Father’s Day: Printables

Father’s Day is on Sunday just a few days away. I don’t have our gifts ready yet but wanted to share a few with you that simply require a computer, printer, basic supplies, and some time.

A fun booklet can be found at eighteen25.

A cute single page About Dad can be found at Big D and Me.

Fun coupons can be found at The Frugal Girls.

I hope that these are helpful for any other last minute friends out there. I may share our Father’s Day gifts afterwards since they aren’t quite ready!

~Hope

Pinwheel Wreath {June 2014}

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This wreath was actually just an update to a previous wreath I had made. Sometimes you can simply add to a wreath and achieve a whole new look! This update took me about 15 minutes to do.

You could easily add pinwheels to one of those raffia style wreaths just as quick as I updated this wreath if you don’t have a simple wreath you want to add too.

Supplies:
Felt (I used 4 colors out of my stash. I did double layer pinwheels. If you do single layer ones you could do it with 2 colors.)
Scissors
Quilting pins
Wreath (one to update or a raffia wreath)
Ribbon (for hanging)
Lighter or Fray Check

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Cut two squares of the same size for each pinwheel.

Starting at each corner, cut towards the center of the square stopping between an inch and a half inch from the middle of the square. Cut each corner.

I cut the first square and then stack the squares and cut the second square. I find it easier.

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Lay your squares onto the wreath in the place you want it to be when completed.

Fold up one flap and pin in the center.

Go to the next cut and repeat folding and pinning. You will do this at each cut.

Place an extra pin (or two) in the last flap. You can cover them with a button (by hot glue) if you wish but I didn’t. The pin heads are small and not very noticeable.

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I cut two different sizes and clustered them together.

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Cut a length of ribbon (3-5 feet). Double it and slide it under the wreath bringing the loop to the front. Through the hole slide the loose ends of the ribbon. Pull tight. You can secure the ribbon with pins at the back of the wreath if you want so it doesn’t slip around.

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Knot about 8-10 inches above wreath. Hang over hook and tie bow underneath the hook so it will hang securely. (My bow is not very pretty. I haven’t mastered bow tying!)

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Stand back and enjoy!  A lovely but simple wreath!

~Hope

{Shared Post} The iPad is Stealing my Son’s Childhood

Over the weekend I read this article from I Can Teach My Child discussing how we are allowing the overuse of technology. I talked a few weeks about going low tech in my post Life in the Slow Lane. I think Jenae really gives some wonderful tips for unplugging and regulating time with technology!

Everyone head over to I Can Teach My Child and read The iPad is Stealing my Son’s Childhood!

{Recipe} Strawberry Jam (using natural pectin)

More strawberries! 8 quarts is a lot to go through so you still have one more strawberry post coming! It’s a yummy recipe for Pudobbler…. Next Friday, it’s coming!

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Ingredients:
■ 8 cups of hulled strawberries
■ 2 lemons
■ 3 cups of sugar

You’ll need a peeler (or a zester). This recipe can be canned as well but I freeze mine. I have a large freezer but a small pantry!

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Zest both lemons into a large pot. Juice one lemon into zest. Reserve the other lemon you will use it momentarily.

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Pour your sugar into the pot. Heat over high heat stirring to incorporate. Juice second lemon over sugar mixture. Heat until your mixture turns into a syrupy substance.

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Add strawberries. Mix to coat. Remove from heat but leave stove on. You’ll only be away for a minute or two.

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Mash.

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Return to heat. Natural pectin does not foam like commercial pectin does. Stir like crazy. Not really but you do need to stir constantly. Eventually you will see a change from a thin substance to a thicker constancy.

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Remove from heat. This time you can shut the stove off. Cover with a towel. This will keep the heat in but will let the substance thicken. It will also cool it slowly for packaging.

After a few hours, it’s time to separate and package. I put 8 ounces per bag and had 3 bags plus 8 ounces for the jar in my fridge.

Now you have to make some biscuits so you can eat jam! Or peanut butter samdwiches! Yummy!

~ Hope

{Tutorial} Freezing Fresh Fruit

I worked up the 8 quarts of strawberries from the auction and froze some of them. Fresh fruit is not hard to freeze but there are a few tricks.

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You will need your fruit (hulled fresh strawberries), wax paper, cookie sheet, a timer, your freezer, and freezer bags.

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Put a sheet of wax paper down on your cookie sheet and lay your fruit on top. Spread it out. What your doing here is setting up to flash freeze your fruit. This is really important otherwise you’ll have a large lump rather than being able to use a few out at a time. Set a five minute timer and stick it in the freezer.

Depending on the size of your fruit you might need an additional 5 minutes.

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They will start looking a little icy and will be harder when you squeeze them then fresh fruit. Package for your freezer.

You will now be able to pull just one or a dozen individual strawberries out when you want to use them.

You should flash freeze fruits with soft outer edges when freezing to eliminate the huge lump problem. Examples would be strawberries, blueberries, sliced bananas, etc. Uncut grapes are fresh fruit that can be thrown in the bag and frozen without flash freezing.

~Hope

Container Planting Tips

There is a Mennonite community fairly close to my home (within 30 miles) so I am able to get some beautiful produce and plants for very reasonable prices! They also hold an auction where they sell produce and plants. It’s fun just to go to the auction but it’s a great place to get deals. My mom and I always go together because when you purchase from the auction you are getting larger quantities. We got strawberries last week and after splitting them we still each had 8 quarts!

I got a great deal on some daisies and a couple of hanging plants as well this last week. I needed to transplant the daisies so I grabbed some boxes I had from past plantings and a large tub that we had.

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The boxes had a hole in the center, while this is great for drainage it’s also a place where dirt can seep through. An easy fix is to place 2-4 coffee filters over the hole. They are still light enough water can run through if necessary but they will hold the dirt in.

A great filler so you don’t have to use as much dirt is pine cones. I broke them up since my boxes were shallow but I added at least a dozen. They also aid in keeping the soil loose which gives better oxygen to the roots.

Plant!

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I also used a large tub (10 or 15 gallon). To fill that with dirt would make it heavy but would also be expensive!

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I layered in pine cones (I know that picture is from the small box but same concept) and then I layered in newspapers. I repeated this until I was less than a foot from the top. Eventually you will experience some settling but by that point your flowers should be prospering and expanding so you won’t notice it!

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I then add a layer of hay to the top. I water in the hay so that I can water at any time of day with worrying about the roots burning. My daughter (6) took all the pictures for this post. I think they are pretty awesome!

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What are you planting?

~Hope

{Tutorial} Superhero Cupcake Picks

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Brother turned 3 last week! My babies are all growing up so fast!  Tomorrow is Hubby’s birthday too…29! Brother was actually due on Hubby’s birthday but came 10 days early after my water broke spontaneously.

Back to the reason your here…these:

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How cute are these? I was really happy with them and people raved over them! There are extremely easy to make and cheap!

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● word art from Meaningful Mama printed on cardstock (normally it prints 2 to a page but I printed all six on one page by selecting the multiple page option in the print options)
● scissors (to cut the word art out)
● hot glue gun and glue sticks
● lollipop sticks (from in the cake decorating/party section at box stores)

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You are going to place a word art upside down and place a large glob (great word huh!) on the back. Make sure it’s centered and at the bottom of the word (so your word is right side up when your finished). Press the stick into the glue. If you want, you can put a little more glue over the stick but it’s not really necessary.

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Aren’t they adorable?

I also found the cutest little figurine for the sheet cake I made.

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I made a web pattern on the top and placed Spiderman near the center.

All in all it turned out really cute from cake to cupcakes!

~Hope