Friday Favorites No. 329

What better way to start out the weekend than with Cinco de Mayo? Have a happy one!

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Thank goodness it's the season for sunglasses again. The Littlest Studio shares an easy and stylish way to carry them.

I've only ever heard of Skittles the candy, but apparently it's a Finnish throwing game and dale1952 on Instructables shows us how to make it. This looks like a great addition to your outdoor party game or camping collection.

Since I'm clearly a little outdoors-obsessed today, I'm also going to show you this beautiful outdoor bench from DIY Candy. Can you tell it was a very long winter?

I'm intrigued by this cake from Jo Cooks. Apparently you make one batter, cook it, and it separates into three layers. I have to try this!

This pattern from Birdcage and Thread on Craftsy is intended to hold Wonder Clips, but I can think of lots of great uses for a bowl that zips closed!

You can find these, and my previous Friday Favorites, on my Crafty Staci’s Friday Favorites Pinterest board!

Friday Favorites–Go Outside

I can’t believe we’re nearing the end of August already.  We’ve had such a busy summer we didn’t even get a chance to go camping.  Our evening walks get earlier and earlier, trying to make it home while there’s still daylight.  Because of when Labor Day falls, school is even starting a bit early this year.  But we’re not done yet, and I found a few ways to make the best of those dogs days we have left.

One of the things we love about where we live is that we overlook a valley with a river running through it.  However, where there’s water, there’s mosquitos and apparently I’m some sort of delicacy to them.  They will ignore everyone else just to bite me.  So, the bats are our friends.  It’s fun to sit on our back deck and watch them swoop around grabbing those little blood suckers mid-air.  We should build them a home, like this Bat House from This Old House.


I love outdoor games, like these Diced Darts from Lowe’s.

These Neck Coolers from Little Birdie Secrets might come in handy for those last few bursts of hot weather.


I love coconut and I don’t mind mixing it with a little pineapple once in a while.  These Pina Colada Ice Pops from AllRecipes user D. Licious sound yummy and tropical.


We had to skip camping this year, but next year I’d love to make these Orange Rolls Cooked in Oranges from Truly Simple


I also wouldn’t mind trying out these Campurritos from Ninth and Bird.


I kill plants.  There are three pots on my front porch proving I’m a brown-thumbed serial killer.  Maybe someone out there with more regard for the life of fauna can make this DIY Organic Vertical Planter from Instructables user FireCGun.


These DIY Paint Can Lights from Lowe’s would be fun for a late summer party.

We’ve all seen the dirt-and-worms style desserts before, but I’ve never seen such an accurate representation of sand as in this Sand Pudding from Ma Nouvelle Mode.  It might actually take some convincing to get this little ones to try this – but only the first bite.


I actually watched two hummingbirds duke it out over a flower in my yard a couple of days ago.  They were going at it so hard I was actually worried one of them might do some damage to the other.  For the sake of peace I should probably make this Plastic Spoon and Bottle Hummingbird Feeder from Shabby Beach Nest.


Now, get out there and enjoy the last of summer before it disappears!

Friday Favorites–Playing Outside

It was raining like crazy here about a week ago.  Living somewhere it rains as much as it does here, that’s saying a lot.  We’re hoping for a long streak of sunshine, especially with Father’s Day coming this weekend.  If we get it, there’s all kinds of fun to be had here.

My husband built something similar to this Corn Hole Game from DIY Network a few years ago.  What we didn’t know is that the American Cornhole Association establishes the regulations.  I am not making that up.  I hope the Cornhole police don’t come confiscate it.

Maybe you only need a game temporarily, for a party or until the kids get tired of it.  Try this Outdoor Twister Game from Sassy Style.  Gone as soon as you mow.


If you’re looking for an outdoor Twister game that’s a little more permanent, try this one from Design Sponge.


This Sunken Trampoline from Little Green Fingers is really smart, and it seems safer than the typical version.  I might even be able to jump on it without breaking a body part.


This Ladder Ball Game from Just Build Stuff looks like a good project for my son.


This Passing Practice Game from Family Fun doesn’t take a lot of materials, looks fun and folds up to store nicely. 


I love the idea behind this Game Time Picnic Quilt from Sew, Mama, Sew.  It kinda makes me want to learn how to play chess.


After some thought, I’ve decided that no, I am not too old for this Beach in the Backyard from Better Together.


I came across two different outdoor games from This Old House, and they both look fun.  The first is this Pipe Ball Lawn Game.


They also share how to build this Shishkaball Ball-Drop Game that I think I must have.


Here’s hoping we all need sunscreen this weekend!

Friday Favorites–Beachy

My husband had to go to the coast for a seminar this week, and invited me to go along.  If you’ve never visited the beach in Oregon during the winter before, the storms are fun to watch.   I’ve been fighting a bug for a while, but have a hard time passing up an opportunity to go to the beach, so I tagged along.

We left the kids in charge of themselves for the first time ever.  They’re old enough, and we would only be gone for about 48 hours.  When we left, it had been snowing off and on for a few days, with very little of it sticking.  We had to drive through some snow to get over the pass, right into some 70 to 100 mile per hour winds at the beach, but weren’t concerned about the conditions at home.  This is what it looked like on the way over.

snow on 26

The very first night, the kids called us at about midnight.  The power had gone out a couple of hours before and the snow was piling up.  My husband gave them some instructions and told them to call back.  Shortly after that, they heard a loud boom, and looked outside to find several very large branches had fallen out of one of the big trees behind the house and wiped out a good-sized chunk of the rail around the deck.  It’s worse than this looks – those branches in the photo are about the equivalent of a tree.

deck Jan 2012

After spending most of that night awake, trapped in the hotel room most of the rest of the time thanks to the combination of my bug, the wind and the cold, I feel like I kinda missed the whole beach part.  Hopefully, that explains my odd choice of beachy stuff in January.  If not, be kind, it’s been a rough couple of days.

These Beach Shell Bath Fizzies from Beyond a Garden would be a fun use of those seashells that sometimes find their way to your home from the ocean.

Beach Shells Bath FIzzies Post-6

There’s usually a lot of driftwood on the beaches here in Oregon, definitely enough to make this Driftwood Lamp from Sweet Something Designs.


I love this simple and cute Stars of the Sea Shutter Headboard from Jane Coslick.

headboards 007

If you have little ones, you may find yourself the proud owner of a few too many seashells after a trip to the coast.  Try this Shell Memory Game from Family Crafts.


Maybe you just want a memento of a fun, family day at the beach?  Make this easy Beach in a Jar from Better Homes and Gardens.


These Shell Crabs from Kleas are just adorable.

This Coastal Mirror from Going a Little Coastal would be a nice addition to a beach-themed room.


I was a little fascinated with sand dollars when I was a kid – imagine if I had known I could make a Giant Sand Dollar like Crafts by Amanda.


This Beach Valentine from Shimmer Kai would be both fun to make and fun to give.


Now I think I’m going to have to go spend some time recovering from my days off.

Friday Favorites–Gifts for Kids

My favorites this week cover that smallest group in the family – the kidlets.  The catch here is that if you have little kids it’s just a tiny bit harder to make ANYTHING, but they have to sleep sometime.

This Felt Car Mat/House from Cook Clean Craft is so portable and adorable.


My favorite part of the Schneeky Schnake from Holloughby is that he can wrap around stuff.  I’m picturing some little guy running around with this around his arm.

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I’ve seen lots of guitar pillows, but this Ukulele Pillow from Sew4Home is a first.  I like the fact that the strings are rows of stitching, rather than actual strings like some others, as I’d be concerned about the strangulation hazard if they were to sleep with it.


This mounted zebra head from iLoveToCreate is going to require a kid with a good sense of humor and a low freak-out threshold.  That said, my son would have loved it when he was younger.  Actually, he might take one now if I avoided that pink.


Speaking of my son, when he was about 4 years old my husband made him a tool bench for Christmas.  We had the HARDEST time trying to find toy tools that year.  Now, they’re everywhere, of course, making it a lot easier to find what you need to fill this Toy Tool Belt from Monkey See, Monkey Do.


These cute little Monster Tissue Pouches from Maker*Land would be great stocking stuffers or teacher gifts.


At 18 years old, my daughter would STILL love one of these Wooden Crayon Peg Boards from Lines Across My Face.  That girl can spend hours arranging things in rainbow order.  Among her favorites are Skittles, crayons, Legos and my Fiesta ware.


Topping this play table with chalkboard paint was a stroke of genius.  Thanks to I Heart Organizing for the instructions.


Oh, Angry Birds, you’re everywhere I turn!  This Angry Birds Can Toss Game from Homemade Beauties by Heidi will get them off the electronic version and moving.


Another cultural phenomenon right now are those pillow-animal-things.  I’ve never taken a close look at them, but I’m glad to see this Brown Bear Pillow tutorial from Sugar Bee Crafts so you can make your own.


Only a few crafting days left until Christmas!

Friday Favorites–Outdoors

Oregon is a late bloomer, at least in our corner.  We might have a few nice days through June and July, but the sun isn’t really reliable until August.  I think that’s the reason why people tend to be pretty outdoorsy here – they can’t count on the weather anyway, so they might as well go for it year-round.   Today I’d like to share a few things I’ve spotted recently that are perfect for that time we’re all spending outside.

We live near a river, so we have a pretty annoying bug problem.  These Alfresco Bowl Covers from Sew, Mama, Sew would be a great way to avoid that extra crunch in our outdoor meals.


I love outdoor games, and this Giant Jenga Tower from Instructables user Mtoashirbab looks really fun.  I should have tried this one back when my kids were shorter than me.  I have no chance now.


Here’s one I still have a shot at though:  Backyard Scrabble from Sunset.


I have a wood bench on my front porch that I’ve often thought would be more comfortable with pillows.  It’s in a covered area, so I wasn’t worried so much about weather as I was the fabric fading and looking terrible.  These Duct Tape Patio Pillows from Instructables user Annahowardshaw are exactly what I need.


This bin of Colored Rice from Barley and Birch just looks fun to play in.


It’s an ambitious project, but this Sun Shade from Secret Pie Shoppe could come in very handy in an area that needs a little break from the heat.


My absolute favorite thing about this Swimsuit Rack from Ruffled Sunshine is the fact that she used faucet handles for the hooks.  So cute!

gone swimming 2

Our house backs up to a cliff, so we don’t have a backyard.  If I did, I would replace my table/fire pit with this Stone Fire Pit from DIY Network.

These One-Step Outdoor Lights from Babyfood Scoops are pretty, and the materials to make them are all easy to find and affordable.


My son has really been into biking lately, which may subside a little when he gets his driver’s license in the fall, but he’s getting one of these Bicycle Frame Lunch Bags from Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories for Christmas anyway.


Now, I’m leaving the computer and going outside!

Friday Favorites–Independence Day

I’m back from hot, sparkly Las Vegas, just in time for the 4th of July!  It won’t be hot here, but we can count on sparkly. 

Years ago, when we moved into our house, we were thrilled to discover we can watch one of the large, local fireworks displays from the comfort of our back deck.  I don’t think we’ve left home on Independence Day since.  There’s food, sometimes music, and always bug spray.  I’ve rounded up a few ideas today we might throw into the mix this year.

I like the simplicity of this Apothecary Jar from Makoodle.  Great for the 4th of July, but subtle enough it could be left out year-round.


I never make Jello anymore.  I don’t know why, because I actually like it.  I think this American Flag Jello from Polwig is the perfect opportunity to jump back in.


There’s always that lag between dinner and dark enough for fireworks.  This Fourth of July Balloon Dart Game from Roots and Wings Co would be a great way to spend that time.


I love dipped pretzels, so you can imagine how I feel about this Pretzel Americana from Poca Cosa.


I’ve attempted an American flag quilt or two in the past, but they don’t compare to this one from Etsy seller justsewquilts.


I’ve seen this cake on several websites, but So Wonderful, So Marvelous has great directions.


I’ve heard a rumor that soon toilet paper won’t have that little cardboard tube on the inside anymore.  You better start saving up so you can make these cute Confetti Popper Rockets from Alphamom.


I think these ribbon sticks from A Girl and A Glue Gun would be a great alternative to sparklers for the little ones.


The thing I love about these 4th of July Shirts from Make It and Love It is that there’s a boy version  and a girl version.  Having one of each myself, I’ve always been a sucker for that kind of thing.


Everywhere I turn lately, I see Star Spangled Strawberries like these from From Glitter to Gumdrops.  I think that means I need some.


Have a happy and safe pre-Independence Day weekend!

Friday Favorites–Gifts for Guys

June.  Father’s Day, graduations and anniversaries of all those weddings from previous Junes provide the perfect opportunity to show that guy you care with a homemade gift.  I know, some of them are nearly impossible to shop for, much less make crafts for.  But I’ve come across a few things that might make your life a little easier.

I’d love to see the tools that would fit in these super-tiny Altoid Tin Mini Toolboxes from AlphaMom.


Some rope, two wooden rods, some duct tape and the appropriate tools and you can make him a Duct Tape Hammock like this one from sitzikbs on Instructables.


Stormdrane and his paracord creations are always a favorite around my house.  This Snake Belly Bar Bracelet is next on our list to try.


My brother-in-law likes to play chess with his boys and one of these days I’m making him this Hardware Chess Set from Dollar Store Crafts.


Chess isn’t his thing?  How about a Custom Tile Checkerboard like this one from Aly & Ash?


This Popsicle Picture Puzzle from Impress Your Kids would be a fun project to make with the little ones.


Before you decide he’s not a bouquet kind of guy, check out this Beef Bouquet from Moms of All Trades.


Sometimes, no matter how many great ideas come your way, a gift card is just the right thing to give.  That doesn’t mean you can’t craft it up.  Try a Shirt Pocket Card from Holiday Crafts and Creations.


So, you’ve completely given up on making something?   It’s ok, this Magic Wand Programmable TV Remote from ThinkGeek is just awesome enough to make up for it.


Before you give up the crafty idea completely, you have to see my favorite Favorite this week.  TSJ Photography made this fantastic sign using her kids to make the letters.  I seriously should have had more than two kids.