September 15, 2014

DIY Hover Ball

If you have a child between the ages of two and 12 chances are you have either seen the commercial for the Hover Ball or have at least heard about it. If not, the Hover Ball is an indoor toy that looks like a soccer ball cut in half that glides easily over any type of flooring. I have personally found it is as fun for adults as it is for kids!

For my son's 5th birthday he begged for a Hover Ball so we ordered one about one month in advance of his big day. They said on the phone it would take approximately 6-8 weeks to get the item. Even though it was possible that we might not receive the item until after his birthday we still decided to order the Hover Ball that we had been hearing/seeing so much about. Unfortunately, my son's birthday came and went without sight of a Hover Ball and after seven weeks of waiting Hover Ball contacted us and said they were canceling our order because they could no longer get the balls from their manufacturer. Ugh!!

After watching a review of the Hover Ball I knew for certain I could just make one (or two) myself! And I easily did!

I have never been able to use an actual name brand Hover Ball, however, the one I made works exactly like I would expect a purchased one to. And after seeing a review I think it certainly stacks up! It's very exciting.

You can wait 6-8 weeks or make one yourself by following these very simple steps. You decide!! It took me less then 30 minutes to make!

This is a wonderful indoor toy for the winter when it is hard to get outside and play. It would be a great inexpensive project for college students for indoor hallway soccer matches in the dorms!

You can find step-by-step instructions of the DIY Hover Ball at Instructables:

September 8, 2014

Thermies Make Excellent Stocking Stuffers - Now on Etsy!

My husband and I recently opened an Etsy shop. We both have a genuine love and appreciation for handmade items, crafts and gifts and since he is a designer and I love to sew we teamed up to create a line of uniquely designed, rice filled heat packs to keep feet warm and cozy on cold nights. They are called THERMIES! Shout it to all of your friends then rush over to Etsy to buy some!

We currently have the following categories of Thermies:

If you are searching for the perfect stocking stuffer or unique gift for a friend, family member, relative, child or co-worker, Thermies would be a great inexpensive choice. Regular sized Thermies are only $6.00 each and can be personalized for a truly special gift.

Photos are a sampling of some of the Thermies we offer but you can see the full line at We hope you stop by!

April 24, 2014

Fresh Homemade Pear Sauce

My parents have an apple tree on their property and each year they spend hours and hours peeling and cooking down apples to make applesauce and apple pie filling. I always said it's too much work just for applesauce - even though the taste and texture is superior to the store bought version.

If you happened to read my post for Homemade Raspberry Sherbet you know that I have a very nice 91 year old neighbor that lets me pick all of her organic raspberries. She also has an organic Starkrimson (red) pear tree that she allows me pick from!! The tree itself isn't that big but there are thousands (okay, maybe thousands is exaggerating but there are a lot!) of pears on it. I decided the best way to use these relatively small pears was to make pear sauce. My entire family loves pear sauce so I made 10 quarts of it! The process is VERY easy as there is no peeling like with applesauce! YAY!

Here's the super simple process:
If you have a pear tree this is a no-brainer. Pick pears and wash them thoroughly. If you do not have a pear tree you might want to ask around to see if someone in your neighborhood does. Chances are they would love to give you several dozen pears to keep them from falling off the tree and rotting on the ground.

If you are making pear sauce with store bought pears it might be kind of expensive. Especially if you are seeking out an organic variety. Luckily my neighbors tree is convenient and organic! 50 small pears will make approximately 3 quarts of pear sauce with some left over to eat immediately!!

The greatest part of pear sauce is that there is no need to peel the pears. The skins are soft enough to leave on. Cut the cores and any bad spots out of the pears and place remaining (good) cut pieces in a large stock pot.

Place pot on a stove top burner on medium-high and add 2-3 cups of water (depending on desired finished consistency). I used three cups.

Let water come to a boil and turn down to a simmer. Let simmer for 1-2 hours until pears are soft and skins are starting to peal away from the fruit. Your house will smell amazing! Remove from the burner.

Using an immersion blender blend the pears until all the skins are flecks. Don't over blend or you will end up with baby food (although this would make great baby food or a baby gift). You are just trying to break up all the large pieces of pear.

Pour into canning jars and freeze - this is the easiest method. Or can according to proper canning procedures! If you choose to can the pear sauce please follow a reputable source such as to can your fruit.

Eat and enjoy! It's even great warm! My absolute favorite way to eat fresh pear sauce is to serve it over the top of warm homemade pancakes in place of the syrup. It's a must try!

March 4, 2014

DIY Air Vase

When I saw an air vase for the first time I knew I had to make one simply because I wasn't going to pay $28 for three small sheets of paper with slits in them. Besides, as the consumer I was still going to have to do most of the work by stretching the vase.

If you google 'air vase' or follow this link you will find the originals that I am talking about! Very cool.

At first I thought this would be a really hard project but after creating the PDF of lines to cut on it's a total cinch!! So, what I'm saying is hurry up and make one of these because I already did all of the hard work!

First start by printing the PDF on a piece of printer paper. If you choose a different kind of paper with a pattern just make sure it is about the same thickness as standard
printer paper.

I tried an air vase using wrapping paper for a really interesting pattern but the weight was too thin and the vase wasn't sturdy enough to stand up on its own. I fixed it a bit by spraying it with starch but the results weren't the same. Boo! You could certainly try scrapbooking paper, again, just make sure it's not too thick or thin!

You will need your printed circles, an x-acto knife and a self healing cutting mat. Start by cutting all of the printed lines. This will take some time, care and patience but the end result is worth it!

*****Please use extreme caution with an x-acto blade. They are very sharp and do not care what they cut. I would say this is not a good project for kids.*****

After all of the printed lines are cut you will need to make the opposite cuts (pics 2 & 3) in the negative space. I didn't include these in the PDF because I thought you might be seeing double for weeks if I did. I also thought it just might become too confusing!! :) Anyway, I think the pictures spell out what to do well enough. Complete all the negative space cuts. You will start to see how the vase is going to look if you gently push the center up a bit.

Using a compass, draw out a circle 2 inches in diameter on a piece of card stock. The smallest circle of the PDF is two inches so you will want the base circle to be the same size. Using a glue stick, glue the cut out circle to the bottom of the vase in the exact center.

The last step of this project is to stretch the paper. I found it easiest to hold the vase upside-down and gently pull the paper down (not sure why my first pic looks like the paper is pink but it is standard white printer paper). You can actually pull harder and farther than you think but if you pull too hard you are going to tear the paper and that would be sad. You will need to get the sides evenly stretched so the vase will stand up on its own. Keep stretching until you accomplish this.

Admire your vase!!

For full instructions and PDF for this project please visit instructables.