Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Art Station

We're big on arts and crafts in our house. We've got easels set up in our living room, there's a desk dedicated to drawing and crafts in our kitchen, and my kitchen counters have glitter permanently adhered to them. (It's purple glitter and stuck in my grout, in case you were curious). So, we've got an endless supply of colored pencils, markers, chalk and crayons to contain.

I've found lots of pretty or inventive containers to corral such things, but they require too much effort on the part of my little ones (porcupine with crayon "quills", anyone?). So, I need something cute, but easy.

I found this set up when I was trolling the isles of Ikea one day (with no kiddos in tow, thanks to their fabulous play area!). It's from the kitchen section and is designed to hold cutlery. It wasn't expensive - about $3 for the rail and about $3 for each bucket. It hangs above their little table and makes cleanup quite simple and looks cute, to boot!

Hooray for Senator Jon Kyl!

Like many of you who make handmade items for babies and children, I've spent a lot of time contacting politicians regarding the changes made to the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSIA) that regard required lead testing for all items that can be used on or by children under 12. It's a law that will put thousands of small businesses out of business.

I contacted and received responses regarding this law from my two Senators - John McCain and Jon Kyl. The response from Senator McCain was not worth the paper it was printed on. As for the response from Jon Kyl - it was short, sweet and to the point. Not only that, but Senator Kyl was one of three (yes, 3!) Senators who voted AGAINST the changes to the law. I'm saddened that so many of our lawmakers voted for something that will hurt so many small businesses in America and that doesn't really accomplish what it intended to do, but happy that there are at least 3 voices of reason that were willing to stand out in this whole mess.

So, Senator Kyl - Kudos!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Taylor's (new) Favorite Blanket

Taylor had this fleece blanket that she called her "favorite blanket". It wasn't anything special, just this fleece square that looked off white, but if you looked closely, it was really a pale blue checked print. It held no special meaning - she wasn't wrapped up in it as a baby, it wasn't a gift from anyone (it was actually left behind at our 1st house and we never figured out who had left it), it was just a fleece blanket that became quite loved.

Until, that is, our trip to The Polar Express this year. Favorite blanket was packed for the overnight trip and made it into the car. I think it may have even made it into the hotel. Where it is now, I have no idea. I don't know if it got left behind in the hotel room (even though I checked the room before we checked out and calls to housekeeping turned up nothing), or if it fell out of the car during one of our pit stops, or if Taylor took it with her into a restaurant and it got left behind. At any rate, favorite blanket didn't make it home from that trip.
To ease the sting a little, I took Taylor to the quilt store with the promise that she could pick out the fabric she liked and I'd make her a new favorite blanket. She's loving the purple right now, so that's what she went with. I got the idea for adding the initial from a friend who also makes quilts, and I think it's adorable! I used my Cricut machine to cut out a heart and the letter "T" that I used for templates. The front is cotton quilt fabric, the letter "T" and the backing is made our of Minky fabric. It didn't take me more than 2 hours, and now she's got a new blanket to love!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Menu Board

I have good intentions when I grocery shop. Really, I do! I go through my cooking magazines, plan the menu for the next 2 weeks and then head to the store, grocery list in hand. I get what I need and put it all away, feeling quite happy with myself in the process. Then, it's dinner time. I've lost my list (or, more accurately, it's been turned into a beautiful piece of children's art!). And, I can't remember what I had planned to make so we end up with something like sandwiches. I finally came up with a way to remember (and it's easy to do!).
To make this, I headed to the local home improvement store and went to the tile section. I found this particular one in the bathroom tile section (it's totally smooth. You don't want a tile with texture). It measures about 6"x9". The cost? A whopping 62 cents! When I got home, I used my Cricut machine to cut the days of the week and the word "Menu" out of the Cricut Vinyl. But, you could just as easily use letter stickers from a craft store. Once the stickers are stuck on, you're good to go! Use a dry erase marker to write on it, and it easily wipes off. I put mine on a mini easel and have it sitting on my counter.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Yummy, yummy cookies!

I've never thought of using cake mix for anything other than, well, making cakes. So, when I saw this recipe in the Spring 2008 Kraft Food and Family magazine, I was intrigued. The recipe was quick and easy. Best of all? I was not disappointed!

Soft & Chewy Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
1 pkg. devil's food cake mix
4 oz (1/2 of an 8 oz package) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 egg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place all ingredients in large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed 2 minutes. Beat on medium speed for an additional 2 minutes.

Shape into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Flatten each ball, in a criss-cross pattern, with tines of fork dipped in sugar.

Bake 7-8 minutes or until edges of cookies are set. Cool 2 min. on baking sheets. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.

Makes 3 1/2 dozen or 21 servings, 2 cookies each.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


It's hard to believe that Turtle Taylor has been in business for 5 years now! I started Turtle Taylor shortly after my daughter was born, and we've been off and running ever since. We've run the gamut - from craft shows, Internet sales, word of mouth, wholesale to boutiques and now Etsy. As a thank you to all of our customers, we're giving away one of our most popular items - our painted diaper wipe case. The winner will get to pick their favorite design from our whole list of designs. To enter, leave a comment by Saturday, February 28th, midnight (MST). One winner will be chosen at random. Be sure to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win!

Princess Shirts for Disneyland

We just got back from a week at Disneyland! It was the first time the girls had been and needless to say, they loved it! Since it was their first trip, I wanted it to be super special for them. We're into bling at our house - anything that sparkles is fabulous! So, I made some iron-on rhinestone transfers using the Disney Princesses so the girls would have some fun, unique shirts to wear while we were at Disneyland. Ariel mentioned to Taylor how she loved her Ariel shirt and how she'd never seen anything like it. The compliment from Ariel made her day! These pictures show the finished iron-on transfers. I'll post photos soon of the girls wearing their adorable t-shirts!



Minnie Mouse: