how to make your own felted balls.

i love, LOVE working with felt. i’m not really sure why, but there is something about the way the material feels.

felting, felted balls, diy

last year i bought a bunch of roving wool and made felt bowls. they were a bit time consuming to make, but they turned out great! you can check-out the pictures and tutorial HERE.

this year, i have decided to try something new with my roving wool.

>>> felted balls<<<

you see them all over pinterest so i thought i would give it a go. roving wool can be purchased at most craft supply stores, i got mine at michael’s. 

oh-mah- goodness it was fun! time consuming and drying on the hands, but so worth all the cracks on my thumbs! there is something meditative about standing at my kitchen window, in front of the sink, felting. i love the process of choosing the colours to work with, but not knowing what kind of patterns or swirls the rowing wool will ultimately create!

felting, felted balls, felt crafts

so here’s what you do:

  1. gather a large handful of the roving wool. you can choose a few different colours or just use one colour.
  2. you will want to work close to a sink. i filled a bowl with dish soap and hot water, soaking the wool and gently creating spherical shape with the roving wool.

roving wool, felt crafts, felting roving wool, felting, felted crafts

3. keep wetting the wool in hot water and soap. the hot water and soap help create the friction needed for the felting process. use two hands to create the felt ball, by rubbing the roving wool in between your palms in a circular motion.

4. to make one felted ball can take half an hour. try to relax your shoulders, because after a while of doing this i found my upper body was getting very tense. 

roving wool, felted crafts, felted balls, felting

5. once you are satisfied with the density and shape of your ball, rinse it very well. this can take a while, but you want to ensure the soap is all out of the ball. set the felted balls on a hand towel and let sit for a couple of days to completely air dry before making anything with them.

felted balls, make your own felted balls, felting, felt crafts

aren’t they lovely?

you can get super creative with your felted balls and make all sorts of fun things with them. things like garlands for any occasion, necklaces, hotplates, rugs, zipper decorations, key chains… just check google or pinterest for ideas and tutorials!

xo, mama lola

felt envelopes for santa claus!

oh my goodness! look at what i found!

santa envelopes collage 2

i was researching other christmas crafts when i saw these lovely, adorable felt envelopes to santa claus! of course i pinned the ideas and decided to make a round-up post for inspiration.

first i’ll share what i made.

i used felt, thread, hot glue gun and my sewing machine just a little. 

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i used a blanket stitch to sew the edges of the envelope together. i wasn’t too concerned about the evenness of the stitches, creating a childlike quality to the project. then i used my scrap felt to cut out the letters, stamp and holly embellishments.   

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i have lots of scraps of felt that i save for detailing for all sorts of projects. here i used the small pieces for holly, the reindeer’s face and antlers and the stamps. i just hot glue gunned them on.

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then i embroidered some simple wintery stars on the back of one of the envelopes. 

TA-DAA!!!

i just love them!

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below i have included ideas that vary from quite intricate to very simple. school aged kids could even make one of the easier versions of the envelopes. 

 

santa envelopes 1

writing to santa : diy felt envelopes from city girl gone coastal 

 

santa envelopes 2  letter to santa claus felt envelope from not on the high street

(this one is not a tutorial, but a envelope for sale) 

 

santa envelopes 3felt envelope by michale ann via paper + stitch

 

santa envelopes 4

personalised felt christmas letter to santa envelope from cut out and keep

 

santa envelopes 5

christmas wish-list felt envelope from jumbbleberries

 

if you’re not feeling crafty, check etsy for these felt envelopes. there are many creative people there making fantastic envelopes; go check them out by just putting “santa felt envelopes”into the search and enjoy!

these sweet things would be perfect for kids or even for gift cards!

xo, mama lola

recipe for a buddha bowl!


i have really gotten into making buddha bowls, before i even knew their name i was layering healthy, delicious ingredients in my pretty blue bowls and serving them as dinners to my family. they’re a great way to fill your family with lots of vitamins and minerals, while using all sorts of yummy foods and flavours.

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basically the idea is that you layer or group your ingredients together in a bowl. typically, a pretty bowl.

 

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typical ingredients for our buddha bowls include (but not all at once) rice, quinoa, hummus, various beans, arugala or other greens, avocado, salmon, tofu steaks, grated carrot, green onions, corn…. well, i’m sure you get the idea! 

buddha bowl layers

 

i love making buddha bowls for dinner. my kids love them too, and it’s easy to omit things that someone may not love without making a big deal out of it. it’s such a great way to use up odds and ends in your fridge, but it’s also a fun way to present food. i love getting creative with colours and arrangements! 

 

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from what i understand there are no set rules on how make a buddha bowl. i prefer to mix warm, cooked ingredients with cold, chopped ones. depending on the season i will change up the elements of my buddha bowls. in the summer i tend to use more cold ingredients using what’s in season and fresh from the garden or market. i also love using items cooked on the bbq. now in the fall i am excited to include roasted veggies, or baked sweet potatoes, squash, beets and other rooty veggies in my bowls.

 

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my mouth is salivating as i prepare this post! holy moly do i love these colourful, super healthy meals!

which ingredients do you love in your buddha bowl?

 

happy cooking friends! 

 

xo, mama lola

back-to-school : sew your own pencil roll-up case!


school for my boys starts tomorrow!!!

it’s hard to believe summer is over, even though at times i was feeling quite burnt out and tired. my boys are ready to go back to school, see their friends and meet their teachers. i am ready for them to return, as well.

i don’t really do much in preparation for back-to-school. i am always looking for deals on things and will stock up on sale things. but, this year bear had a request…

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my bear told me he needed a pencil case as he enters grade 2. i thought that sounded quite reasonable, so i decided to sew up something fun for him, instead of buying one. and, of course i had to search for some design and sewing ideas!!!

pencil roll collage 3

 

here are some roll up pencil cases i used as inspiration for my own design. these bloggers have shared fantastic pictures and tutorials for this sewing project so i will spare you my horrid instructions.

i will say this that to sew up bear’s pencil case took about 90 minutes from start to finish. that includes finding fabric in my basement, ironing, filling my bobbins and fixing some mistakes. all-in-all it’s not a very difficult project!

pencil-roll

10 minute pencil roll from my poppet makes

 

pencil roll 2

no sew coloured pencil roll from small + friendly

 

pencil roll 3

make a colourful roll-up pencil case from guide central

 

bear’s pencil roll-up case was  a surprise and he was thrilled with it when i showed it to him. he immediately went to the art room and chose which supplies he needed. it was pretty sweet watching him kiss it! haha!

HAPPY BACK-TO-SCHOOL!

xo, mama lola

summah-mama burn out… i got it!


at the beginning of each summer season i have big plans on how to spend our time wisely, you know, sending kids to one day camp each for a week, visiting to the cottage, going on family camping trips, spending hours with friends laughing and enjoying uninterrupted play. i have visions of us running away from mosquitoes in the woods, jumping into the lake and swimming until our lips are blue. then enjoying time together in peace, while crafting something beautiful.

summah mama 2

well, we’ve done that.

a lot.

it wasn’t quite so romantic though.

 

there have been bumps along the road. we’ve all struggled in our own way.

what i struggle with is, maintaining any kind of self care for myself during our summer days. meaning, going to the gym regularly, blogging (again regularly), getting housework done (yup, again regularly) and so on, and so on. now let me clarify, doing housework isn’t a part of my daily self care routine, but getting stuff done around the house does keep my mind organized and sound! plus, if i don’t know where the wet bathing suits were left, then nobody will meaning chaos with ensue the next day!

having both kids around all day is exhausting to say the least. don’t get me wrong, we’ve had moments of fun at home but, often the boys revert back into their old bickering ways, antagonizing each other in every possible way! we went camping this passed weekend and DH said he loved our mini vacay, while i reminded him that a change in geography does not necessarily make a vacation for me. i am still with the kids, mothering, reminding, yelling, at them to stop fighting.

so now i am burnt out!

bear and lion

i haven’t been to the gym in weeks, which is showing on my body, but mostly i can really feel it in my mental health. all those bad feelings come creeping back in, then the bad habits start all over again, first in very subtle ways… and then i just hate myself! it is such a terrible cycle i get caught in, even though it’s also so predictable and preventable.

i know i am not alone in this…

without wishing our summer away, i am going to keep on trucking, while trying harder to ensure that my needs are met as well. i am lucky to have a hubby who supports me in my self care, although i need to be more clear with him about what that means and how he can help specifically. 

i’ve been at this mothering thing for 7 years and i still struggle with making myself a priority!


 

p.s. more pics on my INSTAGRAM! check em out!

xo, mama lola

the best of summer in a watermelon salad!


today is the first monday of summer vacations at home. the boys and i have a few errands to run. we need to go to a few farm markets to buy fresh strawberries and other locally grown yummy produce. we need to buy new waterbottles (again) as lion keeps losing his! the kids both go to camp next week and they’ll need them then. i’m not sure how to get my lion to be more careful of his belongings, as his brother is so meticulous with his things. clearly it’s a personality thing and not a mothering thing!

 

anyhow, to day i want to share the best summer salad recipe out there… WITH WATERMELON!!!!

AWESOME!!!

 

summer is here and it’s the season for enjoying all kinds of fresh, juicy and yummy salads. we always have a salad of sorts with our dinners, whether it be a big green leafy salad, a warm quinoa or a filling bean mix. there is a salad for everyone’s tastes in this world!

watermelon salad 4

 

i’ve seen lots of pictures for watermelon salads so i decided to come up with my own recipe with what i had in my cupboards. and, holy moly was it ever good! especially since we devoured it on a hot n’ muggy summers evening! it’s quick to make and perfect as a side on a busy or super hot evening. 

 

watermelon salad with feta and fresh basil
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Ingredients
  1. 1 watermelon
  2. 1/2 container of feta
  3. lots of fresh basil leaves
  4. 2 tblsp olive oil
Instructions
  1. 1. cut up your watermelon into chunks. i tried to leave mine a bit bigger than bite sized because when mixing the finishes salad i thought the pieces would fall apart.
  2. 2. i took the feta and crumbled it with my fingers directly onto the watermelon. added fresh basil leaves, ripping them by hand a little too to release the delicious aroma.
  3. 3. add olive oil and mix gently.
bear & lion http://bearandlionmama.com/
my boys loved the salad and gobbled up lots of it! 

it really is super easy and SO, SO yummy!

xo, mama lola

birthday cake toppers!

 


caketoppercollage2  

 we are hosting a birthday party for my lion on saturday. we will be making an awesome ice cream cake as the weather is going to be hot and sunny (recipe for that coming soon).

i cannot believe he is going to be 5 years old! that’s one whole hand, people! i only have two days to prepare for his party, so i thought making a FUN cake topper would be a great way to get some impact and FUN onto his yummy ice cream cake. i checked out pinterest (of course) and chose some of the cutest and simplest ideas i could find. there are lots of tutorials for cake toppers that are very complicated, but also stunning! go for it if you have time!

 

caketopper1

DIY pompom cake topper from momtastic

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DIY fringe mylar cake toppers from diy studio

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DIY animal candle cake toppers from kara’s party ideas

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DIY animal cake toppers from visual heart

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playful puppet cake toppers for birthday cake and cupcakes from mer mag

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DIY cake topper from art bar blog

i love looking at what other creative people have been up to. their ideas give me great inspiration and get my own creative juices flowing. i’m not exactly sure what kind of a cake topper lion will end up for saturday, but i do love the pom poms, animals and bunting flags… hey, wait! that’s all of the ideas! hahaha! i may take a little from all of ideas above and make something of my own!

 

happy summer crafting friends!

xo, mama lola

DIY macrame plant hangers

with the warmer weather has come the urge to plant and grow things.  we have a lovely little covered porch where i hang a big basket of petunia’s each season. there are other hooks that need plants hung from them and i’ve been trying to think of ways to HANG plants without actually spending money.

macrame collage 2b

and, that’s when it hit me… MACRAME! yes, many think it’s tacky or too old school, but i actually really love macrame hanging planters. they can be so simple, neutral, colourful, or complex. the possibilities are endless.

so, for my firts attempt at macrame i wanted to start simple, and i found this fantastic tutorial from brit & co. below is the plant holder from them… BOOM, love that pink!

macrame 1 

here’s the one i made from an ancient, stretched out t-shirt.

and, yes of course it’s turquoise! haha!

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i wanted to include some macrame inspiration i found.

macrame plant hanger, macrame

mini macrame hangers from free people

macrame plant hangers, macrame

5 hangers from modern macrame

macrame plant hangers

macrame plant hangers from erin made this

 

here’s another great tutorial from pigment using cotton rope and beads instead of fabric. aren’t they lovely?

macrame plant hanger, diy plant hanger,  

 

macrame, DIY ombre macrame, macrame plant hanger

macrame plant hanger from space craft studios

 

good luck with your own macrame project.

have a lovely week friends! 

xo, mama lola

top 5 thrifting tips!


i love finding a deal. i love making a deal.

bartering in different countries or garage sales is one of my favourite things to do! there are a few tips and tricks to getting the most our of your thrifting experience. at thrift stores i don’t think they really appreciate a haggler, but most places already have such low prices that there’s no need to argue for a better price!

thrifting

the other day i went thrifting at some of the local spots, value village, goodwill, salvation army, bibles for missions…

look at the hilarious things i saw…

first let’s discuss the Kar-Kooker (did you notice the  awesome double K action?!?) there is a list on the front of the box of how this fantastic contraption can be used… baby bottles, soups, canned foods… enjoy the convenience of eating in your car, camper, boat or trailer” hahaha! love it!

and, check-out that cutie-a-too-teh on the right with her sweet blue jumper.  see where the yellow arrow is? that’s the original price stickers from simpson sears for $1.25!!! gotta love that!

thrifting 3b

thrifting4

 

 

 

1. everything will look cute, quirky and funny at first glance. and, you may want to buy it all! but, before you get caught up in the moment decide what you like to collect, whether it be tea cups or blue glass. know what colours you prefer in your home, for example, i only purchase white, turquoise or blue items for my kitchen, and only if i think i will really use it.

2. remember there is a constant supply of knick-knacks, baskets, and blue glass at thrift stores. the shelves will always get restocked and refreshed with new items. only buy what you need or truly want. i don’t care if it’s a good deal or a great price, it ain’t worth it unless you actually use it! every dollar adds up quickly, remember that!

3.  go often! that will mean different things to all of us, but when i have 30 minutes to kill, i will quickly hit up a few thrift stores. going often doesn’t mean i spend a lot of money, it just means i can keep tabs on things. the good stuff flies out of the stores quickly, so the more frequently you visit the shops the better your chances are of scoring something lovely!

4. know your brands and prices. not everything at a secondhand store is a great deal, so do your homework. this is especially true when it comes to designer glass and clothing. i’m not really into clothes so i don’t know many fancy name brands, but i do have friends who are great at finding awesome clothing deals! i’m much better at kitchen things! also, some thrift stores are much more expensive for things, thank other’s. this is why it pays to do your homework!

5. it’s good for the environment. buying secondhand is a good thing for our planet, as new materials don’t have to be used, trees don’t have to be killed and items don’t have to shipped across oceans. it all comes down to those 3 R’s REDUCE, REUSE & RECYCLE! pinterest is full of ideas on how to reuse old sweaters into mittens, or how to fix up old dressers into vanity’s or whatever. 

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and, is that an owl made out of shells? i can’t decide if $2 is a steal or way over priced! haha!

thrifting is also about thinking outside the box and using old things for something new. i love pretty vintage sheets, but i use them as table cloths instead, or cut them into napkins. 

happy thrifting, friends!

xo, mama lola

vegetable puff pastry bites.


i have only recently discovered the fun of butter puff pastry!

i know, i know i admit i have been under a rock of sorts! 

 

truth be told, i thought they were full of all sorts of yucky ingredients, but it actually isn’t.

butter puff pastry recipe, vegetarian recipe, veggie bites

i found some easy all-ready-to-go frozen puff pastry  at the grocery store and left it out to thaw for a couple of hours. i followed the instructions on the package, and recommend you do the same.

presidents choice puff pastry, recipe, easy recipe

i used a pizza roller to divide the puff pastry sheet into 9 somewhat even squares. they really don’t have to be perfect at all, as the pastry sheets can be pulled to fit your muffin pan if necessary. also, as you’ll see once the pockets are stuffed with the filling and you’ve twisted the tips of the corners together, that having perfect squares is not that important.

preseidents choice butter puff pastry, recipe

i sauteed my veggies in my skillet to bring out the yummy flavours in them before baking them in the oven.

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then in a bowl i mixed the sauteed veggies and chunks of feta cheese.

puff pastry filling, mushrooms, feta cheese, vegetables

prepare your muffin pan by greasing it up. i like to use real butter that i spread into each muffin slot with paper towel, other’s may prefer to use cooking spray. then place a puff pastry square into each slot, gently pushing down. fill each pocket with about a tablespoon of filling, take all four corners and twist them together. finally, brush of some whisked egg to add a nice golden shine to the baked vegetable puffs.

puff pastry recipe, vegetable filling, dinner recipe

is your mouth watering right now?

don’t these wee vegetable puff pastry bites look amazing? they really so easy to make and a perfect add on to so many different meals! all of my three guys love to take these to work and school for lunch the next day… that is if we have any left over! haha!

on this day we had tofu steaks and and lovely green salad with them! yum!

vegetable puff pastry recipe, vegetarian snack

vegetable puff pastry bites.
Yields 18
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Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 pkg frozen puff pastry (i suggest buying the already rolled out kind, much easier to deal with)
  2. 3 tblsp olive oil
  3. 1 red pepper
  4. 1 onion
  5. 2 cloves garlic
  6. 3-5 mushrooms
  7. 1/4 cup feta cheese
  8. lotsa fresh basil leaves
  9. 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
  10. fresh ground pepper to taste
  11. 1 egg
Instructions
  1. 1. thaw the puff pastry according to directions on the package.
  2. 2. preheat the oven to 350F. chop onions, garlic, mushrooms and peppers finely into small pieces.
  3. 3. heat a skillet, add olive oil and sautee onion and garlic until tender. add peppers, mushrooms, pepper, salt and finally fresh basil leaves.
  4. 4. once basil leaves have lightly wilted, in a separate bowl add feta to sauteed veggies. mix well, ensuring feta chunks are smallish.
  5. 5. divide thawed puff pastry sheet into approximately 9 squares. grease your muffin pan. place each square into the muffin pan, add approximately a tablespoon of filling, twist the corners of the squares together to ensure the filling stays inside. brush whisked egg on top of each veggie bite.
  6. 6. bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown on top.
  7. 7. serve, enjoy, savour!
bear & lion http://bearandlionmama.com/
butter puff pastry, vegetable bites, recipe

let me know how the recipe works for you!

enjoy!

 

xo, mama lola
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