Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Easter Egg & Moss Tree

One of the highlights of Spring for me is Easter.  And decorating for Easter!

So, using the same method I used here to cover a styrofoam cone in moss, I created this Easter Egg and Moss Tree! 

After I had covered the entire cone with moss, I hot glued these cute speckled eggs I found at Hobby Lobby onto it. 

I love how springy and Eastery it looks!

Do you decorate for Easter, spring, both or neither?

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Etched Easter Apothecary Jar

I have an exciting next couple of weeks coming up!  I am so excited!  This week I am showing off a few fun Easter Crafts / Home Decor items I have made.  And next week is Peep Week!!!!

Yes.  I said PEEP WEEK!!!  (hahaha!  It just makes me smile saying that!)

I am devoting all of next week to all things Peep related!  Ooooohhhhh!  I am soooooooo excited!!!!!

But today, I want to share with you my Etched Easter Apothecary Jar.

I have always wanted to try my hand an etched glass.  And when I found this glass jar for under $4, I knew this would be the perfect jar to experiment with!!

So I asked my friend very nicely if she could cut me an easter image out of her cricut :)

I applied the vinyl bunny outline to my glass jar and found some etching cream at the local craft store.  I just "followed" the directions and let it works its magic.

But.  If you look closely at my bunny, you can see a couple of "water marks".  Yeah.  The directions said to apply the cream in an up and down motion with your brush.  I might not have "followed" the directions very closely.  Oops.  But in person you have to look pretty close to notice it so hopefully no one does :)

The next time I use etching cream I will follow the directions a bit more closely.  But until then...I still LOVE my Etched Bunny Apothecary Jar!!

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Winner Winner!

Sorry I am late getting this post up...but I wanted to announce our TWO WINNERS from my last giveaway!

Winner #1 who wins a felt easter garland and the Starbuck's $10 gift card is:

CONGRATES Missyg!!!  Please email me at simplydesigning@gmail.com with your mailing address and I will get your prizes shipped out to you!

And now...winner #2 who wins a felt easter garland:

CONGRATES Katie!!! Please email me at simplydesigning@gmail.com with your mailing address and I will get your prize shipped out to you!

Congratulations to all who won!  And thank you to all who participated!

Look forward to another GIVEAWAY when I reach 800 GFC Followers!

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Simply Link {Party} & Wooden Spoon Puppets {Kid Craft}

If you haven't noticed, I've been a bit "kid craft" obsessed this week!  I hope you haven't minded the diversion...it's been pretty fun!  I have one more Kid Craft to share with you this week: Wooden Spoon Fairies!

But before that, in case you missed anything, here's what we did this week: 
Marshmallow and Peanut Butter Playdough

Butterfly Up-Cycled Crayons

DIY Shimmery Puffy Paint
To make your Wooden Spoon Puppets (we made fairies, but you can make monsters, pirates, princesses...whatever your children want to make!), gather some wooden spoons (you can get multi-packs at the dollar store) and any other crafting goodies you have lying around:

Then let your kids have fun creating!  There are really no rules...we just had fun creating together!

And a great part about this craft is that after you are done making these puppets, your children can play with them or even put on a puppet show for you! 

Now...it's time for my weekly Simply Link {Party}!  I can't wait to see your creations!

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

DIY Shimmery Puffy Paint {Kid Craft}

Did you know that you could make paint??? 

Puffy Paint!  Shimmery Puffy Paint!!

How cool is that?!?!?

And guess what?  It is the perfect kid craft because your children can actually make this themselves with minimal help from you!  And then, it gives them some fun paint to paint with!  This is entertainment for hours! 

I love love love kid crafts that kids can make themselves and then use!  It provides a lot of enjoyment for them and educates them on how to make something!  That is the perfect kid craft in my opinion. 

And, the best part is that there are no complicated ingredients!  I bet you have everything you need to make this right in your pantry!

Here's how to make your own Shimmery Puffy Paint:

Mix Together:
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup salt (this gives it the shimmer)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Food coloring
This will create a thick mixture. 

Using a funnel, pour mixture into an empty squeeze bottle.  (I used old glue bottles and, since the bottles aren't clear, I put a piece of paper around the bottle so my daughter would know what color the paint was inside each bottle.)

Let your kids have fun painting with their new Shimmery Puffy Paint! 

(It will take a few hours or overnight to completely dry, depending on how thick they paint with it.)

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Butterfly Up-Cycled Crayons {Kid Craft}

I have seen Up-Cycled Crayons all around bloggland but finally decided to let my little girl take a whirl at making some herself!

This is actually a great project for spring since you can get a bit of spring cleaning done in the process! 

So grab that old box of crayons, let your kids take all the paper off of them and let them go to town breaking the crayons into small pieces. 

Assure your children that today, this is actually an "ok" thing to do! 

Next, grab a silicon baking mold. 

Be sure that it is oven safe.  I had two to use and one, after 5 minutes in the oven became an melted mess of silicon.  It clearly was not a heat-safe one.  Oops.  (The one I got that did work was from Hobby Lobby but I know you can get them many places.) 

So after you grab that oven-safe silicon mold, let your kids pile in the crayon pieces and then place it on your oven at 300 degrees for about 10-20 minutes.

After them are fully melted, take them out of the oven and let them cool completely.  After the are cool, they should pop right out of the mold!

Now you have cleaned out that old crayon box and your children have new pretty crayons to color with!!  I love this craft!

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Peanut Butter & Marshmallow Playdough {Kid Craft}

Yup.  You read that right.  Peanut Butter and Marshmallow Playdough.

I was blog-hopping the other day and come across a blog that said you could make playdough from only those two ingredients.  I was astounded.  Amazed.  And aw-inspired.  And curious.  Very very curious.  Could that really be possible?

And then my internet browser "shut down unexpectedly" and I have no idea where the idea came from.  So.  If this was your idea...send me an email and I will give you credit.  But thank you, to whoever inspired this creation!

In any case, this the perfect Kid Craft!  It will give your children a great after school or spring break activity!  Not only do they get to make the playdough, but they also get to play with the playdough.  And I suppose if they really want to, they can eat the playdough.  (Although, I would suggest they wash their hands well before beginning the activity...but I'm crazy like that.)

So hand your child a large marshmallow or two and a spoonful of peanut butter and let them get to work.

Let them mush, squeeze, roll, bend, smush it all together.  Their hands will get super messy and you will wonder what in the world I was thinking.  You will think I lied to you and there is no way this is going to work. 

Let them continue smushing and then, after about 5+ minutes, something magical will happen. 

They uber messy hands will start to become clean. 

Yup!  Around that point the two items will have mixed together sufficiantly and it will turn into a playdough-like consistancy. 

Pretty amazing stuff, really!

Ours was a little softer then traditional store bought playdough, and, well, it's brown.  But it is truly the magic of this project that I love!!  And it is something your kids can make on their own! 

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Shabby Birdhouses

A friend of mine sent me a link to cute bird houses here and I knew I wanted some for myself for Spring.  

I found these bird houses at Michael's for $2 each, fully assembled, ready to be painted, cute bird houses for $2. 

So I started by painting them. 

Then I took my sander and sanded the edges to make them look worn. 

Then I took brown craft paint and mixed it with water.  Then I used that to paint a "glaze" all over the bird houses.  I wipped some of it off with a paper towel. 

Don't they look sooooo cute!! 

Aren't the cute?!

PS - my friend made some too and you can see her's here

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Friday, March 18, 2011

Simply Link {Party} and a GIVEAWAY {Starbuck's} & {Easter Garland}

Woohoo!!!!  I can't believe I have 700 Followers!  Thank you so much!

Time for another GIVEAWAY!

For today's giveaway, I am actually picking 2 winners!

Winner #1 will receive:  a Felt Easter Egg Garland that I made (just in time for your Easter or Spring Decorating!)

And a $10 Gift Card to Starbucks! (Yum yum!)

Winner #2 will receive:  one of my Felt Easter Egg Garlands!

So you have 2 chances to win! 

Winner #1 gets an Easter Egg Garland and a Starbuck's Gift Card
Winner #2 gets an Easter Egg Garland

Here's how to enter:

Leave 1 comment for each of the below items that you complete:
  • Follow Simply Designing through Google Friend's Connect (on the sidebar).  You can become a new follower or just tell me that you already follow through GFC.
  • Subscribe to my RSS feed (or tell me that you already subscribe)
  • "Like" Simply Desinging's fan page on Facebook (or tell me you already do)
  • Follow me on Twitter @SimplyDesigning (or tell me you already do) 
  • Subscribe to get a daily email from Simply Designing so that you don't miss out on anything fabulous!  I promise, only one email per day!  (or tell me you have already signed up for my email!)
And for a bonus entry:
  • Leave me a comment telling me what your favorite drink is at Starbuck's!
That means you can earn 6 entries!!!

This giveaway will run until next Thursday March 24th at 11:59 EST.  I will announce the winner sometime on Friday March 25th! 

Now, let's PARTY!!!

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Irish Soda Bread (So Simple!)

My daughter came home from preschool two days ago talking about Soda Bread. 

I was caught off guard wondering how she knew about soda bread!  It turns out they were talking about it at preschool.  It always makes me proud to hear that she actually listened and retained information like this!

And then she asks me, "Mommy, do you know how to make soda bread?"

Uh oh.  Moment of truth. 

(Do you remember how I am actually banned from making banana bread at my house?  Yeah...I don't make bread!!)

So, I hesitantly said, "No.  I don't.  But we can look up a recipe and see if I have the ingredients." (Hoping in the back of my mind that I wouldn't have the ingredients...let's face it, making bread without a bread machine is typically a lot of work!) 

Turns out I had ALL the ingredients. 

AND, it is actually super easy to make! 

Like so easy you could make it for dinner tonight!  No kneading, no rising, no punching it down involved!!!  And it only takes about 10 minutes to throw together and about 1 hour in the oven!!!

I used this recipe from here with a modification :)

Irish Soda Bread


  • 3 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/3 c white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 c buttermilk or use my substitute below 
  • 1/4 c butter, melted
Buttermilk Substitute:
  • For 1 cup of buttermilk, put 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar in a 1 cup measuring cup. 
  • Fill the rest of the 1 cup measuring cup with milk. 
  • Let sit for 5 minutes and use as much as needed. 
  • (In this case, I doubled this recipe and used all of it to yield 2 cups of buttermilk substitute.) 
  • Note, this is not as tangy as buttermilk is, but it seemed to work just fine for this recipe!

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.  (Of course I didn't have a 9x5 loaf pan, I had (2) 8x4 pans, so I just split the batter between both pans and had two smaller loaves)
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and baking soda.
  3. Blend egg and buttermilk together, and add all at once to the flour mixture.
  4. Mix just until moistened.
  5. Stir in butter.  Note: this will be a batter like consistency, not a bread dough consistency. 
  6. Pour into prepared pan.
  7. Bake for 65 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the bread comes out clean.
  8. Cool on a wire rack.
  9. Wrap in foil for several hours.
Really.  It's THAT simple! 

I've never had Irish Soda Bread before but it is yummy and sort of a cornbread texture. 

We enjoyed a load at home and my daughter's preschool class is enjoying the second loaf today at school! 

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Happy St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patty's Day

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Polka Dots in a Teen or Tween Bedroom

It's Interior Design Wednesday! 

I love Polka-Dots!  They are just so happy and whimsical and symmetrical!  I love them!

Unfortunately, I just can't pull off polk-dots in large quantity in the main living area of my home.  However, they are PERFECT for a tween or a teen's bedroom! 

Here are a few of my favorites:

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Felt Hair Flower: St. Patrick's Edition

Today, I'm excited to share with you a tutorial for a new Felt Hair Flower!

First, here's how to make the felt flower:

  1. Cut a large circle out of felt and make the edges wavy.
  2. Starting at an outside edge, cut a spiral out of the circle using a wavy cut.  Leave a small circle in the center uncut.
  3. Starting at the outside end, roll the felt until a rosette is formed.  Continue to roll until the entire piece is rolled. 
  4. Hot glue the small circle to the bottom of the flower to keep the flower together. 
Next you need to line your alligator clip.  I am sure a lot of you know how to line an alligator clip, but if you don't, you can check out my tutorial here

I chose to use a green ribbon on my alligator clip so that it would work for St. Patrick's Day, but you can use any color you want to of course.

Then you will hot glue your felt flower to your alligator clip and voila!  Instant St. Patrick's Day hair bling!! 

Now your little girl won't get pinched!

Don't you love how this turned out?!

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Spring Moss Topiary

Today I am so excited to share with you a tutorial for a very SIMPLE Spring Moss Topiary!

I went into Hobby Lobby the other day for one thing.  Just one thing.  Honest. 

But then I found these birds...

Aren't they so cute!  I just had to have them.  (They were 50% off too!)

And then I needed someplace to put them.  So I started stewing on the perfect spring ensemble for my mantle. 

I happened to have a cone topiary form sitting around, so I took some spring-green moss and hot glued it to the cone form. 

Then I put it in a terra cotta container that I painted with a coat of ivory craft paint.

Seriously.  It's that easy!

I love how simple it was to bring a bit of spring into my home!

This idea was also shared in The Current paper.

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