Friday Favorites–Welcome to the Jungle

I’m about to show my age here, but if you’re familiar with the song title I’m using, bonus points to you.  When my daughter was a tiny little thing, she used to sing it with her dad.  It was the cutest thing ever.  Today is that same girl’s birthday, and while she would (and does) happily sing this with her father, she’s all grown up now.  This week’s Friday Favorites is dedicated to my first-born monkey!

Welcome to the Jungle - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

Around the same time as all that singing, my little girl could not get enough of The Lion King.  That was back when we were all watching on VHS, and the tape was so well-worn it had a permanent stripe across the top of the screen.  Needless to say, we had a lion-themed birthday or two in there.  This little Jungle Party from Simply Designing would have been perfect for my fruit and vegetable lover.

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This Jungle Vine from One Charming Party is a great idea, and I think you could probably recycle paper bags for the vine, making it very inexpensive.

Jungle Vine from One Charming Party

It’s kinda crazy how easy it is to make this Zebra Stripe Cake from My Cake School.  I have got to try this.

Zebra Cake from My Cake School

Craft, Interrupted shares an adorable Feed the Monkey Game here, but what I particularly liked was the little Banana Beanbags.

Banana Bean Bags from Craft Interrupted

A couple of basic paper shapes and some clothespins are all you need to make these stand-up animals from Estefi Machado.

Clothespin Safari Animals from Estefi Machado

This No Sew Leaf Girl Costume from Alpha Mom would be great for your rainforest girl.

No Sew Leaf Girl Costume from Alpha Mom

These sweet Sleep Toy patterns from Livemaster remind me of some I had when I was a little kid.

Toys for Sleep from Livemaster

I remember my kids coming home from school with rain sticks they had made, like these from The Imagination Tree.

DIY Rain Stick from The Imagination Tree

Make play binoculars for your mini explorers with this DIY from Make Life Lovely.

DIY Binoculars from Make Life Lovely

I adore every single part of this Felt Safari Quiet Book from A Handmade Tale.

Safari Quiet Book from A Handmade Tale

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Friday Favorites–Apple of my Eye

We have two dwarf apple trees in our yard.  Every year we root for them (ba-dum-bum), but the number of apples they bear wouldn’t make one pie.  The Asian pear that stands right next to them has so much fruit on it right now the limbs are touching the ground.  I’m no gardener, so I’m not going to begin to understand that, I’m just going to enjoy whatever fruit wants to come my way in the fall. 

Apple Recipes and Crafts - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

Why is it when you bite into an apple and find a worm (or worse yet, half a worm) it’s icky, but when you add the little guy to a crafted apple, like this Patchwork Apple Tote from Hungry Hippie, it’s adorable?

Patchwork Apple Tote from 1 Hungry Hippie

This Upcycled Soda Bottle Candy Apple from Club Chica Circle is a great way to reuse those fun, round pop bottles that are available now.

Candle Apple Teacher Gift from Club Chica Circle

I’ve never heard of Apple Nachos, like these from Allyson Kramer, but I definitely need to give them a try.

Apple Nachos from Allyson Kramer

It’s hard to believe that these shiny Apple Earrings from Sowdering About in Seattle start out as simple paper.

Apple Earrings from Sowdering About in Seattle

There’s that worm again.  I love how Craft Gossip used the handle to add him to these Mason Jar Tumbler Teachers’ Gifts.

Mason Jar Tumbler Apples from Craft Gossip

This Apple Scented Bubble Bath from Smart School House is a great gift idea to stash away for the holidays.

Apple Scented Bubble Bath from Smart Schoolhouse

Oh my goodness.  This Spiral Apple Bread with Caramel Apple Glaze from Inspired by Charm is just…I don’t think I need to say any more.

Spiral Apple Bread with Caramel Apple Glaze from Inspired by Charm

These Apple Coasters from The Purl Bee are so cute.  I especially like the ones with a bite missing.

Apple Coasters from Purl Bee

This Apple Bag from The Ribbon Retreat looks just about right for carrying some books.  And, of course, an apple.

Apple Bag from The Ribbon Retreat

I love this idea so much.  No mess, no core, nothing but crunchy apple, gooey caramel and whatever toppings strike your fancy.  Thanks to She Knows for the next autumn dessert I’m going to need to try.

Mini Caramel Apple Bites from She Knows

Friday Favorites–Back to School

I cannot believe it.  After spending 18 years getting kids ready to go back to school in the fall, I’m done.  My youngest starts college near our home next month, but it’s just not the same.  He doesn’t need anything from me, and I’m pretty sure his professors won’t be asking for party parents, or help with classroom projects.  It’s the end of an era, but I’m really okay with it.  I enjoyed all those years, but I’m excited to move on to this next phase of our lives.  And avoid the giant mom-line at Starbucks on Tuesday morning.

Back to School - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

Start the new school year off right by getting organized with this School Binder with Printables from Thirty Handmade Days.

School Binder Printables from Thrity Handmade Days

If you or your kids pack their lunch, you know sometimes an ice pack makes it a little more edible come lunchtime.  Make them cute and less drippy with these DIY Ice Pack Covers from Little White Whale.

Ice Pack Covers from Little White Whale

The ruffley girliness of this Bustle Backpack from The Sewing Rabbit is so sweet.

Bustle Backpack from Me Sew Crazy

If you have kids of THAT age, you might have noticed all of the options for interior locker decoration available in the stores these days.  Why not make your own?  Sassy Style has you covered with this set of DIYs.

DIY Locker Accessories from Sassy Style Redesign

How come I never noticed that a Twinkie looks like a pencil before?  Thanks to Club Chica Circle, that’s all I’ll see now.

Back to School Twinkies from Club Chica Circle

This First Day of School Sign from Pinkie for Pink is a great way to remember what your kidlet was like each year.  You know, once they’re almost 19 and in college.  Sniff.

First Day of School DIY Sign from Pinkie for Pink

If I needed a lunchbox to head back to school with, I’d make this Bento Box from Lark Crafts.

Bento Box from Lark Crafts

This Back to School Gift for Teacher from Skip to my Lou is a fantastic idea.  You can write your phone number on the tag so the teacher knows how to contact you if they need help in the classroom. 

Back to School Gift for Teacher from Skip to my Lou

My kids were always big readers.  They got it from me, which means someone was always trying to find a bookmark.  We really could have used these Printable Back to School Bookmarks from Simple as That.

Printable Back to School Bookmarks from Simple As That

I don’t remember daily wardrobe being a huge issue for my kids, except for the phase my son went through where any camo was good and it all matched.  In his head.  These closet dividers from West Side View would have been handy to space out the Army green a bit.

Back to school wardrobe organizer from Authentic Parent

To those of you who are getting back in the swing this week, or have already braved those first few days of school, my thoughts are with you!

Friday Favorites–On the Road Again

For some reason, my family tends to take a lot of end-of-summer vacations.  I can’t even blame procrastination.  It just seems that by the time we’re done flipping calendar pages to find a time we’re all available, that’s where we end up.  One year we came skidding into the driveway sideways from a cruise to Mexico the day before my son started school.  He politely requested that we never, ever do that again.  This year we’re giving him a whole week.

Travel DIYs - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

One of my favorite things about traveling is the anticipation.  I want this Vacation Countdown from the Dating Divas, and I want it to always have a number on it.

DIY Vacation Countdown from The Dating Divas

This Vintage Postcard Travel Journal from A Beautiful Mess is so pretty, I might actually remember to write in it.

Vintage Postcard Travel Journal from A Beautiful Mess

We, as a society and definitely my family, travel with an abundance of electronics these days.  They all need juice, which means cords.  Pin-N-Tell shares a smart idea for keeping them from exploding like a peanut can snake all over the inside of your suitcase.  My personal electronic advice:  invest in a wall multi-plug surge protector.  Many hotels haven’t quite caught up to the plug-in needs of today’s traveler.

Travel Charger Organizer from Pic-N-Tell

I like taking a bag on airplanes that’s large enough to hold lots of stuff, but small enough I can stuff it under the seat in front of me, rather than fight the overhead bin battle.  This Large Patchwork Bag from All People Quilt looks just about right.

Large Patchwork Bag from All People Quilt

Ok, those these don’t exactly travel, but they’ve got the look so I’m slipping them in.  Maybe you can make one, using the instructions from The Bark, so your dog has somewhere stylish to hang out while you’re gone.

Dog Airstream from The Bark

Studs and Pearls was able to make these Lace Aviator Sunglasses for under $7, and was probably able to do her nails to match.

DIY Lace Aviator Sunglasses from Studs and Pearls

Unless your kids fall asleep the moment their little behinds hit a car or plane seat, and don’t wake up until you’ve arrived, you have to keep them busy.  This Clipping Toy from Kids Activities Blog seems like it would buy you a few peaceful miles.

DIY Clipping Toy from Kids Activities

Back to that sleeping thing – even if they don’t sleep the whole time, you might be able to coax a nap out of them with these Travel Pillows from Imagine Gnats.

Travel Pillows from Imagine Gnats

This DIY Secret Hanger from Plan B is a great idea.  I could also see it used to hold the accessories to go with whichever outfit is hanging on it.  I love the map fabric she used!

DIY Secret Hanger from Plan B

This one isn’t a craft, but still a good idea.  Visit Stuffed Suitcase to find out how and why to back up your data before you take off.

Backing Up Data Before Vacation Matters from Stuffed Suitcase

Have you done all your vacationing for the year, or will I run into you in Disneyland in September?

Friday Favorites–Shark Week

So, sharks.  I can’t say it’s likely I’d be talking about them right now if there weren’t a popular television channel that has been dedicating an entire week to them, but here we are.  There are some great crafts and DIYs on the subject, but personally, they freak me out a little.  Thankfully, I’m not likely to ever come face to face with one of these toothy guys, because I am completely incapable of swimming.  Not even to save myself from a shark.

Shark Week DIYs - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

Some of the footage shown throughout the week might be a little too much for some of the little ones.  Okay, maybe some of us *ahem* not-so-little-ones too.  Let them play along anyway with this shark memory game from Molly Moo.

Shark Matching Game by Molly Moo Crafts

This Shark Fin Shirt from Dollar Store Crafts is just the kind of thing my son would have found hilarious at that age.

Shark Fin Shirt by Dollar Store Crafts

This Shark Bag from Small and Friendly reminds me of a cartoon that was on when I was a kid.

Shark Bag by Small Friendly

What could be more perfect than a Shark Hoodie Towel, like this one from Just Crafty Enough, for hanging out at the beach?

Shark Hoodie Towel from Just Crafty Enough

I’m not sure how I’d cope with these guys looking up at me, but if you’re intrigued you can find the crochet pattern at stacie71’s Etsy shop.  She also has a few made up for those of us who are crochet-challenged.

Shark Slipper Socks Crochet Pattern from stacie71 on Etsy

Rather have the shark eat your head than your feet?  Check out this Shark Attack Hat from pie popper on Instructables.

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You can also go all in with this Shark Costume from Create Craft Love.

Shark Costume by Create Craft Love

Okay, even I have to admit this Shark Pencil Case from Patchwork Posse is pretty adorable.

Shark Pencil Case by Patchwork Posse

And this Watermelon Shark from Spoonful is pretty amazing.

Watermelon Shark by Spoonful

But I think it’s this Shark Trick-or-Treat Bag from Stitched by Crystal that’s finally lured me into shark infested waters.

Shark Trick or Treat Bag by Stitched by Crystal

Friday Favorites–If the Shoe Fits…

I used to live in flip flops.  I had a favorite leather pair that I wore for years.  Then suddenly one day I couldn’t tolerate the strap between my toes.  I don’t know what happened, but I have to be very picky about what I wear now.  I made myself some flip flop covers a few years ago, which made them a little more tolerable, but they’re still not my favorite.  It makes me sad, because I love the convenience and style options! 

DIY Shoes - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

There is nothing cuter in this world than baby shoes.  The irony is, they don’t need them.  For a pretty solution to unnecessarily covering up those tiny toes, try these Barefoot Baby Sandals from Craftaholics Anonymous.

Barefoot Baby Sandals - Craftaholics Anonymous

For the littles that are old enough to need shoes but have trouble keeping them on their feet, Make it and Love it has the solution with these Interchangeable Flip Flop Back Straps.

Interchangeable Flip Flop Back Straps - Make it and Love it

I have some shoes very similar to the ones used by Me Making Do for this wedge sandal refashion.  This might have to happen!

Wedge Shoe Redo - Me Making Do

I love the black and white ribbon used on May Arts for these embellished flip flops.

Flip Flops with Flair - May Arts

The easy tutorial makes these Dip Dyed Shoes from Frankie seem doable.

Dip Dyed Shoes - Frankie

I’m intrigued by these DIY shoes from Pikkpack.  Apparently, you choose the ribbon and leather colors and they arrive flat-packed, Ikea-style, for you to assemble.

Pikkpack Shoes

My daughter loves her Toms.  In fact, she, all the bridesmaids and her flower girl wore them for the wedding.  Eventually, they do wear out though.  I’ll have to show her how she can give them a second life with this tutorial from Midwestern Thread.

DIY Toms Sandals - Midwestern Thread

Now here’s a flip flop I could consider.  This fabric makeover by The Mother Huddle makes them look much more toe-friendly.

Knot So Hard Flip Flops - The Mother Huddle

I wear slippers in the house, even in the summer, but sometimes it’s too hot.  These Summer Slippers from Lady Harvatine would be great for those sweltering days.

Summer Slippers - Lady Harvatine

These Macrame Sandals from My White Idea look as fun to make as they would be to wear.

Macrame Sandals - My White Idea

Friday Favorites–Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries

We’ve spent most of this week recovering from the wedding.  I’ll be talking about some of the details soon, but it couldn’t have been better.  Everything came together just as we imagined it, the weather was perfect, the bride and groom were very happy and they’ve started their adventure as newlyweds.  And the bride’s dad and I were exhausted.  Since we were busy getting ready, then too tired to cook, there were several days of take-out.  Now I just want some fresh fruit and vegetables, and one of my favorites is a bowl of cherries.

Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

Ok, so maybe this isn’t entirely the healthy food I was talking about, but I’m really intrigued by the idea of roasting the cherries before whirling them into this Roasted Cherry Milkshake from 52 Kitchen Adventures.

Roasted Cherry Milkshakes by 52 Kitchen Adventures

This crocheted set of pin-on cherries from Sewing Adicta gives a little more dimension than embroidery or an ordinary brooch.

Embroidered Cherries by Sewing Adicta

These Cherry Tablecloth Weights from Just Something I Made are a fun twist on a summertime outdoor necessity.

Summer Cherries Tablecloth Weights by Just Something I Made

These Chocolate Maraschino Cherry Mice from Frugal Coupon Living would be great for keeping the kids busy for a bit.

Maraschino Cherry Mice by Frugal Coupon Living

Technically these Cherry Lollipop Valentines from The Tomcat Studio are out of season, but I don’t see why you couldn’t make these any time you wanted to share a little cherry-flavored love.

Cherry Lollipop Valentines by The Tomcat Studio

Ah, the wedding favors.  One of my biggest recent projects (again, I’ll be sharing soon).  Before we landing on our final plan, we looked through LOTS of ideas, like these Cherry Bomb Wedding Favors from Martha Stewart Weddings.

Cherry Bomb Wedding Favors by Martha Stewart Weddings

With some premade pie crust dough and canned filling, these cherry tarts from Frankly Entertaining could be pulled together in a matter of minutes.

Cherry Tarts by Frankly Entertaining

This Cherry Garland from Willow Day is a fun décor idea for a summer party.

Cherry Garland by Willow Day

All I can say about these Quilled Cherries from Manuk is wow.

Quilled Cherries by Manuk

I have got to make myself a pair of these Cherry Earrings from Anna Pika.  So cute!

Cherry Earrings by Anna Pika

Friday Favorites–Here Comes the Bride

Well, here we are.  The wedding is tomorrow, and believe it or not, I think we’re actually ready for it.  I’m sure there’s something we’re forgetting and I’m counting on a day-of disaster, but at the end of it all they’ll be married and we will have spent time celebrating that with friends and family.  I’m just hoping that whatever happens makes for a good story we can laugh about later.

Here Comes the Bride - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

We spent a lot of time deciding on a fun guest book.  I can’t say which idea won yet, but a close second is this Jenga Guestbook from Crafty Morning.  You could reminisce about your wedding and guests every time you play it.

Jenga Wedding Guestbook from Crafty Morning

There are so many beautiful, unique wedding invitations out there.  One that particularly caught my attention was this round version from Voyages of the Creative Variety.  How fun would this be to receive?

Round Wedding Invitations from Voyages of the Creative Variety

Tables generally need centerpieces, and if you have a lot of tables that becomes quite a project.  These little Candle Lampshades from Good Housekeeping would be fairly inexpensive, cute and provide a little mood lighting.

Candle Lampshade from Good Housekeeping

If you’re assigning seats, you also need numbers.  We used some galvanized metal in my daughter’s wedding, so these Numbered Tags from The Country Chic Cottage caught my attention.  It’s hard to believe these aren’t actually metal.

Faux Metal Number Tags from The Country Chic Cottage

It takes a brave soul to DIY a wedding cake, but it can definitely be done.  I love the clever use of a common candy on this Candy Wafer Cake from Intimate Weddings.

Candy Wafer Wedding Cake fom Intimate Weddings

Cake toppers have come a long way since I got married.  No longer stuck with some variation of a bride and groom, people have gotten very creative.  I love the use of vintage fabric on this Star Cake Topper from Project Wedding.

Vintage Star Cake Toppers from Project Wedding

This entire wedding on OneWed is gorgeous, with bright color everywhere, but my very favorite thing is the colorful underskirt on the bride.

Colorful Wedding Dress Underskirt from One Wed

We’ve found decorating an outdoor venue is a bit challenging.  Trying to find the balance between too much and not enough is tough.  These Pom Pom Vines from Once Wed would be a great way to add some color without going overboard.

Pom Pom Vines from Once Wed

This Felt Wedding Bouquet from Something Turquoise is to die for, and they explain how to make every bit of it.  In fact, if you’re in the market for wedding ideas, they have SO many good ones.

DIY Felt Wedding Bouquet from Something Turquoise

As long as we’re talking about a felt bouquet, why not also go with fabric corsages as well?  Check out the tutorial from Little Treasures.

Fabric Rose Brooch from Little Treasures

Wish me luck tomorrow…I’ll see you on the other side!

Friday Favorites–Pineapples

Thanks to our world economy, you can buy most varieties of fruit year-round these days.  Still, there’s something that says summer about a pineapple.  Even though the places that grow them are still on my vacation wish list, they evoke tropical feelings and make me want to hop an airplane. 

Pineapple Crafts and Recipes - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

When I get wherever it is that I’m going, I want to eat these Hawaiian Pork Fajitas with Pineapple Slaw and Coconut Rice by Half Baked Harvest.  If that has to actually be Hawaii, I guess I’ll try to suffer through it.

Hawaiian Hula Pork Fajitas With Pineapple Slaw and Coconut Rice by Half Baked Harvest

Or, I might just go straight to dessert so I can try out these Soft Pineapple Crumble Bars by Averie Cooks.  Love the color.

Soft Pineapple Crumble Bars by Averie Cooks

Maybe if I stick a paper umbrella in a glass of Sparkling Pineapple Lemonade from Create Craft Love it will do the trick. 

Sparkling Pineapple Lemonade by Create Craft Love

I think, for now, I’m going to have to stop thinking about traveling somewhere tropical and just bring a little of it home.  I could start with this pineapple vase shown on Sugar and Cloth.

Floral Tablescape by Sugar and Cloth

This Pineapple Cream Cheese Spread from The Healthy Foodie has an intriguing list of ingredients.

Pineapple Cream Cheese Spread by The Healthy Foodie

I’ve had grilled pineapple, but never watermelon.  I’d love to try these Grilled Pineapple and Watermelon Fruit Kabobs from A Night Owl.

Grilled Pineapple and Watermelon Fruit Kabobs by A Night Owl

Let’s get the kids in on this pineapple thing with this Fake Food Pineapple from While Wearing Heels.

Fake Food Pineapple by While Wearing Heels

I made my daughter a pineapple purse a few years ago, but I love the dimension in this Pineapple Bag from Llevo el Invierno.

Pineapple Bag by Llevo el Invierno 

Maybe giving someone else a pineapple gift will make me forget about my tropical getaway.  This Champagne Pineapple from Super Sandovnik might do the trick.

Champagne Pineapple by Super Sandovnik

Nope, I’m afraid the only thing that’s going to cure this tropical fever is a plane ticket.  I can even keep track of my luggage with this Pineapple Luggage Tag from Jordana Paige.

Pineapple Luggage Tag by Jordana Paige

Friday Favorites–Curb Appeal

Since we’re throwing a wedding at our home in a couple of weeks(!), we’ve been busy spiffing things up.  My husband just replaced all of our dark, 70’s doors with new pine complete with trim.  We’ve actually watered our yard and plants regularly and my son has been busy weeding and spreading bark dust.  It kinda makes me wish we had a wedding here every couple of years or so.  Don’t tell my husband I said that.  But our house and yard have never looked better.

Curb Appeal - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

I actually have wood ceilings on the front porch and back deck of my house, similar to this Peekaboo Pallet Ceiling from Cape Twenty Seven.  It was one of the first things I loved about the house.

Pallet Ceiling by Cape 27

There are so many words you could use on this Welcome Mat from A Beautiful Mess

Welcome Mat by A Beautiful Mess

There’s just something about giant letters.  I love this Welcome Sign from The Wood Grain Cottage.

Front Porch Welcome Sign by The Wood Grain Cottage

This is a brilliant but simple idea to camouflage the electric box from Love of Family and Home.

Camouflaging the Electrical Box by Love of Family and Home

There are bricks on the front of my house, but somewhere along the way someone decided it would be a good idea to paint them.  I don’t know why, and I wish I could go back and stop them, but it isn’t coming off now.  I thought about painting them, but I wasn’t sure it would work.  After seeing this Faux Brick Walkway from The Painted Home I might reconsider.

Faux Brick Walkway by Painted Home Designs

Shutters are a nice touch to brighten up a house.  Find out how to make your own from The Scrap Shoppe.

DIY Shutters by The Scrap Shoppe

If my garden hose is not immediately visible and accessible at all times, my flowers would never see a drop of water.  This DIY Garden Hose Holder from Love Grows Wild is a pretty way to display it. 

DIY Garden Hose Holder by Love Grows Wild

This garage door update from Garr Den of Love just goes to show the huge difference a little bit of hardware can make.

Garage Door Makeover by Garr Den of Love

Mail theft has been an issue where we live, so we have a big, not very attractive, locking mailbox.  I’d love to have a cute little number like this one from Beneath my Heart.

Mailbox Makeover by Beneath My Heart

I love everything about this Tree Bench from This Old House.

Tree Bench by This Old House

Since you can barely get a cart through Home Depot these days, I know we aren’t the only ones knee-deep in home improvement.  Whatcha been working on?