Monday, June 27, 2016

Summer Happenings!

 Ok...I'll be real honest here.  I have a love/hate relationship with summer.  It's this internal battle I have in my head daily every once in a while ;)  Oh how I love having the kids home from school...most days.  I just love having them around and the house hustling and bustling with craziness.  I don't really know how to do anything but "crazy."  I think I basically live in my kitchen when we are home.  The dishwasher is loaded and emptied at a minimum of 3 times a day.  We keep running out of paper plates which means we keep having to use legit plates and that means we keep running the dishwasher!  Oh...and the beach towels.  That is a full time job in itself!  I am not kidding when I tell you this... I just put in another load of laundry.  I threw some wet yucky pool towels in and then emptied a second basket of laundry in with the wet towels.  Half way into loading that second basket, I realized that was actually a clean load that I did this morning.  And you wanna know what...I just kept loading it in, put soap in and started it.  That was easier for me to do than anything so I just went with it.  I figure they will be extra clean now, right?

Now that summer time is here, ballet season has ended.  That is a happy/sad thing for me.  I absolutely love watching 2 of my girls dance.  Abbie has such a love for ballet and I can't wait to see what the next school year will bring for her.  She is pretty darn flexible and has an amazing arch in her foot....two things perfect for a ballerina!

Then there is my "snugs."  She is pretty amazing too.  She has taken ballet since she was 2 years old.  She loves to dance just like her big sis.  She is actually going to be taking at Abbie's ballet studio in the fall due to an amazing scholarship program and Lanie couldn't be happier!  I think we need to get one of the boys to start taking ballet so they can partner Abbie or Lanie....Dan thinks differently.  

I got to photograph this sweet family.  They just adopted their sweet baby girl who just turned 1!  They have a love for each other and for their baby girl....they make me smile!  

Camp create started today!  I have such a sweet group of girls !  I think I started with one of the hardest crafts of the week.  We hand cut wool felt and then hand stitched them.  They were so patient and sweet and we did  manage to get the star banners done!  I am hoping they all want to come back tomorrow!  

One of the crafts we are dong this week at camp create is making our own sidewalk chalk popsicles.  I, of course, had to do a test run and let me tell you....AUHMAZING!   

 It was easy for the kids to work with and the colors were so vibrant.

Even my 8th kid Dan couldn't wait to test it out.  We made a little too much of the "batter" so we ended up making little cupcake chalks too.  Both worked great!  I can't wait to make these with the campers this week!

"G" is playing baseball for the first time this year.  He is our little sport lover.  He can pick up any sport and find out how to be awesome at it.  The games are fun, the families are fun and watching him is just as fun.  I have a feeling this is just the start of his "sports career." 

I made these vases this week for my sweet friend.  I thought they would match her house perfectly and also give her a pop of the 4th of July!  I am making these with my campers this week too....I'll let you know how they turn out.  

I had my Father's Day segment last week on Real Milwaukee.  If you missed it, you can watch it HERE
I know Father's Day is over, but some of the ideas are cute for any crafter!  Let me tell you, that picnic blanket is still my favorite craft of all time.  We have been using it like crazy!  

Ok and real quick, I have a funny story.  So, the other day I was going for a walk around a local lake here with a friend of mine.  She ran into someone she knew and they started chatting.  The woman looked at me and said, "hmmm, you look so familiar to me."  Now if you know me, you know I can be super sarcastic and I try to be funny.  So naturally I said, "Oh, you must know me because I am on TV."  People, I was TOTALLY joking!  I am almost positive no one would ever recognize me from my 5 minute TV segment....actually I am 100% that will never happen.  The woman looks at me and says, "No, I don't watch TV."  Boom.  She didn't get my sarcasm and I felt like an idiot.  Note to self....don't say that anymore!  

Happy summer from the person you wouldn't recognize from being on TV ;) 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Summer Camp Create Session #1

I am super excited to offer the first session of Camp Create at the farmstead! 

Each child will come for a 3 hour session Monday thru Friday and craft the day away!

The crafts I have picked so far for week 1 are: Star felt banner, Washi Tape clock, t-shirt bag, twig frame, fabric vases, paint chip garland, hand sewn scented heat packs (made with the sewing machine!) mini cheeseburger cookies, picture coasters, clipboard and popsicle sidewalk chalk.  Crafts may vary a little bit deepening on class size....and more crafts may be made as well!  

The session will also include a small photo shoot of each child on the first day of camp.  All pictures of your child will be edited and given to you for your personal use!  (We will be using the pictures I take to make picture coasters!)

I am going to be offering a cooking camp for older kids as well as another craft session!  Those dates will be out soon! 

Please email me at to register your child!  Please list the week and time you would like your child registered in!  

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Father's Day Craft Ideas....Fox 6 Real Milwaukee Segment!

Let's face it....we ladies can "rock" a good Father's Day craft idea for the father of our children!  For this segment I enlisted the help of our children (once again) to help create some special gifts for their Daddy!  These are all pretty easy and pull your crafting pants on and come craft with me! 

Felt Hand-Print Garland

I don't know about your husband, but my hubby works hard.  He doesn't complain (much) and after a long day at work  and he comes home and works some more and helps with all of the household duties.  I wanted to create something for Dan this Father's Day to put above his computer at home to remind him how much we appreciate all the work he does for us and our family.  I wanted to incorporate each child's handprint and decided to put it in a garland form.  (I do love me a good hanging garland so this was a "win" for me too!) 


  1. Paper and Pencil
  2. Child for their handprint
  3. Felt (I use wool felt by Benzie Design)
  4. Sharp scissors to cut felt
  5. Stick pins
  6. Needle and crochet thread
  7. Baker's twine
  8. Wool pom poms (Optional-I used the ones from Benzie Design)

 I started by tracing each of our children's hand on a piece of plain paper with a pencil.  Next, I cut out their handprint and pinned it down on top of the felt.  I wanted my hands to be thicker so I actually folded the felt in half and cut out two layers of each hand.  I used stick pins to hold the hand in place so it wouldn't shift around when I cut it out.
 I carefully cut out each handprint using a sharp pair of scissors.  I used 7 different colored pieces of felt (one color for each of our children).  To finish off the hand, I took a needle and a piece of white crochet thread and did a simple stitch around each hand to hold the two pieces of felt together.  Nothing fancy...just up and down one stitch at a time.  I tied a knot at the end on the back of each hand.
 To create the garland, I took the needle and thread and weaved the thread in and out the back piece of each hand.  I also added some wool balls from Benzie Design to add a little more color to the garland.  (No, they aren't paying me... I have fallen in love with their wool felt and pom poms and I just can't hide it!)  That my friends is our handprint garland.  This took quite a bit of time for me to make as I was hand stitching 7 hands, but I think it was so worth every minute.  They will never be this small again and their hands will only grow.  Thank you, Daddy, for working so hard with your hands so our hands can play!


DIY Back of the Car Blanket

Alright, I'll be honest here....this is probably one of my most favorite crafts EVER!   I saw a similar idea to this in a magazine and put my own spin on it.  Having a large family, we NEVER have a blanket big enough for us when we go to the beach or on a picnic.  Well, my friends, we do now!  My 13 year old daughter made this blanket all on her own....maybe that's why I loved this craft so much!  


  1. Drop cloth (I bought a 9X12 foot one at Menards for $13 on sale) *You can use a much smaller size drop cloth if you don't need to fit 9 people on your blanket*
  2. Pencil
  3. Fabric Paint (we used Tulip fabric paint from Michael's and JoAnn's)
  4. Paint brushes

 Like I said, my 13 year old made this all on her own.  I wasn't home much when she was working on it so I didn't get to take a lot of pictures.  The blanket idea we stole   used the idea from had a giant watermelon painted on it.  I wanted to make a blanket that we could give to Dan for Father's Day and knew a giant watermelon probably would make him a bit confused.  If you know my husband, you know he loves his chickens.  So....a giant chicken blanket it was!!!  Now, Molly happens to be a very talented artist.  She can free hand anything.  She went to Pinterest and searched for a picture of a chicken and printed it out.  She used that as her visual guide and penciled in the outline of the chicken on the drop cloth.  After she had her outline she started to paint in the chicken.
That is it....our giant chicken blanket on a painter's drop cloth!  The sun was hitting the white chicken just right so it is kind of hard to see in the pictures.  I think I might have her outline the chicken's body yet.  I can NOT wait to take this blanket to a park on Father's Day and have a picnic on it to surprise Dan.  We will fold it up and keep it in the back of our van for our summer trips to the beaches, baseball games and parks!!

Don't panic because you can't paint a chicken.  Think of how cute this would be with handprints on it....or polka dots....or scribbles that little ones make.  The possibilities are endless!!!  This would make a great gift for any daddy for sure!  (Ha..notice the free ranging chicken in the background...made me smile!) 

 ***DISCLAIMER**** the drop cloth is canvas....which means paint WILL leak through the material and get onto your wood floors.  You have been warned!


Daddy's Toolbox

Our Daddy works out of his truck most days.  Driving here and there and all over the place.  We thought it would be fun to make him his own "toolbox" of treats to keep in his car.  We loaded our basket up with some of Dan's favorite treats to help him get through his long days! 


  1. Basket of some sort (I found this green basket at Goodwill for $1)
  2. Treats that Daddy would like!~
I took the kids shopping and let them pick out some of Dan's favorite treats, snacks and soda.  A pretty ribbon later and a small chalkboard tag from the dollar section at Target and we had ourselves a toolbox for Dan.  You could use a bowl or any box you have at home to create your own toolbox for your husband!  

Good 'Ole Hand-Made Picture Craft

I won't lie...sometimes my kids just like to sit and color.  Nothing fancy.  No ribbons or sparkles.  Just a piece of paper and a new box of crayons or colored pencils.  I thought I would give each of the kids some creative freedom and hand them a blank piece of cardstock and let them get creative.  I simply asked them to make something for Daddy. 


  1. Paper or Card Stock
  2. Crayons, Markers, Colored Pencils....basically anything to color with
  3. Imagination and creativity 
  4. Frame (Optional) 

I let the kids on their own.  Some drew pictures and some used words to describe their Daddy.  It was so sweet to watch the older ones help the younger ones spell words they wanted to use on their pictures.  I took each of their pictures and put it in a frame.  Each child will be able to give Dan their own gift on Father's Day.  Something they each made all on their own.  Now I know this is super simple and super basic...but sometimes those gifts are simply the best.  A piece of paper and even a pencil combined with some sweet pictures and kind words can mean more to someone than a million dollars.  I don't know about you, but I would rather have a handwritten card with the words "I love you, Mommy" on it than some strangers artwork!  So simple but so meaningful!  I encourage you this Father's Day to let your children get creative and make their Daddy a persoanlized picture!  



Our kids love love love to play board games.  One of their favorite games to play is Jenga so when I saw this idea I was super excited!  We used miniature Jenga games to create Daddy Jenga for the kids to play with Dan.  I am kinda jealous...I want a Mommy Jenga!  


  1. Miniature Jenga Game (we got ours at the Dollar store....for a dollar!)
  2. Red Sharpie
  3. Thin lined black sharpie

I almost hate to call this a craft because it really didn't require much crafting at all.  Some of my older girls colored red hearts on one side of each of the Jenga pieces.  Then we sat down together and came up with things we love about Dan to write on his Jenga game.  I let the older kids write their own things on each game piece and I wrote what the younger kids said on the pieces for them.  One of my favorites is "I love the way you love me."  

The kids can set this game up for Dan and play this game with him.  Each time the pull a piece out of the game they can read to him what they love about him.  What a great way to remind their Daddy of all the things they love about him!  


I love you canvas

I saw a similar idea to this somewhere in Pinterest land and just had to try it for Father's Day.  The picture quality is horrible and does not do justice to the cuteness of this canvas!  This would make me smile any day if I had this hanging in my office or by my desk.  I hope it brings a smile to Dan's face wherever he chooses to hang it! The hand written "I love you" by our 5 year old totally makes this canvas complete for me! 

Supplies Needed:

  1. Canvas (we got ours at Michael's)
  2. Acrylic Paint
  3. Paint brush and/or sponges
  4. Scrapbook paper for hearts
  5. Scissors
  6. Glue
  7. Picture 
  8. White paint pen or paint and small brush
  9. Picture of child/children

I am actually making these canvases with my summer camp class this week and they are loving it!  We started with a blank 8x10 canvas.  We made 3 different shades of blue and used sponges to dab our paint on.  

 We started with one color of the blue and filled in our canvas with that color.
 Next, we added our second color to fill in some more of the white space.
 Finally, we filled in the rest with the 3rd blue color.
 I took a picture of each child from the side.  I told them to pretend they were blowing bubbles out of their hands.
 After a quick run to Walgreens we had printed pictures!  I carefully cut out all the excess background and used just the body of each child.
 I had my students cut out their own hearts by hand today at class, but then I came home and found my heart punch!  I used some printed scrapbook paper to add a little pop of color to the canvas.

To finish it off, we glued down the picture and the hearts on the canvas.  I did the hot glueing as I was working with younger children!!  
I thought the bottom still looked a little plain to me so I had Lanie use a white paint pen to write "I Love you" to complete the canvas.  It was so cute because an older child of mine said to me..." Did you try to use bad handwriting, Mom?"  I thought that was cute.  Not bad hand writing, but cute 5 year old hand writing!  


There you have it. 6 relativity easy and cheap crafts for your kids to make for Father's Day.  You still have time so go get your supplies and get crafting!

****I will be hosting some crafting and baking craft summer camps this summer.  I am hoping to have the sessions posted by the end of this week! **** Won't you come craft with me?!?!?