Wednesday, May 30, 2012

101 Green Home Decor Tutorials-I LOVE PINTEREST


101 Green Handmade Gift Tutorials

by KIM
These crafty green gift tutorials are going to make you recycle, reuse, upcycle or repurpose like never before…you’ll see.  Whatever you want to call it, going green is the way to go!
There’s a little something for everyone and I know you are going to find the perfect gift for your neighbor, brother, mother, sister…you get my drift…there are 101 tutorials here, people!!!!  They’re not just ideas and pretty photos, but these links will lead you on the path to creating fabulous green gifts that are simple and require minimal supplies.
You might need to grab a few extra recycling bins, but it’s worth it!  If you’re looking for Green Home Decor Tutorials, don’t miss the end of the post!
  1. Lemon Sugar Hand Scrub – Under the Table and Dreaming
  2. Paint Sample Coasters – The Crafty CPA
  3. Sweater Pillows – Centsational Girl
  4. Grocery Bag Wallet – EcoKaren
  5. Yarn Scrap Bowl – About Crochet
  6. Bottle Cap Serving Tray – Sweet Something Beautiful
  7. Wool Felt Magnets – Everything Etsy
  8. Dictionary Art – Brooklyn Limestone
  9. Shrinky Dink Jewelry – Just Something I Made
  10. Candy Wrapper Patchwork Belt – Lil Blue Boo
  11. Repurposed Book Sewing Kit – STC Craft
  12. Recycled Magazine Jewelry – CraftStylish
  13. Newspaper Basket – How About Orange
  14. Felted Soap – Rhythm of the Home
  15. T-Shirt Pillow – Ruffles and Stuff
  16. Beeswax Candles – Kanelstrand
  17. Recycled Bottle Birdfeeder – Centsational Girl
  18. Handmade Books – Pioneer Woman
  19. Coiled Magazine Coasters – Saved By Love Creations
  20. Menswear Stuffed Bunny – Martha Stewart
  21. Picture Frame Serving Tray – Better Homes and Gardens
  22. Wine Cork Basket – Chica and Jo
  23. Sweet Heart Sugar Cubes – Craft Passion
  24. Beeswax Candles {hand dipped} – FIMBY
  25. Shell Frame – Everything Etsy
  26. Book Safe – All Free Crafts
  27. Soda Can Bracelet – The Greenest Dollar
  28. Chalkboard Planter Pots – Design Sponge
  29. Recycled Notebooks – Martha Stewart
  30. Acorn Bird Feeder – Design Sponge
  31. Green Terrarium – Inhabitat
  32. Wool Dryer Balls – Good Mama
  33. Coiled Paper Basket – Esprit Cabane
  34. T-Shirt Bag – Martha Stewart
  35. Custom Notepads – Chica and Jo
  36. Herb Soap – Henry Happened
  37. Menswear Mouse Toy – Martha Stewart
  38. Handmade Paper – Craft Daisies
  39. Handmade Goat Soap – Lather and Lotions
  40. T-Shirt Yarn – EcoKaren
  41. Wine Bottle Candle Holders – Wedding Bee
  42. Herbal Fire Starters – WholeLiving
  43. Junk Mail Paper Beads – The {NewNew}
  44. Book Bead Necklace – The Smallest Forest
  45. Phone Book Pen Organizer – Chica and Jo
  46. Monogram Button Pillow – Come On, Ileene
  47. Recycled Magazine Coasters – Re-Nest
  48. License Plate Memo Board – Planet Green
  49. Bottle Cap Magnets – Everyday Lovely
  50. Tea Soap Tutorial – Cucumbersome
  51. T-Shirt Flower – Emily’s Little World
  52. Oxford Napkins – WholeLiving
  53. Mini Light Fixture Terrarium – Design Dreams Japan
  54. Braided T-Shirt Bag – Chichidee Handmade
  55. Paint Chip Necklace – Infarrantly Creative
  56. Conversation Marshmallows – Come On, Ileene
  57. Sheet Music Tray – Centsational Girl
  58. Recycled Lunch Bag – Made By Lex
  59. Candy Wrapper Pouch – Punkin Patterns
  60. Jersey Knit Bracelet – V and Co.
  61. Embroidered Portraits – Country Living
  62. Woven Rag Rug – Craft Passion
  63. Lace Containers – Urban Comfort
  64. Lip Balm – Beautylish
  65. Wool Felt Bookmarks – Everything Etsy
  66. T-Shirt Memory Quilt – EcoKaren
  67. Recycled Dog Collar – Keyka Lou Patterns
  68. Friendship Puzzle Necklace – Planet Green
  69. Cork Trivets – WholeLiving
  70. Water Bottle Cookie Packaging – Paper, Plate and Plane
  71. Vintage Fork Napkin Rings – Brooklyn Limestone
  72. Homemade Dog Treats – Come On, Ileene
  73. Felt Ball Cat Toy – Martha Stewart
  74. Recycled Grocery Tote – Dana Made It
  75. T-Shirt Clutch – Made By Lex
  76. Light Bulb Vases – Pizzazzerie
  77. Modern Birdfeeder – Life on the Balcony
  78. Vinyl Record Bowl – CasaSugar
  79. Recycled T-Shirt Dishcloths – Dollar Store Crafts
  80. Vintage Sheet Cocktail Napkins – Design Sponge
  81. Tree Coasters – Country Living
  82. Recycled Gift Card Bracelet – CindyYShaw
  83. Mason Jar Sewing Kit – Say Yes to Hoboken
  84. Typography Clay Pots – Everything Etsy {Burlap & Blue}
  85. Recycled Wool Sweater Blanket – Homade Holiday
  86. Recycled Soap Box Mini Book – Creativity Prompt
  87. T-Shirt Ruffle Hat – Tao of Craft
  88. Recycled Book Handbag – Curbly
  89. Sweater Leaf Scarf – Grosgrain
  90. Recycled Paper Magnets – Sei Lifestyle
  91. Paper Apple Sculpture – Cheeky Magpie
  92. Recycled Slippers – Sew Green
  93. Modern Candle Holders – Mark Montano
  94. Recycled Wool Mittens – Lucky Star Lane
  95. Rosette Headband – Lolly Jane Boutique
  96. Wool Laptop or Diaper Bag – Not Dabbling In Normal
  97. Recycled T-Shirt Scarf- Joy Beadworks
  98. Glass Jar Photo Frames – Rikki Hibbert
  99. Fabric Scrap Necklace – Smaller
  100. Tea Cup Bird Feeders – Something Wonderful
  101. Brick Succulent Planters – Ready Made
Why spend a ton on gifts when you can go green???
If you love creative links, please subscribe to Everything Etsy!  New subscribers make my day!
Thanks so much for all your tweets, stumbles, Facebook likes and pins on my 101 Simple Handmade Gift Tutorials and Free Printablesposts…you are the coolest crafty friends!
Here’s a little something extra for your home…
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Sunday, May 27, 2012

SoftBums Flats Challenge!!

Who out there uses flats inside your SoftBums?  

Monday the 21st the 2nd annual flats challenge started, have you given flats a chance?

SoftBums are an ideal cover to use with your flats.  The Echo cover will hold the flats perfectly in place thanks to the super soft microfleece, and the super trim fit of the cover and the flat will fit wonderfully under any clothing.  And they are SUPER TRIM!!!  Love that part :)

The Omni with the optional pocket is amazing for stuffing your flats!  You can stuff several flats in the generous pocket for Night time too! 

(This is a Flat from IKEA that was in a 2 pack for $4.  I really LOVE the soft green print on this one!  The other one is just plain white, but they are both Super soft, Trim, Cheap, and absorbent as all get out.  It was really easy to fold this into the "Pad Fold" or rectangle to fit it into my SoftBums ECHO shell, took me all of about 10 seconds, lol)

Just like every other form of insert, flats have their pros and cons and they have some awesome pros!  Just to name a couple; 

1.  They are cheap! (If you are just starting out with cloth diapers you'd only need 3-5 SoftBums shells + 12-24 Flats for enough diapers for a day's worth! That's $80 to get started with some really good diapers!)

2.  Easy to Fold into a rectangle (called Pad Fold on some sites)to fit into a SoftBums shell.  

3.  SUPER TRIM (love this pro best personally) 

4.  Wash easy, and dry fast! (for newbies to cloth diapers, this is one diapering combo that you seriously CAN'T screw up!)

You can find flats to buy at lots of places, we saw some at kelly's closet

But, you can always improvise and use other things as a flat diaper. Try getting Flour sacks from a local store like Walmart or Target, they are super soft, and just the right size.  Or tea towels work well too.

Sarah, SoftBums founder told me a story where her and her family got stranded at an airport and ended up staying there for 3 days.  She had no way to go shopping and only had flats and some SoftBums covers with her.  She hand washed the flats in the sink and hung them to dry at night and they were dry in the morning!

In the spirit of the challenge I am giving flats a try!  I am leaving to go camping... like 30 minutes ago, seriously.  
Sarah convinced me to give them a try, so I packed some in with my standard pods, a Large and Small zippered wetbag, and will let you know how they go!  I do not plan on hand washing, but if needed I brought my biodegradable soap to wash with.

 (This is the IKEA Flat Pad folded inside my ECHO SoftBums Shell.  It's really uber trim, and would be really easy to show a friend who was new to cloth diapers and not sure how to start.)

Since I am new to this whole Flats thing, this site helped a lot; dirty diaper laundry.

Check out these videos:
How to pad fold a flat

how to kite fold
How to origami style fold a flat
How to diaper bag fold a flat

When I get home on Monday I will tell you how it all went!

Who else will give it a try!?  
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Saturday, May 26, 2012



Hi, Friends. I am headed for surgery! It's going to be a long hard journey...

My name is Teague. Some of you haven't met me yet, but I am as sweet as I look, I promise!  My right arm is lying down in this picture because I sustained a severe brachial plexus injury during delivery. It was not a great way to enter the world, but I am glad I'm here! Now that I'm a little older and have been through a few months of physical therapy, it's evident to the doctors that I need specialized nerve graft surgery to recover even partial function of my arm. Now, this sounds scary to mom, but she wants me to be able to have the best chance possible to do normal things growing up, like play catch with my daddy and go fishing with my grandpapa. (She also wants me to be able to do little things that some people might take for granted -- like doing the motions to Itsy Bitsy Spider, clapping my hands, opening a jar of peanut butter, tying my own shoes, buttoning a shirt, and learning to drive stick shift like my big brother someday.) The surgery is going to hard on me, and I hear it's pretty expensive. Hopefully, I only need one surgery, but we have to wait and see. Sometimes other kids with this injury have to have several follow up surgeries in their first years of life because the extent of the injury ends up affecting the bones, tendons / ligaments, and muscles as well as the nerves. If you want to learn more about me or this little known (but increasingly reported) injury, keep reading through the tabs at the top of the page. I'm learning that lots of people want to help me, so this site is being put together as a way to allow that to happen. Man, it's good to be loved!
Until kids like me can reach out with both arms, will you Reach Out for us? Learn how you can help!

You can contribute to Teague's immediate and long term care medical fund.

Secure donations can be processed through PayPal. If you have a PayPal account, you can use your PayPal funds or bank transfer. But, you don't even need a PayPal account to donate. You can even use your credit or debit card to contribute without registering as a member of PayPal. All funds donated will be set aside in a special account solely for Teague's benefit to put toward specialized medical care, including surgeries and various types of ongoing therapies, in hopes of gaining as much arm function as possible. If you prefer to send in a contribution directly through the postal service, use the contact form from the home page of this web site to request the mailing address and any related instructions. Any amount will help. We are ever grateful.
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Keep the bugs away


Keep Kids Safe From BugsLyme disease. Rocky Mountain spotted fever. West Nile virus. Flying fiends and crawling critters can spread such diseases with a bite.
Few cases put kids' lives at risk, say experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Still, some insects can threaten children's health, and you'd be wise to take precautions.
Many products seek to prevent bug bites, but one that can be applied to skin is very effective: DEET (usually listed on labels as N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide). The AAP recommends using products with no more than 30 percent DEET on children 2 months of age and older who will be exposed to insects that might cause diseases.

Longer ProtectionThe AAP says that DEET seems as safe in concentrations of 30 percent as in concentrations of 10 percent. Products containing more DEET provide longer, but not better, protection. Products that contain about 10 percent DEET are effective for about two hours, the AAP says. Products that contain about 24 percent DEET protect, on average, for about five hours. Products that contain more than 30 percent DEET do not offer much added benefit and are not recommended for children. One prudent approach, the AAP suggests, would be to select the lowest concentration effective for the amount of time your children will spend outdoors.
The CDC also recommends picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus. These repellants offer protection similar to low concentrations of DEET, when used in similar concentrations.
As  repellants, DEET, picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus repel some types of ticks, but permethrin kills ticks on contact, so it may be helpful to spray permethrin on clothes when playing or working in an area with lots of ticks. Permethrin is used as a spray for clothing only -- not for the skin.

Banish The BugsFor mosquitoes, use an insect repellent when needed. DEET, picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus are recommended by the CDC. Read and follow the directions with care. Don't let children apply repellants to themselves.
  • Get rid of standing water where mosquitoes and other insects can breed.
  • Have kids avoid insect-prone areas in the early morning and late evening.
  • Dress children in long sleeves and long pants when appropriate. Have them wear a hat and keep long hair pulled back.
  • Dress children in light colored clothes.
  • Make sure windows screens are in good repair.
  • When hiking, stay on cleared trails to avoid ticks.
  • Check for ticks after you or your child has been outdoors. Do a thorough search for ticks, looking in particular behind the ears and along the hairline. It can take a tick up to 48 hours to pass on an infection, so the sooner a tick is found, the better your chances of avoiding illness.
    For Bee Stings, Remove the Stinger
    Being stung by a bee or a wasp can be an overwhelming experience. Stings can cause pain and allergic reactions, but you can minimize the effects if you act fast. When a bee stings, it leaves its stinger behind. When a person is stung, the stinger and its attached poison sac continue to pump poison into the victim, even when the stinger is no longer attached to the bee.
    If stung by a bee, wash the area with soap and water and remove the stinger immediately by wiping gauze over the area or by scraping a fingernail over the site. Never squeeze the stinger or use tweezers.
    After removing the stinger, ice the wound to ease the pain. A topical anesthetic might help, too. If you get multiple stings or have a severe allergic reaction, seek medical help at once.
    For most people, however, bee or wasp stings cause only local swelling, redness, and pain that usually last but a few hours.

    Insect Stings that most commonly cause allergic reactions
    Insects that are members of the Hymenoptera family most commonly cause allergic reactions. These include:

    • Bees
    • Wasps
    • Hornets
    • Yellow jackets
    • Fire ants

      Allergic Reactions by StingsUsually, the reaction is short-lived, with redness and swelling followed by pain and itching. Generally, the reaction lasts only a few hours, although some may last longer.
    For other people, however, allergic reactions to these insect stings can be life threatening. This severe reaction is a medical emergency that can involve organ systems throughout the body. The reaction is called anaphylaxis and can include severe symptoms such as:
    • Itching and hives over most of the body
    • Swelling of the throat and tongue
    • Difficulty in breathing and tightness in the chest
    • Dizziness
    • Headache
    • Stomach cramps, nausea, or diarrhea
    • Rapid fall in blood pressure
    • Shock
    • Loss of consciousness
    • Hoarse voice or swelling of the tongue
    Immediate medical attention is required.

    Avoidance of insects is the best preventive measure. Suggestions include:
    • When outdoors, be cautious of drinking from open soft drink cans. Stinging insects are attracted to them, and can crawl inside.
    • Keep food covered when eating outdoors.
    • Avoid sweet-smelling perfumes, hairsprays, and deodorants.
    • Avoid wearing bright-colored clothing with flowery patterns. 
    • Avoid going barefoot, and wear closed-toe shoes when walking in grassy areas.
    • When gardening, watch for nests in trees, shrubs, and flower beds.
    • Other areas in which to use caution: swimming pools, woodpiles, under eaves of houses, and trash containers.

      Specific treatment for insect stings will be determined by your physician based on:
    • Your age, overall health, and medical history
    • Extent of the reaction
    • Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
    • Expectations for the course of the reaction
    • Your opinion or preference
    Suggestions for immediate treatment for highly-allergic people, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, include:
    • When possible, immediately remove stinger, and scrape over the area with a fingernail. However, do not squeeze the area, which may force the venom into the body.
    • An emergency treatment kit should be kept nearby at all times. Talk with your physician about what it should include.
    • Seek emergency care as soon as possible.

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Friday, May 25, 2012

40 Ways to Distract a Toddler


As a homeschooling mom there are times when I want to include every member of my family in an activity, and there are other times when I need to distract the younger set so that I can practice a particular skill with my oldest. But you know, that can be tough with two toddlers running around.

Here are some of the strategies that work well with my daughters when I need to devote some attention to schooling their brother. I try to have several examples from the following list on-hand at all times to pull from when necessary. I hope they help your family as much as they do mine! Want more inspiration? Check out my Toddler Ideas Board on Pinterest.

1. Rice/bean bins. All you need is a bin, some rice or beans, and some scoops or cups. (I use an under-the-bed storage tub because I actually store mine under a bed, and because that way it's long enough for multiple children to use at once.) These require close supervision for really young children, so I set mine up right next to the table I'm working at so the young kids are always in sight. And may I mention that Istrongly prefer beans to rice? You see, beans vacuum and sweep up easily while rice just gets blown every which way.

2. Water bins/tables. These require a nice day and a but are great. Again, fill up a tub with water and provide scoops, bowls, and a few fun trinkets (some that float and some that sink) and let kids play 'til their heart's content. Add a few drops of food coloring for extra fun! Accept before you begin that each child who plays will require a full wardrobe change. I actually use this one a lot while I'm making dinner- the kids are going into the bath at that point anyway, right? Please use your best judgement when allowing young children to engage in water play and ensure close supervision at all times. 

3. Paint with water books. Yes, they still exist and yes, they are still a great way to get some exploration going with less than half the mess of the full-fledged version.

4. Puzzles. Use the manufactured variety or try making your own by cutting up pictures your child (or a sibling) has drawn.

5. Special Play Boxes. The idea is that you only take these special boxes of toys out when you are homeschooling another child. These are special treats. Change them up every few weeks or so depending upon your younger child’s interests. Here, my youngest daughter is playing with matchbox cars as I work with her brother.

6. Stickers. On paper, on clothes, on favorite chairs...

7. Number Wheels. Print a color wheel and ask kids to place the corresponding clothes pin on the wheel. For details, check out Money Saving Mom's post here. If your child isn't ready for numbers yet, try putting colors onto the wheel and colored dots on the clothes pins for kids to match. If your child is really young, try just giving them clothes pins with a variety of things/materials to attach them to.

8. Legos and blocks. These are great all by themselves, but can also be used in conjunction with props like dolls, cars, shoeboxes and paper towel rolls. What can kids make with them?

9. Tweezers and pom poms. Provide some multi-colored craft pom poms and ask kids to sort by size or color. If the child is still very young, take away the tweezers and give them a yogurt container with a small hole cut in the top to stuff pom poms through. When they are done, open the container and start again.

10. Toddler sewing basket.  For instructions on how to assemble one of these babies, go here, to Childhood 101.

11. Pipe cleaners in containers. This is a variation of the pom pom suggestion: cut several small holes in a yogurt or coffee container and ask the child to stick pipe cleaners into them. For added challenge, color hole-reinforcers (like you use in three-hole-punched documents) and ask the child to match the pipe cleaner color to the hole reinforcer color.

12. Magazine scavenger hunts.  Really young kids can just rip up the pages, but slightly older toddlers can search through pages to find items you ask for, like pictures of smiles, flowers, a Mommy, etc.

13. Alphabet or picture tracing sheets. This is as easy as laminating an alphabet practice sheet and providing dry erase markers. All done? Wipe and start again.

14. Egg cartons filled with plastic colored eggs. Fill these eggs with little trinkets that will make noise in the eggs. This is enough for young kids. For slightly older kids you can ask them what they hear in the eggs, then have them open the eggs on their own to see if they were correct. (Be careful of very small items for very young children.)

15. Play-Doh filled balloons. You never know what a child is going to create with these, but the sensory experience is the major boon. For details, go here.

16. Pool Noodle Stringing. Cut up pool noodles and provide yarn for little kids to string together.

17. Magnetic Magazine Face-Making. Cut out eyes, ears, mouths, noses, etc. from magazines, laminate, and adhere to magnets. Then, provide your toddler with a magnetic surface to rearrange faces. For details from The Iowa Farmer's Wife, go here.

18. Lacing boards. These can be made with leftover cereal boxes, or can be purchased. You punch several holes along the outline of a shape, and ask your toddler to weave shoestring in and out of the holes. Don't expect perfection unless you are giving instructions- just let them do it on their own.

19. Felt Face-Making. Same idea as above, but you use felt to create facial features and let little hands assemble the faces as they will. This idea can be adjusted to fit any theme you're working on in your homeschool with just a little forethought. Cupcakes, ice cream cones, firetrucks, fish... the list goes on and on. Just create one large, major shape and provide lots of smaller shapes to adorn the large one.

20. Soda bottle filled with glitter, oil, and water. Grab a two-liter and fill it with these ingredients for fun. Roll them, shake them and put them into containers. Remember to glue the cap on before you give this to your child!

See the other 20 here
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