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1  iPod Valentine in Valentine's Day by sminto on: February 01, 2011 12:09:07 PM

I made these iPod Valentines for my kiddos in the after school program. I'd originally got the idea from here, and the instructions here. I made 19 total, and I'm super excited about seeing the kids reactions! I can only imagine them pretending to be listening to music Smiley

I used lots of purdy colors Smiley

Here's one...

Here's the back! I'm thinking about adding something cheesy and music related. What do y'all think?

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2  Quick Heart Garland in Valentine's Day by sminto on: January 30, 2011 01:13:37 PM
Part of my to do list for this weekend was to finally make my Valentine's garlands Smiley

Here they are! I made two to hang from each side of my mirror in the dining room.

They are super easy and super fast. Here's a quick little tutorial.

Cut strips construction paper. I cut the red strips to be shorter than the pink.

Fold in half and crease. Put a small piece of tape on the outside of one edge.

Tape together. Continue to add more hearts but when you tape them, they need to be intertwined. This is what it begins to look like. I use my finger to help curve the paper.

Hanging from my mirror Smiley
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3  Nutella Hot Chocolate in Dessert by sminto on: January 16, 2011 07:46:33 AM
There isn't a beverage section, so dessert it is! This is a dessert; it's definitely a sweet treat.

Nutella Hot Chocolate

Need I say more?

Why yes I do! The recipe, that is!

Nutella Hot Chocolate
4 cups milk
4 heaping tablespoons Nutella
~ 1/4+ cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
Dash of ground cloves
Dash of cinnamon

Pour the milk into a pot, and spoon in the Nutella. Add the cocoa powder and vanilla. Whisk continuously until Nutella melts completely, approximately 5 minutes. Add ground cloves and cinnamon to your liking.

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4  Vday FLIP IT book TUTORIAL in Valentine's Day by sminto on: January 16, 2011 07:40:05 AM

I made this last year for my boyfriend (at the time -- he's now my fiance), and he loved it. He's "easily entertained," and this is one of those books that you flip through like a shark eating a fish, or a monster truck going through a ring of fire.

I have to give all the credit to a Craftster member, suganspyyce. I don't think she did a post about it, but she's the one that told me she had also made it for her husband.

You will need:
A video of yourself
Papers with a short message (I love you/Happy Valentine's Day/etc.)
Windows Movie Maker
Two 1" binder rings

Step 1. Choose or make your own video. For the tutorial, I am using a video that I already have of Robus chasing a laser light. For the one I gave Matt last year, here's a summary on what I did...

Draw/Create/Print your message (I love you, Happy Valentine's Day, You're the Best, etc.) on card stock. I recommend card stock because it's easier to hold during your video. Use one paper for each word so it's easy to see.

You can record yourself or have someone record you. I recorded myself by sitting in front of my bedroom door with the camera on my dresser or nightstand, can't remember. Or use a tripod.

As you are recording, SLOWLY flip through each sign. Hold each one for several seconds. Try not to make any funny faces or fix your hair. Just smile and look pretty Wink Needless to say, it took me several attempts. At the end I held up each word (not gonna lie, that was tricky. Card stock helps).

That was the fun part. Now comes the time-consuming part.

Step 2. Upload your video to your computer. Find your video. Right click it, Open with, Windows Movie Maker.

You should now see your movie in Windows Movie Maker. Make sure it's facing the right way; you can fix this my clicking "Rotate right/left"

About 20 seconds worth is plenty for the book.

Step 3. Play your movie, pause for your first picture, and click Snapshot located at the top of the program. When you click Snapshot, it allows you to save that particular frame to your computer. I *highly recommend* creating a separate folder and numbering these frames in order as you save them!! This will make it easier, trust me. When I did it, yes, I had to go back and forth between the Snapshot and the original video. You can't pause, Snapshot, save a picture and then press play again from where you left off -- you have to play it from the beginning. Maybe y'all can figure out an easier way.

Step 4. Continue to play, pause, Snapshot, save.

I used exactly 40 frames.

Step 5. Select all the photos you plan on using. Again, I used 40 frames. You can select them by holding down shift while clicking on each frame or left click + drag your cursor/mouse. Right click, Print. Don't worry, it won't start printing automatically.

Step 6. Now you can choose how you want to print your photos. I suggest doing 4/page (3.5X5) or 9/page (wallet). Be sure the settings are correct at the top. I say that just because my printer setting used to automatically set itself to OneNote. Annoying.

Step 7. After they've all printed out on card stock, you'll need to cut them.

I cut them one by one. I left about half an inch of extraness on the left side to give me some room for when I hole punched them. That's important. Wouldn't you hate to punch all those stinkin' holes on the side and then it tears? Leave room so it doesn't tear! Make sure they're even because if not then it's difficult to flip through the book.

Step 8. After you've cut out all the frames and your hands ache, make them ache some more by punching two holes in each picture. Again, make sure the holes are even and aligned throughout because if not then it's difficult to flip through it at the end. Secure together with two 1" binder rings.

Step 9. Lastly, decorate your cover. I wanted something simple and not too mushy gushy, so I just wrote "flip it" in a Sharpie and added a little heart.

Step 10. Flip it to your hearts desire.

Here are some photos.. enjoy!!

Thanks for looking Cheesy
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5  LOVE decorated wooden letters (with tutorial) in Valentine's Day by sminto on: December 27, 2010 09:24:46 PM
I've been working on a few little hand made decorations for Valentine's Day, and I'd like to continue sharing.

(of course I had to do the artsy effects)

Trace the letters on scrapbook paper. I flipped the letters upside down when I did this, not sure if it matters, but it sure didn't hurt Smiley

Cut out the letters.

Paint the wooden letters. I used red, and I also painted both sides.

Mod podge the paper letters to the wooden letters. I used to layers of mod podge on top. Let try, and cut off any extra paper with an X-acto knife. I love this one because the blade turns a full circle.

The next few pictures are just random ones I took to show off my work Cheesy

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6  Framed buttons (with tutorial) in Valentine's Day by sminto on: December 27, 2010 07:50:15 PM

Framed button art! I know, I know. I haven't even put away *any* Christmas decorations, and I'm already making Valentine's Day things. I just need a reason to craft! This seemed perfect. It's not like I'll actually put them out yet, just... have them ready.

You're going to need buttons. Either break out that button jar of buttons you've been collecting, or go to Hobby Lobby and get some. I wanted to use red buttons with a white background, but all they had was white and beige (in bulk).

Next, figure out how you want your design. It took me a few tries to finally get a nice looking heart.

Cut out the necessary felt needed that fits the frame. Mine was 4"X6".

Sew 'em all on.

I added a slightly larger white square of felt, and then another pink rectangle that is 4X6.

I secured the other pieces of felt by going back and adding a couple stitches to the buttons. I was lazy and didn't feel like sewing on the other pieces of felt. But it worked just fine and dandy!

Ta-daaaa! I may make another and actually center it next time! Smiley Cute, huh? You could create various shapes depending on the holiday. Easter eggs for Easter, shamrocks for St. Patty's day, or a flag for 4th of July.

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7  Re: THE MOST AMAZING ADVENT CALENDAR WITH TUTE!! (complete w/ photos) in Winter Holidays by sminto on: November 27, 2010 05:02:40 PM
I made one, I made one, I made one!! *jumps up and down*

I used a cereal box and toilet/construction paper rolls, but it looks the same.. hehehehe! Here is my post about it.


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8  Awesome Advent Calendar! in Winter Holidays by sminto on: November 27, 2010 04:58:28 PM
I juuuust finished up an advent calendar for my little sister, and she loved it! I gave it to her on Wednesday, so unfortunately, she'll have to sit and stare at it for a few days until she can open the first cubby (Dec. 1st). Hehehehe.. she was on her knees begging to open "just one!" Oh, and I can't forget! The idea was from this post!

Here are some close ups

Have a great day!
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9  Banana Crumb Mini Loaves in Recipes and Cooking Tips by sminto on: November 02, 2010 10:02:36 AM
I made four mini loaves of the banana crumb muffins. They came out UH-MAY-ZING! Easy recipe to follow. Great food. Even better with a cup o' joe! Smiley

Banana Crumb Muffins**

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter

1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease 10 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.
2.In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
3.In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.
4.Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

**This is the ORIGINAL recipe. I doubled everything and cooked it for close to an hour. The comment in the recipe said to cook it at 350 for 30 minutes, but mine took longer. Keep an eye on it.
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10  easy crock pot beef stew in Recipes and Cooking Tips by sminto on: October 31, 2010 05:39:00 PM
I made beef stew in my crock pot at about 2 PM this afternoon, and cooked it on high for 4 hours and it was ready. I made it just for myself with some left over, and it will probably give me about 2 or 3 more servings.

about 1 lb chopped beef
1 sweet potato, cut to whatever size you like
2 carrots, cut about 1 1/2 in. thick
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 can (from tomatoes) water
half of an onion that was then cut in half also
Spices (2 bay leaves, marjoram, sage, garlic, salt and pepper)

I put a small amount of flour on a plate and coated the beef, then I browned it for just a few minutes. It's not supposed to cook all the way through. Then I added that to the crockpot with the other listed ingredients and that was it! Smiley

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