Ever since I had my first homemade marshmallow at the very trendy and hipster café, Cured in Boulder, Colorado I have had my sights set on making my own. I was really intimidated because it seems like it would be really difficult and complex. I was really surprised to find that it was way way way easier than I had originally thought! Although this recipe isn’t quite as good as Cured’s, it was pretty good! I used this recipe from Alton Brown.


3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 c ice water, divided
12 oz sugar
1 c light corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 c powdered sugar
1 c cornstarch
Nonstick spray


  1. Combine the gelatin with 1/2 c water
  2. In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 c water with the salt, corn syrup & sugar & over medium heat, mix in to dissolve, cover & cook for 3-4 minutes (if you have a candy thermometer, take the cover off once it reaches 240F), uncover and cook for 7-8 minutes then immediately remove from heat.
  3. Slowly pour the mixture from the stove into the gelatin mixture while whisking on low and increase the speed to high for a 15 minutes, the mixture will double+ in size. In the last minute add the vanilla
  4. Combine the powdered sugar & corn starch
  5. Prepare a 9×13″ pan, sprinkle the sugar/starch combo on the bottom and sides of the pan to coat, the pour the mixture into the pan and let sit 4 hrs + (I did overnight).
  6. Turn the marshmallows onto a cutting board, dust with sugar/starch combo & use a pizza wheel to cut into smaller squares. Toss the squares into the sugar/starch combo &  roll until coated. Alton says you need to consume within 3 weeks if packed in an airtight container, but I found the sugar/starch combo is soaked up by the mallows within 4 days.




Paper Flowers

I was obsessed with giant paper flowers for a while, I pinned and I read and searched all of Instagram. There’s some great articles out there. I believe I combined the best concepts(greatest result for the least effort) and compiled in my Snapchat tutorial that I eventually uploaded to YouTube.  I think in all it took me 8 hours to make all the giant flowers in the video, I took my time and didn’t rush. With something so beautiful and individual, you should really give yourself the time to enjoy creating these if possible.


Materials Needed:
Tissue Paper
Pipe Cleaners or other wire
Floral Tape
Zip Ties
Something to tie them to, I used branches fallen in my yard, you can use a dowel or if you want to do a whole wall/space, you can use chicken wire.
Hot Glue
Craft Moss (not necessary)


Crafty Summer Part 2: DIY Marquee Letters

DIY Marquee Letters

I can’t even say a full sentence in this blog post before I give a shout out to the blog they look like the cutest couple, I absolutely love reading their blog and they were my inspiration and my direction for this project. I mean look at this picture!

DIY Marquee Letters -

So I saw this and I was so excited about how much I loved the marquee letters so I shared it immediately with my niece Molly who was getting married soon. I said, “OMG you must make these for your wedding!” She replied something along the lines of – that is so cute, I would do M & M though. To which I replied, “the directions are right there but it looks sort of hard.” To which she smartly replied something along the lines of – yeah that looks too difficult, cute idea though.

I say smartly because she assessed the situation perfectly, this was far too difficult let’s just do something else. Since “too difficult” isn’t in my vocabulary I thought, “well I’ll do it for her then.”

So the blog outlines every step of the process and it is in four parts starting here:

Now there are a few steps that I did differently for better or for worse and that is what I will outline here.

First of all, instead of saying LOVE I went with M & M, look at that ampersand! They cut their letters out themselves, we wouldn’t be able to do that with that “&” so I found someone who could cut them out for me. He printed the font I wanted which was “underground” on a vinyl sticker.

DIY Marquee Letters-WPWW

Then placed the vinyl sticker on the plywood and cut it out with a skill saw (I believe, I missed that part)

Then he primed them and they came to me.

IMG_9854 (1)

So the first thing I had to do was figure out where we wanted the holes and how many holes. The light strings we were using had 25 on each and we wanted more than 8 or so lights on each letter so we decided to use two light strands. Notice the subtle difference in tone? It is no longer I did this and that. Suddenly this has become a two person project. My husband had to help me. I realized I was way over my head the second the marquee letters arrived at our house. I mean how was I going to drill those holes?!

So first things first, find the middle of every point on the letter. I drew a line down the middle of every part of all the letters.

DIY Marquee Letters-WPWW2





You will notice me using sewing tools while doing any craft project. I used this to find the middle.

DIY Marquee Letters-WPWW3

Next I counted out 50 poker chips. They were about the right size and I knew they would help me estimate where each light bulb should go. Yes, I do think outside the box!

DIY Marquee Letters-WPWW4

DIY Marquee Letters-WPWW5


I measured each one so they were equally spaced and then I put marks under each one that would tell Jake where to center the drill bit. I put the poker chips down over and over on the ampersand. I don’t even know if this picture is the final choice.



The next task was finding the right drill bit. We did some test runs but for us the correct size was between two of the bits. So we went with the smaller one. Next time I would go with the large and just paint the inside of the holes. That would have made later steps a lot easier.

Jake drilled all the holes. Then I filled some of the grooves and rough spots that you can see on the previous pictures with wood putty. I wasn’t really going with too rustic of look and it smoothed it out just enough.  Then I painted the letters a buttery/lemony yellow so it would have a warm glow like this Pinterest find:

DIY Marquee Letters - WPWW 6


Then came the impossible… the metal around the edges. Evan and Katelyn (don’t forget I’m living on their every word) had used 6″ aluminum siding. Not so sure we shouldn’t have tried to use that too. We went with this:

DIY Marquee Letter -WPWW 73 inch zinc for roofing

It was more malleable than the aluminum so it wouldn’t be impossible on the ampersand.

There are no pictures of this next part because we were both intensely involved. Jake used an air compressor with staples and stapled the zinc all around the outside edge. We left about 3/4″ behind the letter to cover the wires when it hangs on a wall.

DIY Marquee Letters - WPWW 8

The metal is pretty soft, so from here on out we had to be super careful when working with the letters.

After all the metal was stapled on, we needed to put the lights through. Well, when I painted, the holes got far too small so I had to redrill the holes and yes, I did manage to redrill all of the holes all by myself!

Then I tried to put the lights through again and they were still just a tiny bit too big for the holes. So I used a razor blade/Exacto knife and I shaved down the light just a little bit. I also cut back that clip. I still left part of it because it needed to help clip all the excess wires down in back. Each light ended up fitting snuggly. It did take all day though. Remember there were 50 LIGHTS!!!!

DIY Marquee Letter - WPWW 9

I placed each light base in it’s hole while I was shaving them.

DIY Marquee Letter - WPWW 10

Luckily Wyatt took a nap on this day!

All the lights were connected, I clipped all the excess wires into the light base clips. I used some of Evan and Katelyn’s ideas of skipping holes and going back through. I did this so I wouldn’t end up with a bunch of excess loops of wires. The three letters are permanently connected to each other so it makes them a little hard to move but other than that I was really pleased with how they turned out.


Those foam toy blocks were nice to lay the letters on while I worked on putting the lights in, that way there wasn’t too much weight on the metal.


Finally the big reveal! They were so excited to get them and they surprised me by having them be a focal point of the wedding decor!


Andie Avery Photography was amazing!

You can even see it in the first seconds of the sneak peek of the wedding video! Jay McKenney is also amazing!

So there you have it my second project of the summer. DIY Marquee Letters!


Crafty Summer Part 1: Polar Fleece Rag Doll

So every summer I binge on the crafting that I can’t do the rest of the year while I teach. Several people wanted to know how I did a few of those crafts so over the course of the next few posts I will share some of these crafts!

The first project was a doll for Wyatt’s best friend Lillie. She was about to have a baby brother and I knew she would want to get in on the action and care for a baby as well. I was just going to go to Walmart to buy a little baby doll when I discovered that Walmart thinks all babies born are blonde haired and blue eyed. Well, Oliver was not going to look like that so I decided I better take the logical next step and make her a doll.

I chose to work with polar fleece which was the best decision I’ve ever made and I’m really shocked that more people don’t use polar fleece for doll creating. It is soft, comes in a variety of colors, the material doesn’t fray, and is super easy to work with.

Size was the first thing I need to workout. I decided that if the doll fit preemie clothes that would be easy. I wouldn’t have to make clothes, I could just buy preemie clothes. Bam done! Well not so fast. I bought a preemie sleeper and then tried to figure out what size doll could fit. I measured and did all sorts of things and then decided to go a very strange route that worked.

I drew a quick silhouette of the sleeper on a piece of cardboard, it happened to be a Nike shoe box. Then I eyeballed how long the arms and legs were and bent them, not physically I just redrew it right over the top with bent arms. I really should have taken pictures of this part of the process! I kept redrawing and redrawing until I thought it looked about right. I then cut out the cardboard and tried to put the sleeper on it. It was too tight so I cut a bit here and a bit there and tried it on again. The body was too wide. So I cut down the middle, overlapped the cardboard, taped it back together and tried on the sleeper again. I did this many times until it seemed just right. Then I cut two of the bodies out of the polar fleece.

I then began the face and hair. I used felt to create the eyes. I made the white part almond shaped and decided he would look to one side. I then made little brown circles sewed them together. Then of course I added a little reflection point. I did this with thread just zigzagging back and forth. Polar Fleece Rag Doll  Polar Fleece Rag Doll


Polar Fleece Rag Doll


After I had made the eyes, then I cut out the face which I decided would be an oval. In retrospect I would have made it more of a circle because when I sewed the head to the neck I lost even more height to the oval and I feel like it became too wide without enough height.

I also cut out the hair. This was just a piece of polar fleece that I satin stitched to the face oval. The back of the head was just another of the face ovals with hair almost covering the entire thing. I forgot to take a picture of the back.

Polar Fleece Rag Doll


I then hand sewed the eyes down and the nose and the mouth. I used a technique that Emily shared when we were making a quilt for Granny:

Hand Embroidery

I was pretty happy with how it turned out. I then used a satin stitch and flesh colored thread and attached the head to the body. Then I turned right sides together and used my serger to sew the front to the back leaving the side open. I turned the whole body and stuffed him. Then hand-sewed him up. I love working with polar fleece this part was a breeze!

Polar Fleece Rag Doll

The legs are pretty wide set but they make putting on a diaper so easy for little hands. This is the sleeper I used to create him!

Polar Fleece Rag Doll


After this I made a few diapers just by cutting them out and sewing them right sides together and then sewing velcro on them. Here I am sewing them while illustrating the perils of sewing outside of nap time.



Then I made this carrier using a blog I found on Pinterest.

Here’s the link but I’m also posting the directions in case she ever takes them down Baby Doll Carrier


Baby doll carrier tutorial

While looking for a baby doll carrier tutorial, I came across a couple of rather interesting ones and deconstructed some actual baby carriers. What follows is my own simplified version, which did not have too many buckles, ties and fiddly things for my two year old to deal with. Though it is not rocket science, I thought I would make a more explicit tutorial.

Warning: this is not to be used for a real baby, but for toys only!

Here is the template as pdf. From the printout, cut on the outer edge of the pattern. Once you have cut out your template, add an extra 1/4 inch all around when you cut the fabric. Sew with a 1/4 inch seam.

Materials needed:
This of course depends on the size of the doll and the size of the child. Adapt accordingly when drawing your template, so that you can have a better idea as to how much fabric you will need.
In this instance the doll is 12″ (30 cm) from top to toe and is 4″ (10 cm) around the belly. The child is an average two year old.

  • 2 pieces of cotton fabric 10″ (25 cm) x 13″ (33 cm) for body
  • 1 piece of cotton batting also 10″(25 cm) x 13″ (33 cm) for body
  • 2 strips of cotton fabric 27″ (69 cm) long and 4″ (10 cm) wide for straps
  • 4 buttons
Here is the template I drew up inspired by a well known baby carrier and others out there. You can see the proportion compared with the dolly. In this instance, the template measures 8,5″ (22 cm) across at its largest and 3,5″ (9 cm) at the bottom of the tail. The length is 11″ (28 cm).
There are three layers here starting from the top: the exterior decorative and the interior prints right sides facing each other and finally the cotton batting. Polyester batting would probably work just as well or even some denim – anything to stiffen it up a bit. Sew around, but leave openings for the straps that will be added in the next step. There are three openings. If you think of this template as a fish, then you would not sew the bottom part of the “eyes” and the end of the “tail”.
If you will notice the pins on the bottom of the carrier and almost on the top – this is where I left openings to insert the straps.
You will need two straps, which in this case measure 27″ (69 cm) long and around 1,5″ (4 cm) – 2″ (5 cm) wide finished. Simply cut a long strip with the appropriate length,  but 4″ (10 cm) wide and fold it lengthwise with the print facing in. Sew down all the way, pull it right side out and top-stitch up and down to strengthen a bit. Since my daughter is still rather small, I inserted the straps so that there is still some length of strap to pull out when she grows bigger.
Here you can see how there is a flap on the top that is to be the optional head support for the doll. Kindly note that this section is not to be attached to the straps in any way.
On the back, the straps are criss-crossing. Please make sure that the straps are not twisted before pinning and sewing.
After top-stitching all around, including the strap openings, I made two button holes in the head flap and sewed four buttons so that the flap can be kept down …
… or up. The button holes should fall nicely on both the straps and the bodice, so that they will catch both pairs of buttons. Check this before making the button holes.
The carrier is put on over the head, which does require some assistance for the little one. But once on, it is all hands free carrying.
Here is the carrier with the flap down
And here it is with the flap up to support the doll’s head.
Big brother got a bit jealous because he thought his sister got a pretty nifty toy. Perhaps another one needs to be made for my son and his trusty pal Paddington.
Next item in this project – bibs.
Have a nifty day!

PS: Feed-back on this tute are very welcome. Thanks in advance.



Here he is in his cute little carrier!

Polar Fleece Rag Doll






Toddlers and a Hot Summer: Not a good mix

Now I know many people do not think 100 degree weather means you can’t go outside but I along with many Oregonians (Abigail not included) just want to hide inside when the sun comes out.

This isn’t generally a problem unless you have an 18 month old that has to burn off x amount of calories everyday before they will nap. This calorie burn usually involves a walk or a trip to the park but today I just didn’t want to do either of those things.

Instead I thought, “I would love to have an indoor jungle gym!” while yes I did find a lot of ideas on Pinterest none of them were doable today. So instead I looked around the house and came up with something in about 3 minutes. I created an obstacle.

I have several boxes full of wipes and diapers, and even empty boxes that are sturdy enough for Wyatt to climb and stand on. I also found our foam letter mats that we haven’t used yet. I stacked them all in the hallway so that he couldn’t move around them. Now at first, he just tried to move them but I explained that he had to climb over and the fun began! I would jump to one side of the pile and tell him to come get me and then play with him and then jump to the other side and do the same. We had a super fun time and he was all tuckered out when it was time for his nap.      – Kathleen

Blog Post 1

Blog Post 2

blog post 3


What a beautiful sight!

Quilting for Cheaters

I have been quilting for a year and am loving it. There’s an element of problem solving and a sense of completion, its great. Since I have been quilting, I have heard about this mythical ‘paper piecing’ on blogs and in conversations. It sounded so complex and every finished work I saw associated with paper piecing looked amazingly technical and difficult.

Well, I’m here to tell you. Its cheating. Its amazing. I’m a convert.

All of those pieces with perfect points are now attainable and its all thanks to this tutorial:

SO EASY! Right? You just sew on the lines!!?!??! Fantastic. The only pain is when you make a mistake, its much harder to rip out because your stitches are so small.  I found this pattern on this blog post and am making some progress on my next quilt!