Thursday, October 25, 2012

A look back at some crafts...

I just started this blog the other day, but I still wanted to share my past projects. Some are made up by me, others are things I have made from patterns. I have definitely made more than I'm about to show, but this is what I have pictures of. My mom started to teach me how to crochet when I was in middle school maybe, or high school. Either way, years ago. All I knew was how to double crochet, so I got pretty bored with it and stopped. When I got pregnant with my son in 2009, I decided I wanted to take another stab at it.

Monkey. This is the blanket I made for Tylan while I was pregnant with him in 2009. This became his favorite blanket, and somehow he started to call it his monkey. Monkey has been close to falling apart many times now, but somehow I always catch it before it unravels. With the fact that I was new to crocheting and didn't know a good way to sew the squares together, and that it's 3 years old and has been drug around everywhere, it's in pretty bad shape. I made a replacement a few months ago, but he wanted nothing to do with it. I got this pattern from a baby bernat yarn label.

If you are wondering where my blog name came from, corn on the monkey, this is it. He picked a favorite corner that he has almost loved to pieces. It is so worn out from him having it all the time, I just hope it lasts as long as he needs it. I used to always ask him if he was looking for his corner while he was throwing his blanket around. Eventually he started calling it his "corn". Hence the name, corn on the monkey.

This cute little Southern Star sweater was a pretty easy knit. I made it for Addison born in June. Not quite sure what the size is because for some weird reason I haven't had her wear it yet. I haven't knit a lot since it takes so much longer than crocheting. But I love the way knit baby clothes look, you can get so much detail!

The Lazy Daisy blanket. So adorable. I made this for Addison while I was pregnant hoping for it to be her "monkey", but she has gotten attached to a different one shown below. I couldn't figure out how to make the embroidered flowers shown in the pattern, but I was going for a butterfly theme anyways. So i crocheted up some white butterflies and put them in each corner. Even plain, this blanket would be super cute!!!

blanket from home, to Afghanistan with love. My husband left in March :( I wanted to send him off with something he could use all the time that would remind him of me. Knitting a blanket takes a long time! Seriously! I spent months working on this off and on, then had to rush to finish it right before he left. It got done though, and he sleeps with it every night :)

Butterfly mobile. Instead of buying a new crib, we just reused our son's pack and play. The mobile had three little white teddy bears dangling from it. Since the colors on the crib are brown and blue, I bought a pink sheet and crocheted these to hang up instead. Made it look girly enough for me.

Corner nursery in Mommy and Daddy's bedroom. Our apartment is only a 2 bedroom and my son is in the other. Since I knew this place was only temporary until hubby comes home, I just set Addie up with a little nursery in the corner of our bedroom. Yes, I say "our" even though he has never stepped foot in this place. It just wouldn't feel right saying otherwise. Anyways, I got the letters from Michael's and painted them purple. Then I took one long strip of brown ribbon and hot glued it to the two top sides of the letters. To really add to the adorableness, I hot glued some ribbon bows to the tops, which also hid the nails nicely behind them. The butterflies I found in the wood craft aisle of the store, painted them a cute pink color, and used those sticky poster hangers I found at walmart next to the picture hangers. Also some little flower wall decals brought a nice touch to the floating butterflies.

Coming home hat for our baby girl :) I don't think I saved the pattern anywhere, so I can't give you a link. It was a basic knit newborn hat with a ribbed bottom border. I crocheted the two flowers and added a little "A". I sewed a snap to the back of the flower so it could easily come on and off.

Here is my pregnancy project collection. There could have been more that I made, I just can't think of any right now. The pink blanket is called First Love, this is the one my daughter loves right now (fits the name perfectly). I made some quick and simple crochet hats, and a pair of sandals from a pattern I bought online. This was actually the first pattern I ever bought! I normally just browse the free ones. The purple and brown blanket in the middle is just a basic ripple crochet baby blanket.

Here is one I made myself! I love my little Addison <3 She seems to like cuddling with blankets, and I always think of how cute these little snuggle buddies are. To make the blanket piece, I followed the same pattern as the first love blanket (pattern up one picture). The only exception is that I didn't use the dc, ch1 rows. A solid double crochet pattern made for a better look with this one. I'm having a hard time keeping the ears from curling, but I saw an idea on Pinterest that showed someone using a pipe cleaner around the border and covering it with single crochets as the border.

The Abigail Sweater. I had to start this one over so many times just because I would either miss a stitch or one would fall off the needle. I haven't quite picked up on how to fix errors. That's why crocheting is so much easier to me! One day I'll learn.....

Spiderman! I used a basic ripple blanket pattern. I did the color and webbing design myself. I'm pretty sure that when I open up my own Etsy shop, I'll sell these too. I made it toddler size for my son.

Mario room rug. This one I made the year before last, or maybe last year? for my brother. He has always been into video games. Although he is 16 now, he still appreciated it. I didn't design this myself, I'm really not sure who did. I just saw a picture online and used a granny square pattern to create all the little squares. This came out pretty large! And it just looks awesome!

Little girl's Hello Kitty scarf. One of the Soldiers in my husbands company wanted to send his daughter a scarf, and he asked me to do it. I knit up a scarf switching blocks between stockinette stitch, and a garter stitch. The sides were curling in so I crocheted a single crochet border and that helped. With adding a little bow, Hello Kitty face, and some random girly colors, this turned out to be a pretty fun scarf for her!

"T" for Tylan's bedroom door. I guess I really like Michael's. I could spend all day in there! I bought the monkey, giraffe, and leaf wood pieces which were already colored. The leaves already had a sticky layer on the back. I painted the T green, added all the pieces with hot glue, and voila! Simple and cute child's initial for their bedroom door.

Cakes cakes cakes!

About 2 years ago I decided to put my craftiness into making homemade fondant cakes. Here are the cakes I've made so far.....

Tylan's first birthday cake. My first ever fondant experience. Definitely more difficult than I thought it would be. I had an idea for this cake and it somewhat came out how I wanted. I wish the colors would have been brighter like the candles, but that's what happens when you buy the cheap food coloring lol. And the dots I put around, I wish I would have made them a whole lot thinner so they didn't stick out so much. For a first cake though I would have to say it's a good one.

21st Birthday cake for my husband! Everything on this cake is edible, minus the poker chips. It's all made from fondant, and I used edible markers to draw on the cards and the Coors can. It's supposed to be a "poker game" theme with a beer spilling on the table. The border decorations are red solo cups with lots of beer pong balls haha.

A flowery cake for my friend Angela. Normally I make my cakes with the funfetti cake mix, but this time I decided to try chocolate. It was extremely difficult to make this into a nice cake. It kept falling apart, it was so crumbly. I went for the quilted pattern look on the bottom tier, but with just a knife and freehanding, it's not an easy job. I wrapped blue ribbon around the bottom of each tier and topped it off with some pretty flowers. Looking back now, I wish I would have just kept it simple with the ribbon and the light blue flowers. Once I started putting all the littler ones on, it was too late. The fondant already had extra little holes in it.

For our friend Ethan. This is a guy with a good sense of humor. He was turning 21, and I figured what better way to celebrate than by letting him "get a piece of that a**" lol. I gave her a thong, some fishnets, and a tattoo of his name. Between the two layers I added a raspberry filling that is sooo yummy! I love raspberry! The thong and skin are made of fondant, while I drew on the rest with black icing. This would have looked a whole lot better if I shaped the bottom tier the same as the top one, but oh well! I also hadn't learned the trick of spraying it with water to get all the extra powdered sugar off the fondant like I did in the next one.

I think the picture says it all, but this is Tylan's 2nd birthday cake. There was a lot of cake to this one since each tier is 2 square cakes stacked on each other, with the raspberry filling in between. I got the candles from Party City, and finally invested in some not-so-much-more-expensive food coloring. I have used those from then on! I was just nervous the colors would still look faded, or pastel. The party theme was Toy Story, so the top tier represented Woody, while the bottom was Buzz. i free handed cutting out my shapes, and the stars proved to be difficult!

Along with the Toy Story cake I made the green alien cupcakes. The eyes I found at Michaels, and the mouths are black icing. The cupcake stand was also from Party City.

Tylan's 3rd birthday cake. CARS. He loves all sorts of cars, especially the Disney movies. The bottom tier is made with funfetti cake, and once again lol, the raspberry filling. I covered it with separate squares of white and black. I didn't make enough white to cover the whole thing, so I had to place it on piece by piece. I was really in a time crunch at this point. The globe was actually made of rice krispy treat. Genius on my part. Cake would have taken forever to shape that way. I covered it with sugar dyed blue while it was still warm and sticky, then green fondant continents on the front. My cousin has a cricut that she used to cut out the "the world of cars" logos. Really made it so much cuter! I bought him a new Lightning Mcqueen car that talks to set on top! He already had 2 non- talking cars because he lost one, then it magically appeared again. Then he really did lose one in between a bench and wall at a restaurant . So this was a replacement. And silly me, last night during bath time, I handed him the wrong McQueen to play with. And oops.... yeah the talking one is now garbage :( In order to stick the candles into the rice krispy treat, I had to poke tooth picks in them.

The cupcakes were PISTON CUPcakes. They were just regular frosted cupcakes topped with red sugar, and toothpick flags I made. It took me quite a few days, but I made the cupcake liners using a template (linked in my 3rd birthday post). After cutting them out, I painted them, used sharpie to write on them, and glued the trophy handles on. I made the handles with a drawn stencil I did from a picture on google of the Piston Cup.

I'm not sure when my next cake will be, but I'm sure to post it!

Minion on the loose.

Tylan was pretty into watching Despicable Me last year. Well, as much as any two year old can be. That's actually one of my favorite kiddie movies for this generation. There are some that I can tolerate every once in a while, and others I could watch anytime. This was one of those for anytime. Anyways... He really like watching the Minions in the movie. So I decided to crochet up a doll.

I had seen lots of pictures floating around of different minion dolls and hats people were making. I decided to try it on my own!  I did a basic single crochet "ball" shape for the body, just extended it into a tube I guess you could say. After finishing the body, I made some arms and hands to sew on, and also added the face. After finishing all of those I made the overalls and legs. Those pieces are sewn together, so when you take take the outfit off he no longer has legs haha.

This is when he opened it. To be quite honest, although he liked it, he's more of a cars and super hero kinda guy. It really hasn't been played with that much, but I still like it.

When Halloween rolled around, I decided to make him into an adorable minion! I took it upon myself, once again, to make it....

Can't you tell he loved it???? I made the hat by doing a basic hat pattern in yellow, with a black stripe towards the bottom. I sewed on the "goggle eyes", and topped it off with some black yarn hair! I looked around at all the stores, but couldn't find a yellow shirt that was long sleeved and matched the yellow of the hat. So I searched Ravelry for a simple crochet sweater. I think I ended up finding a jacket with the front split open and buttons to hold it together. So I altered the pattern to keep it closed, and it worked out pretty well.

What??? You mean I get CANDY?!?!?!

Along with the crocheted hat and sweater, I went out and got some toddler sized black gloves, and a pair of overalls. With his black shoes he already had, my Minion was complete!

He was really nervous about venturing to the doors alone to trick or treat. Eventually he finally tried it out...... And they just happened to be all out of candy lol. He still had a good time "talking" to them though!

Halloween 2011....... SUCCESS!

It's a Tom and Jerry Halloween!!!

What a great Halloween!!!!! Took the kids trick or treating and got so many comments on their costumes. I'm so glad I made these and didn't go with something store bought. Such a better memory to me to have these. Here are the pictures of my cute babies in their costumes!!!

Sweet Addison fell asleep

My beautiful babies and I.
All that's missing is their daddy <3

I have to say... I am INCREDIBLY excited for this Halloween. I wasn't sure what I was going to have Tylan (3 years old) be for Halloween. But I had seen this idea on Pinterest of this Cabbage Patch Doll wig someone had made for their baby. I would post a link, but it goes straight to google anyways.  It would have been perfect for Addison (4 1/2 months). But then I got this brilliant idea! Tom and Jerry is my son's favorite cartoon. With a toddler and a baby, they would make the perfect sizes for the characters (even though Jerry is obviously way smaller than Tom in the cartoon). Last year I made Tylan a homemade Minion costume, which I will post about it later. I made a yellow sweater with a minion head hat. Anyways.... I really wanted to share this one with people because I am really proud of how they came out!

Here they are! How awesome is that! I am also proud to say that I made these up just by looking at pictures of the cartoon characters online. I, however, did not write anything down pattern-wise. But I know that if I really wanted to sit down and take the time to do it I could write one up.

My designs were either just thought up on my own, or remembered from past projects I have made. Although I am very happy with how they came out, I know that there is room for improvement for sure. But since Halloween is in 6 days, not a lot of time left to experiment. So I went with what I could do for now! To size the outfits perfect for them, I used a pair of each of their footie pj's. Worked out pretty well too... When I was finished with a piece I tested it out on them too just to make sure it was sized correctly.

I really only ever have one pair of shoes for my son. Typically they are black, like these ones. Since Tom has white feet, I thought it would look tacky with black. Because I spent so much time on these outfits, I wanted the whole thing to really come together. So I completely made these up by using the shoe to determine what kind of stitches I would place together. These could really look a whole lot better, I just wanted something quick to cover the shoes. I had seriously considered crocheting up some little white balls for toes, but changed my mind. It will be hard enough to get my Tylan to cooperate with the outfit in general. He's not one for dressing up, and funky things on his feet would be sure to bug him.

I used a basic crochet hat pattern for these, and used their actual heads as measurement. I made the Tom one first and was pretty nervous about how well the ears would stand up. When they wear them, they actually stay up really good! I made a Mickey Mouse hat in the past, and could not get the ears to stay up whatsoever. But these are sewn on with an arch, and has 2 layers of yarn. I'm sure both of those made a difference. For  pulling the face patterns out of nowhere, I think they came together quite nicely.

Here are the backsides of the outfits. I have to say, the little tails are probably my favorite part. I left openings on the backs that reach about halfway down. Tomorrow I'll be sewing on the zippers I bought for them. I tried out the buttons first, and it just looked terrible. My mom said it would have been fine, but I wouldn't have been happy with it. So I'll take the extra hour or so to put on some zippers!

For Addison I just crocheted some square mittens. I figured I am not going to want to try and put her little fingers into any small space, it's hard enough just putting clothes on her sometimes.  Tylan's I just made two circular rectangles (Does that make sense? Lol.) to form the wrist and hand, and left a space open to then add on the thumb piece afterwards. I would have done a full glove for him, but really didn't want to take the time to try and think that up. This will work for the hour or so he wears them anyways.

Finally got the zippers on the backs now. I have a sewing machine, but couldn't sew for my life! So I just used a needle and thread and I'm sure it looks better than it would if i had used the machine. *Sigh of relief* Feels so good to be done!

Once Halloween rolls around I will put pictures up of my little cuties wearing the outfits so you can get the full effect. I can't wait!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Tylan's 3rd Birthday Disney's Cars Party

My son turned 3 this last week, and I'm not quite sure how that happened! I was so excited to finally have a party with all of our family that could make it. If only Daddy wasn't in Afghanistan, it would have been perfect. I spent weeks planning and searching Pinterest for the best ideas. I had this huge thing planned with decorations and games. Slowly over time I ditched ideas because I realized I was going to end up exhausted! I was so happy with the ideas I left myself with. Most importantly, all the kids had a blast!

I started out the party theme with these Cars invitations. I got the idea from a picture I saw on Pinterest, then I used Microsoft PowerPoint to make them myself. I printed this set of 3 onto one sheet of photo paper and they were the perfect size. Everything was readable, and I think it just looked awesome! These recieved lots of compliments from our guests!

Since Tylan's actual Birthday was the Wednesday before, I wanted to make it a special day still. I started off the morning by making these cake batter pancakes. Definitely going to make this a new tradition for birthday mornings in this family! Later in the day we continued our birthday day fun with a Mommy-Tylan date! We went to the movies and saw Hotel Transylvania which was so cute! Then headed over to Chuck E Cheese for some gaming fun. Finished the day off with some pepperoni pizza and Cinnabon (Mommy's choice)!!!!

As you can tell by this picture, he LOVED them! I made him a bunch not knowing how much he would eat, and he ate almost the whole stack! I do have to say that from personal experience if you want to make these, I had to make the glaze topping a little differently. The first time I attempted it, instead of being liquid, it turned into a ball of powdered sugar! So I took a second try and first added the liquid ingredients to the bowl. I then added a little powdered sugar at a time until I got the consistency I was looking for. Also I don't think I will add as much vanilla as they say in the recipe. All of that pure vanilla was a little too strong for my taste so I had to add more sugar.

The night before the party, my mom and I spent about an hour blowing up these balloons. PLUS the ones not seen in this picture! That hour consisted of blowing, laying down multiple times to see straight, and of course a small candy break lol. I found this idea for "stoplight" balloons on Pinterest, also. The links only led to a single picture, and not a separate blog or website.

I was SO happy with the end result! We made two of them, one for each end of the party table. I think the original maker used smaller balloons than the 12" which I used. Plus we didn't make them all the same size so there was a little difficulty making it stand. My wonderful dad made a couple stands for them out of some spare wood! Each stoplight had one red, yellow, and green balloon, and 25 black. It's a little exhausting and breath taking, but such a cute and simple decoration!

This was the main party table. I set it up with snacks on the left, then cake and cupcakes, drinks, and last were the goodie bags. I ordered the checkered flag banner from Party City. I chose the themed colors to be black, red, and ivory.

My goodie bag ideas came from multiple pictures I saw around the internet. Simple white lunch sacks hole punched and tied off with black and red ribbons. I added a message and of course a Cars sticker!

Inside I decided to put bubbles (Tylan's favorite!), a glow stick (since Halloween is just around the corner), some coloring pages that I printed off at home, 3-count Cars coloring crayons I found in the Halloween section at Target, galaxy playdough, and some candy! I found this awesome idea to make for the candy to be in, but I failed at trying to make them look good. They are Sally's Cozy Cones made it paper and foil. I didn't want to buy orange and black (black for the very bottom piece) to make each one, it would get too expensive. So instead I bought a whole bunch of white cardstock and paint. After painting and cutting, I tried to use liquid Elmer's glue to put them together and it caused the paper to wave instead of lay flat. They just did not look good at all. I was really disappointed since I was going to do this instead of a pinata!

The drink station included cups, soda, and a punch. I had also gotten one of those huge dispensers of water at the grocery store but forgot to put it out lol. The punch was delicious! I didn't make it myself, my mom did. It was made with a raspberry blueberry juice and lemon-lime soda. I believe it was half and half of each, but I'm not too sure. I printed off the "Rust-eze" and "Allinol" logos from the internet. I have a huge roll of contact paper that I used to stick them to the bottles with. The punch was supposed to be "Dinoco" blue, but I forgot to put the label on. I have a horrible memory since I had my daughter in June!

Since party time was at 2pm, I just got a few simple snacks. Chips, watermelon (cut into car shapes with a car cookie cutter!!!!), and veggies with ranch. Everything was eaten so no leftovers to take home... Yay!

Ahhh..... My favorite part! The black donut looking thing in front is actually a giant rice krispy treat shaped with a bundt cake pan to make into a tire! While it was still warm and sticky, I topped it with sugar dyed with black food coloring. When I attempted to draw on it with white icing, it just rolled off the sugar so I peeled it back off. I had the idea to make it a white wall tire, but it just didn't work out. Still great to eat though! All of the color added to the cake and rice krispy treats really added to the fun of the party! Everyone had a great time taking pictures and checking out each others teeth :D

I had found a way to make edible glitter online. It shows to use salt, I'm assuming for crafts. The pinner I pinned it from said to use sugar. So I baked it as said, and it gooed out and became rock hard. FAIL! So after this I just mixed everything together and skipped the baking part. Turned out just fine! I used this to top the tire and the glove piece of the cake.

For the cupcakes, I transformed them into PISTON CUP-CAKES! I am proud to say, I thought of this liner idea myself! I used a cupcake liner template, painted them gold, and used a sharpie to write on the Piston Cup logo. I used a picture of the Piston Cup to make a stencil for the handles. So easy! Just a little time consuming. I used more of the dyed sugar to top these, and handmade the flags. Cut out printed pictures of checkered flags and glued them to toothpicks. 

The cake turned out great considering I made it in my kitchen with hardly any tools! I haven't bought any special cake tools yet, and I'm not sure why. I make these fondant cakes for just about every birthday! This one, I made two square cakes and stacked them for the bottom. I made a super yummy raspberry cake filling to put in between the cake layers. To stick the fondant on, i spread a little cake frosting all over the stack, just enough to be there. I got the fondant recipe from my sister in law a couple years ago when I first started. To make a single batch you take a microwavable bowl and add 1 cup mini marshmallows, and 1 TBSP water. Cook it for about a minute, or until you can mix it into a smooth mixture with the marshmallows melted. Add food coloring, unless you are making white. Then add 1 cup powdered sugar to mix. It has never been exactly 1 cup for me. In colorado that made it too dry, here in Oregon it was not even close to enough to form it into a ball. The globe of the cake was a giant rice krispy treat formed with a bowl. Topped with blue sugar and a couple continents made with green fondant. My wonderful cousin used her cricut to cut out the Cars logo! I just taped toothpicks to the backs to stick them to the cake.

 This car rug has been in my son's room for a while now, hardly even played with. I took it along to the party with some hotwheels for the kids to play on. They really enjoyed it, definitely glad I chose to bring it along.

Lastly, the only game I chose to do was "Pin the tooth on Mater". The kids were too busy wanting to run around and play with the balloons that only a few played with this. I ordered the Mater wall decal from party city and made the teeth myself with cut out cardstock and contact paper to stick it.

Other activities not pictured were a coloring table with lots of crayons and coloring pages, a mini bowling station (a giant green rubber ball, and water bottles with a little bit of rice on the bottom for weight), and paper plates glued to giant popsicle sticks to play balloon ping pong (a big hit!).

After all my planning and work put into this party, I have to say it was a major success and I am so happy with how it turned out! What a great day to spend with family and friends to finally celebrate a birthday at home! Who knows when we will get another chance!