Category: Holidays

A (Quick, Inexpensive, Adorable) Winter Wreath

$12 and a Half Hour to make a (Quick, Inexpensive, Adorable)  Winter Wreath | OneCraftyThing.com

Every once in a while, I take a little bento hiatus. I take a break so that I can come up with new and fresh ideas. However, I still have to craft… one crafty thing! So this week, I checked out some wreaths on Pinterest and I made a new wreath for my door. Something simple, something that took less than a half hour and less that $12! Can you say instant (and cheap) gratification?

For this wreath, I used:

  • A ready-made grapevine wreath. $4 at Trader Joe’s
  • Basil-colored Spanish moss. $4.50 (40% off at my local craft store, or buy it online).
  • 7 white “snow” flocked trees in a pack. $2.99 (40% off at my local craft store)
  • (Optional) Green acrylic paint in case your moss isn’t as green as you would like. (99 cents)

$12 and a Half Hour to make a (Quick, Inexpensive, Adorable)  Winter Wreath | OneCraftyThing.com

15 minutes: I originally had the idea to hot glue the moss onto the wreath, but instead, I ended up tucking it into the branches. It held pretty well without the glue. I especially tried to tuck it under the largest branches.

$12 and a Half Hour to make a (Quick, Inexpensive, Adorable)  Winter Wreath | OneCraftyThing.com

Lots of mess, but easily swept away. It might not seem that way but this moss held pretty well like this.

$12 and a Half Hour to make a (Quick, Inexpensive, Adorable)  Winter Wreath | OneCraftyThing.com

10 minutes: I took my time hot gluing the trees into the wreath (partially because I was watching TV, but partially because I was trying to lay them out before I glued for sure). They each have a little wood base so I hot glued the base to where I wanted and then flexed the tree “trunks” (made of wire) to make them straight, even though gluing them on a curve meant that the bases didn’t go in straight. I tried to not line them up but instead have some in front, some in back so that I could create a bit of depth.

$12 and a Half Hour to make a (Quick, Inexpensive, Adorable)  Winter Wreath | OneCraftyThing.com

2 minutes: I had a bit of trouble figuring out how to hang this up but then thought of using a split key ring on the back and then hung it up.

And that was it 🙂 It took 3 extra minutes to clean up. It was fun and cute and looks good on my door. I didn’t end up using the paint as I liked the color of the moss, but using a sponge brush to lightly add green might give the moss more depth.

Today I used (Following cost may not reflect the discounts that I found for my materials):

More Easter Eggs and Tips for a Watermelon Rose Success

After a fairly sick Easter weekend, I managed to get the egg dyeing activity done for the kids but had to wait until night time to work on my own eggs. I had big plans for wax-resist, pysanka-type eggs but I just couldn’t work it. Oh well, such is life (and the mantra of the site! Get what you can/want done!) So instead I spent a little time blowing out some eggs and using the food coloring in a watercolor-like way (putting drops on top and dripping water on top which results in a cool effect) and then drawing on top of them. And here they are, what I could do in an episode of Scandal and an episode of Call the Midwife 😉

The first egg I dyed was this neon green that reminded me of the same color as luna moths… so it kind of themed itself 🙂 The second egg was a turquoisey blue and I really wanted to do a botanical print. I drew them first with a pencil and then with a Sharpie pen and a Sharpie Marker.

eggs2015

Another part of Easter this year was a small BBQ at my mother’s with all our family. It was low-key and nice and after the kiddos’ Easter egg hunt, we had a potluck. I brought watermelon, as I do, and since I hadn’t spent a lot of time planning it out, I decided to practice my watermelon rose:

Watermelon Fruit Platter | OneCraftyThing.com

This rose was actually one of the best ones I’ve done. I still have a bit to learn, but I think I have a good enough start to give out some tips on watermelon rose carving tips, right?

Watermelon Fruit Platter | OneCraftyThing.com

Tips for a Watermelon Rose Success

  • I watched a million (ok maybe four or five a million times) YouTube videos to learn watermelon roses and the one that I found most helpful was this one.  She’s amazing and her roses are exquisite.
  • A sharp paring knife with a curved tip is a good instrument to start with.
  • I use a cheese plane to peel the part of the watermelon that I’m carving.
  • The way you hold the paring knife is important. Look carefully to see where the lady in the video above holds her knife. It makes a difference.
  • When carving the middle, I had a tendency to cut at an angle toward the middle of the rose. DO NOT DO THIS. Try to keep your knife straight going into the watermelon, otherwise you will learn that you’ll start cutting petals off accidentally (I learned this the very hard way).
  • When I first started roses, I made thin petals and cut out thin strips behind them for definition. Thin petals are a yes, but the melon that you cut out for definition should be nice, thick pieces (refer to the video).
  • When you accidentally cut off a petal or you swish right when you should’ve stopped and chopped off part of the melon that you needed, fake it. YES, FAKE IT! I usually have a couple of toothpicks handy to tuck into the flower, under the petals in case of mistakes. Hey, I’m still learning! And it ends up looking good.

Hope those tips were helpful for anyone attempting this craziness hobby! It’s definitely a fun one though.

All Kinds of Easter Fun

Easter Bento | OneCraftyThing.com

I’ve been meaning to post this lunch since Thursday but I’ve been under the weather, so it’s going to be smooshed together in one of two Easter posts. I actually had planned a different lunch altogether with nothing but bunnies but you have to improvise when your bunny-shaped eggs won’t take well to the egg molds. So here we go, an Easter themed bento 🙂

In this lunch:


Main A cream cheese sandwich with a little mozzarella tail. In the baking cup, cheddar bunnies.
Sides  An egg cut to look like a chick — actually, it was supposed to look like a rabbit but oh well. The chick has a piece of carrot for the beak and sprinkles for the eyes and sushi grass around it. Also a blueberry carrot “patch” consisting of baby carrots (with dill for the greens) simply set into blueberries.
Also Included but not Pictured String cheese and a banana


Also in this post, the kiddos’ Easter eggs! We had lots of fun with the rice dyeing method of coloring Easter eggs that even the two year old kiddo did it and did it well. It was really simple.

Speckled Rice Dyed Easter Eggs (with Tutorial!) | OneCraftyThing.com

You need:

  • Containers with lids, or, alternately, disposable cups and tin foil/plastic wrap, or whatever will cover the top completely.
  • 1/4 cup of rice for each container
  • Food dye
  • Hard-boiled eggs

And the (super easy) instructions:

  1. Pour the 1/4 cup of rice into each container (we used cups because we had recycled our containers already).
  2. Place 15-20 drops of dye in each of the colors you want.
  3. Place hard-boiled egg inside and cover the top with lid or foil/plastic wrap
  4. Shake vigorously (or until you giggle).

And that’s it! That’s all. Some tips we learned:

  • The sooner you put the eggs in after you put the dye in, the more vibrant/more colored your egg will be.
  • For speckled eggs, dye the rice and wait 15 minutes to 1/2 hour. When we first started our project, we put the dye into the rice and were shaking up the rice and then Dad came in with our take-out dinner, so we had to wait to dye the eggs. The result was speckled eggs because with the time we gave it, the dye had absorbed more into the rice.
  • You can put them in different colors after each layer is done. Each kiddo was given 3 eggs (so few because only ONE of the three actually eats hard-boiled eggs) so to keep the activity going, we put them in different colors. I think the ones my eldest kiddo did were the loveliest, with the “Monet-inspired” one seen below as my favorite 🙂
  • For younger kids, I’d use the lidded containers. My kids used the tin foil and shook them so hard that some ripped through the top and lost some rice, getting it pretty much all over the table. So much for a no-mess activity!

Here were the best of the best, done (in order)  by eldest kiddo (7), youngest kiddo (2), and middle kiddo (4). Love that we got such great results by putting them in different colors. The layered approach was really great.

Speckled Rice Dyed Easter Eggs (with Tutorial!) | OneCraftyThing.com

Today, I used:

Gingerbread House 2014: Arendelle is in Deep Deep Deep Deep Snow

Sometimes it feels like I’m living in a perpetual winter. We are on year 2 of the snow queen’s domination over both Arendelle and my home. What can I say? The movie is beloved here… watched all the time. As an artist, I often take inspiration from my surroundings and as many of my followers can attest to, Frozen is in my surroundings A LOT! Also, I thought my kiddos would get a kick out of this next project.

Every year some friends and I plan a get-together to make gingerbread houses. Everyone brings tons of candy (and leaves their kids at home for some much-needed mom’s night in). Each year, I try to use the opportunity to learn a new skill. Last year, it was to practice piping 🙂 This year, I wanted to sculpt and work gumpaste. So my gingerbread house was the setting I used for the snow queen.

Upfront, I’ll mention that I always use a gingerbread house kit. We don’t eat ours and I find that I’d rather spend my time on decorating rather than baking. Since I wanted a house with an Arendelle look/feel to the whole thing (long tall roof was a necessity), I chose Trader Joe’s Hexen House kit. (I realize that the Hexen House is actually German and not Scandinavian, but it was the closest I could find without actually making my own).

I pretty much just used some white candies and piping do the front. The front took a few minutes. I wanted the roof to look laden in snow so I used some mini-marshmallows cut diagonally and laid on top of one another. This part was TEDIOUS. It took me more than an hour to hand set these tiny tiles, but it was while talking with my friends and constantly laughing so it wasn’t so bad 😉 I then piped icicles coming down from the roof. As you can see, I had tiny little pieces of frosting speckling the house, and I decided that it was an authentic representation of snow rather than the breaking off/smudging of the frosting. Perspective. It’s all about perspective:

Elsa and Arendelle Gingerbread House | OneCraftyThing.com

It was rather difficult to pipe with the house all set up, so if I were to do this again, I would probably pipe the pieces flat and then put the house together to do the roof.

Sorry that I don’t have many process picture but it was hard to hold the camera in one hand and my sangria in the other… perspective and priorities, of course.

I do have a pretty decent aerial shot though, that shows one of my favorite parts of the scene, the “expanding” ice ring, made with melted blue candy (Ring Pops!), rock candy “crystallizing” the edges of the pool and then the blue (and white, which are a bit hard to see) Sixlets that I used to try to give the idea of expansion:

Elsa and Arendelle Gingerbread House | OneCraftyThing.com

And now onto Elsa.

I created the gumpaste Elsa after the party because she herself took quite a bit of time. It was a fun challenge because it was a different kind of 3D work than I’m used to. I looked at a few tutorials and some fondant Elsas on Pinterest for reference and all of it was hand sculpted (although molds might have been easier, especially for the body which is pretty standard). Here she is right-side beauty shot:

Elsa and Arendelle Gingerbread House | OneCraftyThing.com

And here is her left side: Elsa and Arendelle Gingerbread House | OneCraftyThing.com

All in all, I’d say the gumpaste was a little different than working with fondant in that it hardens quickly (which is good in this case). A few tips for making the Elsa figure:

  1. The best tutorial I found (and the one I referenced the most) was this one: Yungjung Cake, although my Elsa was a mix of many different ones that I found, this had some good directions.
  2. Make the body in parts. Lower half, torso, and then head. I tried to make the body all one piece and it wasn’t working at all.
  3. I used a toothpick for the body structure. It went through the whole body and up through the neck and gave the head a secure spot to sit.
  4. Use what you have on-hand. I was going to make custom snowflakes, but used some snowflake sprinkles instead to put in her hair.

All in all, I’m happy with the way it came out. It’s so fun to see it come together and hanging out with my friends and crafting is always fun. Can’t wait for next year’s get-together 🙂


Today I used:

A Gingerbread House

gingerbreadhouse

 

Some friends and I got together for a fun gingerbread house party where everyone brings all kinds of candies and cookies and decorates a gingerbread house without the distraction of kids (although I had to take my youngest kiddo with me). All the different people meant an insane variety of different candies and sprinkles. My friends came up with some amazing creations and I spent most of my time just piping the roof– errr, I’m really slow! But I am happy with the results. My favorite thing, besides the roof, were the little mushrooms! So cute.

Some of the candies I used were Smartie gumballs, white sixlets, snowflake sprinkles for the house front, candy cane swirls, chocolate/cookie mushrooms, chocolate mint drops, reindeer cookies, tropical Mike & Ikes and Chiclets for the path, and coconut flakes for the snow!


Today I used:

Carving, Carving

Seems like all I’m doing is carving food lately. This was from Monday’s lunch. It was not the main but it was a side of a half apple. I was really inspired by it’s shape– where it was bigger at the top than at the bottom. A definite skull.

IMG_9389

Then yesterday, we carved our pumpkins. Or maybe I should say that I carved our pumpkins. The kiddos are a little small to carve their own but not too small to pick out their own stencils. So they picked out plenty complicated ones for me and I ended up abandoned, carving them in my backyard once it got too cold and uncomfortable for them. My middle kiddo did take pity on me and come out to keep me company for all of five minutes in those three hours, but thems the breaks. Here are our pumpkins! Don’t think too much of me, though; I sometimes make my own templates for pumpkin carving but this time I used other peoples’.

pumpkins TARDIS rarity pony1 bat

Here are the templates I used:

  • My Little (Random) Pony
  • My Little Pony Rarity — I can’t find this anywhere for the life of me… I think I printed it out from my phone but now I can’t find the source. Will update later with it :-/
  • Little Bat
  • TARDIS (This one I had to download into Illustrator to print because the template isn’t on the website anymore)

A Sushi Chef & Baby Ebi Sushi

Sushi_chef

 

I didn’t think about posting this because I just made it for Halloween but then a friend mentioned that I should put it up because some other babywearers could get ideas from it 🙂 So here is my costume for this year. I was a sushi chef and I covered a mei tai in white felt and stuck a giant shrimp on it and so my littlest kiddo became an ebi roll. It was great for a costume for him because he was just in a onesie and some (sushi print) pants and when he got tired, hot, or antsy of being in the carrier, I just took him out quickly and let him do his thing. Then when he was sleepy or hungry, back up he went 🙂

Bunny silhouettes

bunnies

Today is the first day of Spring Break. And my playgroup’s post-easter hunt… so I made these to share 🙂 Of course, I saw the idea on Pinterest somewhere and I kinda wish I had used chocolate, but cute enough? They are made with Nilla wafers and candy melting wafers. I had black and white that I wanted to use up so I made gray bunnies, but brown ones would’ve been cuter, I think. Oh well, next time!

Easter Eggs

egg3

The kiddos and I dyed eggs yesterday. In my quest to make it as easy (and mess-free) as possible, I bought an egg spinner. It was a pretty good time had by all. We also colored some eggs with regular ol’ crayons 🙂

Down here are my personal pet project eggs. I wanted to see how I could work a drawing on an egg. Turns out Sharpies are a bit difficult to maneuver on eggs, but I think they came out nicely.

egg2

egg1

egg4

Today I used: