Category Archives: Crafts and more Crafts

The smell of fall – simmering potpourri

I love having a wood stove. I grew up with them at my parent’s house as well. When Larry and I looked for a stove to have put into our home (Yes, our huge house only had “fake” heating  fireplaces – Propane burning ones and a chimney for a pellet stove.) We had to get something in that was more economical for our family size. And not letting us run through our propane every winter.

I love the fact that the woodstove that we got has 2 cooking burners on top. I keep a water kettle on there all of the time.  I even fixed some elderberry tea with that heated water this morning from off of the woodstove. That is a different story altogether.

We have already simmered soup on the coldest rainy day so far this season. Our season has not gotten cold during the day, however, when you are up at 3 am and the temperature outside is at freezing or so, a nice fireplace is well worth it especially when I have turned the heater OFF!!!

Since as far back as I can remember, I always try and simmer some potpourri on my stove or in a mini-crock. This season, I have an old pot that I have been putting goodies in on the wood stove on the other

burner.  This has worked out great and when I want to simmer something else, it is simple to jest set the potpourri pot to the side. 

Eucalyptus, lemongrass, and clove

This morning, I added cloves, dried lemongrass and dried eucalyptus. 

 

For each of the following recipes, I add about 4 cups of water in my stove pot or mini crockpot and then the plants/herbs/fruit. 

After 1 hour, the mixture is simmering down.

Better Breathing

  • 1/4 cup eucalyptus
  • 2T lemongrass
  • 2T whole cloves

 

Fall is HERE 

  • 1 orange (Peel and Fruit), sliced
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
  • 1/2 cup of fresh cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon cloves, whole 
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg

Open your Mind

  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Apple Harvest Spice

  • 1 apple, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon cloves
  • 3 cinnamon sticks

Fresh and clean

  • 1 lemon, sliced (peel and fruit)
  • 1/2 cup of eucalyptus leaves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chai Tea Potpourri

  • 1T Vanilla extract
  • 1t  cinnamon
  • 1t cloves
  • 1t allspice,
  • 1/2 t black pepper,
  • 1/2 t ginger,
  • 1/2 t coriander seed,
  • 1t mace,
  • 1 star anise

If you want, you can throw in a few black tea bags and use this as a chai tea base too. Strain and mix with milk. 

Thankful Jar 2018

We do this project every year to make a fun and interesting month. Each night, I have each of my kids write one thing that they are thankful for, their name and the date that they wrote it and put it in the jar. On the last day of the month, I have them gather and we read everything that was written together as a family. 

Not only does this give a good homeschooling writing skills to my younger kids, but it allows them to focus on positive only.  For my older kids, this help them explore some of their creativity by having them write memories.

This is a FUN and EASY project to create.  I personally created a label with vinyl on a jar that we can use year after year using a pattern that was in the Cricut system. 

You do not have to use vinyl or even a cricut machine. You can cut a simple tag and tie on the top of the jar with ribbon or yarn. You could use letter stickers. You could add fake leaves or flowers or you could just leave it plain. 

 

Here is a step by step of creating with vinyl: 

DIY Jellyfish Halloween costume

What you will need:

  • White or clear solid colored umbrella
  • Battery powered tea lights
  • White tulle, streamers, and curling ribbon
  • Clear shipping tape
  • Glowstick
  • XL googly eyes

Start with taping the googly eyes on the umbrella. Then, tape the battery pack to the umbrella and wrap the string of lights around.  Then hang and wrap the ribbons, tulle and streamers to make the tentacles.  This is a fast and inexpensive costume. Many items can be found at the dollar store.

 

 

 

Cricut Explore Air 2 – Game Changer for our homeschool and other projects

I have always been a crafter, but most of that has gone the wayside with 7 kids in the house and working, homesteading, etc. And not wanting to scrapbook and see all of the memories of Breckin. That was way too hard in the beginning of the grieving process. Pictures are coming out, Albums are being put together and memories are being made. 

In my “past life” I taught scrapbooking classes for several different companies (when Griffen was a baby – so about 16 years ago). One flew me around the country several times a month for over a year to teach other consultants how to run their classes.

I have 40+ cricut cartridges and several machines in the top of the closet in the hall.  But, dragging them out of the hall closet, finding the right cartridge, the process was long and crazy. And it took over what ever table that I set it up on.



I needed to revisit my creative outlet and get going again. 

So this new Cricut is a game changer!!! I picked it up on Amazon (Link below) for about $300. Yes, I know….$$$

But since it’s arrival, I have made props for my classroom, the kids started their lapbook projects on the states for our homeschooling, I have our vacation t-shirts designed. I even loaded the VIPKid logo in and cut a few IRON-ON for my orange t-shirts!!! I have so many ideas for home designs and there are even some simplicity patterns that you can purchace and be able to cut with this. I have it on my printer shelf next to my laser printer. 

And the best part is that the design process is online. I can start a design, and then save and revisit it later. I don’t lose anything and since time to do “crafty” things in my house is limited, I am able to come back to projects and cut them out when I have time. 

 

PHONE APP!!!!!

AND There is a PHONE APP! So when I am sitting in the car, waiting for one of the kids in their many activities, I can design something and then cut it when I get home!!! 

 

You can use it with your current cricut cartridges AND/OR pay a monthly subscription plan (if you plan on using it) and get 50,000 graphics to be able to cut. You can also purchase PRE-DESIGNED PROJECTS! 

(YES, It cuts Vinyl, magnet, cardstock, leather, fabric, felt, paper, burlap, birch, denim. There is even a slot for pens to draw some of the parts of your projects – I haven’t even tried that one yet.) Here is a link to all of the materials that you can cut with it: https://help.cricut.com/help/cricut-explore-materials-settings

I am thinking wooden signs with vinyl cutouts for the kids’ animals for the fair next year!!!

 

Oh, WHY did I not do this sooner!?!? So here is the link, my friends!!! GAME CHANGER for your crafting needs!!!






New Digital Scrapbooking site.

Hi Everyone, 

For those who have followed me for the last 10 years knew that I was very active in both paper scrapbooking as a consultant and as a designer. About 7 years ago, I was a part of several online digital scrapbooking store, selling my designs. When I was going through school and adopting of my 2 little boys, I took down my products. I have finally decided to get back into both paper scrapbooking with Close to my Heart (http://krismazy.ctmh.com) and with the introduction of my new digital scrapbooking site at http://www.krisandlarry.com/shop. I will have some of my old designs and many of my new ones.  

mazy-christmas-krislayout mazy-merrychristmas-alpha-preview mazy-merrychristmas-kit-preview

 

 

 

mazy-merrychristmas-pp-preview

 

 

 





Essential Oil Tuesday – Dryer Sheets

KrisAndLarry.com - Essential Oil Tuesday, DIY Have you read what is in the dryer sheets that we use on our clothes? I have! And I HATE those chemicals touching my body!!!

Dryer sheets are VERY easy to make… and only costs pennies with things that I already have on hand!!!

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup white vinegar (if you have a larger jar, you can incread the vinegar to 2 cups and add 10 additional drops of essential oils)
  • 20 drops of essential oils. We used lavender and rosemary in the video. Lavender is yummy, and so is tea tree oil. Lemon grass smells like fruit loops. I love patchouli and orange with a bit of ylang ylang mixed in. All of these can be found online at www.youngliving.com/krismazy. 
  • Glass jar with lid (I picked about a dozen up at the dollar store last year to use for different projects around the house. )
  • Flannel or cotton material cut into 6×6 or 6×8 pieces (DO NOT USE NEW FABRIC in RED or OTHER DARK COLORS!!! It will bleed into your clothes!) We used a worn, old thick shirt that was my dad’s… it was on its way to the garbage since it had a hole in it.

 

Add vinegar to the jar. Drop in the essential oils. seal jar and shake throughly…. I know what you are thinking … VINEGAR? That smells funny!!! Once it goes through the dryer, it has no smell…. and helps get rid of anything existing in the clothes.

Add in the cloth to the jar and let it soak up the vinegar mixture.

When you switch your laundry, ring out one or two of the cloths and throwthem in the dryer with your laundry.

Once you fold your clothes, throw the now dry dryer sheet back in with the liquid in the jar.

We replace our vinegar every other week or so… or as we smell the clothes are not as strong with the essential oils.

 

Creating Garden Gnome Costumes

gnome costume - krisandlarry.comI was honored to be able to make our annual family costumes. Every year we do a theme for the family (this year it is for all 16 of us – our family of 10, my sister Jen and her family and my parents)… This year, Mazy’s (my dad’s gun and cigar store) has one of the business booths at the community “Trunk or Treat” event put on by the Town of Chino Valley

For the boys, we made tunics and beards, both out of felt. They are wearing sweat shirts and pants under. We made belts as well to go around the tunics.

For the girls, we made knee length skirts and shawls. They are also wearing sweatsuits under their outfits.

Everyone is getting a gnome hat as well.

 

Directions:

The tunics are rectangle pieces of felt with ovals cut out for the head openings.

The beards are white felt cut in the shape of a beard with layers of white felt cut with one wavy side and sewn across over lapping. Then, we added a piece of Velcro onto the front on each side at the top to Velcro the beards to the hats.

The belts are just long pieces of fabric tied in the back.

Belt Buckles are pieces of foam core cut and spray painted silver.

The girls’ skirts are just simple  elastic skirts and I added a shawl of felt. We also cut and ironed on fabric mushrooms on some of the costumes.

Gnome Costumes - www.krisandlarry.com Gnome Costumes - www.krisandlarry.com

 

 

 

www.krisandlarry.com - Family of gnomes

Repurpose old lockers – Honor Him wall saying

IMG_20141023Repurpose old gym lockers - Front Entry Hall Storage - www.krisandlarry.com

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I found an amazing find at a yard sale (if you have been following my blog for a while, you will know that I am a closet-case yard saler! It is my way of escaping for a little while on Friday mornings with my mom and clearing my head of kid stuff for a little while. Having Larry off on Fridays is a HUGE help, and 2 of our kids (2 of our adopted boys) have therapy, so Larry takes them to that for me.

I found a set of old high school gym lockers at a yard sale for $40. (Although ugly in color) They were nearly PERFECT! They were in this super nice man’s shed for the last 30 years as part of his workshop area.

A roll of my husband’s eyes for having to get the trailer hooked up on the suburban and loading kids up to help move this bad boy, we had the rust colored family project at home and in the front patio. $20 later in spray paint (I had to go with Cherry Red) and a visit to a few websites, I have finally found the exact fixtures to fix the 2 broken handles (Still have to work on that part)

This is my new kid organizer! Yes, It is in my front all of my CRAZY Kidlett Ranch. And OH MY! 8 Kids living here right now AND 8 lockers… Never a missing sweatshirt or pair of shoes again!

It took me all weekend to tape and paint… and then moving it was a feat in itself. But, now, we have the PERFECT (and almost CRAZY) piece of furniture in my house… and IT WORKS!! (Even if one of my in-laws thought that it was tacky! LOL) And if I find another one… I would scoop it up just as fast too!

 

To complete what I wanted as my entry hall was a saying from Facing the Giants. AWESOME MOVIE!!!

“And if we win, we praise Him. And if we lose, we praise Him. Either way we honor Him with our actions and our attitudes.”

I changed it up a bit to fit our family…

Praise Him when you win

Praise Him when you lose

Honor Him in all you do

 

 

Pool Noodle "Stick" Horses – Summertime activities

I love Dollar Stores!! I found $1 pool noodles… I don’t have a pool… What am I going to do with them?

I am going to make pool noodle HORSES!

My little LONE RANGERS need these!!! These were so easy to make.


We ended up making 15 of them for our house (and for the motorhome to take with us camping!!)

krisandlarry-poolnoodle ponies

 

 

These are so simple to create! Here’s what you need!!

  • pool noodle
  • large, thick rubber band
  • twine or ribbon
  • felt  – cut to create hair. (fold the piece in half long ways and cut strips towards the folded section but not all the way through to make fringe)
  • sharpie marker
  • low temperature hot glue gun or gorilla glue – school glue didn’t hold well. (The high temperature WILL melt the noodle!)

Directions:

  1. Fold the noodle about 12 inches from the end and place the large rubber band around both pieces (see, it needs to be a large this one!).
  2. Tie the ribbon on the horse around the “nose” and the body and make a rein.
  3. Glue the Felt Hair on the pony and draw a face with the marker…

krisandlarry-poolnoodle ponies2

Natural Dye Easter Eggs!


EasterEggDye
I LOVE finding interesting articles online. THANKS AUNT DONNA for sending this to me! This article was on What’s cooking America. Every year we use different items like the follow list to dye our eggs. Looking forward to the weekend to do it again. 🙂

As most of you know, Elwyn is Anaphylaxis to Red Dye – Easter when she was about 15 months old, I fed her jelly beans and she has a reaction that sent us to the hospital when her heart having to be restarted among other terrible things because of the dyes that I fed her. We have converted the entire house to dye-free and it helps my 3 amigos as well (Autism and PTSD & ADHD can also be effected by dyes and processed foods as well). 

 

How to make natural egg dyes:

  • Wash hard-cooked (boiled) eggs in warm soapy water to remove any oily residue that may impede the color from adhering to the eggs. Let eggs cool before attempting to dye.
  • You need to use your own judgment about exactly how much of each dye stuff to use. Except for spices, place a handful (or two or three handfuls) of a dyestuff in a saucepan.
  • Add tap water to come at least one inch above the dye stuff. NOTE: This will be aboEasterEggDye2ut 1 cup of water for each handful of dyestuff.
  • Bring the water just to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low. Let simmer about 15 minutes or up to an hour until you like the color obtained. Keep in mind that dyed eggs will not get as dark as the color in the pan. Remove the pan from the heat.
  • Pour mixture into a liquid measuring cup. Add 2 to 3 teaspoons of white vinegar for each cup of strained dye liquid. Pour the mixture into a bowl or jar that is deep enough to completely cover the eggs you want to dye.
  • Use a slotted spoon to lower the eggs into the hot liquid. Leave the eggs in the water until you like the color. NOTE: Allow the egg to sit in the tea for several hours or overnight. The longer the egg soaks, the deeper the final color will be. If you plan to eat the eggs be sure to do this step in the refrigerator.
  • When eggs are dyed to the color you desire, lift the eggs out with the slotted spoon. Let them dry on a rack or drainer.NOTE: An egg carton works nicely as a drying rack. Be careful to handle the eggs gently and minimally as some of the colors can easily be rubbed off before the egg has dried.
  • For a textured look, dab the still wet egg with a sponge.
  • Eggs colored with natural dyes have a dull finish and are not glossy. After they are dry, you can rub the eggs with cooking oil or mineral oil to give them a soft sheen.
Color
Items To Dye With
Blue
Canned Blueberries
Red Cabbage Leaves (boiled)
Purple Grape Juice
Brown or Beige
Strong Coffee
Instant Coffee
Black Walnut Shells (boiled)
Black Tea
Brown Gold
Dill Seeds
Brown Orange
Chili Powder

Gold
Turmeric
Green
Spinach Leaves (boiled)
Liquid Chlorophyll
Greenish Yellow
Yellow Delicious Apple Peels (boiled)
Grey
Purple or red grape juice or beet juice
Lavender
Small Quantity of Purple Grape Juice
Violet Blossoms plus 2 tsp Lemon Juice
Red Zinger Tea
Orange
Yellow Onion Skins (boiled)
Carrots
Paprika
Pink
Beets
Cranberries or Juice
Raspberries
Red Grape Juice
Juice from Pickled Beets
Red
Pomegranate juice
Canned Cherries (with syrup)
Raspberries
Cranberries
Lots of Red Onions Skins (boiled)
Violet or Purple
Violet Blossoms
Hibiscus tea
Small Quantity of Red Onions Skins (boiled)
Red Wine
Yellow
Orange or Lemon Peels (boiled)
Carrot Tops (boiled)
Chamomile Tea
Celery Seed (boiled)
Green tea
Ground Cumin (boiled)
Ground Turmeric (boiled) or Saffr

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