Butterfly Tutorial

April 10, 2010

I’m going to try a tutorial!  I made these butterflies last month and thought you might like them too.  I made them as palanca for a Cursillo weekend.  This idea is not original to me- I received it as a present on my Cursillo weekend a few years ago.  I’m not sure where the butterfly came from, but I devised this tutorial myself.


  • yellow or orange foam sheet (I normally hate foam, but it’s perfect for this craft)
  • Pencil
  • Scissors- regular ones and small cuticle/fingernail (optional but helpful)
  • Black Sharpie pens- regular thick one and an ultra fine
  • White paint and small paintbrush
  • Adhesive-backed pin backs (self-sticking)

1) First make a butterfly template. I used the butterfly I had to help me out, but really you can just look at a photo (or use mine above) and draw one.  It’s easiest to sketch half of it on a folded piece of cardboard and then cut out so it is symmetrical (like making a heart).

My template was about…. 3.5″ wide?

2) Trace as many butterflies as you want/need onto the foam sheet with the pencil.  Cut them out.  This is where the cuticle scissors help!

3) Using the thicker Sharpie pen, start drawing the markings.  I photographed them in order so you can see how simple it really is.

a) body down center

b) bottom edges-thick

c) top edge- thin

d) 2 curving lines bisecting each wing

e) curves on tips of wings

f) curves on tops of wings

4) Next, using the ultra fine Sharpie, mark the fine lines.  Use my butterflies as a guide, or the butterfly photo. (sorry I don’t remember it’s link)

5) Almost done! Get out the white paint and your fine paintbrush and paint the dots.  As you can see, they are mostly along the bottom edge and tips of the wings.  And a few faint stripes at the base of the body.

Once all your babies are done, attach the pin backs by just peeling the paper off the adhesive and slapping them on!

Admire all the work you’ve done. Time to set them free!!

You could use these for palanca, to describe Easter in church, as a craft when teaching the butterfly life cycle- even have a Velma Gratch party!

I hope you liked this and it was helpful in some way.   Let me know if I was unclear……





April 9, 2010

I don’t know about you, but the quiet in the morning when everyone is in bed is just heavenly.  Of course I’m not talking about  the 5 a.m. morning, but 9:30 a.m. during Easter Break.  The cats are running around, the TV is off, hot tea is at hand– ahhh…..

I have lots of catching up to do- and I will!  I think I will even try to schedule posts for publishing on subsequent days—ooooh!

First up- those Christmas gifts I said forever ago I was going to post.

For the kids I made Christmas quilts and matching pillowcases. The quilts are just a simple checkerboard of 2 fabrics. Flannel on the backs.

 girl quilt

 boy quilt

Sorry for the bad photos!  Bad lighting and all…

For the grandparents I made silhouettes of the kids. Easy-peasy, looks fancy- just takes time.   I photographed the kids’ shadows (or you could photograph a side view of their heads on a light background) and then printed them on regular paper in black and white.  [Mind you, I don’t have Photoshop or such, or this could be a LOT easier] I outlined the heads in pen, cut them out, and then scanned that into the computer again.  I did this so I could print the silhouettes directly onto nice paper in the future.  I printed these onto blue paper in this case, cut them out, and mounted them on scrapbook paper in frames (all cheap, from Michaels).

Lastly I made a doll for my daughter!  I used the Mimi Kirschner pattern on purl bee.  “Virginia,” as she was named on Christmas day, was not hard to make- just time consuming.  It took me probably 6 hours to do the doll itself. (I’m sorta guessing- I started after the kids left for school and finished right before they got home. I DID have lunch and all in there too…) The dress and embellishments took a few more hours.

I used a combination of purchased wool felt and wool I felted myself.  I really like her hair- it’s plaid! I thought that was cool to infer highlights and shades and all instead of plain monotone brown.

I have 2 more partially done- well, one started and one planned in my head!!

And lastly I decorated these houses (for ME!)- bought at Michaels. I wanted them to look vintage, and they came out more Mary Englebreit. Still very cute!  I used those crazy cheap Christmas picks for decoration- I thought I was smart to use them for trees and bushes.  The only problem was that they melted easily in the hot glue- made it tricky.  The other decorations were tiny tree ornaments and pipe cleaners.

That’s it for now!


February 3, 2010

Ok, I know I said I was going to next post about my Christmas crafts, but it’s late at night, and I’ve been taken over by cupcake fever. Maybe it’s because I’m organizing a Tea, maybe it’s just because I’ve always thought cupcakes were so CUTE!!  So here are a few things I’ve stumbled across in the past few days.

#1- I’ve been ogling the new (at least to me) stamp and punch packs by Martha Stewart at Michael’s.  With my trusty 40% off coupon in hand, I bought the cupcake one. (Because I needed it- for Valentine’s cards…) It comes with 3 rubber stamps, so you can do the icing/sprinkles in a different color from the cupcake liner, or you can just use the all-in-one stamp.  Then you use the punch to cut them out. Look how cute! 

I experimented stamping and punching on different papers and then pasting icings on top of different liners.  The weird things in the middle are the clear rubber stamps.

#2- In searching for cupcake ideas I found this super cupcake ornament tutorial by Bake It Pretty. It’s quite simple, but they do a great job explaining the steps.

#3- THEN I see that Bake It Pretty was kind enough to make darling printable cupcake gift tags!!! I had to print these out for future use….

By the way, have you been looking at something like this  recently?  Tomorrow will be day number THREE of no school.  And another snow storm is expected this coming weekend!  Usually central Virginia get icy yuck, so this is a treat. It was too fluffy f0r a snowman, but great for sledding.

Until tomorrow!


And Happy 2010

January 3, 2010

Goodness, I stink at blogging! I don’t know how angry chicken or crazy mom quilts put so much on their blogs, much LESS do all that they do AND be moms, wives, daughters, etc……….

So on with the new year! We are home after church, wearing jammies on this cold COLD day, enjoying the last hours of vacation before the school routine starts again.  I enjoyed Christmas but I’ll be glad to NOT go anywhere any time soon.  We traveled to the D.C. area right after the big snowfall, visited the Smithsonian for the day (first time for my kids), and picked up the kids later in the break in Gastonia, NC (at Mary Jo’s of course!!).

But back to Christmas- I’ll start with my cooking/baking.

This is what I made for teacher gifts- in fact I was good and made them in September and froze them! I packaged them in a cute bag with some fancy cocktail napkins (bought after Xmas last year, of course!).

Cream Cheese Pound Cake   (Martha recipe- Everyday Food Dec ‘03)

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp.
8 ounces (1 bar) cream cheese, at room temp.  
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract  
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons rum (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°. Generously coat two 8.5-by-4.5-by-2.5-inch loaf pans with cooking spray. (Or, alternately, use a 4-quart bundt pan.)
In a large electric mixer, cream butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time to creamed mixture, beating until well combined. Mix in vanilla.
Combine the flour and salt in a separate bowl. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture in two additions, mixing until just combined. Immediately spoon the batter into the prepared pans. Smooth the top of the batter so that that is evenly fills the pans.
Bake at 350° until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean with just a few moist crumbs attached. This will take about 60 to 75 minutes for the loaf pans, maybe 5 minutes more for the single bundt pan. Be careful that the cake tops do not brown too quickly. If this starts to happen, tent with aluminum foil.
Let the cakes cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, and then turn out the cakes to cool completely. With the loaf pans, the cakes should cool on a wire rack with the top sides up. (If using a bundt pan, just invert the cake onto a serving platter to cool there.) Sprinkle rum evenly over the tops of the two loaves (or the bundt cake). Let cool completely before serving.  (Best let sit at least a day before serving)

Store wrapped in plastic 3 days at room temp., or freeze for up to 3 months

Other yummies I made were gingerbread cookies, eggnog cookies (following the suggestions in the reviews), espresso chocolate icebox cookies (using espresso powder instead of coffee granules and extract), and Christmas sandies (tip- dip only the tops in sprinkles, not the bottoms).

I made  regular thumbprint cookies with the kids, but look at this recipe I didn’t get to- pepper jelly cornmeal cups– WOW!

Next year (yes, I’m already planning for Christmas 2010!) I’m going to make hot fudge for one of my gifts.  I tried this at a friend’s house- delish!  Here is the recipe if you want to start before me:

Hot Fudge

12 oz. choc. chips (bittersweet)
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
14 oz. corn syrup
½ lb. butter (2 sticks)
optional  ½ c. flavored liquor

Melt chips and corn syrup.  Add and melt butter.  Add canned milk.  Mixture simmered- do not boil- to thicken (about 5 minutes).  Cool. Keep refrigerated.

Makes approximately 3 pints.

There’s my cooking wrap-up, albeit just a partial listing.

Next, I’ll post about the gifts I made for Christmas!

Bye till next time!


WHEW!!!  Can I say I’m relieved??  No more getting up early, no more 6 am calls asking if I’m available to substitute teach………

I got the teacher gifts done before the end of school- I made paper cake boxes filed with chocolates. My kids wanted the give gifts to not only their immediate teachers but about 10 others at school!  And wouldn’t this be great for any party or multiple gift need?  At Christmas, with a poinsettia-type flower on top- adorable.

I’m now on to other projects.   Today’s project was to make 10 dozen (yup- that’s what I said) rolls commissioned by someone at church.  Thank goodness hubby got the kids a Wii this weekend as a good grades reward (and this will be the ONLY time you will hear me say that- I’m not a video game person)- they played for hours while I baked for hours! [Although I will also say it’s addictive to make those Mii people- I’ll have to post a picture of what “I” look like]

Next up, a bit more work on the Tea I’m organizing at my church for next year- I’m SO EXCITED!  It’s a fundraising project for our ECW Outreach (we give $$ to many other groups) but it’s also a new fellowship idea.  The plan has been approved, people have volunteered for most of the committees, I have entertainment, and I decided the theme and favors already!  “May Day” is the theme- so it will be about flowers. (And the favor is the cake box from above- SHHH! Don’t tell anyone!)  But more about that later….

At home we are having our 2nd annual Midsummer’s Eve party this weekend.  I’m really praying for nice weather!!!  It was great last year, with the bon fire, and tiki torches, and candles and all (and the sangria!).

I’m also “booked” a few places this summer to speak about my 365 project, which is crazy cool.  A friend made a video for me, set to music, which has gotten rave reviews.  I’m even impressed by my own work when I see the video!!  If it ever gets posted to Youtube I’ll let you know.

It’s very late and I need some shut-eye -next time I’ll tell you about the country store auction I went to on Saturday. Man I wish I had more space for stuff and a wad of cash- bargains were to be had!

Shirts with original tags, STILL in the display case.

Shirts with original tags, STILL in the display case.



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Giveaway Day!!

December 3, 2008

Over at the Sew Mama Sew blog they are having a Give Away Day!!!!  Oodles of blogs and shops are giving something away to people who comment on their blog page.  HOW GREAT IS THIS!!!!

I’ve been going from site to site- there are SO MANY cool blogs and talented people out there.  I’m feeling a bit left out- like I should have given something away too.  Oh well, maybe next year.

Here are some that really caught my eye-

http://www.simplyvintagegirl.com/blog/ (LOVE the green courduroy!!)
And many others- I can’t find the ones I visited on that LOOONG list of participants.
On the homefront, I finally finished decorating the gingerbread cookies for my church’s ECW bake sale.  We are raffling these babies off- and sold $70 of tickets tonight ALONE!!  I’m very proud, and glad we are raising money for our Outreach programs.  Don’t ask me how long it took to do these……….
I used a Czech cookie cutter set- “Bethlehem.” The characters are European, so you see a monk, and a goose lady, and the pastry man, and the woodworker, etc.

How do they do it?

August 14, 2008

I don’t know how bloggers with kids like Angry Chicken keep up a blog, and have interesting photos and tutorials and crafts and Etsy items, AND take care of their families!!!  I’m only able to add to this one because the kids are still with grandparents.  I only have 2 days left however……….

So on with the crafts!

I painted this: a doll house.  I bought it at Michaels– it’s actually a CD holder.  Who is it for? Me.  Why?  Because.  I’m going to put some of my little dolls and little minis in it- including my cute Re-Ment dishes (I swear I could get drunk off these adorable little things!!).   I made a blueberry pie and a cherry pie for the house.  Now I need curtains and furniture!  And shelves……… More pics to come as it progresses……….

I’m happy with the dozen napkins I made for gifts this week.  Here are the ones for my mom- my grama made her black and white placemats and I found this PERFECT fabric for napkins.

I’ve never attempted a tutorial for anything (maybe one day), but here is my way of making not-for-having-Martha-over-for-lunch napkins. 

  1. Take a yard of fabric and wash and dry it on the hottest settings (fry it good!).
  2. Cut off the selvages, even up cut edge. 
  3. Cut the fabric into 4 even parts (yes, they won’t be perfect squares- who cares?!).
  4. I don’t have a serger, so if you are like me, just do a tight zigzag stitch around all 4 sides of each napkin.  Use a coordinating color of thread.
  5. You are done!

Really, it works.  I’ve made many napkins this way and use them every day.  They don’t unravel.

I also made coasters for mom using the Martha instructions.  Have you seen those fabrics with a number of different patterns on one bolt?  I thought one I’ve seen at JoAnn’s is called Crazy Eights (has 8 different patterns), but don’t quote me on that!!  Well they are perfect for making the Martha coasters- instead of cutting a single print fabric into the 4.5″ x 10″ size, I cut the patterned fabric apart in pairs (so 4 pieces, 2 patterns per piece). The pattern runs about 5.5″, so it’s perfect.  Then I cut the pairs into 4.5″ widths.  I fold where the patterns meet, so one is on the back of the coaster, one on the front.  A quarter yard cut of fabric then makes 8 coasters!!! I think I got a smidge more than a 1/4 yard, just to account for shrinkage and cutter error.

Look! Aren’t they cute?!?

Front fabrics

Front fabrics

 Ok, I’m going to go while the gittin’s good- this blog stuff is taking up WAAAAY to much time!