Bats, Banners, and Door Monsters…Oh My!

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

October has definitely rolled in and I’ve been busy decorating my home for Halloween.  I try to put things up in the night while the girls are asleep so in the morning they’ll have a spooky surprise.  We’ve also been brain storming on how we’re going to put together our family costumes because we’ve chosen a group theme this year.  So far, my oldest daughter is the only one who has her costume already (bought it online a while back).  I just need to buy some white, long, satin gloves and take some major wrinkles out of her dress…that’s all the hints you’re going to get.  🙂

Here’s a look at some of my Halloween decorations either taken out of storage or recreated:

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I had some bats stored away, but since I like them so much I decided to make some more.  I simply used a bat template, printed on cardstock, and then traced with a pencil on black construction and cardstock paper.  I taped them up on several walls in my living room as well as the entry wall.  As soon as you walk in your eyes simply get drawn to them.

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I made this pennant banner last year!  I placed it in the hallway outside my front door.

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I went to the craft store and found these small foam cutouts, in packs of five, and just taped them up in my living room.

I searched for ghost templates and printed these cuties out on cardstock and just added googly eyes.

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And last, but not least, my door monsters.  Last year, I was inspired by a picture on Pinterest and decided to make my own.  This year, I decided to make two of them.  One on the door in my living room and another on the small closet door in my office space/playroom.  I used party streamer paper and paper plates for both monsters.  My girls absolutely love these guys and so do I.

Happy decorating!

Take good care all.

Until next time…

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DIY Moving Announcement

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

I’m currently hooked on the HGTV channel and learning a lot about homes, renovations, design and concept.  I’ve been watching shows like Property Brothers, Love It or List It, House Hunters, and My First Place.  It’s great to see homes that need some TLC or more come to life with the right renovations and design touches.  I also like the advice and tips that are given, for example, in kitchens today the soft closing feature on drawers and cabinets enable you to close them without a loud banging sound or pinched fingers.  When you have kids this is definitely a feature you want in your home.

We are currently house hunting and all this newfound information (open concept, travertine floors, neutral colors, etc.) is going to come in handy once we find and settle into our new home.  When that happens I thought of a crafty way to announce our new address.  Here’s a DIY moving announcement that you can make and it’ll be a nice keepsake for yourself, your family and friends:

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I found this cute, little house cut out made out of wood at AC Moore craft store.  It’s less than a dollar and weighs less than an ounce so mailing it won’t be a problem.  I also bought a couple of Martha Stewart acrylic paint and I already had a booklet of rub on letters, which is going to make the wording on the house a whole lot easier if you’re not comfortable with your hand writing skills.  If you are, then you can always use a fine point sharpie marker.  The sand paper came in handy to make the house a little smoother around the edges.

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I gave the house two coats of this great color, front and back.

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I used the second color on the edges of the house, which made it look like snow.

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Using painter’s tape I painted a door.

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I outlined the door with black paint using painter’s tape as well and with a red pen, drew a heart for the door knob.  Of course, if you’re more artistic than I am you can add more details to your house.  Just leave enough space for your new address.

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Using my computer, here are two examples of wording for your moving announcement.  Again you can write it in yourself with a fine point sharpie marker or use rub on letters.

I think this is a unique and fun way to tell your family and friends about your new address.  You can also drill a hole at the top, add a ribbon and make this an ornament or hang it on your wall.

I can’t wait to make some more of these moving announcements once we close on a house, fingers tightly crossed.

Take good care all.

Until next time…

DIY felt Goomba, Bullet Bill, and Mario Star

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

My daughters absolutely LOVE Super Mario and friends.  They’re always looking at videos on YouTube and love seeing the cartoon on Netflix.  Two weeks ago my oldest found a tutorial video on how to make your own Super Mario star using felt.  Inspired by that video, my husband and I decided to make a couple of star buddies for our daughters.

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Fortunately, I already had a foam star from my daughter’s birthday decorations, which became a perfect template.  I traced four stars, front and back, on yellow felt with a disappearing ink pen (found in the sewing aisle at the craft store).  I cut those out along with four little rectangles using black felt for the eyes.  That was my job.  The sewing part went to my husband who’s better at sewing.  We used cotton balls for the stuffing since we didn’t have anything else.  Once the stars were done and presented, the squeals that ensued were proof enough that they came out great.

Then my daughter declared that she was going to make Bullet Bill.  She told me that she needed black, red, and purple felt.  And tape!  Those aren’t exactly the colors of Bullet Bill, but I indulged her anyway.  With her scissors she got to work and asked me if I could cut out two big circles from the red felt and two smaller circles from the purple felt.  These circles were going to be the eyes.  She tried her very best and taped something up that was supposed to look like Bullet Bill, but wasn’t quite holding up since she used tape.  My husband soon stepped in and improvised with what we had in hand (supplies were running low).  Without a template, just a picture of Bullet Bill and their creativity, a felt buddy/villain was created.

But that wasn’t the end.  Oh no, another request, and a trip to the craft store (cotton balls finished), was made several days later.  Why stop now?  Let’s make one more.  Let’s make Goomba!  Again, with the help of a picture of this little villain as well as a sketch template of the body, which my husband did, they got to work and had a lot of fun seeing this little guy come to life, especially with its new stuffing (we purchased a 12 oz. bag of Poly-Fil 100 percent Polyester Fiberfill).

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Here are the newest additions (missing a star) to my daughter’s plush Super Mario and friends toys.  They absolutely love these guys.  As you can see my husband added some red and pink felt streamers to Bullet Bill (not part of the original picture, but creative).

I know more characters are going to be requested and we’re going to do our best in bringing them to plush life because it’s a lot of fun.

Take good care all.

Until next time…

Fourth of July Flag Craft Project

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

The Fourth of July is a couple of days away and I wanted to find a craft project for my daughter, Olivia, to do for this day.  I found a great project with craft sticks and here’s what we did:

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You will need the instructions (http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/july4/craftstickflag/), craft sticks, glue, blue paper, white stars (I used a small star puncher that I have), paintbrush, and red and white acrylic paints.

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We painted the sticks, let them dry, and then glued one long stick in the back and broke another in two and glued those in the middle and on the other side of the craft sticks to make the flag sturdier.  I didn’t have enough craft sticks that were required in the instructions, but we were still able to make the flag.  No biggie!

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Olivia glued a small blue square to the corner of the sticks and then glued on the stars.

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We glued the final craft stick to make the handle longer and I also used masking tape on the back of the flag and the handle to secure it better.

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Happy “Early” Fourth of July

from the Mercado household and themercadoproject.com!

Take good care all.

Until next time…

DIY FELT BOW

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

I’m having fun with Jessica Jones’ paper bow template and this is definitely not the last post in which I feature this bow because I freaking love it and the fact that she made it and offered it to us all.  This time around I decided to make a bow out of felt.  I couldn’t resist buying this houndstooth pattern at AC Moore craft store.  I found it to be a bit sturdier than other felt squares and the reverse side is plain white making it perfect to trace, using the template, and cut it out without any problems.  I also used glue dots to secure the bow.

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I made this bow for my husband’s father’s day gift (a bottle of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Whiskey).  He loved both, but we all know which one he loves the most. 🙂  Cheers!

With the felt you can make these bows into hair bows by sewing a clip in the back or even attach them onto headbands!  The possibilities are endless, which is why this bow template is awesome.

http://howaboutorange.blogspot.com/2013/04/how-to-make-paper-bow.html

Take good care all.

Until next time…

DIY Father’s Day T-shirt Idea

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

Since my dad is not computer savvy and I’ve asked my husband not to look at my blog until after Father’s Day, I can share with you a T-shirt that I’ve made for them as a gift.  They always wear them so it’s great to come up with new ideas and see their faces light up once they receive this personalized gift.

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I took pictures of my daughters making silly faces and smiling.  Then I googled for photo strip templates and chose this design.  Using Word, I inserted the pictures that I wanted and printed it out on iron on transfer paper.

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I love the final result!  Just make sure you position the image better than I did, it’s a little lopsided, before ironing it down.

Take good care all.

Until next time…

DIY Super Mario and Friends Treat Bags

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

This year for my daughter’s birthday we decided to keep things simple.  We found a bowling place and invited Olivia’s cousins who live out-of-state.  Unfortunately, the weather was not cooperating making driving dangerous for our out-of-state family (same thing happened last year) so we had to postponed our gathering.  We did go bowling ourselves because we wanted to take her somewhere fun, plus we wanted to check out the place, which turned out to be great.  I also went ahead and made treat bags for my daughters and their cousins.

Here’s what I did:

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I purchased plain red treat bags at Target.  Then I searched online for Mario and friends.  Print, cut and glued the characters onto the bags.

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I found Super Mario and friends mini notepads, erasers, pencils, and pencil sharpeners at partycity.com.  I got all the candy and birdie whistle from orientaltrading.com.  The fruit snack packs, which come in a great family size box (50) are from Market Pantry available at Target.

I labeled each bag and my daughter, Olivia loved her birthday treat bag.

Take good care all.

Until next time…

DIY PAPER BOWS

Hello everybody!  I hope you guys are well.

I absolutely love making my own paper bows so when I came across this wonderful DIY tutorial at http://www.howaboutorange.blogspot.com/2013/04/how-to-make-paper-bow.html I knew that I would be sharing it with you immediately.  It’s that awesome for all you crafters out there.

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There’s a free PDF template at the link posted above.  I used several colorful cardstock papers to make my bows, but of course you can always use regular paper or simply print out the template on cardstock, because it’s sturdier, and trace onto any other paper like newspaper, magazine pages, scrapbook paper, etc.  The possibilities are endless and here’s a great idea for a one of a kind paper bow: print the template on regular paper, have your child design it (color it in), cut and put it together. They’ll be smiles all around!

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Paper cutting frenzy

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I decided to use brads at the center to hold my bows together.  Then I wrapped and glued the final piece.

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I literally squealed with delight.

This project and its end result made me really happy.

I love these bows and can’t wait to make more.  Many, many more!

THANKS to Jessica Jones at http://www.howaboutorange.blogspot.com/ for creating this template and offering it to everyone.  I’m a new fan and follower!

Take good care all.

Until next time…

Celebration Recap

Hello everybody!  I hope you guys are well.

My youngest daughter is officially three and we had a birthday week-end celebration with friends and family.  We broke things down by celebrating her actual birthday on Friday, just us in the house.  I wanted to make a small (I like the Jiffy cake mix), funfetti cake

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and it was the perfect time to try out these Bake-Even Cake Strips (Wilton) that I’ve seen online and found on sale at AC Moore craft store.

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I didn’t realize I went overboard on the sprinkles until…

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…the cake was done and I flipped it out of the baking pan.

As you can see the cake strip (around the pan) worked, but there were noticeable differences other than the cake dome that appears when you don’t use this strip.  The cake sticks to the side of the pan more and the bottom was moist when I took it out.  I like that it baked even, but I don’t know if I’m going to use the strip again.  We’ll see.

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I melted a little bit of the Betty Crocker Rich & Creamy Chocolate frosting (15 seconds in the microwave) in a glass bowl and this made things easy to spread on the cake.  I really don’t like when the cake crumbs combine with the frosting.  I threw a little bit more of sprinkles, yes more, on the frosting and then…

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…the #3 candle.  My daughter loved her funfetti cake.

I chose the theme of the cartoon Bubble Guppies featured on Nickelodeon.  I decorated with free printables from nickjr.com and purchased a huge #3 balloon.  Balloons are always a huge hit.

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The banner, poster, and pin the tail game were cute, easy, and fun to put together.  Just go to nickjr.com and click on birthdays and you’ll see all of the themes and projects available for each.

The following day was Saturday and we invited friends and family with kids to join us at an indoor playground/arcade (funtopiausa.com).  We paid for the kids admission, tokens for them to play the arcade games, and food (pizza, popcorn, and drinks).  We stayed for about two hours and when it was time to go I gave each invited guest a goody box filled with candy, toys and stickers.

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My aunt had given me these boxes about a year ago and I was so happy to finally have a reason to use them.  I glued the images of the Bubble Guppies, which I printed out at nickjr.com, and made the middle image with my daughter’s name.  I then took the glitter glue in blue and green and made swirl lines like waves on the boxes.  I then filled the boxes with candy (skittles, smarties, Tootsie rolls, lollipop, rose ring pop, candy bracelet, and sixlets) from orientaltrading.com along with little toys like a mushroom spinning top (not shown) and Easter Pop-Ups, which are a lot of fun for children and adults.

We ended the day with my husband’s homemade piñata, which he made with a balloon, scraps of paper, and modge podge.

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My husband had fun making this and the kids had a lot more fun whacking the heck out of it.

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On our last day of celebration (Sunday), my family came over and we sang happy birthday once again with another cake (Oreo No Bake Dessert), chocolate lollipops (vanilla, dark mint, & peanut butter), and great, homemade food.  Thanks Mom and my aunt Aida!

I was pretty happy with this plan of action for celebrating my daughter’s birthday.  Many people get really stressed out planning birthdays and end up spending a lot of money.  I didn’t want the headaches or the empty wallet.  No offense to anyone who goes big, because of course, if I had space and extra money, I would be singing a different tune, but at this moment minimal is the way to go.  So one birthday down, one more to go.

Take good care all and thanks for visiting.

Until next time…

Surprising Art

Hello everybody!  I hope you guys are well.

I’m making my blog post today as a tribute to my daughter’s art.  It’s a blog art gallery for her.

The other day she was quietly working on the dining room table.  She was drawing, coloring, cutting, and gluing away.  I simply thought that she was doing one of her wonderful drawings, but boy was I ever wrong.  When she finished she surprised me with this piece:

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Is this call 2D or 3D art?  I’m not sure, but I do know that it’s absolutely beautiful.  I was speechless and in awe when she presented it to me.  By the way that’s me under the rainbow!  Do you love my red lips?  🙂  I asked her how she came up with this idea and she responded by saying that she had seen her arts and crafts teacher doing this project with another class so she decided to make one of her own.  Simply fabulous.  We looked at it and I, of course, took several pictures.  Then my daughter realized that she didn’t include her daddy.  I told her if you want to include more into your masterpiece, go ahead.

IMG_4260text Here’s the finished project:  She drew her dad, sister, and herself (on top of the rainbow).  Oh, she also gave me a lollipop in my hand.  Now, it’s complete!

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The artist, Olivia!

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This last piece she drew yesterday.  She used stickers and made little flowers out of them, drew a cool airplane, connected the star stickers, and as you can see one of her characters is sad.  Why?  Well, that’s her and she’s sad because she’s running a fever and next to her is me.  I love how she made me shorter than her (I’m short, but not that short.)  We’re battling germs again, but she’s getting better.  Taking her medicine and drinking lots of water, plus resting.  Since it’s spring recess, I’m happy that she’s able to get better without missing school.

So there you have it.  I hope you enjoyed this short, but sweet art gallery presentation by Olivia.

Encourage art and you’ll be presented with amazing creations.

Take good care all.

Until next time…