Wednesday, December 19, 2012

About that one book.

I know I don't need to tell you this, I know you expect it of me by this time, but I apologize for being MIA.  You know, handmade Christmas chaos.  I'm sure you understand.  I hope to have things under control enough before the fam and I leave to visit family that I can do some stellar posts - since I know you've been missing them and all...

ANYWAY.  Some exciting news.  Remember how I told you about this book I wrote?

Well, friends, it arrived.  I mean, I got my copies.  I held them in my very hands and smelled their fresh of the press scent.  (Ok, maybe not that part.  They didn't really smell like anything.) BUT I did see my name in print in real life, and that's plain cool.  (If you follow me on FB or instagram, you already know this.)

AND.  Well, in honor of this momentous occasion, I want to give you a copy!  You can click on over to A Girl and a Glue Gun (you know, the other Kim) to see how to enter the giveaway for a chance to get my book for freesies!  The giveaway's already open, and she's picking a winner on Christmas Eve.  How fun is that?

AND.  If you simply cannot wait to win, you can always go buy it online on Annie's Catalogue:  Modern Mod Podge by Kimberly Mueller.  It's available via hard copy or electronic.  

More to come on this front!  For now, just enter the giveaway, dream about awesome mod podge projects, and anticipate the holiday gift tutorials I am hard at work on.  (that was an awkward sentence, but I'm too tired to change it...)

*Be sure to check the right sidebar for all the fun parties I link to!

Friday, December 14, 2012

For the Aunts, Uncles and Cousins

Alrighty.  This is super easy.  Super duper.  And that's good if you've got a lot of aunts and uncles on the list.  (Did you hear that aunts and uncles?  Stop reading!!)

It's really the same kind of idea as the story books from yesterday, but with less pages, less drawings, and a shorter plot.

All you need for this little gift is a kid who likes to draw, white card stock, crayons, a pen, a scissors, contact paper, and some kind of box.

1. Direct your child to draw a picture of the aunt, uncle and cousins that the puzzle is for.
2. Make sure to remind him that he should color the WHOLE page.  No one wants to try to figure out a puzzle with multiple blank white pieces.  Have your child tell the story of the picture while you write it on the back.
3. Instruct your child to cut the picture into pieces.  Make sure he knows to make odd shapes, not your typical squares and triangles.  Otherwise you'll end up with a whole puzzle of triangles.
4. I actual don't use contact paper, I use this "peel and stick" brand - it's "laminate" and I like it better - seems more transparent and somehow sturdier.
5. Cut a piece and lay it sticky side up.  Put the puzzle pieces on it. 
6. Cut another piece and lay it sticky side down, sandwiching the puzzle between.

All that's left is for you to cut around the pieces again!  f you "laminate" all the pieces separately, they'll be better protected than if you cover with contact paper and THEN cut.  So, yes, it adds an extra step for you as your 4 yr old is likely unable to recut around the shapes he initially cut with any kind of accuracy.  But it'll be better in the long run.

We practiced putting them together, and even though some of the puzzles ended up with some crazy tiny pieces (accidentally) they were all doable!  Plus, it's like a two in one puzzle, because the front is the picture, but you have to flip it over and do it again if you want to know what was happening!  For instance, if you look at the picture on the left, you probably can't really tell that Aaron, Sarah and Gabe are having a party with a pig who's in the mud and eating a worm cake with candles on it and you can't have a cake without candles and obviously there is a lot of confetti in the air.  You have to turn it over to get the full story.
Slap a label on it and that's that!  It's true that the contact paper does make the pieces a bit slippery.  I may add a bit of felt to the back with hot glue and then put a larger piece of felt in the box for a mat to stick them to. 
And when I say "may" I mean after I complete all of my OWN gifts I have to make for people.  Which means probably not, but I'm trying to fool myself into thinking I am because I'm kind of a closet perfectionist.  I'm also a procrastinator, so it doesn't work out well.

The Breakdown:
Kid Time: Totally depends on how detailed the pictures are and how good they are with scissors.  For us, probably about 10-15 minutes per picture.
Adult Time: This includes guidance with the cutting, putting the pieces in contact paper, cutting them out and making and adding the labels... all told it took about 15-20 minutes.
Total: 25-35 minutes for one.  We spent two afternoons on these - so we made 5 of them in about 2 hours or so.

I can't help it.  The top one is the pig party I already mentioned and the bottom one is my other brother, his wife and their two boys blasting off into space.  There's a comet, Jupiter, Saturn, and a very special star down there in the lower left corner.  He had to explain to me that the window is way too big but it was the only way he could include all four of them...
What a ham.

*Be sure to check the right sidebar for all the fun parties I link to!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

For the Grandparents

This first gift from bug is the one that started them all.  Once we finished these, we decided to go hog wild with the rest of the fam, too.  As the title of this post implies, this is an idea for the grandparents.  (Did you hear that grandparents??  STOP READING!)

These are super personalized, actual book-sized storybooks.  Not a super novel idea, but we made them pretty special.  And here's what you need to make them:
Plain white computer paper
Card stock in your choice of colors (2 pieces)
Crayons or Markers (and a pen)
Washi Tape (what else??)

Really easy concept here.
1. Have your child think of a story with a particular grandparent in mind.  Have him draw the pictures as he makes up the story.  
2. If he seems to be telling the story, but skipping some key pictures, you can prompt him a little, but remember this should really come from him and be HIS creation.
3. Line your pages up on top of each other in order.  Place them on top of one of the card stock pieces...
4. ...and draw a line across the top of the drawings on the card stock - to mark where to cut.
5. Do this with the other piece of card stock too.
6. Cut each piece to size.

7. Staple along the left side.
8. Lay washi tape over the top of the staples.
9. Trim the ends of the washi tape.
10. Fold the washi tape over to the back of the book and smooth it down.  You've made a spine!

11. Now you'll just write the story as your child tells it to you.  You can let him write key words, or if he's older, he can write the whole thing. 

11. You can add another piece of washi tape to the front and a piece to the back to extend the spine a bit more and make it smoother.
12. The final step is to let your child illustrate the front cover, write the title and sign his name.

I can't decide which book is my favorite - we've got Grandma and Ezra and the Pirate, Oma and Ezra Visit the Zoo, Opa and Ezra and the Motorcycle and Grandpa and Ezra Show Their Art.  I really do love them all.  I think these will be especially fun for his Grandparents in Utah who don't get to see him all the time - since it's a special story he created all by himself of something they did together.

The Breakdown:
Kid Time - anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 days if you don't set a time limit.  Or maybe that's just my kid.
Parent Time - about 5-10 minutes.  It depends on how detailed he insists his stories be.
Total - about 10-15 minutes per book.  I think we did all four in about 40 minutes, drawings and writing included.
Appropriate Age Range - 4 yrs. on up.  My 3 yr old would have very little patience for creating an entire story, even though she likes drawing.  But this was perfect for bug who loves making up stories; his passion for which is second only to his passion for drawing.  Of course, the older the child, the less help needed from mom, which is nice.  I don't really trust my 4 yr old with a stapler yet - I have memories of stapling my middle finger to a paper bag around that age.

I just had to share this picture... obviously this is a drawing of bug and his Grandma playing in the backyard when all of a sudden a pirate comes and steals him away.

And if your son is anything like my son, he'll beg you to read them - all of them - every single night.  We may need to make more of these.

If you missed the introduction of this little series and want to know what it's about, just go here!  And don't forget to link up your kids' Christmas stuff!

*Be sure to check the right sidebar for all the fun parties I link to!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Kid Gift Party!

Today's the day!  Link up your Christmas gift and decor ideas THAT KIDS CAN MAKE very nearly, almost entirely ALL BY THEMSELVES!

Don't be shy!  Link up as many as you'd like!  
Take the button and spread the word! 
Link party ends on Christmas Eve.
I'll be featuring my favorites, over the next few weeks, too.  Have fun!

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*Be sure to check the right sidebar for all the fun parties I link to!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


a mini-series, just in time for Christmas!  

Last month I was thinking about homemade Christmas presents and what I'd be making for everyone... and I realized how fun it would be if bug could make his own presents this year. I know I'm every bit the biased parent, but bug has a long list of talents - among them an artistic ability with crayons and markers that I'm even a bit jealous of.  What if I could prompt him along into using this and other abilities to make special items for our loved ones?  It's certainly not a new idea, but one I hadn't considered yet since my kids are still so young.  At four years old, I figured there had to be a number of things he could make with little or no guidance and help.

I was excited at the prospect of how much these little treasures would mean to our family members receiving them, but even MORE excited about what it would mean to bug.  I'd venture a guess that almost all Christmas presents are giving in a spirit of love, and that's awesome.  But I think bug will understand that spirit of love and Christmas giving even more when he's poured himself into his own little presents.

We may even throw in a few made by the girl, if I can wrangle her up long enough to finish anything...

I had some criteria for the gifts.
* They must be made from things I have on-hand, or at the MOST very inexpensive craft ingredients (i.e. something I can pick up for no more than $2 or so.)
* They must come from the heart and be something that got bug excited.
* They must require very little of my attention and hands-on guidance.  Not that I don't want to craft with my son, but I wanted him to be really proud of his achievements.  Also, I have gifts of my own to make!
* They must take little time - usually only an afternoon, no more than two.  We are on a time crunch until Christmas, AND his attention span is... well... that of a 4 yr old.

So there you have an idea of what I was going for when he and I planned his gifts.  I understand that not all kids have the same talents/interest levels, so a lot of these can be tweaked to fit your own child.  Also, the older the child, the more of each project he can do by himself, obviously.  In each post I'll leave you a summary including how much time he spent on it and how much time I had to spend on it, and various other key details you may want to take into consideration (besides the actual tutorial details, of course.)

Furthermore, since I'm sure this isn't a foreign concept to you crafty chicks, I'm opening up a link party so you can share your ideas for kid's Christmas creations - gifts and decorations alike!  So look for that tomorrow.

My plan for his gifts was only solidified when I heard President Deiter F. Uchtdorf speak at the First Presidency Christmas Devotional on Sunday December 2nd.  You can read or watch President Uchtdorf's message here.  I highly recommend it.

This likely won't be an everyday post, but I hope the little ideas we share throughout the coming days (and possibly weeks, depending on what we have time for...) help inspire you!

PS, if you are a family member, you may want to skip those posts... unless you don't want to be surprised on Christmas.  In which case, you're a Scrooge.  

*Be sure to check the right sidebar for all the fun parties I link to!

Monday, December 10, 2012

How to Create the Most Gorgeous, Delectable Two Tier Beauty of a Birthday Cake You Have Ever Seen.

No, people, I am NOT kidding.  For tonight's Yummy Monday, I will show you how I created the most gorgeous two tiered cake I've ever made.  I know you are skeptical, and I really can't blame you, since we all remember this debacle (and can some of you please, for the love, click on different tutorials so I can get this one OFF of the most popular list over on my sidebar there?  It's embarrassing!)  

Back to the matter at hand.  After that cake, and this one, and this thing, I begged my sister IL to make the cake for my daughter's 2nd birthday.  Enter, adorable beehive cake.  She also made the cake for my best friend's party.  And for my husband's.

I decided I needed to give her a cake break.

So I present to you: A cake tutorial.  

1.  Amidst the cleaning of the house, the sewing of the birthday outfit (which you can see if you follow me on instagram - @bugabooblog), the making of decorations, the making of party favor bags, the making of birthday presents which are quickly discarded for their less interesting and time-consuming counterparts, the creating and stuffing of pinatas, and other birthday party hoopla, realize that you have yet to worry about food.
The birthday present.  Also, I made a map.  More photos to follow at a later date.
2.  Realize that the party is the next day.  How could you overlook food?
3.  Wonder if anyone actually NEEDS to eat... you DID make homemade rock candy, after all.
homemade purple rock candy.  First attempt!
4.  Drag your mom with you to the store to load up on some party food after grudgingly acknowledging that party-goers can't be expected to nourish themselves on pure sugar coated sticks.  Especially since some of those party goers are not related to you.
5.  Grab the necessary ingredients for your "famous" picco de gallo and guacamole.  Also, the necessary ingredients to create adorable fruit cups.  As you're walking down the baking aisle, wonder what in the world you're thinking.  You still have to finish the aforementioned birthday outfit and pinatas AND decorate.
Her outfit.  She dressed as Dora - sans shorts plus mini sweater skirt.  Tutorial at a later date.  I also made those yellow ruffle socks since no one in the known world sells those.
6.  Run by the bakery section.  Become indecisive at the last moment.  Grab multiple styles of cakes - medium, little and cupcake.  They'll all come in handy at some point right?
7.  When you get home, stare at your cake options.  Become more indecisive.  Decide you don't really have to decide.  Grab a spatula and scrape the little cake carefully onto the top of the big cake.  Note: Go slowly.  Slide the spatula around the bottom of the cake first, to loosen it.  You will likely have a little hole or crack in the frosting of the small cake - don't worry!  You can put that in the back.

8.  Top with the 89 cent candelabra type candle holder you bought back in the summer for this occasion and nearly forgot about.
9.  Realize you don't have any candles that are skinny enough to fit in said candelabra.
10.  Borrow skinny candles.  Who cares if they don't match the color scheme?  The cake is brown and white, for crying out loud!

11.  Pull the pink plastic pony heads off of the cupcakes.  Make sure to clear them of frosting - the most efficient way is with your tongue.
12.  Set out the pony-less purple cupcakes STRATEGICALLY - in front of the cake.  That's all the kids will care about anyway.

13.  Send your husband for tacos at Taco Bell.  At least you made the pico de gallo.
14.  Say happy birthday to your baby - not such a baby at 3 years old now!

PS.  Extra bonus points if you cause your daughter to kick over the cupcake stand while hoisting her up to blow out her candles.  If the cupcakes land upside down on the tile and lose their frosting as the plate flies across the room and shatters into a million pieces while both the birthday girl and her nearby brother start wailing in terror and guilt at what they think is their fault, after which the brother runs upstairs to his bedroom completely fraught with emotion, well, kudos for going the extra mile!

*Be sure to check the right sidebar for all the fun parties I link to!

Thursday, December 6, 2012


This is a post about advents.  And it's really advantageous for you to read it.  You see what I did there, right?  Advent-ageous?  
It's either a play on advantageous OR a cross between advents and contagious.  You decide.

What IS for SURE contagious?  The desire to create one-of-a-kind beautiful works of art like the advents below.  I love them all.  I'm not kidding when I say I want to make each one of them.  But that would be a ridiculous amount of advents at one time.  And we don't have that much space.  Plus, it would take a long time to make them all, and Christmas would be over by then.  BUT, here's to numerous ideas for next year, right?  Plus, if you haven't made one yet, we're not even a week in... you can still start!

1. Wood Spool Scavenger Hunt - Just Something I Made
2. Origami Calendar - Homemade Gifts Made Easy
3. Felt Circle Countdown - She Knits Shizknits
4. Framed Boxes (and bits of sentimentality) - Kate's Creative Space
5. Bookcase Diorama - Two Shades of Pink

6. Christmas Street (A Paper Village Advent) - Mr. Printables
7. TP Tube Garland - Maya Made
8. Matchbox - Martha Stewart
9. Tool Box - Sassy Style
10. Santa Beard - Oopsey Daisy
11. Gum Countdown - Delia Creates (Other awesome ideas in this same post - like the "Magic Golden Box" and the Christmas Book a Day)

12. Shoe Organizer - Sparky Fizz
13. Favor Boxes - Envelopments
14. Clothespin Countdown - Kirsty Wiseman
15. Magnetic Advent - Twig and Thistle
16. Paper Cone Trees - Pink Suede Shoe
17. Toilet Paper Tube Elves - Canadian Living Magazine
18. Wire and Frame Advent - Craftaholics Anonymous

19. Advent Pinata - Monkey Choo (this is the english translation link)
20. Bingo Number Countdown (with fabric gift tag pockets) - Skip to my Lou
21. Yogurt Cup Punch - Les Couleurs de l'air (this is the english translation link)
22. Rustic Bags - bonbon mini
23. Punch a Bunch - Tidbits from the Tremaynes
24. Wall Pockets - The Craft Crow
25. Advent Ornaments - kojo designs

I can tell you right now that we will FOR SURE be doing number 25 next year.  And maybe a shortened version of it this year still.  As for the rest?  Well, isn't is just like me to add mountains to NEXT year's to-do list when this year's to-do list is still miles long?  Perhaps I'll just sit here and look at all the eye candy until the feeling passes.

Want more eye candy?  You can find these and about a billion other Christmas ideas over on my "Christmas Love" Pinterest Board.

*Be sure to check the right sidebar for all the fun parties I link to!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Good thing I hoard.

I realized on November 29th that I had been intending to create an awesome advent calendar.  Truly, truly awesome.  Big dreams, guys.  HUGE.  This realization was followed by procrastinators remorse, since I was fairly certain there was no way I could recreate any of the advents I'd pinned in only two days, with no money left in the craft budget.
The fact is, this has happened literally every year for the past 3 years.  And once again, I was going to put it on the to-do list for next year - resolving to finally check it off early in November.

And then I thought, no.  No, by golly.  These kids need an advent.  (And quite frankly, I kind of needed one too, to help get me in the right mood for Christmas...)  So I decided to quickly dig around the house and in only two nights create:

It's groundbreaking, really. I know.  Make some cute printable circles - red, turquoise, citron green - with numbers 1-24.  Print them out on white card stock.  Punch the circles out with your circle punch.

Brown paper lunch bags.  Plain white card envelopes.  Washi tape.  Ribbon.  Baker's Twine.  Decorate to your hearts content.  Though, I do discourage you from staying up until 2 to finish this step.  
Slip in a tiny scrap of paper with a fun family activity and two small treats - which may or may not be leftover Halloween candy.  And by may or may not I mean definitely was.  I was going for on-hand here, remember?  I also slipped in a few non-sugary treats like some super balls and sticky hands.

I needed an "on-hand" way to hang the bags and envelopes.  I created a bow with some heavy cotton fabric that was kind of stiff and would hold its shape.  I sewed a casing using some white fabric for the inside of the bow.  After making the casing, I sewed it into a rectangle.  Then I squished it in the middle and wrapped some knit fabric around it, tying it tightly in a double knot in the back.  

I left the ends long so I could attach the goodies.

I used wooden clothespins that I had - you guessed it - on hand. 

 I didn't buy a single darn item for this project.  Not one.  Not even the goodies, which is probably me being extra cheap, but I did only have two days to whip this whole thing up.

Maybe next year I'll make something crazy awesome.  I'm saving the bags as we open them as a backup though.

It's only December 5th.  You still have time.  Especially if you go this route.

*Be sure to check the right sidebar for all the fun parties I link to!
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