Category Archives: 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

 

 

 





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

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

Making chalkboard clipboards

chorechartsMaking chalkboard clipboards are very easy and they are usable over and over again. They are great for “in the car” activities, traveling, and chore charts for the wall. Our family uses them for all 3. We are making new ones today for the missing one and for our 2 new boys as well.

We have been using the same clipboards for 3 years – Here is the original post: http://scrapwarrior.com/blog/2010/07/03/chore-charts-on-our-wall

 

You will need the following:

  • wooden clipboards (These are sold at walmart or kmart or target for less than $2 each),
  • bottle of spray paint (chalkboard) – I found this at our local Ace Hardware
  • blue painter’s tape
  • Foam stamps and paint
  • matching ribbon

Directions:

Blue tape the “Metal Hinge” and spray paint the entire front of the board. After 24 hours, remove the tape carefully. Stamp your child’s name on the board and tie matching ribbon at different lengths on the hinge.

blog-clipboard

 

 

 

Summertime Activities – Chalkboard wall

Leave a message for your kids every day, or every week or every month. A chalkboard wall or message center is the perfect spot to do that!.

chalkboard

 

chalkboardoys kboard-girls

One of the highlights that the kids love in our home is the many chalkboard walls that we have. I have a full wall in my office and then there are stripes in the little girl and little boy rooms.

I have found that since I have put in the chalkboard sections, we do not have anyone writing on the walls in any other places… no crayon, paint or pens! YEAH! And their walls change often. Sometime they are just scribbles… others they are filled with flowers and hearts.

We have converted a corner in my office to a “quiet zone” with a glider, books, felt toys and the chalkboard. It is utilized often! We have found that when our little boys need a bit of relaxation, this is where they both tend to circulate to.

Every week, I change part of my wall near my desk to have a quote for the kids.  Some are bible verses, others are fun quotes that I find online. I do not take a ton of time with the font… I mean, I could make it look like restaurant signs if I wanted…

 

 

IMG_20130614_214945_649-2

 Creating a chalkboard wall or section is really REALLY easy. Essentials that you need: Obviously Chalkboard paint (I got mine at Ace Hardware. – I love our local Ace in Chino!!) It is also available online if you are not in a hurry – It is on Amazon- I put a link to the right.

You will need blue tape to mark off your area and a paintbrush.  – My FAVORITE TOOL that I use to paint with it the As seen on TV Point and Paint. I put a link to this as well. I know… CHEESEY!  I have used mine on everything from walls to craft projects… and I just ordered another one too.

My full wall took a quart and a half of paint. I buy them 2 quarts at a time so that I have some all of the time.

chalkboardwall
Here is the wall in my office – Please ignore the clutter on the shelf! LOL Just keeping it real!!

 

December 2010 Advent – December 22nd – Make yourself another Nativity

I believe that you can never have too many Nativity Scenes up for Christmas time. I have started adding a new one every year to our “collection”. This year, I made one and was inspired by one I saw at my mom’s group, Vital Moms at the Height Church. I was sad to not know WHO made the one there to give proper credit to my MUSE. 🙂 (If it is you, let me know!!)

These are fun to make and do not take up a TON of time… although you can get lost in detail.

You will need:

  • 2 small clay or wooden pots,
  • 2 large wooden balls for the “heads”,
  • a clay or wooden plaque,
  • scrap felt in white and 2 other colors,
  • brown paint,
  • flesh paint
  • white paint,
  • raffia,
  • hot glue gun.
  • Optional: gold paint, crackle paint, black marker to draw on faces, fake snow paint, wooden star and staff.
  1. Paint the balls flesh and the pots a brown color(I also “crackled” the bodies with my crackle paint). Hot glue together. Add the colored scraps on to make clothing and ties with a piece of raffia each, Mary around her neck and Joseph around the head.
  2. Paint the disk white (or brown) and add the “people” to it.
  3. Create a “bunching” of raffia to make the hay manger and hot glue to the base.
  4. Swaddle the white cloth to make a “baby”. Glue to the hay manger.
  5. Optional: add texture snow around the base – This MUST dry overnight!!

Here is the sample that inspired me:

And here is my finished nativity:

Luke 2:8 – And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.