Sunday, April 29, 2012

Lisa: Magnetic Recipe Board for Mother's Day

Well done on last week's posts, my dear sisters!  I love everything!  We are having Shauna's Blackened Chicken Salad with Sara's Tomatillo Salsa on Tuesday, we'll be making Allison's Pinatas on Friday and when did you say your baby's due, Katrina?!  Maybe I'll start giving out something besides my wonky crocheted blankets!  That is, if your baby doesn't mind two quilts that look awfully similar!
Now onto a new week.  This week we've decided to dedicate our posts to all things Mom in preparation for Mother's Day!  I once heard that there is no one on the earth who has your best interests at heart more than your mom!  Isn't it the truth!  Mom is always the one I want to call to celebrate my victories and to cry to about my defeats.  She's always ready to make time for me, give advice and to sometimes just listen!  I sure do love my mom!  One of the things my mom and I have in common is a love for a good recipe!  She and I love to read cookbooks and find the most tasty recipes around.  So for Mother's Day this year, I am making her a magnetic recipe holder!    
This craft is super easy to make. The hardest part was choosing the paper! The ingredients for this treat are:
Mod Podge, sponge brush, two pieces of scrapbook paper (if you'd like to do a layered look like the one above) and a very ugly metal sign that was on sale!

Trace the sign's shape onto the back of both papers.  Cut them out .  Then take the paper that will be the top layer and trim the sides to give you the spacing on the edge that you'd like.

Next, paint the Mod Podge directly onto the metal sign, making sure to get all the way to the edges and having enough so that the paper will stick but not so much that there are bubbles under the paper.
Smooth the paper onto the metal making sure not to leave the room to help your children with the computer otherwise you might develop a very large bubble that you can't correct and that makes you have to pull off the paper and start all over.  With green paper. 
Once the paper is smoothed out, put a layer of Mod Podge on top, even if you are only using one piece of paper.  Watch for bubbles!
Center the final paper to give you the edge you'd like.  Smooth the paper on and try to press away the bubbles.
Paint on the Mod Podge one last time.  Again, look for bubbles and wrinkles.  And remember that getting a very smooth surface when using Mod Podge isn't always possible.  In my project, I did have a small-ish bubble in the middle that I just couldn't get out.  But once the Mod Podge dried, the bubble was almost unnoticeable! 

And lastly, the finishing touches.  They are very easy.  I took some vinyl letter stickers from Hobby Lobby and spelled out "Recipes" on the base layer paper. I glued that onto a magnet in case my mom would rather use the board for pictures or memos instead of recipes!  The frame holder is also from Hobby Lobby and I am using just plain black magnets (not pictured) to go along with the board.  Easy.

Here is another menu board that I made for myself a little while ago.  I don't know if I really like "The Menu" title at the top anymore but it does the job!!

Good luck, Sisters!!  Can't wait to see what you have planned!  Love you guys!


Friday, April 27, 2012

Shauna: "Fiesta time"

Well hello there. I'm Shauna, the youngest of the sisters. My little family and I (which include my babe of a husband, two adorable boys and an affectionate feline) reside in beautiful Colorado. I'm thrilled to start this blog with my lovely and talented sisters; they've always been an important example in my life, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to create and craft with them. With that said, let the blogging begin!

I love a good party, and I LOVE good Mexican food. Cinco De Mayo is the perfect excuse to combine both.

Sergio Mendes & Brazil '66 are ideal music for any party...even if though they're Brazilian, not Mexican. Check them out on Spotify. We raided the local Goodwill and found a terracotta taco stand, made a mini fiesta garland, turned a dollar store El Pato salsa can into a vase/utilities holder and called it done. The sombrero added a nice touch as well (also from the Dollar Tree)! But lets get to the food. 

On the menu:

Chips with Salsa and Guacamole
Chicken Taquitos
Blacken Chicken Salad

Blacken Chicken Salad is a tasty salad my husband Dave thought up a couple of years ago. We love this salad and eat it often.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Katrina: "My Intro"

Hello everyone,

Please let me introduce myself as the least creative poster on this blog :).  In all seriousness, I am one of the sisters in law to these wonderful sisters.  That also means I did not inherit their amazing abilities to craft the night away!

That being said, I don't want to be boring, and I believe that if I work on my skills (though small they may be) I can improve them!  Yes, I really do believe that!  And I WANT to do that.  So, when these sisters came up with the idea for the blog, and I was in the same room when it was being discussed, and they asked me if I wanted to participate, I said "yes."  And since then, I have been trying to figure out what to contribute to this blog.  And besides coming up with something for our fabulous weekly themes, I have decided to use the blog to first of all get amazing ideas from the sisters, and second of all, let it be my motivation to work on projects I have been wanted to do (which I will be sharing with you) , and try some new things!

Let me tell you a little bit about myself:  I also come from a large family, as I am the second oldest of 6 children (5 girls, 1 boy).  I am married to these blog sisters' brother who is the sixth child/second son in the family.  He is the most perfect husband for me and the most perfect father for our children.  We have two so far.  H is 3 years old and C is 1.  We are expecting number 3 in September of this year!

Ok, the big project that I want to start on ASAP is a rag quilt.  I made two of these adorable quilts while in high school.  One was a blue quilt and the other pink.  It worked out that later on, we had a son, then a daughter, because they became the owners of these quilts.  Now with a third on the way, I want to continue that tradition of making each of my kids rag quilts.  So as soon as we find out the gender of the baby we will have, I will start the process of making the quilt!  I am excited and scared to attempt this again, because I had a great quilt mentor in high school, but I know I can do it!

Here are the rag quilts I have made already:

I plan on following the same pattern for the third.

Now for our weekly theme: CINCO DE MAYO
Please refer to the other posts :)  Just kidding.  But, all I can really tell you is that I have not had the opportunity of celebrating much of this holiday except for in my high school Spanish language class, and I cannot even remember exactly what we did to celebrate...  So I thought about what I would want to do for Cinco de Mayo and my thoughts kept turning to doing something my own children would find entertaining.  And here's what I found:
-This link shows a simple craft that I know both my children would enjoy decorating and it would make a great homemade decoration for the holiday.
-Here is a simple game that my son would enjoy as he is learning his numbers!

I know, it's kind of lame that I didn't come up with these ideas, but I know how to find them when I need them, right?

Anyway, this post got a lot longer than I planned it to be...  I am so excited to be a part of this blog and to learn from the talented sisters and improve my skills.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sara: "Salsa de Mayo!"

Hello Hello Hello!

My name is Sara Jane and I am the fifth child/fourth daughter in the fam.  I, too, am very excited to get this blog going.  I have some amazing sisters and am excited to glean some new ideas from them.

A little about me…

I have been married for nearly 8 years.  My husband is the best and most gorgeous husband EVER (just had to get that out there).  I have three beautiful babies…P is my oldest daughter.  She is 4 (going on 18) and amazes me every day with things that she says and does.   I adore her.  A is my son.  He is 2 and just seems to have found his voice in our family.  Everything he says starts with, “Um, actually….”.  He keeps us on our toes.  B is my baby.  She is 13 months and the sweetest of all of them.  She definitely has all of us wrapped around her chubby little fingers.  We live in a small town in the beautiful state of Oregon and couldn't be more happy.

While I am definitely not the craftiest of my sisters (I do try…they just don’t turn out as they should all the time), I LOVE cooking/baking.  Because of my love of all things food, many of my posts will be about baking something sweet or trying out a new recipe.  I am all about cooking with whole foods and making food fun and tasty so that even my little ones will enjoy it. 

On that note, since our theme this week is Cinco de Mayo, I thought….SALSA!  I can’t seem to eat enough salsa.  The fresh flavors that fill your mouth when you take that first bite (okay, I’m starting to drool) are incomparable.  I thought I would share with you two of my favorite salsas.  They are easy and are always a hit.

Basic Pico de Galo

What you will need:

*3 tomatoes, diced
*1/2  onion, diced
*1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
*1 lime, juiced

1.  Dice your tomatoes to small chunks.  The easiest way to do this is to make sure you have a SHARP knife.  For instructions on how to sharpen your knife, watch this.  Your knife should be sharp enough that it slices the skin of a tomato with little pressure.  I use a Chef’s knife to cut tomatoes. 

2.  Dice your onions and add them to the tomatoes.  You may want to add more or less depending on your love of onions.

3.  Coursely chop the cilantro and add it to the onion/tomato mixture.

4.  Add the freshly squeezed lime juice and salt to taste.

*The fabulous thing about pico de galo is that you can never mess it up.  If you add too much of one thing, simply add more of everything else to balance it out.  If you enjoy the heat of jalapeño’s,  finely chop up a bit of that and add it as well.  Remember to add it little by little. 

Tomatillo Salsa

This salsa has taken me 7 years to perfect.  The first time I had it was at a delicious (but now closed) restaurant in Provo, UT named Las Tarascas.  Before we moved, I begged the owner to give me the recipe.  He would only give me the ingredients and said the rest was up to me.  Over the years, I have added a few ingredients that weren't in the original recipe but I think this salsa is the best ever.  

What you will need:

*3 tomatillos, quartered (peal off the paper-like outside and rinse in cold water)
*1 avocado
*1/4 serrano pepper (if you like a little heat add more...if you don't like this, omit)
*1 Tablespoon garlic
*1 bunch cilantro, rinsed
*1 1/2 cup milk (maybe more depending on how thick/thin you like it)
*1/4 cup mayonnaise (I know...but just try it!)
*1/2 to 1 lime, juiced


Combined all the ingredients in a blender until well blended ( is that easy).  Salt to taste.  Keep refrigerated until ready to eat.

*This recipe is ridiculously easy and ALWAYS good.  We eat it on all sorts of stuff.  It is similar to the salad dressing at Café Rio but not as tangy.

(My kids can't eat enough of the tomatillo salsa.  Yummmmm!)

There you have it.  I hope you all have a fabulous Cinco de Mayo.


Allison: "Paper Bag Piñata"

Hello, hello!  My name is Allison, and I'm the middle child in our crazy, fun family.  Don't believe everything you hear about the middle child... only some of it is true.  :)  First off, I am SO EXCITED that we're doing this blog! I think it'll be tons of fun to see what my creative sisters are up to, and love the opportunity to share my projects, ideas and favorite blogs.

A "quick" introduction of myself:  I live in Arizona with my amazing husband and beautiful little eighteen-month-old, "I".  We're expecting a second little girl at the end of August, and this blog should be the distraction that I need to get through an Arizona Summer while pregnant.  Gross!  If you'd told me 2 years ago that I'd be participating in a crafting blog, I would have politely told you that you were insane!  It wasn't until my first pregnancy that I got the courage to open my brand new sewing machine, which had been sitting in its box for a year, and finally learn to sew.  Thanks, You Tube!  I started quilting which promptly opened the crafting floodgates.  I LOVE creating new things and can't wait to share them on this blog and to steal my sisters' ideas in the process.  Oh!  I should probably mention one more thing.  I can pretty much guarantee that I'll have the longest blog posts of my sisters.  I like to talk.  I find that typing out my thoughts only makes the problem worse.  So, I apologize now for my long winded-ness.

Now I have a story to tell you.  I'll try to give you the short version, but if you read my introduction above, I'm not so good at that.  :)  Here we go:

"Once upon a time, not too many years ago, there was a sweet, humble, BEAUTIFUL (and I mean beautiful!) fifth-grade teacher.  She loved teaching and loved spending her days with her students.  But every week, on Friday at precisely 2 pm, her stress levels would go through the roof and she would feel a dread swell up within her.  It was Art time for an entire hour!  Feeling a lack of creativity and/or originality, she usually headed to the Internet in search of something to fill this time.  With Pinterest non-existent in those days, ideas were harder to come by, but somehow she always found a last minute idea to fill the time."

Okay... that was overly dramatic.  I'll admit.  Today's tutorial is a project that my fifth-graders enjoyed to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.  These little piñatas are relatively easy to make, and distracted thirty ten-year-olds for a whole hour.  Enough said!  Here are the supplies you'll need:

* paper lunch bags

* crepe paper streamers (or tissue paper)- your choice of colors

* scissors

* glue stick

* candy/goodies of your choice

* hole punch (optional)

Step #1- I'm a lazy crafter, so I usually try to find the fastest, quickest way to do something.  Start by pre-cutting 5 or 6 six-inch strips of paper of each color (depending on how many colors you're using).  Then cut approximately one inch into the side of the paper, about every half inch.  Stacking the paper and cutting each set of colors at the same time will save a lot of time here.

Then start at the bottom of the bag, apply glue to the bag, and place the first piece of cut paper so that about 1/2 an inch hangs off the bottom of the bag.  Apply another strip of glue, and place the next piece of paper so that the cut part overlaps where the previous paper was glues.  I shifted my paper over, so that the cut lines were more alternating.

At this point, you just keep going, in your decided pattern of colors.  Stop about 1 1/2 inches from the top, giving yourself room to fold the bag over after filling it with goodies.

Step #2- Next, turn the bag over and trim off any excess paper that may be hanging off the side.  Careful not to cut too closely to the bag itself.  I may or may not have accidentally done this.  :)

Step #3- Now, turn the bag over again and start from the beginning!  Folding down the bottom flap so that the bag lays flats will make this process MUCH easier.  Once you're done gluing, fold the top flap or opening down at the last piece of paper glued to the top.  This will give a more polished look to the opposite side.

Once flap is folded, glue one more strip of paper to the folded flap.  This will more or less conceal
the flap.

This next part really depends on how much more work you'd like to do.  I did the work to show how it can be done.  You can leave the sides with no paper, with the brown bag showing through, or you can glue more crepe paper down.  To do this, lay the bag down flat.  Then fold the side so that it lays open.  Apply glue to half the side, and then take one long piece of paper the length of the bag, pressing it to the fold in the middle.  Repeat on other side.
(Someone isn't an experienced tutorial writer and may have forgotten to take a picture during the process.  Pretend it has the sides completed.)

This last step is optional, but I think it really makes the piñata.  Cut 8 or 9 long pieces of crepe paper, of varying sizes and colors.  Glue or tape (the lazy way) them to the bottom of the bag.  Next cut each piece up the middle so it looks like you did more work than you did.  Then stuff your piñata, staple or tape it shut, punch a hole or two in the top to hang it, and you're done!!  Now get out of the way, as your children take wild swings at a hanging object.


*I found that crepe paper was easier and faster than tissue paper.  It's already the right width, so less cutting is required.

*Lay the bag flat as you glue the crepe paper on.  Much easier than having it already open, as other tutorials suggested.

*Fluff the paper up a little when you're done.  It looks better and will give more dimension.

*Make multiple piñatas and fill with newspaper to use for parties or family gatherings.  They make a colorful, fun and inexpensive decoration!

*Don't stress out during this process.  Remember... this is supposed to be fun for you and your kids!

I hope you all enjoyed my very first tutorial attempt.  I'll get better... promise.  :)  We'd love to hear your comments, suggestions or experiences as you follow our projects and ideas with us.  Until next Tuesday...  Hasta Luego y que disfruta el cinco de mayo!!


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Lisa: "The Beginning"

The Five Crafty Sisters!!

To begin with, we are four sisters and one sister-in-law (and yes, we are all in one family).
We love each other but live far apart. 
We miss each other terribly and, unfortunately, don't get to be all together very often. 
 I would often see pictures of the crafts they had created or hear about the new project they were doing and wish that I could do it with them. 
 Recently, a very lovely idea was formed by the very lovely, Allison
 She thought we should attempt to all get together and have a girls' weekend. 
Everyone loved it! 
We all agreed to meet in a month's time at her house. 
We all finally arrived and soon, an idea that had been circulating amongst us came up again: what if we started a blog that we all posted on weekly to show each other (and anyone else who'd like to see!) what we are crafting or baking or sewing or anything!!  
The idea began to take shape! 
The amazingly talented, Shauna, took up the technical side of things. 
Besides designing and setting up the blog, she has a million ideas on how to make it better. 
And we haven't even started yet! 

We have a lot of projects that we'd like to share. 
Our in-house beauty, Sara, even emailed all the sisters that she was already doing a project that I know for a fact she isn't posting for a little while still! 

Our sweet little sister-in-law, Katrina, is even considering getting a facebook account, just to move this blog along!  
That is true dedication! 

A little about myself, before I move on. 
I, Lisa, am the oldest of the sisters. 
 I have an amazing husband and four incredible children. 
My family and I have moved all over this great country of ours but finally seemed to have planted our roots!  I love to cook, scrapbook, crochet, sew (although I'm not very good!), read, repurpose old things and, in general, CRAFT!! 

So, back to the blog! 
We've decided that each of us will take a day to post our project or ideas for the week. 
We will do our posts based on a weekly theme. 
For this week, we are crafting and posting with the theme of
"Cinco de Mayo"
 in mind. 
All of the sisters will post pictures and descriptions of the project or ideas they have for that theme.
I can't wait to see all your amazing posts, my amazing sisters!
Let's get crafting!! 


P.S. We have one more sister and one more sister-in-law that have just too much going on in their lives right now to join us but we hope, if things slow down for them, they'll join the group! Love you all!