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Craftin’ Down the Highway

Jeff and I went to a wedding in South Carolina this weekend and since it was only about a 7 hour drive we decided to make it a road trip. We saw five (that’s right FIVE) national parks along the way to and from Orlando. One of them, the Castillo de San Marcos, we actually saw twice because I liked it so much on the way up we decided to go by St. Augustine again and spend a little more time there. (So you can even count that as six stops, but still just five parks). The wedding was a wonderful time to see some great friends from college and Jeff and I got to have an adventure together.
So in between hopping out of the car for mini hikes, tours of Spanish, French and English forts and stuffing our faces with pulled pork and fried chicken I got to work on something crafty and very special. One of my best friends I’ve know since I was a kid told me last year that she and her husband were trying to have a second child. They have an absolutely adorable almost five hear old girl who just won’t stop growing and they decided it was time to give her a sibling while they could still play together. Well in January I just got a feeling that she was going to have a baby boy and before she was even pregnant I started crocheting a blue baby blanket. Well, sure enough a few months later she called and told me she was pregnant and a few months after that she told me it was a boy. (Am I clairvoyant, or what?)This was a great project for me while I was still living up north and taking my mom into Manhattan for chemo each week. It gave me something to do while my mom fell asleep during her treatments and also kept me warm in the chilly hospital. The more I crocheted, the more it covered, the warmer I became. Anyway, my mom finished that round of treatment and I got a new job and moved to Florida and became really busy and REALLY hot. I did not want to go anywhere near yarn all summer, especially a blanket made of it. The weather is finally starting to cool off a bit now and this road trip provided the perfect excuse to pick it up again. Good thing too, because this baby is due in December.

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What is your favorite craft to take on the road? Leave your answer below to let me know.

Thank you for your interest. I will be posting the details on how to make one for yourself once I complete it. (Tip: I used a single crochet stitch for almost the entire blanket to keep a close weave so little baby fingers won’t get caught.)

I hope you had a happy, safe and crafty holiday weekend! And keep craftin’ on the highway, just make sure you have a designated driver!

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craft

Quick Birthday Banner and Free Printables

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This week was my employee Brian’s birthday. I like to make a big deal about this kind of thing because we are like a little family here in Paradise. I love free printables and of course Pinterest has a wealth of ideas, inspiration and sites with free materials perfect for any occasion. The color printer in my office died so I am just left with black and white but the chalkboard look is so chic and Brian is all about chic! You can find these cute banner letters at www.shanty-2-chic.com
You can find the Happy Birthday printable sign and many others from www.iheartnaptime.net
Get this adorable card and other free printables from www.caravanshoppe.com

Turn any occasion into a celebration with just a little crafty decoration.

Happy crafting!

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Jute Wrapped Monogram Wreath

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I am pretty happy with how this turned out considering it started out all wrong. Like, I picked this out to make for my best friend’s wedding and got the wrong letter. I was operating on three hours of sleep and had just started my new job and was totally flaking in the present department. I got this great idea from Pinterest, ran to JoAnn Fabrics and grabbed this ‘G’ without even thinking. It only occurred to me while I was in already the middle of hot glueing the twine around the center of said ‘G’ that I completely failed. So anyway, I said what the heck, let me finish it anyway and I’ll find someone who will appreciate this ‘G’ for its beauty and alphabetical presence.
I have found such a person and would like to wish her a happy belated birthday and Merry Christmas in August!

Materials you will need:
A cardboard letter of your choosing
Twine/Jute string
Tons of hot glue
Ribbon
Felt

The fun thing about it is that you can decorate it however you would like. I chose to stay minimal but feel free to get as creative as you want!

I will warn you that the hot gluing will take a while if you want to be really thorough. It took me about two hours. Also, you will burn your fingers, like, several times. But if you are an avid crafter like me you will get used to it.

I like I how it turned out so much I might have to make this a go-to gift. I just need to make sure I get enough sleep and grab the right letter next time.

It’s the thought that counts, right?

Stay crafty my friends.

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Watermelon Cake

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This is a super cute and delicious cake without all the calories, not that I really care about that sort if thing. The hardest part was cutting the watermelon into the shape of a cake. I started with a giant watermelon, cut off each end, then cut the rind off creating a circular shape. I also was making this for Jeff to take to a potluck at work and had to be able to fit it in my cake carrier so I had to cut off a lot if the height. Once you cut your watermelon make sure to pat it dry with some paper towels so your whipped cream will stick. I beat 2 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream with a hand mixer until it started to thicken then added 1/4 cup of sugar a little at a time along with a bit of vanilla extract while still beating the whipped cream. The whole process took about five minutes and tastes delicious. I just started slathering it all over the watermelon like I would ice a cake. I had some blueberries and raspberries on hand and made a little design on top. Next I individually hand placed each slivered almond on the side of the cake. OMG that took so long. Half way through I just took a handful and tried to throw them on the side but then they were sticking out all jagged and in one spot so I went back to placing them by hand. A few weeks later on a plane ride from Orlando to Charlotte I met a lady from Haifa, Israel who told me there is some sort of bakers tool to help with this if I try it again in the future. Oh well. It turned out so pretty and I had the day off anyway. You could really decorate it however you’d like.

I love summer treats that are refreshing and surprising. This was a huge hit at Jeff’s work and I came out looking like some Susie Homemaker, which is always fun. I do wear a lot of aprons. I think I get that from my mom.

Anyway, let me know if you’ve attempted to make a cake out of fruit or some other surprise! Post your creations in the comments!

Stay crafty my friends.

Food

Let’s Make Popsicles!

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Sorry I’ve been MIA for a bit. Jeff and I moved to Florida and have been crazy busy! One thing about Florida is that it is hot and humid. I am always looking for ways to beat the heat. My favorite and most delicious way is with a tasty treat! I found some sweet juice and Popsicle molds at the World Market. All I did was fill up the molds and freeze them over night. Mine are mango and orange flavored deliciousness. You can even try multiple flavors in the same batch. So easy! The hardest part was waiting for them to freeze! I’m so impatient!

What’s your favorite way to cool off in the summer? Leave a comment below with your suggestions!

Keep cool. Stay crafty.

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Christmas Gift: Paracord Dog Collar

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For all you dog lovers out there here is a great gift idea for your pet this Christmas.

The paracord dog collar only takes about an hour to make and you can find all of the supplies, including many colors of paracord, at Michael’s.
Jeff and I used this tutorial on YouTube to make collars for Molly and Patti. It was actually Jeff’s idea! I think my crafty side is rubbing off on him.
You will need:
Paracord (1 foot for every inch of collar you are making)
Scissors
Lighter
Metal D Ring
Buckle

Follow the pattern shown in the video. This is a super simple craft and all dogs love getting new collars. Maybe your best friend has a dog ( or cat for that matter) that would like a pretty new collar for Christmas? You could also make your friend a matching bracelet!

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Here’s my little goofball Molly showing off her pretty new collar. Her fur is a bit longer than Patti’s so it’s a little harder to see her collar. She was happy to gaze at the sky to let me snap a picture for you.

You’ve still got time to make one of these and put it under your Christmas tree!

What presents did you hand make this year? Let me know in the comments below!

I’m wishing you all a crafty Christmas! I hope you get to spend it with people you love, eating good food and laughing till your tummy hurts!

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Brown Sugar Honey Scrub

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This is a nice little gift that you can make with ingredients found in your kitchen. There are several variations of this scrub found all over Pinterest but I chose an easy recipe with a few ingredients.
Combine the following ingredients in a bowl and then spoon into sealable glass jars.
2 1/4 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp Cinnamon

These make great stocking stuffers or would look cute as part of a gift basket. With Christmas coming up next week it is a great gift for anyone who deserves a little pampering.

I didn’t have any real vanilla but if you do I would definitely recommend using it over the imitation for a stronger delicious smell. Mine smells mostly like olive oil. I couldn’t fit it all in the jars so I got to try it out and it left my skin feeling very soft.

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Homemade gifts can be fun to make and offer an inexpensive alternative to store bought items. Plus you can customize the scrub and packaging however you’d like.

Tune in for more simple projects to brighten up your holidays!

I hope you have crafty Christmas!