Like Lois Pearl

Monday, January 30, 2012

Bathtub Paint

What is a desperate mom to do when it's nasty outside, and she has two crazy kiddos to entertain? Make homemade bathtub paint of course!

This recipe has only 3 ingredients, and you likely have them on hand.

Homemade Bathtub Paint

1/3 c. Baby Shampoo
1 T. Cornstarch
A few drops food coloring

Mix, put in a small bowl, and let the kiddos go to town painting one another and the tub.

Most of the recipes I found called for dish soap. I didn't like the idea of coating my kids in super sudsy dish soap, so I adapted those recipes to use baby wash instead. It worked great!

Hint: I strip the kiddos down and let them paint before adding water to the tub. This way they are much less likely to slip and fall while painting.

Happy Crafty!

Linking up at:
The Girl Creative
Positively Splendid
Sumo's Sweet Stuff

Monday, January 23, 2012

Window Clings (Kids Craft!)

With all the snow falling outside last week, we were desperate for some crafty projects to keep little hands busy!

I found this great window cling idea just in time.

Wax paper
Puff paint for fabric

First we used a sharpie (well, mommy did) to draw designs onto our wax paper.

Then I let the kiddos go to town with puffy paint.  The Peanut chose sparkly silver, and The Bug's choice was glow-in-the-dark blue.  They promptly ignored most of my drawing guidelines and made lots of great blobs and squiggles instead.

I couldn't resist doing just one shape by myself!

We allowed our little blobs and squiggles to dry overnight, and then put them on our windows the next day.  The glow-in-the-dark paint was such a hit!

This would be a great snow day craft to keep on hand.  It was fairly quick, the kiddos had a great time, cleanup was easy, and the total project cost was less than $5!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Easy Canvas Photos

I friend of mine had introduced me to this tutorial from The Sassy Pepper.  It's been on my crafty "to-do" list ever since!  We have so many blank walls in our house.  Little by little my goal is to fill them up this year, and this was the perfect craft for it!

Here's what you'll need to get started.

8x10 canvas ($4.99)
8x10 photo (photo quality paper!) ($2.00)
Mod Podge (I used glossy)
Black Acrylic Paint ($.99)
Sponge Paint Brush
Black Ribbon ($2.00)

(pretzels in the picture are optional)

1.  Trim the edges of your photo so they lie just inside the edges of the canvas.  You won't want your photo edges hanging over.

2.  Spread a thin layer of Mod Podge over your canvas.  Place your photo on the top taking care to smooth out any air pockets, and allow to dry.

3.  Spread another layer of Mod Podge over your photo.  Don't worry, the Mod Podge will dry clear!

4.  Once the Mod Podge has dried, spread one last coat on top of your photo.

5.  After all of your Mod Podge is dry and glossy, get out your paint and paintbrush.  I chose to paint the sides of my canvas black, but you could also craft them up with scrapbook paper if you prefer.  Using your sponge brush, carefully paint the edges and corners of your canvas black....all the way to the edge of your photo.  Don't worry if you get too much paint on your photo edges, just gently wipe it off with a wet paper towel.

6.  Allow your paint to dry.  Then cut 2 lengths of ribbon (mine were about 18" each).  Tie a bow in the ribbons, and attach them to the back of your canvas using a staple gun.

Now you can enjoy your custom wall art!

My total project cost was just under $15.00 for two canvases!  I have a few more old canvases that I'll be using next time, and I already have all of the other supplies that I need!  This would be a great crafty to do with friends!

Linking Up Here

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Stitches and Sweets

Our week started off with a trip to the ER!  The Bug and his sister were helping me peel shallots for dinner.  He wiggled a bit too far to the left, fell right off his chair, and bonked his chin on the island counter.  OUCH!

Fortunately, we live just a short hop from the closest emergency room.  I packed up both kiddos and headed off.  One hour and four stitches later The Bug is good as new!

Sorry for the up the nose shot.  He felt so touch showing off his gash at school the next day!

While the doctor was sewing, The Bug had a great time telling the nurses all about his crafty escapades that day.  At the end of the visit, he got to take home a Spiderman coloring kit, and this.

Apparently when you are 4, and get 4 stitches you walk away with some pretty great loot!

This morning we decided to open up the ring making kit.  Hello sugar high!  Basically,  you put a piece of candy on a ring, cover it in icing, and then top it with sprinkles.  The kids loved it, and I ended up with loads of rainbow colored sprinkly balls all over the hardwood.

The Peanut preferred eating the sprinkles straight up!

Thanks to St. Vincent in Fishers for the amazing care we received!  
(I'll skip the sprinkles next time though!)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What I Love Wednesday: White Space

I've finished painting The Peanut's bedroom furniture, and just haven't been able to find the right quilt to go along, so of course, I'm going to make one!  I've been checking out quilts online, and wanted to share a few that I love.  


From The Quilted Fish:  A great tutorial

From Pink Suede Shoe:  A ruffle quilt!


From P.S. i quilt:  I love the quilting on this one!

What do you think of quilts that have lots of white space?  

Now that I'm inspired, it's time to get to work creating my own pattern and choosing fabrics!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Homemade Foam Soap

The kiddos around here love foam soap!  We ran out on a cold and super windy day this week, and I really didn't want to go through bundling everyone up just to go get soap.  

Kitchen Lemon Gentle Foaming Hand Soap - Anti-Bacterial - Bath & Body Works

We improvised using this great tip from The Frugal Girls

Fill your empty foam soap dispenser 1" full with regular hand soap (not the lotiony kind).   
Fill the rest of the way with water and replace top of dispenser.  
Gently move dispenser back and forth until the soap and water are mixed.  
Now you're ready to go!

So easy, and I'm sure it saves a few pennies too!

Monday, January 16, 2012


At this time last year I was completely overwhelmed.  Like many a mom, I was trying to do too much, and honestly not doing any of it very well.  As I was driving in what seemed like an endless circle around town for work, I had the radio on.  The DJ's began asking one another about their "theme word" for the year.  Had they chosen it yet?  What would it be?

I used my "windshield time" that day to begin thinking about what my special word.  The same echo kept running through my head "Simplify".  And so, 2011 was the year of "Simplify" for me.

Here is what I learned.  Shedding my part time job, along with a few leadership positions, allowed me to focus on my true passions.

My children
Growing my business
Being with family
Caring for and fostering animals

Now, a year later, after I have "downsized" my involvements, I am faced with another decision.  What will 2012 be?  Where should I turn my focus?  I have an idea, but finding the perfect word to encompass all that I want to be and work on has been a challenge.

This afternoon, the light bulb went off....

Grow my relationship with God
Grow cheerful, intelligent, loving, compassionate children
Grow personally, give, be compassionate, kind, and thoughtful. 
Grow Lois Pearl Designs

Are you choosing a word for 2012?  If so, please share!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Craft it Forward!

We had a wonderful holiday season here in our home.  Lots of family time, and lots of giving.

I've decided that I don't see any reason why the giving needs to stop just because December 25th as come and gone.  I even have a little game, so that you all can keep the giving going too!

We'll call it....

Here's how it will work.

The first 3 people to leave a comment on this blog post will receive a one-of-a-kind handcrafted item made by me!  The only requirement, those three people then have to pass on 3 handcrafted items to 3 other lucky people!

Worried about what kinds of "crafts" you might be pass along?  No worries, it could be as simple as a homemade cookie, or a handwritten note!

How fun is this?  We'll be putting smiles on faces one crafty gift at a time!

If you choose to participate, I would love for you to share your Craft it Forward stories with me, so that I can share them on the blog!  Pictures are always terrific too!

Let's keep the giving going!  Remember, I need three great comments to get the ball rolling!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Quilt Block for a Cause

Valerie, of Pink Please!, is creating a wonderful quilt that will be auctioned off to raise funds for breast cancer research.  She requested that her fellow crafties submit blocks, along with a 4x6 card letting her know who the block was honoring.

The blocks are stunning.  She chose a beautiful pattern with a super easy tutorial, and I was so excited to create my own block for her!

I created my block in honor of two wonderful ladies who both fought breast cancer.  My friend Megan S. Ott, and my grandmother, Francis Mellon Phillips.  Both had such a great appreciation of craftiness, I know they would love this project!

Be sure to keep your eye on the blog this weekend.  I'll be launching a fun GIVEAWAY of sorts, and I'll need your help!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Peanuty Chicken Stir Fry {recipe}

If you have ever watched me cook, you know that I am definitely not a recipe follower.  I love coming up with new pasta sauce and stir fry combinations.

I've been wanting to try my hand at a spicy peanut stir fry sauce for a while.  Here is what I came up with for last night's dinner.

Spicy Peanutty Chicken Stir Fry

2 whole chicken breasts, sliced into bite size pieces
1/3 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. water
2 T. soy sauce (low sodium preferred)
1 T. brown sugar
2 t. rice wine vinegar
2 T. vegetable oil
4 cloves minced garlic
1/2 t. crushed red pepper
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
2 c. chopped broccoli
1 medium red onion, quartered and sliced
1/2 c. unsalted peanuts

In a small bowl, blend the peanut butter, water, soy sauce, sugar, and vinegar; set aside.  In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the garlic and red pepper;  saute for about 1 minute, taking care not to burn the garlic.  Add the chicken, and stir fry for about 5 minutes until the chicken pieces are white.  Add the broccoli and onions and stir fry until broccoli is bright green and just becoming tender; about 3 minutes.  Stir in peanut butter mixture.  Cook, stirring constantly until the sauce is smooth and begins to thicken.  Toss in peanuts and serve over brown or white rice.

Thinly sliced carrots would be a tasty and colorful addition.
Up the red pepper to 1 t. for added spiciness.
Not a meat fan?  Substitute 1 block diced firm tofu for the chicken.

I loved that the peanuts added just the right crunch to the dish.  It was great served over steaming brown rice.  And, is a great leftover lunch the next day!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Bug's Style

How cute is this kid?

He chose his outfit all by himself this morning before church.  It must be a green kind of day!

He was so excited to wear one of Daddy's ties, and of course had to spray himself down with a generous helping of Daddy's cologne.

The kids have taken off with Daddy for a Sunday afternoon at Gam and Pop Pop's farm, and I'm happily locked down in the sweat shop.

Oh, and of course we'll be rooting for the Purdue Boiler's later too!

Happy Sunday!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Knit Bracelet

A friend pointed these great bracelets out to me at a recent craft show.  I loved them, and snatched up 3 for myself.  When I got home, I found this quick tutorial by Vanessa Christenson.  They are such a fun way to use up my knit scraps!

Here is the end result.

It took me about 5 minutes to complete the bracelet.  The best part, I didn't need to buy any supplies!  Just a strip of knit, and your fingers, and you're ready to go!

Won't they look great layered up on your wrist this spring?  Such a simple way to spice up a plain t-shirt!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Stretchy Scarf

When my friend Traci sent me a link to this tutorial at Make It and Love It, she had no idea what great timing she had!

I've been staring at a big strip of cream knit fabric (leftover from double ruffle pants) and wondering how to best turn it into a scarf.  This was the perfect inspiration!  My trusty Janome was even set up for the shirring!  In about 10 minutes I had 2 super stylish and soft scarves.  

You just stitch your way around the scarf, using normal thread on the top for the front, and elastic thread in the bobbin for the back side.  It makes beautiful gathers, and is virtually fool proof.

They are fun for winter, but I really think they'll be perfect for dressing up simple t-shirts this summer.  Especially looped infniti style with a fun fabric flower pin!

Me with my super-expressive face.  
Nothing like taking your own picture in the mirror to make you feel like a big nerd!

This would be a great project for someone just experimenting with shirring (ahem....Kimberlee!)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Raspberry Cream Cheese Brownies

This recipe comes from an issue of Cook's Country.  I love the magazines simple tips and tricks.  These rich brownies were a crowd pleaser at our recently family holiday.  Think rich chocolate, tangy raspberry, and cheesecake filling....mmmmm!

Raspberry Cream Cheese Brownies

1 8oz package cream cheese, softened
¼ cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
½ cup raspberry jam
1 ¼ cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

1.        Prepare filling:  Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350.  Line 8 inch square pan with foil.  

Grease foil.  Process cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla in food processor until smooth.
Mix batter:  Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in small bowl.  Microwave butter and chocolate in large bowl about 1 minute, until melted, stirring frequently.  Whisk in ¼ cup jam and let cool slightly.  Add sugar, eggs, and vanilla to chocolate mixture, stirring until combined.  Whisk in flour mixture until incorporated.
  Layer filling:  Microwave remaining ¼ cup jam until warm, about 30 seconds.  Stir until smooth.  Scrape half of batter into prepared pan.  Spoon cream cheese filling over batter and spread smooth.  Top cream cheese mixture with warmed jam and spread.  Finally top with remaining batter and spread until even.  
Bake brownies:  Bake  until toothpick inserted in center comes out with few dry crumbs attached, 50 to 60 minutes.  Cook in pan on wire rack for 2 hours.  Using the foil, remove from pan and cut into 1.5 inch squares. 

Linking up at 


Monday, January 2, 2012

All Rested Up!

Sorry for the long absence.  I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday season.  We had a great holiday spent with friends and family.  Of course, we incorporated a bit of crafty too!  Here's a quick glimpse.

A sweet trio of personalized shirts.  What a fun custom order!

We made homemade ornaments for our Aunties and Uncles.

Daddy and E Lo made a family favorite, homemade snack mix!

I hope that you had a wonderful, family filled, restful, delightful holiday.  We'll be back to our normal schedules tomorrow, and I'll have a wonderful recipe to share!

Happy 2012!