Wednesday, February 27, 2013

B&G Fire Pit Customer Appreciation

I had a recent order on Etsy for several Wooden Fire Pits from a new customer.  Her Etsy name is SewBrina and her shop is stocked with fabulous sewing creations itself.  It is always fun to do work for a fellow Etsy-ist.  Not to show off or anything, but she just showered me with praise for the fires and how they added to her Blue and Gold Banquet.  I just told her she was crazy.  Judging by all the stuff she has going on in these pictures, it wasn't my fires that made the event amazing, but SewBrina herself!

Whatever the case, I totally LOvE praise, so I will accept it.  But seriously SewBrina, you really took things up a couple notches ;0)

I love the pennant banner and those cacti.  Awesome touch.  
And before you leave, go back up to the first picture and check out that sawhorse horsey in the background!  I totally LOVE it!!!

Here is a little note from SewBrina:
We put saddles on the saw horses and had a few strewn about the room.... We had a cowboy come and do rope tricks, cowboy poems and play harmonica for us... it was great watching the boys (and their sisters) attempt to rope the fake steer we had there. I got that fake barbed wire from a party store online called Zurchers. It was so real we had many who hesitated to touch it. I had a few blooming cactus on the cake table up front which was really fun! I used Burlap to cover the table and then had a red bandana and then the cactus. I used Wanted Posters and put the boy's pictures on them also. And Everybody had a big handlebar mustache to wear. It was great fun. The best part was that it was a short event and everyone got to head to their bunks early. 

Super good job SewBrina and I wish you a speedy recovery from all your efforts!
....and, um...I want one of those earbuddies for my girlie Madison...and maybe Eli and Emmers too ;0)

Engineering Day Combined Activity

Can you say NeRD!
I KNOW I am a nerd.  Frankly, I am breeding nerds here in Sew*CakeMaker land.

It is only the natural course of things for me to introduce nerdiness to my church youth group ;0}

We asked the girls what they wanted to do for all of our combined Young Women/Young Men activities this year.  One suggestion they all loved was a paper airplane contest.  

Our activity time is an hour and a half...

How on EArtH do you get making paper airplanes last for an hour and a half  with forty kids?!?

This is the point where I remembered that February is National Engineering Month!  With the leader of the nerds being my Engineer husband and all {I really to love me a good nerd!}
having an Engineering Day Combined Activity was the only logical choice.

The activity is tonight, so I don't have any pictures, but I figured I would post my resources while my kids are still sleeping.

First, here are some instructions for the worlds best paper airplane found HERE!
I just copied all of the instructions and pasted them to sheets so that I can take them to the activity.  
Now you can have instructions-to-go too :0)

We plan to have a ream of copy paper and let the kids try a couple styles, then also have some large engineering size sheets or 11x17 so they can see what the same planes can do in a bigger model.
My Nerd sensors are overflowing with excitement!

After searching the internet a long while I finally found a site that had the building-type activity I was looking for.  They also have several ideas and resources for kid-based engineering activities.  If you get a little extra time, you should definitely check out Fun Engineering Activities For Kids on eHow.

Many years ago we had some team building activity where we were split into groups and all given the same supplies of something like sheets of paper, a certain length of tape, paperclips, straws and whatever else.  We had 15 minutes to build the tallest tower we could that would withstand force.  I was looking for a clear set of instructions for that kind of activity and found something similar on Fun Engineering Activities For Kids on eHow.

Here is what they say to do:

Build a Sturdy Structure

  • Several kids, or groups of kids, can take a structural engineering challenge proposed by The goal is to raise a book at least 12 inches off the ground for 30 seconds. The challenge is that they have to do it with 10 sheets of ordinary copy paper and 10 inches of masking tape. Throw in a ruler and a pair of scissors, and let them get to work. The student, or students, who come up with the most effective design within the time limit and the materials budget win.
    I basically loved every activity on the page {especially the roller coaster activity} so go check it out!

    As for my tower building activity, I found a great list of instructions HERE!
    They suggest giving each group a bag containing different supplies than the other groups.  The idea would be that eventually they would try to share or trade with the other groups.  
    LOve iT!
    We are going to make Penny Bridges too.  I found a fabulous source HERE.  You can simply print out that web page and take it along.

    Rocket Launchers
    The instructions presented HERE look like the rocket launchers my YW Secretary is bringing.  The kids will make their rockets from report covers and foam then launch them in the gym to see who's rocket goes the farthest.  This looks totally fun and I can imagine it being a real hit with the youth.
    If you are just looking for something to do with your kids over spring break, any of these activities would be so fun AND secretly make your kids learn without letting them know.
    Now I need to go find this lunchbox ;0)
    Oh, and I have any documents for these projects HERE with dropbox.
    Happy Nerding!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Angry Birds Bean Bag Toss and Plinko

After a few requests I am finally posting the instructions {I use that word loosely} for how I made my game boards used for the Angry Birds Blue and Gold last year.  

Here goes...
I went to Home Depot and purchased one 4'x8' sheet of 1/4" plywood for $10.  I had them cut it in half {4x4} so I could fit it in my car.

Can I just say, looking at these pictures is really making me homesick for Arizona!
I can even smell the dust in the air :0( 

Anyway, First the beanbag toss... 
Really, I painted the board first.  I sprayed the sky blue and the grass Shrek green {simply because those two cans were already in my stash of spray paint}.   I added some white clouds for a little extra touch.

Once I had the background painted, I grabbed a couple of scrap boards I had lying around 
{It helps to be a wood hoarder when you are doing these projects},
painted them brown, then added lines to the boards using a sharpie to make them "look like wood", even though they ARE wood ;0)  I also used the sharpie to add detail to the grass and clouds. 

Next I marked the game board to show where to glue the wood planks. They were glued them in place with wood glue, then in a very crazy way, I turned the board over and nailed the plywood to the scrap wood pillars.  It involved using the other half of my plywood and kinda sandwiching the whole thing....but a smart person would just wait until the glue dried.

The next step was to make the holes for the bean bags to go into.  I took plates from my kitchen and traced them to mark circles on the board.  For the holes on the bottom row I used 12" plates. then used 9" plates for the others.

RotoZip RZ05-1100 RZ5 5 Amp 30,000 RPM Spiral Saw with 3 Jaw Chuck, 1 Sabrecut Bit, and 2 Guidepoint Bits
I used my RotoZip to cut the circles out.  I plan to do a Toolbox post soon on the RotoZip so stay tuned for that one.  

Finally, I took the little piggies I had made with THESE printables and glued two ribbons to the back.  I hot glued the ribbon to the back of the game board and we were set!

As for the beanbags, I made them myself!   
I used the printables HERE again, and printed them out onto "Dark T-Shirt Transfer"

I cut the shapes out on the black line, then ironed the birdies to same-color fabric as directed in the transfer paper instructions.  These bean bags have been used A LOT and this is the worst wear I can find.  A small portion of the transfer paper had come loose, but a little visit from the iron and this birdie would be good as new.

Once the images were ironed on, I sewed around them leaving some space between the print and the stitching.  Here you can see the back.  Don't look at my horrible stitches though!  It can be kinda tough to close these guys up neatly when they are full of beans. 

Here are the rest of my guys. 

The moms were so impressed with my bean bags a couple were trying to buy them from me ;0)
They would make a great, inexpensive gift for a little guy in your life!
There you have it, how I made my Angry Bird Bean Bag Toss

Our Cub Scouts and their families loved it!

Now for the Plinko Board!
***Disclaimer- I had to leave these boards behind when we moved to South Dakota, so bear with me here.  This board requires exact measuring and I don't have the board to look at any more so I will be guessing a bit.***

I started out with the other half of my plywood board.  I ended up having to glue a second board behind the center section because the 1/4" wood was too thin for my nails to hold on to.  I wood glued the smaller 1/4" board to the back, then laid it on the ground to get to work. 

I know this picture shows my board painted, but I actually marked my board for the nails first, nailed them in, then painted the board. 

The hardest part was actually figuring where to nail.  I used wide mouth canning lids as my plinko disks.  They measure about 3 1/4" wide.  Here comes the guessing!  I believe I left 4 3/4" between each nail across the board, and 5 1/4 or 5 1/2" between each row of nails. 

You can see in this picture above that the rows are staggered.  You cannot nail one right above another the whole board down or your disks won't "Plink"  They need a jagged track to bounce through.

 I painted the center green again, and went with black for the sides.  I grabbed some 1x2" wood boards from my stash and sprayed them black as well.  One board was glued on each side of that center portion.  They are a must to keep the Plinko disks from falling off the board.  

More 1x2" boards were cut for the bottom to mark the different collecting pockets.  I glued pigs in two of the five spots.  The idea was if your Plinko disk ended up in a pocket with the pigs you got a special surprise.

That is basically it.  I added some birds to the black sides for fun, then made my disks up from printables from the SAME PLACE.

Plinko was also a huge hit. Do note that you need to be able to lean the board back a ways for the disks to stay on the board.

Let me know if you have any questions!
Happy Crafting everyone :0)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Wish Me Luck!

Do you like my little lucky charms???
I do  :0}

I started out by cutting some basic clover shapes, painted the edges, then decided to add some pattern paper for PaZazZZzzZz!

Instead of having each one on individual blocks, I mounted all three in the same 2x4.  I figured {if I were the dusting type} one would be easier to pick up than three.  Basically that means that when someone comes over and I find out we will need the family room, I can lift my unfinished projects off the table and into an empty laundry basket a little easier and faster :0}

I added the wire curls.  I got my inspiration for this whole project from a little highlight post I did last year.  In search of St. Patrick's Day crafts I found a similar set shown on Dejavu Crafts, but she didn't list where SHE found it.  

In the end I had to personalize the clovers after my own style.  A few paper flowers and scrapbooking brads later I finally had a St. Patrick's Day masterpiece for my mantel!

Now I just need to go back and spruce up the Valentine's version before I pack it away ;0)

Last Minute Lessons :0)

OK, I know this is a little late, but I am teaching my girls tomorrow about "Why we have Adversity"
The lesson suggests reading through the various chapters or verses above, examining the women's lives, and determining how their example can help us to handle adversity.  

Here are the printouts I made to go along with the lesson.  I asked girls ahead of time to read the scriptures, then come to class ready to share a summary of what they read and how they were inspired to apply the example in their own life.

I also made this card so the girls can take a minute to reflect on adversity they have already had and how that experience has made them more ready to handle further challenges   I have little mirrors to glue in the spot where the pictures were for the other cards.  

I hope the girls get a lot out of this lesson!  
I have the file for you HERE with Dropbox if you want it :0)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Minecraft Party Printables

Hello!  I whipped up some Minecraft party elements today and wanted to put them out there for anyone else that wanted them.  
Here is a general birthday sign. 

All of these prints are designed to be sent over to your local copy store and printed up as 11x17 prints, but you can totally do them at home as smaller if you wish.

Eli wanted wrappers for his 2-liter soda pop bottles.  We made the above wraps with the new coke bottles in mind.  They have 3" labels instead of covering the whole bottle.
Fizzy Fish Sauce- Sprite
Pumpkin Extract- Orange Fanta
Diamond Elixir- Blue Hawaiian Punch
and below, 
Potato Brew for Root Beer.

I also made some tent cards for the chips. 
Nacho Corn Crisps- Nacho Doritos
Potato Patties- Potato Chips
Cool Ranch Corn Crisps- Cool Ranch Doritos
Carrot Crunchies- Cheetos 


You can download the files HERE from dropbox!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

YW Smash Book Elements

I wanted to make this year extra fun and memorable by having the girls make smash books for all their fun times in Young Womens.  I figured the book would be a bit "funner" way to journal for personal progress, a great place to keep all their lesson handouts, and a time-filler activity for when we finish a little early on Wed. nights.  

Well, you know that smash books would be no fun without do-dads and clipart to put in there.  With 20+ girls in our group it can get a little expensive.  I decide to make some myself to try and cut down on cost.  I took the picture above, along with a few others and printed those up.  

I pulled together these images for them to cut out and add wherever they wanted.  Our theme this year is "Stand in Holy Places" so I tried to pick things that went along with that theme for our first set of elements.
There are four of each thing on the above sheet.

Here are two temple pics to be printed in black and white.

I tried to print some in color.  The "My Testimony" printables can be done either in black and white or color.  I plan to bring markers and such for the girls to add color and doodles on their own. 

It is hard for me to print so much in black and white, but the black and white is just so much cheaper.  I have all of my printables printed at Office Max.  I love them.  
I tried Staples last week and honestly, I hated the job they did!  The colors looked like I printed them at home and I think they were more expensive.

I also like to print my printables on cardstock.  The temple pic above was printed on regular paper just because I intended it to blend in and for the girls to write over top.  In general, I think all the smash book elements will look more "store-bought" if they are printed at the store and on cardstock. 

Here is my justification.  It costs somewhere around $.25 a sheet for black and white on cardstock.  I generally get three to four elements to a sheet, making them much less than $.10 each.  Now with the colored sheets, if I had four elements on a sheet and had them printed at Office Max for the $.70 a sheet color copy on cardstock, they are less than $.20 each.  
If you think about the scrapbook die cuts and such that you buy at the store, they are all like $.60 on up.  
Do you like my justification???

Anyway, you will see many more sheets of YW Smash Book Elements in the near future....but I am always running by the seat of my pants, so they will probably pop up one activity at a time ;0)

You can download any of these files HERE in my YW Dropbox file.

Pop Up Hearts

We are working on our Smash Books tonight at Young Women's tonight, our all girls church youth group.
I wanted to add a special touch to their LOve NoTEs page so I went scouring the web for heart pop-ups that would be cute.  I found a ton.  After a while of trying to imagine handing all the girls exacto knifes it finally dawned on me!  I have a silhouette!  I spent the next two hours of my day taking these free templates provided by the following fabulous people and imported them all into Silhouette studio.  I have the files here for you :0)

Above is the Pixelated Heart by  You can find the free template by clicking on the blog name, or you can follow the following LINK to get my silhouette file off of Dropbox.  I have all of the different templates set up to fit on half a sheet, or two per full 8.5x11 sheet of paper.

This Cheerleader Pyramid of Love can be found HERE at ExtreemCards.
HERE is my silhouette file :0)

I {Heart} U can be found HERE at whatever this site is in whatever language it is :0}
My silhouette file HERE.

This Spirally Darling can be found HERE on Luverly.
My silhouette file HERE.

I didn't make a file for this one, but I should have.  Maybe later.  Anyway, I wanted to show it none the less. I totally love it!  I am guessing you can use strips of overhead projector film {also known as acetate sheets}. Didn't MyStampLady do a fabulous job on this one?!?

OK, back to work for me.  I hope you enjoy the ideas.  Any of these would be cute with flowers for spring. I think I am getting in the papercrafting mood!

Novelty Print Quilt Pattern

I have had a hard time finding good quilt patterns for novelty prints the past couple times I purchased them.  I made up this pattern so tha...