Crochet Rock Sea Urchins

This beautiful creation is found over on Purlbee
Tutorial found HERE

Piggy Bank Classroom Kit

Little Ava is one lucky girl! Her mom is going to make a Piggy Bank for each of the party guests who come to her birthday party. 

Mom is going to set them out as decorations and then the little party-goers get to take them home as party favors. I think that the Piggy party decorations will be super cute, but I forgot to warn her that when piggies get together Them Piggies Is Crazy! 

Since mom is making all the piggies herself before the party, we decided that a Classroom Kit would be the perfect match. All of the crafting supplies, none of the prepping or shopping or organizing hassle. Pure crafting fun!

All the supplies are labeled and sweetly packaged (look at all those white styrofoam piggy legs waiting to be painted the perfect piggy pink!):

In a super cute reusable box:

With a birthday message that can be used as a table topper or birthday card:

It's party time made simpler!

The Russian Cake Recipe


1 box yellow cake mix with pudding. (I use Duncan Hines)
1 large box instant chocolate pudding
4 eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup Mazola corn oil
1/4 cup vodka
1/4 cup coffee liqueur (I use Kahlua)
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup Kahlua
1 1/4  cup 10X confectioner's sugar (divided)
2 tablespoons Butter

In a large mixing bowl, sift the cake mix, pudding mix, and granulated sugar. Stir in slightly beaten eggs, oil, vodka, 1/4 cup coffee liqueur, and water. Beat for 4 minutes. Pour batter into well greased and floured bundt cake pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool for about 5-6 minutes in pan, then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely. Turn cake right side up onto a pretty serving plate.

Make a glaze by combining the 1/4 cup coffee liqueur with 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar and 2 tablespoons butter. Cook until thick on a low simmer.Poke cake several times with a fork and cover with glaze. Allow to partially dry, then dust with the remaining 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar.

Servings: 10-12
Time: 20 Minutes Preparation Time
30-40 Minutes Cooking Time

Note: This last year I cook at 3,200 feet.

I use a 2 tablespoons less water and cook 48 mins

Penny for your Thoughts

This was sent by Donna over on the chat board.
If you had to give a penny for your thoughts I would love to get one of these little darlings.
Found over on

A penny pendent.
Great tutorial and links found HERE

New cards From Ginny

This is a selection of cards made by Ginny /Surfing over on the forum
Great job Ginny.
My fav. is the piggy.

My new Garden Totem

Finished this one up last night and plant to post it on the garden deck with a small plant inside.
Hubby says put it in the hallway with a fish. I still think outside is best !

Banking 101

There is a fort made of chairs and blankets and such.

Inside the fort is The Bank complete with a banker (me) and a bank president (Peyton). Outside the fort is a customer (Ella).

Before I can play Bank I must understand the very complicated way in which the bank operates. It's pretty similar to a regular bank. If that regular bank was operated by very strange and imaginative children who enjoy cheese suckers. I don't even know what those are.

Bank President: "Ella's going to put some money down through here and you're going to try to catch it in the tub."

Bank President: "But when she's done, she's going to put her card inside here. Ella! Not yet!"

Customer: "I didn't!"

Bank President: "Yes you did! And Ella's going to put her card through here when she's done. And she's going to push it over. And then at the end, and she doesn't have any money on it, and you're going to put money on it. And then you're going to give it to me and I'm going to put money on it. And I'll give it to you and you push it back through."

Banker: "Okay. And then she's going to take it?"

Bank President: "Yes."

Banker: "And why is there pee-pee in here?"

Bank President: "Because we have a dog."

Banker: "It's not potty trained yet?"

Bank President: "Umm... No."

Banker: "And why is there a dog in the bank?"

Bank President: "I don't know. Because he's awake all night and he sleeps at day so he's sleeping right now. Because when robbers come out, they usually come out at night. So he'll bark at them and he'll bite them when they try to get money."

Because my kids like to play Puppy they've made a whole set of Pretend-Play Puppy Essentials. They've created throw-up, poop and pee. I bet you can figure out which is which. I'll give you a hint: The throw-up has carrots and puppy food in it.

You are so welcome.

Bank President: "All right, Ella! Now, Mommy, remember, you're going to try to catch it."

Customer: "Wait Mommy! One more thing. Umm... You have to tell me how much I need to do."

Bank President: "Yes. How much buttons she has to pay. But don't say all of it."

Banker: "Okay."

Bank President: "But when she's done doing all the numbers that's done. When she's done putting all the buttons in there, you're going to have to dump it out to me and then I'll put it in the deposit for her."

Banker: "And that will go on her card?"

Bank President: "I'll put it in the computer and then some will go on the computer and when I slide her card, some will go on it."

Banker: "I'll take 5 buttons please."

Customer: "Okay! 1, 2, 3..."

Bank President: "Oh, also, Mommy, you can ask her if she wants a sucker, but she can only have a rainbow colored one."

Customer: "4, 5."

Bank President: "Ella, slide your card and then put it in there. Mommy, when you get it, when I'm done putting money back on it you're going to give her one of these money and put it there with her card and give it back to her. Get ready."

Customer: "Mommy, wait! One more thing. This is how you lock it and this is how you unlock it."

Customer: "Now what am I supposed to do?"

Bank President: "Now you're supposed to get some of this money and put it in there but when I give you your card back you're going to put it there. Here you go. You need all these coins, too."

Banker: "So how much is in on the card now?"

Bank President: "I usually slide it and it then it goes $1000. And you know what? If you work at this bank you get a lot of money. Because it takes up all the money off of her card."

Banker: "So she deposits 5 coins and she gets $1000 on her card?"

Bank President: "Yeah. But then when she comes back, she just paid $1000 plus 5 equals $1005. We have $1005. And then she's going to come back and do a lot of other stuff. Ella, do you remember what to do when you're done by the front of the bank?"

Customer: "I know, go home."

Bank President: "No, come to this side. And bring your money."

Customer goes to the other side of the bank: "Hello."

Bank President: "Hi. Put sticks in here."

Customer: "Put sticks in here. Got it! How much sticks?"

Bank President: "All of them, remember?"

Customer: "Okay."

Bank President: "Can I have all of your cash? Except for what the banker gave you?"

Customer: "Okay."

Bank President: "Thank you."

Customer: "Wait! I want a sucker, please."

Bank President: "One sucker, coming up."

Customer: "Wait, I want to pick which one I want, remender? Cheese, orange." (The customer says remember like that - remender.)

Banker: "I think we only have rainbow."

Customer: "I want rainbow and cheese and red."

Bank President: "All we have is two more left. Would you like two?"

Customer: "Yes. No! I mean four!"

Bank President: "Sorry, we only have two. Since you are almost the one hundredth customer...." (Makes computer sounds) "Here! A $9 million dollar bill!"

Customer: "Cool!"

Bank President: "And that's really lucky. Because when you come back, you don't have to pay. Will you slide your card?"

Customer: "Okay, man."

Bank President: "Before the bank closes."

Customer: (Slides card) "Good-bye."

Bank President: "Oh! Would you like a toy? Look in here and you can pick."

Customer: (Picks a toy) "Okay. Goodbye sir."

Bank President: "Goodbye."

Could you keep up with all that? Because I barely could. When my kids are trying to explain something to me, and I say, "Okay" it usually means "What the heck did you just say? I have no idea what's going on here. Where am I?"

AND we had to do the whole thing 2 more times so that we could each be the customer.

My sweet, sweet children.

Soda Can Flowers

Found over on This amazing recycle project.
For Tin Soda cans

Found on

11.30Soda Can Pinwheel Flowers

Decorated your winter gardens this year with DIY flowers made from recycled soda cans by CanarsieBK.
You’ll need the following:
1 empty can of soda
1 bottle cap
Razor Scissors
Drill or nail

How to Make Flowers Using a Soda Can:
1- Use razor (and scissor if necessary) to cut off the top of the soda can around the ridge line.
2- Starting from the top of the can use your scissor to cut down about 1/8 -1/4 inch from the bottom.
3- Make cuts all the way around the can. Get creative with the cuts if you’d like by zig-zagging. Once all of the cuts are made. Fold all of them outwards.
4- Take the drill or nail and poke a hole in the bottle cap and the bottom of the can.
5- Fish string through the hole of the top of the bottle cap and continue it through the bottom part of the can.
6- Tie knots on either end to loosely secure the bottle cap to the can.
7- Tie a stick to the opposite side of the soda can that the bottle cap is on.
8- Plant your flower
Video How to

How to Paint your shoes

I know we have all seen these tutorials before but these are really cute.
Found over on the blog
The  tutorial link can be found HERE

New from The Forum

Judy over at the forum has created and shared a beautiful crocheted shawl.
Love the colors in this one. All my favorites.
Donna Has surprised us with a Jewelry piece of silver and turquoise
Made by Donna

Chainsaw Frame

Not my finest photo but you can see what I did.
These are old chain saw chains mounted to a wood frame. It is for my hubby's garage. He has old pinups that I will mount into the frame and set up in his work area. It was a challenge to make as some of them are still very sharp.
But I only cut my fingers twice .

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Did you know that Chocolate Covered Strawberries are so so so so so easy to make?

For some reason I always thought that they must be incredibly difficult and time-consuming and expensive to create. Oh, wait, I do know the reason - because they are ridiculously over-priced in those mall specialty shops. It's a classic case of "Over-price it and they will come." Oh, and I did! One hundred years ago I would save 3 weeks worth of minimum wage salary at Wet Seal just to enjoy a single specialty strawberry. Sure, it was worth it. But that was a hundred years ago. Things change. When I figured out how easy they are to make, it made me reevaluate my view of the world.


I don't even measure anymore. That's how easy they are to make. You can check out an official recipe here if you want to be all measury and stuff. One more thing, if you don't have vegetable shortening, go ahead and make them anyway. Lots of recipes call for the shortening, and lots of recipes don't. I think the strawberries turn out better with the shortening, but it's not a huge difference.

Here's what you need:
Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Vegetable Shortening

In review, just in case you missed it:


Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips and Vegetable Shortening:
(I used Hershey's because it was on sale, but I usually use whatever cheap store brand I can get for cheap. Reevaluate the world. Cheap. It really doesn't matter. Cheap.)

Throw some chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl or cup and add a large spoonful of shortening:

Stick the cup in the microwave:

Most recipes will tell you to melt the chocolate chips over a double-boiler. I read that as "An extra dish to wash," so I don't do it.

VERY IMPORTANT! Don't over-heat the chocolate chips. If you do, the chocolate will seize and get lumpy and hard and you'll have to throw it away.

Turn on the microwave and watch. Check the chocolate chips every 30 seconds. When they look like this:

Take them out. Stir until they all melt into this deliciousness:

Dip your strawberries into the chocolate and place them on a wax paper-lined cookie sheet. Stick them in the fridge for as long as you can stand it:

Or until the chocolate cools and hardens - about 20 to 30 minutes.


And, yes, I know you can make them all extra fancy by drizzling on white chocolate, blah blah blah. Let me just tell you about my Chocolate Covered Strawberries: See how mine are all fancy in a bowl? It's all a lie. I eat them right off the cookie sheet. As I stand in front of the open refrigerator. So I don't have to share them with my family.


The great Flip Flop Pillow tutorial

Donna over on the Chat forum found this great tutorial .
Found HERE  at Suzysartsycraftsysitcom . Hop on over for this fun ,bright  wimmsy of a pillow and her great tutorial.

When Your Day Sucks Tutorial

This little gem of a craft was shared by Joesmom over on the chat forum.
She found this link to a great craft and a very creative blog spot.
This tutorial can be found HERE 

The Little yard Update

My little yard project is almost done.
Well the foundation is done.
I will add planters and color next year.
But for now all but 6 feet of the main rock is done.
Update pictures 7-9-2010

Zukes are doing well but the cucmbers are a bit sickley ?

Beaded flower

Create a colorful Flower pattern using seed beads and craft wire.
Courtesy of Bead Studio

Sculpt this flower from beads & wire. Once made the uses are endless! For wearable art you can create a brooch, a centerpiece for a necklace or on a barrette. For the home, a napkin ring, a candle or a curtain. Let your imagination go!

- Four yds 28g craft wire, cut in 1 yd pieces
- Assorted seed beads (11/0, delicas, 3-cut, hex or charlottes)
Choose colors that blend well in a variety of finishes to give texture to the flower.
- Twelve 4mm round or firepolish beads
- One 6mm bead

Step 1 - Slide 3 seed beads onto a piece of 1 yd wire. Thread end of wire back through 2 of the beads, pulling both ends to create a small loop of beads in the center of the wire.

Step 2 – Add 3 more seed beads on one end of the wire and thread the other end of wire through the seed beads in the opposite direction. Pull gently being careful to work out any kinks in the wire as you see them developing.

Step 3 – Continue this process to build the petal. The pattern we used is 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 6, 5, 5, 4, 4, 3, 2. You can develop your own pattern through experimenting with different combinations.

Step 4 – Add one bead to each of the wires, then start building the next petal, using the pattern in the reverse order. Try using a different color or type of bead for each petal to add interest and texture to the flower.

Step 5 – To end the petal, thread wire back through a few of the beads, twist around once or twice and snip the ends.

Step 6 – Repeat Steps 1 through 5 to create 2 more sets of petals. You will need three set to complete 1 flower.

Step 7 – Cut the last piece of wire into 4 equal pieces (approx. 9" ea).

Step 8 –Thread one of the 4mm beads onto the wire and twist the wire to anchor the bead in the center.

Step 9 – Separate the wires, add a bead to one wire and twist several times. Continue until you have 4 beads on each wire. Repeat until you have 3 pieces finished.

Step 10 – With the one remaining wire slide the 6mm bead onto the wire and fold in half and twist. Take all the wires and thread through the center of the petals. Twist or braid and coil all the wires to anchor.