Thursday, August 22, 2013

Live, Love, Hope, Pray, Home and Bath Art - Free Printable

We are in the process of finishing our unfinished basement. It has been and will continue to be a long process since we are doing the majority of the work ourselves. But I am starting to get excited now that the drywall is going up. I know it is really premature but I have been working on items to hang on the walls.

If you have not seen the name art on Full of Great Ideas before, you should take a quick peak. It is my absolute favorite thing I have made on my blog and the easiest/most amazing gift. Ultimately it is how my blog started and how most people have come to follow me. Here is an idea of what it is.
Using the same technique, I made the four Live, Love, Hope and Pray images. They print as 5x7s  with empty white space that I cut them down to approximately 4.5 x 4.5 to fit in the small Ikea Ribba square frame.

The reason why they are 5x7 is that most photo developers don't print a 5x5 picture and by designing it as a 5x7, it will not stretch or crop in a funny way when you develop it. Plus printing a 5x7 costs next to nothing, if you want custom sized you pay bigger prices. That is my trick! Makes life easier.
I had wanted all the images to be circles so that there was a contrast with the square boxes and frame.

I will make available for download both the black & white and the color 5x7 images. I prefer the black and white but you can download whatever you prefer.

To download one these images to print:
  • Leave me a comment and let me know which is your favorite and if you prefer the black & white or the color images.
  • Right click on the image you want and select open in a new window or tab
  • On the full size image, right click again and select 'save as'
  • Save it to a place on your computer where you can easily find it
  • Send it to your favorite photo developer and develop it as a 5x7, head to Ikea and grab the frames.
  • I hate saying it, but I again found someone today trying to pass off a template I created as their own...please only use these for personal use! I have always wanted to offer on Full of Great Ideas cheap gift ideas and I don't want to charge people for these, so please don't yourself make money off them.
  • Enjoy!!
Here they are all the images that you can download for free. Remember you will have to download each one individually. I don't know how to create a batch download..sorry.

Update: As suggested I have added Home and Bath to the list :)

If you can think of any other four letter words (and not the obvious one ;)), let me know and I can throw together another image.

I think that you could easily give one or two of these as gifts. I  like how you could mix and match them depending on the person you are giving them to. At Costco, 5x7 are under $0.30 to develop, so this would be a very reasonable gift.

Remember I have a long list of free printables here, frugal gift ideas here, and $0 crafts here. Be sure to take a look at them.

What do you think? Do you love the circle in the squares as much as I do?

Is anyone else planning for Christmas yet? My family has agreed to another homemade Christmas, so I am excited to see how we all do with the challenge.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

First Communion Art- Free Printable

My son Christian was celebrating his First Communion this past spring and he had decided he wanted no gifts, instead he wanted to donate to World Vision. He created a wish list on the World Vision website and we told family that if they wanted to give something, he wanted to provide gifts to others in greater need. I was and am so proud of him. He put great thought into each item he selected.
  • He wanted chickens because they have lots of babies and they would grow quickly.
  • He picked a fish farm, so the people receiving the gift could have a business of their own. 
  • He picked school books and lunches for school aged kids because he could relate to them and he was upset to think children are hungry. 
  • He asked for soccer balls and other sports equipment because he felt every child should be able to have fun. 
He was 7 at the time and I was amazed at how mature he seemed. I can cry every time I think about it.

Well, he decided he wanted to decorate the house with things we already had in the house. So we tried to use some of the items I made for my daughter's First Communion last year but much of it had not survived being stuffed in a storage tub. So, I framed some photos of him from his baptism, hung balloons and streamers which we had already in the house, and made him an 8x10 with a nice quote for the buffet table.

I had stumbled upon Lisa Moorefield's site and found her list of favorite chalkboard fonts and chalkboard background download and I was inspired!
I searched online for quotes, saying, etc. and found this. Someone on a forum had suggested it as something to write in a card and I loved it.

I won't share all the details how I made this. I am just going to provide you with the images that you can download and print yourself if you want to. I have included a few different colors so you can use it for a boy or a girl. If there is another shade you prefer that would match your room better, let me know and I can see if I can make another one. Won't guarantee anything but I will try.

To download one this 8x10 image:

  • Leave me a comment and let me know which you like the best
  • Right click on the image and select open in a new window or tab
  • On the full size image, right click again and select 'save as'
  • Save it to a place on your computer where you can easily find it
  • Send it to your favorite photo developer and find a frame
  • Please only use these for personal use!
  • Enjoy!!

What do you think? Let me know if you would like this as a 5x7 and I can reformat it.

Have a great day!

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Best Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe!

I am not going to become a food blogger, as I have stated when I shared my rotisserie chicken recipe, but I have a few recipes that I absolutely love and though you would appreciate them.

After posting my glassed etched cookie jar, I thought I would share my recipe for the best chewy chocolate chip cookies in the world! If you are not a chewy cookie lover, just stop reading now because these are not for you. Granted if you cook them for a longer time they would not be as chewy, but still, there are plenty of crunchy chocolate chip recipes out there, go find one of those :)  For all of you, who are like me, who love the chewy cookie, this will be a favorite of yours too.

These cookies freeze amazingly well, taste great frozen and are a personal favorite for Christmas baking!

I am not a food blogger so I didn't photograph the process but I think you can clearly understand the instructions.

I have been making these cookies since I was in University (sad to say that was almost 20 years ago~ wow I feel old) and don't recall where it originated but I have made minor changed to it from the original recipe.

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (my trick if I don't plan ahead and it is not softened, I grate it with the large opening on a cheese grater. Works like a charm!)
  • 1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract (2 tsp if you like less)
  • 1 egg (at room temperature)
  • 2 cups all purpose flour (I have used the unbleached before but have not tried with whole wheat flour)
  • 2 tsp corn starch (this is the important ingredient to make it chewy)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups chocolate chips (I tend to use 2 - but you can decide)

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F
  • Cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla and the egg and mix well.
  • With mixer off, add flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt on top of the butter/egg mixture. Gently mix dry ingredients together with a fork and then mix with the creamed ingredients.
  • Stir in chocolate chips
  • Drop by spoonful onto parchment lined (or greased) baking sheet and bake for 8-12 minutes depending on the size. You will know they are done when the edges turn brown. If you like a crunchier cookie, let the top brown.
  • Leave cookies on hot sheet for approximately 5 minutes to set before transferring to a cooling rack.
 Yields 36 cookies (I make the cookies medium size)
Has anyone else ever used cornstarch in cookies to make them chewy?

Enjoy and happy baking!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Glass Etched Cookie Jar - My Christmas Gift Ideas Have Officially Started

I am sorry for being away from Full of Great Ideas for so many months, but I have struggled to balance work, life and blog. Blog always fell to the bottom of my to do lists. After months away it stopped being added to the to do list all together. I have not stopped thinking about it or stopped crafting, I just didn't have the time to share what I have done.

As you know, I am a mom to two wonderful kids that are growing up too fast and I didn't want to miss anything.  I realized I was watching life through a camera. Don't you find that? You go to a special event or on a trip and you watch everything that is going on through the view finder! Yes I have some great photos, but the experience is not the same. I had to step back and  reevaluate.

Well I hope to be back to blogging on somewhat of a regular basis. My posts might not have as many photos or be as complicated. But I will try my best.

I thank everyone for their notes and comments wondering where I was and I am sorry for not responding. I really do appreciate them.

Well on to my first post now that I am glass etched cookie jar.
My close friend had her birthday last week and I wanted to make her something small to celebrate it.   She is not one to bake and always appreciates when we drop by with homemade items, so my kids suggested cookies. I had been planning for our second annual Homemade Christmas (I know you all just gasped with the fact I am planning Christmas already, but that is me) and I had pinned an etched cookie jar. Sorry can't share the pin because I got smart this year and I hid my Christmas pin board. I found out the hard way last year that my family follows me on Pinterest and none of my ideas were surprises.
I knew I wanted to put their monogrammed initial on the cookie jar so it could be used for other items after the cookies were all gone. I designed three images and my children picked the easiest one, the EileenCaps font letter Z. I know most of you do not have a Cricut or Silhouette machine to cut your own letters, but this can be done with wall vinyl or stickers you can buy at the dollar store too.
It is pretty, isn't it?

I bought the cookie jar for $6 at Walmart. It was an Anchor brand I believe. To be honest with you I should have looked closer at it before I opened the packaging because it did not have the rubber ring around the lip to seal the jar nicely. It was reasonably priced and a perfect size, but I would have preferred to spend a few more dollars to have it seal.

I cut the 4 inch square design out of vinyl with my Cricut and stuck it on the cookie jar. Because the jar is straight up and down, I did not have any problems with the vinyl laying flat! This was the easiest placement of the vinyl I have ever had.

There are many options for everyone to do this craft even without an electronic cutter. You could spell out words like cookies, a name, funny saying etc with stickers from the Dollar store and there are people on Etsy who sell vinyl for a few dollars if you are interested in purchasing it.

Using a foam brush, I put a thick layer of the glass etching cream all over the area to be etched. I made sure to lift the cookie jar up to look at it from the back side through light to see if I missed any spots or corners. As you can see, I lay the cookie jar on a crumpled old towel to keep it from rolling.
Now here is the hardest and longest part of this project, walk away for 25 minutes. My bottle of etching cream has warning labels covering the instructions so I don't know what the bottle suggests, but over the past while I found this to be the best amount of time.

Here is an important tip...once the time is up, use the same foam brush, and carefully scoop up the etching cream and put it back in the bottle. Someone recommended it to me in my comments and I have done it ever since. This stuff is pretty expensive if you don't use a 40% off coupon so you might as well save as much of it as you can. I have been etching gifts for years and have barely used any of the jar because of this!

Once you get as much off as possible, run the entire thing under water. Work as quickly as possible because if the etching cream sits on another spot of glass it will create a shadow. Don't worry too much about this, just run it under a good stream of water and scrub it off.

So here is the etched cookie jar. It is hard to get a photo of it, but I think you can get an idea how amazing it turned out!

My kids and I baked a batch of the best chewy chocolate chips cookies in the world an filled the jar with them. We tied a bow around the lip of the jar and called it a birthday gift!
I think this is going to be my go-to gift for this year. Teachers, friends, coworkers will all be seeing cookie jars under their trees this year.

What do you think? How would you feel if you got this as a gift?

Stephanie at Full of Great Ideas.


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