easily from the grocery store.  The same ingredients can be used to make other things as well.  It can be used to make “flubber” or “gak”, silly putty, and my science teacher mom used it with her eighth graders to teach them about the complexity of the earth’s mantle (in case you ever wanted to do that).

So here is what you need to make your own bouncy balls

1 Tbsp Elmer’s white glue
food coloring
1/2 tsp. Borax powder (found in the detergent aisle of your grocery store)
3 Tbsp. Cornstarch
4 Tbsp. Warm water
2 cups to mix in
stirring utensils like a spoon or popsicle stick

I made 2 swirled eggs so I made three colors (red, blue, yellow) and split the red to be swirled into the other colors.

In one cup, mix together the warm water, cornstarch, and borax.  The other cup will have your glue.

Put 4 drops of food coloring into the glue and mix it together well.  Give your borax cup another stir and then pour it into your colored glue cup.

Now stir it together and it will start to clump.  I found that the longer you stirred it, the bigger the ball gets.  You do not need to stir all the liquid in to make your ball though.  But you will have a goopy mess like this

When you’ve decided you’ve stirred enough, remove the goop and dispose of the remaining liquid.  Now things get messy!  Your goop will be slimy, runny, messy and just nasty.  So start squishing.  The more you squish, the more solid it gets.

If you want a swirled egg, add another color to your goop when it starts getting a little less messy.  Then, as you squish, the colors will start swirling together.

When the balls starts to dull in color the stickiness is gone, you have your ball.  You can go ahead and give it a test bounce!  To shape your ball, you can either shape it with your hands, or use a plastic egg.  If you place the ball in the egg and roll it back and forth, it becomes and egg shape.

If you simply want a ball shape, shake the egg with the ball in it.  The shape does not stay long, much like silly putty, so you can try different things.  Now you can start enjoying your ball.  It really bounces! When you are done, you can store them in the plastic egg or a plastic bag.  Just shape them again next time you are ready to play!

When you are done, you can store them in the plastic egg or a plastic bag.  Just shape them again next time you are ready to play!


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