Thursday, September 15, 2011

J'adore Glitter

For the last project in my glitter trifecta (check this out), I was so excited to have an excuse to make a glittered phrase to hang in my sisters' bathroom. They have a darling Parisienne powder room (they are super stars, after all) that is so gorgeous, but it is plagued by a bulkhead right above one of the mirrors. I thought a little French bling would be just the thing to turn an eyesore into a dazzling accent.

It's just poster board sprayed with adhesive and dipped in a whole lotta glitter. It doesn't get easier than that.

They adore it and so do I. Ooh la la!

More Friendship Gear

You saw the cute BFF bracelets Amber and I made earlier this week. Well, since my daughter are 15 months apart, it seems there's never an item that isn't wanted by both of them. Karli just started kindergarten and said she needs three friendship necklaces for her new crew of gal pals. She didn't want them to say "BFF", so we settled on some cute little flowers.

I made them the same way I made my keychain charms, and threaded them onto some black satin ribbon for an easy, adorable set.

I love them...

Karli loves them...

...and they were super easy and quick to make. Friends forever!

I'm linking this project to the Krylon Glitter Blast giveaway at one of my favorite blogs, Tatertots and Jello.. Check it out.

Glitter on the Brain

I'm just going to come right out and say it... I made three projects this week specifically for a chance at winning some Krylon Glitter Blast paint from Tatertots and Jello (one of my very favorite blogs). The requirements include glitter, so of course I was all over it. What can I say?... my cheerleader-pageantess-girly self can't resist anything sparkly. So bring on the twinkle!

I lost my keys a month ago, including the sweet keychain my six-year-old daughter made for me. Ever since, I've been sporting a LAME jump ring with three boring keys on it. Boo. So...I made myself some cute keyring charms.

I started with chipboard tags and used Mod Podge to adhere glitter and scrapbook paper to them. Once dry, I applied a little vinyl star and gave both tags a healthy dose Glossy Accents to give them an epoxy-like shine. I stuck a few rhinestones in the gloss and let them dry overnight. A few jump rings later, I can't wait to show off my new keys!

...And here's hoping I win the rockin' giveaway. I definitely need more glitter in my life.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

BFF Bracelets for Amber

My six-year-old Amber is having a hard time making the transition into first grade. She cried every day at school for the first two weeks and I was beginning to be concerned. It delighted me, though, when she came home from school beaming and said, "I almost cried today, but my new best friend Thailynd helped me be strong. I want to get friendship bracelets for us!". Ah, the power of a good friend. I got all choked up.

After scouring the racks at Justice and Target, Amber just couldn't find a set of bracelets she loved. I had a cute idea in my brain, so we made some instead. Amber was thrilled with the result and I felt like I had finally arrived as a crafter because I had everything I needed to make the bracelets on hand (Amber even told me I had an "awesome bin of craft stuff"). That never happens! I think the little blingy bracelets are adorable and unique and best of all, both girls love them. Would you like to make some? Here's how:

2 chipboard or wood tags
Craft paint
Letter stickers (or vinyl cut on a machine)
Dimensional Magic or Glossy Accents
2 or 3 mm rhinestones
2 large jump rings (approx. 8 mm)
2 eye pins
Fabric (2" wide by 14" long)
Two sets of snap components

Needle nose pliers
Hammer (or snap setting pliers)
Sewing machine

Paint both sides and edges of the tags and let dry (you can also decoupage with scrapbook paper and Mod Podge).

Add letters to spell "BFF" or any other sentiment you choose. Burnish them with your finger to ensure a solid placement.

Use a dimensional product to flood the top surface of one of your tags. If you want to add rhinestones, only work with one one tag at a time so the gloss won't dry before you finish applying the stones. Start by outlining the hole, then outline the tag, and finally fill in the center with an even layer of gloss.

Use a pin and a steady hand to pop any bubbles that may form in the gloss. Then use the pin and your finger (lick it to make a rhinestone stick to it) to place rhinestones all the way around the edge of the tag. Leave a small gap right above the hole to allow space for the eye pin later.

Flood the second tag and add the rhinestones. Try not to get giddy when you see how adorable they look!

Let the tags dry overnight for best results. Meanwhile, fold your fabric strip in half with long edges together and right sides facing each other. Sew a straight stitch down the long edge and turn the tube right side out. Iron the tube flat with the seam going down the center back and cut the tube in half.

Thread a large jump ring onto the center of each tube.

Follow the manufacturer's directions on the package of snaps to set the prong half of the snap at one end of the fabric tube. Wrap the tube around the wrist of the wearer and measure enough length to overlap the snap prong completely. Trim off the excess and set the socket half at that end. Check the fabric tube to make sure it's not twisted when the snap is fastened. If you accidentally twist the fabric like I did, use a butter knife to pry apart the snap components and try again.

Place the eye pin through the hole in the tag. Pull it through until about half of a centimeter of pin below the eye remains above the top of the tag (the tag in this photo isn't painted; sorry to cause confusion!).

Bend the pin so the bottom points up.

Twist the straight end around the half-centimeter stem right below the eye.

When the coil reaches the eye, snip of the excess with wire cutters on your pliers. Bend the cut end around the stem and straighten up the eye so everything looks nice.

Now take your fabric tube and find the opening in the jump ring. Pull it open with your pliers, slip the charm on, and bend it shut.

Strap your bracelets on two BFFs and watch them smile all day long!

Monday, September 5, 2011

You Won't Know it's Kinda Healthy Chocolate Cake

It's the lovely time of year when zucchini seems to take over the earth and frankly, I have never really understood the phenomenon. Everyone I know is always trying to get rid of their zucchini, so why don't they just plant less? I don't get it, but in the mean time, here is a great recipe to make the green stuff a little more palatable.

Dense, chocolatey, and deliciously moist, this cake boasts two cups of zucchini and 100% whole wheat flour. It definitely becomes more fabulous if you let it ripen for a day, so if you can make it in advance, do so. My kids are crazy about it and it doesn't taste like it's healthy (you know, as far as desserts go), which gives anything high marks in my book. Even my vegetable-phobic dad ate a few helpings and was stunned to discover the wholesome ingredients. So if you have oodles of zucchini on your hands, grab that green garden monster and bake up some goodness!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

1 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 t salt
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/2 cup skim milk
3 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened baking chocolate
1 T vanilla
2 cups peeled and grated zucchini
Powdered sugar for dusting

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine oil, sugar, and eggs in a large bowl. Add dry ingredients all at once and mix. Incorporate milk and mix well. Melt chocolate in the microwave for 30-second intervals, stirring between each, just until melted. Blend chocolate and vanilla into batter and fold in zucchini. Pour mixture into a sprayed 9x13" baking dish and bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean with a few moist crumbs. Let the cake cool and dust with powdered sugar.

Serve as is, with sliced strawberries, or some great ice cream. You won't be disappointed!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Faux Sliced Agate Pendant

I hit Nordstrom Rack the other day to find a dress and for the first time in my adult life, I walked out with a complete ensemble: dress, some a-ma-zing Dolce Vita stilettos, and jewelry. That never happens 1) because I am jewelry-inept and never know which accessory to pair with anything and 2) because I always have at least one child with me and by the time I've tried on 38 dresses and 22 pairs of shoes (these numbers are not hypothetical), they're fed up. I almost always bypass the jewelry section but on that day, something really fabulous caught my eye.

It was an antique brass chain with a large slice of polished blue-green agate hanging from it. I immediately fell in love with the hippie-chic vibe and thought that layered under a cool multi-strand necklace, it'd be the perfect foil to my dress. Since I only had a $100 budget (oh, how I love the amazing deals at the Rack!) and the agate necklace would've put me over by $20, I snagged the multi-strand number for $7 and headed home with a plan to make myself that glorious pendant. Here's how I did it:

I set out for the woods behind my in-laws' property and found a gnarled branch that fell off of a scrub oak tree. It was about 4" in diameter--perfect. I brushed the bugs off and carried it to the garage.

I used my father-in-law's miter saw to slice several 1/4" cross sections from the branch. It was very brittle, so I knew I'd need lots of backup slices. Don't forget safety glasses if you try this at home!

I then used a 1/16" bit to drill holes near the top of each slice. I broke 4 slices in this process, so it was nice to have several spares.

I sanded them with a power sander and dusted them off with a damp rag. Then the real fun began!

I got so carried away with my paint brushes that I forgot to take pictures, but I mixed up four or five hues and went to town. Start with the darkest hue in the center and work your way out, making concentric organic shapes. I referred to a photo of a real agate slice, but from the looks of things on Google Images, anything goes in the realm of geological artistic license. Just have fun!

I painted the rough, bark-covered edges with a blue-black shade and washed it with black once the first coat was dry to give it some depth and realism.

Once everything was dry, I broke out my new favorite product:

This is like Plaid Royal Coat Dimensional Magic which kind of has the same effect as resin. It's so easy to apply and it gave me the perfect smooth and glossy finish. I carefully trace around the edge of my wood slice with the product and the filled in the outline with a thick layer. After a drying time of about 12 hours, it was solid. My wood was very porous, so I applied two more coats of Glossy Accents and allowed to dry between each one.

Then, I added an eye pin (scroll down to find out how) and attached it right to my multi-strand necklace with a jump ring.

I love how it turned out and got lots of compliments!

This isn't the dress I bought, but I love that this necklace is versatile and funky.

I made another pendant the same way, but i didn't paint it. I simply applied three coats of Glossy Accents to the bare wood and i love that one, too.

Just slip an eye pin through the drilled hole and bend it up.

Twist the tail around the stem beneath the eye.

Continue twisting and trim off the excess.


Friday, September 2, 2011

A Bit of Cozy Comfort

My six-year-old daughter had an adenoidectomy today and she was more than a little apprehensive about the procedure. I surprised her with some new jammies to wear to the surgical center, and I think they helped ease her anxiety.

I found the silky, stretchy mystery floral print at Walmart for $2/yard and the top is cut from a women's t-shirt I had to buy at K-Mart during a wardrobe emergency a few weeks ago. I used some of Amber's well-fitting p.j. pants and a shirt from Old Navy for patterns, and the cute jammies only took me 90 minutes from start to finish.

I used a narrow strip of floral to bind the neck and the existing hem of the shirt to save me time. I found that for me, it's easiest to assemble the top this way: sew the shoulders together, but leave one shoulder open about 1 1/2" at the neck. Start sewing the neck trim on at this open section and go all the way around. Stitch the shoulder closed and catch both ends of the trim inside it, sew on the sleeves at the shoulder seams, and then sew the sides together from the arm opening of the sleeve to the armpit and down the sides of the torso.

So while she was less than thrilled about donning the hospital gown, snuggling with Grandpa's dog Roofus after her surgery made everything better.

I'm linking to these sites:
border="0" href=""
alt="Join us Saturdays at for the weekend wrap
up party!" />

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Utah Fam Are We

I've been a lover of college football for as long as I can remember, and every summer of mine is spent pining for the first week of September. I was lucky enough to marry a man as fanatical as I, and since today marks the start of the season, we couldn't be happier at the Clark home. We are mega Ute fans and planned to attend the University of Utah vs. Montana State game tonight, but things fell through at the last minute. Never one to forego a party, though, my husband called me from work to say he was at the grocery store buying items for our "red party" that we would have at home (that's yet another reason I love him). Although it was completely last minute, it was great fun and our kiddos loved it!

It's hard to see after cooking, but we asked the worker in the food court at Costco to make a U out of pepperoni. Everyone at Costco got a big kick out of it, and so did our kids because it was a surprise ("Did you know the pizza makers are Ute fans?!"). The Lehi Costco food court team made our day; they are awesome.

Our red desserts included Berry Burst Oreos--fabulous, by the way-- Big Red gum, red pretzel M&Ms, Red Vines, raspberries, strawberries, red jello, and fruit punch. We also had chips and ranch dip dyed pinkish red ( there's just no way to make it look appealing in a cell phone photo, sorry) and plenty of other junk food.

Now that we've all got the fat-happies and our fill of artificial red food coloring, bring on the Ute football! I hope all of your teams win this weekend and happy fall to all of you.