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Brownie Sash and Cookie boxes for an 18 inch doll

My daughter had a birthday party on Friday. She has known this little girl since they were three and now we just live blocks away so it’s safe to say that they will be friends for the rest of their childhood! Her mom was our Daisy troop leader and since her party included a tea party for their 18 inch dolls I thought a little Brownie outfit would be a perfect gift.
This is it all completed. I put a little crayon there so you can get an idea of the size. I have to admit there is something adorable about minature things. I was trying to figure out how big to make the girl scout cookie boxes and I came across this great Ebay post on doll scale.  It’s funny to read becaues 18 in dolls really aren’t to scale, they are called play scale because they aren’t really proportional to a human. So they are either a 1:2 or 1:3 ratio in making them. It’s nice to have that flexibility. The boxes are about 3 inches tall (and ral boxes are about 7.5 inches tall) which puts them right between the two ratios…. I bet you weren’t expecting math in this post!  I thought maybe someone had already made a post with a printable for the boxes and that I would be able to print them out, but I couldn’t find any. Here is a link to a sheet with itty bitty boxes that are used for a Girl Scout swap, but I think they would work really well for Barbie Dolls.

I decided to make my own printables and hopefully you’ll have fun with them too. FIrst thing I did was scan in all the boxes. You can see a picture below and then I just made a rectangular prism (more math) fold out shape in photoshop. I’ve drawn in tabs – they are not exact so when you are cutting out your boxes cut your tabs however you would like – those are just guides so you know where to go. Also make sure you print out on cardstock, I’m not sure if they will stand if you just print it out onto regular paper. I only made four of the boxes, but I could make the other 2 boxes if someone has a real need. Also I didn’t make Thanks-A-lots or lemonades because they are in a soft container and I wasn’t quite up to the task of doing that. Please let me know if you do. I also have 6 pictures of each cookie type on the .pdfs. I glued three to thick cardboard and then glued the other three to the other side so that the cookies would cute from either side. It would have been awesome if the back actually looked like the back of the cookie, but they never last long enough in this house for me to take a picture of them. If you are going for the real deal there is this awesome etsy seller that makes the cookies out of bakable clay. They look real, check them out.  You can also see in one of the pictures below it helped to take a ruler and make the folds and then fold them back the other way, then I just used regular Elmer’s glue on the tabs and it came together. I did leave the tops open so that I could put the cookies in.
Here are the pdfs for the cookie boxes:
Thin Mint and Peanut Butter Patties (cookieboxes)
Carmel Delights and Shortbreads (cookieboxes2)
large6template1I put my pictures in a little out of order. Above are a couple of the makings of the Brownie Uniform. I cut a long rectangle for the skirt and sewed a hem on the top for elastic and hemmed the bottom. It probably would have been cuter with pleats, but it looks neat. Then I made a pattern for the sash. If you want it just let me know I just haven’t scanned it in yet. It was quick to make. I cut out two of the sash shapes and sewed them up on the sides, insided out the material, pressed with an iron and then sewed the bottoms together. I zigzaged the edge so it wouldn’t fray. It would have been nice to topstitch but I was running out of time. The last step was the patches. I have a love hate relationship with Avery tshirt transfers. You can read about my other issue here. I learned this time and knew that I had to peel them off before I could cut them, but for some reason the patches melted a little bit even though I had the protective paper. And that’s it. Let me know if you have any questions or trouble, I will definitely try to help.

It’s finally done. I’m pretty sure I’ve upset a couple of people by taking this long but here is the brownie sash template. I’m not really a template maker so I hope this helps. browniesash








Last year I made this particular little girl a magic set. We bought a hat and I sewed a secret pocket into it to pull little rabbits out of, and we made a cape and painted a dowel to look like a wand. It’s nice to have friends that like homemade gifts.

Project Life week 2

I’m so psyched I’ve done two week sin a row. I think I might wait and do it every two weeks though… but I’m afraid if I get behind then it’ll be all over. This week I used an adorable free kit from Persnickety Prints that has a great color scheme as well as cute pictures. The page isn’t fully done, I need to add something in to those two blank spots. I’ve also decided that printing out the journals on picture paper is as cute as when I print it out on cardstock, so I’ll change that up for next week. Also  this week I rounded all the corners, I like it much better with rounded corners!

Sunday School Teacher

Frequent Bible Carrier Card
One of the hats I wear is Sunday School teacher. I would always help out with my kids’ classes which were the younger Sunday School classes.  It was easy and very rarely did I have to prepare too much. It was a lot of play and story telling and on the floor games and dancing – really my forte. I thought that I should try to help in an older class – I mean I was a middle school teacher that should really be my jam. So now I teach 3rd grade Sunday school. Third graders are a hard sell. They are kinda too cool but kinda still silly and fun. It has been trial and error but I’ve really been learning what seems to float their boats. One thing I started off with was a Frequent Bible Carrier card. The 4th grade class at our church is no joke – its the real deal Bible Study and I wanted to at least get the kids prepared in some way so I made these cards. I keep them with me a tthe church and every week we hole punch the car for each individual kid if they bring their bible.
Here is the pdf it comes in purple and aqua (frequentbiblecardsaqua) and (frequentbiblecardspurple). The design idea came from these adorable Good deed punch cards from eighteeen 25 – the whole blog is amazing – you can spend hours… I did. I made the cards this way so there isn’t really any extra paper just cut down the middle and then 3 cuts and done. You can cut each one across and then each in half but that is a lot more cuts and the engineer in me says its not as efficient – but to each their own.. I’m sure my grammatical friends always cringe at my ridiculously poor grammar.

It’s Cookie Time

January 18th starts the date of official cookie selling time – a date that never ever meant anything to me, until well my little girl grew into a daisy and now a brownie. I was never a Girl Scout, so the whole world of camping, friendship circles, and hardcore cookie selling is new to me. I’m an assistant to a very awesome Girl Scout leader who is always thinking of great ways for the girls to get involved. We are doing the wonders of Water journey and the girls have really learned so much already. They know the water cycle and have learned about those without access to clean water. But now they will learn about money and running a business and marketing, which are also good skills. To get them excited about the cookie selling I’ve made a little Girl Scout Cookie Finger twister. If you’ve eaten at Burger King lately they wre giving finger twister games away, they are super simple and a really cute idea. So here is my attempt at a cookie version.
Girl Scout Finger TwisterJust print out the pdf (girlscoutsfingertwisterboard ) and laminate if you would like… I love laminating (I think it’s the homeschooler in me.) Since I was a middle school math teacher I have tons and tons of spinner parts so I made mine into a spinner this way, but if you don’t have that you can always follow this post to make one or even simpler than that if you put the paper clip in the middle with a pencil tip holding it in place it works as a temporary spinner. Or you can make one with a brad. Here is my attempt at some sketches to help you understand what I’m talking about.
Game spinnerGood Luck with your cookie selling… and since most of you taht read this blog live within 2 miles of me let me know if you want cookies – I can be your hook up!

Project life – week 1 ?

I love taking pictures and having scrapbooks and recording memories and feeling and happiness. I love to give the girls interviews and try to capture the moments, but it can be slightly overwhelming. When Miss Thing was born I paper scrapped, and then by the time Sassy Pants came along I was digital scrapbooking. I love the ease of digital but I truly miss the quality of printed pictures. Also I have two full scrapbooks for Miss Thing’s first year and none for Sassy Pants. Don’t get me wrong I make one for every birthday so its not like she doesn’t have anything, but with two little ones I couldn’t find the time to scrapbook.
This brings me to this year. I found out about Project Life. Check out the video.
I wasn’t sold at first but then I saw all the amazing things that people were doing on pinterest. Here is my project life Pinterest board, some of these are so incredible I can’t stop looking at them. So I decided that the beginning of the school year would be my week 1. Unfortunately I got side tracked by Sassy Pant’s birthday party and marathon training. So now it is really the beginning of the year so I’m going to make a huge effort to keep on track. I have some tips that I use and some files for you to download, but since I’m not using my kids faces on this blog it seems silly to show the layouts. But here is the first one all sorts of blanked out, but just so you get the idea.
projectlifeHere is my method for making a layout. I open all the pictures from my iphone and real camera for the week in photoshop elements. I pick some inspiration, which usually means I find a freebie set of cards and use them for the week. This week I went with the cool browpaper look of this free My life in Photos set from Three Paper Peonies. Then I try to use a mix of pictures and journaling. I think what really makes it cool are all of the digital “elements” that you add to the pictures like frames, arrows, journaling etc. You can do this with gel pens actually on your photos or I just do it in Photoshop elements. Don’t dismay if you don’t have a photoediting program – here are a list of 20 good ones that will hopefully get you going. I also try to pick a color palatte and maybe two fonts… I don’t really know how to use more than two fonts well so I use the two back and forth. I use the basic A sleeve which is 4 4x6s and 4 3x4s so I use this photoshop file while I’m working on pictures to see how they would look all together.
Also a side note if you only take your photos with instagram there are lots of free templates so that you can put the instagram picture into a 4×6 picture size. Here are some files I made for you to use with your project life.
Project life filesThese files are the frames for either a 4×6 picture or a 3×4 picture and in photoshop or in elements you can click on the type and the frame and change the color or change the font.
Here are the files – download through Media Fire.
Mon 3×4   Tuesday 3×4  Wednesday 3×4  Thursday 3×4 Friday 3×4 Saturday 3×4 Sunday 3×4
Mon 4×6   Tuesday 4×6  Wednesday 4×6  Thursday 4×6 Friday 4×6 Saturday 4×6 Sunday 4×6
I apologize for not zipping these files and making them one download – I have yet to learn to do that, but I will try! Here is the download for the 4×6 that has four different sections in it separated by thin white lines. So after I have all my pictures set I take my 3×4 pictures and put them into this file. It is a 4×6 with two layers for you to drop in 2 of your 3x4s so that you can print them out as a 4×6. Is that confusing? The middle row of the album’s sleeves are 3x4s but you can’t print pictures out that size so I put them on one 4×6 image and then cut them up. I usually use my corner rounder but it won’t work with these frames. Maybe next week I’ll try to make templates that you can use and still round the corners. I print my pictures out at costco which have great photoprinting services – highly recommended online compared to the others like target, walmart, walgreens, etc. Their regular rate for a 4×6 is 13 cents. I need 12 4x6s to fill a two page spread so in the end it costs me $1.56 a week to have a really fun scrapbook. Hopefully I can keep it up all year long!  Oh yeah I almost forgot. My front page is going to be with these files by Cathy z – she’s an amazing graphic designer that really just makes me want to do project life better.

Celebrating a tooth loss milestone

So along with not “doing” the santa thing… we don’t do the toothfairy. I know we stink. It was just something we decided before our kids were really old enough to get it and then well you can’t go changing it then. I really love fantasy and play so it’s probably weird that we don’t do these types of things… but I promise we do try to celebrate and make it fun. This is how I’ve always kept track of Miss Thing’s teeth… she has lost 5… notice that I don’t have any room to write a lot more teeth down and she still has 15 to go. I found this amazing chart online somewhere but I can’t find it again… so I can’t print out more – if you have seen it please let me know and I’ll link to it (and print more).
tooth2And you can see that I even tried to capture some of the fairy magic with a little minature note – I had found the idea somewhere but since it was awhile ago I can’t find it – but here is an adorable printable one.
tooth3All this to say that we have hit another milestone in our house. Sassy pants has lost her first tooth. A whole year earlier than her sister did since she isn’t even 5 and a half yet. Side note – Miss Thing didn’t get teeth until she was almost 1 years old and Sassy Pants got them at 5 months… correlation – first in first out?
tooth1So I couldn’t find that printable I used for Miss Thing and I didn’t have any containers around so I decided to do something a little different. It was fun to create… I got to use some engineering skills and some photoshop skills I hope you like it. It’s called the tooth files. It is a little printable box with 20 files inside. One file for each tooth they are going to lose. This way they have all the information in one place as they move along. I’ll keep the teeth in the box in a little baggie.

Before I give you the files I wanted to explain how I created it… are you game?
I took apart a truvia box. However it was too big to scan and I wanted to make sure you could print the box template on one piece of 8.5×11 paper. So I thought I was so smart and took a picture of the open template and then put it in photoshop and traced the outline… silly me though, it didn’t lay exactly flat so the box came out all geschmutziga (that’s what we say around here when something is messed up bad… some people use Fubar but we try not to use that kind of language.)

tooth4I decided that I could just make my own nice clean template on photoshop using the grid view. It worked like a charm and I even learned how to make dotted lines from this cool tutorial.
tooth5Then I fancied it up with some patterns, some tooth pictures, a little poem that I wrote and some glittery teeth. I printed it onto pink card stock, but I think white would have been better. Here is the file ( boxtemplateteeth(truvia-like) ). Don’t click on the image it won’t be the right resoultion just click on the pdf link boxtemplateteeth(truvia-like).
If you want a plain pdf of this box without making it into a toothfairy box I can send it to you – just let me know in the comments. Next I made little files for each of the 20 teeth. It takes to card stock pages, and again I printed on white and pink and the white looks a lot better. Here are the two tooth files documents. ( toothfiles1 and toothfiles2).  Here are some pictures of what it looks like when it’s done. It’s hard to read the poem in the picture but it says:
Every tooth is special.
Every Tooth has a story to say.
You kep losing them all,
Because you are growing bigger everyday. –
by Kelly from Learning Things on the fly.
Seriously I was good at Math and Science never english so I know that the poem is cheesy but I was crazy excited about it.

So if you aren’t up for this tooth project I have to tell you about two adorable ones.

This one by Handmade by Charlotte is so adorable I just want to send all my friends letters in this stationery. But be warned if you are sucked into cute things you’ll be on her website for an hour… at least.
The other adorable idea is from Filth Wizardry. It’s is so cute, and if you have preschoolers this could actually be the only blog you look at for the next three years and have enough awesome crafts and activities to do with them… I’m adding her to my blogroll as we speak.
Also Miss Tina has this adorable vector freebie that you can use to make your own chart – it’s amazing.

Favorite family craft activity ever!

I spent a majority of my high school career doodling. I always paid attention, but it often seemed like doodling helped me focus. So you can imagine my excitement in stumbling upon the amazing Stephanie Corfee. I love Lil Blue Boo’s blog and I was wasting time clicking on everything looking for more cool stuff and I came across Stephanie Corfee this amazing artist (who actually lives close to us :) ) and she has written the amazing book called Creative Doodling and Beyond. I requested it right away form the library. I totally should have bought it and I might ask for it for my birthday, but it was Christmas and we’re saving for the adoption… I still feel bad. Well it finally came and I giddily ran to the library. The book did not disappoint. There is an activity int here called Family Seek N Find. She actually has a post to the tutorial on her website – PLEASE check it out.

So as we all woke up at 11am on New Years day after a night of staying up late at a friends playing games – I decided a family craft activity is just what we needed. I found a big frame that we’ve had for 7 years in the basement, but I didn’t have any cool poster paper like she had and there was no way we were changing out of our pajamas all day so I just used the butcher paper that we use for wrapping. It kept rolling up so I taped it to the kitchen counter and just put the kids up on it.
doodleearlyMy favorite part was asking the questions. It was a great New Years activity to think of your favorite clothes, hobbies, talents, and things associated with you. After the list I showed the girls the book and we started doodling. The only thing we did different then Stephanie is I had the girls draw in pencil and I’m so glad I did. They erased their pictures like 10 times. Here are Sassy pants doodles of the clothing – Her Mom rocks shirt and her legins with bows on the bottom. Sassy Pants is 5, but I was pretty excited about her doodles – but I did fix up her soccer ball… I know bad mommy.
So here is a progressive look at our doodle as we made it. They doodled a lot but when I went over it with the marker I smoothed some lines so you might be surprised at what they did. My husband was working on the computer and even though he offered up his suggestions he didn’t doodle with us, which is a shame because he is a great artist!
doodle3doodle4doodle5doodle6 doodle7doodle8doodle9doodledonedoodlemainI loved the way Sassy Pant’s doodles looked after they were part of the whole thing. And Miss Thing just did a great job and helped me with the fill in doodles. By the way 80% of our doodles are copied from Stephanie Corfee’s doodle examples. Thinking of random objects is harder than I thought it would be. Since I used butcher paper instead of poster paper we used gel and paint pens to color it in. My favorite was the white gel pen, it made the pictures pop.

Rock Star – Bible Study

In 2009/2010 we started doing the Rock Star Bible study time as a family on Friday nights. We got all the ideas from Carissa at 1+1+1=1. Check out her website to see the list of ideas, but it’s kind of like Sunday school but together as a family at home with fun activities. We made the binder and everything but we moved in 2010 and stopped doing it. This Christmas break the girls decided they wanted to start doing Rock Stars again so they got out the binder that was just laying around in the homeschool room and we ooked through it. It was awesome to see the old prayer requests and how they were answered. So we brainstormed as a family how we wanted to do it now that the girls were older. We decided to do the New Testement since it was Christmas and we want to do it chronologically and make a time line. Miss thing had the idea to write the topics on strips of paper and we’ll make a chain that would represent the timeline. I had ideas of strips of paper and cutouts of the characters that spanned the top of our homeschool room with our number line but her idea was great and much more manageable.
rockstars1We decided to start with the Angel visiting Mary (except now I think we should go back and talk about the annuciation of John the Baptist going to be born. ) We got out three of our Bibles and read the story in each of them in Luke. Then we did a word search together and filled out this simple worksheet ( rockstar1) that I made quickly on word. The worksheets are really to get the girls to be able to picture the event and they always enjoy drawing.
This is Miss Thing’s (she is 7) at first I couldn’t figure out why there was a cat in the picture but she told me that it was because it was in the one Bible story that she read out loud.
rockstarworksheet1We really enjoyed the time together and doing a wordsearch together proved to be fun and easy. I had found this interesting video on the internet about the adventures of Mary and Joseph and watched the one about the Angel Gabriel and Mary. It was very short and a little bit of a different interpretation, but a fun thing to watch.chain
The girls and I decided that we should make our own video. I just found out about Lego Movie. It is by far the coolest free app ever and I definitely would have paid money for it. It is a stop action app – so pretty much you can use legos (or any small figures really) to make a mini movie. It has a comicbook theme with cool word bubbles you can write in and even music. It is beyond amazing and seriously something a 5 year old and a 15 year old would both want to use. My very girly daughters now want to get the batman lego man because of it. Oh yeah, back to Mary and the angel. So we made our own movie. . We hope you like it… I have a feeling it maybe the first of many.

Gifts for kids in class

I never really realized how much stuff we got out of by homeschooling – no teacher gifts, no bus driver gifts, no small tokens for each kid in the class. Since Miss thing has been going to a real brick and mortar school this year I had to ask around to find out what is expected. I don’t want to miss out on something that all the other kids do – my daughter is definitely the sensative type that would be scarred by that, but I don’t want to over do it.

We are really trying to not be crazy about sugar. We are still bad, but I’m trying to get away from out and out candy for my kids. So when it came to think of a gift for her to give hr classmates I nixed her idea of goodie bags. So in comes the Christmas Tree Shoppe. I absolutely love the store. It’s 40 minutes away but well worth it and we try and hit up a local art outreach center that is right near there so it’s not a one and done kind of trip.

I found a basket of 18 cookie cutters for $3.99. They are the nice aluminum ones not plastic. So we firgured we would make ornaments out of them. I had taken a lot of pictures in Miss Things classroom and then thought… hmmm picture ornaments are cool… and 2nd graders are probably too old to make them themsleves. I had Miss thing pick out the 14 she wanted to use (yes she is in a class of 15 – awesome right?) then she outlined  them on two sheets of paper with pencil. Make sure your child outlines the outside of the ornament not the inside. Next I scanned those in and upped the contrast so the lines were pretty dark. Next step is where either Photoshop or elements or some photosoftware is required. I dragged a students picture to the outline and then decreased the opacity of that picture and erased around the edges. So you can totally just use real pictures for this and totally skip this step, but I like doing it this way so that I can put their head right where I want it. You don’t actually have to erase around the edges, but I like to save ink.

Then increase the opacity back up again and print out the ornaments on card stock. Then take the ornament again and place it right over the picture and outline it with a marker and cut it out. Tie a string around the ornament first and then tape the cut out to the back. It has an adorable little shadowbox affect.


Sharing Christmas








This is my first link up (thanks Megan for suggesting it!)… It is a little intimidating having a certain topic to post on…  well here goes.
These are a couple of shots of the Christmassy stuff around our house.
1. This is our super simple advent calendar. I took a frame that I used to put the girls art work in and hammer finishing nails into the side and connected with craft wire. I then use little clothespins that I got at Michael’s to hold up printable cards from 1-24. I got the printable at the Sanvie blog (so simple and beautiful). Then I used post-its on the back so that I can use the calendar over and over again. I think I saw the idea somewhere last year but I can’t find where it was. We usually use our sock advent calendar, but it tends to get so messy and droopy by the end, this was a nice clean calendar!
2. This is our little online advent activity that has some fun interactive thing for my kids to do everyday. If you leave it open there is a little snowglobe that is constantly snowing in the lower right hand corner of your desktop. It makes me smile. A big bonus is the kids played with it for an hour the first time we uploaded it – $3 well spent.
3. This will be our second year hosting an ornament making to raise money for a cause. It was super fun last year, and I’ll write a post about it soon. But at the moment, our living room looks like the staging area for craft wars.
4. This very unique gift that we received two years ago is a nativity from China. It is hard to determine the characters and it had 4 wise men but my kids love that you can spin it from the top.
5. This buffet top is our most decorated space. The whole scene kind of happened by accident. I wanted to make a space for our very awesome new nativity from Azizi Life, but the rest was a mess. Our dining room has a bunch of random hooks left over from teh previous owner so I hung the star ornament on one and then centered the nativity under it. The garland goes up every year some p;ace random and the frame was an after thought to cover up another unsightly hook. I have to admit I really like it – happy accident. It is kind of like our family – cute and quirky – not perfect but can make you smile.
6. That is our jesusnotes printable. The girls have been working on trying to think of “gifts” they can give Jesus and writing it down on paper and putting it in his stocking.
7.This was a random buy two Christmases ago. It’s just nice to move the ornaments onto the little hooks.


Other than that we’ve done a couple little crafts and Christmassy snacks as well as some little services. Mostly we’ve been enjoying eachother in a joyful way.

candy caneI