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I’m trying to weed out a blog I don’t post on often, so I’ll put up some of the crafts that I blogged about on there. Here they are:

Fraternity Formal Cooler

So living in the south during college is definitely an interesting experience. Greek life seems to be all the rage, and while I may not be in a sorority, my boyfriend’s fraternity loves the southern traditions. When I heard we were going to Nashville for formal, I knew I needed to step up and make a cooler. It was my first time making a cooler, so I went online for ideas and instructions.

It took me some time to get all my designs finished, but using the helpful instructions from Life in Pines blog I was able to make a fairly successful cooler!

See images below:

20130419_172033 20130417_180840 20130417_180906 20130417_180926 20130417_180951 20130419_172527

 

Card Making!

We’ve all had this experience– the day of a party or dinner you realize you have forgotten to get a gift for a birthday or graduation. You run to the store intent to find that perfect card, only to spend half an hour looking and finding NOTHING that says the right thing, that looks like something you’d be happy to present to the birthday/anniversary/celebration special someone. On top of that, lately you can’t even find a card without half naked men or women, a crude message, loud annoying songs, or a snide comment about age, let alone anything costing less than about $5.

Well, here’s the solution I came up with after time and time again of giving a substandard, expensive card: if you don’t like your options, MAKE IT YOURSELF! And that’s exactly what I did.

Making cards by hand is not only easy and fun, but it gives the cards a much more personal feel that tells the recipient that you care enough about them and their special day to spend your hard-earned free time to make something nice for them. They’ll love it to see the care and effort you put in to making their day that much more amazing!

To start out, you’ll need a ruler, sharpies/pens/crayons/paint/colored pencils/etc., scissors, and paper. I use scrapbooking paper, but you can use printer paper, card stock, anything you have on hand. Want more flare? Use different kinds of paper (thin sketching or tissue paper to decorate inside), ribbons, bows, or pictures.

Step 1: Shape.

Starting with a rectangular piece of paper, you can cut it down to make any shape or size card. Just make sure it’s folded and ready before designing. Be careful and try to fold it evenly– you don’t want your inside decorations to be seen before you want them to!

Step 2: Design.

Go crazy! I try to do borders on the inside and outside, then decorate with colors, shapes, etc. Take into account what kind of paper you have and what materials you are using to decorate– if the paper is thin, know that sharpie will bleed through to the other side. This can have a nice effect if purposeful; here is a Mother’s Day card that I made with the bleeding effect:

I always do a signature on the back as well, but it is up to you if you want to do that.

And that’s it! This is a simple and meaningful gift that is totally unique! With a little imagination and some bright colors, you can have a fun gift that will be appreciated and remembered!

Just a bit of crafty fun!

I am a swim coach in the summer, so working with kids can be… tough. But, one thing a fellow coach has taught me is that a surefire way to get kids to learn to behave well is to reward them. And with something big, flashy, and unique. As we are a swim team, a bit of sportsmanship is needed; cheering and a positive attitude during swim meets and practice is hard to come by. But for those kids that ditch the video games and cheer on their fellow team mates, try their hardest, and just smile, we like to show our support!

Every week we give out what we like to call a “Spirit Stick” to the two kids that were the most spirited and most positive at meets and practice. This reward, of course, can’t be some little toy that can be bought at a toy store. Since we need them in bulk, the easiest thing to do is make them ourselves!

To make:

2 ft long pvc pipe (one per stick needed) and end caps

Spray paint (whatever colors you want, we use our team’s colors: red and black)

Ribbon (again, color is up to you)

Dry beans

Leather cord

Colored beads

Feathers

strong glue

Stickers, stick on gems, other decorations

Puff paint

So assemble your sticks by attaching the end caps to the pvc pipe, making sure to load the beans inside before sealing. Spray paint and let dry. Once dry, string beads on the ends of three long pieces of leather cord, then set aside. Using one color of ribbon, braid three long pieces together. Leave about three inches of ribbon at the bottom unbraided, then string with about 6 beads each and tie off the ends. Tie the ends of the leather cords around a small piece of ribbon, then tie it around the top of the pvc pipe, securing the braided ribbon underneath. Use the glue to secure the ribbon, let dry. While that is drying, cut three long pieces of another color ribbon. Tie them together at the top, tying into it two or three small “tight” feathers. Glue many “puffy” feathers to the back of the knot, and secure “tight” feathers with the glue. Once both the glue already on the stick and the glue on the feather decoration is dry, glue them together, using the feather decoration to cover the leather where it attaches to the stick.

Once completely assembled add dried, write the winner’s name on the stick in puffy paint and then attach the decorative stickers for a personalized, fun award!

Enchiladas, yes Please!

As a swim coach of a country club league, there is a week that I both anticipate and dread– Coaches’ Appreciation Week. After a few days of tons and tons of brownies, donuts, cookies, and bagels, I don’t know what to do with all the food! Well, this year I took home about a few 1/2 pound cartons of cream cheese with some bagels, and didn’t know what to do with all the schmear. So what does one do with 3 cartons of flavored and unflavored cream cheese? Well, after doing a bit of research online with the keywords “cream cheese recipes”, I found you can do a lot, actually. After sorting through the sweets (after a weeks worth of brownies and cookies I wasn’t really wanting to bake anything…), I found a promising recipe– Beef Cream Cheese Enchiladas. Well, I am a vegetarian, so the beef was out, but the idea stuck. From cooks.com, I found a vegetarian recipe so here goes!

I replaced the enchilada sauce with home-made salsa, used a can of tomatoes and a tablespoon of garlic chili sauce as a replacement for the canned chilies, and a bit of onion powder and frozen onions as a replacement for a fresh onion.

Home-made Salsa

1 small can chilies and tomatoes

2 tbsp garlic powder

1 cup seasoning blend frozen vegetables

1 cup frozen corn

olive oil

2 tbsp garlic chili sauce

lime juice

Saute frozen veggies and spice (incl. garlic chili sauce) with 1 tbsp olive oil. Add can of chilies with juices, then fill empty can 1/4 full with water. Turn heat to med-high and add the water. Cover and let sit until cooked down (5-10 minutes). Add in lime juice to taste, then stir and let coo;. Refrigerate.

I followed the directions from the recipe along with my substitutions. The cream cheese was a mixture of plain and veggie. I noticed that cream cheese was a little strong to taste before baking, so I might use less of the cream cheese in future batches.

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