window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'UA-54570621-1'); Keeping it Real: May 2015

Friday, May 29, 2015

Lego party printables - part 2 - birthday banner

If you remember my post from earlier this week, this year we are having a Lego birthday party for my son. I've stated early because there are lots of details I want to make sure I have time for. Party printables are one of them.

So today I'm sharing the Lego happy birthday banner: 

lego birthday banner free printable

You can download the pdf file here. The file has thirteen pages, one for each letter of the words "Happy Birthday". You just need to print it, cut out the rectangles and glue them directly on your wall.

If you prefer, you can also glue them over a piece of year and create a garland. I haven't done any of this yet, as it's still too son to start decorating (the party will be at the beginning of July), but I'll be sure to post some pictures closer to the date.

The background on the triangles isn't mine, I found it here via Pinterest.

And don't forget to download the Lego cupcake toppers here!

Have fun!

keeping it real, craft blog

Thursday, May 28, 2015

No clutter in 2015: week 21 update

decluttering, no clutter in 2015

This week I'm focused on decluttering my kitchen. This includes counter-tops, cabinets and the pantry. 

I was actually going to post some tips on how to declutter the pantry, learned the hard way, from personal experience, but I realized such a post would be useless without actual pictures, so I'll work on that over the weekend and post next week instead. 

I started with the counter-tops, mostly storing away several kitchen appliances that are not used everyday and were just occupying space and gathering dust outside. Now they are safely tucked away in one of the cabinets. 

To gather space in the cabinet to store the appliances, I needed to substantially reduce the number of cookbooks and recipe magazines that previously lived there. I went through all the recipes and discarded everything that I've never used before and probably never will. Things that one or more family members don't like (when I cook, it must be something everyone can eat), recipes that involve food we just don't eat at our house, etc. There are so many great recipes available online, that it's useless to save a lot of them on paper! Actually, I'm debating whether or not I should just scan all our favorite recipes, store them on the computer (or on Pinterest) and get rid of all the paper.

I still have some work to do on the counter-tops, but mostly small stuff, half of which will probably just be tossed in the garbage can anyway. 

Then I went through the pantry (hence the post I was planning for today and that will be out next week instead), discarding a lot of things and storing others in a different way. I hate to throw away food, so I don't want any food items to get lost in the pantry and end up not being used before expiry date. 

Finally, I need to tackle the rest of the kitchen cabinets. Only the one where the kitchen appliances are stored was decluttered and cleaned out, but the others need to go through the same process as well, and I'm sure a lot of items will the tossed out too. I'll let you know next week!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

May 2015 crochet along - update on part 3

This is just a quick update on the May 2015 crochet along. If you remember my latest post, I finished part 2 on Saturday. Since then I've been working on part 3 (check here for the patterns), although today Joanita, from  Creative Crochet Workshop has already published part 4, the final stage of the challenge!

Here are the completed small rectangles from part 3:

crochet along, scraps of yarn, may 2015 mystery CAL challenge

And the large rectangle (with some color change in the middle of the rows; can't be helped if you're using just scraps of yarn!): 

crochet along, scraps of yarn, may 2015 mystery CAL challenge

Last night I started putting it all together, following the instructions. But I've been putting in long hours at work and, on top of that, I'm down with a nasty cold. So I must have been half asleep and this is what I found on my kitchen table this morning. 

crochet along, scraps of yarn, may 2015 mystery CAL challenge

There is nothing particularly wrong with it, though it's still incomplete. But if you've seen Joanita's instructions, you know that the granny squares made using the same pattern are not supposed to be together on the same side of the large rectangle. But now I've put two in place and I should really remove one and switch it for one of the other granny squares. 

I've been debating all day, but probably I'm just going to leave it as is. No one but the people that have actually seen the patterns will know about it, and if I need to go back and do it right, I'll probably will not get if finished during the month of May. Or ever. 

Anyway, I'll see tonight how it goes, and I'll publish the photos of the final project as soon as I can.

In case you haven't heard about this challenge before or you're curious about how (and what) all these pieces of crochet are going to end up when assembled, check out Joanita's Creative Crochet Workshop

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday 27/May

Welcome to the last (Almost) Wordless Wednesday of May! It's been a couple of weeks since I posted sunset photos and I couldn't resist taking these ones on Monday evening...

 ...and then a little late, with the moon already high in the sky...

Monday, May 25, 2015

Lego party printables - part 1 - cupcake toppers

These past weeks have been slow in terms of crafting, but since I have less than a month and a half until my son's 8th birthday party (beginning of July), I decided I needed to start preparations on that front as well. This year we are going to have a Lego birthday party! 

lego party printables, free lego printables, lego cupcake toppers

I loved Legos when I was growing up and apparently my son has inherited that trait. We recently went to a Lego Fan Festival (I'll have to share those photos here one of these days), not to mention that we have a Lego city permanently installed in a corner of our living room (I wish I could move it to his room, but I'm pretty sure half of the constructions would not fare well traveling up the stairs...).

Lego cupcake toppers

Anyway, this is just the first post of a series. This year I'm starting early on purpose because I want to make a banner, the invitations and some party favors. And I have a different set of cupcake toppers (this time with Lego faces) in the making as well. Let's see if I have enough time for everything I planned. 

Lego cupcake toppers

And I'll share all the printables here in case anyone wants to use them too! If you want the Lego cupcake toppers, just download and print the pdf file here.

Have fun!

keeping it real, craft blog

Celebrate Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day to all my US readers. I'm in Portugal, so it's not a holiday for us, but it's never too much to remember and honor the men and women who died in military service.

Enjoy your holiday!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

May 2015 crochet along - part 2 is finished!

Hi everyone! I rarely have time to write posts during the weekends but I just wanted to brag about the fact that I've finished part 2 of the challenge and I'm already working on part 3.

Here are the completed large rectangles from part 2:

crochet along

And the small rectangles + the four flowers: 

crochet along

In case you haven't heard about it before, the May 2015 crochet along challenge was launched by Joanita, from  Creative Crochet Workshop, so go check out her blog for the patterns and updates. 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Felt (or fabric) envelope gift package tutorial

Finding new ways to pack my homemade presents is always a challenge. And when I made the Frozen art bag last weekend I knew I wanted something original.

envelope gift package tutorial
I toyed with the idea of customizing a cereal box (using the cereal box to gift bag tutorial I posted a couple of weeks ago) but the Frozen bag was too big to fit into a cereal box. Then I decided I wanted a fabric covered box but after tweaking with the idea, I realized I would not have enough time to finish it before the party. And so I came up with the felt envelope gift package: 

envelope gift package tutorial

When I got the felt to make the bag, I bought an extra piece. I didn't know at the time exactly what kind of bag I would end up making and I didn't want to find myself needing more felt and not getting it again in the same shade of blue. Bottom line, I ended up with an extra piece, a square roughly the same size as the one I used for the bag (in the second picture you can see how it compares to the finished bag).

Looking at the felt and the bag, it became obvious what I had to do to, and it was so easy that I decided to make a small tutorial.

If you want to create your own envelope gift package, just follow the steps below: 

1. Keeping the gift you are wrapping centered as shown above (this is easy if your gift is flat or at least not too thick, so it's perfect for folded clothes, books, art bags, puzzle boxes, etc), fold the sides over and pin them together (be careful not to damage the gift below; you'll remove it in a bit, but it's easier to keep it there now for an accurate sizing of the envelope)

2. with matching thread, sew a couple of stitches to secure the sides in place. Alternatively, just glue the edges together.

3. Now fold the bottom over and pin in place. Again, sew or glue the edges and the folded over sides (the bits at the bottom of the envelope where the bottom flap folds over the sides). Sewing (or gluing) the sides is only necessary if you're using a thick felt of fabric, like me. Otherwise, just pressing in place will do the job.


4. Your envelope is now ready. Put your gift back inside and fold the top flap over: 

5. Secure it in place with a piece of ribbon or cord and add a tag if you want (I had printed an extra tag when I made the Frozen art bag so I used it here): 


You can embellish the envelope as much as you want. I kept it simple because I thought the Frozen art bag already had enough glitter and I didn't want to overdo it. 

Felt is a great to create these envelopes because it doesn't fray, but fabric works great too, as long as you cut the edges with pinking shears. 

And it's a wonderful way to use fabric leftovers from your projects while creating an unique gift package. 


Thursday, May 21, 2015

No clutter in 2015: week 20 update


Can you believe May is almost over? In a little over a week we'll be in June and summer is almost upon us.

This past week was really slow in terms of decluttering, since I've been busy with a lot of other things, from working late and getting home just in time to rush the kids to bed to an excess of birthday parties (two last weekend, one more scheduled for next Sunday).

In between, I've gone back to books. Even though I've discarded a lot of them, I still have tons in my bookshelves, so I gave it another round and got rid of a few more. Some were saved in digital format and some were not, because I really want to make a selection and keep only those books that I enjoyed and my want to re-read again.

And I'm also going through a huge pile of yarn scraps. In fact, the May Mystery crochet along challenge couldn't have come at a better time, since I've had all that yarn in a bag in my craft closet for years and this is the perfect excuse to finally get rid of it. So it counts as decluttering too.

Next weekend I expect to be too busy to tackle any major projects, but I have a lot of little things that need attention, from the kids shoes (they've outgrown a few lately and I need to purge) to finishing the exchange between winter/summer clothes (hopefully getting rid of a few more in the process) to my son's very messy closet. I'll let you know how it goes next week!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday 20/May

Sometimes great things come when you least expect them. Last week I met my husband for a quick lunch near his workplace and, while taking a short walk afterwards, we came accross a small, quiet park, tucked in the middle of the busy city.

wordless wednesday, park photoswordless wednesday, park photos
 wordless wednesday, park photos

The place seems to have been part of a farm some time ago and there are several buildings in need of upgrading, but the gardeners were hard at work and we also saw a half built playground, so I guess we'll be returning in a few weeks with the kids to check it out again.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Frozen DIY art bag

Yesterday we went to a Frozen themed birthday party for a little girl turning four. And because I love themed birthday parties I decided I needed to make a custom gift (even though we had a crazy, busy week and I didn't have much time...).

Frozen DIY art bag

Remember the art bag I made for my daughter last Christmas? I wanted to make something similar, but since I was pressed for time I decided to simplify.

May 2015 crochet along update everyone! I've been hard at work on the May Mystery Crochet Along, so here's an update!

In case you missed my post last week, Joanita from Creative Crochet Workshop invited me for the May Mystery Crochet Along. Part 1 was posted on May 6th and part two on May 13th and you can use only yarn scraps to complete the challenge (patterns are posted by Joanita on her blog). 

I've started a bit late since it took me a while to gather the yarn leftovers I wanted (needed) to use, but I've now completed part 1 and started part 2, so I'm guessing that by next Wednesday I'll be almost ready to tackle part 3 of the challenge.

Here are the completed blocks from part 1:

Since we are supposed to use the same type of yarn throughout the CAL, I gathered all leftovers from a rug I made several years ago, but after a while I was getting tired of all the greens and browns so I cheated and added a dark blue (leftover from the boy version of the easy winter hat). It's a bit softer than the others but works well with a size 4 hook too, so I'll be using it here and there to break the monotony of the other colors.

Hart at work at the beach on Saturday evening: 

If you want to take part in this crochet along, there is still time! The party is on here and you can post your pictures directly onto Google+.

Have fun,

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