12 Earth Day projects to make

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Since it’s Earth Day, I’m rounding up some past projects that highlight recycling or reusing. The projects range from very easy to more involved. I hope you try some out!

An Accordion Spine Journal with reused envelopes for pages

Completed journal

Tutorial: Accordion Spine Journal

Reusing a Gift Bag

Gift bag redecorated

Reusing a gift bag by embellishing over a logo

Recycled Cereal Box Notebooks

Recycled Cereal and Product Cardboard Boxes

Any cardboard box can become a fun notebook cover.

Newspaper Seedling Pots and a Cardboard Tray

recycled cardboard garden tray - handle placement

Make a tray to hold all your seedlings.

DIY Barrel Composter

Rotating Barrel Composter

Food grade plastic barrel becomes a composter.

Mini-Envelopes from magazines

Mini envelopes from magazines free printable template

Use pages from a favorite catalog to make mini envelopes

Upcycled Paper Bag envelopes

Paper Bag Envelopes

Make envelopes from a paper bag

Magnetic Pin Holder from a mint container

Magnetic Pin Holder from candy tin

Mint tins can be handy containers

Bottle Cap Art

Bottle Cap Art: Finished pieces

Bottle caps can be fun little frames

Upcycled Sweatshirt Throw Pillow

Upcycled Sweatshirt Pillow

Upcycled Sweatshirt Pillow

Reusing Wine Bottles as water carafes

Glass Etching Wine Bottle

Reuse wine bottles as water carafes

and, I reused a grocery bag as gift wrap in this gift wrapping post.

Grocery Bag reused for gift wrapping

A simple brown paper bag can be a nice gift wrap.

Enjoy your time creating and making!

Quick and Easy Easter Greeting Card in under 10 minutes

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Okay, so it’s Easter tomorrow. If you celebrate Easter, I hope you’re all set with your baskets, food prep, and all things beautiful. Amazingly, I am not hosting this year. Still, I’ve been busy, you’ve been busy… I missed my Mugshot Monday this week. Boo.

Last Saturday, I had a chance to play around with washi tape and my pals at the Iannelli Studio. This is what we made, and now you can make it too. You can also see  card in last week’s cookie recipe post.

Quick DIY Easter Greeting card

Washi Tape makes greeting cards easy and fun

What you need:

  • Cardstock or pre-cut cards
  • Vellum or thin white paper (Vellum gives that see-through, stained-glass effect)
  • A variety of washi tape
  • X-Acto knife (or utility blade)

Washi tape Easter egg greeting cards

I just draw my eggs freehand. It’s totally cool with me to be all wonky and imperfect.

Washi tape Easter egg greeting cards

So, I learned this last weekend from my friend, Vicky, that by drawing inside, you don’t see the pencil lines on the front of the card. Again, if you don’t mind erasing lines, by all means draw on the front. And save your egg shape.

Washi tape Easter egg greeting cards

If you trace your shape on your paper, you’ll know exactly where your tape will need to go. Another “Vicky tip”.

Washi tape Easter egg greeting cards

Check this out… use the shapes on the washi tape and cut around them to get cool effects.

Washi tape Easter egg greeting cards

Last part, stick the taped-up paper onto your card!

Washi tape Easter egg greeting cards

For more quick Easter crafts, check out articles at GeekMom.com! You can see how I dress up some plastic eggs with a permanent marker and rub-on letters.

Decorate plastic Easter eggs featured on GeekMom.com

Monogrammed plastic Easter eggs

Enjoy your Easter, friends!

Recipe: Ranger Cookies Redo

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Oatmeal, rice krispies, cereal, chocolate chips, m&m, cookies

While we were visiting our friends last week, I thumbed through their cookbooks one evening. Just something I do. Some people like reading fiction, non-fiction, I peruse cookbooks. So I stumbled upon a cookie recipe that reminded me of monster cookies, or everything-but-the-kitchen-sink cookies. What caught my attention was the crispy rice cereal (okay, Rice Krispies, everyone!). I thought the texture might be a weird, interesting contrast. I also thought, will all the rice get crunched up and smooshed into dust? They did not… the cereal added a fun crunch and for my kid and me who have nut allergies, it’s a welcome change!

I checked out a few recipes and found that three cups of flour would make the batter very crumbly and dry, so I took out a cup. Original recipes did not include chocolate chips either. In this batch we made it festive and added spring colored M&M’s. I also used butter instead of shortening, and omitted one cup of shredded coconut. Please feel free to put it back in, I just didn’t want my son’s friends complaining. Next time around I’ll add it.

Ranger Cookies
Yields 24-36

1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks, softened at room temperature)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs (room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups rolled oats, not instant
1-3/4 cups crisp rice cereal
1 cup M&Ms or chocolate chips
1 cup shredded coconut (Optional, and if you add this, decrease the chocolate chips by 1/2 cup)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cream butter and sugars until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until light and fluffy. Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder together in a large bowl and add to the butter-sugar mixture. Add oatmeal, cereal, and chocolate chips (and/or coconut). Mix well. Drop by tablespoons on slightly greased cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Mugshot Monday: It’s Finally Spring

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This week’s Mugshot Monday is full of pics from last week – Spring Break. It goes by so quickly, doesn’t it? My family and I didn’t go anywhere too far since there’s a big trip in the works this summer. We didn’t want to bust our vacation budget, nonetheless we filled our week with kid-friendly activities at Goldberry Woods.

It’s so fun just hanging out, eating, drinking and laughing with friends! All our kids ran around the woods and only came in when they were hungry, or they wanted screen time. Imagine eight kids huddled around one computer screen! It’s the new fireside chat by the radio – and if you get that reference, kudos to you.

Mugshot Monday: 3/31/2014

At Goldberry Woods

I had a good weather day which meant… bicycle maintenance checks!

Springtime at Goldberry Woods

Bicycles all cleaned up at Goldberry Woods

My hubby and our friend held a science lab for the kids… DIY calorimeter. Awesome.

Springtime at Goldberry Woods. Science class.

DIY Calorimeter at Goldberry Woods

Somehow I got the kids to doodle and draw with me. Hehehe.

Drawing. Doodling. Zentangles. Julie Tiu.

We even had some time to walk around the property… checking out the seedlings in the hoop house (greenhouse)!

Springtime at Goldberry Woods

Seedlings at Goldberry Woods

… walking on one of the trails.

Springtime at Goldberry Woods

Now we’re back home. Everyone’s at work and school. Today, I’m finishing our taxes (crossing fingers!). My head was spinning from papers, so I took a small break outside with a cuppa.

I thought, “What a cool reflection in my mug! Oh, look, my grass is actually turning green!”

The Spring miracle.

Mugshot Monday: 4/7/2014

This week, stay tuned for a “vintage” recipe redo and some Easter artwork!

Mugshot Monday: March Madness (at home)

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Mugshot Monday: 3/24/2014

I’m writing in bits and pieces this morning, because my head is filled with choppy ideas. Sometimes “choppy” is all I have. Life right now feels like it’s disjointed, but all are good chunks of time. If you’re a reader out there, hope you’re flowing along better than me. :)

Hosted an “open craft table” night at home with a few pals. Definitely want to do more!

Watching March Madness and playing our annual family bracket pool. Winner picks dinner out.

Stitched a postcard for the Great Stitched Postcard swap.

Preparing to teach a paper flower workshop at TeaLula this week!

Working on another Subway Art piece for a lovely lady who won it in an auction for Kalo Foundation of Park Ridge.

Participating in the #showusyalists journal challenge. Five lists in five days, and lots of fun.

Getting ready to visit friends over Spring Break at Goldberry Woods.

Helped out a friend join Pinterest and the Twittersphere. Won’t you welcome her?

Mugshot Monday: Waiting for Spring

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Another two-fer mugshot post…

Our days continue to be busy with activities, so I’m looking forward to a little break. Now whether or not it’ll feel like spring, that’s to be determined. It seems we can’t get past this warm sun-snow-freeze cycle. (Curse you, Polar Vortex!)

Mugshot Monday: 3/10/2014

Snow finally melting, except more snow on the way (March 10, 2014)

So, while I’ve been juggling the day-to-day life happenings, I’ve also been trying to sneak in some creative time when I can. I just finished my One Little Word activities for February. Got a thumbs up from Ali Edwards, herself! Eeeee.

Mugshot Monday: 3/17/2014

In case you missed out on some baked goods yesterday (like I did), feel free to check out my Irish Soda Bread and Irish Stout Coffee Cake recipes!

Monday Mugshot prompts: The Precinct

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